Environmental Toxicity at Home
By Lisa J. Sirota, M.D. / April & May 2012

Today, you hear a common swing phrase -- swing on plane -- or simply swing your club on a circle that is tilted over your body back and through. Teachers are doing their best to teach players to swing on plane, but, sometimes, with little success. Phrases used by teachers include "swing on plane," "set wrists early," "point your shaft at the ball line," "the back of your hand is parallel to swing plane," and "swing on the circle around your body." These are all great phrases but, sometimes, it's difficult for the player to understand.

There is a great drill that you can do at home that will help you develop the proper swing plane. In the comfort of your home, for a few minutes a day, this drill will help you hit straighter and longer golf shots with consistency. It's called the flashlight drill.

For thirty years, I have used this drill to help my players establish a great awareness of the correct swing plane and the correct position of the club during different stages of the golf swing. The drill can be a very effective way to improve your ball-striking ability. Supplies needed are two flashlights and masking tape. Tape the bottom of the flashlights together and make sure they are straight. Find an area in your home, hallway or garage that has a straight line or use lines on tile or even a straight wall. Set up like you're going to hit a golf ball.
Now turn on both flashlights and hold them like you are holding a golf club. One beam will point at the ball (bottom flashlight) and the other flashlight beam (top flashlight) will point at your belly.

The purpose of this drill is to swing the flashlights at varying speeds around your body, so that the light beams point at the ball line or target line during the entire golf swing. The target line is an imaginary line from the target through the ball and back behind the ball as well. Now, as you swing the flashlights back, the beam that started by pointing at the ball (bottom flashlight) will continue to move down the target line behind the ball. As your arms begin to get close to shoulder height, your wrists begin to naturally set, and with the right arm bending, the flashlight that was pointing at your belly (top flashlight) will then begin to point down the ball line behind the ball. Once your shoulders have fully rotated and the flashlights are parallel to the ground, initiate the downswing by shifting to your front leg or foot and keep the flashlight beam working down the target line behind the ball.

Just before your hands reach your legs, begin to release or rotate the flashlights. As your hands pass your legs, the other beam (bottom flashlight) will begin to point down the target line toward the target. As your body rotates through the hitting area and begins to face the target, the other beam (top flashlight) will then point down the target line to complete the entire golf swing. This simple but effective flashlight drill will give you a keen sense of proper swing plane. Also, it will help you consistently hit long, solid and straight shots. Good luck.

John Nelson is a South Florida PGA Class A Hall of Famer and director of instruction at the Country Club of Coral Springs. Its web site is

9381 West Sample Road , Suite 203
Coral Springs, FL 33065
Phone: 954-755-9800
Fax: 954-755-2082

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