Written by: Brendon Elliot
Looking for swing analysis inspiration? Here are 12 analysis lines you can start using on your swing, today. The first 5 lines I would consider “beginner” lines (but useful for golfers at all levels), so start there if you’re new to analyzing your swing. More important than using every line available is understanding why you’re using the line, and using lines consistently so you can track your progress. If you’re working with an instructor, ask them about what lines you should be using during your practice!
1. A Circle Around the Head
This is a classic and a simple thing to first consider when looking at and analyzing your golf swing with V1 GOLF. As you go back and swing down from the top, you should rotate around the head and spine. While there can be a smidge of movement with the head, it cannot be much. Draw a circle around the head. Slowly advance your swing video, frame-by-frame, from a face-on view. This will help you see if there is any unnecessary lateral head movement.
2. A Line On Top of the Head
In sticking with the head, the next drawing tool you can use is a simple horizontal line on the top of your head. While moving the head too much from side to side is bad, so is moving it excessively up and down. Place a line on top of the head and look from the face-on view. This way, you can see if you are lifting up as you go back or dropping down too much on your downswing.
3. A Line Across the Back of Your Spine
The next drawing tool you could use is a straight line running across your back and down your spine. This would be looked at from the down-the-line view. Once again, go frame-by-frame. Look to maintain your spine angle from set-up to the top. Keep it as you transition down from there and on through impact.
4. A Line Behind Your Trail Leg
As mentioned before, the golf swing is meant to rotate around a semi-fixed point. One issue that is common among golfers is excessive lateral movement of the body. When looking from the face-on view, with a line going up against the trail leg, you can see if you are not rotating enough as you go back. You can also see if you are swaying instead.
5. A Line In Front Of Your Lead Leg
Putting a line in front of your lead leg, from the outside of your foot and on up to your lead shoulder at set up is another great line to use. When viewed face-on, this line will help you see if you are sliding too much toward the target rather than rotating and clearing your lead hip. Getting the lead hip out of the way allows the right side to turn through. This gives your hands room to fire from the inside as they approach impact.
6. A Box Around Your Core
Put a box around your core, aligning the bottom with your hips. Then, raise it on both sides and align the top with your shoulders. This will help you see how stable you are through your swing. You will look at this from the face-on view.
7. A Box From Your Waist Down to Your Toes
This next idea is very similar to the sixth drawing tool. It will help isolate what is happening from the hips down to your toes. We look at this from the face-on view. It will allow you to see how your lower body is moving throughout your swing.
8. Plane Lines Through Shaft and Shoulder
This is another classic in using V1 GOLF. The bottom line of the plane lines runs from the base of the shaft, where it meets the clubhead. It runs up through the middle of the back and out. The top line starts at that same spot that the bottom line did and runs up through the trail shoulder and out. To have a good swing plane, your goal is to have the club travel back and down through the “V” that is created between the two lines. You will be looking from the down-the-line view for this.
9. A Box Around Your Trail Foot
The feet play a massive role in the golf swing. The swing really starts from the ground up. By putting a box around the trail foot and looking from the down-the-line view, we can see how that foot moves throughout the swing. My student, seen below, sometimes has his trail foot get up onto the toe on the downswing. Instead of rolling and moving toward the target. The foot moving toward the ball sometimes causes forward extension. This move can also lead to an over-the-top downswing plane.
10. A Line on Your Lead Wrist at the Top
The lead wrist position throughout the swing is important. You can think of that wrist as a great indicator of what the clubface is doing. Assuming you have a solid, neutral grip, the lead wrist will need to try and stay flat in relation to your lead arm. This will help ensure that your clubface is square throughout the swing. A square face is critically important at the top of the swing and down through to impact. This is especially true at impact!
11. Lines To Check Alignment
The pre-swing fundamentals of posture, grip, and alignment are critical aspects to playing good golf. You nail these, before you start your swing, and you eliminate a handful of things that could go wrong. From the down-the-line view you can draw lines as shown below to help give you some reference on how your alignment is.
12. A Line To Check Hands and Shaft at Impact
Impact is the moment of truth in the golf swing. This is where the rubber meets the road. A powerful impact position has the hands and shaft leading the clubhead. This allows you to hit crisp and solid iron, hybrid, and wood shots. From the face-on view, you can draw a line, as shown below, to examine how your impact position is. With a driver, you need less of a forward shaft position at impact. This is because the ball is on a tee, and you should ever so slightly be hitting up on the ball.
PGA Professional Brendon Elliott is a multiple award-winning Golf Professional based in Central Florida. He is the 2017 PGA of America’s National Youth Player Development Award Winner and is the recipient of more than 25 other industry awards with a focus on Coaching & Education. He is considered by his peers as an industry expert on topics ranging from Jr. Golf Development to Operations to Industry Sustainability. He is the founder of the Little Linksters Golf Academies and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development, a 501c3 nonprofit also based out of Central Florida. Brendon is also a freelance golf writer for PGA.com, Golf Range Magazine and several other golf websites and blogs. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. You can learn more about Brendon at BrendonElliott.com and Little Linksters at littlelinksters.com.