Golf instructors have been studying the golf swing for many years and the term “the swing plane” is usually studied in the full swing. Now “the swing plane” can be brought to the short game in a short game breakthrough. This breakthrough is a commonality in some of the best players in the world and it could help you lower those scores around the green. Check out Shawn as he gives us a great lesson on getting more consistent with your pitch shots.

Cox is the Director of Golf at the Grand Golf Club in Del Mar, CA. Since he stepped into this position in 2006, Shawn Cox has launched programs including the Grand Golf Performance Academy which has cutting-edge technology and training aids. Prior to the Grand Golf Club, Shawn served as the Assistant Head Pro at La Jolla Country Club and Torrey Pines! He has also been very instrumental in bringing Junior Golf to the San Diego area!

Shawn is also a member of the PGA of America and is certified in many other fields in the industry; including Titleist Fitness Level 3 certification, biomechanics and junior golf certified. He is also well-versed and certified on Trackman, K-Vest and Blast motion. If you are ever in Del Mar, make sure you link up with Shawn! He is a fantastic instructor that understands the body and the golf swing!


What is the Shaft Plane?

The shaft plane is the angle at which the club is taken away from the ball. It is the perfect backswing for a short game shot. To practice this, Cox recommends picking a target, preferably not a flag, and placing a shaft or limit rod parallel to the target line. When taking the club away, the club should be parallel to the ground and the rod.

Common Mistakes

Cox notes that the most common mistake he sees with amateurs is that they tend to be inside when the club reaches parallel to the ground. This causes them to have to stop and flip the club with their hands when they get near the ball. He does not see many people outside.  Fixing these mistakes will help your short game.

Practicing the Shaft Plane for Short Game

Cox recommends practicing the shaft plane by taking the club away and pausing when it reaches parallel to the ground. After hitting two or three or four or five balls, they should all look like the same trajectory. To change the trajectory, the ball position can be varied. Moving it to the back of the stance will make the ball go lower, while moving it up in the stance will make it go higher. The club can also be changed.



The shaft plane is an important part of the golf short game, and it is a commonality amongst some of the best players on tour. By practicing the shaft plane, golfers can ensure they are taking the club away in the right direction and can vary the trajectory of the ball by changing the ball position and the club.

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