Many high handicap golfers don’t know why they can’t hit the ball solid, but I can assure you for the majority of them their golf swing plane is off. They are not coming down and into the ball on plane. So what is this. When you set up to the ball, and put your club on the ground behind the ball, you are creating a plane with your shaft, coming from the hosel of the club near the ground, up the shaft and dissecting your midsection.
This angle with the clubshaft is critical to solid ball striking, so you really need to pay attention to it. I want you to imagine that you need to get back to impact in somewhat the same position you started with, given your hips will be slightly open to the target, and your hands will be slightly ahead of the ball, creating forward shaft lean.
Other than those elements, you’ve got to envision in your mind this concept of getting back to the ball. So no matter what you do in the backswing, your goal should be to get to impact in a similar position to address.
Not so important is your backswing, but your downswing is critical to having an “on plane” golf swing. As you come down, the butt of your club should be pointing at (slightly above or below) a line that extends behind the ball back approximately 2-3 feet.
If you were to stop and check this about halfway down, the butt should point in the vicinity of this line a couple of feet behind the ball. If it does, you have a very good chance of coming into impact with the clubshaft in the right position to smash the golf ball.
The problem occurs, when your hands get significantly higher (or lower) that address when you arrive at impact. That will make it very difficult to contact the ball with a descending blow with the irons. This golf plane issue is very important for golfers to pay attention to. The best way to find out is to get a down the line view of their swing on video. When you do, draw up the club shaft from the ground (hosel of club), up and through the body.
Then watch the video in hi speed as you come down. Slow it down or pause it at impact. How close to the line is your clubshaft at impact? Where are your hands. Are they in a similar spot as address? Most likely they are not, and you need to fix this issue if you want to strike the ball solid and with any power.