Find out the secrets of the One Plane Golf Swing! Perfect your technique & change your game forever.
Whether you’re a scratch player or a 20 handicap, you probably want to improve your swing. Even though there is no such thing as “perfect” in our sport, golf seems to bring out the perfectionist in all of us.
I don’t think I’ve ever met someone happy with their swing in my more than 20 years of hacking away at myself. They’re constantly honing their tempo, shallowing, takeaway, backswing, and other skills. That’s just the way that we golfers love this game so much.
To begin with, let me clarify that I’m not necessarily supporting this approach or any approach for that matter. Everyone can swing differently and achieve very different results in the strange game of golf. Always remember to “Swing your swing.”
One Plane golf swing
But the one-plane golf swing might be helpful if “your swing” isn’t working anymore and you’re unhappy with the way your game is going. I wouldn’t advise a swing overhaul if your game is performing well and you’re satisfied with the outcomes. Unless you’re committed, this usually results in confusion and a lengthy period of mediocre results.
First, let’s review the one plane, also known as the single plane, golf swing.
1) The Everlasting Quest for Golf Perfection
Every golfer, whether a seasoned professional or an amateur enthusiast, possesses an innate desire to perfect their swing. It’s a pursuit that transcends the mere mechanics of the game. At its core, golf embodies the relentless human drive for self-improvement and mastery. This universal quest for perfection is not solely about achieving the best score or impressing fellow golfers. Rather, it delves deep into the essence of golf itself, where every swing mirrors the golfer’s commitment, diligence, and passion.
Importance of Plane and Downswing in Golf
The plane and downswing hold paramount significance in the world of golf. They serve as the cornerstones upon which a golfer’s swing is built and refined. These components dictate the trajectory and precision of each shot, thereby influencing the golfer’s overall performance on the green.
A golfer’s plane refers to the angle at which the club is swung around the body. This plane, combined with the downswing—the pivotal motion where the club is swung downward to strike the ball—decides the success of the shot. Their synchronization is vital, as even a minor misalignment can be the difference between a shot that’s on target and one that veers off course.
One plane swing
Amidst the myriad techniques and philosophies that have graced the golfing arena, the One Plane Golf Swing stands out for its uniqueness and efficacy. This technique, as its name suggests, revolves around maintaining a single plane throughout the swing, providing a simplified yet effective approach to hitting the ball.
But why delve into the intricacies of the One Plane Golf Swing? Its importance stems from its potential to revolutionize a golfer’s game, offering an alternative to the traditional methods that dominate the golfing scene. By understanding and potentially integrating this technique into their repertoire, golfers can not only diversify their skills but also find a swing that might resonate more with their style and physique.
In the journey that lies ahead, we will dissect, analyze, and appreciate the nuances of the One Plane Golf Swing, providing readers with the knowledge and insight to make informed decisions about their golfing techniques. Whether one is considering a shift in technique or simply wishes to understand the mechanics behind this distinctive swing, this exploration promises to be both enlightening and engaging.
2) One Plane Golf Swing Basics
Overview of the One-Plane Swing
The One Plane Golf Swing, as its moniker suggests, is centered on the concept of maintaining a singular swing plane throughout the golfer’s motion. In essence, it aims for the club to stay on a consistent angle or plane from the start of the backswing to the follow-through. Doing so, ensures a streamlined path for the club, eliminating unnecessary movements and optimizing power transfer to the ball.
Historical Origins: Jim Hardy and Moe Norman’s Influence
Tracing back the roots of the One Plane Swing leads us to two prominent figures: Jim Hardy and Moe Norman. Jim Hardy was instrumental in propounding the mechanics of this swing. His teachings emphasized the importance of a flatter swing plane, challenging the conventional wisdom of his time. While Hardy laid down the theoretical foundation, it was Moe Norman, renowned for his striking accuracy, who brought the One Plane Swing into the limelight. Norman’s technique, characterized by its simplicity and efficiency, garnered attention and piqued interest in the possibilities of the One Plane Swing.
Differentiating the Single Plane Swing from a Traditional Swing
At a glance, the Single Plane Swing may seem merely like a flattened version of the traditional golf swing. However, the distinctions go beyond just the swing plane. The traditional two-plane swing involves a more upright swing plane in the backswing, which then shifts to a shallower plane during the downswing. This necessitates a shift in hand and arm positions. In contrast, the One Plane Swing retains a consistent plane, demanding fewer adjustments, thus allowing for a more repetitive and reliable swing.
The stance, grip, and body rotation also witness modifications in the Single Plane Swing, aimed at maintaining the said consistency. These tweaks, although seemingly minor, can significantly influence the swing’s outcome, offering golfers a different approach to tackle challenges on the course.
Common Misconceptions Surrounding the One-Plane Swing
Aswith any technique that deviates from the norm, the One Plane Swing has been subjected to misconceptions. Some believe it’s a shortcut for those unable to master the traditional swing, while others argue it’s too simplistic to yield professional-level results. However, the successes of golfers like Moe Norman and others who’ve adopted this technique stand testament to its efficacy. Dissecting these myths and understanding the true essence of the One Plane Swing is crucial for any golfer considering integrating it into their repertoire.
3) Key Principles of the One Plane Swing
Importance of Address in Swing Methods
The starting position or ‘address’ in golf is the foundational pillar upon which a swing’s success rests. While it might appear as a simple and static phase, the address sets the tone for the subsequent actions. The intricacies of hand placement, feet positioning, and body alignment converge to craft the perfect address. In the realm of the One Plane Swing, the emphasis on address is magnified, acting as the first checkpoint in achieving the desired swing trajectory.
Rules for Perfecting the Address
Golfers, both novice and seasoned, often overlook the nuances of a proper address. However, when adopting the One Plane Swing, it’s crucial to internalize these guidelines to ensure the swing’s efficacy.
The Right Stance: Width and Foot Position
A wider-than-average stance is the hallmark of the One Plane Swing. Both feet should be flared externally, allowing for better rotation and control. This wider base not only aids in maintaining balance but also ensures that the golfer can seamlessly rotate around a single plane.
Shoulder Tilt and Arm Alignment
The alignment of the shoulders plays a pivotal role in defining the plane of the swing. The golfer should tilt the shoulders in such a manner that the right shoulder (for right-handed golfers) is lower than the left. This positioning results in a straight line being formed between the left arm and the club shaft when viewed from a face-on angle. Achieving this alignment is paramount for the One Plane Swing, as it dictates the motion of the club during the swing.
Rule 2: Side Bend Maintenance and Body Angles
Once the address is perfected, maintaining the established angles becomes the next challenge.
Avoiding Swaying and Rotating Mistakes
Swaying or excessive lateral movement can jeopardize the consistency of the One Plane Swing. Golfers should strive to rotate around their bodies rather than swaying towards the back foot. This requires a keen awareness of one’s center of gravity and the discipline to avoid unnecessary movements.
Emphasis on Rotating Around the Body
Rotation is the heart and soul of the One Plane Swing. From the top of the backswing to the downswing, the golfer must focus on rotating around the central axis without deviating from the established plane. Proper rotation ensures that the swing remains on track, translating into shots that are accurate and powerful.
Rule 3: Posture Preservation Throughout the Swing
While motion is integral to the swing, maintaining a consistent posture is equally vital. As the swing progresses, golfers should ensure that their spine angle remains unaltered. This constant preservation of posture is critical for the One Plane Swing as it ensures that the club remains on its intended trajectory.
Understanding the Essence of the Club in One Plane Swing
The One Plane Swing, while emphasizing body movement and posture, does not overlook the club’s role. However, the perspective is different. Instead of micromanaging the club’s position during the swing, the focus is on ensuring the body’s correct positioning. When the body moves as intended, the club naturally falls into its proper place, eliminating the need for conscious adjustments. This holistic approach simplifies the swing process, allowing the golfer to concentrate on the broader picture rather than getting entangled in minute details.
4) A Deep Dive: Moe Norman’s One Plane Swing
Moe Norman: The Legend Behind the One Plane Swing
Moe Norman, a name synonymous with the One Plane Swing, is heralded as one of golf’s most proficient ball strikers. His swing, considered unconventional yet incredibly effective, left an indelible mark on the sport. The techniques Norman employed, while deviating from the norms, became a testament to the potential effectiveness of the One Plane Swing.
Analysis of Moe Norman’s Swing Techniques
Delving into the specifics of Norman’s swing provides a wealth of insights into the mechanics and philosophy behind the One Plane Swing.
The Unconventional A-Frame Leg Position
Central to Norman’s technique was his stance—referred to as the A-Frame. This distinctive stance entailed having straight legs, contrasting the conventional wisdom that advocated bent knees. Straight legs conferred stability and facilitated a consistent setup, crucial elements for repeatable and accurate swings.
Shoulder Positions and Arm Alignments
Norman’s address showcased a distinctive shoulder tilt—his lead shoulder was conspicuously higher than the trailing one. This tilt was accentuated by his straight arms, which pointed directly at the golf ball, thereby aligning his lead arm seamlessly with the left side of his body. These alignments were pivotal in determining the trajectory of his swing and maintaining consistency across shots.
Unique Club and Ball Positioning
Another distinctive aspect of Norman’s technique was his club positioning during address. Unlike most golfers who initiate their swing with the clubhead behind the ball, Norman positioned it 5-12 inches behind the golf ball. This atypical setup might seem daunting to many, but for Norman, it was a cornerstone of his technique. Coupled with his unique hand position, where his lead hand remained neutral and the trailing hand underneath, his setup embodied a break from tradition but was integral to his distinctive swing dynamics.
Deriving Inspiration from Moe Norman’s Methods
The efficacy of Norman’s methods is evident in his prowess on the field. While his techniques might appear unconventional, they underscore the importance of individuality in golf. Rather than adhering rigidly to established norms, Norman’s swing serves as a testament to the potential of personal adaptation and innovation in the sport.
While the One Plane Swing might not be for everyone, Moe Norman’s success with it illustrates that it’s worth considering, especially for those looking to break from convention and explore a technique that has proven its mettle on the golf course.
5) Comparing the One Plane and Two Plane Swings
Fundamental Differences in Setup and Execution
The golf swing, in its essence, is a highly individualized motion. Among the myriad of techniques explored over the years, the One Plane and Two Plane swings have gained particular attention. While both strive for the same goal – propelling the golf ball toward its target – their approaches vary significantly.
One Plane Swing: As the name suggests, this technique focuses on maintaining the club on a singular plane throughout the swing, from backswing to downswing. The arms and shoulders rotate around a more horizontal axis, resembling a flatter swing.
Two-Plane Swing: This technique sees the club shifting between two planes. During the backswing, the club lifts on one plane, and as it transitions into the downswing, it shifts to another. This creates a more upright swing compared to the One Plane method.
2 Plane swing
I don’t use a two-plane swing in my regular gameplay. I find that a single-plane swing has far more consistency. In my opinion, one plane swing is far superior to another when it comes to distance control and ball flight. There is only one of those two-point swings. To be honest, I will only use the two-plane swing to unload and organize the scrambles. You can toss it in from the inside and drop it, so it’s like a long-drive competition. It truly produces a great deal of speed and distance to hit the ball.
I won’t use that much anywhere else, but I’ll probably use it when we’re playing scramble. And I’ll try to make a play using a one-plane swing if I find myself in one of those scenarios where all three are in trouble right away. I will use the two-plane swing and try to hit it as hard as I can if there is someone in my group who is safe in a scramble. That is, in a sense, how I see it.
One-point swings are incredibly consistent because they eliminate a lot of variability when you ascend on one plane, take a moment to collect yourself, pause, and descend back down that same plane. If everything lines up and looks the way it does, we can tell for sure from the data. You can have a two-plane swing that ends on the plane where all of the swing’s levels point in the direction of the target line by using the data and graphics that we employ. Additionally, everything has an amazing appearance. Making sure you understand that you’re genuinely kind of lowering the clubface as you drop then becomes the issue.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Each Method
Benefits of the One-Plane Swing:
- Simplicity: Fewer moving parts can lead to fewer mistakes.
- Consistency: With the club moving on a single plane, golfers often find more consistent ball striking.
- Efficiency: Often requires less physical exertion, making it suitable for those with back issues or seeking a less taxing swing.
Drawbacks of the One Plane Swing:
- Adjustment Period: For those used to the traditional two plane swing, adapting to the one plane can be challenging.
- Distance: Some golfers might find they lose a bit of distance initially when shifting to the one plane swing.
Benefits of the Two Plane Swing:
- Power: An upright swing can lead to more powerful shots, especially for taller golfers.
- Flexibility: The swing allows golfers to adapt and make adjustments mid-swing.
- Traditional: Many golfers find comfort in the familiarity of this swing, having learned it from a young age.
Drawbacks of the Two Plane Swing:
- Complexity: The shift between two planes can lead to more inconsistencies.
- Physical Strain: The upright nature can be more strenuous on the back and shoulders.
Making an Informed Choice: Which Swing is for You?
Selecting between the One Plane and Two Plane swings boils down to personal preferences, physical capabilities, and golfing objectives. For those seeking a more straightforward, efficient swing, the One Plane technique might be the way forward. In contrast, golfers looking for power and adaptability might gravitate towards the Two Plane swing.
Importantly, no swing is universally superior. The best approach is often a blend, tailored to the individual. Regular practice, possibly under the guidance of a professional, will help determine the optimal method for each golfer.
6) Variations and Modern Adaptations
Bryson DeChambeau’s Version of the One Plane Swing
Bryson DeChambeau, with his methodical approach and scientific inclination, has made significant ripples in the golfing world. His adoption and modification of the One Plane Swing has been a topic of immense discussion and intrigue. Unlike traditional One Plane proponents, DeChambeau integrates his unique understanding of physics and biomechanics. His club shafts, identical in length across the board, are a testament to his innovative approach. This uniformity is devised to maintain a consistent posture and plane, further solidifying his commitment to the One Plane methodology.
Adapting the One Plane Swing for Personal Comfort
The beauty of golf lies in its adaptability; it’s an art form that allows for personal expression within the boundaries of technique. While the fundamentals of the One Plane Swing offer a solid foundation, nuances can be tailored based on individual comfort, physique, and preferences.
- Grip Variations: Traditionalists might advocate for a specific grip, but modern adaptors often experiment, finding what suits them best.
- Stance Adjustments: Depending on one’s body type, slight alterations in stance can make the One Plane Swing more ergonomic.
- Swing Tempo: The rhythm and speed of the swing can be adjusted to align with a golfer’s natural tendencies, ensuring fluidity.
Evolution of the Swing Over the Years
Over the decades, the One Plane Swing, like all facets of golf, has seen evolutionary tweaks. Advances in technology have provided tools to analyze swings in minute detail, leading to refinements.
- Equipment Evolution: As clubs have evolved, so have swing techniques. The modern golf club design, with its specific weight distribution and aerodynamics, complements the nuances of the One Plane Swing.
- Physical Conditioning: Today’s golfers are more athletic than ever. Their fitness levels allow for more powerful, yet controlled swings, even within the One Plane framework.
- Data-Driven Approach: Modern players have access to swing analytics, enabling them to make data-informed adjustments for optimal performance.
In conclusion, while the core essence of the One Plane Swing remains consistent, its modern interpretations reflect the ever-evolving nature of the sport. From Bryson DeChambeau’s scientific modifications to personal tweaks by amateur golfers worldwide, the One Plane Swing continues to be a dynamic, adaptable technique in the golfing realm.
7) Recommended Practices and Resources
Golf, like many sports, is not just about physical prowess but also about technique and understanding the mechanics behind each swing. With the one plane swing gaining popularity among professionals and beginners alike, it’s essential to understand the recommended practices to harness its potential fully. Moreover, a wealth of resources is available for those keen to dive deeper into this technique.
Effective Drills for the One-Plane Swing
Drills play a pivotal role in solidifying understanding and improving muscle memory. Here are some effective drills tailored for the one plane swing:
- The Alignment Stick Drill: Place an alignment stick in the ground at your toe line and another parallel to your target line. Practice swinging so that the clubhead remains between these sticks, enforcing the one plane motion.
- The Headcover Under Arm Drill: By placing a headcover or glove under your lead arm, you can ensure your arm stays connected to your body throughout the swing. This promotes a consistent one plane motion.
- The Mirror Drill: Using a full-length mirror, observe your swing from a face-on view to ensure your shoulders and arms move in unison, solidifying the single plane.
The right equipment can make a considerable difference:
- Training Aids: Devices like the PlaneSWING® or the Tour Striker Smart Ball can offer immediate feedback on your swing plane.
- Custom Fit Clubs: Especially for the one plane swing, having clubs tailored to your height and swing can optimize results.
Digital Platforms and Books
Harness the digital age to refine your swing:
- Mobile Applications: Apps like V1 Golf allow you to record and analyze your swing, comparing it to professional golfers or previous versions of your swing.
- Online Video Tutorials: Platforms like YouTube offer countless video tutorials from renowned golf instructors. Regularly watching and practicing with these can be immensely beneficial.
- Books: Jim Hardy’s “The Plane Truth for Golfers” is a definitive guide on the one plane swing, providing in-depth insights and drills.
Seeking Professional Guidance
While resources and self-practice are invaluable, nothing beats hands-on guidance from a trained professional. Consider:
- Golf Clinics: These are often group sessions where a professional will introduce the one-plane swing and offer tips to a group.
- Personal Lessons: One-on-one sessions with a golf instructor can offer tailored advice and immediate feedback.
- Golf Schools: Immersive programs that can last several days, offering in-depth instruction on the one-plane swing among other techniques.
One plane swing drills
For this drill, you’ll need an alignment stick and a headcover or noodle, like Morris is using here. After positioning the alignment stick at a 45-degree angle in the ground, cover it with your headcover or noodle. Assume a watch-like position where the end of the noodle touches the top of your wrist, then advance straight towards the target with a step. Give it a swing now.
Your hands should pass slightly below the noodle as you swing back. They ought to reciprocate when you swing through. The noodle will respond to you right away. If the takeaway isn’t deep enough for you, you’ll hit the noodle on the way back.
You can improve your swing efficiency and learn to swing back and through on the same plane by using a noodle.
The one-plane swing, with its emphasis on a streamlined, consistent motion, can offer golfers a more repeatable and potentially more effective swing technique. By leveraging the drills, resources, and professional guidance available, golfers can refine their technique and potentially transform their game.
Proper Golf Swing Plane
Golfers typically swing the club on a plane that lies between their shoulders and hips as shown in the below picture of Tiger Woods. A smaller angle with the ground indicates a flatter swing plane typical of a one-plane golf swing that moves in the same plane back and through.
Though not all golfers are aware of how important their swing plane is to their success or failure as a player, every golfer has one.
Golf pros and TV pundits frequently discuss this topic, but they frequently omit to go into great detail.
I think one of the reasons for that is that it can be challenging to determine whether your swing plane is correct and even more so to adjust. In my opinion, ignorance confuses a relatively easy subject.
The invisible flat surface that a player’s golf club head follows during their swing is known as the swing plane.
The swing plane of a player is not always at the same angle.
Embracing Individuality in Golf Techniques
In the vast expanse of golf techniques, it’s paramount to understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Each golfer, from novices to professionals, brings a unique blend of physical attributes, mental acumen, and personal preferences. The beauty of golf is in its versatility, allowing players to adopt, adapt, and innovate techniques that align with their individual strengths and weaknesses.
The Potential of the One-Plane Swing for Future Golfers
As the golfing landscape evolves, the One Plane Swing’s inherent simplicity and consistency make it a formidable choice for future generations. Its emphasis on a singular plane reduces complexities, potentially offering a steeper learning curve for newcomers. Moreover, with modern analytical tools and training aids, refining and perfecting the One Plane Swing has become more accessible than ever.
While traditional methods will always have their place, the One Plane Swing’s potential lies in its adaptability. As we’ve seen with the likes of Moe Norman and Bryson DeChambeau, there’s room within this technique for personal modifications, allowing golfers to mold the swing according to their unique requirements.
Parting Thoughts for Aspiring Golfers
For those embarking on their golf journey or seasoned players considering a swing change, the key is to remain patient and open-minded. Whether you’re drawn to the One Plane Swing, the Two Plane Swing, or any other technique, it’s crucial to dedicate time, practice, and persistence.
Remember, golf is as much a journey of self-discovery as it is of mastering the sport. Techniques like the One Plane Swing can serve as valuable tools, but it’s the golfer’s passion, dedication, and continuous learning that truly elevate the game. Embrace the process, enjoy every moment on the green, and let your individual flair shine through in every swing.
Important questions on one plane golf swing
What is a one-plane golf swing?
The one plane golf swing is a method where the golfer keeps their arms and the club on the same rotational plane throughout their swing. This is in contrast to the traditional two-plane swing, where there’s a noticeable shift in the plane from backswing to downswing.
What are the benefits of a one plane golf swing?
Many golfers find that a one plane swing offers greater consistency, as it requires fewer moving parts and less timing to get right. It can also reduce strain on the body, particularly the back, due to its more natural, rotary motion.
How do I know if I’m using a one plane swing?
In a one plane swing, your arms and shoulders will move more in unison, and the angle of your club will be more aligned with your arms at the top of the backswing. It feels more around your body rather than up and down.
Is the one plane swing suitable for everyone?
Not necessarily. It often depends on the golfer’s physique, flexibility, and personal preferences. Some golfers may find the two-plane swing more effective or comfortable.
Can a one plane swing improve my distance?
While the main advantage of a one plane swing is consistency and reduced strain, some golfers may find an increase in distance due to the more efficient use of their body’s rotational forces.
How do I switch from a two-plane to a one plane swing?
Transitioning to a one plane swing requires practice and possibly some adjustments to your stance and grip. It’s often recommended to work with a golf instructor to make this transition effective.
Are there any famous golfers who use the one plane swing?
Yes, several professional golfers have successfully used the one plane swing. Notable examples include Ben Hogan and Matt Kuchar.
What drills can help me master the one plane swing?
Drills that emphasize shoulder turn, arm alignment, and body rotation can be beneficial. Practice swings focusing on keeping the club on a single plane throughout are also useful.
Lana has been swinging a golf club for close to 30 years. After playing Division 1 College golf, she went on to turn professional and coach hundreds of golfers to become better players. Lana lives in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children and continues to write, teach, and learn about golf daily. As a scratch golfer, Lana has actionable tips and advice to help you take your game to the next level without over complicating it.