The Golf Swing Plane
I just finished reading “The Plane Truth for Golfers” by Jim Hardy. Hardy – a famous golf instructor – claims that there are two types of golf swings: the one-plane swing, and the two-plane swing. And he insists that you cannot merge the two without causing big problems.
Ok … let’s talk about swing planes. Ben Hogan started the talk about swings planes in his “5 Lessons” book. In the book, Hogan had a line drawn from the golf ball through his shoulders while addressing the shot … that is the swing plane.
Thus, many of us assumed that if the club stayed on that line during the back swing and the down swing – it was a one-plane swing. And, if the downswing was on a different plane than the backswing – it was a two-plane swing.
Hardy has a different definition. In fact, Hardy says that Hogan had a one-plane swing. But, in Hogan’s book, Hogan insists that the downswing drops into a more inside plane than the backswing – a two-plane swing.
Basically, Hardy says that the one-plane swing is more of a flatter, baseball type swing. And that the two-plane swing is more of an up-and-down arm swing.
Many great players combined Hardy’s two different swings such as Larry Nelson and Walter Hagen.
I’m going too long with this, so let me get to what I think really matters. Most people don’t wind up very well and don’t make good contact. They need a good backswing and a good downswing. They need BOTH.
Years ago, I read an interview with Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros. Norman said that he took the club back with his left hand … Ballesteros said that he took the club back with his right hand. Norman was one of the most accurate drivers of all time – his left hand controlled backswing kept the swing on plane. Seve was one of the wildest drivers of all time, but had more more feel than anyone on little shots.
I think the secret is to combine the two methods – take the club back with the left hand, and hit the ball with the right hand. To do that, you need to have a good transition from backswing to downswing. Try it with a putter. The left hand will take it back on line, and the right hand will give you the feel and contact you want. Try it with chipping … and iron shots … and the driver. You’ll feel it immediately.
Is that a one-plane or two-plane swing? It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s flat or upright. Let your natural plane and motion take place. Just take the club back with your left hand and hit the ball with your right hand.
Try it – you’ll like it.
GM and Head Golf Professional