Understanding the One Plane Swing in Depth

free golf tipsIn teaching the one plane golf swing, by far the most difficult task I have found is helping golfers "unlearn" everything they already "know" about the golf swing. The second most difficult task is finding the balances by not over exagerrating certain movements in the swing. The ideas I present below are a blend of what Jim Hardy calls a one plane swing and how I teach the swing. Interestingly enough, with all the buzz around this idea of a one plane swing, Jim Hardy openly admits that his one plane swing is a more difficult swing to learn as it requires more athleticism. The original Rotary Swing golf swing that I teach is a blend between the two that I have experienced great success with golfers of all abilities, not just those with Tour caliber athleticism. It is, in my mind and those of my students, a much simpler swing and more natural and is ideal for the weekend warrior. For the serious golfer who wants to be as good as possibly can, the Rotary Swing Tour is the only model to follow.

What I am writing below goes completely against helping you learn the swing and is not even close to how I teach the swing. It is meant strictly as a reference and is for all those super technical golfers out there who want to know way more than they need to about the golf swing. If that's you, read on as you'll be able to completely overwhelm yourself with the technical detail below and ensure that you won't be able to swing the club to save your life :-) After writing this, I had to put my clubs down for a week until I "forgot" everything I wrote. For those of you who want to actually learn how to do the one plane swing and not read about the details, click the link below.

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START HERE: "Get Your Arms On Plane at the Top of the Backswing" Video


Backswing


Jim Hardy believes there are a few fundamentals that must be performed properly that differ significantly from that of a two plane swing. Hardy firmly believes that there are no interchangable parts between the two swings, he calls them oil and water. However, if this were true, every golfer on the PGA Tour would neatly fall into one or the other and strictly follow Hardy's fundamentals. Of course, this is simply not the case and almost every golfer on tour is more of a hybrid than anything else. If you are looking for the purest demonstration of Hardy's ideas of a one plane swing, I highly recommend you study Peter Jacobsen's swing, as well as Scott McCarron. Of course, you will notice that not very many other golfers' swings look like Jacobsen or McCarron's, but if you want to follow Hardy to a "T", that is where you should look. Below I will talk about the swings in more detail and attempt to point out areas that I differ from Hardy, but will mostly stick with Hardy's theories here so as to provide a more complete reference of the two swings.

1. The shoulders swing on a steeper plane

The shoulders should always turn perpindicular to the spine in either swing, this is nothing new. The spine should be tilted over more at address in a one plane swing, which will allow the shoulders to rotate on a steeper plane allowing the arms to swing up on plane. Compare the two photos below of myself and David Toms. Note how David swings the club above the shaft plane he established at address very early in the swing. He keeps the club outside of his hands in order to keep it from coming too far inside. This is a commonly taught position in today's modern teaching and David performs it perfectly. You can already see how his arms are separating from his torso in an effort to create width. In a one plane swing, too much width is a bad characteristic according to Hardy, so the arms swing more to the inside and across the chest. Hogan also talked a great deal about his arms swinging across his chest and the connection he maintained of his upper arms to his chest throughout his swing. At this position, Hardy would like to see the arms more into my right hip and closer to my body at this point. I don't do that because I like for the club to flow a bit more on its natural arc rather than pulling my arms across my chest very early with my right arm.

chuck quinton golf swing

One of the very small nuances that is very important in the one plane swing is the clockwise rotation of the left arm. David Leadbetter pointed this out in his book on Hogan's Five Fundamentals. In a two plane swing, there is no rotation of the forearm because you are trying to get the club up and rotating the left arm makes the club swing more "around" as the club goes more into the "depth" dimension of the swing. The rotation of the arm in the one plane swing allows the left arm to more naturally swing across the body. If you stand up and make a baseball swing, you will notice that there is some clockwise rotation of the left forearm. If you do not allow the left forearm to rotate, the club will be "maneuvered" onto a more upright plane rather than being allowed to "swing" on it's natural, more "around" plane. This is not something that you will concsiously do if you allow yourself to make a natural swing, it is something that will happen on its own. I simply point it out here because you have likely heard not to allow the left forearm to rotate, which is true for a two plane swing, but not true for a one plane swing. The problem is see most, however, is with people over doing this move and getting the club too far behind their hands and body and swinging the club on too much around. So don't overdo it, simply allow your left arm to rotate slightly on the backswing.

2. The left arm stays connected to the chest and rotates

One of Hardy's key fundamentals is to keep the arms in close to the body with the left arm connected to the chest. The left arm staying connected to the chest is a key element in a one plane swing that allows the body to control the arms - a key to power and accuracy. As I mentioned, Hogan talked about this in his book, Five Fundamentals. Both arms stay close to the body to decrease width and give control of the golf club over to the torso, removing the responsibility from the much more difficult to control arms. This allows you to use the big muscles of your body to swing the club because the arms are a completely unreliable source of power and control. This swinging motion happens naturally because the arms are simply being led by the rotating body and are being allowed to swing back behind the chest similar to a baseball swing. You can clearly see here that David's arms are continuing their very upward movement whereas mine are swinging more around behind me. A simple way to look at this is that in a one plane swing the arms and body are more in sync, with the arms naturally swinging with the rotation of the body on the same plane. In the two plane swing the body rotates and the arms lift. Hardy differs here a fair bit and you will see that as the arms reach this 9 o'clock position that the shaft will be more upright and pointing at a place somewhere between the golfer's feet and the ball. My shaft points directly at the ball, as does Toms, although my hands are much deeper at this point.

chuck quinton one plane golf swingdavid toms two plane golf swing

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One Plane Golf Swing

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One Plane Golf Swing
Go to the golf instruction home page to learn more about the one plane golf swing created by Jim Hardy, written by Chuck Quinton.

One Plane vs. Two Plane
Interested in Jim Hardy's theories on the one plane vs. two plane swing? Then visit this page written by Chuck Quinton to learn more about the differences.

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Tiger Woods Golf Swing
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Golfers always ask how they should properly start their golf swings; what should move first? In this video I demonstrate how to properly sequence your golf swing to get everything working back in sync.

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