Golf Tips And Lessons

One-Plane or Two-Plane Swing

The idea of one-plane swing and two-plane swing was introduced by Jim Hardy, a famous player as well as golf analyst.

These two ideas were popularly debated for a number of years but the debate faded with time. Let’s try to understand the terms further.

The swing plane

For us to understand what the swing plane is, we shall use the idea of a swinging weight on a string. If a weight was swinging on a piece of string and you twirled it, what would happen?

If we assume that the hand made a 45 degree slant in front of you - just like the upper body during a golf swing – without tilting either to the left or right, the weight would swing around your hand and make a bow at 90 degrees. This implies that the weight replicates what it does on one side to the other side. Simply said, it makes a perfect plane bisecting your hand.

One-plane swing

In golf, the concept behind a one-plane swing is to try and replicate a similar path as the swinging weight around the hand. Essentially, the club’s plane would swing at 90 degrees to the body on its way back, and down along and through.

Two-plane swing

This swing is more upright. It implies that during the backswing, the club goes along the plane up to about halfway back. The club will then go above the plane as it moves to the top of the backswing. Then on its way down and through, it holds back up to the plane.

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For one-plane proponents, it is the way the club goes above the plane that is the cause of concern.

So which swing is more suitable?

Its many people’s dilemma: one-plane swing or two-plane swing? With the above information, it may be easy to conclude that the ideal swing would be to keep the club on the same plane. Assuming that was correct, then we might have never heard of some golfing greats, including Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Davis Love, Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Fred Couples, and even Tiger Woods in current times.

What you need to consider next is that during the golf backswing, you don’t actually hit the ball. Rather, it’s when the club swings down and through that the ball is hit. So during a 2-plane swing, you should be concerned with getting the club back on plane somewhere during the downswing.

In fact, if you practice this regularly, the 2-plane swing should be as good as the 1-plane swing. Sadly, majority of average golfers don’t manage to get the club back on plane, thus they never improve.

How can the club be put on plane during the downswing?

If we go back to the swinging weight, it was able to swing around the hand on a perfect 90 degrees because the hand turned and it simply followed for the ride.

Let’s bring it to your golf swing. If we directly relate the two scenarios and take the weight as the entire golf club, the string as the arms and the hand as the body. If in the downswing you turn your body first while your hands do nothing, you will be perfectly on plane in relation to your body and the club will fall to 90 degrees to your body.

This is because if the club (mass) is allowed to swing freely, will always move in the direction of 90 degrees to the axis (body). It is that simple, although it may not be to everyone.

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