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Ben

One plane swing: No more "loosey-goosey"

15 posts in this topic

I've always been a re-router, Fred Couples type. Way outside on the backswing, then jam my right elbow into my side and rip that club inside-out of the plane.

Well, I've given that up and adapted a new swing, and it seems to be working quite well. Think Adam Scott and Tiger Woods. Take it back on one plane, then back through on the same plane. It keeps my back swing short'ish and under control while the feel at impact is great.

I've been hitting a lot of real well struck, wuality shots lately that go along the line that I invision them going. I've also found that my long iron play is quite dependable now-a-days with this swing. As opposed to my days of "sure, I can hit my long irons", but it in a general direction, not with pin-point accuracy.

So, if you've always felt kinda "loosey-goosey" at the top of your swing, I'd recommend giving this theory a try.
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Well, I've given that up and adapted a new swing, and it seems to be working quite well. Think Adam Scott and Tiger Woods. Take it back on one plane, then back through on the same plane. It keeps my back swing short'ish and under control while the feel at impact is great.

Isn't part of the switch Tiger made to get more to a one-plane swing, while folks like Adam Scott who are still with Butch Harmon still fairly two-plane?

I know what you're saying, and this is a tad off-topic, but I'm curious what you think about it. Clearly Adam is closer to a one-plane swing than some others, but would you really call him one plane given the talk and description(s) of Tiger's changes with Hank Haney?
I've been hitting a lot of real well struck, wuality shots lately that go along the line that I invision them going. I've also found that my long iron play is quite dependable now-a-days with this swing. As opposed to my days of "sure, I can hit my long irons", but it in a general direction, not with pin-point accuracy.

Some of the best players I've ever seen stop the club at about 3/4. Watching Dave (NCGolfer) play last week has got me shortening up my swing just a bit and focusing a bit more on accelerating through the ball. My swing had gotten a bit lazy (and long), and my shoulders had to get down fast, and I'd come over the top a bit.

Control and a short backswing don't necessarily mean lack of power. Good to hear your change is working out well, Ben.
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I suppose you are right about Adam, but I'm comparing him and his control to a swing more like Couples' or other dramatically different plane guys. Adam's swing just looks so under control. That's the key I'm working on, control through the backswing.
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Some of the best players I've ever seen stop the club at about 3/4. Watching Dave (NCGolfer) play last week has got me shortening up my swing just a bit and focusing a bit more on accelerating through the ball. My swing had gotten a bit lazy (and long), and my shoulders had to get down fast, and I'd come over the top a bit.

Very interesting topic. I have gone through the same exact transformation that Ben has. I use to have a good sized loop in my swing from out to in. This year I was determined to take it out and make my swing more repeatable.

For some reason, my swing now stops 3/4ths of the way back and you are right Erik, I always focus on accelerating through the shot. I have been playing my best golf as a result of it.
Control and a short backswing don't necessarily mean lack of power.

Good point. I've been hitting the ball longer than I ever have with a shorter and more compact swing.

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For some reason, my swing now stops 3/4ths of the way back and you are right Erik, I always focus on accelerating through the shot. I have been playing my best golf as a result of it.

Ive been going through the same transition. I always found my backswing to be a little to long. I figured out that if you get your grip right and have your hands positioned right on the back swing, you can only go 3/4 of the way. If you keep your right wrist and right forearm flat (this is will be left hand for those of you who are right handed). At the top of your backswing you should only be able to see 2 knuckles on your right hand (left hand for the righties). This will give a closed club face at the top of your swing and from there all you do is drop the club head toward your feet and swing through. For any of you who are cutting across the ball (pushing/slicing the ball) this is more than likely your problem. I have another lesson in 2 weeks and will hopefully get to download my videos from the analyzer and I can maybe show this to you guys.

Its taking me a while to get used to this, plus the fact that I slacked off the whole week after my last lesson, but I have noticed that I am now putting a 3-5 yard draw on the ball, and am hitting my irons around 7-12 yards longer. Im really inconsistent with contact right now, because my muscle memory has not set in with this new approach. Practice is the key for me right now, but when I get in the groove, ive never seen myself hit the ball better.
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I tried to go into a one-plane method, there was a good article on it a couple months ago in Golf Digest, but it wasn't working for me. I've been a two planer and it seemed like the one-plane would be awesome..simple..compact. Do you set up further away from the ball for the one plane? The article mentioned you need to hunch over more. I tried but it seems like most my shots tend to stay lower and less punch. What is your setup for the one plane and are you coming at it from the inside?
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I tried to go into a one-plane method, there was a good article on it a couple months ago in Golf Digest, but it wasn't working for me. I've been a two planer and it seemed like the one-plane would be awesome..simple..compact. Do you set up further away from the ball for the one plane? The article mentioned you need to hunch over more. I tried but it seems like most my shots tend to stay lower and less punch. What is your setup for the one plane and are you coming at it from the inside?

My swing is actually a two-plane....

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I tried the "one-plane" concept for a while but felt that my arms were getting stuck behind my shoulders. I've left the one plane thing for whatever it is I'm doing now.
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I tried the "one-plane" concept for a while but felt that my arms were getting stuck behind my shoulders. I've left the one plane thing for whatever it is I'm doing now.

Jeff - try bending over from the waist a little more. If your arms feel like they are stuck behind your shoulders it is probably because the swing is a bit flat. When I went to the one-plane swing, I felt like bending from the hips a bit more and "looking over" the ball was a way of making the swing a bit steeper and making impact a little crisper.

Just a thought before you give up on the concept. I'm telling you that taking out the re-routing in my swing has helped my consistency quite a bit. Give it a shot and let me know how it works. I wouldn't call it "hunching over" like the golf digest article Maverick talks about...just bend from the hips. It will keep your angle crisp between your legs and upper body.
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Yeah, the flattish swingplane was something my teacher was working on fixing with me. Perhaps he's trying to produce what you are talking about in the things that he's been teaching me. I'll ask him directly about it next time I see him.
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Yeah, the flattish swingplane was something my teacher was working on fixing with me. Perhaps he's trying to produce what you are talking about in the things that he's been teaching me. I'll ask him directly about it next time I see him.

I had a pretty good ballstriking round today. I'd gotten lazy and my plane had gotten flat, and I was laid off. I've been working on fixing that for the past two weeks.

Dave (NCG) does a little rehearsal backswing before every swing. Kinda like Chris DiMarco, only longer - all the way back to his 3/4 position (the top of the backswing for him). He steps up to the ball, waggles, does the backswing, checks his target, waggles, and pulls the trigger. I've found that incorporating that into my pre-shot routine has helped when I'm working on getting back on one plane. That full backswing rehearsal really helps to ingrain the proper feeling right before you do the actual swing. (The "rehearsal" in the pre-shot routine does not replace my practice swing, though. That I do from behind the ball and down my target line. I currently use my practice swing to focus on getting my hips through. They've been a bit slow lately. ) I think the one plane swing is a bit more compact, tighter, and reproducible. Seniors like Peter Jacobsen are moving to it (he already did, of course). The two plane swing relies heavily on timing, I think, to produce a consistent ball flight, and timing is something that seniors lack a little more than, say, 30-year olds. Amateur golfers also lack it over professionals who have a chance to hone their timing day in and day out. Tiger talked about getting "stuck" and that was a timing issue. He's kinda going with a more one-plane swing now, and he doesn't get "stuck" because timing - I think - isn't as big of an issue as it used to be. (I still think that the biggest reason he switched is his left knee, but the "stuck" thing may have been a pretty big part of the reason too.)
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As a result of attempting to achieve a one plane swing this season, my handicap has tumbled from 19 to 13.
Being pretty small in stature (5' 6") my local pro always advised my to "stand as tall as possible" over the ball. It wasn't until I got a video camera for my birthday that I realized just how pronounced my two plane swing was.
Since then I've been working away on my own, with a good hip bend being key to my 'new and improved' set-up. Consistency and accuracy are two words which were never associated with my game in the past, but things are changing.
Now, if only I could chip... and putt...
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I've been a two planer and it seemed like the one-plane would be awesome..simple..compact. Do you set up further away from the ball for the one plane? The article mentioned you need to hunch over more. I tried but it seems like most my shots tend to stay lower and less punch. What is your setup for the one plane and are you coming at it from the inside?

I stand the same distance from the ball as before. My setup, if you mean stance, is dependant on the shot I want to hit, fade or draw. For the most part, I try to stand as square as possible to hit a straight shot.

And yes, in theory I try to come from the inside on my shots (except of course a fade). And this is why I went one plane in the first place. For some reason I'd developed a nasty outside in swing, which oddly enough didn't turn into a slice, but I was very unpleased to find that the majority of divots on my good shots were pointing dramatically left of the target. I figured if I take it back inside (without rerouting to the outside up top) I would be forced to come back on the inside using the single plane approach. And sure enough, with the exception of a few mishits, my divots are back to point right of the target.
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ah I just went back to mynormal swing, 2 plane. It was weird though I changed a few things and I was driving it great yesterday:

1. Narrowed my stance just a bit..slightly wider than shoulder apart stance.
2. Teed the ball a little higher, actually probably about a 1/2 a ball higher.

go figure..try the same thing next week to see.
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Even after skimming the Golf Digest article, and visiting the forum at www.oneplanegolfswing.com/forum/ , I am totally confused about just what a "one-plane swing" is.

1. I understand the idea of eliminating backswing loops, and avoiding the usual "dropping down" to a flatter, shallower swing arc in order to approach the ball from the inside. But I thought a "one-plane" swing meant --

2. Taking the club back on the same plane as the incline of the shoulders. This is necessarily a very flat swing, since the left arm (for right handed players) will go back on the same line as the topline of the shoulders at the top of the backswing, and the hands will be above the right shoulder rather than being somewhere between shoulder and head. Otherwise, the arms will move on a steeper plane than the shoulders -- a two plane swing.

3. But in reality, the clubhead, clubshaft, hands and shoulders do not all move on the same plane, and cannot, since the clubshaft is held at an angle to the arms! There are a bunch of different planes involved.

I wish there was a model showing the one-plane swing, like the moving matchstick figures at www3.igalaxy.net/~gordon/ldswings/ .
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