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The One- and Two-Plane Golf Swings, by Jim Hardy

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Originally Posted by LongballGer

The thing is though he´s making more of 3/4 backswing. If he were to lengthen his backswing so that the shaft would be parallel to the ground his arms would be above his shoulder plane.


No, he isn't.

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Originally Posted by LongballGer

The thing is though he´s making more of 3/4 backswing. If he were to lengthen his backswing so that the shaft would be parallel to the ground his arms would be above his shoulder plane.


Stack and Tilt is taught as a one plane swing, so I doubt it, but here's another one:

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Originally Posted by LongballGer

The thing is though he´s making more of 3/4 backswing. If he were to lengthen his backswing so that the shaft would be parallel to the ground his arms would be above his shoulder plane.

His shoulders are 90* to the target line which is a full swing, not 3/4 swing.

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With regards to this one-plane vs 2-plane discussion, the question that will invariably come up is which one is more effective or reliable? History tells us that the major championships which are the recognized as golf's most challenging tests have been won with widely different swings. Take for example two legends of the game: Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan.

Arguably the best that ever lived, Jack Nicklaus employed a very upright swing to win a record of 18 majors. Does that fact not prove to be very convincing when searching for a model of consistency? hmmm. interesting.

But wait, what about Ben Hogan, as so many hold as the best ball striker that ever lived, even Nicklaus said so himself. The oldest footage of him captures his tempo, power and reveals that his swing is rotational, flatter than that of Nicklaus. So many have searched in vain, for Hogan's 'Secret' emulating the man, but few truly understanding him.

Hardy would define the former swing 2-plane and the latter one-plane. The question that has boggled my mind for as long as I have been introduced to Hardy's ideas begs, if it is truly necessary to define our swings as one or two plane given the physiological and physical differences amongst all golfers?

Is the golf swing truly black and white, void of any shades of gray? Can and should the golf swing be defined as two schools thought, where the angle of the shoulders being the reference that delineates how one should swing? Please consider that there are 14 clubs in the bag all of which differ in weight and length.

Are shorter clubs not meant to be swung on a more upright plane when compared to a wood? Will it suffice to simply say some swings are more rotational, whereas some are more upright? How the club is swung is dependent on the setup, your connection to the ground, governed by laws of the universe and relative to your body and yet we remain fixated on this shoulder plane angle?

your thoughts are much appreciated.

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BUMP back from the dead...

Just got a copy of this book, full DISCLAIMER---I'm reading it in french which is not my mother-tongue so I may be misinterpreting this but: Is Hardy saying that in a OPS the downswing should be initiated with the shoulders ? I must have lost something in translation because I know from my own experience (and I'm definitely a one-planner) if I were to do this I would be hitting monster slices with my woods and probably big fat pulls with my irons, and that would only be on those rare occasions when I manage to not dump the club into the dirt a foot behind the ball!

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I've read it a long time ago.... in English although I'm French If you point me to the French sentence and where it is in the book I can check the translation !

Beacause of the "lawn mower" backswing move, you may have to put more arms in his OPS than say Slicefixer's, but shoulders?

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Originally Posted by Etzwane

I've read it a long time ago.... in English although I'm French     If you point me to the French sentence and where it is in the book I can check the translation !

Beacause of the "lawn mower" backswing move, you may have to put more arms in his OPS than say Slicefixer's, but shoulders?

I'm not really planning on adopting Hardy's swing, I like my swing, just reading it out of interest and because I do fit his definition of a OPS.

Thanks for the reply, I've moved on, there is NO WAY I'm adopting a shoulder or arms first downswing LOL it took me YEARS to STOP doing that LOL.

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Read the book and tried to go to a one plane swing , result : one of my worst golf seasons . I was more bent over , but the concept of coming more around the body killed me . Couldn't overcome hitting low hooks . Will be more upright and two plane this season . Can't be any worse .

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Originally Posted by sc golfer

are you sure that a.k. is using a one plane swing??? Most 1-plane swing guys have shorter swings (not so much width) and you can plainly tell with anthony's swing is he has lots of width. He has a swing that looks alot like tiger's and paul casey's.

Have not read the book but I did practically memorize the Josh Zander web site before it went to "pay to view" status. Zander was very clear that there is not clear understaning of how Handy defined a "one plane swing". Josh made it clear. It is defined by the fact that the left arm is on the same plane (level) with the shoulders at the top of the backswing. A two plane swing has the left arm slightly above the shoulder plane at the top of the back swing. Josh explained it clearly in his videos.

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I think Hardy rather than showing preference for a particular swing was trying to help golfers. In fact his forum is very good. I have read many posts there over the years and the golfers on there are very imformative and willing to help, Jim posts there quite a bit as well.

He coined the phrase because depending on whether your swing is more upright or flatter in nature there are certain moves you would avoid that wouldn't compliment your swing style. This where we should all study the golf swing more because the more we know the more we can sift through what swing tips we should actually follow. I remember reading a post that for every steep move you put in you need a shallowing move to counter it.

Basically mixing one shallowing move with another would harm your swing. Take a two plane swing as define by Hardy an upright swing is already steep so it needs a counter shallowing move hence a big hip slide on the downswing to shallow out at the bottom of the arc to make good divot.

In a one plane swing well since your plane is flatter it's already shallow due to the rotational nature so it needs steepening so no lateral sway or turning too much into the right side. All it needs to create the divot is put pressure through the left foot on the downswing and that creates the steepness needed to compress the ball.

Just knowing simple golf mechanics like this has helped me enormously over the years. Sometimes I put what would be two plane moves in my swing by mistake and they have made my swing worse. The thing is now through trial and error I know what to avoid on the whole. Even if you are not going to follow Hardy's one plane concept the book still has merit for more upright swingers because you can then identify what you need to work on.

Golfers are like junkies we need a swing fix,tips are like getting the next high. All well and good but our swing might not even need fixing. It's improving what we we already have. I don't even view the book as one plane against two or one plane is good and two plane is old school.

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Originally Posted by JohnC

Have not read the book but I did practically memorize the Josh Zander web site before it went to "pay to view" status. Zander was very clear that there is not clear understaning of how Handy defined a "one plane swing". Josh made it clear. It is defined by the fact that the left arm is on the same plane (level) with the shoulders at the top of the backswing. A two plane swing has the left arm slightly above the shoulder plane at the top of the back swing. Josh explained it clearly in his videos.

I agree that the Josh Zander clips that I've seen on YouTube are very good. However, Jim Hardy, in both his book and DVDs, clearly explains what a one swing plane is and Josh Zander is essentially quoting Hardy almost verbatim. So, I'm not sure I'd agree with you.

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It's been 4 years since I read this book but thought it was an informative read and even tried the techniques whilst coaching some of my clients with mixed success.  I would personally say that having tried both the one and two plane swings, one was too steep and the other too flat.  Also, if you look at most guys on tour these days they do a combination of the two, but certainly from the perspective of understanding what steepens and flattens the mechanics of the golf swing this was a good read.

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the thing that amazes me is that Hardy still claims that the right(trail) elbow should stay high and back the right hip as you move into impact. Huh? What? could someone clear that up for me? Jim Furyk's swing could come close to this move, but he gets into that position by doing the opposite of what Hardy teaches. Surely I cant be the only to call B.S. And to claim that this high and back right elbow was Hogan's secret? Well sorry Hardy...... Hogan did the direct opposite. He really should write an instructional book on how to sell BS, now THAT would undoubtedly be worth more than any Book/DVD or Lesson.

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Just got his "The Plane Truth" book a few days ago.  I guess it's kind of an older book.  So far the book hasn't been as enlightening as I had hoped.  Some interesting ideas. Especially the ones about how you should have a different type of grip, set up, spine angle. weight shift, foot flare, method of initiating the downswing, etc. depending on which type of swing you have. While I do agree that a more one-plane swing is theoretically more repeatable  (less compensations to get the club from upright backswing to more shallow downswing, less loopiness) I do have some doubts. For starters, he says that you have to be more athletic and flexible to be a one-planer. But isn't that the whole point of the more one-plane swing? That you don't have to be so athletic and dependent upon timing? Isn't that why Matt Kuchar went to a more one-plane swing? So he wouldn't have to depend on his athleticism?  Which declines with age.

Also, Hardy says that with the one-plane swing the downswing is not initiated with the lower body, but rather with the upper torso.  As a lifetime two-planer I can't really imagine what this would be like to initially keep my lower body static. Seems like I would just not have any power and would be attempting to hit from the top and come in too steep and OTT.  But I guess it makes sense. You wouldn't need to use your hip rotation to shallow out the club if you're already very flat and shallow.  I guess it would feel more like hitting a baseball to a two-planer?  I'm guessing it would feel like you're hitting it more with your right hand? Making you wish you had 3 right hands?

Looking forward to reading the book further.

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My thoughts have changed considerably on the golf swing over the years. I've read as much as possible even if I disagree on it. My conclusions are that the one plane and two plane theories are not quite correct.

In fact the primary thought even if Hardy doesn't say it is a golf swing needs the balance of shallow and steep. Forget where the arms are. High or low you can still screw up your downswing from both positions. He talks of hybrid golf swings in the book on tour. We'll they are not hybrid swings, tour pro's have found the right blend of steep and shallow moves.

You can actually break some of Hardy's rules for a one plane action and still hit the ball well. I naturally love the around action of a baseball or tennis style swing. My hands have never been high. My downswing consists of things he says are wrong like the right elbow sliding forward and staying behind the ball. The right arm staying underneath the left at impact.

If you follow a pure one plane action I don't see how you can avoid turning off the bodies power accumulators. I found I hit well but hit a weaker fade shot most of the time. It was harder work to remain so still and not use the lower body. 

There isn't a shortcut to an easy swing. Trial and error are the way.

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In fact the primary thought even if Hardy doesn't say it is a golf swing needs the balance of shallow and steep. Forget where the arms are. High or low you can still screw up your downswing from both positions. He talks of hybrid golf swings in the book on tour. We'll they are not hybrid swings, tour pro's have found the right blend of steep and shallow moves.

There is obviously - and I'm not saying that you're saying so - no single one blend of "steep and shallow." And it's not necessarily correct to suggest or imply that the one- and two-plane swings Hardy talks about are only "steep" or only "shallow." Obviously both are a mixture of both, and even two one-plane swingers will have varying AoA, VSP, etc.

There isn't a shortcut to an easy swing. Trial and error are the way.

I don't agree with the second sentence there at all. Trial and error is how you solve things the first few times, perhaps, when you have no idea on earth what you're supposed to be doing or what the expected results should be. We're way, way past the days of needing to rely on trial and error to figure out the golf swing (meant generally, not as if there is only one) and improve an individual's golf swing.

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There is obviously - and I'm not saying that you're saying so - no single one blend of "steep and shallow." And it's not necessarily correct to suggest or imply that the one- and two-plane swings Hardy talks about are only "steep" or only "shallow." Obviously both are a mixture of both, and even two one-plane swingers will have varying AoA, VSP, etc.

I don't agree with the second sentence there at all. Trial and error is how you solve things the first few times, perhaps, when you have no idea on earth what you're supposed to be doing or what the expected results should be. We're way, way past the days of needing to rely on trial and error to figure out the golf swing (meant generally, not as if there is only one) and improve an individual's golf swing.

Just a generic term to take in principle. Life isn't mistake free as is golf. I should say it's a piece by piece construction moving towards a refined movement. Along the way it will contain mistakes inevitably but as you say it can be corrected.

My terminology for steep and shallow was meant as a way to perhaps shift the focus on the fact that there are not two separate swings. Mixing of the right fundamentals to achieve a repeatable contact.

Like your system of 5sk as it gives room for individuals build,posture,height,etc.. There's lots of ways the golf swing is taught and very confusing hence my trail and error comment. Get a good instructor and this can be a less painful process.

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