Latest lesson in my golf education; understanding the widely held belief that there are two main swings, one-plane and two-plane.
Very simply, one-plane means that the arms and shoulders swing on the same plane, two-plane means that the arms and shoulders swing on two different planes.
Left is one-plane, right is two-plane:
I have been reading a book called ‘The Plane Truth…’ by Jim Hardy and it’s been a real eye-opener because (a) it’s made me realise that there is more than just one ‘textbook’ way to swing a club and (b) I can’t try and copy every great swing I see and not every swing tip will be applicable to my natural swing tendency. The point is, you have to work what YOUR swing is (or you want it to be) and build your movements and practice around that. You get into trouble when you mix one and two plane principles; i.e. you set up for a one-plane swing but actually swing on two-plane.
I know I am a natural two-plane swinger, which is a shame because it is regarded as more complicated, difficult to repeat and dependent on timing and rhythm! I just can’t get comfortable with the one-swing movements so I will have to embrace what I’ve got and at least now I know what I should (and shouldn’t) be working.
Here are some of the key characteristics of a two-plane swing, and why I think it is my swing type:
Grip is neutral to weak, 1-2 knuckles of left hand visible maximum – I have worked to strengthen my grip recently, because it was neutral to weak before but I’ll ease up on that now.
Stance is narrow (inside shoulder width) – I commented in a previous post about how I struck the ball better with a narrower stance! Discovered totally by accident, but I now know is because I am a two-plane swinger and this is a key characteristic of one. Not as much weight shift, so doesn’t need to be wide.
Ball position – no real change here to what I was doing but I might need to stand slightly closer to the ball. Hands directly under chin at address.
Posture – I’ve probably had too much tilt and knee flex. Going to adopt a slightly more upright posture.
Weight distribution – this is an interesting one; should have 60% of weight on right side at address. All the common advice is weight centred or favouring left.
Backswing – shoulders stay quite level and you turn away from the ball whilst simultaneously lifing the arms. They have to move at same speed. This is why the two-plane swing can get difficult, timing is very important.
It’s OK to move slightly to the right as you move weight in the backswing, it’s beneficial because it creates a bit of much needed width. If your weight is too centred or on the left at top of backswing the swing is too narrow.
Both arms need to stay as straight as possible in the takeaway – again it adds a bit of width.
It’s even OK to be across the line slightly at the top! I’ve spent hours trying to sort this out, but Hardy considers it acceptable in a two-plane swing.
Donwnswing – shoulders must stay passive. So difficult for me, I find it so hard to stop using my shoulders first! The arms must move down first, not out – the swing shape is actually a kind of V; back over right shoulder, down to impact, back over left.
Weight does shift to left side on downswing but it is very subtle, maybe 60% on front foot at impact. Not 80-100% as typically suggested.
Shoulders are square at impact, don’t let your spine angle change and don’t let the right shoulder dip.
A couple of good videos on the subject: