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stop struggling with your golf swing

Which Swing is Better?

Neither the one plane or two plane swing is necessarily better than the other. There are numerous examples of world class ball strikers that fall into both categories. But, if you haven't already picked up a club and started working on learning the one plane swing that Jim Hardy talks about, then perhaps you might want to consider the following:

1. Look at the two photos below taken of Tiger Woods at the 2005 Buick Invitational (left) and the 2000 British Open. There is no question that he is moving more to a one plane swing with the aid of Hank Haney. Understand, that no matter what Nike tells you, you're NOT Tiger Woods. But, you can learn some things from the best golfers in the world. The most compelling thing to take note of this is one of the main reasons Tiger has said he is switching: to have more managable misses. This is the ultimate of goal of all golfers at every level. To be able to score with your misses.

Tiger Woods at the 2005 Buick Invitational  working on his one plane golf swing with new coach Hank Haney Tiger Woods at the 2000 British Open with his two plane swing he learned from Butch Harmon

Tiger has mentioned that he has always "struggled" with a very aggressive body rotation back to the left because it left his arms behind in the swing. This often put him in the "stuck" position he bemoaned so often. Tiger was taught by Butch Harmon to make his hips wait or rotate more slowly to give the arms more time to drop back down on plane from their very "high above the head" position. His other option was to swing his arms faster so they catch up with the body. When he successfully did this, he hit the ball superb. But, when Tiger's body outraces his arms - when his timing is even slightly off - he struggles wildly. Because he is able to generate tremendous clubhead speed in the 120+ mph range, a slight mis-timing and the ball misses right three fairways over or duckhooks 200 yards out from the tee if he flips his hands trying to save the shot.

Tiger mentioned in the January 2005 issue of Golf Digest that he wanted to "own" his golf swing and that only two other golfers in the history of golf have ever owned their swings - Moe Norman and Ben Hogan. For any golfer to own his swing, he must strip out any unnecessary movements, reduce his dependency on timing and not rely on the small muscles of the hands and arms to control the golf club. The one plane swing that Hogan used accomplished exactly this.

UPDATE 3/3/05 - I happened to catch some coverage of Doral today on TV and took a look at Tiger's swing on TiVO out of curiosity. It is very clear that he has continued to work on keeping his left arm and shoulders more on plane during the backswing. However, it also became clear that he still works on swinging his arms out in front of his body at impact rather than using his body to "pull" his arms through. The one plane swing makes it easier to get his arms in front of chest through impact since there is no lifting and rerouting of the arms. I like that he is doing this, not because I recommend it or could even do it consistently as it requires a great deal of arm strength to control the club through impact, but I like it because Hank Haney does things a little differently. He spent time learning from Jim Hardy and took what he thought worked and then formulated his ideas on what a "one plane swing" is. Are his ideas right? There's no such thing, only opinion. I like what Jim Hardy has to say about the one plane swing, but like Haney, I see things a bit differently and that is what makes the golf world go around. The evolution of the golf swing will continue as long as the game is played. All that matters is proving that your ideas work by applying them first to your own game and then see if they carry over to others' games as well. If you can do it yourself and it works for others as well, then that makes a "swing theory" more than just a theory - in my opinion, of course.

NEXT - One Plane vs. Two Plane Swing >>


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