Single Plane Golf Swing
What is a single plane golf swing? Well as the name suggests it is swing that moves along one plane. There are an unlimited number of ways of swinging a golf club that work. There have been many tour professionals that have succeeded with unorthodox swings. Lee Trevino and more recently Jim Furyk stand out. The main reason for trying to adopt a single plane golf swing is to simplify the swing thereby making it less prone to error, giving the golfer a more consistent stroke.
Thee term can be confusing as there are a number of different ways of defining the single plane golf swing. One is that the club head traces the same path on the backswing as on the downswing. Another is simply that the shaft of the club at address is the same as the angle of the shaft at contact with the ball. Extending this idea a single plane is when club head follows a single plane through out the entire swing albeit on an angle.
Yet another definition defines the single plane golf swing as when the golfer’s shoulders and right or leading arm remain on the same plane. Regardless of definition any swing that is regarded as a single plane golf has a flatter swing than a swing that is considered a two plane swing.
The diagram above shows a golfer with a traditional two plane swing. The club plane is indicated by the green line and the red line is the same in each graphic. In the first graphic the red line and the green line are on the same plane. In subsequent images you can see the club goes above the plane then under it. Specifically if y0u look at the first and last frame you can see that the club comes back on a different plane to which the club was taken away.
I agree that the way to a dependable repeatable swing is in simplicity. The problem with the one plane golf swing is that it doesn’t suit everybody. It seems each definition is made to accommodate the individual around which the theory is created. Golfers like the general public come in a range of shape and sizes. (Is there another sport where the shape and size of the leading professionals so closely mimics the general public?)
Rather than focus on the swing plane I feel the best effort of any golfer is to present the club square and on the line of intended flight to the ball. And this can possibly be best achieved by focusing on key moments in the swing. The setup, the takeaway, the start of the downswing etc…
When all these areas come together then for many golfers they will end with something that resembles a single plane golf swing, but this should be a by-product of a good swing as opposed to the goal.