When it comes to golf swings and mechanics, there is so much debate about what is considered good and what is considered poor.
So many teaching professionals and players believe in one specific type of golf swing, and they will stand by that belief no matter how much scientific evidence you provide.
One of the main debates in golf is whether a one plane golf swing or a two plane golf swing is a better option.
There are so many great things about a one plane golf swing, and players should fully understand what it is.
Any great golf professional will tell you that the best golf swing is the one that works specifically for your needs.
If you have a natural ability to swing on one plane as opposed to two, that is something that you should continue to develop.
When deciding which type of golf swing is best, always consider what works best for you, not just what works best in a textbook.
Let’s take a look at the one plane golf swing, the pros and the cons, so you have a better overall understanding as to what this is.
What Is A One Plane Golf Swing?
As with any difficult golf mechanics topic we explain, we must first start with what a one plane golf swing is.
The one plane swing can sometimes be called the single plane swing as they are the same thing.
From a swing mechanics standpoint, you will have to look at the top of the backswing to see what type of swing a player is using.
The single plane swing or one plane swing has a player with a left arm position that is the same as the tile of the shoulders.
This means at the top of the backswing, the club is still on the original plane in which it started, and it will swing down on this same plane.
The other type of golf swing, the two plane golf swing, brings the club up and over the plane a bit to start and then drops it in at the top of the swing.
With a two plane golf swing, you will see that the left arm is a bit more upright at the top of the swing which gives it the room that it needs to drop down into the plane.
The plane is determined by the player’s setup and the angle of the club at the address.
If you have ever seen a swing plane training circle at a golf course, it may help you understand what is meant by the swing plane.
These large circles have golfers stand inside and then swing the club up and down on the same angled plane.
The result is typically a much more consistent and solid golf shot.
What Is More Popular: One Plane Golf Swing Or Two Plane Golf Swing?
The two plane golf swing is more common than the one plane golf swing.
There are many reasons this has occurred, and one is simply that the two plane swing was most commonly taught for many years.
Some golf instructors only believed in or understood the two plane swing, and therefore, it was all that was worked on.
In today’s world of golf, there are just as many instructors who believe in the one plane swing as those who believe in the two plane swing.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of the one plane swing so that you can decide if it could be an option for your golf game.
One Plane Golf Swing (Benefits)
Like all things in the world of golf, there are going to be both positive and negatives to a one plane golf swing.
You as a player need to decide which of these things matter the most to you.
The one plane golf swing is, without a doubt, a simpler way to swing a club.
Although you will need to make some adjustments initially to get yourself to stay on the plane, you will find that it is a very easy swing to repeat.
In addition, the positions that you need to get your body into are also quite simple.
Most people who use the one plane golf swing have a much easier time feeling their arms, hips, and shoulders working together.
Sometimes when you turn back with a two plane swing, the arms will get carried away, and it takes the legs a bit of time to catch up.
Essentially, the simplicity of the one plane golf swing vs. the two plane golf swing helps make a very strong case for the one plane swing.
With a two plane swing, when you get to the top, a motion of dropping onto the plane needs to happen.
When this happens, the club falls into place, and then the golfer can swing through the ball.
With the one plane swing, this dropping into place does not need to happen as the club is already on the correct plane.
If you are struggling with getting the golf club into the proper position, and you wish the game could be a little more simple, give the one plane swing a try.
2. Ball Flight
Depending on the type of golf swing you have, there will be a resulting ball flight.
Some swings lead to a naturally low shot or a high fade, but the one plane golf swing typically has a very consistent draw.
When you swing the arms and the shoulder on the proper plane, you will get a bit of a flatter swing.
If you look at a golfer’s club position at the top of their swing, this is relatively easy to see.
The one plane swing never really raises the club above the swing plane, and therefore, it is something that stands out as being a little shallower.
If you watch a one plane golfer swing, as opposed to a two plane golfer, you will see that the plane is something that looks a bit more compact and around the body.
This is a standard position for any player who is looking to hit a draw.
When you hit the ball from a shallow swing plane that is slightly from the inside, the shots are going to be that right-to-left ball flight that so many golfers are looking for.
Since the one plane swing has gotten so much more attention in recent years, it’s essential to many players to see if this swing has proven itself through the history of golf.
Some well known professional golfers incorporated this into their golf games and became much better because of it.
The most notable of these golfers is probably Ben Hogan.
He didn’t always use the one plane golf swing, but as his body changed, he found that this was a better position for him to get into, and he could still get that draw ball flight that he wanted.
Overall, you will not need to worry about the one plane swing and its ability to hold up in tournament play as at a high level, there are lots of golfers who have been able to do it.
Have you ever watched a great player and thought that their golf swing looks efficient?
This is because great players know how to channel their energy and ability properly.
When you swing a golf club efficiently, you are going to be able to turn your body and not have any loss of power or energy.
The more efficient a golf swing is, the easier it is to fix and the easier it is to create consistency.
There is no question that the one plane swing is more efficient than other golf swing options.
With the one plane, you can stick to the same path, keep everything moving together, and finish with your body properly facing the target.
One Plane Golf Swing (Negatives)
As you can tell by reading through our list of positives of the one plane golf swing, there are some great benefits to this type of golf swing.
However, there are some issues with it as well.
The fact that the swing is more compact and efficient is a good thing, but does it leave some other great things on the table?
Can you hit all the shots that you want to hit from a one plane golf swing position?
Let’s take a look and try and understand this a bit better.
1. Lack Of Power
Unfortunately, the one plane golf swing is lacking in power.
With a one plane swing, golfers are not going to be able to generate as much power, on average.
There is definitely an argument here when it comes to the efficiency of the one plane swing and the way that efficiency can help generate power, but you still must consider this point.
The idea when you use a two plane swing is that your arc is going to be much wider.
From a scientific standpoint, a wider arc will create more power.
However, this arc also has to be on a good plane, and you must return the clubface to center at the proper angle.
Essentially, you can have a big wide golf swing, but if you are not doing a good job of squaring the clubface up, you can forget about power.
The fact that a one plane golf swing is a bit more connected can sometimes make it hard to get that same amount of power.
However, if the swing is more connected and there is good rotation and rotational force, the power can be almost equal.
As we see with most things in golf, as long as you are doing something correctly, you can expect to see very good results.
In addition, some players are not all that concerned with the overall distance they get, and they would rather have something more consistent.
2. Ball Flight—Fading The Ball
When we talked about the positives of the one plane swing, one of those positives was the fact that you can almost always hit a draw.
Learning to hit a draw in golf can take years for some people to be able to accomplish, but with a one plane swing, it happens quite easily.
Luckily, there are times when most golfers are going to be fine with hitting a draw their entire way around the golf course.
However, as a golfer lowers their handicap and continues to improve, they will realize that there are many types of golf shots that need to be hit.
One of the most important is a fade.
With a one plane swing, it is very difficult to hit a fade.
Players struggle with the fade, and they find that no matter how they try to manipulate the clubface, the ball flight is always that straight shot or a draw.
The fade is easier to control at times, and it is an important shot for certain approaches or even a drive around a dogleg.
As great as a draw is, it has more top spin, and that creates some extra roll.
You have to be prepared for that when you are hitting your shots so that you do not end up overshooting targets.
Fades can be dropped directly next to a pin, and this makes them a better approach at times.
If you love the fade, you may have quite a hard time with the one plane golf swing.
3. Professional Golfers And Instructional Material
Another important downside of the one plane swing is something that we mentioned right from the beginning.
This is not the most popular golf swing method, and because of that, you can expect that it may be harder to find the instructional material you need or to find a golfer who swings like you.
Many people watch professional golf because they enjoy it, and others watch it to become better player.
This is a move that you have likely been watching for years, and because of your knowledge of it, the swing may make more sense to you.
Overall, many teaching professionals understand the two plane swing a bit more than the one plane swing.
If you want to work with a local instructor, you must ensure that you are finding someone who fully understands what you are trying to do with your game.
There are also many books about the two plane golf swing, more so than the one plane golf swing.
Players who swing on the one plane will likely find certain instructors and be able to follow them closely, but this may take a bit more research initially.
The question of the knowledge of the one plane swing vs. the two plane swing is something that has certainly contributed to the decrease in popularity of the one plane swing.
Sometimes golfers look at this as too big of a change to make, even if it could benefit them.
Therefore, they decide that it makes more sense to stick with the two plane swing and deal with the flaws and faults.
Overall, you will need to decide which one works best for you, even if that means finding a virtual instructor or purchasing a video recording device and turning your swing into one plane swing all on your own.
How Do I Know If I Have A One Plane Golf Swing?
After all this talk about one plane and two plane golf swings, you may be wondering where you stand with your current abilities.
The best way to tell if you have a one plane or a two plane swing is to take out a mirror or a video camera.
The position that you are going to want to be in at the top of the swing is one where the left arm matches the shoulder line.
If you are in a position where these two lines match, then you have a one plane golf swing.
For players with a two plane golf swing, the angle of the left arm is going to be above the shoulder.
This position at the top is what allows the two plane golf swing to have the room to drop onto the proper plane.
Whether you are new to the game or have been around for many years, you should learn what the top of your golf swing looks like and the way that this impacts you as a player.
Don’t swing blindly without knowing where the club is.
Even though you can’t see your golf club, you should be able to feel it, and you should have some video and pictures to help you understand what is good and what is bad about your swing.
Is The One Plane Golf Swing Good?
After all of the information we have given you about the one plane golf swing, you may still feel undecided as to whether or not this would be a good switch for your golf game.
Certain players will never be able to swing with a one plane movement and those should not even attempt it.
One thing that should help you determine if the one plane swing is for you is your ability to repeat a golf swing consistently.
If you feel as though you swing the golf club a different way each time, you may want to start working towards the one plane swing.
The simple mechanics of this method will help you become more consistent.
In addition, we find that many players who are strong yet struggle with control do quite well with the one plane swing.
Sometimes combining strength with multiple planes can open the door for a lot of sidespin and errant shots.
Instead, players can decide to go with a one plane swing and use the speed and efficiency of their rotation to get power as opposed to a wide and sometimes off-plane arc.
For those who are just learning the game, try to take some pictures of where your club is at the top.
If you are naturally getting into this shallower position where the club and shoulders are on the same line, then you may continue to develop that one plane swing.
If you have ever watched a Sunday afternoon of PGA Tour golf, you know that there is no one way to complete a golf swing.
So many players will find a method that works for them and then continue to tweak it and improve it until their scoring is where they want it to be.
Don’t run out and change to a one plane swing unless you think the benefits are worth it for your golf game.