Teacher’s Comments; A vital addition the Plane Truth series.
The Plane Truth for Golfers: Master Class is another in Jim Hardy’s excellent series of books and DVDs explaining his theories about the golf swing.
For the uninitiated, Hardy’s premise is that there are two basic golf swings: the “One Plane” and the “Two Plane.” Either, Hardy says, is a perfectly acceptable—and championship winning—form. The trouble comes when a golfer mixes elements of the two. The One Plane tends to be too shallow and too wide, so the setup, grip, and other elements have to work to make the swing a little more steep and a little more narrow. The Two Plane tends to be too steep and too narrow, so the golfer using this must adopt tactics to make the swing a little wider and a little more shallow. Therefore, if One Plane elements slip into your Two Plane swing, that’s just going to exacerbate the bad tendencies of the Two Plane.
A welcome addition to the Plane Truth series is the Plane Truth Master Class. It is not a stand-alone book, but rather a series of tips and drills to get you on the proper path to success. Hardy eschews theory here, and works almost exclusively on the mechanics.
The best part of the book is the “Fact versus Feel” parts of each chapter. In those sections, Hardy explains what technically must happen with the swing, and tries to convey what that feels like.
“The key fact for the two-plane golfer is that he or she must turn both the torso and the hips as fully as possible on the backswing. … When you make the ideal two-plane backswing, it will feel as though your shoulders and hips have turned way too far in a clockwise direction.”
Assuming that you do not have a Jim Hardy trained instructor standing right beside you, how it “feels” is your primary means of determining whether you are on track.The book clears up most of the lingering confusions I’ve had on how to execute the two swings.
Hardy also lists a series of swing faults, drills for correcting them. Each drill is accompanied by photos of Hardy demonstrating the swing.
In all, I think that the Plane Truth: Master Class is an essential addition.
The Plane Truth series is the first golf instruction book that has made an immediate and real impact on my swing. I realize that for years, I have been combining elements of the two swing types, adding bits of advice from the various teachers that I have worked with, and tips and drills from the golf magazines.The result was a mismatched swing that was horribly ineffective.
Last summer, I tried to convert to the One Plane Swing and saw immediate results in terms of consistency. But it never felt quite right, for I had always been taught to keep my weight back and my head behind the ball (correction moves for the Two Plane swing). So this spring, I reread the section on the Two Plane Swing and switched back. It has felt much more comfortable and natural. The results have been astonishing. I am 20 yards longer with each of my irons and a couple of the guys I’ve golfed with have commented on good my swing looks. Last week, I shot an 85 from the back tees.
Even better: when I mishit, I know immediately what it was that I didn’t do. My typical mishit has me striking the top of the ball, which is the natural tendency of the Two Planer. When I do that, I know to take corrective setup moves (generally, making sure that I have my weight back) to make the swing a little less narrow and steep.
My one problem with the Two Plane is that I have not yet figured out how to hit the driver. The flatter, around-the-body motion of the One Plane was very effective for me off the tee. But with the Two Plane, I am coming in too steep and popping my shots up. I can correct that, but then it feels asl though I am executing a One Plane and that’s not what I want to do.
I need Jim Hardy to tell me what I’m doing wrong. But as I can’t possibly afford even a single lesson with the Guru, I’ll have to keep studying the books and movies.
FYI. When you get the book, look on the fourth page in the beginning, under “Praise for The Plane Truth” There, you’ll find a quote from The Golf Blogger himself. Maybe one day, I’ll have Jim Hardy do a comment in the forward pages of The Golf Blogger’s first book.