The Plane Truth For Golfers Review

UPDATE: I’ve added a review of the Plane Truth DVD

The Plane Truth for Golfers by Jim Hardy is the best instruction book I have ever read—bar none.

One of Golf Digest’s Top 50 Golf teachers, Hardy theorizes that there are two successful—but fundamentally different swing types: the one plane, and the two plane. The one plane is the swing of Ben Hogan and Sam Snead, while famous two-planers include Tom Watson and Hale Irwin.

Hardy says that either of these swings is sound, but that they have different fundamentals, which must not be mixed. He begins the book by describing the two swing types, and who should be playing them, and then breaks the swing down into three separate components—getting set, getting going, and getting down. For each he describes how it should be with a one and two plane swing.

Hardy’s explanations are crystal clear., making it easy to visualize the desired effect. But in case you don’t get it, the book is liberally sprinkled with comments from Tour players about what they feel when they are executing their swings.

For example, in describing his one plane swing, Tom Pernice says: “I feel my right elbow go immediately up and behind me, pulling my left arm into my chest.”

That “pulling the left arm into the chest” line really brought Hardy’s previous two paragraphs home for me.

I found these passages to be spectacularly useful. As a “feel” player, it really helps me to know what it is I’m supposed to be feeling during the swing.

What I discovered about my swing after reading the book is that I have been mixing elements of the two types of swings—which Hardy says can only lead to disaster. Watching some video I had taken late last year, I noticed that I was bent over at the hips so that my dangling arms aimed just over the tips of my toes (one plane), had a strong grip (one plane), and an open, more narrow stance (two plane).

According to Hardy, mixing styles is a recipe for disaster. And certainly my swing was—well, inconsistent at best.

So I closed my stance a bit, made it slightly wider and began to think more about rotating my shoulders

There were immediate results. For the last couple of weeks, my shots have been more powerful and more consistent. I’ve put the driver back in the bag because I can now control it.

Looking back on it all, I think that during those times I was playing well, I was unknowingly getting all the elements of the “one plane” together at the same time. (I have become convinced that the “one plane” is the best fit for me.)

Surprisingly, unlike other teachers, Hardy says that you should get immediate results by applying his methods. None of this “you’re going to get a lot worse before you get any better” stuff.

Part of that must come from the idea that you already are using elements of the two swings. To improve, all you have to do is figure out which swing is best for you, and then eliminate any vestiges of the other.

My only complaint is that there is no DVD to go with it. I’d love to see Hardy break down some of the pros’ swings and also give some live instruction.

Get this book. If you are—like so many of us—struggling with inconsistency, Hardy offers a soluton.

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18 thoughts on “The Plane Truth For Golfers Review”

  1. This book did wonders for me.  One of the best golf books I have ever read.  Finally, I have a firm understanding of why I suck…..

  2. I saw Hardy’s DVD advertised on the Golf channel last week for 3 payments of $33. I got to this blog by chasing down info about the 1 plane vs 2 plane ideas.

  3. I am a 67 year old total golf fanatic.  For ten years no I have taken vidio’s of my swing seeing the same consistent flaw – but was never able to fix it.  Plane Truth uncovered the truth.  Over those same ten years I have tried to acheive the spine angle tilt and tight arm position of the one plane swing but due to lack of flexibility in my left shoulder joint – was unable to.  The resulting position at the top showed a bending left arm,  and loss of spine angle as I strightened to get to the top.

    The interesting thing is that my flexibility around the waist is good – so I never had any trouble achieveing the spine angle club across the shoulder – point to a few feet from the ball position – so I kept banging away at the range,  hitting a few good shots – and then taking a video and being sorely dissapointed.

    After reading the book – I knew that I had no choice but to adopt a pure two plane swing.  Allowing my spine angle to start and remain erect and allowing disconnection between my chest and left arm gets my club well above my left shoulder, and if I slide to the ball slightly and then really release with an arm swing – I hit the ball as far as I ever did – but with much less tension and a much smoother move.

    I am daring to believe that I will return my handicap to under 10 and enjoy playing much more with a swing I am physically capable of acheiving.

    In closing – let me suggest a test that readers of this book use to decide if they can go to one or two planes.

    Take the club across the chest position and turn to the top with a steep spine angle letting the club point at a spot 3 feet from your ball line.  Then – take your right hand and see if you can comfortably move your left arm into the exact angle of your shoulder line – and keep it stright while having it quite close to your chest.  In my case I found that I could not – resulting in a horrible looking bent left arm with only the first few inches near my chest.

    If you can’t honestly say that the tight chest arm position is effortless – then DON’T TRY THE ONE PIECE SWING!  But do follow the books excellent guide to a quality two piece swing.

  4. As a physical therapist specializing in golf performance and injury prevention and as the physical therapist associated with the Northern California PGA I have evaluated countless injuries associated with two plane swings. The one plane swing is more biomechanically efficient and causes less stress to the shoulders, elbows, wrists and both the thoracic and lumbar spine. If done with the correct address posture it promotes an efficient axis of rotation (spine) and arc of motion.

  5. Just purchased – and studied – Jim Hardie’s DVD’s. It seems like a golf epidemic that so many of us have mixed elements of the one and two-plane swing. Clearly, I have. Mine was one the “looks great – not sure why you’re inconsistent” swings. Now, my new one-plane swing is so simple, so efficient. Still fine tuning, but the first time in my game, I’m genuinely optimistic about improvement!

    Thanks, Jim MacDonald, for the information regarding the biomechanics of the advantages of the one-plane swing.

  6. I agree that Hardy’s book, the Plane Truth for Golfers, is the best book on the golf swing.  Over the years, I’ve accumulated over 25 books on the golf swing, some of which were my golf bibles for a couple to several years.  Hardy claims to demystify the conflicts AND HE DOES and the more I read and do, the more I understand what is going on.  I’m 59 and my swing is better than at any time of my life.  I’m a MUCH better ball striker than 1-1/2 months ago, when the book arrived in the mail. 
      To wit: I’ve always been “short,” but since starting the book, I’ve reached three par 5’s in two, something I can’t remember doing once.  I’m swinging easier and my PW is consistently 125-130, whereas previously I’d really have to muscle it get to 125 or use 9 or 8. 
      New fun to reach “long” (410) par 4s with 6i, instead of 3W.  New fun to carry the 230 flag at the range.  I’m a 14 index, but with a whole new attitude.  (It actually isn’t so much fun out driving my golf buddies by 25-75 yards, but I’m planning on giving each of them the book for Christmas.) 
      OK, the downside is that I maybe losing more balls to the left.  But I think I’ll understand that more as I practice with the new swing more. 
    (BTW, I believe in the Momentus and Jimmy Ballard’s ideas on connection too.)

  7. I struggled for years trying everyhting to get consistent and FINALLY it clicked. I am a One Planer and my index went from 19.8 to 13.3 and I see it going lower in due time. Hardy explaines it so easily in the book and the DVD just pulled it all together visually. I would recommend this to all golfers except those you in your group because the $$ you’ll make is priceless!

  8. Hardy’s book is certainly very good, but I would also recommend two other books:

    Five Lessons by Ben Hogan
    The Secret of Hogan’s Swing by Tom Bertrand w/Printer Bowler

    Hogan’s book is the obvious classic, and the Bertrand book is an excellent expansion/explanation of Hogan’s book.

    These three books compliment each other very well.

  9. am 67-playing for 17 years..tried the one-plane swing because I had developed very bad outer left elbow tendonitis with two-plane (left arm only) swing. Tendonitis has been calrgely cured and ball flight much more consistent if lets the body do the “bump” just before coming down..

  10. Robin,
    Sounds like you have found a compensatory move that works to address your left (lead side) elbow tendonitis (commonly known as tennis elbow). My one concern is that you don’t develop a left (lead side) hip injury as a result of the compensatory “bump”. Biomechanically efficient golf swings avoid lateral hip movement (bump) and work primarily with rotational hip motion. It might be beneficial for you to find someone in your area who specializes in golf fitness, preferably a Pysical Therapist who can assess your hip muscle range of motion adn any other limitations which may be impeding your swing mechanics. Body Balance for Performance (BBFP)is a nation wide network specializing in just that. Also the Titleist Performance Institute(TPI) has a network of certified fitness trainers/medical practitioners. Due to your age adn history of injury I would pursue a PT who is BBFP/TPI certified. they can be found at http://www.fitgolf.com or http://www.mytpi.com I hope this is helpful
    Dr. Jim MacDonald

  11. I have tried switching to a pure one plane swing whcih at the outset of my round works great. Somewhere on the back nine it starts to fall apart. This does not happen with the two plane version where I shoot very well but tend to get too loose and thus inconsistent from time to time.

    I believe my problem with the one plane is that I have a thick upper body (I used to body buiild as a young man, I am now 60).I have 16” arms a 46”  chest, 6’tall and weigh 205.Does anyone have a similar problem? Is the 2 planer better for me?

  12. I read “The Plane Truth”, and I thought it was the best golf instruction book on the market.  Jim Hardy describes both swings, the one plane and the two plane swing.  This has helped me to better understand the golf swing.  I now know the differences concerning the swing thoughts and mechanics of the golf swing.  This cleared up the confusion I got from various golf magazines which complicated my swing technique. Finally, I gained confidence in my swing which attributed to my recent lower scores.  I would recommend this book to any golfer who wants to lower their scores.

  13. Edward:  I am 6’2” 220 pounds and find for me, the 1 plane to be the best swing.  Although my shoulders rotate fine, I find that I get that ‘wound up’ feeling better with the 1-plane.  A swing thought for me is to keep things TIGHT, which isn’t hard being so big.  When I have made the right turn on the way back, I can feel like I can drive hard back through the ball with little regard for timing.  grin

    Stick with the 1-plane.

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