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.