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Understand your golf swing

In the world of golf instruction fads will come and go, but currently there is one fad trying to push another one aside.

The past year, the one-plane swing has been the big deal taught by Jim Hardy, and endorsed by Peter Jacobsen, Tom Pernice Jr., Scott McCarron, and others. The argument here asks the question: do you have a one-plane or a two-plane swing? Information about Jim Hardy is available at www.oneplanegolfswing.com.

My feeling is that you have a natural way you swing the club, and to defy instinct is quite difficult. To change the structure of the swing may work for a tour pro who spends 50-hours a week hitting balls, but not the average player who maybe plays twice a week and who hits 20 balls to warm-up. Even on the oneplane web-site, it mentions that the theories are a bit hard to adapt to for the average player.

Understand your swing and make minor adjustments that can sink-in. Too much change can be hard to absorb, and may produce one-step forward and three-steps backward.

Now appears a new theory, displayed with the swing of Aaron Baddeley. This is being called the new swing of the tour, and it contradicts some traditional fundamentals. The current issue of Golf Digest and their web-site has a nice photo layout showing comparisons of Baddeley’s swing being pushed by instructors Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett.

The key fundamentals I see in their “Stack and Tilt” swing is the reverse weight shift into the back-swing, straightening of the right leg, then a lifting follow-through. For a talented athlete with the time to hit hundreds of balls a day it could work out, but are those the things I would try to fix, if you came to me for a lesson? Not likely…

Based on the instinct theory, you have your swing plane. Much of this is set by your body type. If you are tall or short it will play a big part in setting up your golf swing. There is some turn into the back swing, but you can not get the club too far behind you, it has to go up and above your shoulder. This is allowed by a hinging of the wrists, and that is the essence of a 2-plane swing.

This is generally more technical information than I like to cover in this venue, but it is important for you to understand this stuff so you know what to avoid, or which pertains to you. Stick with your plane, adjust it if you need to, but keep it simple. It’s just a game now, isn’t it?

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