My name is Carl Watts and I'm a former European Tour professional, Level 1 Plane Truth coach and now teaching pro at Mannings Heath Golf Club in Sussex.
Over the following months, I intend to highlight what the differences are between a 1 plane or a 2 plane swing and help you to find out what is best for you whilst identifying who is 1 or 2 plane on Tour.
All golfers are suited to being either 1 or 2 plane. The key is to know which suits your body and game, not knowing which suits you or what the difference is may mean you fighting an uphill battle regards your consistency and improvement.
Lets start with last week's Open de France champion Graeme Mcdowell who has more of a 1 plane action - a key 1 plane position is the left arm and club matches or is very close to the line of the shoulders at the top of the backswing (See picture 6).
In a 2 plane swing, the arms would be in a higher/steeper position & the shoulders in a flatter position, hence they wouldn't match like Ian Poulter.
Whether we are 1 or 2 plane we all tend to have 1 or 2 unorthodox positions that if you like is our golfing DNA, probably picked up when we started playing the game. For Mcdowell its his bowed left wrist which means at the top of the backswing his club face is closed (in a steep position), from here if he decided to release the club in an orthodox manner he would start to hook every shot which he is prone to doing when his timing is off.
To prevent this he swings more on an in to out shallow path and effectively blocks the ball to the target, a modern day Lee Trevino if you like. Due to this Mcdowell will never be one of the long power hitters but his method is repeatable at impact which is all that matters to any player whether a tour professional or an amateur of 21 handicap.
The key is to understand whether you suit a 1 plane or 2 plane swing then to be able to diagnose the faults correctly when your game starts to go off track which it surely will, its part of the game.
After Mcdowell won the US Open in 2010 he did try to change the bowed left wrist position which was followed by a poor year re results hence he has now decided to stick with his golfing DNA and work with it rather then against it, a great bit of advice for us all.
Let's take a closer look...