OPEN champion Phil Mickleson is renowned for being a magician on the course with a series of draws, fades, slices and hooks when called upon. He's one of a few players out on Tour that can pull off shots that seem impossible, and that's why the fans love him.
Yet at the same time he can seriously struggle hitting hugely destructive shots and his scorecard often demonstrates this with several birdies, an eagle and perhaps one or two double or triple bogies thrown in for good measure. But what's the reason?
From a swing perspective to help understand this, Mickleson has a 2 plane swing which is much more reliant on timing, tempo and rhythm.
One key aspect of a 2 plane swing is the hips and body will be more square at impact when compared to a typical 1 plane swing regards open hips and chest at the impact position (e.g. Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods and Rory Mcilroy).
If your body and hips are very square to the ball at impact the hands, arms and club will become far more active relying on more timing. The advantage, as the case with Mickleson, is that you'll be able to shape shots much more. Yet as much of an advantage as it is, it can be tougher to control plus can lead to inconsistency and wild shots. As a 2 plane swinger you need to accept this may well be simply a part of you golf DNA.
One key for those with a 2 plane swing is to work on your mental game, you need to be calm and relaxed. If you allow the emotions of dropping a shot a two get to you, you will tend to tighten up which means your tempo, timing and rhythm will be affected leading to the big misses!
If you watch Mickleson plot his way around a course, he always seems to be smiling, relaxed and laidback, almost like he doesn't care. Believe me he does, he just knows as a 2 plane swinger, tension is a card wrecker!
2 plane swingers should practice acceptance of shots, shaping shots and be aware when warming up before playing which shape is working that day, if its a 10-yard draw go with it, if its a 5-yard fade go with it, don't fight it, that's your tempo, rhythm and timing telling you what it prefers that day.
Let's take a closer look...