Let's Talk Distance and the One Plane Swing...
How far are you hitting the ball with the One Plane Swing? Is there anything in the OPS that could cause us to lose distance or limit how far we hit the golf ball? Let's look at it...
How far we hit a golf ball is determined by the speed and on-center square hit of the clubhead at impact... I've always been able to hit the ball off the tee a long way from the first time I picked up a club. I chalk it up to my upbringing, where I played multiple sports through high school...football, baseball, basketball, tennis, and, once I entered college...golf. I eventually had my clubhead speed measured when I was 40 years old, at 108 mph. Now we have other ways to compute distance, such as ball speed and smash factor. Without getting into all those, I'll discuss the One Plane Swing, what happened with my game, and the distance I hit the ball.
When I first started the single plane swing over three years ago at age 68, instructors taught me to keep my feet flat on the ground at impact, especially the trail foot, and swing into a flexed lead knee. These were explained as requirements in the single plane swing in order to brace my swing at impact and allow the club to whip through the ball. All the speed in my swing came through my arms and hands at impact. Adding to this, was instruction in the set up that had me in an extremely wide stance with a long reach to the ball. I worked hard on following this model of the single-plane swing for three months. I eventually developed multiple problems, including back and trail knee pain, but especially a game-changing distance loss!
If the distance of my shot is determined by the speed and on-center square hit of my clubhead at impact, then all the items in the above paragraph severely limited how far I hit the ball. It took a while, but I finally realized that I was minimizing the Distance Force Multipliers with this particular method of the single plane swing....What are the Distance Force Multipliers...
Distance Force Multipliers:
1. Ground forces – stabilize and facilitates the shift to the left side.
2. Rotational forces that increase acceleration in the turn of the torso.
3. Hand-releasing speed, which reach maximum velocity through impact.
Even though this method of the single plane swing resulted in a sore back and pain in my right knee, how short I was hitting the ball bothered me the most! I could no longer hit it as far with this teaching method...So, I searched for another method of the One Plane Swing and discovered Kirk Jung's Setup4Impact instruction. His teaching allowed me to use all the Distance Force Multipliers in swinging on One Plane! I began to see all my distance return as I went from 230 yds off the tee, out to where I used to hit it... 270 yds…while, at the same time, enjoying all the benefits of swinging on One Plane: straight-on-target shots, solid center impact, and lower scores!
What did I learn from this process? You can still swing on One Plane without trying to exactly copy another golfer or some particular model. No one can swing exactly like another person, otherwise we'd all be on the PGA Tour. All that's required to swing on One Plane is to have the clubshaft angle at setup match the clubshaft angle at impact!
All of us amateurs can customize the One Plane Swing to our own golf game...Use our own grip, setup stance, distance from the ball, backswing, downswing and follow trough. But especially we can keep, and even improve how far we hit the ball by using Distance Force Multipliers to create powerful quality impact!
Here's what I did to get my distance back into my One Plane Swing:
1. I returned to my standard stance which is narrower than the original instruction.
2. I quit standing so far from the ball.
3. I allowed my trail heel to come off the ground on the downswing into impact.
4. I rotated my torso through impact and into the follow-through.
5. I began using the ground forces into and through impact as my lead leg straightened and weight is fully transferred to the left side (hip/knee/foot).
All of this resulted in my distance returning as my clubhead speed increased dramatically! If you've struggled with distance loss as you implement the One Plane Swing, try this, and you may likely hit the ball farther while enjoying all the benefits of swinging on One Plane!
Dr. Chris Nix
**For more information on the One Plane Swing the One Plane Golfer eBook is available for sale on the home page of this site, oneplanegolfer.com. It's a beautifully illustrated description of the One Plane Swing and how to apply it to your game.