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Pane of Glass - One Plane Golfer

Ben Hogan, in 1957, wrote his famous book "Five Lessons." In it, he wrote extensively about his "pane of glass" imagery as it represented the Plane of his golf swing. When I first read this many years ago, it just made sense to me, and I applied that image to my golf game. It was my first introduction to the concept of the swing plane and how it affects the quality of golf shots. Since then, I've realized the true importance of swinging on Plane and thus began my search to discover more about the path the club takes as we hit golf shots.

At this time, like most golfers, I used the traditional 2-plane golf swing. The focus was on the entrenched golf instruction of stance, grip, and swing position mechanics. As my golf game progressed, I still struggled with my swing plane. I didn't think about it when I played well, but I knew something was off when those bad rounds came. I just couldn't put my finger on the cause. I had to have perfect timing to score well and was baffled by my golf game's ups and downs. I did have some success as I was able to get my index into low single digits, but I was never completely satisfied with my ball striking and the constant mechanical thoughts as I played.

My first look at the single-axis swing was in 1999, with the introduction to Natural Golf and Moe Norman's swing. It looked interesting, so I briefly experimented with the grip and setup. I had some success using the setup of the single-axis swing, even winning our Club Championship at that time. However, I just couldn't commit to the complete swing change and quickly returned to my old 2-plane method. There were too many components of my traditional swing ingrained into my brain. Change is difficult...especially in the game of golf!

I'm 71 now, and five years ago, I had quadruple bypass heart surgery. My golf game was completely destroyed. My Ghin index had ballooned to a 14, and I found myself disheartened with my golf game. It wasn't fun anymore, and I lost my enthusiasm for playing. It came to a head after I made a "bucket list" trip to Pebble Beach early in 2020. I just played horribly and decided that this was my last golf trip. I was seriously considering giving up the game I loved so much. Seeing the discomfort, my wife suggested I look hard at my golf swing. Maybe I needed a change...Maybe I needed new equipment! Since I was older, could I benefit from another method of hitting the ball with equipment that fit my game?

This is how the One Plane Swing found me! I was on my last attempt to regain the enthusiasm to play golf. I re-visited Moe Norman's swing and after a few weeks, settled on Kirk Junge's setup4impact instruction. His teaching allowed me to adapt the One Plane Swing to my established stance, distance from the ball, grip, and ball position. I adjusted my setup to reflect my impact position. My hands were raised at address so that the wrists were in ulnar deviation (uncocked). My club at setup was raised enough so that the shaft as on a straight line through my right elbow (DTL down-the-line view). My club shaft angle at setup now matched my club shaft angle at impact....that's it! So simple...I simply swung back and through on the same plane that I established at setup. The One Plane Swing!

In the first 6 months following my conversion to the One Plane Swing, my Ghin index went to 0.0, I had my 9th hole-in-one, shot my age (68) three times, and won our Senior Club Championship. To say the least, my enthusiasm for golf returned quickly, and I could again enjoy this great game! The One Plane Swing is simply the easiest method to improve ball striking I've seen. I did purchase new clubs...I got rid of the stiff shafts and blade irons. It was a large conversion that resulted in playing clubs that fit the game of a senior player! More on this in a future blog...

Staying On-Plane solves many swing issues: The Beauty of the One Plane Swing!

  • On the Takeaway....staying On-Plane, allows you to consistently get in the correct position when the club reaches parallel to the ground. The clubface should match your spine angle which is slightly facing the ground.

  • At the Top... it helps keep the club from being laid off or too steep.

  • On the downswing, staying On-Plane keeps you from swinging over-the-top. It's a great visual to start the downswing on the pane of glass, which allows the arms and club to simply drop with the elbow to the hip for an inside release.

  • Impact gets you back to the Setup position where the clubshaft angle matches the impact angle.

  • In the Follow Through, staying on the pane of glass allows the club to move low and left as the arms swing on an arc.

Here is my driver swing using the Hogan "Pane of Glass" that impressed me so long ago. It makes perfect sense now that I understand the One Plane Swing. It's a great visual image of swinging on One Plane...

**For more information on the One Plane Swing the One Plane Golfer eBook is available on the for sale on the home page of this site. It's a beautifully illustrated description of the One Plane Swing and how to apply it to your game.


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