I have written several articles on traditional golf instruction and how frustrating it is to use their fundamentals in an attempt to become “consistent.” Traditional fundamentals such as posture, stance, grip, ball position, takeaway, position at the top, downswing, and follow-through, while important, are not the true fundamentals to me. If they were, then how do you explain all the differences in the best players in the world…different grips, stances, takeaways, position at the top, downswings…and on and on! Consistency doesn’t come from these, or they would all swing the same!
However, I’ve also come to believe that a golfer’s search for a Repeatable golf swing can lead to becoming more consistent. Some will say, “It’s just semantics” and petty, but it’s still important. My goal of playing my best golf didn’t happen until I found a repeatable swing…the One Plane Swing…and suddenly, I became more consistent! Why did that happen?
….Impact, the true fundamental, became more repeatable with the One Plane Swing!
The Key To A Repeating Golf Swing is...delivering the club face right back into the ball at IMPACT with power and consistency. For me…You can hear it…That sound of impact as it echoes down the fairway! For many of us, the best method to achieve repeatable impact is setting up on the same plane that we will have at impact…The One Plane Swing!
Here are some of the most critical components of the OPS for repeatability!
1. Side Bend of the body at Setup:
The lead shoulder will move up, which allows the lead arm to get into a full range of motion and puts the back of the hand to the target = SQUARES THE CLUB FACE!!
The trail arm can now allow the trail hand to grip the club in a non-rotational position.
Provides the proper space at impact for the club!
Provides proper space at impact for the club.
Here is the great One Plane Swing instructor and founder of CMR Golf Team, Chandler Rusk, and his side bend at setup…
2. Find the Ground…A Key Ball Striking Component for a Repeatable Swing
What does “finding the ground” mean when talking about quality ball striking? That’s a great question, but maybe we should define what quality ball striking really is…To me, there are some fundamentals that all great ball strikers have, and it’s at IMPACT!
Ball first contact with the hands leading the clubhead.
Bottom of the swing (LOW POINT) is 3-4 inches on the target side of the ball contact.
Clubface is square.
When I’m playing well, it seems so easy, and quality impact happens, but when I struggle, it’s most often one of the above-bulleted components. This is when I practice “finding the ground,” as one of the best One Plane teachers, Kirk Junge talks about. I use his impact drills when practicing and refocus my preshot routine when I'm on the course by including Junge's drill, seen below. I will use short swings and brush the ground through impact with a square clubface.
Yesterday was a good example. Thanks to my short game, the round started out pretty well, with pars on the first five holes. I had missed three greens and made good putts to save par. My tee shots were great, but my ball striking to the green was off! I couldn’t wait to get to the sixth tee to channel my inner Kirk Junge and his impact drill…On the tee, I took out an iron while waiting for my playing partners to hit and just made short swings back and through impact to get a feel for where the ground was and make sure my hands were leading with the club face square…It changed everything as I birdied the sixth and went on to shoot my age …71…for the second time this week, something I’ve never done before!
Here is Kirk Junge…“I’m trying to get my rhythm here…trying to think about impact and get it right...trying to get a feel for impact and not think about the backswing...it doesn't really matter that much...I'm thinking about making impact as good as I can!”
So if you want to have quality ball striking that leads to a repeatable swing…Get impact right! Work on dynamic drills that utilize short swings to ingrain where the ground is and get the key ball-striking components happening in your swing!
Dr. Chris Nix
**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.