The term One Plane Swing (OPS) has evolved today into apparently different meanings, which have caused some confusion for many. Several camps teach the one plane swing that is similar yet contains differences. I encourage and support all golfers who swing on one plane regardless of the differences between these teaching methods.
The best One Plane Swing (OPS) definition we can give you is….. A One Plane Swing is when the player sets up in the same plane, they will be at impact.
That's it. It's straightforward, yet today there remains some confusion between different teaching groups. In spite of these differences, this simple definition is the fundamental baseline of one plane swing thought and is consistently the foundation of all its teaching.
Looking back through the years, you see several golf professionals who have played with a one plane swing. Even before Bobby Jones, Abe Mitchell, who's the figure atop the Ryder Cup Trophy above and considered one of Britain's best players in 1920, played with the club setup on one plane. If you study the swings of many of Jone's contemporaries, you will soon discover that many used the one plane swing.
Considering the teaching perspective of Manuel De La Torre and what he was talking about in the 60s and 70s, you will see evidence of one plane thought. Harvey Penick, one of the premier golf instructors, said that having the shaft in line with the trailing arm was one of the best methods to hit the ball straight and at the target.
There are many teachers who advocate their version of the one plane swing and becoming proficient in their system can improve a golfer's ball striking and enjoyment of the game. Regardless of the camp of OPS (One Plane Swing) thought, we are advocates for all golfers who choose to pursue their golf games with the OPS! Scott Groves, the Founder of the Facebook group, One Plane Golfers, was taught by his first teacher, Herman Keiser, the One Plane Swing in 1981. Herman Keiser won the 1946 Masters Championship and was using the OPS long before Moe Norman began his professional career in 1957. The great Moe Norman was an excellent example of an OPS player, which many have tried to copy and have even developed a teaching system to imitate his swing. Some will tell you that you have to swing like Moe Norman or that you have to swing like Bryson Dechambeau, and these statements are false. Moe had a unique way of going about it, but no one can swing like another player. You can try, but you are not Moe Norman or Bryson Dechambeau.
OPS teacher Kirk Junge's setup4impact teaching system has allowed many golfers to experience a method of swinging on one plane while customizing it to their swing. His OPS system teaches how to setup with the wrists in ulnar deviation and the club shaft angle, at address, in a position that matches the club shaft angle at impact.
The great Jim Hardy, one of the top golf instructors in the world, has authored several books and DVDs dedicated to what he calls his One Plane Swing vs. the Two Plane Swing. His definition has unique features, yet it has to be considered a version of swinging on one plane.
There are many examples of OPS professionals throughout history besides Herman Keiser and Moe Norman. Bob Rosburg, who turned professional in 1953 and won 10 tournaments, including the 1959 PGA Championship, is a great example of OPS and went on to become the Stanford Men's golf coach. Byron Nelson also should be included, with his one plane swing checkpoint methodology that became the source for the Iron Byron hitting machine used by all golf companies for their product development. We cannot forget Ben Hogan when discussing the OPS and his Singular Plane of Glass.
Currently, the PGA tour has Bryson Dechambeau, who many one plane experts consider a great example of playing with this philosophy. Other tour pros, such as Steve Stricker, could be regarded as OPS players.
So, the OPS has been around for over 100 years. Do we know where it started? Probably not. Should anyone own the name One Plane Swing or any version of it? We say no since it's been around longer than anyone who has used that name. I support and encourage all OPS method and respect all the different teaching systems.
Dr. Chris Nix
**For more information on the One Plane Swing the One Plane Golfer EBook is available on the site. It's a beautifully illustrated description of the One Plane Swing and how to apply it to your game.