Single Plane Setup Fundamentals

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How to create the Single Plane Hold

Lead HandLead HandLead Hand

Lead Hand Square ClubfaceTrail Hand Placement Square ClubfaceBoth Hands Square Clubface

Trail Hand PlacementBoth Hands Complete

How to establish a Single Plane Setup

Arms ON PLANE with clubshaftArms ON PLANE with clubshaft

Lead Arm Aligned with clubshaftTrail shoulder tiltHip Width Stance

Trail Arm ON PLANE with clubshaftLead Arm HIGHKnees Flexed

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48 thoughts on “Single Plane Setup Fundamentals

  1. Hey Ken,
    Recently converted to SPS, and your website has been a huge help. Im puring my irons like never before, beautiful penetrating ball flight all the way up through 4 hybrid. The problems arise when I get to the woodd, particularly driver. Nothing but duck hooks and worm burners. It’s particularly frustrating because driver has traditionally been a strength of my game. On the rare occasion that I get it solid with the SPS its a 290 yard laser though.
    I’m wondering if I need more lateral movement toward the target in the downswing with these clubs? I worry about getting my upper body ahead of the ball and getting that huge block right that tends to creep in.
    Any thoughts are much appreciated! I

    • Nice to hear, lasers are great! And thank you for the kudos! Relative to your driver, I would suggest you focus externally, more on the clubface at impact than your body motion. The fact is that a duck hook is caused by an extremely closed clubface at impact. This is typically indicative of early release of wrist angle or rotation of forearms. Try a less forward ball position first. Then, try leading with the heel of the clubface. Slice a few on purpose without compromising forward swing path from the inside. This will help you refine your release timing to find straight. Let us know how it goes…

  2. Ken,
    When doing set up for the single plane and establishing the body tilt, (I am right handed golfer) is your lead shoulder actually closed to the target at set up about 15 to 20 degrees? Also does grip of the club in the lead hand go across the base of the fingers or more at angle up through the palm ? I always seem to be inconsistent with my shots and I have a feeling it all has to do with the grip my body tilt. Does the grip in the trail hand go from the fingers almost up down the life line up the inside of the trail arm. I can see some pictures you posted but an explanation would help.

    • Thank you for your query Mark. Hope this helps…
      “When doing set up for the single plane and establishing the body tilt, (I am right handed golfer) is your lead shoulder actually closed to the target at set up about 15 to 20 degrees?” YES.
      “Also does grip of the club in the lead hand go across the base of the fingers or more at angle up through the palm?” SLIGHT ANGLE THROUGH THE PALM BUT UNDER THE HEEL PAD.
      “Does the grip in the trail hand go from the fingers almost up down the life line up the inside of the trail arm?” YES, WHEN VIEWED FROM DOWNLINE, AS THE HANDLE DOES NOT REST AGAINST THE LIFELINE BECAUSE OF THE LEFT THUMB POSITION. CHECK VIDEO BELOW.

  3. Ken, I had a few lesson with you at The Village a few years ago, and I would like to reunite with you and benefit from your teaching.I want to do the one plane swing and would like to schedule an hour at the Village whenever you have the time. Please let me know…me let me know—thanks Henry Quartullo p.s A lot of Keiser students are working at West Palm Beach municipal—an impressive group

  4. Aligning the shaft and right forearm in the same line forms a single axis. This setup enables the club and arms to be starting on a single plane, eliminating any need to rotate the body or forearms to get the club on plane.

    • Hi Mark,

      Yes, center ball position is a good place to start with short irons. If you begin to PUSH the ball as you reach the long irons, try moving the ball position a little more forward (toward the target). Let me know if I can help further and good luck!

  5. Hello Mr. Martin,

    I am looking spending this fall and winter converting to a single plane action. Handicap through the years has ranged from 4 to 14 (majority of time around a 7) I am 50 and want to give one more push toward my goal of Zero. Single plane seems like an easier way. There seems to be a few factions out there on single plane. I have two questions.
    1) your thoughts on grip and grip size, taper, etc.
    2) do you ever come to NC to teach. If not can you recommend someone.

    Thanks,

    Todd

    • Hello Todd,

      I think you have made a wise decision, Single Plane is the simplest method I know of. Relative to grip size and taper, comfort is the key. And by comfort I mean that you must be able to have relaxed enough grip pressure to allow your wrists to hinge and release naturally. It is very similar to how tight you hold a hammer if you need a reference. There really is a bit of trial and error involved. I suggest you buy a couple different sizes and tapers and then try them on your 5, 6 and 7 irons (each club with a different grip size and/or taper). Then do two practice sessions where you hit 7 balls with each club until you complete 3 sets (63 shots). At the end of two sessions I’ll be you know which grip size is for you. Relative to NC, I do not travel much these days. I teach in West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie, FL, so if you make it down South give call. You may have to do an internet search to find someone in NC. Thank you for your comment and let me know if I can help further. Good Luck!

  6. Great tips! A couple struggles I have are getting the proper distance from the ball at setup (always feel close compared to your visuals), however no matter how far away I stand I seem to always make contact towards the toe on impact…any suggestions?

  7. Ken, I am interested in teaching this method. I used to teach for the GGA as an apprentice and since parted ways. I really want to get back into teaching the method you teach.

    -clayton zwicker
    cell- 9202514156

  8. Ken – You had the best drills for single plane swing that I’ve seen, and I’ve seen plenty of others. Hope you will be repeating them on your upcoming site. Best of luck to you, a very excellent teacher.

    Larry Lasik

  9. Hi Ken,
    Been practicing. Things not going so well. I am now hitting the driver on the very very top edge of the club just a little past center to the toe side. (not all the way to the toe but not above center either, in between very top edge.) I have a TM 460 SLDR 12 degree. I have moved the tee up and down for different heights
    ( found that I actually do bit better when tee is lower) , moved the ball position backward and forward in stance (not much help there) and presently I am just not getting any flush sq hits on the sweet spot of even in the sweet spot area. I had one or two really nice hits but lots of them were going really high, some were pulling far left, (I am a right handed golfer), some were OK down the middle not much distance at all.

    I have no idea what to do at this point Ken. Ideas where to even start?

  10. Ken, copied pictures and practiced as you said. Most shots off driver, very high and mild to heavy slice right. Could be I am not releasing my hands at impact or I am setting up with open club face and not releasing enough. Any thoughts on possible hand release drill or do have another thought on what could be causing my issue. Problem seems to be only with driver, irons and hybrids for the most part very straight shots.

    • Definitely an open clubface issue at impact. Start with the setup. Be certain the clubface is square to your target. Next practice releasing your forearms. Basically you can practice this sitting in a chair. Sitting upright, extend your lead arm with a “thumbs up” position. Grasp your lead thumb in the lifeline of your trail palm, simulating your golf grip. While keeping your chest facing forward, swing your trail arm across your chest allowing your forearms to “cross over”. Your lead arm will fold at the elbow, lead palm will face the sky and your trail palm will face the ground. This is the feeling of a complete forearm release and is essential to squaring the clubface through impact in a Single Plane Swing. Because body rotation is minimized, forearm rotation is maximized; if not, you will block shots to the right. Another good drill is to separate your hands about 5 inches apart on the golf grip and swing the club back and forth in front of your body. This will give a great feeling of forearm release. Below are images of my Single Plane forearm release versus my Tour Swing forearm release. You will see the forearm cross over occurs sooner in my Single Plane Swing because body rotation is minimized. Give this all a go and let me know if I can help further.
      Single Plane Forearm Release Tour Swing Forearm Release

  11. Ken,
    On the follow through after impact, how far should your lid hip turn after impact, all the way to the point where your body is facing the target line? Can you over rotate on the follow through after impact. Reason I ask is I aim a right handed golfer, i have sore spot lower left of my back even with front left hip pivot point area. Sore spot on back side located right where I turn through the shot at the end. Wondering if its over rotation or just hitting to many balls. Any thoughts.

    • A complete turn to finish facing the target is aesthetically pleasing but not a requirement for solid ball striking in the Single Plane Swing. Simply allow yourself to turn to a comfortable finish. No need to push the envelope to pain. The only key is that through impact you have shifted weight to your lead leg so the bottom of your swing arc (with an iron) is on the target side of the golf ball.

    • I’d first suggest you copy the pictures I posted and try a practice session. Then let me know where you have difficulty and I can provide guidance. Be sure to use an alignment stick (or golf club) between your feet and the ball to confirm body alignment and clubface aim. Good luck!

  12. Ken,
    I still use your drills to “start the year”!…and during the year when my game “drifts”?

  13. I have been doing single plane for several years, started with a natural golf training session in Palm Desert area, also used Sci-Golf Tape…I liked your video lessons, looking forward to your future videos

  14. Ken interested in possibly working with you on the INTERNET. Tried GGA and was not very successful. Disappointed with the service. Can you send me details at my email address listed above. I try to play the SPW but still very inconsistent.

    Thanks
    Mark

    • Hello Mark,

      I am currently establishing a new system for online lessons. Please bear with me over the next few weeks and I will update you when the details are finalized. Thank you.

  15. Regarding the G1 Grip do you play the over sized or standard? What is better for the single plan swing with this grip?

    Thanks
    Mark

    • Hello Mark,

      It has been my experience that grip size is a subjective choice. The key is that the size allows the golfer to fully hinge their wrists without using excess grip pressure to maintain control of club. Typically, a midsize grip allows most golfers to feel comfortable with the “ten finger” grip style used for the single plane swing without restricting wrist hinge.

    • Bob,

      I left Ocotillo in 1989. I currently teach in Royal Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie, both in Florida. I will be more than happy to work with you online though if those locations are not convenient. Send me an email if you are interested and I will fill you in on the details. Thank you.

      • Would like a few lessons on Single Plane if you are still in Port St Lucie. We are in Punta Gorda but would come your way for a few days.
        This is such an interesting way to golf and be able to be less fearful of injury in long run! Thank you

  16. Hi, Ken. Now that Natural Golf as we knew it is no longer around do you have any suggestions for grips? Do you think something like the Golf Pride Jumbos would work or would midsize be better? Thanks.

  17. Ken, you are no longer on You Tube. I need to see your tip on using the driver again, please. How do I get it? You are such a good teacher! Esther.

    • Thank you for your kind words. The video you reference became property of the new owners of Natural Golf and they took it down…sorry. While I am still a big supporter of the Single Plane Swing, I am no longer affiliated with Natural Golf. I hope to produce some videos in the future, in the mean time browse my new website and get involved in the Forum if you have any specific questions I can help you with…Thanks for your support!

    • The right-hand grip positions the palm rotated about 45 degrees from the target, between skyward and the target. The hold is not in the palm but the handle rests across the top of the palm at the base of the fingers. Take a close look at the pictures, the right hand is on correctly when the underside of the right forearm is aligned with the clubshaft.

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