My first game with the Single Plane Swing

With the cold winter and the crappy spring we’ve had so far, that first game of golf seemed to be a long time coming, but I finally got in my first game of 2014 yesterday at Blue Springs.

It was also my first game with the Single Plane Swing that I adopted in January. Part of my rationale for moving to the swing developed by Canadian legend Moe Norman is that I have written an instruction book with professional Todd Graves, who I believe is the authority on Moe’s swing. The book will be coming out in the next two-three months.

After dutifully doing drills in my basement since January, I had only hit balls a few times before yesterday’s round. Surprisingly, the address felt comfortable. The SPS address is the greatest departure from the conventional swing. Instead of having your arms hang below the shoulders, the arms point straight at the ball and the legs are wide and relatively straight. I had to remind myself to keep my legs fairly straight, but it felt quite natural and I just swung and let it go.

The front nine was erratic, a mix of solid and straight, blocks to the right and some hooks, but overall I expected to be all over the place given it was my first game–as in, the first time I was trying to score with my new swing. The misses were similar to last season, generally caused by tension a tendency to swing too far inside on the backswing.

I didn’t fixate on mechanics yesterday, though. The only technical thing that I felt was the movement of my left knee laterally toward the target; if I felt that initiating the downswing, I hit the ball sweet.

Apart from the comfort with the address position, the greatest surprise was how solid I was hitting the ball, especially with the driver. I hit a few drives on a couple back nine holes farther on those holes than any time last year. In 2013, I was wondering why I wasn’t getting more distance–apart from being in my mid 50s–but I was moving it out there yesterday as my timing smoothed out.

So with lots of rust, a wonky short game (short, short, short) and first-game jitters, I managed an 88, which is just fine. I’m not going to worry about scoring for a while. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself now.

About Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor is a golf coach, an award-winning writer, and speaker. Tim takes a holistic approach, coaching golfers in the physical and mental aspects of golf. He co-hosts the Swing Thoughts podcast with Howard Glassman, and is the author of The Feeling of Greatness: The Moe Norman Story. He plays bass in CID—a Guelph punk band!