Justin Thomas vs. The Single Plane Golf Swing

By Chandler Rusk, GGA Master Instructor & Single Plane Experience Schools Director

The way Moe Norman (arguably the most significant ball striker of all-time) positioned his spine at address is a crucial element to WHY he was so consistent.

Studies have been done over thousands of the best ball strikers in the world. Consisting of players from the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Champions Tour, European Tour, Web.com, mini-tours, high-level college golfers, and everywhere in between.

This study showed that 99% of good ball strikers have ONE thing in common.

At impact, ALL good ball strikers have 25 degrees of spine tilt away from the target.

Now, how did Moe Norman simplify the ability to get to this 25 degrees?

In the images below, you can see Moe’s address position (on the left) and PGA Tour player Justin Thomas (on the right). Moe just started with 15 degrees of spine tilt away as Justin Thomas only starts with 5.

Why is this significant? Because moving the spine from 15 to 25 (10 degrees) is considerably less movement and less stressful on the body than running it from 5 to 25 (20 degrees). See below for impact images.

Justin Thomas, Moe Norman, Single Plane Golf Swing

With Moe (top and bottom images on the left), starting with 15 degrees of spine tilt away allowed his head to stay still throughout the motion. The lower body stabilizes into a flexed lead knee in the downswing which takes his spine from 15 to 25. Also, note that both feet are flat on the ground.

In contrast, Justin Thomas (top and bottom images on the right), with only starting with 5 degrees of spine tilt away, to get to 25 – the lead leg has to snap straight, the head is forced down and back, and the feet are well off the ground.

Justin Thomas, Moe Norman

Moe Norman’s Single Plane Swing Review

  • Start and Impact in a similar position
  • Less moving parts
  • No stress on the body
  • Flexed lead knee at impact which takes the stress off the back
  • Head position is able to remain relatively still
  • Both feet are on the ground allowing the body to maintain posture
  • Elimination of variables leads to incredible consistency

Justin Thomas / Traditional / Conventional Swing Review

  • Spine starts in an upright position (0 to 5 degrees on average)
  • The head is forced to sway in the backswing
  • The lead leg snaps straight in downswing forcing lead hip to raise
  • The head is forced down and back to achieve 25 degrees of tilt away from the target
  • Both feet are off the ground or on toes
  • All the above put extreme stress on lead leg, back, ribs, and neck

Justin Thomas is an incredible athlete with talent and skill beyond his years. He has 1 Major victory and 7 PGA Tour wins. He is 5’10”, 155 pounds, and only 24 years of age. By being young and having a daily workout routine, he has the flexibility and strength to move and contort his body as you can see in the images above. It will be interesting to see what happens when he gets older.

However, for the average golfer, we are not as young or even close to as flexible as Justin Thomas. Therefore, we have to find a solution that allows us to move in a simpler way. Moe Norman’s Single Plane Swing is the solution that will help lead you to a more consistent golf game with fewer variables, less moving parts, and less stress on your body. Not to mention – less frustration and more fun!

To learn how to achieve this spine movement properly: Click Here