One of the most important understandings in the Moe Norman Single Plane Golf swing is the how Moe’s spine works in the downswing.  Why is this so important?  Because the shoulders and arms move in direct relationship to how the spine moves.

Moe Norman’s Single Plane Spine Movement is also what separates a perfect single plane golf swing to other single plane golf swing imitations. 

What most people do not understand is that Moe’s spine movement is a direct result of how his legs work in the golf swing.  Listen to Moe talk about his leg movement.

The Reason Moe can achieve perfect spine movement is due to the fact that his legs are flexed into impact.  He says that his legs widen and the only way they can widen is if they are flexed.  When I discussed this with Moe, he talked told me that it felt like he was sitting in his downswing.  This sitting feeling was his way of telling me that his spine was moving downward.

The sitting position is fairly easy to achieve and an important part of helping the trail shoulder move toward the plane in the downswing.  If you look at this sequence of video clips, you can see the how the spine maintains its position throughout the swing.

Traditional Golf Instruction and Spine Movement

In traditional swing mechanics instruction, the arms hang below the shoulders creating an angle between the arms and club shaft.  This angle, which we refer to as two-planes creates a distance problem at impact as the forces applied to the golf club when swung will align with the arms and club at impact.  Due to this  alignment of the arms and club at impact, the traditional golfer must make enough room for the club and arms.  There are numerous ways that this is done, all of which require great timing, skill and practice.  Laura Davies, for example, lifts her feet and Mark O’Meara straightens his legs. Because of the alignment of the golf club and arm, all traditional “arm below the shoulders” golfers must create room and lift the spine.

The “arms below the shoulders” address position require the spine to be moved to make room for the club shaft and arm alignment.  The problem is that the spine can not move itself.  In most cases the legs must lift the pelvis towards the golf ball to allow the spine to lift creating more distance between the shoulders and the golf ball.  This “upward” movement places large amounts of stress on the back.

It also must be noted, similar to any machine, the more moving parts you put into the machine, the more likely it is to break.  When the body is required to move, there are likely to be inconsistencies. Furthermore, learning how to move the body so that the spine moves backward as you move the club downward to the ball is highly difficult.