America's Fifty Greatest Teachers

October 29, 2008

64 / HOUSTON / Seminars from $2,200 / 230 votes

Students: Peter Jacobsen, Scott McCarron, Tom Pernice Jr., Bob Tway, Olin Browne

After a long career first as a Pga Tour player and then a teacher, Jim Hardy branched into a lucrative course-design business. But it was curiosity about his own game that brought him back to the forefront as a teacher. "I came to realize that all the swing theories fell into one of two categories: Either you swing your arms on the same plane as your shoulders turn, or your arms turn on a steeper plane than your shoulders," says Hardy. "You have to practice the right techniques for each one."

And so the "Plane Truth" organizing theory was born. Hardy's book is a best seller, his teaching seminars are sold out, and his stable of tour players is full. "I've got a wonderful life in golf," he says.

Are you on one plane or two?
You're wired to swing on one plane or two.

Players come with a "thumbprint" of a golf swing. You're wired to swing on one plane or two, and it's very hard to switch.

How do you know which one you are? Do you see golf as a side-on game, where you're swinging on a circle, trying to move the ball forward? You're probably a one-planer. Do you see the ball as something on the ground that needs to be lifted? You're likely a two-planer.