Recent Release from Brown Books Demonstrates a Superior Swing That Prevents Back Injuries for Pro and Amateur Golfers

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Old Technique Gets New Look in “The Single Plane Golf Swing”

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We have to do everything we can to protect the back

One out of every two professional golfers will suffer a lower back injury during their playing career, according to the PGA Tour.

And now that Tiger Woods, who was treated for a back injury, has resumed his pro schedule showing improvement at The Masters in Augusta, golf instructors, physicians and players are searching for better ways to protect the spine.

“There is a better way,” says Todd Graves, former tour player, national golf instructor and co-author of the new book: The Single Plane Golf Swing: Play Better Golf the Moe Norman Way, (Brown Books Publishing Group.)

“Swinging the golf club thousands of times, millions of times for professionals the traditional way, can break down the spine. We have to do everything we can to protect the back,” says Graves.

It’s one of the reasons Graves and co-author Tim O’Connor wrote the 200-page book.

“The conventional golf swing places high loads on the lower back and repetitive action of the swing stresses the spine as it lifts and twists,” Graves says. The book outlines a technique, known as the single plane swing perfected by Moe Norman, an eccentric Canadian golfer who has been called the “Rain Man” of professional golf. Tiger Woods has said: “Only two players have ever truly owned their swing – Moe Norman and Ben Hogan.”

Graves and O’Connor have spent 20 years writing and teaching the Moe Norman way of swinging a golf club on a single plane. So they finally wrote a detailed instruction book with more than 250 color photographs that reveal the key aspects of the technique.

The swing plane is the path the club shaft travels on the backswing and the downswing. A single plane swing positions the club shaft on the same plane as the starting point (address) and the finishing position (impact).

Dr. Hyun Bae, an orthopedic surgeon with The Spine Institute in Santa Monica, California and renowned researcher, says the conventional swing accentuates back pain through axial rotation in which the torso rotates vertically in connection with the pelvis, an axis point that rotates horizontally. “This creates a twisting force called torque between the tissue that connects the torso and pelvis,” said Dr. Bae. “The single plane swing allows for a synchronized and co-aligned movement that reduces the tension between the upper and lower body. It’s a less violent movement and safer.”

Graves has also worked with Dr. Robert Neal of Golf BioDynamics based in Miami, Florida, which uses 3D technology to record data about the biomechanical movements in the golf swing. In January 2015, Dr. Neal tested Graves and matched the findings to thousands of swings that he has previously recorded.

“Dr. Neal’s analysis verified our hypothesis that the single plane swing is simpler and less stressful on the body and back,” Graves said. “Moe Norman, in his intuitive wisdom, felt the biomechanics of his swing. Dr. Neal’s data quantifies his discovery.”

While the authors do not believe they have the ultimate fix for Tiger Woods, Graves and O’Connor suggest that a simpler golf swing on a single plane can prevent spine injuries especially for the golfer who plays past age 50.

Todd Graves and Tim O’Connor, authors of The Single Plane Golf Swing: Play Better Golf the Moe Norman Way (Brown Books Publishing Group), are available for media interviews and single plane golf swing demonstrations in the United States and Canada.     


2015 Masters, Tiger Woods, PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Champions Tour, sports and spine health, injury prevention, golf instruction for amateur and professional golfers, older golfers, Canadian golfers, weekend warriors

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Sara Ivey
Brown Books Publishing
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