My Journey to Single Plane

Hey Everybody,

My name is Reed Howard. I have been working with Todd for over a year and now feel close enough to my result to talk about the swing and the process I’ve gone through without leading people down an incorrect path. I am a professional golfer, and ever since I became a real student of the game, I became obsessed with obtaining a single plane swing.

While all of you know that the foundation of the single plane fundamentals is based on Moe Norman’s swing, Moe Norman is not the only golfer in history to be able to have the same angle of attack at impact as you have at address. The others are Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino, Joe Durant, young Gary Player and while it’s done uniquely even, Sergio Garcia.  It is a rare quality that very few have, but all of the players including Moe Norman that have a single plane swing have one significant similarity; they are masters of ball striking, and they dominate ball-striking statistics.

Through studying swings, I saw this rare similarity between all of these great ball strikers and decided that if I were going to make it as a professional golfer at the highest level, I would need to acquire this advantage. So I did what many great golfers have done in the past; I experimented without a clue of what I was doing. I was first trying to emulate the great Ben Hogan. I worked very hard and was able to get aspects similar but that critical position, through impact, wasn’t even close. I tried to emulate aspects of Lee Trevino. Failed. And of course, as a final try, I attempted to follow Moe Norman. While I was able to get the club to return to the original plane, I was severely deleting the organization and couldn’t hit it accurately. I gave up on the idea I had spent four years working on and returned working with a great coach on the conventional golf swing.

While I did play better, I wasn’t about to make the PGA tour, and I still knew that the single plane swing had led to the most dominant ball strikers in the world. One day I saw a video of Todd Graves’s golf swing and his swing had all the key aspects that I had been trying to acquire for four years.

Todd Graves and Reed Howard
Todd Graves working with Reed Howard


In my history, every person who had these issues had them naturally without learning to change their impact positions. Eventually, I called Todd and “interrogated” him on his swing and the different results he had gotten. Finally, I was on a plane to OKC. I learned within 1 hour why my attempts in the past had failed and what I needed to do to achieve a functional single plane swing. While I felt right about what I needed to do, executing change is a challenging and sometimes creative task. Todd had changed himself into a single plane swing golfer. While we are a similar build and size, my swing was different from his swing which means that even though we understood the destination, the journey to a functional single plane swing was different for me than it was for him. Certain things I may have picked up quickly and others felt more foreign than swinging a baseball bat.

It has been a 1 1/2 years, and I have finally gotten to a functional single plane swing. My tournaments of late have been good. I have made about half of my cuts. My ball striking goes in streaks of being very dominant, and then something gets off, and I’ll struggle. Over the last few months, I have learned how to hold the more dominant stretches for more prolonged and believe that I have or will very shortly achieve a place where I hardly ever hit a bad shot. It will be either decent or high depending on my judgment of distance, wind, and strike of the ball.


If I do get there, which I believe I am almost there, it will be difficult for anyone to beat me over 18 holes let alone 72. I just wanted to write this to explain my story and introduce myself to everybody. Todd has given me permission to tell my story and provide updates as I go through tournaments and to work my way to the PGA tour. I hope this little entry wasn’t too dull for anybody. I am playing a small 1-day event in Chino, CA on Thursday which I will be prepped for and have a few three day tournaments coming up over the coming weeks. I will be making periodic updates with the things I am working on, with hopefully some good results.

All the best,




14 comments on “My Journey to Single Plane”
  1. Robert POlydys says:

    Doesn’t sound like an easy to learn swing – here is a professional after a year and a half and still no real success (for a Professional). If it takes 1 1/2 yrs and at what cost (time and $)working directly with Graves what can I expect?

    Sent from my iPad



    1. Todd Graves says:


      Most people are trying to fix their swings. I didn’t do that with Reed. Reed and I had a game plan. We decided to build his swing from the ground up. We started over basically.We spent a year rebuilding and he didn’t play a tournament. Now he is ready to take it to the course and compete – and that is an entirely new learning process. If you haven’t played tournaments, you won’t understand that statement.

      One year is a very short period of time to do what Reed has accomplished. If you expect to master (learn with any proficiency) anything in less than a year, I would consider you inhuman. I have seen people improve dramatically in one lesson but never master anything. Mastery takes time. I would be lying if I said anything else.

      Reed has done a masterful job. He is an amazing student – and that is why he will have success.


  2. Dave Kempema says:

    Thank you for sharing your story Reed. I would love to contiue hearing about your progress. Weather professional or recreational , we are all heading down the same path to acheive excellence in our SPS.
    I just love learning from Todd and Tim and GGA don’t you.
    Wish you sucess.


  3. Rich Hoehlein says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the single plane swing so far, Reed. Will look forward to your periodic updates on studying with Todd and your tournament play.

    I think you have found absolutely the master teacher of the swing! Best of luck in the future (but as Todd reminds those of us who are true believers, the more you practice, the luckier one gets!)



  4. Steve Ritchie says:

    Thanks Reed! Appreciate your story as it gives me hope that one day soon I can also state that I have attained the swing that Moe had. I’ve been learning the SPS now for about a year now and I’m really close to attaining my swing goals. I recently watched and practice all of our previous Coaching program lessons. I did them for hours on end, including multiple mirrors and of course viedo to ensure real matches feel. I played only 9 holes the next day and from my first 255 yard drive on number 1, dead straight and right in the middle of the fairway, I had my best ball striking 9 holes to date and was actually 1 under after 9 and that was on newly airarated and sanded greens! I met you at av5 day camp in Phionex last year and watched as Todd spent hours with you recording your swing. I was jealous of course, not only Todd’s attention but watching you boom huge drives that day.
    Just wanted to say hello, thank you for your inputs, and wish you all the very best in the pursuit of your goals and dreams!
    Like Todd always says….follow the model!:)


  5. Paul Gunning says:

    Hey Reed,

    I was blown away with the excellence of your swing posted on Youtube ( and there are some great comments there also.

    I am just starting up playing golf aged 49 and am reading and watching everything I can on Moe Norman and have built up quite a library.

    Please consider posting more swings on Youtube as they are great to learn from.



    1. plgunning says:

      Just found some brilliant Moe Norman videos at the Canadian Broadcast Channel Archives. Check them out if you are a Moe Norman fan! Rare historical footage (audio) (video) (video) (video)



  6. Tony S says:

    Glad to hear this story Reed. Please do keep us informed on your continued progress and tournament play. Best of luck to you on your journey to the top!


  7. plgunning says:

    Hey Reed,

    I was blown away with the excellence of your swing posted on Youtube ( and there are some great comments there also.

    I am just starting up playing golf aged 49 and am reading and watching everything I can on Moe Norman and have built up quite a library.

    Please consider posting more swings on Youtube as they are great to learn from.



  8. Bryan Murphy says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post this Reed. I likely will never fully master this move, but I will never stop trying. I have been at this for almost a year now. I’ve had periods of consistency and have hit some shots I was incapable of before this journey began. I still have too many swing thoughts before I can pull the trigger. It is getting better, though and I am fully committed.. Please do let us know of your progress – it is exciting to see one of our own take this to the highest level. Good luck with your journey.


  9. Steve clay says:

    I like your progress Reed and can see the changes you’ve made . Apparently you show a lot of patience and trust what is being taught you by Todd. Hope to see you on the television soon , 😬 Good luck 👍🏻


  10. Jake Hines says:

    Great story. Looking forward to watching your progress with the SPS and most of all, your journey on the tour.


  11. Craig C. says:


    This will be very interesting to follow… Is there a way you can post updates on Reed’s progress on the GGA site? Maybe a new section of the site? Food for thought…

    It would be fantastic to see more exposure for the single plane swing on any of the tours much less the PGA tour (Bryson D. is getting the movement started thankfully).

    I have a very similar journey on my single plane discovery that just started this summer and I’ve made really good progress in just a few months utilizing the training aids / videos, etc.

    I’m 45 now and I played competitive high school and college golf with, obviously, a two plane swing. I almost became a teaching pro so I do have a a pretty good grasp of swing mechanics for both the two plane and now the single plane. I was probably a single digit handicap in my prime. Nothing pro level but above average to be sure.

    However, in hindsight with the newly learned single plane swing, it seemed like a constant struggle with a two plane swing. The inconsistency of the two plane swing is where any golfer will see a huge difference between the two plane vs. one plane approach. Once they start to master the single plane swing or even feel / see the ball flight of even just one correctly struck single plane shot, they will know the difference.

    The single plane swing has been an amazing journey this summer for me. I’ve never seen myself hit such pure irons / drives that simply look like speeding bullets racing to the pin with almost no side spin that would be so common to my two plane swing. Some of the shots are like “frozen ropes” at the target when you really get it right.

    My thoughts are very similar to what Reed had to say above… If the best ball strikers (Moe Norman, Lee Trevino, Hogan, etc.) have one thing in common then why aren’t we all doing it? I’m seeing the dividends in my ball striking but now for that short game! 🙂

    Good luck to Reed in his endeavors!


  12. C Steven Bell says:

    I’d bet there has not been a swing theory/technique that I have not at least tinkered with in all my years of playing. I played high school, college, was a club/teaching pro and even had a very unsuccessful year on the NGA Hooters Tour (I missed all 12 cuts- but hey, I did get a orange bag and money clip outta the deal!). I now teach high school and coach our golf team that dominates West Tennessee. I still manage to maintain a low single digit handicap. In my early 30’s (I am now 49), I came across Moe Norman and immediately built a set of clubs and headed to the range, cluelessly. I was amazed at how solidly I could strike the ball, but eventually abandoned it for a more trendier method I suppose. Well now I’m back with nothing to lose! My playing partners (all scratch players) thought I’d lost my mind. (Full Discloser: I only employ SP for full iron shots at this point). While I am still getting used to it, I’m sold on it’s merits. I think I said “be right!” 7 or 8 times in my last round as my ball had the flag framed in the air.
    I wish you the best in your endeavor and look forward to watching your progress.



    Liked by 1 person

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