Pow – I Think I’m Done (Hogan Plane Concept & It’s Great)

Sometimes it’s a very old concept that you’ve never really “gotten” that becomes a new one when it clicks for you.

I was swinging yesterday at home with my SwingRite and for some reason, a thought popped into my head while working on the new top position for my back pivot.

I was making back swings with the right elbow tight to the body, Ben-Hogan-style, and I thought, “Hmm, it would make this move much easier if I changed my visual angle on the back swing from a vertical one to an angled one…”

And right there, I solved my issue of the steep back swing plane forever, because that thought involved taking the club back with a “flat wrist” feel to the left arm.

Now, this is visual concept and a “feel,” whether the wrist is flat or not, and it then occurred to me that it was just my visual changing from the vertical concept that I’ve always had (even though I talk about the swing being a tilted Ferris Wheel) to the Ben Hogan concept of a pane of glass that you don’t want to break when going back!

I’ve known about this concept forever, but it never really registered for me, which is why I have always been so steep on my back swing plane, but I guess it’s better late than never.

“DJ, Is That You?!?!

So, I went to hit balls today to try it out and… well, I’ll let you just see for yourselves in a couple of gifs how it went.

I should perhaps feel chagrined that I never clicked on this concept before, but I’ve always been a steep-plane and long back swing kind of guy who, even when I tried this concept years and years ago, was still very steep going back.

It just took my coming around to it now that the only thing in my swing with which I was dissatisfied was the overly long back swing.

But to be honest, it’s likely just as “long,” just on a different plane, but that makes all the difference in the world.

5 iron

It certainly felt different and I’m already feeling it in my shoulder and upper back muscles, due to the different action from what my body is accustomed to, but I definitely like it, because you really have to get that right hip back behind you (straight right leg) to make it work properly.

So two things I’ve never done quite according to the theoretical model (steeper plane than required and a flexed right knee at the top), I have solved with the change to the Hogan plane visual, and that suits me just fine!

I’ll edit the video from today to post on the weekend – it looks like rain through Sunday night, so I will likely not be hitting balls again before Monday or Tuesday.

Next on the menu are the slo-mo video shoot with a high-speed camera and, while I work on finishing the “MCS – Project 2018” video, perhaps another number session at TXG Golf.

More to come!

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8 thoughts on “Pow – I Think I’m Done (Hogan Plane Concept & It’s Great)

  1. Jeff

    Funny you should post this, DJ. I was looking at Dunaway clips and comparing them to you and I was thinking to myself that Duanaway’s elbow just looked a bit tighter than yours. I’ve always had a tendency to overswing and it kills my posture during my downswing so I decided to really focus on staying “tight”.

    Boom. Boom. Irons a much more online and driver pounded. Felt like a tiny little swing but getting to the drop was soooo much easier. Key for me is making the magic move and really “aiming” my hand at the top of my shoulder and not my ear. Good stuff.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hi Jeff! I like what you wrote here:

      I’ve always had a tendency to overswing and it kills my posture during my downswing so I decided to really focus on staying “tight”.

      That’s what I was working on myself when the lightbulb went off with the Hogan pane concept. For years in the past, if I every tried to swing “shallow” rather than steep, I would look at the video and it was still the old steep plane.

      Don’t know why it suddenly began to work for me – most likely because I’ve fixed my setup to match the MCS model exactly rather than “close enough,” and I was determined to get rid of that flexed right leg on the back swing.

      I found that the flatter I swung back, the easier it was to emulate the MCS “perfect pivot” action that I have no problem doing when I drill:

      So, it looks like you’re on the same track – good stuff! 😀

  2. David

    DJ, I can’t believe you are saying that ….. I was doing the EXACT same thing this morning, but for the opposite reason, too flat LOL I kid you not. The visual got me more upright. I also did a couple down the line views(think I sent you one yesterday) and I saw how far my hands drifted from my body on the through swing versus what I see above. I think this simple flaw has been a real distance killer.

    Thinking of the pane of glass, my hands have been breaking the glass and probably killing my momentum. All I can say is playing 36 holes today from tees I have never played, 7280 yards there was not a hole I did not get to in regulation. The reason we missed it is it is a view I never see. I took a couple more late in the round and I am still breaking the glass but not as much. I guess great minds think alike.

    BTW, it was Nancy’s idea to play 27, then 36 holes in 110 degree temps. She shot 83, 83 and tied her best round from 2 days ago. She has been working the pivot and it has really kicked in. The instagram picture from today was one where the pivot was not as intended. We have created a monster.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Well done to Nancy, DK! And 36 holes in the AZ summer… that is something!

      And yes, too flat is a problem just as too steep can be. Too far from neutral in either direction will cause issues with the swing.

  3. targettom

    Thanks for this reminder. I had gotten into a bad habit of a flying elbow. Just trying this out with the Swingrite I was able to move the sleeve lower so it must be a more powerful move. Looking for ward to trying it at the range.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Getting on the proper plane can definitely improve speed and power, simply because you’re not fighting extraneous forces to get the club head back to the ball. With the proper plane coming down, you get all of the forces channeled into impact. So, yeah…

    1. D Watts Post author

      Welcome Tom – it is counter-intuitive, isn’t it? You feel like the longer back swing is more powerful but it robs leverage when you get off-plane.

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