Going Flat!...But how far?

So I have a set of Hogan Directors on the way (I love eBAy, $46 shipped). This is my first set of blades so I am super excited. I want to bend them flat but am wondering about how far I should go. I am 6’3" and my current set of Ping Zing 2’s are 3/4" over standard and 3 degrees upright. Should I start out with 2 degrees flat? More? Less?


Congratulations on the Hogans! I’m sure you’re going to like them. Don’t be intimidated by the different look they’re going to have, especially compared to a set of Zing 2’s. You’ll get it over it quickly.

I don’t have an exact answer for you regarding how much to flatten these, but the general thought is you want to get your equipment set up to where you’re trying to “go” with your swing. A 5 degree drop from where you are now (which would put you at 2 degrees flat from standard) might be a good start. You might also consider having just a couple of clubs flattened until you get a feel for it, and do your practice with those (say a 9-iron and a 5-iron). It could save you some money paying someone to adjust the entire set 2 or 3 times. If you’re doing the work yourself, then it’s a different story.

Good luck,



Thanks a ton for the advice. I will definitley have a couple of irons bent before getting the entire set done and I think I’ll start out with 2 deg. flat. I figure that’s pretty flat for a player of my size.

I’ve always liked the heavy feel of a blade and they way it “sets up” to the ball so to speak but have never given them a try because of everything you hear about not being able to hit them unless you are a pro. Now that the misconceptions have been put aside and I am working on good impact fundamentals, I look forward to being able to pull out a blade long iron from 200 yards and striping it on the green. One day!

Thanks, Neck

Your welcome Neckbone. btw - I’m 6’2" tall and the last set of pings (which I was fitted for) were setup at 1/2" long and 1 degree flat. Your height is a factor, but so is your wrist to floor measurement and your swing mechanics.

My iron sets now are all setup at 4 to 5 degrees flat. Going 2 degrees flat may initially seem like a big change, but I bet you’ll go even flatter as you work on your modules. :slight_smile:

You’re gonna love the feel of the Hogans.


I took very long to flatten my clubs as I was skeptical. I practiced with a 6* flat 5 iron for a while. Then I turned a 3 iron 10* flat and that is a real shocker to hit balls with although I still use it for bag drills. Finally I flattened a whole set of old Golden Rams 6* flat 2 months ago.And really did not go through any shanks. Now I need to find a nice wedge to flatten out.

Hey guys,
I bent the Hogan PCs 4 degrees flat after I consistently achieved heel heavy divots to the point that the 9-iron was going 15 yards to the left of my target. Turns out 4 degrees flat isn’t flat enough as I have improved my ability to retain wrist cock at impact. I prefer to take this path…consistently swing flat then bend flat to alleviate the incorrect flight path which is naturally most evident in the shorter, higher lofted clubs. The other way was too frustrating-watching my shots go hard right with a flattened iron that I wasn’t ready for. Personal preference… :slight_smile:

Al Barkow was telling me earlier this summer that he once was discussing this flat concept with Mickey Wright, and she told him she didn’t believe you could ever swing too flat.

Watch some Doug Sanders vids… beyond flat, and he could really flush it.

A flatter swing has many advantages, one of them being that the swing becomes much more pivot driven, and embraces the big muscles of the torso, which then allow us to handle heavier gear, which then increases the f=ma formula for hitters and the
p=mv for swingers. Either way, more mass in the clubhead is always desirable given the same rotational speed.

Arm swings are more easily disturbed by heavier gear, but turning the big muscles of the trunk aren’t as affected by an ounce or two difference in the golf club.

this could be anecdotal, but hear me out…Is it safe to say that if one was having a pretty good hook (on the misses) that
by going from whatever normal was to 2 degrees flat would almost take that hook out of play?

maybe I was just having a good day, but I had to TRY to go left (unless I pulled it of course)…

does this make sense at all?

makes sense… it’s much harder to hook the ball off a flat lie angle… that’s why so many great ball strikers went or gravitated toward a flatter swing plane. It makes good sense and is very practical.

If our clubs are too upright for our swing, the toe will be off the ground at impact and the face will rebound the ball left even though the leading edge is square to the target. Combine that an on-target swing path through impact and you’ll get a pull-hook. Definitely not anecdotal Bentshaft.

I know it’s reasonably common for club pros to upright people’s clubs to get of slices too.

If you do enough module #1 work… you will start to see, or at least have the capacity for a right to left shot shape.

Module #1 goes a long way toward showing us all how flat we can bend our clubs…
If we keep watching our divots, they will tell us what we need to know.

The advantages are clear… and represented well, and documented by many of the greatest strikers. I can attest also from my own experience that a flatter swing plane embraces the body and pivot in a much more natural way, and pulled shots become much more a thing of the past… so you can focus on a much more aggressive release without “left” being a consequence.

Being a relative newcomer I now doubt have missed a great many insightful threads/posts. Would someone like to school me a bit on what a divots can tell me?

Hi Bob,

I think we started a thread a while back on this but it didn’t get to far. I guess my undertsanding is that we are looking for long and shallow divots consistent with a shallow approach and evidence of the path being inside (entry) to straight to iniside (exit) with no evidence of toe heaviness. So we are coming in on the 4.30 line and leaving with our intentions to cut it left. All of these things are in line with Lags model.


Cheers, Arnie

Thank you for your patience. I forgot that I asked the question before :blush: I bent an old five iron “lag-style” and there is a observable difference in those divot than with my playing set (which is bent flat 3 degrees) Longer, shallower (far less chunky) I will look out for any variance in toe heaviness. As I endeavor to flatten my swing’s plane I have noticed something (a sensation at the very least) namely that I feel as though I have go down further with my right shoulder to get to and through the ball. Of course, the divot is shallower than usual! My hands feel as though the are traveling below my knee level! :open_mouth: I posted in another thread about how I am struggling to implement the way Hogan organized his posture in encourage flat swinging i.e. relatively upright torso. Any guidance?

So Lag has mentioned a few times about playing golf from a 45 degree angle. Is that because it’s the perfect middle ground between vertical and horizontal? I kind of like that concept from the perspective of balancing forces. You guys talk a lot about flatter clubs being better, and how they effect flight more than direction- a genius concept I reckon. But apart from spin rate, are there more reasons why it’s easier to hit a 9 iron straighter than it is a 5 iron seeing as the 5 iron is a flatter lie angle. My sense of it was always that because the 9 iron deviated less from the target line it was therefore easier to hit straight than a longer club which had to leave the target line by a larger degree. But using the flat/upright argument this would not be the case. Any thoughts?

Shorter shaft, more loft, tighter swing radius, shorter distance, take your pic. But remember the target is smaller with the nine too.

From where you’re swinging or making contact with the ball, the distance of the shot doesn’t effect your ability to start it on line. I could see the radius and the shaft length making sense though they’re the same thing. And loft would essentially be the spin rate, right? Depending on the ball? So it’s loft/spin rate, and shaft length/radius? I suppose shaft flex and deflection play a part too as they get longer. So then does that 4 or 5 degrees of lie in each club really make that much difference when it comes down to it considering the power the other forces have, ie. radius, spin rate? Any thoughts?

With a balata ball the 5 spins at least as much as the nine so the loft is gonna be a big part. Also I try to make a tighter move with the nine with less lower body going back, so that affects it. The start line I think is pretty similar so the other things and less speed affect it a lot.

Wouldn’t the angled hinge be a consideration as well? It would seem that upright swingers deal with a clubface that is rotating open to closed in a shorter period of time than flat swingers using a more gradual face rotation thru impact. Even the ABS approach involves some timing, but it seems to be less of a factor.

I have to admit though, I have more days now where it seems just as easy to hit a straight 2-iron as it does to hit a straight 9-iron.


Good point, Robbo. The logic of a lot of this stuff is really seeping into my brain these days. I know I’ve played my best golf during the times when everyone told me I was swinging too flat. So of course I’ve worked constantly to swing my arms up higher through my life against my instincts to keep them with my body, and learned to hit it all over the shop. I’m real close to embracing the flat lies so it’s cool to be able to clear out all the questions. Thanks for the input…