Going flat

There was a great article about Hogan in Golfweek maybe 2 weeks ago along those lines Robbo.
I will have to find it somewhere and attach it, but there was some great ‘ABS’ quoting throughout

The one that stood out was David Frost , a Hogan player at the time, met Hogan down the range in DFW area and was hitting some balls with him.
Hogan gave him one of his clubs to try, and Frost could hardly hit it.

[size=150]“I looked at that club Hogan gave me and it sat so flat and felt so heavy I didn’t know what to do with it”
It’s a good read. I will see if I can find it and scan it in here somewhere over the next few days.

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Can you describe the feel one looks for in developing the proper “flat torso rotation through impact”? And how that ties to post impact acceleration - thanks. Slide4ever.

Almost a very timely David Frost reference- I love when stuff like that happens… I was rooting for him

I’ve never worked on golf clubs or components, so this question occurs to me, thinking about how (and with who) to get some old forged irons ('71 MacGregor MT Tourneys (TP9 split soles), more recent Hogan Forged GSs, and another GolfWorks custom-built set from 1981) bent flatter - when the hosel is heated sufficently to bend the lie angle, how could it not always weaken the epoxy bond holding the shaft in place in the hosel? Should the shafts not be removed, cleaned and sanded, and re-installed? I guess I am worried about the integrity of the clubs post-bending if this step is not performed … Anyone ever have a problem with this happening? Also, does the chrome-plate on the forged carbon steel need replacing after heating to bend lies?

Hey Rick,

If you have access to a bending machine, you just bend them without any heating…

Any of the classic forged stuff, you will be fine bending without heat in a loft and lie machine.

Here a few good “ABS style” quotes from that Hogan piece in Golfweekhogfloyd.jpghogtrev.jpghogfrost.jpghogome.JPG

how is the lie of the club affected by the hands at address? if you look at any hogan pictures at address, you’ll see his hands set up “arched” or “bowed down”. It would seem to set up the club more upright. but yet his clubs were very flat. how do you keep the club flat with this set up? do the hands need to farther from the body, do you choke down on the club or make the clubs longer?

cheers, papi

You are correct… Hogan’s hands were higher at address, lower or flatter at impact…

We need to set up our irons for where we are going to be at impact, not at address. Address is a stagnant position void of the forces of movement. Impact is subject to all the forces of movement… CF, shaft flexing such as toe dip (the shaft bowing downwards) radial accelerations and so forth.

The first thing you need to get rid of is any inclination that the golf swing is a “set up” then straight back and straight through motion.

Nothing wrong with feeling the heel of the club up at address, and the toe of the club up at impact… these would be good feel sensations… but you can’t do this unless your body is doing the correct things… just thinking about it is not going to get you there…

:sunglasses: …I like it. RR

This was from a poster named trickyric67 over at the Brian Manzella forum.

‘Zeroing out my swing’ means that the golfer is trying to get his clubface and path as close to 0.0* to the target as they can, measured with Trackman.

Trackman teaches pretty much the same thing as ABS when it comes to ‘swinging left.’ TM measures ‘swinging left’ (or swinging out to the right) with the measurement called the horizontal swing plane. If you’re hitting an iron, one must swing left to ‘stay on plane’ like Lag mentions. This swinging left gets the path (the direction of the clubhead going into impact) square to the target.

So this particular golfer had been working on swinging left and could not do it until he got a flatter lie angle club and then he got the results he was looking for, just by doing that. I found that very interesting. While I still have a way to go when it comes to soundly executing ‘swinging left’, I’ve noticed that even after Module 2, just by going to flatter lie angles that I can visibly see myself swinging more to the left without even working on it, but rather just practicing and playing with lie angles that are 6* flat.


you ABS"ers" will love this shop talk by Trevino, Cook, Jacobsen


Thanks for that post Papi… some good insights from guys that would know…

Here is a stock Wilson driver from the 1940’s set up at 48 degrees. Not something you could find lie wise in a pro shop today. The modern drivers are up over 60 degrees now. some at 63… leaving golfers no chance but to swing too upright.

I’ve been boring out my drivers at 48 degrees for the last couple years, but clearly this is nothing new…


I am a student getting close to the end of M2. I want to go flat with blades and searched for some time to find a set of irons to do that. Being a left hander and in Australia the ability to find something suitable took some time. I thought my quest had been answered when I successfully bid on a set of Golden Ram, Tour Grind, Vibration Matched irons. They looked precisely the same as a set Bradley has in his “garage” sets and were what Tom Watson used to win one of his British Opens. Unknown to me they were two degrees upright so they needed 8 degrees of bending. I was alarmed when I got a call that the 3 iron snapped after 3 degrees change and the a second call that the 5 iron snapped before at a similar change. They did not want to proceed and questioned that they were forged since the break was clearly brittle and crytsaline so I agreed they stop.

My observation confirmed that the break was very crystaline and brittle similar to what I would expect from a “cast” clubhead ( I am engineer qualified and know a bit about metalic structure). A subsequent check on Bradley’s set and the word “forged” is clearly stamped on the kneck of his clubs which was not on my set. A trap for inexperienced players. So…The search continues in Opportunity Shops and on eBay (In AUS.) etc. The issue I am seeking help on is… how do you really know the clubs are forged and therfore bendable? I find old blades such as Spaulding, Wison Sam Snead’s and others that seem to fit the requirements but how do I determine they are genuinely forged? I know some sets have forged stamped on them but it seems to me that many may/do not.

Can someone please give me some guidance regarding what rules really apply when buying vintage forged blade irons?

Most of the pre 1970s branded clubs are forged. I think the older clubs like 50s dont even say the word forged as that was the standard. I have bent a set of Golden Rams with no problems and several other brands with no breaks. In fact my bag beater spalding has been bent 12 degrees and them rebent several times to various degrees(just for fun) and is still strong.

Well, I am a bit nervous but I just got my latest blade set bent 4* flat. That is about as extreme as I was comfortable going without actually being an ABS student. I got a bit of flack from the guys at the golf store too when I picked them up. They said they thought about calling to confirm it is wasn’t a mis-print order.

The industry really makes it difficult for anyone to question modern equipment standards as the workers mostly just appear to be drones. Instead of being open to it and maybe asking for my reason to have 4* flat and having an intelligent conversation, I got a “have you been FIT for 4* flat irons”, “surely that can’t be right, I’d recommend you get a fitting with a lie board again” from both stores I priced the service at. “The OEMs spend TONS on research and they have the lies pretty boiled down by now to where most aren’t far from just standard or should be…” is the only conversation I get.

Anyway, I am leary mostly because I just got into a mini zone last week for about 20 minutes, when I dropped 7 out of 10 shots from 150y onto the green I found myself all alone on. Make things more interesting is the club fitter told me the iron set was set to 1* upright before he bent them. Was I starting to finally “adjust” to standard/upright lie angles since this is all I ever used in my first 10 months? And will I now have a major setback going so flat?

Hey Budman, I adapted to them pretty fast. The trick is to bend at the knees and not at the waist/back. And become an ABS student :stuck_out_tongue: You won’t regret it!
Depending on how ingrained your current, more upright swing is, it may take a longer time.

I get grief every time I go into the shop to have my newest ebay purchase bent flat. I had to establish an agreement with them that if the club breaks in the process I won’t hold them accountable. They never break. If you feel like explaining you can just mention that there are a lot of advantages to swinging flat. You have history on your side.

Playing off 5 flat for 10 months… the idea of hooking an iron shot is so alien to me now. And a draw used to be my standard shot. I literally haven’t hooked an iron in 6 months and I would really have to think about how I could go about if I needed to.

Thanks for the reply. I wish I had read this before I went to range today…

I went to driving range this afternoon so anxious to check this out. Remind you I am still a raw beginner but was starting to see some improvement in consistency of striking with “standard” iron sets I have used. Anyway, yep, I had a setback today with my new flat lies. :frowning: I was pushing 80% of my shots a good 30 yards offline. So it will take some time to re-adjust coming in more closer to body.

I started to mini-adjust by end of session though and from what I saw of the ball-flight on good clean strikes though {well MY “clean”} was ADDICTING! The ball took off like a shot, starting lower, and seemed to climb then come down softly. I was only getting that by accident before with standard irons as the shot seemed to be on a “one-plane” high trajectory. I still was pushing the ball frequently though but not as bad as beginning of session.

I also do not (out of a 100 balls) recall maybe but 1-2 going left of target and those were actually skulled anyways. That is so cool.

I remember trying to bend more at address to correct but it was more at the waist so thanks for the advice of doing it more from the knees. I will try that out next time. But looking at Lag on video he appears pretty upright in his posture and not much knee bend. I feel like the key to flatter at impact is with a new feel of of a “sidearm” pitch that I was experiencing a bit on good shots where as before it felt more “pull down to ball” that you hear often as instruction. Pop instruction IS targeted for upright gear.

Am I on right path?

(And ABS is expensive for me)

Get the torso as upright as possible… rotating as level as possible… and use the knees to lower you into your shot… study 1960’s Knudson. We have tons of stuff in “The Vault” so anyone interested in viewing that are not students… you can PM “Twomasters” for non student authorization.

If shots are going right… you might just be swinging much more correctly and simply aiming there. Just because you think you are aiming at a particular target with your eyes… you very well might NOT be aiming there with your golf swing. All of this is covered in the student ABS work in later modules.

In the meantime… learn to adjust your aiming to where the ball is going off the club with solid feeling well struck shots. That is likely where you are actually aiming.