The Hoganfade?

About 10 years ago I went for a club fitting with my Pro. He was doing a fitting for this really tall guy who must have been over 6ft 6, i am 5ft 6".

The tall guy left and the Pro told me to warm up with the clubs that he had been using, but said

“don’t worry, all you will be able to do with these clubs is hit a draw”

I considered myself to be a bit of a shotmaker back then and said that i would be able to hit him a fade. And he bet me a fiver that i wouldn’t and went off to get some clubs for me.

I hit the first ball, sliding through it with my legs, holding the face of the club open and the ball started fading out to the right as i expected, then it turned back to the left. I couldn’t believe my eyes, i had been playing golf for 15 years and never seen anything like it before. So i did it again with a bigger slide the ball went slicing out to the right then just swung back to the left again. I looked at the club, it looked normal to me, what the hell was going on?? Again and again i hit ball after ball that swung right the turned back to the left.

When the Pro got back he explained what was going on. That the club was really upright and how the lie angle of the club affected the spin axis of the ball and how that in turn affected the flight of the ball. This was all new to me, he told me to go away and buy a Frisbee and experiment with it to understand how spin axis effects fight, and that was it, i was hooked on how important golf club set up is.

Fast forward 10 years and i was at the range the other night hitting balls with a 7 iron bent 7 degrees flat and i swear that the opposite was happening, i was hitting balls that were starting to draw, only for them to fall to the right. I don’t think it was anything to do with the wind cause for a change here there was none.

Is this Hoganfade? I heard that he had his clubs 7 degrees flat.



Great to have you here. Unless I am suffering from false memory syndrome I remember someone telling the story on this thread or in a book about someone having one of Hogans personal clubs and winning money betting players to see if they could hook it - they never could. Hogans personal specs are always a fascinating subject with claim and counter claim. Those published in Jody Vasquezs “Afternoons with Mr Hogan” (swingweight ranging from D1 - D2.5) seem out of line with many others who had personal contact with the man and his clubs. A while back I went under cover on a mission from this forum :laughing: to ask Tom Wishon about this as he had mentioned that he had met and spent some time with Gene Sheely, Hogan’s personal clubmaker. Here is what he very kindly told me in response:

No doubt there is lot more to getting rid of the left hand side of the course than having heavy, flat clubs but it can sure help you develop in that direction I reckon.

Cherrs Arnie


I promise that my story is true, I really did hit balls that flew left to right then to back to the left.

and this week i have hit balls right to left then to the right.

I am not claiming to be original here, If you have read/heard about this before, then it is probably because someone else has had a similar experience to me, probably a long time ago. (and i might be just proving that they were right).

Honestly, i believe that this is all to do with the golf clubs set-ups and spin axis.

I bet you a fiver i could bend you a club you couldn’t hook (or fade, whatever you like). Next time you are in Newcastle give me a call, i could use a fiver. :laughing:



I’m certainly not doubting your story, just a similar experience I remember someone else recounting. Have you tried going flat with some clubs with a little less loft to see how that goes?

Cheers, Arnie


Just some food for thought…I used to be a member of a driving range that was in the process of being sold. So the owners decided not to replace the range balls at this popular spot for over 2+ years…Just before they closed the range was a waste of time because just about every ball would first draw then slice and vice versa…

So I don’t doubt your story either but the range balls could be a factor


This is nothing to do with the balls, i am pretty sure about that.

After i hit the first ball, i thought it was just a dodgy the ball, we have all hit old balls that wonder about in the air.

But when you see numerous balls all behaving in the same way, you realise that something is going on.

Please take the advise that i was given. Buy a Frisbee, throw it straight, and tilt it from side-to-side and see what happens.


Not yet. Just experimenting with an old 7 iron at the minute.


Been reading up on Physics today, trying to get my head around what could be going on with the famous Hoganfade, after my experience the other night with a 7 degree flat club where the balls seemed to have an unusual flight.

For anyone who doesn’t already know. Apparently Hogan could hit a ball that looked like it was going to draw, only for it to fall to the right when it reached its apex; all of the movement was when the ball was falling; it was arrow straight on the way up. And i reckon it has a lot to do with his golf clubs set up.

7 degrees flat!!

And i know we like flat here.

This is what i have come up with.

The early flight of a golf ball is affected by Clubface Direction and the Clubs Path, in that order. A ball flies off the clubface pretty much in the direction that the Clubface is pointing, seems obvious, and is also affected by the Path the Club moves along.

So the Clubface can be Square, Open or Closed. And the Clubpath can be On-line, In or Out. And you can manipulate the ball with any combination of those.

The bit that is not so obvious is the latter flight of a golf ball.

The latter flight of a ball seems like it can be affected more by the SPIN of the ball, this is probably due to the ball slowing down as it reaches the apex and the initial thrust of the clubs strike is acting less upon the ball, then SPIN takes over. Think of throwing a hoola hoop and along the ground and spinning it back, it skids and slides until it slows down, then it spins back only when it loses momentum and it spins back.

A ball spinning on an axis tilted down to the right (as a strike from an OVERLY FLAT club would deliver) will rise and fall to the right as it is pushing air down to the left as it travels and spins. It just takes a while for the spin to take effect or at least to become apparant.

Its not the same as a normal fade where where you would deliver open face and it would start bending right away after it has been hit.

Flat, flat, flat, its all about the flat (i think).

I really should get out more.

My irons are now 6 degrees flat… about as flat as I can go comfortably with my height being 6-0. I think there is some merit to what you are saying… because I have hit some shots that I can specifically recall did the same thing this year… I suspected it was a cross wind up near the green, but I several times I have come to the 215 yard par 3 8th hole at Mare and hit a 2 or 3 iron and felt like a slightly drew the ball, and it was drawing, then came back to the right into the center of the green. I suspected maybe the new golf balls also, or that my ball was slightly out or round.

We can take advantage of flat lies, or the simple geometry of them being flatter. If you think of rotating the shaft back and forth that would normally open or close the face, the flatter your irons, the more that rotation shifts to trajectory issues.

I suspect this is why Hogan was particularly obsessed with trajectory, because his clubs were very flat… so he had direction down, but deviations in his swing or rotary shaft twist would start to affect trajectory more than direction…

Not sure if that all makes sense, but it makes perfect sense to me… if you don’t understand… let me know…

I have bent a three iron (an old spalding Syncro Dyno) to 48 degrees i.e 10 degrees flat and with the reminder at 5 O’clock. I do my bag drills with this club and have also tried to hit balls with it. I can never draw anything with this club and the impact feels like going right through my lower spine. Is there anything bad with that? Can you go too flat??

Sorry i don’t understand.