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Watch " Ben Hogan Pane of Glass Swing Drill" Video

by Chuck Quinton of


Ben Hogan's concept of the swing plane and his image of a "pane of glass" running from the ball through the shoulders is one that has had a significant impact on the game of golf and golf instruction. Unfortunately, the images from his book "Five Lessons" were a bit skewed because Hogan's left arm never got anywhere near the bottom of that imaginary plane, but the concept is still very important, particularly for one planers.


Study the image below where two shafts stuck end to end represent this imaginary pane of glass at address with a 6 iron. As you can see, this plane is quite steep and I would have to make an exaggerrated movement for my to travel up that plane. But, what does happen quite often is golfers who don't take the club back enough around them during the backswing is that they actually would bump into that plane at some point during the backswing.


hogan plane at address


In the photos below, note how my left arm is working down the target line while I keep the club outside my hands in a classical two plane takeaway.


ben hoganhogan plane takeaway


You can clearly see how my left arm is bumping into the plane and my club is well above it at this point, shattering the imaginary pane of glass. Numerous golfers trying to develop a one plane swing end up in positions very similar to this during the backswing and don't quite understand how much more the arms need to work around the body during the backswing in a one plane swing. Now, let's take a look at how the club should work back during a proper one plane takeaway.


ben hogan golf swing


Note how my left arm has worked into my body is starting to swing around rather than up. I've still kept the club outside of my hands, but my hands have worked much more "in." Remember, "hands in, club out." During the next part of the takeaway, note how the club is still outside my hands, but my left arm is working more into my body and my right arm is starting to bend and work the club and hands behind my body. I'm still no where near bumping into the shaft.


ben hogan takeaway


As you arrive at the top, the hands are well behind the body and my left arm is well below the shaft with my left arm and shoulder on the same plane. In a sound one plane swing takeaway, you should never hit the shaft with your arm or go outside of it with the club, on the backswing or downswing. Use this simple drill to check your swing plane on the way back, especially if you have a tendency to get too steep and lift on the backswing with your arms.


ben hogan top of swing




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