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Swing Analysis: Jason Dufner and Ben Hogan

Dufner wowed the golfing world with his majestic ball striking at the PGA, and as a Hogan aficionado I thought it would be interesting to look at Jason’s swing and then compare it to the master. It is fairly obvious that Dufner has studied Hogan videos, and he has incorporated the Hogan tempo and rhythm into all of his swings. He also demonstrates the dragging takeaway, the flared right arm, and the stoppage of the right arm in transition, as well as the “hands out” transition move. Dufner diverges from Hogan when he pinches his right arm early in the backswing and has his elbow far less deep than Hogan at left arm parallel, and when he drives the upper arm and elbow in front of his rib cage the hands then approach form well above his original shaft plane. Because of the high approach Dufner’s release action is more complicated than Hogan’s as they have to bend down more to find the sweet spot. However, he has learned to time the release quite well and when he is on he is one of the best ball strikers alive.

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9 Responses to Swing Analysis: Jason Dufner and Ben Hogan

  1. Phil September 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    you would think if he was trying to copy hogan he wouldnt have such a strong grip, flattish wrist, slightly shut face…the pattern looks like golf machine (flying wedges), similar to stuart appleby

  2. Jake Gilmer September 7, 2013 at 12:10 am #

    Hey Wayne, a little off topic here but I heard Dick Mast give you a little shout out today on the champions tour coverage. Looks like you’ve been doing some good work with his swing.

  3. Phil September 7, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    hogan palmar flexed his left wrist at address and stood more upright. dufner looks more angular and bent over and he dorsi flexes his left wrist at address quite a bit so that the hands look much lower.. An extreme example of this is ryan moore

  4. B MO September 8, 2013 at 2:43 am #

    Omg. Wayne, for a minute there I thought my quest to find the shaft plane coming down was over. But alas, you throw in a disclaimer that says because he doesn’t do it exactly like Hogan, he might not be “great”. We’ll have to wait and see. You pretty much conclude that Donald isn’t great because he comes down high. And yet there are a milion (mental) variables at play as to why someone doesn’t get the job done. Sergio was hitting on the shaft plane the year Donald was number one. What happened there? It just seems a little ridiculous to cast a shadow of doubt over his potential based on him coming in high. I mean the greatest of ALL time came in high. Can you do a video concentrating on the shaft plane the way you did with the hands toward ball (out move) video. Also, the greats who did and didn’t come in the shaft plane complied in one video? Is the fact that Hogan did it a certain way make it the the ideal? And any other way is suspect even though greatness has been achieved by other means?

    • Phil September 8, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      i assume you are saying Nicklaus came in high..yeah and it seem to get higher later in his career and he was plagued with injuries. I had a teacher recently put me on trackman. I was hitting 7 irons and he said my VSP *vertical swing plane) was 65 degreed. He said it should be 60. With driver i was in low fifties and he said it should be 45-48. The only problem is that he had no clue as to why my numbers were that way or how to help me corrrect them. he just knew it was above average for good players/ I guess I was wanting to say well I need a list of every guy’s VSP on tour so I can know this is worth working on and I need to know why my numbers are this way and a plan to correct them…

  5. russ aragon September 12, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Good stuff.

  6. John Neeson September 13, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    When talking about Nicklaus and Donald, we are forgetting (again) that full shots are less than 50% of the game. Once a player can hit full shots reasonably long and somewhere on line, to a high standard, it’s pretty much all putting, short-game and mental strength which separates the winners and losers. Nicklaus had the most composed, sensible, clear-thinking and confident attitude of anyone…ever. That’s what made him the best – not whether he planed the shaft or not. When Donald was number one, he was chipping and pitching like a genius and holing everything. When that goes off, he’s nowhere.
    Having said that, I also prefer the shaft-plane approach, but I see it as a product of a lot of other good stuff such as a transition and maintaining body angles at the strike – as opposed to early extension, which is extremely common. Players who plane the shaft at impact also tend to be those who rotate better and exit low and left, as opposed to those who flip and exit high right. All I know is that more players did it in the old days that they do today. That’s due to lighter equipment and more of a modern premium on distance versus accuracy. Hence a lot of people are throwing the clubhead at the ball these days instead of turning and trapping.

  7. B MO September 14, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    I have to say that almost everything I know about golf and the greats I owe to Wayne and this site. I just started seriously golfing in 2010. I hacked around as a kid. I had clubs when I was eight years old. Loved watching Nicklaus, Watson, Trevino, etc but it was just fun recreational thing to do occasionally. It is now a bit of an obsession. The thing is, Nicklaus WAS consistently great. If you made a pie chart that illustrated the elements of greatness, you would have mental toughness, strategic intelligence, guts, experience, natural talent, sound technique etc. Not to mention a good portion allotted to good putting. The statement that it is questionable that he could contend consistently based on the high approach just struck me as so simplistic based on what makes a great player. And its not the first time such a statement has been made here. Jack seems to easily give away the title of greatest ball striker to Hogan or Trevino. It’s almost like he says, “go ahead, give that title to one of these guys. I was the greatest all around.” (Well, he would probably never say that exactly). But that’s the sense I get when I hear him speak on the topic. Listen, I don’t buy Chamblee’s recent rants about “belief”, but could it be as simple as achieving this one position in the golf swing? I know there are a series of things you look for in a golf swing, but this shaft plane approach seems to be one of the most important. If not the most important as it pertains to ball striking. Unless this shaft plane approach is the holy grail? If so, let’s just say so and can we see some videos or a writeup about how to achieve it?

  8. RTT April 25, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Are there any drills/tips/ instructional lessons on this site for us to work on to get our shaft plane lower?

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