3D D-Plane Video

This page will contain links and videos to help explain what the D-Plane is and how the D-Plane works.

Testimonials about the Complete D Plane Video:


Great job by you both – Essential viewing for those who have a vague idea about D-Plane, 3D ball flight and club data – it certainly helps with clarity. — Martin Park, Denmark


I’m very proud to present to you a collaboration project with Mark Strong (CPGA) and myself called the Complete D Plane. This $15 video will provide a very detailed description of what the D Plane is and how it is constructed with the help of 3d imagery. Here’s a teaser video from YouTube:

The video is formatted for either Windows Media Player or Apples Quicktime. It is NOT formatted for mobile devices such as IPads. You can purchase the $15 Complete D Plane Video by clicking on the Buy Now PayPal button below:

Once the video is purchased, the video links will be emailed out within 24 hours (usually much less than that)

Below is a list of links to blog posts on the D-Plane:

D Plane for Golf

D Plane – How it Helps

How to Hit an Iron Shot Straight – D Plane Style

Straight Iron Shots – D Plane Style – Part 2

D Plane Speech to PGA Section

D Plane?

D Plane in the Bunker

D Plane for Uphill Lies

New Ball Flight Laws Diagram

Download for aim adjustment based on D Plane bottom vector changes.

Video Companions for D Plane Chart Download


Here are videos created by James Ridyard http://www.golfperformancelabs.com that show what the D-Plane would look like for some tour players shots.  These are not an exact representation but I think display the idea very well.

Thank You James.

Video Files Undergoing Surgery

Here are some videos I made to help:


  1. Jim says:

    Can you please tell me why this matters? seriously, I do not see why anyone other than a physicist would need to know this. It does nothing to my understanding of the golf swing

  2. Jim says:

    or my ability to shape shots, or understand how to shape them. At some point there will be such a loss of power from a glancing blow that this stuff doesn’t matter anyway

  3. John Graham says:


    It explains what happened when the club and ball collide with each other. It explains why the ball flies the way it does and why the ball starts where it starts. It explains what needs to happen to work the ball and hit it straight. Does my explanation need further refining? True, it doesn’t tell you how to do either of these things but it will tell you what is happening whether you feel it or not.

    A glancing blow still follows the D Plane also.

  4. Kevin Kaye says:

    It explains why the ball does what it does based on the club face to plane relationship.

    Understanding it helps you figure what you have to do to make the ball accurately curve a certain way.

  5. John says:

    John could you please explain to me how you determined the blue line that you have on the triangle under the Clubface loft of the club. How have you deterrmined the degree angle for this and is it the same for all clubs.
    Thank You

  6. John Graham says:

    John could you please explain to me how you determined the blue line that you have on the triangle under the Clubface loft of the club. How have you deterrmined the degree angle for this and is it the same for all clubs.
    Thank You

    Great question. That blue line is an estimate. A bunch of math would have to be done to accurately compute where that would be for each collision. I don’t know the exact degree angle and it does change for different clubs and club head speeds. Generally speaking, the loftier clubs create the most friction and would have a ‘blue line’ that is lowest relative to clubface normal.


  7. daga diego says:

    Thanks for all your videos and explanations about the D plane. I would like some clarification if possible. Is the angle of attack at contact with the ball at right angles to to the radius of the cirlce that is on the plane?

  8. John Graham says:


    The swing is not a circle so no.


  9. Russell says:

    After years of struggling to hit DOWN on iron shots I now know WHY I should hit down. It gives me a REASON to hit down and gives me the REASON for the expected result. Setup and aiming is a cinch when you are armed with this knowledge. I was able to fix my iron swing in one practice session after watching these vids. Thank you. This website changed my life.

  10. John Graham says:


    Wow! I don’t know what to say. Glad to hear this helped and let me know if there is anything I can help you with.

    You just made my day.


  11. Andy says:

    Could you explain the angle of attack a bit more? What is it a measure of? Caould you also give me a deffinition for “The D Plane”

  12. John Graham says:


    Angle of attack is simply the angle the club is coming into the ball relative to the ground. How much down or up the swing is doing at the ball.

    D Plane definition would be it ‘D’escribes the plane that is created at the ball by the 3d direction of the face and the 3d direction the club head is moving just past impact before the ball comes off the face.


  13. Andy says:


    In your video’s describing the d-plane you use the triangle with the blue line on it. You said that with a less lofted club like a driver that the triangle would more or less be smaller, because there is less loft on the clubface. I take that to mean that the directional flight of the ball will be influenced a greater amount by the face when using more lofted clubs like a wedge or 9-iron than it will when using a driver, maybe 80-85% for the wedge. I would also take that to mean that the face would have less effect on the directional flight of the ball with a driver. Maybe 55-60%

    If this is correct then I am unclear on a few videos that you have on you tube depicting tour players and the d-plane. Take example the Sean O’Hair clip. After he makes impact you put up the triangle that I mentioned earlier. On that illustration the blue line and the top of the triangle are almost together. Why? Does it have to do with the amount of club head and initial ball speed that is generated by tour player and better players?

    By the way I was at the AMF seminar about social media that you presented at. Thanks for all of the valuable information; I plan on implementing some of it into my own teaching business.

  14. John Graham says:


    It’s true that the triangle would be smaller with a driver because the loft angle would be closer to the paths 3d direction. However, that blue line can change its location on the triangle based on the amount of friction between the face and the ball. It turns out that, typically, the friction created by the face and the ball is greater with a wedge than a driver. Not the compression but the friction So, the initial direction of the ball is more greatly influenced by the driver than the wedge.

    Thanks for coming to the social media talk. Let me know if I can help in any way.


  15. Levy says:

    Knowing that I have to swing left to produce a straight shot, how do you avoid coming over the top and still hit from the inside? Would the Inside Approach help me in anyway to learn this D Plane? I am very interested in learning this. Thanks!

  16. John Graham says:


    A couple things. First, swinging left only applies for downward angles of attack.

    Secondly, it depends on your current ball flight shape. The amount left to hit a straight shot will still feel pretty darn straight to many but it depends on where you are coming from.


  17. jake says:

    Fifty odd years ago I learned that a straight shot requires a downward slightly inside out path coupled with a slightly open face at impact. I understood the reason to be that the clubhead rotates during impact, and that ball direction is determined by face direction at the instant of club-ball separation, which occurs 5 milliseconds after impact, according to authorities. Am I wrong about this?

  18. John Graham says:


    Sadly yes. The Golf Machine answer was very very close but high speed cameras and radar technology have proven that incorrect. The amount of rotation that occurs while the club is on the ball is virtually insignificant and shouldn’t really be considered. The face direction at the balls greatest deformation is what will determine the majority of it’s initial direction.


  19. jake says:

    Thanks John. I am sure you are right as a matter of science, but I will tell you that trying to hit as described above does make the ball go straight when I hit on the center of the face. All this suggests to me that golf clubs are designed to create straight shots when the player swings through an arc tangential to the target line. It also suggests that Ernest Jones and Peter Coker are right about what a golfer should attempt to do. Any thoughts on this?

  20. John Graham says:


    I have no issue with any feel that creates straight shots. As long as we know what is really happening relative to what we are trying to do. Keep doing anything that creates what you want and if there suggestions work for you, go with it.


  21. Bob Patton says:

    Hi John,

    I just had my Saturday lesson with my coach Doug Diemer here in Long Beach California.
    He introduced me to your research and the details included therein.
    I play pretty good for an “Old Fella” but hope to improve even more. Currently at the age of 74(2 hdcp).
    More later

  22. John Graham says:


    Thank you so much for reading.

    You inspire me to work harder with your last comment.

    Very Impressed.

    Make it a great 2011.


  23. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What a great web-site.

  24. John says:

    Hi John, One question. If my swing path is in direction of my target line but my clubface open then the ball will start out to the right (push) and then curve to the right down the track. If my swing path is to the right of my target line and the face is open to my path then the ball will start out to the right (push) and then curve to the right. If I am correct in the two comments above then am I getting the same type of result with both. Your website and articles are excellent and I thoroughly enjoy reading and learning. Thank You John. From John

  25. John Graham says:


    Both of those are correct.

    They would be the same type of shot but not the same shot. They would start in a different place, assuming centered contact, and potentially land in different places depending on the relationships.


  26. John says:

    Hi John. Could you please explain how the D Plane would be for a ball that take off in line to the target and then curve out to the right of the target.

    Thanks John

  27. John Graham says:


    Depending on the club, the face would be almost at the target at impact but ever so slightly right of it with a path left of the target. Assuming a centered hit.


  28. John says:

    Hi John, Would you kindly explain to me how to work out the aiming adjustment on a 270 yard drive from the table that you used to come up with aiming 9.5 yards to the right. I am not sure the formula of how you actually calculatde this.
    Also John, thank you very mucg for your precise answers to my questions and the quick time that it takes you to return your comments. This is outstanding and credit is due. John F.

  29. John Graham says:


    The .0175 number is the sine of one degree. If you want a more real world answer it is the distance in yards of 1 degree on a circle with a radius of 1 yard.


    Radius = 100 yards

    Diameter = 2r or 200 yards

    Circumfrance = D(pi)= ~600 and some yards

    1 degree on circle in yards = ~600 and some/360

    That answer is 1.75 yards

    Hope that helps.


  30. John says:

    Hi John, In one of the videos above it states that to play a straight shot you have to have the target line/swing path (plane) and clubface all aligned in the same direction. The in the video where you show the hula hoop regarding the aiming chart it says that to play a straight shot with a plane angle say 45 degrees and an angle of attack 1 degee you then have to ajust the swing path that same amount to the left. If i am correct in what I have said is this because of the plane angle and angle of attack compared to what I mentioned in the first video that I mentioned. I hope that this makes sense. John

  31. John Graham says:


    In the example from the first video, the Angle of Attack was zero (the bottom edge of the triangle).
    The angle of attack in the other example was 1 down so the club is still moving out until it reaches it’s lowest point.
    If the Angle of Attack is zero, the swing plane angle won’t matter. Once the angle of attack is positive or negative and adjustment will need to be made to account for that.

    Hope that helps.


  32. John says:

    Hi John, you have been so helpful and very much appreciated. I am now really get a good overall picture of the D Plane. One more question if I may. It is in reference to my last question and answer concerning the AoA and plane angle. In regards to my last question that you answered for me does this make any difference when trying to play a pull fade and a push draw in regards to the angle of attack and how much one has to allow? hope that this question makes sense. Thank you . John

  33. John Graham says:


    You are very welcome. Happy to help.

    Yes, it does matter in terms of how much of an adjustment would need to be made for the golfer. If they wanted to hit a curved shot (pull fade or push draw) assuming the same plane angle, a golfer with a steep down angle of attack will have to swing/aim more left than the player with less angle of attack. The opposite is true for hitting a push draw.


  34. John Graham says:

    “Hi John, great to have found your blog, I’m going to be spending several hours here for sure, but I really want to ask a question (yes, I know it’s cheeky!)

    I’d appreciate it if you could define geometrically the proper way to hit PUSH-DRAW with a driver.

    Can you please crunch the numbers for D-plane (trackman stats) for a PUSH-DRAW with a driver hit at +5° assuming the feet are SQUARE to the target line.. I figure you’d need to be “swinging out” with the base of the plane pointed considerably right of target?

    Thanks in adv…..”

    Golf Happy,

    If we assume a vertical swing plane of 45º and a push draw that lands at the target assuming a centered hit, there are many combinations that would accomplish this with the only stated variable of +5 AoA.

    Here is one such combination:

    HSP +8 creating a club path of +3 because of the +5 AoA and 45º VSP. Match that with a club face of +2 (for right handers) and you will get a push draw that lands at the target.


  35. GolfHappy says:

    John, thanks so much. I can tell you that my question was based on a recent comment I read where someone had said their swing had been ruined by ‘swinging out’ which I considered a bit strange as the only way I can figure a push-draw with a driver is with a large HSP angle….. just found out earlier that McIlroy ‘swings out’ with a HSP of 10-13°… so that’s the ‘swinging out is bad for you’ theory down the toilet! :) Obviously with an iron it’s not necessary as the ball is hit on the back side of the circle.

    Thank you for your time and consideration of your reply… maybe you should do a push-draw DRIVER video for Youtube? I couldn’t find one anywhere (fingers crossed you don’t already have one and I missed it!!) Ha!

    regards… and a Happy 2012

  36. Jon says:

    Great explanations of the D plane. On fades and draws with irons-for a fade is the clubface open at setup or open just a little pertaining to the path at contact. And just the opposite for a draw. Or is the only shot the pull fade and the push draw? And because the short irons have a more a descending blow, are the divots more left than lets say a longer iron(4 iron)?

  37. John Graham says:


    The face can be pointing anywhere at address. The fade is anytime at impact, the face is pointing right of the 3d path (assuming a centered hit) and for a draw left of the 3d path. Fades and draws can have any starting direction.

    Your questions about short irons is a good one and needs a little more explanation. Generally speaking, the answer is no. The reason is because the plane angle is steeper. As the plane angle gets steeper, the amount of right in the 3d path caused by the more down is less. For example, if I swung like a ferris wheel with a perfectly vertical swing plane, regardless of how much down I had there would be no out in the swing. Let me know if that makes sense.


  38. matt says:

    Does the bottom line of the triangle change throughout the swing?

  39. John Graham says:


    Absolutely, the bottom part of the triangle which represents the angle of attack is constantly changing throughout the downswing.


  40. Paul Byrne says:


    What a fascinating subject. Many thanks for making all your material available on the internet. My understanding of the ball flight laws has improved immensely since I first found your website a few days ago. I don’t think anyone explains it as well as yourself.

    The information on the straight shot was a revelation to me, and I can see that a good understanding of the D Plane will help people to become more precise in shaping their shots.

    I have read your blog article on how to curve the ball the right amount. Do the numbers from Trackman in your article apply to both the push draw and the push fade? I expected to see a different numbers for each taking into account the effect the ‘angle of attack’ of respective clubs into the ball has on the clubface angle at impact, and as you have said so yourself it is easier to fade the ball than to draw it?

    Secondly, can you give advice on how far to the right or left of the ball to target line should the golfer aim the clubface with each of the respective clubs to produce a push draw or fade? What would be the minimum and maximum offset angles you could use?

    Lastly, what is the main factor in causing the ball to hook or slice?

    Keep up your excellent work.

  41. John Graham says:


    I sent you an email with a link to download a chart that will help answer some of your questions.

    The main factor in causing the ball to curve is ball speed and axis tilt of the ball.


  42. john deignan says:

    Maybe off topic but I always hear about blades being more workable than cavity backed CB irons. If hit on sweet spot, is there any truth to this? It seems that a ball would react similarly on both. While pros tell me you can’t spin a modern ball with a CB iron, I can bring them to any range and show them 20 handicaps moving the ball 20-30 yds left to right without much athleticism (albeit uninitentionally).

  43. John Graham says:


    They (CB irons) do have a higher MOI which will help reduce gear effect on off center hits (toe to heel) so in that regard they won’t curve as easily but in terms of solid hits with no gear effect curving is the same. It can be real interesting when talking about vertical gear effect though and in that regard, CB irons will reduce the amount of spin which in turn reduces the curve.

    In a small way, I do think CB irons, with all things being equal, will curve less slightly.


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