The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby Hogansearcher » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:40 pm

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Lag,
In the Nick Seitz interviews, some believe Mr Hogan revealed his secret being pronation. Is the pronation basically the same thing as slotting or laying off the shaft through transition?
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby Hogansearcher » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:02 am

Sorry, I meant to post this one,

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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby Hogansearcher » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:44 am

To add, the pronation that Hogan talked about makes sense in one way, but I think there must be a specific sequence to it, no?
Mr Hogan spoke of starting the downswing with the hips rotating first, but this has always been puzzling to me because I don't see it working with the pronation. The hips opening early seems to move the club over the top and puts the shaft in a more vertical plane. Does that make sense? I am probably missing some key point?

Anyway, I don't mean to be asking so many questions, but from hanging around this site for years, you seem to have a more accurate understanding of Mr Hogan's inner workings than most of the other instructors I have read or come in contact with personally. I know you don't teach Mr Hogan's golf swing specifically.

Regardless, I appreciate your thoughtful posts and taking the time to expand on the topic.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby LesMurray » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:14 pm

Hogansearcher wrote:To add, the pronation that Hogan talked about makes sense in one way, but I think there must be a specific sequence to it, no?
Mr Hogan spoke of starting the downswing with the hips rotating first, but this has always been puzzling to me because I don't see it working with the pronation. The hips opening early seems to move the club over the top and puts the shaft in a more vertical plane. Does that make sense? I am probably missing some key point?

Anyway, I don't mean to be asking so many questions, but from hanging around this site for years, you seem to have a more accurate understanding of Mr Hogan's inner workings than most of the other instructors I have read or come in contact with personally. I know you don't teach Mr Hogan's golf swing specifically.

Regardless, I appreciate your thoughtful posts and taking the time to expand on the topic.


I think these two topics are what derailed 5 Lessons as a true book on fundamentals. Firstly pronation - this is a vapor trail of the swing. John can add to this point but I believe that this comes as a result of forearm rotation, wrist uncocking, and the orbit pull. If coming through impact correctly you will have no choice but to pronate the wrists. Where this breaks down is if you early accelerate and loose shaft flex at impact.

As to starting the swing with the hips, I see this as an illusion. Again another vapor trail of a well sequenced swing. I am learning that in order to properly slot the club I need to pressure into the right ankle, a lot. This has the effect of turning the hips slightly, but that is not a conscious move. With Hogan, I think this illusion was even more pronounced because of how he pressured into his right leg at transition. He kept his right leg angle pretty constant in his backswing and into transition and as he pressures into his right leg he has a significant lateral shift left. This pressuring into the right ankle enables the slotting of the club, which he refers to as his "free ride down".

What's really good about ABS is that John covers all these fundamentals with his drills and supplements. He has shown me a drill where I can train this Hogan-style transition as an option to a more Snead-style squat.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby lagpressure » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:58 pm

It’s probably a good idea to break Hogan down into the following:

What Hogan said about the swing
What Hogan did in his swing
What others say he did
What Hogan said about golf in general
What Hogan did outside of golf, personal life etc.

Hogan as we know wrote two books during his playing years.
I don’t see any reason he would go into detail about what he was doing in his swing because
he was still competing. There was no good reason for him to tip off his competition. His books have many points of interest most certainly, but much of it is fairly general and often misleading. My opinion is that I would not hang my hat on Hogan’s books to get to what he was really doing in his golf swing.

I tend to be more interested in what Hogan DID in his swing in an objective way. Not subjective or speculative if that makes sense. To me, that means getting into those dynamics that create what is clear and objective to see, then work backward into the hidden body movements that create such visual and critical elements.

With this approach, I think one has a better way of finding out the underlaying form of what he was actually doing. From my own investigations, which a lot has been inspired by the curiosity of students here and or devoted Hogan disciples, I have uncovered some things that are not easy to see. There are a lot of internal pressures that create the things we all see.

Hogan had a lot to say about playing golf. He made clubs and good ones, but didn’t talk at all about his own clubs he played. This leads me to believe he didn’t talk much about what he did in his golf swing, I mean what he really did. I think he knew he had to be cordial with the public and offer up some swing tips and things. He talked about golf courses, how to play them. He talked about many interesting elements of golf, the tour life, his contemporary players etc. As far as what others say, most of what I read tells me that very few understand what Hogan did. Even top instructors. They teach basic golf swing skills, modern players or even pros, but they don’t understand what Hogan was doing in his swing from what I gather.

The critical things. This should be the focus and I don’t mind discussing some of this stuff here. I’ll shoot some videos soon. I have had a nagging left elbow for most of this year, but it is getting better now, so I think I can swing the club again to demonstrate some of this stuff here soon.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby lagpressure » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:06 pm

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After Hogan slots the club, he transfers weight left quickly which he described as the "free ride down". He never told anyone how to do this nor did he offer drills or exercises to facilitate this move. His devotees are left to dig it out of the dirt... speculate and ultimately fail to understand and incorporate.

The capture above gives an insight into the plane of glass, the real one. Not the one described in his book. It's closer to his belt than his shoulders. I think Knudson described this better as working from the right hip pocket to the left hip pocket.

His rotation through the strike with his pivot is violent. He could do this because he didn't spent his rotation early. His torso and shoulders stay very closed during his "free ride down". He did not rotate his hips open quickly from the top of his swing, he did the opposite. He told people to spin the hips open right from the top, but again he did the opposite.

Hogan did initiate his downswing with the lower body, but not an aggressive opening of the hips.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby lagpressure » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:42 pm

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Here we can see that Hogan doesn't open either his upper body.... nor his lower body as he transitions into the downswing. He moves his hips laterally quite significantly... however, his hips and shoulders basically do nothing as far as rotation. There is a way to do this correctly, but I think he kept this move under tight wraps. It's actually an ingenious move, very well thought out and totally by design I am convinced.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby lagpressure » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:05 am

So here is where we are at, I'll add a couple more things I have in mind to round out the critical elements.

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Shaft flattens out or lays off at transition setting up the shaft to work at right angles to the spine IMMEDIATELY!
Hogan's shaft is NEVER steep.



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Shaft works at right angles to the spine from the transition slot down to the 4:30 line.
Left arm never gets above the shoulder line.



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Shaft works from the P3 pre impact launch pad through impact and low left and around the body maintaining wristcock and right elbow flex
to resist premature closing of the clubface. The quick pivot acceleration is clearly leveraged off the ground as the resisting force. Notice the body
generally moving UP as Hogan is pressing against the ground with both legs.



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Hogan's unusual free ride down initiated by a lateral movement, delaying nearly all rotation of the hips, torso and shoulders.



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Showing the massive lateral shifting of the lower body pulling everything along with it, including the head moving both down and toward the target. Knudson echoed that "the head is not the center of the swing. It goes where it goes".... which is correct.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby Hogansearcher » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:25 pm

Interesting to say the least. How important do you think Mr Hogan's waggle was in setting up his golf swing?
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby lagpressure » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:53 pm

The purpose of the waggle should be to establish the feel of the club, it's weight and lie angle. To get the feel of the pressures in your hands that will need to be applied in the swing. The motion should mimic the path of the swing both back and down and what the player might be feeling at transition. It should always flatten some. It's also going to establish ball flight, curvature and direction as well as angle of attack, divot depth etc. The waggle should also involve pressures in the body, the feet, knees, hips, shoulders, arms. It should also establish tempo and intensity.

My feeling is that the waggle is a very personal thing, and while you could learn some things from studying waggles, I think the waggle will develop more naturally from the golf swing itself. So the better the golf swing, the better the waggle.
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