The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby Hogansearcher » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:17 pm

Hi Everyone!

I have been a long time lurker on this site and finally decided to post.
Like many, I have been an avid fanatic of Mr Hogan's golf swing. I have read every book, article, video, films you name it.
I have tried hard to incorporate the fundamentals Mr Hogan has suggested in his books, both Power Golf and Five Lessons.

My question is this.

Lag, do you think the swing technique of Mr Hogan could be taught like other disciplines or do you think Mr Hogan's swing was just something
unique unto himself, his body and that it is unrealistic for even good quality golfers to pursue?

Also, thank you for this truly amazing website with all the information and in depth discussion on the golf swing in general. There really is nothing like it
out on the web.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby LesMurray » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:24 pm

That is the beauty of the ABS program. It allows us average golfers to get a glimpse into how Hogan and many of the other great ball strikers hit the ball.

I liken learning the ABS swing to any path to mastery - it takes dedication and work and it is never ending. It won't take forever to get a grasp on the basics. The drills Lag has developed help you ingrain the motions necessary. And once they become part of your swing DNA they will never leave.

I'm sure you've seen this video but I post it again so that you can see Hogan's swing interpreted through the lens of ABS.

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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby Hogansearcher » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:34 pm

I have seen that analysis. It makes sense.
Mr Hogan's swing did seem to evolve over time. It's my understanding that Five Lessons was written more to the basics of the swing and that he was quoted as saying something along the lines that a complete and comprehensive book of the swing would have been thousands of pages.
This being said, clearly there is a lot of stuff left out of Five Lessons. Larry Nelson said he learned his swing from reading Five Lessons and after starting late in golf, went on to win the US Open. While his swing has some obvious characteristics of Mr Hogan, it's quite different to my eyes.

Larry Nelson talks about meeting Mr Hogan before he won at Oakmont
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... lWNm9Ogdd8

Not sure how to post videos here so they show up and play.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby LesMurray » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:35 pm

Hogansearcher wrote:I have seen that analysis. It makes sense.
Mr Hogan's swing did seem to evolve over time. It's my understanding that Five Lessons was written more to the basics of the swing and that he was quoted as saying something along the lines that a complete and comprehensive book of the swing would have been thousands of pages.
This being said, clearly there is a lot of stuff left out of Five Lessons. Larry Nelson said he learned his swing from reading Five Lessons and after starting late in golf, went on to win the US Open. While his swing has some obvious characteristics of Mr Hogan, it's quite different to my eyes.

Larry Nelson talks about meeting Mr Hogan before he won at Oakmont
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... lWNm9Ogdd8

Not sure how to post videos here so they show up and play.


Post YouTube videos like this: put youtube tags around your url - [ youtube ][/ youtube ] and make sure your url references http and not https. Also, no variables allowed after watch?

It will look like this:

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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby LesMurray » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:42 pm

Great video. I've not seen that one before.

When I look at golfers trying to see how they hit the ball I concentrate on impact and post impact. Backswings and follow-thrus can be all over the place depending on what that player feels best gets him into impact. Just look at a few of the greatest ballstrikers - Hogan, Knudson, Trevino. All very different on the backswing and follow-thru but at impact very similar.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby lagpressure » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:18 am

Hogansearcher wrote:Hi Everyone!

My question is this.

Lag, do you think the swing technique of Mr Hogan could be taught like other disciplines or do you think Mr Hogan's swing was just something
unique unto himself, his body and that it is unrealistic for even good quality golfers to pursue?



It's a good question, and I believe the simple answer would be yes, it could be taught.
The way I see it, there are the critical elements, sub critical elements and relatively cosmetic elements.

What most teachers or pursuers of Hogan's swing miss is that the majority of the positions they seek to emulate are created by the inner dynamic movements of the body, pivot, rotation etc.

One of the legends of Hogan was "the sound" of the strike. It sounded different. The reason it did is not a total mystery but can easily be explained by the relationship between how he accelerated the club through impact, the path it traveled on and the mass of his clubs including the shaft... and how that interacted with the golf ball.

The primary goal I teach or move the student toward.... is to strive to hold shaft flex into impact. This is the difference between hitting and swinging. Hogan was a hitter in the best way. He understood the importance of loading up the shaft through the strike with active hand action.... "three right hands" and "hitting just as hard with the left hand".

Now I would agree that an awful lot of technical stuff is left out of Five Lessons. It's a great book but it's also very incomplete. A very incomplete treasure map so to speak.

For example, if you read and focused on "three right hands" and just hit hard with your hands, you could end up with a very poor and out of sequence golf swing. What he said was correct, but it's missing two key elements in that conversation that would make that work correctly..... loading the shaft and moving or rotating the left shoulder at a pace that is greater than the hand speed.... and at the right time.

So now something simple is now a bit more complicated. Without explanation it is basically left to chance.

Hogan, after his playing days focused on making excellent golf clubs. He didn't focus on teaching the golf swing, or his golf swing. There were no further instruction books. There were spotty interviews, articles, quotes here and there that put a few dots on the treasure map I suppose. I haven't seen anyone link them together in a way that would present his golf swing properly, even in the most fundamental of ways.

Golf swings are a bit like snowflakes, they will always have some individual characteristics because of deviations in human anatomy.... but if a proper distinction were to be made between critical, sub critical and cosmetic elements, that would be a good place to start.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby Hogansearcher » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:00 pm

Lag,

I know from reading here you are not a big fan of spending too much time worrying about the backswing. Do you think Mr Hogan's backswing
was an important part of the puzzle? Do you think the shifting plane of glass was a critical piece?

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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby lagpressure » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:13 am

As far as the plane of glass, I like the idea.... the re route to the inside.... more than the illustration.

The illustration suggests that it's correct to cross it over the line at the top. This is exactly what we see with Larry Nelson.
Probably not a coincidence since Nelson was a devotee of Five Lessons.

But if we look at Hogan, this is not what he did. He did something very different. He flattened the shaft through transition, laid the shaft off so to speak.
So if we stay on focus of "Hogan", then this illustration is questionable in my opinion. There is no question that plenty of major championships have been won with golfers crossing over at the top. Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples, Gil Morgan, John Daly, Nelson all quickly come to mind, with many many others, and there is an argument that crossing over sets up a path along the 4:30 line during the downswing.

But if we look at Hogan, the Hogan swing, Hogan designed his swing to function very differently. By flattening the shaft slightly before and during transition, he safe guarded his shaft from ever going steep or getting OTT. This later was termed "slotting the club".

I remember Al Barkow telling me about a conversation he had with Jimmy Demaret where Al asked Jimmy "what do you think is Hogan's secret?" Demaret replied "Ben just drops it in the slot everytime".

Very few players, even pros are natural slotters of the club. When I say "natural" I mean that no one taught them this. They don't really know the underlaying form of what they are doing. They can't really describe the workings of it, just that it happens. I certainly wasn't a natural slotter. There was something I felt there at times.... when I was really playing well, but it felt more as if the shaft was working inside to my core rather than the way Hogan did it.

Of the thousands of students I have worked with over the last decade, I could count on one hand the number of natural slotters that have come to me. Every one of them a scratch player or better. All of them have been Hoganites to some degree or another and this makes sense if you understand forearm rotation. Hogan was big on forearm rotation, but how Hogan did it was very specific and unique. Based upon Hogan's book Five Lessons, I see it as possible that a golfer could read and study and end up with Hogan's forearm action through transition, but I also see it that it's more likely they would not... or would end up with the crossed over the top based upon the swing plane diagram.

Because I have had many many Hogan disciples come to me over the years, I felt a responsibility as a teacher to learn the technique so I could help them and assist others as well.... but I don't teach things I can't do myself. For me there were a few clues, but certainly no roadmap.... it was a lot of trial and error to come to a point to where I can confidently execute, display, understand and teach this kind of transition to someone who wants to go that route.

Knowing what I know now, I see the logic in Hogan's action and the simplicity of it. It's perfectly logical and actually much simpler than crossing over at the top which requires a significant movement of the right elbow, tucking back in to re route the club back onto plane. That move is actually much more complex and dangerous in my opinion than what Hogan designed for his swing. Much more concise, compact, efficient and potentially repeatable.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby lagpressure » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:22 am





So here is Nelson talking about how he learned golf from Five Lessons and how me met Hogan personally etc.
However, how he transitions the clubshaft at the top of the backswing is the exact opposite of what Hogan did... and I can see this
happening if he simply used the two glass planes as a mental reference.

In the second video, you can see how Nelson works very upright and across the line at the top. It's a very complicated move... much more complicated
than what Hogan did.
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Re: The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

Postby fontaine32 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:34 am

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This says it all really.
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