Ben Hogan's First Part of the Swing: The Backswing

File Sep 26, 10 55 25 PM.pngOnce you have gotten your hands on the club correctly, and assured that you have your feet and posture prepared to facilitate the forces of your golf swing, you are ready to begin what Ben Hogan called "the first part of the swing;" the backswing.

While most golfers spend countless hours working on their backswings, the basic truth is that the backswing's sole purpose is to set up the movements of the downswing.  Even on the PGA Tour over the years, you have seen thousands of variations of backswings that all accomplish world class shots day in and day out.

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Realizing this, Hogan realized that the primary goal of the backswing should be the efficient accumulation of torque to be used in the downswing.  In today's lesson, Mike Maves and Elk explain how the movements of the downswing are largely governed by the preparations made in the setup, and serve the main purpose of paving the way for a powerful, efficient downswing.

Find out more about Hogan's analysis of the downswing in the vide below:

Hogan realized several things about the backswing:

  • Once the grip is set up properly, and the stance has been taken to introduce the right tension in the legs to prevent overturning of the hips and torso, the "track" for the backswing should largely be pre-set.
  • In the backswing, the belt buckle should be rotated as far as the toe of the trail foot, and the lead shoulder should be rotated under the chin
  • Other than this, the ball can still be hit extraordinarily consistently without manipulation of the hands and arms.  That is, as long as the body is coiled correctly around your core, you should not have to manipulate the hands into any certain position

Next time you are hitting balls, focus on the proper orientation of your feet, and make a few slow motion swings, making sure that you get your belt buckle over your trail foot, and your lead shoulder under your chin.  Practice this move in slow motion, and keep getting repetitions until you feel the same thing in your normal swing.  You will find that your body feels fully torqued, and ready to unleash the power you have stored in the downswing.

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