It would be a massive understatement to say that Ben Hogan was ahead of his time in terms of the golf swing. Saying that Ben Hogan figured out a thing or two about the golf swing would be like claiming that Mozart knew a thing or two about how to write a jingle.
In a time before Trackman, Swing Catalyst, and various emerging 3d motion capture technologies, Hogan revolutionized the way the masses viewed the golf swing, and continues to heavily influence swing theory to this day. Without the presence of today's fancy technology, Hogan was forced to, as they say, dig the secrets out of the dirt.
Today in Secret Instruction, Hall of Famer and Ben Hogan contemporary Jackie Burke, Jr. explains how Ben Hogan got himself set into every shot, and how the first move of Hogan's takeaway set his weight and pressure in motion to ensure that his golf swing was governed by the big muscles in his lower body.
Find out more in the video below:
To begin his takeaway, Ben Hogan initiated a subtle but crucial move. Mr. Burke summarizes it with several key points:
- Hogan began the process with a series of waggles, keeping his hands in constant motion to relieve tension from his hands and arms and prepare them for the proper motion.
- Directly before taking the club away, he would press his hands forward, and initiate a slight opening of the hips. This momentum would often draw his right heel completely off the ground.
- From there, the momentum he intiated with the forward press and bump of the hips would swing back into his right knee and foot, planting the right heel firmly into the ground, and creating pressure and stability into the right leg. The hands would simply follow the momentum established by this series of movements in the lower body.
As Mr. Burke indicates, the fallacy is that the club is swung by the hands. In reality, the club is only felt by the hands. The big muscles in the legs and torso are the motor of the swing, and the hands and club follow their movements.
While the argument is often made that Ben Hogan would welcome the additional data offered by the technologies of today, the truth is that his greatness was cemented 70 years before most of it has even been dreamt of. The term "genius" hardly does the visionary golfer justice.
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