Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Look Into the Poll Question: Ben Hogan

The next participant in our poll question 'If You Could Hit It Like One Historic Golfer In Their Prime With Modern Equipment, Who Would It Be?'

Ben Hogan has arguably the most popular golf swing in the history of the game which has been analyzed more than any other golf swing in the world. Mr. Hogan is considered by many to be the greatest pure ballstriker of all time.

There's a lot of talk that Mr. Hogan used a 'single plane' golf swing, but I fail to see it and look at him as another classic double shifter.

There's also plenty of other controversies in regards to Mr. Hogan's swing. He's often referred to as a 'swinger', yet I think he's more of a 'hitter' mainly because of his wish to have '3 right hands' during his swing. I think he was a 4-barrel hitter pattern who used the CP release. Plus there are all of those people who feel that they have figured out Hogan's 'Secret' as well.

While Hogan's swing is beautiful from a technical standpoint and he was a fantastic ballstriker, what tends to draw many golfers to his swing is that Hogan didn't have instant success on Tour. In fact, he almost quit the Tour due to just about going broke since he suffered from a hook he couldn't get rid of. He then was bound and determined to eliminate the hook and when he did, he won 9 tournaments his first year without the hook. He went on to win 9 Majors and finished in the top 10 in the US Open (the ultimate 'ballstrikers tournament') 16 times in a row.

Strangely after a near fatal and near crippling car accident in 1949 which gave him a double-fracture of the pelvis, a fractured collar bone, a left ankle fracture, a chipped rib, and near-fatal blood clots, his swing and ballstriking improved He would suffer lifelong circulation problems and other physical limitations, but learned more and more about the golf swing and improved his motion and improved his results.

Hogan was listed at 5'7" and 140 pounds, but many say he was actually shorter than that. In his earlier days he was a pretty long hitter, even participating in long drive contests. He lost some distance as he got older, but given his size, age and injuries he was quite long with those parameters.

Mr. Hogan gathered information on the swing from greats like Henry Picard, Sam Byrd and Mike Austin. He wrote arguably the greatest instructional book of all time '5 Lessons of Modern Fundamental Golf' and his equipment company arguably made the best blade irons and persimmon woods of all time.


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