Sunday, February 21, 2010

3Jack's Top 10 Swings of All Time - #1

When you think of the all time great swing, it all goes back to one man in Ben Hogan.

For better or for worse, all golf instructions winds up pointing back to Hogan or referencing him in such high regard. TGM stresses swing individuality, but any TGM'er can rave about Hogan's swing. S&T likes to reference him. He's the golfer that SliceFixer (aka Geoff Jones) has based his instruction on. Lag Erickson's ABS holds him as the gold standard of swings and MORAD uses him (and Sam Snead) as a primary swing model.

People die to get uncovered footage of him or pictures and put them into YouTube and they are still talking about his supposed 'secret' till this day.

As a testament to Hogan's ballstriker, in the top 10 in the US Open 15 years in a row. And he won it 5 times.

He's a particularly fascinating case because he was more or less a talented journeyman pro who couldn't get rid of his hook to take him over the top. Then when he was bound and determined to rid himself of the hook, he did and his career and ballstriking his mid-30's. Then when he got into a horrible car accident, his swing just continued to get better and better.

And while I still consider Moe Norman they greatest 'pure ballstriker' ever, I certainly wouldn't take offense to Hogan being called the greatest ballstriker ever (I don't think Moe would've minded either).

The other misconception was that Hogan was 'short' off the tee. There was a scientific study that said that Hogan's clubhead speed after he discovered 'the secret', but pre-accident would be at an estimate 122 mph with the driver. The other issue was that Hogan was seen mostly by people after the car accident which basically crushed his entire left side and he was starting to get into his 40's.

Anyway, what can we learn from Hogan?

Well, like other swings in the top 10 I would say a ton of things. But I would like to point to Hogan's right arm. In TGM, Homer Kelley talks a lot about golfers not wanting to run out of right arm at impact. That is, you want plenty of right arm bend at impact. I don't think anybody did it better than Hogan.

And he 'saved' that right arm well past impact as well.

With that much 'saving' of the right arm it almost guarantees a very pivot driven, on plane downswing. And it's not a big mystery as to why Hogan was so good.


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