Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Final Missing Piece to Hogan's Puzzle

A book I plan on reading and reviewing in 2010 is 'The Final Missing Piece to Hogan's Puzzle' by VJ Trolio. Trolio is a pupil of Lynn Blake and worked with Lynn on his fabulous DVD 'Alignment Golf.'

Here's a little advertisement for Trolio's book.

I'm very interested in this book for a few reasons, but mainly the lower body action of Hogan.

I'm actually a believer that Hogan did not have a secret that he really knew of by the time he retired. I think his secrets were later revealed, but when he first started mentioning 'I have a secret', I believe he didn't want to reveal anything as he didn't want the competition to catch up to him.

However, I do feel there were some things that Hogan did that were very instrumental to his ballstriking success and perhaps he didn't fully realize them. That's where guys like Mike Maves (torqueing of the feet) and VJ Trolio come in.

One thing I do believe Mr. Hogan had was the majority of his weight on the left leg at the top of the swing. Just take a look.

This is also one of the key parts to the Stack and Tilt swing.

That being said, I think the entire 'weight on the left side' is a tad misinterpreted. IMO, I think the key is keeping a decent amount of flex in the left knee at impact with 90% of the weight on the left side at P7. Getting the weight on the left side at P4 is more or less an easier 'means to an end' because obviously there have been tons of great golfers who didn't have the majority of their weight on the left side at P4. Doesn't make them right or wrong because what they do at impact and how consistently they can do it is the name of the game. But keeping the weight on the left side at P4 will likely keep that left knee flexed and 90% of the weight on the left side at P7.

So, why should there be left knee flex at P7? Because you don't want to start rotating your hips too soon on the downswing because that will almost guaranteed an over the top move.

Looking back, the entire 'posting up on the left leg at impact' may be one of the most harmful pieces of instruction I've ever been given.

Obviously, you'll get people asking 'what about the Hogan video where he says you should just turn the hips on the downswing?'

My belief, at this moment, is that because Hogan had weight on the left side at P4 and had a very flexed left knee throughout the downswing, he could simply just try and *feel* like he was rotating those hip on the entire downswing, but in reality his hips were tilting forward and then rotating at impact and beyond. Take a look at this pic of Hogan.

To me, it looks like Hogan has clearly moved his hips and legs more towards the target than just rotating them on the downswing. But, let's take a look at him from the DTL angle.

Here you see a little more rotation of the hips (and this may have been from before his accident), but still not a *ton* of hip rotation here.

Should also be noted that the hips shouldn't actively slide, but I believe it's more of a lean into the left side. So it's my belief that Hogan had the majority of the weight on the left side at P4, then he basically leaned even more into the left side on the downswing, but really felt like he was turning the hip the entire time.

Try this yourself. Take an address position and then just lean your weight into your left side while having the left knee flexed and you will find it very difficult, but not impossible, to rotate those hips.

Next, let's exaggerate this a bit and take a swing and try to get about 80% of the weight on the left side at P4. When you exaggerate this, you will find it nearly impossible to not have the left knee flexed quite a bit. So, if you can just keep that weight on the left side to impact, you will have the overwhelming majority of your weight on the left side at impact with a flexed left knee. And you will also find it very difficult to spin the hips and hit a swipe (I refer to it as 'spin & swipe').

Again, I don't think this applies for everybody. Somebody who tends to get underplane and still gets the majority of their weight on their left side at impact probably don't even need to bother much with this concept. But if you have occasional over the plane problems or constant over the plane problems or you tend to hit it high because too much weight is on your right side at impact, then you should probably check this out.



Kevin said...

One of my favorite books and the pivot I am trying to emulate. Whether it was Hogan's secret, who knows, but it's a wonderful tool for learning.

Looking forward to your thoughts!


NYC Lagster said...

I've been working on a similar piece for my blog. I'll have it up by the end of the week.

Dave @ Mud Ball Golf Blog said...

Sounds like that having weight on left leg at top of backswing is key - but Hogan started putting weight into the back leg on the backswing and then seems to slide hips and weight forward before he reached the top of the backswing... see this video clip I'd be interested in your views here. Hogan seems to send weight back before it comes forward. That doesn't seem much different to most instruction? i.e. Jimmy Ballard would reference this as coiling into braced right leg.

Rich H. said...

To me Hogan rotates the hips and sort of 'swings' then back to the right leg, but at about P3 he immediately starts moving the weight back to the left side and then keeps steadily leaning into the left leg throughout the rest of the swing.

Mike Maves does this as well. However, I have tried to do it without any success, so I'm thinking I need more of a S&T lower body (weight on the left side from the beginning and just keep leaning left) in order to achieve this.

The reason why I mention this is when I was swinging really well back in May/June, the only issue I had was the occasional 'spin and swipe' and occasionally getting above the plane. I think this helps eliminate that issue and only helps with consistency and accuracy.

Like I posted, getting a bent left knee and about 90% of the weight on the left side at impact doesn't really matter *how* you do it, it just matters that you do it and do it consistently.

Anonymous said...

Does VJ say he is a pupil of Lynn Blake?( or vice versa?)

Lynn's site does some over -reaching in claiming students.

Kevin said...

As Rich mentioned, VJ released a DVD with Lynn Blake called Alignment Golf. Nobody is "claiming" anything.


Greg Brown said...

I ordered the book from GSN today, been meaning too for a while and decided I could add my thoughts when Richie does.