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Ben Hogan: Leg Movement, Clubface Angle and Release Action

I don’t usually watch the videos I do once I finish and send them off to be processed and eventually posted, but I watched this one over again and I have to say that the information here is new and different and very cool. In a rant against Tiger Woods and Sean Foley a couple of weeks ago Brandel Chamblee made the argument that flat swingers (such as Hogan) had to practice more (where he came up with that idea is anyone’s guess) and that he couldn’t understand why more people didn’t try to emulate Nicklaus’s swing over Hogan’s. I think the fact that Hogan was of such normal (even on the small side) stature and utilized such a powerful, fluid athletic motion, combined with the fact that even Nicklaus (along with most everyone else) recognizes Hogan as the preeminent ball striker of all time make the study of his swing a national pastime among players and teachers alike. I will continue to insist that if Hogan hadn’t been hit by that bus he would have set records that Nicklaus would never have approached.
 
If you have watched any of the lesson videos (online or face to face) you must have noticed by now that two swing issues that crop up over and over are the tendencies to steepen the shaft in transition and to drive the right leg toward the ball, pushing the hips “out of the box”. The focus here is on Hogan’s leg movement, and I primarily use a swing filmed at an odd camera angle to show a different view of his leg and footwork in transition. And corollary to that movement is the focus on the openness of the clubface in the start of the downswing, which I have already found has helped more than a few chronic shaft steepeners to actually shallow the thing instead. Finally, I look at his hand action from the open position on the approach to the bowed left wrist at impact and his full release in the follow through, items that Johnny Miller should study before he makes videos claiming that Hogan cut the ball curling his left wrist “under”, in the opposite direction of what he actually did (whoops-too late). This is pretty neat stuff and I think you will enjoy it.
 

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8 Responses to Ben Hogan: Leg Movement, Clubface Angle and Release Action

  1. steve strobeck April 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Thanks for doing this video Wayne and sharing your continuing study of Mr. Hogan, The results you are coming up with will help many of us, and I hope no one jumps in and tries to take credit for your work. You are the only one I’ve ever heard name Power Golf as Hogan’s greater book, and the photos from that period are his most instructive if you know where to look.

    Please keep these coming. For myself at least I can’t get enough.

  2. John Neeson April 22, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    If one wanted a flat or slightly bowed left wrist at impact, it would seem less complex to aim for a flat wrist at the top and coming down. Whereas, this suggests one should aim for cupped at the top, cupped and open coming down and bowed (supinated?), at impact.

    I tend to think the cupped left wrist was a Hogan peculiarity. He (apparently), spoke a lot about his wanting to keep the club fanned open as an anti-hook tactic. He was quoted as saying that if the club was open coming down, he could release aggressively without fear of hooking. He even suggested at least once, that this was ‘his secret’…(perhaps not ‘the secret’).

    I am more interested in left forearm rotation as perhaps the Grail-path to shallowing the shaft in transition. If you pose a position at most points in the early downswing and rotate the left forearm (clockwise looking down he arm), the shaft flattens markedly, whether the left wrist is cupped or flat. It also has the effect of tucking the right elbow down and in.

  3. Adam Auger April 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    John, I just tried to rotate the left forearm clockwise on the downswing and it’s impossible for me to open the clubface and/or cup my wrist while I’m rotating the forearm. If I rotate the arm the wrist bows. I wonder if this is dependent on the grip and how the arms and hands fold/bend/cock on the back swing?

  4. tim oyler April 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    Good Stuff- I was getting it shut and in, once I opened it then I was able to rotate more and made exiting left easier. I am going to work on getting it more open on the downswing.

    Tim

  5. Sean Ledonne May 23, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    If you look closely you can see the club shallow. The clubhead first covers his left ear then slides down to the nape of his neck. That subtle little 8 inch action sets up 8 feet of steepening. So cool.

  6. russ aragon June 4, 2014 at 6:03 am #

    WD the key here for me is using the “ground” the only way I come close to producing the footwork here is by being able to post up on the back leg. The back leg for me needs to be as wide as Hogans is with his driver. In power golf he illustrates the back leg wide with the irons also. For me this really allows me to get the pressure from the inside back foot to be able to push the back hip deep/back and also maintain the back knee flex and be able to maintain the posted up back leg angle from the front view. The feeling for me is that the back hip is moving towards the target on the backswing then the leg drive followed by the back shoulder and elbow driving down. I hope thud helps. Great job!

    Cheers!

    Russ

  7. russ aragon June 4, 2014 at 6:04 am #

    WD the key here for me is using the “ground” the only way I come close to producing the footwork here is by being able to post up on the back leg. The back leg for me needs to be as wide as Hogans is with his driver. In power golf he illustrates the back leg wide with the irons also. For me this really allows me to get the pressure from the inside back foot to be able to push the back hip deep/back and also maintain the back knee flex and be able to maintain the posted up back leg angle from the front view. The feeling for me is that the back hip is moving towards the target on the backswing then the leg drive followed by the back shoulder and elbow driving down. I hope this helps. Great job!

    Cheers!

    Russ

  8. Tom Hurst January 7, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    Wayne —— Can you explain to me WHY Hardy insists on labeling Hogan a on planer and at the same time INSISTS that leading the downswing with the right elbow is DEATH MOVE——–THANKS tom hurst

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