Ben Hogan: More Swing Observations

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

There is one thing I know about Ben Hogan’s swing: I will never stop studying it because I constantly find new things to focus on that matter a great deal in the search for a truly precise swing model. In other words, if Hogan had the best swing of anyone who ever played (and I think he did) then everything he did is of interest. In this video I go over 3 items that I had previously either missed or failed to emphasize: first, the fact that he started his swing with a combination triggering move that included moving the waist deeper and loading the right hip before he started the club moving. Second, the club at a midway point in the backswing is literally flying backwards, more of a “fling” than a controlled motion. And last, as he always said he did, he hit the ball about as hard as you will see anyone hit a ball. The swings that show this the most are from the Hogan vs. Snead match from the Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, which was filmed in 1965 when Hogan was 52 years old. I’m not sure why I never focused on the speed of his arms and body through the shot, but watching these swings over and over is truly a revelation. So much for “swinging easy”.

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(3) comments

Michael Piccinino January 9, 2012

Wayne :
Another great video! It may be the camera angle, but it seems like Hogan’s elbow position approaching impact is behind the right hip rather than in front of the hip (at 10:52 on the video). Did this enable him to have his right forearm more on the shaft plane?


Jonathan March 26, 2013


At around 9:20 you show the younger and more senior versions of Hogan’s swing, and mention that the angle was more vertical during the earlier years. I understand what you are saying with respect to the importance of the shallowing of the shaft in transition (which occurs in both swings), but am curious as to which of the two swings might be “better” to mimic when rehearsing in slow motion, or when filming my own swing (with respect the the position at the top).

My current swing would be closer to the younger version of Hogan, a bit more vertical, which sometimes leads to a shaft pointing just a bit over the line at the top. Many of the swings that I currently study seem to be closer that of the elder Hogan (Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose)…less vertical and a bit more “laid off.”

I realize that all swings are going to be a bit different, and that you might not teach with this specific wording, but for lack of a better way to ask…what do you teach concerning where the left arm should be with respect to the right shoulder when reviewing a swing at the top (i.e. left arm covers the shoulder like the elder Hogan, or above the shoulder as with the younger?). Since everyone might bend at the hip at slightly different angles, maybe this is more relative than simply asking “More vertical, or more shallow?”

Hope this question makes at least some sense…if not I’ll try re-wording! Thanks for a great site, and for all of your time and efforts!

Leigh September 14, 2014

The notion that the hips precede the club on the way back is consistent with the fact that the hips will precede the club on the way down.

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