Ben Hogan’s Secret

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

Anyone who has spent any time studying the swing of Ben Hogan knows about the “secret” that he allegedly came up with in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s that he suggested turned him from an erratic hooker of the ball into a ball-striking machine. The problem is that Hogan never really revealed exactly what he meant…

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(9) comments

Clinton Stewart July 1, 2011

Wayne,

Great stuff. Thank you very much for the video. Question: the flex in the right leg — I have a tendency to stiffen, a pretty common issue I think, but I’m not sure if that stiffening is actually due to something else (i.e., a symptom) or if right knee flex is more of a root-cause or driver for other issues in the swing? Not seeing my actual swing, I know you can’t comment specifically, but since you mentioned that flex and talked about it being a key indicator in this video (and I see it in virtually all good players), I thought I’d ask if there are any specific drills or swing thoughts you use to maintain that flex in your own swing (other than “keep your right knee flexed” :)?

Thanks again, Wayne.
Clinton

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Jeff July 1, 2011

Different Methods but is this essential the shaft movement Tiger was trying to attain at the 2010 Master’s? When I saw this video I kept thinking of his practice swing …. Could this explain why Harmon seems to teach “out and away” to achieve a position that would allow for a shaft to steepen through the ball?

I can’t express how much I enjoy your website. Thank you for all your work.

Jeff

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steve strobeck July 1, 2011

Thanks Wayne for sharing the results of your diligence and expertise. Most of us could never discern on our own what you provide for us. I know that you will continue your study of Hogan and we all look forward to further revelations. If there is such a thing as a doctorate in golf swing research and analysis, you qualify.

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Donagh Corcoran July 1, 2011

Ive been trying out hogans technique since I was a kid. My dad had an ancient old copy of The 5 Fundamentals which was given to him by an old friend when he started playing in the 70s. I learnt how to play golf from that book. My swing looks nothing like the great man and never will. Since youtube came along I began scrutinising his swing as much as I could and trying out different things I thought was his secret. The thing is, I don’t think his secret is possible to pass on as if it were the “Holy Grail”. I think every great player has there own secrets which work for them but I think you need to find your own secret. The way to do this is as Hogan said he “found it in the dirt”. Having said that The more swings I watch on this site with Wayne’s lateral thinking style of analysis the closer I feel I am getting to my optimum swing. Nobody can swing exactly like hogan. But you can take a bit here and a bit there and mix it up with your abilities and natural tempo and physical restrictions or advantages. And if you never get anywhere… well at least you had fun in the process.

I just tried that right forearm move with a few swings on the patio and there is no way in hell I would ever have the time to master that. It is amazing how hogan did everything that he did in that swing and managed to keep it all together in every swing. What a talent… It mind boggling!

Great stuff Wayne very enjoyable.

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Brian Ratcliff July 17, 2011

Wayne,

One very interesting thing I see about Hogan’s start down is how far laterally his head moves. I have been having a really hard time clearing my hips 45* while keeping my head still. Watching Hogan slide his head forward along with his left hip may be a key to accomplishing this with less strain and difficulty. Thoughts?

Thanks… LOVE the site.

Brian

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Michael Piccinino November 21, 2011

Wayne,
I’ve watched this many times and in addition to the right arm movement outward, it’s striking how early Hogan’s weight is shifted to his left side. It seems as if he is centered over his left leg before he completes his backswing. When I do the drill from my last lesson starting with my weight in the impact position , I hit it great! As soon as I move to my normal setup, my contact is inconsistent. Should the drive 45 diagonal start before the completion of the backswing?

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Allen Parkes December 16, 2014

I would say the bio mechanical guys agree with your dissection of Hogan’s secret.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuJaSM7Kexw

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John January 26, 2015

Wayne
I came across on Youtube the swing of Aussie pro Frank Phillips from the 60s.
He seems to do everything you recommend. Is there anything you dislike about his swing?

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Charles December 3, 2015

Do we know how a driver swing looks from dtl? In other words, does it steepen as much and at the same points in the swing as this iron dtl?

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