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Swing Analysis: Ben Hogan Face On With the Driver 1947

Hogan won 30 tournaments in the years 1946, 47, and 48 (and won two majors in 48), before the bus hit him in early 49. It is my belief that he had his game and his swing pretty much grooved, and that had he not had the accident his record in the decade of the 50’s and into the 60’s would have made him the greatest player of all time. My bet is that Hogan would have won upwards of 25 majors and over 100 Tour events. He was always the hardest worker amongst all the great players, and he would have had no physical limitations to the amount of tournaments he played in. As it was, he barely played at all after the accident and won his last major in 1953.
 
This swing is from a newsreel that was shown in movie theaters shot at Augusta National in either 1947 or 48. This is Hogan at his peak. He was extremely long for his size, but he had learned to control his tendency to hook the ball every now and then and preferred a straight ball or a slight fade, which he was able to accomplish by cupping the left wrist at the top and keeping the face open longer into the downswing. There are a bunch of cool things to look at in this beautifully shot slow motion swing, and as I watching it again I figured I would just do a video. Enjoy.
 

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8 Responses to Swing Analysis: Ben Hogan Face On With the Driver 1947

  1. Jesse Cavanaugh March 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    This has always been my favorite Hogan swing. I’ve imitated that “walk after it” move a million times and nobody has any idea where it comes from.

    This appears to be maybe the same day as the DTL iron swing that you first analyzed of Hogan. Cool video

  2. Clint March 7, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    Not sure how much Nicklaus talked about modeling his takeaway after Hogan’s, but this video definitely shows Hogan doing a couple of things that Nicklaus went on to do: Hogan is very wide early in the takeaway, much more so than I had noticed in previous videos. Hogan also swivels the head just as he starts the club away. I know the down the line view would show Hogan much more up the plane, while Jack snatched it inside. But in this face on view, from takeaway to shaft parallel, there’s a strong similarity in “the look”. Beyond the mechanics, both also have the strong appearance of serious intent, as in, I’m gonna smash the feathers outta this ball.

  3. Larry Rogan March 7, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    Thx Wayne D. I have been a Hogan devotee forever and I get enough of your analysis.
    Hogans motion is so fluid. Comment more if you can about the transition. Specifically the moment his body seems to fall to the left on the downswing. As you said he loads into the the right through the ground. It seems that another reloading into the left is like gravity just allows him to fall into the left side during the downswing. Also. Why is it so important that the gluteus engage through this reloading and release sequence to followthrough. Keep up the great work.

  4. Christian Mauer March 8, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    Wayne, you mention his superb grip. I tried your approach to the grip per your pivot compression video and you suggest sliding the handle of the grip down from the center of your palm to just above the base of the palm where there’s a layer of skin between it and the beginning of your fingers. When I try this the club feels like it’s more in the palm of my left hand versus my fingers. Do you think the left hand grip is more a palm grip or finger grip? Can you still have a strong left hand grip if it’s more in your palm?

  5. steve strobeck March 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    Great footage I’ve not seen before. I imagine footage of the iron swing from the front is not to be found, but perhaps you could do something similar with another iron swing from that, or any, period.

  6. Ben H March 10, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    Hi Wayne,

    Surely an analysis on Patrick Reed is due as he is now one of the top 5 players in the world ..!??!

    :-)

  7. Tony Light March 11, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Heard Peter Thomson speak at the Australia Club in Melbourne, about late 90s. The question was asked “can you tell us a bit about Ben Hogan?” (Thomson played with him on US tour for 3 years).
    Thomson’s reply was that he was an absolute perfectionist, immaculately attired and presented at all times, that he was by far the best ball striker he ever saw, (and also that he had not had the privilege of a substantial formal education and was very aware of this).
    He finished his remarks by saying he saw Hogan as the greatest golfer of all time, acknowledging that Nicklaus was generally seen as such, but disagreeing with this assessment.

  8. russ aragon May 22, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    I luv the “long” right arm on the takeaway at waist high, what a power move!

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