BEN HOGAN’S MAGICAL DEVICE:
The Real Secret to Ben Hogan’s Swing Finally Revealed
Ben Hogan hit the ball so purely and so consistently, that it was believed that he had a secret, and on August 8, 1955, he was persuaded to explain his trial and error discovery to Life Magazine. Regrettably, there were problems with his explanation because of misused terms. Then, before he could correct these key errors, he passed away. More than fifty years later, Ben Hogan’s system is finally explained in full. A former caddie and ball-shagger, Dr. Hunt is a lifelong golfer with advanced degrees in human kinetics and historical research. Determined to track down the secret, he went beyond golf’s literature and interviewed dozens of PGA competitors and caddies who had studied Hogan’s swing. With slang-terms defined, and techniques verified, the author began shooting his age or better with an improved short and long game combined with Hogan’s precise putting system.
There was an excess of written opinion trying to explain Hogan’s ball striking capability, and the theories ranged from the extra stiff shafts in his clubs, to the way he kicked in his right knee at address. It is interesting now, to hear that Tiger Woods has been analyzing Hogan’s swing, and that his driver has the same specifications. There is little doubt that some touring professionals found variations on Hogan’s theme by feel -- Arnold Palmer with his father found their way to stop the left wrist from breaking down at impact -- but there was no explanation that could allow replication by others. So I was determined to find the answer.
On this quest, I had the privilege of interviewing PGA players: Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Alvie Thompson, George Knudson and Mike Souchak. I caddied for Moe Norman, Ted Kroll, Jay Hebert, Bing Crosby and Babe Didrickson Zaharias. Then I was lucky enough to play with Stan Leonard, Moe Norman, Davis Love, Dick Zokol, Jim Thorpe, Paul Azinger, Corey Pavin, Tom Kite, Ernie Brown, Brad Faxon, Jim Furyk, Joey Sindelar and Bob Hope -- all of whom had observations and stories about Ben Hogan. These experiences were informative and pleasurable.
From these informed sources I gathered snippets of detailed information. Their insights were always in their own language, which was mostly slang terminology with perhaps a demonstration thrown if they had the time: ‘wringing the towel’, ‘changing the chuck on the lever’, ‘buckling the wrist’, ‘rolling the wrist’, ‘arch and twist’, ‘keep a flat wrist’, ‘square to square’.
It was my job to sift through the verbiage, and to put it into understandable, and universal anatomical terms for reliable transmission.
In the hopes of persuading you to give Hogan’s short game system an honest try, I will get into the good stuff as quickly as possible . . . but you have to know, that Ben Hogan is not a ‘quick fix’ kind of guy. The ‘engine room’ of his golf swing, and the ‘secret’ within it -- should be put in a context, to be best understood. A lot of golfers don’t have the patience to give Hogan a week’s work, even when they have heard that touring professionals spend months on a swing change, but if you have just one week’s worth of patience, fifteen minutes a day, you will change your game significantly.
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