So Awesome… The “Hogan Float”

HoganI’ve been looking at Ben Hogan’s swing mechanics more closely now for the first time in years.

Ironically, I started out my swing research in 2005 looking at two swingers, Moe Norman and Hogan himself, nearly nine years ago.

I just didn’t know what I know now about swing theory and athletic motion to see what he was doing, and that’s the problem of breaking down a golf swing.  Unless you know already what happens to a body in motion, you can’t really decipher what’s going on when you watch it.

First of all, Ben Hogan used what I’ve been calling “leading side leverage” for years now, and he used it more than any other swinger I’ve looked at.

I was thinking for a while that the leading side leverage move and being left-handed were the cause of my very steep down swing plane where the club shaft aligns with my left arm, and that may still be true.

Looking at Hogan’s swing now, I am fascinated by the “Hogan Float.”

ben hogan swingThat’s what made Hogan’s swing better than all others in his time and what makes it still a great swing action if you disregard all the little things he was doing to prevent the hook.

If you don’t have a hooking problem, then ignore certain things in Hogan’s swing, like the weak grip, the outside takeaway and the fanning open club face going back.

These will all cause slices in the average player, and this is why Hogan’s swing has been so difficult to pin down – what was a Hogan compensation, and what was really what you want to copy?

I even have a theory, if you’ll hogan dtlfollow me – that Hogan’s swing mechanics are very easy to duplicate if you know what to do, and that it was Hogan’s anti-hook compensations (which you don’t have to use) that  made his swing so hard to repeat without hours of swinging every day.

I found myself hitting slices when I fanned the club open, even when I tried to hit the ball straight.  I would have had to fiddle with the grip and really hit a lot of balls to hit a gentle fade with that kind of action.

The fanning open makes it impossible to square the face in time coming back down, and that’s how Hogan hit fades.

But it was so easy to mess up doing all that stuff with the hands that he had to hit hundreds of balls a day to keep the coordination that had him hitting fades instead of slices.

That’s my theory on that.

So what you want to copy is Hogan’s address stance (every swing begins from address, and if you stand differently, you will swing differently, simple as that) and his “floating pivot” move.

hogan pivotThis pivot action, I’ve been watching closely, and it’s what made his swing so effective, and combined with a flatter swing plane, he made it devastating.

Look at his swing action – he had as much or more lower body action even than any other “classic” swingers, didn’t he?  How did a guy remain so stable in his golf swing, more accurate than anyone else by far, and more consistent, with all of that lower body action?

That’s the secret of Hogan’s pivot action.

So Ben Hogan was not the inspiration for the modern swing, as I’ve speculated before unless someone misinterpreted something he said about the swing – there is no trace of planted leading heel or restricted hip action in the Hogan pivot.  Someone else came up with this concept that is the modern swing.

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4 thoughts on “So Awesome… The “Hogan Float”

  1. SB

    “The secret is the correct functioning of the right leg, with emphasis on maintaining the angle of the right knee on the back and forward swings. Combined with a slight cupping of the left wrist (right handed golfer) produces optimum balance and control and allows you to apply as much speed and power as you wish”

    Jody Vasquez, author of: Afternoons with Mr. Hogan.

    Jody shagged balls for Mr. Hogan for 4 years at Shady Oaks in Fort Worth Texas and had a 20 year friendship with the Legend.

    Just adding to the conversation…..

    1. D Watts Post author

      I imagine what he writes is something Hogan told him over the years, SB – good catch.

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