Ben Hogan’s Secret In One Picture

HoganI have talked about the key to Ben Hogan’s swing being found in the pivot and not anything else he was doing, and there is one picture that you want to look if you’re trying to figure Hogan out.

There’s a before/after illustration of his swing, before and after his near-fatal car wreck in 1949.

I don’t know how accurate the “before” is, since Hogan’s fame came mostly following the wreck and his miraculous comeback to win the ’50 U.S. Open at Merion.

The Clue – If you’re wondering what it is, it isn’t the left foot position at the top in the his “after” picture – that is actually incorrectly drawn.

I’m talking about what you see when you look at his hips

I’ve also discussed the main reason Hogan’s swing has never really been replicated on the PGA Tour (the restricted-hip pivot) and why people have been unable to learn the Hogan swing from others (bad analysis and modeling).


So have a look at this picture, and you’ll see it there, whether you know what you’re looking at or not.

But there’s also a problem in what the “after” picture is showing – something that Hogan didn’t do.  If you’ve been paying attention, you should spot it instantly.

And if you think I’m wrong, just watch this clip of Hogan’s swing and pay attention to that left foot and right hip – you’ll see that the picture is wrong, and that I’m right.

The Hogan Pivot

hogans pivot


If you want to swing like Hogan, you have to do certain things in the pivot.  Here’s a picture comparison of Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar at the top, and where they leave Hogan’s model completely.


Here’s a hint – Hogan is pivoting properly, Woods and Kuchar are not.  Big difference, and you can see it in the hips of the three swingers at the top of the back swing.

I’m enjoying the “Finding Ben Hogan” project that began, if you’ll believe it, simply because I looked at Hogan’s swing again after years of swing research, and certain things he was doing just jumped out at me.

hogan practice dtl

As always, much more to come!


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5 thoughts on “Ben Hogan’s Secret In One Picture

  1. Buddhabob

    Kuchar looks like he was told to swing as if there was a glass ceiling just above his head that if scraped would set off a dynamite charge.

    The key to all those guys and their flatheadedness is that they take the club back way over their right shoulder and not between that shoulder and the head neck area as Austin prescribed imo. that and the fact that they restrict their hip motion severely like an octogenarian.

    This really torques the torso imo and you get that nifty looking short,flat,cute backswing. Tim Burke actually has that very flat back swing as well but he is 6’6″ 250 so he doesn’t lose much power doing it.

    1. D Watts Post author

      At this point, Buddhabob, I don’t know what to think. It’s as if people are making up their own facts about the golf swing and don’t have to see the actual truth.

      I don’t get it. I know I didn’t see a lot of what Hogan was doing years ago in the early stages of my swing research, but that’s why I conducted the research to begin with.

      The problem is that there is nothing new under the sun, and everyone’s trying to re-invent the wheel. The best golf swing is one that uses the same elements as the old swingers did.

    2. D Watts Post author

      PS – Buddhabob, I remembered something you also asked about regarding Tim Burke in the Rory posting –

      Now my next question is there are quite a number of longdrivers who seem to be swinging with the foot plant or just barely lifting, those being Kellet,Burke and some others I notice.

      Tim doesn’t swing flat-footed. You can see it clearly in this clip.

      Flat plane? Definitely, but you can see he’s leveraging the club with awesome leading side rotation.

      Being a huge dude doesn’t hurt either 😉

  2. bjcooke

    Hogan neither kept his left heel planted, nor did he restrict-rotate his hips into the tortured Tiger-like position at the top shown here.

  3. Buddhabob

    yeah I can see it now with Burke, I like how he really goes after it. Club looks like a feather thrown over his shoulder. For a big guy he has huge flexibility in his left arm and is able to extend it absolutely straight like a very long lever all the way around. This has to be a key and distinctive ingredient to his big power. Just saw Kostis analysis of Tiger’s recent swing. Jesus, its as short as its ever been and very flat. Looks like a 3/4 wedge shot, just sayin.

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