George Knudson – More Hogan Than Hogan

george knudson addrRe-posted

George Knudson is perhaps one of least-known ball-striking masters from the past PGA Tour eras.

He is a man Jack Nicklaus described as having “a million dollar swing and a ten-cent putter,” alluding to the fact that Knudson should have won much more than he did on Tour with the quality of his ball-striking.

Ben Hogan said Knudson had the “best swing of his generation,” which is high praise indeed, and some even ventured the opinion that Knudson’s swing was “more Hogan than Hogan.”

So, let’s take a look at Knudson’s great mechanics.  He had a very basic, no-frills, no-nonsense swing action.  The Wax Golf crowd will recognize instantly the great address setup with the kicked-in right knee, the swinging gate and the floating pivot, the great leading side leverage swing through impact to the finish…

George Knudson’s Golf Swing


Tragically, Knudson, who was a chain-smoker, died of cancer just as he was preparing to join the Senior Tour, in 1989.  If he hadn’t, a lot more people would have known his name.

The fact that he was a Canadian golfer also would have contributed to his obscurity, but he was the highest Canadian finisher in a major (2nd at the Masters) and held the mark of most wins on Tour by a Canadian until Mike Weir won the Masters and passed him in career wins.  I still hold Knudson as the greatest Canadian golfer based on both talent and accomplishment and the quality of his competition.

I’ll get more into Knudson’s swing this winter when the season has ended, but for now, let’s look at a great swing from an era of great swingers.

George Knudson

18 thoughts on “George Knudson – More Hogan Than Hogan

    1. D Watts Post author

      I’ve notice that too, karlheinz145 – I imagine his technique and posture improved over the years. That’s the only explanation I can come up with, but he did seem more hunched over in his earlier years. Needless to say, it improved!

      His son Paul taught at the driving range facility just up the street back in ’06, I saw his name on the board when I was visiting my friend TK there as he gave some lessons, but he’s now in Scarborough I believe.

  1. elgolfeux

    Wow ! Really like his legs actions! Legs are clearly the main motor of his swing, without any useless movements above the hips. Can’t stop watching his vids

    1. D Watts Post author

      That is absolutely correct, elgolfeux! When we get you straightened out at the Watering Hole, you’ll have a pivot just like that or very similar, if you wish. See you over there, and welcome aboard! 😀

        1. D Watts Post author

          Good! Now go ask Big Toilet how his pivot is working out, I’m sure he’ll happily tell you that it’s not impossible 😉

    1. D Watts Post author

      You have a pretty trained eye, SB – Knudson was more to that than he was the true floater. But like I’ve said, every pivot between the “Formula” pivot and the left-biased floater is just a variation, and the MPS B is in there too.

      That’s why I’d prefer to go forward talking about both pivots (shift & post and the floating pivot) instead of insisting on a carbon-copy move for everyone. If you understand the shift & post, and you understand the floating pivot concept, you’ll be able to fall somewhere in the space between the two.

      Good stuff my man! 🙂

  2. buddhabob

    you know people will not believe me but Knudsen’s swing back in that day was standard fare for many pros and amateurs alike. May not be anymore but what he is doing is completely natural imo and clean, I like how he starts down before his back swing completes, this let him cork the action. Unfortunately he was a heavy smoker and had battles with hhis nerves and then ultimately the big C. there is a documentary on him on youtube that is a good one.

  3. Laser

    A similarity to yourself in golf philosophy. “The biggest flaw I can think of, more than anything else in the golf swing, is the tendency to think of and therefore perform the golf swing with the arms. ~ DJ Watts

    “Arms, hands, and golf club flow as they may during the swing.” ~ George Knudson

    1. D Watts Post author

      I met a golf pro last summer who’d taken lessons from him as a young boy… all he could remember were the clouds of cigarette smoke… but I’m sure he had a thing or two to say about the swing 😉

  4. buddhabob

    good stuff. Watching a biop of Nicklaus where he said he had a lot of back trouble when he worked on his short game but never when he was hitting driver and full swinging. Must have been the crouch he was in as a putter.

    speaking of putting without his putting which is 90% of his game, I just don’t think Speith competes very well imo. Why during the Massters was he having such a tough time of it placing the ball in the fairway. Nicklaus said it best when asked in the bio on Fox, “I certainly with the modern equipment could have hit as far as anyone on Tour today and and with more accuracy than most of them…”

    1. D Watts Post author

      Jordan Spieth would be working another job in the days of persimmon. He’s the best player with the worst swing, in other words, kinda like when Tiger was top dog.

      But because he wins with the putter and his course management, both of which are indeed superb, you can’t say anything about him. No one will listen.

      That’s why I consider Nicklaus to be the greatest, and he would still be in my mind if Tiger had matched him with 18. 19, I give it to Tiger, because that’s the standard.

      But Nicklaus played tee to fairway to green and rolled the rock into the hole. That’s pure golf, and the way I like to play it. Scrambling is an art form, but not a mark of greatness, with apologies for offering my opinion.

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