There was a liquid smoothness to his irons that you just don’t see nowadays, and it was only after years of looking at swings of every sort that I realized what it was – it was the effortless swing action that is produced by position and the pivot, and by position, I mean the address.
When you swing, there are
halves sides to the body (right & left), and most people neglect one half side for the other, but even a dominant-arm swinger has another half to the body that must be positioned properly.
If you watch Hogan swing in the below clip, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
As amazing as it may be that the Hogan description of the swing may have led to the modern golf swing stuff that is wrecking games and bodies the world over, you can see clearly in the clip that Hogan used his body (especially the hips and legs) to hit the ball, even with irons.
I think, if it came from Hogan, it was because he said “restrict” with regards to the right leg and hip, but that is a very inaccurate word, as I firmly believe (and you can see for yourself) that he likely meant “prevent lateral slide” when talking about the hips.
You don’t want the hips moving laterally on the back swing, as they are supposed to “barrel-turn” and they only move laterally toward the target with the weight transfer to the leading foot to begin the down swing.
The clip contains swings from a 1956 practice and tournament in Mexico, which would have made it three years after he won the Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship (he didn’t play in the PGA Championship because the schedule conflicted with the Open Championship and, being match-play, was impossible for him with his damaged body after the near-fatal car wreck a few years before).
So, even when Hogan could only play in a half-dozen tournaments per year due to his legs, you can see that he was indeed using those legs and turning those hips on the pivot.
This is where true power lies – in the legs, where the strongest muscles reside.
If you’re not going to use your hips and legs on the back swing, you’re creating that much more work for yourself and also raising the risk of injury.
I’m not Ben Hogan, but having studied his pivot action and implemented it as part of the MCS swing motion, you can see that anyone can swing with that floating head and seeming lack of effort through the ball, as the hips and legs are providing all of the required power:
So, this will be a recurring theme in the upcoming “E = MCS” video – how important the hips and legs are, and how with proper address positioning within the MCS model, you can turn the swing into one of effortless power production with very little visible effort.