Posts Tagged ‘Ben Hogan’

Ben Hogan’s Swing Plane, Tiger Wood’s Swing Plane – What you should Really Know about Swing Planes!

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Here’s something that could be helpful for those of you who think there’s a perfect plane to a golf swing.

The simple answer, is that there is no perfect plane in a golf swing.  For one, Hogan claims in his book that the reason he used the swing plane concept was to get his backswing in a “consistent slot” but not an effort to say there’s such thing as a perfect plane.

Also, as you can notice in the pictures below, depending on your height and build, your swing plane may be flatter or more upright than the standard so there’s no use in trying to copy your favorite pro’s swing plane unless you are exactly the same height and build.

plane

plane-2

You can easily see that Tiger’s legs are noticeably longer than his upper body length compared to Ben Hogan.  Because of this, Tiger’s swing is naturally more upright than Ben Hogan’s.  Also, Tiger is 6′ 2″ while Ben Hogan is 5′ 8″.

These vast difference in physical makeup prove that there’s no such thing as a perfect plane for any golfer.

The swing plane I used in swing analysis was to simply have a reference point of how the golfer is swinging but in the recent months, I’ve began to realize that it’s not the most important factor in a good golf swing.

I’ve seen a ton of great swings that are far from golf norms, some way too flat or some way too upright.

The bottom line is, you need to build a consistent golf swing, not a swing that depends on lines drawn on the computer.

If you can hit a 200 yard target with a 4-iron 10 out of 10 times and you have what I think the worst swing in golf, I will not tell you to change your swing.

However, you can’t do that and your head is filled with swing mechanics garbage, perhaps I will tell you to focus on golf swing basics.

Golf swing basics consist of your grip, body action, and starting your downswing with your hips followed by your upper body.  In simpler terms, the more you can build a “consistent” swing, however you do it, it will work.  But you can’t really get consistency by building a perfect swing, there is no such thing.  Everyone has their own quirks and personal touch.

I’ve fiddled with a high-speed digital camera for about 10 years, trying to perfect my swing.  Sometimes I try to copy Tiger’s or Ben’s but none of those things ever seemed to bring consistency.  I threw my high-speed camera away and started building a golf swing I felt was more natural and right to me and I think I am on my way to a more consistent golf swing.

Don’t copy but learn and apply the basic fundamentals, that’s what they did too.

Lastly, a “swing plane” does help me “visualize” a consistent path for my backswing and that is really its real purpose so I can get consistent results.   If you keep drawing lines on your golf swing video/photos, it ain’t gonna help you with your golf swing.  Your swing might look “great” but underlying performance probably won’t improve at all.

Find a swing plane that works for you, find the one that you hit the best, crisp shots with both irons and woods.  Then stick with that swing plane.  It’s that simple. And I could really care less if you swung like Jim Furyk or Ben Hogan if you can hit the ball good.

Swing Tip – How To Start the Downswing with Your Lower Body!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Today I hit the ball fairly, radically rad and great.  I’ve probably never hit the ball so crisp.  Another point is that now I can actually control the trajectory of my golf ball better.

To be able to do all those, you will need to learn how to start your downswing with your lower body.  This is one of the crucial golf swing movements you will need to learn if you want to hit the ball super crisp.

What is “super crisp”?

That’s when you smack that golf ball right in the sweetspot of your golf club and you can “feel” the solidarity of your hit.  It feels so good, I can probably say it’s better than sex.

Besides that, you ball flight won’t be affected as much by wind or anything for that matter and for people watching this super crisp hit from the side, you will certainly hear a nice “swoosh” sound as the golf ball takes off straight to its apex and looks as if it drops straight down, lifelessly.

Sounds like something you want to learn?

Well, I’ve got the secret for you, you need to be able to hit the golf ball from the inside-out and to do that, really, you need to learn how to start the downswing with your lower body as Ben Hogan said about a thousand times in his book Five Lessons (very good book by the way, most of my golfing theory comes straight from that book.)

How to “feel” your lower body starting the downswing?

To feel your lower body starting the downswing, here’s a simple exercise I actually do.

First, swing your golf club to the top slowly.  After you reach the top of the backswing, pause slightly.  Then, start the downswing by rotating your lower body(and also a bit of weight transfer to the left foot), specifically the hips to your left and let your shoulder, arms, and hands follow that rotation, all in that order with the lower body always leading the downswing.

I know it sounds slightly confusing but go grab a golf club and try it.

Now, keep rotating those hips and the rest of your upper body *SLOWLY* until you reach the point where your golf clubhead is about waist height.  Your hands and the golf club should form a 90 degree angle, this is called “LAG”.  If not, make sure there’s 90 degree angle.  This should happen naturally if you lead your downswing with your hips.  If you didn’t, ultimately you won’t have the “LAG” and that means you broke something in the process.  Do this until you can get it right.

Now when your golf clubhead is at about waist height, you no longer need to lead the downswing with the hips because it will probably impossible as your upper body starts catching up near impact.  At this point try to feel that “ALL” of your lower body (hips) AND the upper body and turning simultaneously together and SWINGING OUT towards the right field. (Like I told you here on swinging the golf club inside-out.)

When you do this right, you should feel some kind of “torque” on the golf club as you downswing.  This is caused by your lower body starting/leading the downswing.

Do all the above steps until you can get all the parts I outlined right and you get a good feel for it.  Start with a slow swing then steadily increase the speed of your golf swing.

Keep practicing until you can record in your muscle memory.

Now, don’t think about anything and just hit the golf ball normally.  Your muscle memory should “automatically” start your downswing with your lower body.  If your body doesn’t keep practicing in slow motion after each ball hit on the driving range until you “get” it.

Once you master this method of starting your downswing with your lower body, you should be able to hit the ball straighter, further, and also be able to control the ball better.

The greatest part about swinging like this is that once you master it, you can hit the ball as hard as you want AND your ball will go even straighter/longer.

Of course, this is something I learned from Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons.  He doesn’t outline every step but I have added some exercises that can help you feel what he’s trying to teach in his book.

After I started doing this instinctively through practice, I began to realize how much better I can fade/draw the ball while I could also control the trajectory better.

There, I just told you the secret to hitting that golf ball like a pro, now go practice.

Btw, my golfing career is coming along now, I am hitting the ball better than ever, my putting is superb with my new method of using mostly hands.  (I will have a blog post on how to putt like a pro soon.)

Good luck on improving your swing and don’t give up after 100 swing, try at least 10,000 more swings. :)

benhogan

(Image Credit) – Click to Enlarge – Watch carefully how Ben Hogan leads his downswing with his lower body and look at that big LAG he’s generating!

Best of Golf at ProGolferDigest!

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Here’s a re-cap of the best posts at ProGolferDigest this month:

  1. Greg Norman can win the British Open this year!
  2. Does Steve Elkington have the best Stack and Tilt swing?
  3. go GREG NORMAN!
  4. Nick Faldo tips on golf.
  5. Sensoglove may help you play better tournament golf.
  6. Swing Analysis of 2-time 2008 PGA Champion Anthony Kim.
  7. Bob Tway’s chip shot at 1986 PGA Championship may not happen to Greg Norman tomorrow.
  8. Ben Hogan’s swing secrets revealed.
  9. KJ Choi might win the British Open too.
  10. Ernie Els has a great swing even though he might be sucking it this week.
  11. My 4-iron swing was lookin’ good, now it’s even better.
  12. Davis Love III also has a very good swing.
  13. Fred Funk is still one of the straightest drivers on the PGA Tour.
  14. Matt Kuchar may have the flattest swing on the tour today.
  15. Ben Hogan’s knockdowns are so pretty.
  16. Moe Norman’s swing may have a lot in common with Tiger’s swing.
  17. Adam Scott copied Tiger’s swing.
  18. Ball flight is important in the wind.
  19. Annika Sorenstam’s swing may be the best swing out of all male and female golfers.
  20. Learn to hit that 30 yard pitch shot crisp.
  21. How to practice like a scratch/pro golfer.
  22. Ian Poulter has a good swing too.
  23. We love Greg Norman, don’t you?

I Found The Secret to Hogan’s Golf Swing!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Okay, this does really happen to me every couple months.  That is that I find the secret to the golf swing.

You go to the golf course and return with this “amazing” feeling that you’ve finally mastered the game of golf, or at least just the golf swing in this case.

Let me tell you how it happend and the secret too.

I have been on a long-trail of hitting balls on the range and really not practicing my short game or putting.

Well, yesterday, I go to the range at Harding Park GC, and found that the range closes early on Mondays.  Of course, this was my first time going to the range after 6pm on a Monday.

So, I decided to practice my short game for 2 hours.  What happened after that was amazing.

For the first hour and a half or so, I was really struggling to hit these hard-pan lies.  After trying several things, I hit a goldmine, the secret to my golf swing.

You see, the secret is in the dirt just like Ben Hogan said.  Literally, I found it in the hardpan dirt, where it’s practically impossible to hit the shot good unless you strike the ball perfectly.

As such, I found the secret of the golf swing as the following:

Your full swing is an extended version of your short shots.  It’s never the other way around.

For example, you are hitting the 2-iron really well.  You miniturize that 2-iron swing on the short pitch shots.  It might work and it might not, simply because what’s working for the full swing isn’t guaranteed to work on the short shots.

However, if you are hitting your 30-yard pitch shots from a hardpan lie perfectly (as you do need to hit it perfectly on the ball in order to avoid chunking it or thinning it) and you extend that short swing into a 2-iron swing, you will find that 99% of the time, the swing works.

This is why tour pros practice their short game so much because the rhythm and the swing technique flows into other longer shots.

Now, that is how I found the secret, let me tell you the “technical” details of my findings:

You need to feel that on the downswing, you are rotating everything including your stomach, shoulders, arms, and hands to the left while your weight is centered over the left foot.  You also need to feel you are standing very tall.

Here’s the important part, you need to feel like your wrists are uncocking upwards toward the sky just after impact.

If you take a careful look at Hogan’s after-impact position, you will notice that his wrists are actually lifted toward the sky.  This really helps you to hit the ball perfectly while minimizing wrist action through impact.

Now how to achieve this feeling?

It’s pretty simple, try to imagine there’s a giant ball hanging from the sky sorta like the above picture.

Then, try to rotate your body to move that ball foward toward your target.  Also try to hit the big imaginary ball with your elbows, this will automatically uncock your wrists the correct way by letting your wrists lift upwards.

I tried this and boy, I am going to the PGA Tour Q-School next year baby! :)

Woody Austin Iron Swing Analysis

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Woody Austin Iron Swing Analysis

Woody Austin is one of those players I like because of his personality, not his swing.  He cracks me up with some of the things he has achieved.

Let’s look at his swing.  His setup looks pretty good.

Takeaway looks good too.  Woody doesn’t transfer much weight to the right but that’s okay.   (I don’t either because I end up swaying)

At top of Woody’s swing, Woody looks very good.  Pay attention to his lower body action.

At half-way down, take a look at how well Woody has transferred his weight to the left.  This reminds me of Ben Hogan.

At impact, notice how far his hips have transferred and how straight his left arm and the club is.

After impact, Woody is still in really great shape.

Woody Austin might not win a lot of tournaments but heck, he’s always on the leaderboard.

His swing might be one of the best hidden swings on the PGA Tour.

Here’s Woody Austin’s swing in slow motion:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Anthony Kim Driver Swing Analysis

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Okay, today, we will do a “real” swing analysis of Anthony Kim’s swing. (unlike my older post on Anthony Kim’s swing video only)

Now, this young man gas a great swing and might start taking over PGA Tour with multiple wins.

At takeaway, Anthony is a little too much inside. (This is what the “traditional” golf teachers teach you. But don’t be fooled, the follow-through will prove that Anothony “came back” to the right plane to hit the ball, which almost every pro tour golfer does)

At half-way, Anthony is still way too inside but that’s okay as it will get from here on.

At top os his swing, you can see how well his hands, and clubface are in-plane. (The four diagonal lines represent the true plane of the golf swing)

At downswing, Anthony is slightly inside the plane, which is perfectly acceptable.

At impact, notice how his left arms is straight and right arms slightly bent like at address.

Now what impresses me about Anthony Kim’s swing is not his takeaway or backswing but right after impact.

As you can see, his clubface is almost dead-on or slightly outside the plane. This movement is actually the best move. (Players like Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods do this)

After impact, it gets even better as Anthony’s club stays on-plane.

At finish, check out how controlled his right foot is, it’s barely coming up.

What can you learn from Anthony Kim’s swing?

There are many ways to swing the club. Try to focus on getting that club on-plane at the top of your swing and after impact.

Even most tour pros have completely different opinions on how to swing on-plane but their after impact positions will be the same.

Here’s Anthony Kim’s swing in slow-motion (SWING VISION):

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Ben Hogan’s Secrets in his Swing Video!

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Today, I was watching Ben Hogan’s swing on YouTube and found a secret, that is of Ben Hogan’s swing.

What is it?

The secret is when Ben Hogan finishes his swing.  Watch very carefully and you will notice that Ben Hogan never swings full out on his irons, woods, and etc…etc…

He seems to slow down shortly after impact and the finish looks more graceful while not wasting extra energy.

So how do I do it?

You gotta really think of a “balanced” finish, a swing that slows down near the very end.

You need to think feel that you are swinging a momentum ball.  If you go too fast, you will lose control of the momentum ball at your finish.  If you can control a heavy ball, that’d be how you want to finish in golf.

Secret to a Consistent Golf Swing

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Well, today I kept thinking about how I have been hitting the golf ball for the last 20 or so years of my life and by examining the top golfers in the world, I have come to a conclusion that I have finally found the secret to a consistent golf swing.

Here’s the secret to a consistent golf swing:

“Keep the swing in motion”

What do I mean by that?

Well, if you have noticed, every top golfer waggles his club before starting his/her swing.

The waggle is simply a preview “feel” of you swing before you swing the club.

For example, unlike other sports, Golf requires you to start at a static position. (similar to a Basketball free throw shot)

Once you start your golf swing, you don’t ever want to disrupt or stop your motion in anyway.

How can you achieve this?

You need to think outside the box and think of a swing as a one continuous motion just like throwing a baseball or shooting a basketball.

One continuous motion requires that your whole swing flows at one continuous speed.

Ben Hogan used to start his downswing before the completion of his backswing.  In reality, the concept backswing, impact, and the finish are only “snapshots” of your one continuous swing.

Do not try to achieve a backswing position, rather try to swing in one-motion.  To correct any swing flaws in your swing, you need to do that while keeping in mind that a swing is one continuous motion.

So next time you head out to the range, practice swinging in one continuous motion.

Drills for feeling this?

You can setup about 5 to 10 balls in front of you and try to hit them all, one-by-one, without stopping your swing.  This drill is actually very well-known by most teachers and pros but it will definitely teach you the “feel” of one continuous swing and help you swing with “feel” and less “mechanics”.

Well, that’s all for today folks, this might be the best secret, of course for making few bucks off your golf buddies and winning that club championship.

I might analyze a lot of the pro swings, but you have to realize golf is not a game of swing mechanics, but of swing motion.

How to Putt Like a Pro!

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Today, I will explain couple basics about how to putt like a pro.  Trust me, I have read more books about putting than most people will ever in their life and I have spent $2000 on a lesson with Stan Utley, one of the best putters on Tour.

So here’s how to putt like a pro:

1. You need to learn to sink a lot of short putts within 3-10 feet range.  To do this, think of the short putts as the “short game” of putting.  That’s right, these short putts are the most important and count as much as a 350 yard drive.  If you can’t sink ‘em, go home.  If you can, you might become a pro.

2. Soft hands, hands like noodles, gentle grip, or whatever you want to call it but make sure you are holding the putter very very lightly while you putt.

3. Learn to lag putt real good from 20, 50, 100 feet.  Lag putts are great for absorbing the speed of the greens.  The more you can lag, the better putter you will be overall.

4. Putt for money.  Next time you are with a buddy, play an 18-hole putting match, one dollar per hole.  Without putting pressure on your putting, you never know how it’s going to be in a real tournament situation.

Heck, most of the time I play with my buddies, we are betting like $20 per putt or hole.  Pressure games make you better.

5. Develop a consistent putting stroke that rolls the ball true.  Whether you are putting a 20 footer or a 100 footer, your ball should roll very true from the start to finish.  If your ball bumps up in the beginning or at the end, you might want to work on your putting stroke so you putts roll true.

When your putts roll true, you will notice that your putts roll a lot smoother and also get less effected by any breaks in the putt.  Probably the biggest difference between an average golfer and the pro golfer is how true the pro golfer “rolls” the golf ball while the average golfer doesn’t even understand that putting can be so complicated.

Well, that’s it for today, I might need to go hit some balls.  :)

As Ben Hogan said, “Everyday you don’t practice is another day longer it will take you to become a good golfer”.

Practice, practice, and practice while playing pressure games in your head.  That’s right, you should be putting for the U.S. Open win on every practice putt.  (Damn, I let anther worst kept secret out…)

Ben Hogan explains his Change to a Fade

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

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In case you don’t know about Ben Hogan’s golfing career, Ben didn’t start winning a lot of tournaments until he started to “fade” the ball from left to right.

Why?

Ben Hogan was one of the worst “hookers” of the golf ball.  In this video, Ben explains his change to a “fade”.