Thoughts on Ben Hogan

Re: Thoughts on Ben Hogan

Postby Range Rat » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:02 pm

Good view here, can see ball too. :)
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Re: Thoughts on Ben Hogan

Postby Mashie72 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:19 pm

Wow 60 cents an issue!
"The secret is on the deck"
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Re: Thoughts on Ben Hogan

Postby eth14dev » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:01 pm

Been Wondering anyone have ideas on how Ben Hogan set his irons to be a little open at address? I don't know if this thread is correct for this question, but seeing as the sub-topics in this thread have gone all over the place regarding Mr. Hogan, figured to try asking just to hear some thoughts is all.

I particularly find some of the contradicting information to be fascinating.
Just based on some things I have seen on this topic just discussed in the various golf forums.

-Apparently, many first hand accounts of Mr. Hogan's irons being a few degrees "set" open. Not that he just splayed the face open like we would do for a big explosion shot. Jody Vasquez's book with 5 degrees comes to mind.

-Saw a video where Mr. Burke mentioned somehow Mr. Hogan bent the clubs back near the heel/hosel.

-In Tom Wishon's quote posted by Lag, Mr. Wishon noted he "did not" notice the soles being "scooped" in such a way to sit open.

-Still pictures at address (such as in Power Golf) seem to confirm that with his irons the face of the club is open, but interestingly, the sole is flush (to my eye), and the toe is not pointed a little up like it does if we just turning the face open (think again bunker shot). OR maybe this was because he had 0 bounce clubs for most his irons. Because I would imagine turning a 0 bounce closed or open, the sole would still be more or less flush with the ground at address.

-An examination of photos of Mr. Hogan's 1953 working set that was sold for auction some time back show grinding on some of the clubs (some more than others) and while I do not see stripped chrome on the soles, the soles indeed look very flat like they would sit flush with the ground with very little or no heel to toe radius.

-Mr. Wishon again from the same quote as above notes that The soles on Mr. Hogan's club were surprisingly very flat.

-Many speculate that the 5o'clock reminder ridge was how the clubs sat opened, which they would do if Mr. Hogan gripped the club weak then turned his hands without letting go the club to a neutral or slightly strong position at address (even though the grip on the club itself is weak orginally). Would be a way to ensure consistent amount of openness as to using a round grip and splaying open the face.

-Also, is there someway we can "clearly" compare between his grips and club face address between pre-1940's, 1940-1946, 1946-1947, 1948-1949, and 1950's in post accident era?

I guess the more curious side of me wonders: yes, it seems logical that the open face was to battle the hook, but once he discovered his apparent "secret" was the open face necessary? Seeing as Mr. Wishon notes Mr. Hogan's woods look a little closed. Was this open face something of a carry over from the hook battle days that he just never bothered to change, or was there another benefit that he did it for once he eliminated the "fear" of the unexpected hook (since we know he can hit a controlled draw post-secret)?

Many interesting question as to what Mr. Hogan was doing and thinking.
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Re: Thoughts on Ben Hogan

Postby Range Rat » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:31 am

eth14dev wrote:Been Wondering anyone have ideas on how Ben Hogan set his irons to be a little open at address?

Apparently, many first hand accounts of Mr. Hogan's irons being a few degrees "set" open.

Saw a video where Mr. Burke mentioned somehow Mr. Hogan bent the clubs back near the heel/hosel.

....... they would sit flush with the ground with very little or no heel to toe radius.


Can't speak to all your questions, but here is a Burke-Elkington video describing how Hogan did indeed bend the toe back in an attempt at toe relief through bulge. I trust the accounting of Burke and Hebert. I think Hogan did all he could to take the toe out of play, smart man. :)
http://secretinthedirt.com/index.php/media-gallery/147-hebert-brothers-episode-83
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Re: Thoughts on Ben Hogan

Postby Ded2Journey » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:50 pm

RR to the rescue!

Truth is...once you go toe back, you never go back... :lol:
Terrible joke boys, but I just couldn't resist.
"People have always been telling me what I can't do. I guess I have wanted to show them. That's been one of my driving forces all my life." -Ben Hogan
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Re: Thoughts on Ben Hogan

Postby eth14dev » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:24 am

Thanks RR,

Sorry could not respond sooner. My left side tires blew out on me and taking care of that was abit of a mess this past week.

Thanks for the input. Yes, that is the video. I saw it a while back and could not remember exacly where I stumbled upon it. Some interesting insight regarding your commentary of the toe bulge. Did a little experiment at the range with my dad and it sparked an idea.

Also D2J,

I know you meant it in jest, but based on the experimenting I am doing, I think your statment alongside RR's insight might become a reality for me once if I can really figure this out. :D
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Re: Thoughts on Ben Hogan

Postby eth14dev » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:08 am

The experiment is not perfect, nor scientifically sound (so I suppose the term "experiment" might not be the best),
But again, came away with an idea, so figured I would share as it may be related to what Mr. Hogan was trying to do (of course I will never know for sure. I don't claim to know or have figured out any secrets).

Basically, one thing that has puzzled me these passed months as I practice with clubs that Lag bent for me (offset removal and lie), is the angle of the face in regards to the ball:

As I continue the process of making a swing overhaul and modeling my swing after the great strikers of the past, my ball position has steadily moved up these past few years from the center of my body at address to where the outer edge of the ball that is facing the target is aligned perpendicularly with the inside of my left heel. I have been not trying to manipulate the face too much at address when working on just the standard straight shot (if there is such a thing on golf). However, it has puzzled me that obviously if I keep my hands more or less close to the center of my body and address the ball that far off my front heel it requires the shaft to actually point forward at address (not impact) when viewed from face on (my dad has often commented that it looks funny), this will obviously cause the face to be a bit hooded and point closed toward the line of my target.

Realized that during the swing, as long as I get forward shaft lean through impact, this weird set up address does not matter, but the odd thing to me has always been I feel like I am missing a little something in terms of the coordination, and it feels awkward to force my hands forward to the point of getting my hands in front of the ball with such a forward ball position.

After reading your thoughts RR, as a rough experiment last time at the range, I set up as normal, and just splayed the face open until despite my shaft pointing forward the face was square in relation to the target line (looked to me to about 4-7 degrees depending on the length of the club. Using Ben Hogan Apex irons which as awesome as they are noticed there is about 1-3 degrees of bounce on them with a little cambering, so I knew by doing this, without the 0 bounce flat ground soles, I would hit it a bit thin. I have personally never like bounce unless for bunker shots or something like 10 inch rough where no matter what we do we will always hit some grass first. So I accepted the idea of blading and hit some decent shots (not good, but not bad).
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Re: Thoughts on Ben Hogan

Postby eth14dev » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:41 am

After mulling it over a few days, what I learned from this is:

1. The biggest benefit to this is we can apply a massive pull swing type mechanic for maximum power but have the force be applied toward making the ball go straight. Because instead of trying to lean the club forward to get forward shaft lean, if we just focus on strong forearm rotation, the club will naturally want to shoot outwards due to the forces at play. With a very forward ball position, this inevitably means the ball will be hit on the tail end of the strike zone in an inside-out-inside swing path meaning it will force the ball a little left. Resulting in a straight pull. Now we can obviously make compensations like I was doing and try to feel as though we hit the ball a little behind us to make the necessary swing path corrections or just get our toes fanned opened so we can strike the ball in front of us and still have the face be square to the line, at the moment of maximum acceleration force being applied to the club. If we are properly holding lag as Lag teaches (pun not theoretically unintended), it would result in an impact position that has opposite forces working together. That is to say the top butt of the shaft will be pointed well in front of the ball with a large bend in the middle of the shaft while the lower tip of the club will be lagged back, so as to be square to the ball even though the hands and the top of the shaft are pointed forward like a max power pull hook swing. This effect becoming more exaggerated of course once impact happens and the leading edge of the irons strikes into the ground. (Beginning to make sense what Mr. Burke meant by loading the shaft into the ground like a bow [and arrow]). Up until now I thought the ideal impact was hands well in front of the ball with the shaft from butt to club head lagged back at impact behind the position of the hands, but now that I think think about it this would obviously be better than dump flipping the club, but still not conducive to a maximum utilization of the forces at play to our benefit as in comparison to the new picture of impact I am beginning to form when executing a powerful, straight shot. This may or may not apply to different types of shot shaping like a low, running knock down shot the kind we would play where we get a lot run on a hilly links type course.

Same reason in a baseball swing it is easier to hit a pull out in front of the body a lot harder than a push to opposite field, with impact on the side of the body, again not that this side hit is not workable if necessary for shot shaping, it is just not as natural when tying to hit the ball on a straight line without compromising max power. The problem being in golf, if we used a pull type mechanic without a tee we would hit the ball slightly fat, the fanned toe if paired with 0 bounce and 0 toe/heel radius gets rid of this issue of the fear of hitting fat. The key take away being the sole grind and the face angle at address and its subsequent dynamic change during impact are connected. We cannot divorce the two like I unintentionally did (splayed face/fanned toe but no flat sole) and expect an excellent, consistent result.
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Re: Thoughts on Ben Hogan

Postby eth14dev » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:50 am

2. Still does not explain why the woods were set hooked. That is still a mystery to me, and, if I ever learn the answer, it may or may not blow my current thoughts right out. Nevertheless, I hope to keep trying to improve and learn.

3. Also, RR & D2J, in case I did not do a good job introducing myself, in which case apologies & disclaimer, I am not an official ABS student at this time, so if the thoughts I shared are something you guys already know, or have discussed in depth in the private forums reserved for students, apologies. Did not mean to waste anyones' time reading massive posts, just wanted to share how you gentlemen have helped me in my progress is all.

4. Finally, for me this has further proved that like Lag and 2M have mentioned good ballstriking, especially of the Mr. Hogan variety, is a whole package: the parts of the swing and how the equipment interfaces with that swing are related, we cannot just mix together whatever "sounds right" and "seems to make sense" based on a confused journey of jumping from one methodology and teaching to another, hodge podge it together with generalized tips and tricks and expect anything but confusion.
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Re: Thoughts on Ben Hogan

Postby Range Rat » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:35 pm

eth14dev wrote:2. Still does not explain why the woods were set hooked.


I don't know how the woods were, but it may be optics too. In the above post you said:
Seeing as Mr. Wishon notes Mr. Hogan's woods look a little closed.


Obviously closed and hooked may be, but not necessarily, different measurements, but I had material about the optics depending on point of view perspective. I recall one, but not the other. The one I recall is from the player's point of view relative to wood faces: open faces look square, square faces look closed, and closed faces looked hooked. There is a similar standard from the opposite side of the player, the caddy side, but I don't recall if the perspectives are the same, and I don't have that reference material anymore. You may be able to dig something about that out by Mr. Google. I seem to recall most standard persimmons came with 2degree open faces so it would look square. I also think maybe because the face is on the left side of the shaft has something to do with perspective and our triangulation optics, but is well beyond my pay grade.

One of the more insightful comments about toe relief came from an Ireland pro- BomGolf222- a real bright fella. The discussion was about the "speed slot" on Hogan woods, which was on the toe, and whether it actually increased speed. It probably did by lessening the weight by just a little, but the discussion also considered, more aptly so in my opinion, that by removing mass from the toe area it delayed the toe from closing, especially with an open face to begin with, but Hogan marketed "speed".

Don't worry about being a "member", neither am I, just an old Rat that's frequents when I can and who enjoys the smell of leather, Vitalis, wood lockers, nails on the feet, and courses laid out right in front of you- no tricks, just control your ball.
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