Ben Hogan’s secret was his extraordinary ability to focus. This was not a gift from heaven. No, Hogan spent long hours perfecting his focus technique.
Robert DeLeon, my mentor and a golf biomechanics instructor, grew up in Austin Texas. Besides taking lessons from Harvey Penick, he had the opportunity as a kid to sit and watch Hogan practice. Hogan would take hours to hit just forty balls. He would hit a ball and spend a few minutes to rewind the shot in his mind and go over every aspect of it. Before he hit the next ball he knew everything he did right and wrong with that shot and was ready to hit the next one even better.
Hogan fine tuned every swing until it was perfect. He didn’t want any bad swings to creep into his system and create any bad habits. His swing is not one to emulate unless you are built like him, but his methods will make any golfer strike the ball well.
If you read very carefully, you can see in Hogan’s books just what he did. The problem is that you must understand the swing and his process before you can properly interpret what he wrote. It was only after discovering and perfecting Hogan’s system that I re-read his books for probably the tenth time, and realized that he did share his secret, but that he was looking at it from a stand point of someone who already understood.
Hogan’s swing secret was not just the balance and setup…it’s about how he achieved and controlled balance during his swing and how you can get similar results using his control methods.
The key phrase is how he controlled his swing movement. Anyone can make a great swing once in a while, but Hogan was known for doing it almost every time.
Hogan said that the game is played keeping the weight on the inside halves of the feet, but that is as far as he went. It’s too bad because this statement is the key and the starting point for understanding Hogan’s secret of control. His secret? The swing is controlled from the feet.
I have taken pros and blindfolded them, leaving them to monitor their swing completely by feel and been able to get them to not only to strike the ball purely, but to shape their shots accurately using only feedback from their feet.
Most of the pros on tour use his methods, except they use them subconsciously. Hogan took the process to the conscious level so he could monitor and correct his swing in motion.
Today’s pros have been convinced that they shouldn’t think about anything during the swing, but it has been proven that the mind will not think about nothing. Like it or not, your mind works all of the time, as shown in your dreams.
The trick with the golf swing is to focus in such a way so that those thoughts are completely visual, with feedback based on feel, thereby never bothering the brain with any distracting conscious thoughts.
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by Tracy Reed