Ben Hogan owned one of the purest swings in golf and is widely considered as the best ball striker to ever have played the game. Many amateurs, instructors and professionals have read Hogan’s Five Lessons, a great book that gave insight to what turned Hogan into the exceptional ball striker and one of only a handful of players to have won all four major championships.
Believe it or not, the self-taught Hogan once struggled with a horrible hook — just like some of you reading this. In watching the swing video of Hogan, here are a few key takeaways that can help all of us improve our ball striking no matter the skill level.
A Proper Shift Is The Key To Better Contact
- So many amateurs fail to get ball-first contact with their irons. Instead, they catch the ground behind the ball first, limiting the ball striking abilities.
- The first step to curing this and being more consistent with your ball striking is to allow a proper weight shift into the lead side as the transition from the top of the backswing starts. We can see Hogan allowed the lower body to lead the downswing and the shoulders and arms followed.
- By shifting into the lead side with the lower body, the club traveled on plane into impact. Not swinging from the top with his arms and hands allowed Hogan to save his power for impact and execute a perfect release at the bottom of the swing, contacting ball first.
NOTE: a proper shift is not a lateral slide. We do not want to slide in front of the point of impact because squaring the clubface will become nearly impossible. Instead, feel the pressure of your body weight on the lead side. If you are swaying through the ball and off balance on your finish, this is a sign you are sliding and not shifting.