Hogan’s Secret Elbow Move

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How did Ben Hogan swing down exactly on the shaft plane? Here are some observations.

Comments

Choco says:

Hogan was able to come back to the same plane because he had an "upright" grip meaning that at address the shaft runs in line with the lower right forearm thats really uncommon nowadays and to compensate that matter he had his clubs with really flat lie so it can rest on the ground and not have a heel up at address ! This combination promotes a flatter swing plane and a left exit in the follow through ! What are your toughts Mr Hattaway ?

Johnny Apple Seed says:

Hogans "Atomic Elbow"…..The Secret of all great golfers….In other words, it wasn't unique to only him…Even the best club golfers have mastered this time honored move….Harvey Penick called it the "Magic Move".

However, not all the greats could bring it back to the ball directly on plane to the degree Hogan could….

David Musall says:

Would not the elbow be affected by him bowing his left wrist before impact? That bowing of his left wrist set his right wrist into position to use his (three) right hands to throw the club through impact.

Blair Sterling says:

Most teachers over analyze. They never talk about how long the great golfers
keep their head still through the swing. Concentrate on watching how long they keep their head still. They never never never look early… This solves most all problems for most golfers..

Simon Le Bonne says:

Mr Hogan had very long arms, many people don't consider this factor, the right elbow and right wrist have to lay the club off to get back on plane, the length of his arms gave him that extra split second to get there. Mr Hogan was also a tough mother. Mr Hogan was also absolutely dedicated to perfection. Think of Usain Bolt, Chris Hoy and Ronnie O'Sullivan, try as much as you like, you'll never achieve the greatness.

Joe Schmoe says:

Yeah right elbow but that left wrist bows at the top and that is what sets the shaft on the flatter plane on the way down. Easier to bow that left wrist when the left hand grip was as weak/neutral as his was. I think what he discovered was that by weakening the left hand grip it was easier to flatten the shaft on the downswing and still not hit a hook

swingtrade2 says:

good stuff. Looks like he immediately gets the right arm to start folding in relation to the turn and it then stays in front of him.

Thomas Chrisman says:

surgio garcia impacts the ball on the same plane

Fenton Taylor says:

From the top, he drives that right elbow down and forward so he can push that club through the zone with his right arm and hand. All good players do the same, but Hogans shoulder was flexible enough to really get the elbow in front of the right hip. Jack did the same. It didnt matter that his right elbow was "flying" at the top, as a matter of fact, it helped create power by starting the downswing driving that right elbow down and in. Same with Fred Couples and Lee Trevino. Great baseball hitters do the same. Watch Ariya Jutanugarn. Same thing. The right elbow is away from the body at the top and then she drives it down and in.

Nike Golfer says:

7 degree flat lie angle and swings it like a side arm baseball pitcher throws.

Lt. Weinberg says:

How do you teach your elbow to do this? 🙂

Jordan Talah says:

You left someone out when mentioning players who get the club back on the original shaft plane at impact: Sergio Garcia. Easily the best ball striker of the modern era.

All of these guys have one thing in common: They dramatically flatten the shaft plane in transition while at the same time keeping the right shoulder higher than the left. They all have the butt of the club is pointed well ABOVE the ball between the top of the backswing to where the left arm is parallel to the ground. Modern instruction says that the butt of the club points at the ball during this part of the swing, but what all the great ball-strikers do says otherwise. It's just physics. Something about being in this position allows gravity to take over and get the plane back to where it was at address.

Play Vintage Golf says:

so is this something you can implement into your swing or just an observation on Hogan?

Jay Allred says:

What did the right elbow do in the downswing? Answer: Hogan's swing plane is very close to what The Golfing Machine refers to as the elbow plane. In plane angle variations it appears that he uses the 10-7-E Reverse Shift from the turned shoulder plane at P-4 to shift to the elbow plane. How to move the right elbow from the top P-4 to P-6 is to "FEEL" the right elbow is moving away from the ball (reverse) not towards the ball. This puts the right "elbow down and at the side" TGM 10-3-A, instead of down and in front.

Dreama40 says:

Hogan unwound his lower body better than just about anybody which is why everything else followed on plane.

1cleandude says:

Really good information sir, thank you!!  Wishing we had Konica Swing Vision back then!  Couldn't you look at slo-mo swings of Chad Campbell and Johnathon Bryd to illustrate similar traits?  Again thanks for your time, expertise and talent!!

Harry Brett says:

Best swing tip of all time for me. If you keep that right elbow below the shaft plane, your right hand and right side can not take over the downswing. Also, the pace and control of the elbow coming down will also keep you from hitting from the top. Try varying the pace with which you bring it down and watch what it does to the ball. This elbow movement also brought me to a complete balanced finish. It does not get any better than that. Worked for all clubs in the bag.

Troy Lee says:

Hogan said that the downswing was on a different plane than the backswing, that the plane was rotated towards the target on the planes point. This makes the downswing angle much steeper to the ball and also inside the arc of the backswing. That explains the elbow under the plane back to the ball since the angle is more downward.
I contend this is the natural outcome of the weight shift to the left with the lower body. That is the shift that moves the downswing plane to the inside of the backswing arc. From there he said he would imagine pulling DOWN on the shaft with his hands headed straight for the ball. This move down with the hands is controlled be gravity mostly at first and if you try it you can feel the club drop into the slot for the downswing as you now unwind, it automatically returns the club back on plane. His book shows this in pictures of the swing plane. The hands MUST drop a little after the weight shift because that is the only way to get them onto the downswing swing plane which once again is angled much more steeply to the ball than was the backswing plane.

S Regan says:

Please look at the difference in the right hip between his early swing at (2:32) and his later swing at (4:15). To me it looks like the right hip is driving the swing at (4:15) where it is being dragged along in the earlier swing at (2:32)

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