Ben Hogan (& others) : Mastering Slap-Hinge Release

When growing older (and being far from having a perfect body shape) it is more and more tough to use the push release that must be accompanied by excellent body pivot. The entire season of 2017 I was struggling to obtain desirable effect with my current swing. It is still very reliable and repeatable, however, both distances achieved as well as tendency to leave the clubface open at impact (mainly with longer clubs) forced me to reshape my swing to be based on less dynamic pivot and slap-hinge release type. Last several rounds were promising enough for me to start working on this subject and trying to make slap-hinge release swing motion less prone to timing (automate it, so to speak).

Properly executed slap-hinge release is not equal to a faulty scooping action when the hands are being left behind the ball. They are correctly positioned ahead of the ball just like in any of great push release shots. Great Tommy Armour explained it as follows: “If you'll pause to consider, you will realize that if your hands are behind the ball at impact, you can only scoop the ball up. But if your hands are in front, you've got to smash the ball with lightning speed”. The difference between slap-hinge and push release lies in wrist action in accordance with a very simple rule — the more hand action the less is the ability to hold angles in the natural way. Moreover, the angular velocity of body pivot is not that high any more, thus, some wrist action must simply happen before the swivel of forearms happens naturally in the follow through phase. That is why, despite the opinion of some bad instruction of today, it is nothing wrong in the lead wrist slight dorsal flexion (and the rear hand palmar flexion) after the ball has been hit.

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5 thoughts on “Ben Hogan (& others) : Mastering Slap-Hinge Release

  1. I think I do this but I thought it was a weakness being too right handed through impact,I do practice right hand only shots especially in the short game BUT I keep telling myself if I wanted to thro a frisbee as far as poss I would allways use my lead arm even my left!

  2. Very nice but you failed to include probably the best senior slap hinge release – Mike Austin, who was smashing it over 300 yards into his late 70's. His execution was flawless. Too bad he couldn't putt or he would have been a household name.

  3. Hey Dariusz, happy 2018 to you. On this topic, what do you think Nelson was doing in 1945? To me it looks like something right in the middle of Hogan and Snead, with Hogan using both hands equally into impact and Snead pouring the right hand in earlier. Whatever it was, it was obviously good. It looks like he figured out the best of all worlds, just being free with the right hand and still benefitting from a super long hitting zone where the clubhead traveled straight through the back of the ball towards the target. I can only imagine the control he felt with those balata balls staying in contact with his irons probably twice as long as the players today.

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