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Posts Tagged ‘Hogan’

I have struggled with the driver since I took up the game as a teenager many years ago. I never really learned how to control the longest club in the bag. I envied the number one player on my high school team, Henry Leon, for his driving ability. Henry was a fine all around player and his driving was most  impressive. A thin, wiry fellow, who had a Ben Hogan quality to him, Henry bristled with confidence, trusting his swing would set him up well to par or birdie any given hole. I, on the other hand, never really trusted my tee ball swing, having to count on decent iron play and superior chipping and putting to land me the number 2 spot on the team and score consistently in the high 70s, low 80s. I was a good athlete but for some reason could not square up that persimmon head at impact. And today, I’m still struggling. I have my good days (like when I shot my recent 77), but most often my driving is inconsistent and unpredictable. And driving, I believe, is the most important key to playing successful and satisfying golf. Driving is what makes golf a sport and not (more…)

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I was over at my friendly neighborhood driving range the other day, and noticed something revealing about most amateur golfers. Most bend their forward arms in all the wrong places compared to the pros. Of course, it got me to wondering why this is. As Oscar Langman, the driving range pro in Philly who taught me how to play in 1960, emphasized, the forward arm is key to maintaining a measured swing, delivering the clubhead back at impact to the same spot at address. Without it, there is not much possibility of keeping the ball in position, hitting it far, and particularly hitting it high. Mostly, you’ll slice, pull, scoop, or top it. I know: the older I get, the more that arm bends somewhere in the back or forward swings. We’ve even given it an Oh-so special identifying tag: the chicken wing.

No need to believe me on this. Here’s what the Hawk himself, Ben Hogan, had to write on the matter, particularly in relation to the shoulder turn on the backswing: (more…)

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