Could This Have Been Hogan’s Secret? (“It’s Easy To See If You Know Where To Look”)

Ben Hogan once said; "The secret is easy to see if you know where to look". 

Hogan was known for focusing a lot on the lower body in his swing, and when evaluating other swings. In fact, he thought that what made up a golfers swing was how the lower body moved, and that the arms, hands and shoulders were more along for the ride.

If you have seen videos of Hogan, it's hard to argue that his lower body work was some of the best we have seen in golf. With a very fast hip rotation through impact, and with a great clearing of the hips.

In my own golf, this is something I have been working hard at, to find a way to open the hips more through impact, and getting the lower body to move better. Recently, I came across a great video by My Swing Evolution, that brings up the possibility of Hogan's secret being how he moved his right knee from mid-way down from transition and through impact, towards the target or slightly right of it, with great force.

If you watch closely in this video, you will see how it's such a signature move from Hogan, driving his right knee far towards the target or slightly right of it, just before impact and going throught the ball. 

Like Hogan said, "if you know where to look, the secret is easy to see".

Watch this video and see how he moves the right knee through impact, towards the target, forcing the hips to open wide, and thus being able to eliminate more of the left side, like he was known for. 

Could this move have been his secret? After all, he did think the lower body was the most important part of the swing, and this certainly helps to fade the ball which he did after working on his new move. He also wanted to avoid hook shots, which he struggled with for a long time in his career, up to this point. 

Hogan said about his secret in an interview, that the period before he figured it out, he was hooking the ball so badly he could barely get a 4 wood off the ground. Then, one day, he went to the range and practiced from morning until night at a new modification of his swing. After that he played some of his best golf and became the legend we all have come to know. He never fully revealed his secret, but many have tried to analyze and figure out what it was.

So it remains to this day, the unrevealed secret of Hogan.

Could this move have been the secret ingredient to his swing? I cannot tell you for sure, but it seems to be an important part of how he moved his lower body. If you are wanting to eliminate hooks, or the left side misses when playing golf, this is surely a move you want to dig further into, and try out for yourself.

Personally, I had a lesson with my own instructor 2 years ago where we discussed how I could be able to remove more of the left side when playing, and avoid left misses. I wanted to get back to how I used to play, and like Hogan learned to play as well, where you can hit as hard as you want through the ball, but still not miss it left. A swing that easier promotes a fade or a power fade.

During my lesson it became clear that if I could keep my right knee and leg closer towards the left leg, through the ball and towards the finish, with a bit more weight shift of the body towards the target through impact, it would help eliminate those left misses, and take the left side more out of play.

This was also described by my instructor as squeezing the thighs or legs more together through and after impact.

The result: I played my next round with the best ball striking in a long time, and I was able to shoot a 79 off the back tee, despite not having played much for some years. I also had very few or almost no big left misses, which had been an issue in my game for a long time, and I managed to get around with about 70% fairway hits with the driver.

So my conclusion is this; it could have very well been the secret Hogan was holding on to. It surely seems quite easy to spot once you become aware of it and know where to look in his swing. 

At the very least it seems to be one of the most important moves in Hogan's swing, and when applied, should help many golfers clear the lower body better and eliminate more of the left side when playing golf.

About the author

Mathias Hamnvik

Former junior elite player, 0.6 hcp currently, three times club champion - on my way towards +hcp and bringing you along for the ride!