Ben Hogan Five Lessons Essay

Background And Experience

The Beginning—An Unforgettable Experience

In 1989 I began my golf instruction career teaching at The Doral Resort and Spa for the world's number one ranked instructor of the 1980's and early 1990's—Jimmy Ballard. He was instructor to hundreds of professionals, including Money Leaders on the PGA Tour and U.S. Open, PGA, and Masters champions.

It was while teaching for Jimmy that I learned one of the most important aspects of golf instruction—not what, but how, to teach. Learning how to teach at a world class level has been invaluable in my efforts to provide the best instruction available.

The Middle—The Ben Hogan Golf Swing

When I left Doral I was teaching Jimmy's swing concepts, although a fascination with Ben Hogan's swing had been kindled while I was at Doral. I began to shift my focus in that direction as it was obviously a much better way to swing! Once I felt I had a pretty good understanding, after about five years, I began teaching the Hogan swing and I discarded my Ballard teaching because of serious conflicts with it.

I knew the Hogan swing was too demanding for most golfers, but I continued to study and teach it to the exclusion of all other methods of swinging. During this period, my only interest was working with golfers who wanted to learn the best swing of all time and who wanted to be the best golfer they could possibly be.

The Present—Offering Quality Instruction Options

My mindset continued to change as the years passed. Having developed a thorough understanding of the Hogan swing, the only swing without manipulation, my eyes had been opened to the strengths and weaknesses of other swings. I found some that I feel are excellent swings with very good ball control, and one of them is even a full on power swing. While these swings are not up to Hogan standards, they are awesome swings based on the swings of a few of the worlds best golfers and they are much easier to learn than the Hogan swing. I am very pleased that over the years I have been able to find a variety of swings I feel very good about teaching.

For more on my teaching offerings, please see my What I Teach page.


Casey Eberting Golf Instruction
Tulsa / Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

©Copyright 1997-2018, All Rights Reserved



Distance really has to do with lag, but what we call lag, Hogan called the slot. The slot position is gained from the upswing, just prior to the left leg shift. What Hogan means with the left lower body starting the downswing is exactly what he tells: the upswng is not finished completely as the left hip starts shifting back already. The flexability from this movement gathers lag. When this has happened, the only thing one can do, to keep the upper body up with the lower body is, throwing or casting the right arm away from the target. This causes the upper body to get in time back, which can be viewed as the right elbow getting itself tucked inwards in the side of the body. Most people doing what Hogan tells, as they shift to the left hip from the top of the backswing, use the left arm, which has no strengths at all, because it it is merely an extension of the square body position as a guidance for the right under arm and uper arm and elbow, to release during impact, so lowering the slot position, nearer to the release zone, and therefore coming sort of too late to let the right side get the club face square enough through impact. To late and not yet squared, there is only one way the ball can fly, either pushed with a fade or sliced, depending on the hands position at the top. Hogan uses a drawing of a throwing action, like when one hits with a baseball bat. There is only one piece of the whole human body that can really deliver the club head square and with any real power to the ball: the right under arm. Now i will explain the true reason for it: Never can the right under arm, extend prior to the impact zone, to pass the right elbow. Only after the ball, this will happen, caused by the passing of the initial setup position of the left hand, close to the middle of the stance. This is pure physiology nd physics, based on the address position, which is all about setting up the left arm and hand as the guidance, for a square initial position, to start from, and also preventing the right under arm to extend past the right elbow prior to impact. So one can and should hit with the right under arm, in a search to maximize the elastic lag of the slot position gained from shifting the left hip sooner than the upswing has reached its top position. The better this is connected as a natural and comfortable tempo move, the more lag is brought into play, for the right under arm to get momentum from in the snapping cast action away from target, as it converts the slot position lag into the impact striking. If one does this, either with force or in a relaxed manner, which is better and even more powerful, the ball will give a totally different feel on the club head. It is as if it explodes. Because of the immense speed during impact of the clubhead and after even accelerating further, one will notice some kind of gluedness between ball and club head. The result is kind of a doubled impact or extended impact. The ball becomes more compressed for a longer period than otherwise. Here lies the real secret of Hogan, with regard to the simple swing. The other secret concerns something else: it is the answer to a search to swap the draw-flight tendency into a fade-flight tendency. This only becomes of added value to the first secret, once that has been mastered first. One can know if one has mastered it simply. One will hit a driver without a tee, and draw the ball. One does not need a tee even to use the driver, if it is 10 degrees. Normally with a low tee, one will have a tendency to fade the ball. But if one has mastered properly the Hogan technique of the slot and right under arm, after the prior to top position shifting of the left hip, it will produce a draw. No sooner, than when out of 30 drives, 29 are hit with a slight draw, it might become time to experiment with different hand roll action during the backswing. Now, if you have understood this all, there is no need for you to buy any stuff from the socalled golf doctors. They simply are not golf doctors, but people who should have become priest in the catholic church, were the name of the game is not being hindered by any real knowledge of historical facts, and lying is rewarded. The books of Hogan are the real bible, but one has to be able to read them properly, and that means very precise, with the circumstances fully in mind. Hips start shifting prior to reaching the top of the upswing. in fact as the hips shift, they move the same direction as the arms are in their completion of the backswing. That momentum helps the hips, and the hips then cause the ams to complete the backswing. Here the name of the game is tempo. The arms fall into the slot, but all lag is lost if the right arm is not applied to go into a reverse direction away from target, to help the gained lag from the slot into the strike zone, as it can never get past the right elbow angle, prior to impat, but should attempt to help the elbow speed up into that impact position, to allow the upper body to keep up with the hip shift. Only in order to prevent such complicated detailed explanation, Hogan just reduced this whole information aray, into one simple concept: the slot. One of the reasons was also, that as a Bantham fighter against big men, he knew his own advantage telling his principles in a reduced manner, so letting all having to figure out what he exactly meant, on purpose. But what he told, is correct, although in a restricted form, as you now can know.

- John Hagen NL

- Aug-31-2006, 22:35


I agree with the review concerning hitting the ball hard from the start of learning golf. Vijay told me personaly to hit the ball hard as you can because it is hard to learn distance later in life in the golf swing. Jack Nicklaus said in his book to learn to hit hard from the beginning stages of learning golf and accuracy can be learned later.

The golf swing is just like the baseball swing. You simply coil or turn your left shoulder under chin against the right foot with no sway. No sway means your right knee position remains flexed in the backswing similiar to address position. Harvey Penick said in the backswing you can never swing slowly. So please take a nice slow tempo that matches your personality.

In transition, the downswing simply starts with the left side like Ben Hogan said the left hip. I disagree with this because I tried this move personally and it can confuse a lot of golfers by leading with the left hip.

What I found out and discovered that that thefirst move in the downswing is like baseball, the left FOOT. WHY? this helps the body weight to move lateraly first then the hip will naturally clear on its own.

If I tell a student to clear the left hip in the downswing he or she will spin out and cause to come to steep in the downswing.

The truth is Ben Hogan never really tells the truth in his book where his real power source is!!!!!!!!

- Big O

- Jul-02-2006, 03:15


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