“Reality: Pushing on the Handle
Illusion: Pulling on the Handle”
For as much as I refer to Hogan on things like the grip, stance and hand action, you may be surprised to hear that I have a major issue with the transition and downswing as presented in the second half of his “Five Lessons” book.
In fact, I must say that he fell victim to his own warning;
“Reverse every natural instinct [inclination] and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will end up with a near perfect golf swing.” – Ben Hogan
And I’ll double down to say that for as much good as his book has done for the golfing public, that this ill-taught transition [and ensuing downswing] has easily done as much harm, and sentenced generations of golfers to experience golf as a “good walk spoiled”.
> Hogan, in his own near-perfect golf swing, didn’t do as he taught, or he wouldn’t have enjoyed being the fearsome ball-striker that he was.
- From watching video of his swing, it only looked to Hogan like his body was the source of motion for everything else, and
- He mistook the pulling sensation he had in the back of his left upper arm as a cause for how his swing looked;
- In fact, that pulling sensation was an effect from the hands pushing down on the handle in an attempt to throw the club head at the ball right from the very top of the backswing.
Watch the above video from 8:25 to 11:30 for Ted demonstrating how the hands’ intentions to throw the club head at the ball right from the “top” is actually the key to having that “held-off” late-hit look when the shaft gets to parallel in the downswing.
- That hand “action” couldn’t be seen directly, but could be seen anecdotally, or indirectly, by the backward flex in the shaft that made it impossible for the hands to actually get rid of the club head from the top [regardless of the hands’ intentions to do so].
- That flex in the shaft, caused by the hands trying to get rid of the club head from the top, creates that pulling sensation in the left upper arm.
- He was exactly wrong about this pulling sensation being the cause of the transition and crucial to the downswing; the opposite is actually the case in that this sensation was an effect caused by the hands’ intentions to get rid of the club head right from the top.
- And the “late hit” “held-off” wrist angles when the club gets to parallel in the downswing only looks like the wrist angles are being held [so as to keep the angles from prematurely releasing].
- That held-off “look” is simply that; it only looks that way when it is actually a result of the exact opposite of hands’ intentions, which is to get rid of the club head [right from the top].
- That “late hit” look is caused by the backward flex of the shaft putting force on the hands-wrists to keep them from releasing early.
- Again, that shaft flex that in reality causes that “late hit” look is caused by the hands trying to get rid of the club head, and
- Not by the opposite of intentions and the widely held opposite belief that the hands-wrists are trying to hold-off the club head from releasing early.
Signing off for now.
Feel free to reach me at TWilliams@MyGolfingStore.com
Yours In Better Ball Striking Through Pushing the Handle,
Ted Williams, Certified Instructor – Croker Golf System