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Hogan’s Speech

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Greetings Golfers,

In 1988, one of the greatest women golfers – Carol Mann – went to a dinner to honor the 100 greatest golfers. Ben Hogan gave a talk that was never released until Carol Mann posted this the other day. Enjoy.
Here is the secret message from Ben Hogan – something that does not appear in anything he previously wrote or spoke about:

100 Heroes of 100 Years of American Golf New York City June, 1988
The following is a transcript of part of Ben Hogan’s remarks that evening. He held up the small dinner program cover which, in miniature, looked like Harry Vardon, and he said:

“Look at Harry Vardon.  I want to critique what I see here and there is a little bit of Harry Vardon’s swing in every good player that I have ever seen in my life. Let’s start down at the feet. I’m not here to give a golf lesson, but I’m telling you what I see in people’s swings and what will work and what won’t work.  Look at his feet. His left toe is pointed out; it isn’t in, it’s pointed out. And his right toe is pointed in; it isn’t pointed out. And even though he’s taken a swing and he’s relaxed his finish just a little bit, he has his lower body turned to the left. That’s the direction that he’s going and that’s the direction that his feet are in. he wants to go – he’s a right-handed golfer, as a matter of fact – and he wants to go in that direction. Now he wants to have all of his power in that direction.  He doesn’t want it to back up on him. He’s putting his body in a position and his hands and his arms to hit the ball straight and far. You’ll notice his finish with his left elbow down, even though the finish is relaxed somewhat. Now, in order for him to get there, he must rotate the left arm as he comes through and the left elbow will be down. If you don’t rotate it, it will be out here. Now the physics book tells us that in order to hit a propellant far and straight, you must have greater speed after you hit the propellant than before you hit it, or at contact with the propellant. Now, relating to a golf swing, you must have greater speed beyond the swing beyond the hit, than you did when you hit it. And the physics book tells us that it will go straighter and farther. Well, I’ve tried that, and it works. Another thing, I want you to rotate your left arm coming through, and you can even start it back up here if you want to because you can’t have the speed beyond the ball unless your elbow is turned – your arm, your left arm, is turned. You will hit a straighter ball and it will go farther. If it doesn’t we’ll sue the physics book … just think about and practice things that have been laid down for this hundred years …this fellow Vardon spans over 200 years… he played in the 1900’s and the 1800’s.”


Tom Abts
GM and Head Golf Professional