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Why you should study this side-by-side picture of Ben Hogan

November 14, 2019

There were lots of new and innovative ideas floating around the GOLF Top 100 Summit, one of which was taking it’s cue from the past.

Upcoming coach Lucas Wald took the stage Tuesday to co-lead presention on “How to Swing Like a Legend,” which inspired discussion that lasted an hour or more beyond their conclusion.

Amoung the most visually striking pieces from the presentation was a photo of Ben Hogan. It’s two photos, really: One of Ben Hogan and one of Jamie Sadlowski, set side-by-side, almost identical. Wald presented the images to show how both players had unrestricted turns, with a centered pelvis and massive amounts of internal rotation into their trail hip.


It’s interesting that Hogan, the best golfer of his era (and a long, straight hitter), didn’t swing it anything like current World No. 1 Brooks Koepka (another long, straight hitter). Instead, Hogan appears to have more in common with Sadlowski, an undersized big-bomber who went on to win multiple World Long Drive Championships.


Wald later posted the photo, asking if anyone wanted to name all the commonalities. They’re largely self-explanatory: Both players take the club well past parallel. They each have plenty of shoulder rotation and make a deep hip turn into their right sides. Their left heels come off the ground and their left knees flex towards the rear of the body.

Both turn behind the ball without restriction, keep their hands high and extend their left wrists. Both men were largely self-taught, too. And in doing so, uncovered the secrets to golf greatness that aren’t confined to any one generation.

There is a sense among some golf commentators that the modern game has been stripped of its emphasis on accuracy. What, then, does it mean that one of the game’s all-time legends so closely resemble one of the modern game’s longest hitters? Discuss amongst yourselves.