Every player that has dominated the sport while in their prime, each winning 7 major championships or more, have done the fundamentals that I teach and have discussed in all of my previous articles. Understanding these fundamentals and working them into your game will allow you to optimize all of your talents. Below are a two sequences of particular note, one of Jack Nicklaus and one of Ben Hogan.
The Greatest Player of All Time
Below is a swing sequence of Jack Nicklaus at the 1970 World Match Play Championship. This great player’s bedrock idea was to keep his head still. Look closely against the background, especially the guy in the white shirt and tie. Jack moves slightly to the right in the load and moves a lot to the left in the unload. His head does not stay still! His right foot also moves along the ground to allow a complete transfer of weight into his left foot. His left foot is very stable in space relative to the start and finish.
This shot was around 210 yards and he hit it to about ten feet…with a four iron….backing it up on the green. Absolutely marvelous! This movement reminds me of the shot he hit in the 1972 US Open at the 17th hole with a one iron, and the 1986 Masters at the 16th hole with a 5 iron. All of these shots have the same fantastic motions. It was not what he espoused, it was actually better! The motion is actually more of what Hogan did on a regular basis. I wonder if Jack would have played even better than he did, if these kinds of swings were the model movements. We’ll never know for sure, but I certainly think so.
In spite of his beliefs, Jack would make swings like this, more athletic than his belief system. In spite of himself, his great athleticism would overtake his motion to hit his desired result. It might as well be flawless. No explanation can fully explain the majesty of an elite champion making his move.
The Greatest Ball Striker of All Time
Below is Ben Hogan in his prime. No one has ever done it better. His weight is left while coming off the right foot and the body is advanced from the ground up, helping to eventually move the right foot along the ground. Then the hands return back to square while the left foot is in the same relationship as at address. You can’t teach it any better. Breathtaking! Masterful! Just repeat that!
Learn and achieve. Until then, may all your swings be free!