The Loop

Weekend Tip: McLean on Hogan, 7 pointers from a new book

February 11, 2012

A new book just crossed my desk, The Complete Hogan, by Golf Digest Teaching Professional Jim McLean, with Tom McCarthy. (Published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 216 pages.) There are a lot of really interesting photos here, taken from rare movie film of Hogan in the late 1940s, before his accident. McLean makes some great observations and brings a fresh approach to possibly the most analyzed and admired golf swing of all time. The quality of the photos (soft, shadowy and in black and white) is not great. But a keen eye can still find great details to learn from. And McLean certainly has a keen eye and the teaching experience to put Hogan's swing into usable advice for today's golfer.

One of the freshest chapters is toward the end of the book where Jim flops the photos, turning Hogan into a left-hander. I'm able to show you two of the photos below. Not only is this a lefty's delight, but with this unusual view righties can really see some key elements in Hogan's setup and swing that might surprise you. McLean writes extensively about each photo in the book, but here are some of his abbreviated observations that might help your game without you even looking at all of the pictures:

Address: Look at those soft arms! Just the opposite of the illustrations in Five Lessons. Copy this setup (below) and not those.


Takeaway: Hogan's chin points to the back foot. This is extremely important for a full, powerful coil.

Top of Backswing: The right knee has moved behind the ball, but Hogan's body is already falling (or transitioning) forward. I call this the "fall forward."

Move down: Hogan rotates the right knee over the right foot. Very athletic and responsive. A beautiful sit-down move and massive lag.

I__mpact:__The front leg braces and begins to straighten (below). This is a major power move. Of course the famous bowed lead wrist is very evident.


Post Impact: Phenomenal extension. Perfect release of the arms.

Finish and Rebound: The all-time classic finish. It's great for everyone to copy.

*Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest

Twitter @RogerSchiffman