Why so much reverence to Hogan and Norman?

I realize that Ben Hogan and Moe Norman were great and legendary ball strikers, but I think the enormity of the reverence paid to their swings, drills and ideas is vastly over done.

Listen, I respect what they accomplished and how great they are, so don’t entirely miss my point.

I am not attacking or discounting them.

I am attacking this movement to copy EVERYTHING they did down to exact positions in slow mo video…in search of better golf.

Like Hogan’s slow motion drill where he stops his body and flips his hands at impact. A terrible drill for any amateur to copy. Slowing acceleration, manipulating positions, stopping the turn and flipping with hands to square club?

YUUUUUCK!!!!!!! Let’s accentuate every problem amateur golfers have with a drill.

For the umteenth time I will say they were both great as a result of 8 hours a day of practice, not some magic move or drill they had.

Hogan fought the hooks for years before that 8 hours a day pulled him out of it. Norman had to groove an unorthodox swing tailored to his body.

Why not more reverence for Nicklaus, Jones, Snead…how about Trevino? Like I said before, how about a guy that won on tour with no practice (Lietzki)?

Because some of those guys were over the top and/or played a slice/fade…and we all know those things are terrible and can’t result in good golf…ROFLMAOPMP!!!!!!!

I now wait for all of the replies telling me that Hogan is dead and could still beat me…which is probably true.

Like I have said before…

You can’t just take Hogan’s right wrist angle at P6 and implement that. You have to match everything that leads up to that and create the body movements that created that angle.

What are the odds that…

1. What Hogan and or Norman did is correct for your body and ability?

2. You can implement their entire swing sequence up to the position you want to copy?

3. In your 90 minutes of practice a week you are able to master that exact sequence that it took Hogan and Norman years of 8 hour a day practice.

Seems like a bad idea, doesn’t it?




  1. Calvin

    Hogan and Moe were meticulous about every move they made and were legendary practicers. I have great admiration for them. I also admire Leitzke who never practiced and Couples who probably has no cohesive theory in his mind. Actually my favorite swing is Duval’s and he appears to be all washed up. If you try to imitate any of the above Hogan’s is the easiest to imitate superficially at least. But it won’t work for you very often. Best to find your own way.

    • Sean Mysel

      I think one of the best ways to put together a great golf swing is to take experiences in other sports you have been successful with and apply them to the golf swing. For instance, if you had a great baseball swing that involved great rotary motion, you definitely can hit a golf ball that way. I played hockey and we have to hit down on the puck when taking a slapshot…but the key was maintaining balance while making the strike. I think with Hogan and Norman people revere at the consistency both gentlemen had and as we all know, in golf consistency is crucial.

  2. Ron

    Your point is well taken, Monte. Both were great ball strikers. Yet they had different attitudes about their swing. Hogan had a secret and Moe said how easy it was to hit a ball straight.

    BTW, what is “ROFLMAOPMP!!!!!!!”?

    • woody

      Roll On Floor, Laugh My A$$ Off, and I’m guessing here…pi$$ed my pants?

  3. woody

    Learning by copying somebody’s geometry, as seen in only 2 dimensions, is probably a bad way to go. What people miss is that over the years both Hogan and Norman changed the look of their swings. As a young player, Moe’s left heel came up with his backswing, and he looked more conventional.

    One great things about Moe was that he never stopped learning. On Moe’s last Youtube video (at age 72 with a cataract in one eye and still hitting it great), he said, “I was wrong all my life. Wait ‘til you see this…you’re gonna sh*t.”

    He narrowed his stance somewhat, let his arms hang a bit more, and said that it got him 8mph more, 40 yards longer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiBX1LnOWCI&feature=related (0:18) young Moe
    Left heel rises off the ground.

    Factoid: Hogan at about 5’7″ and 137 lb was called “Bantam Ben,” and he was one of the longest players.

  4. Greg

    90 minutes of practice a week? You’re asking a lot of us weekend hacks.

  5. MSGolfer

    What a strange world we live in, somehow in 50+ years apparently nobody has come close to hitting it how Hogan or Norman did…

    I’d bet any amount of money you could pick out 10 guys on a Tour range that could hit it just as well. Hogan is now a marketing tool for people and they need the fish to keep getting bigger to keep the revenue.

    • woody

      The great thing about sports arguments is that nobody ever wins…especially when comparing players from different eras.

      About today’s players, the money draws the best of the best, who would have been lawyers, business men, or insurance salesmen in times past. So, you could argue for a stronger field. Technology has produced better equipment, no more hickory shafts like Bobby Jones had. Better physical training.

      More knowledge about the swing? Eh, no. I just read Hogan’s 1948 “Power Golf,” and they knew as much then as they do now. In fact, I learned something.

      Conditions now…fairways like what they used to have for greens. Greens are now exceptionally consistent.

      Nobody will ever know how good Moe could have been. A guy who regularly practiced with him (Greg Lavern) wrote that Moe sometimes played for 2nd place because the first-place prize (amateur) would be a duplicate of something that he had won before. Also, Moe would sometimes lay back and let a young player win, to give him more confidence to try to be a great player. And, Moe didn’t really like putting!

      Basically, Moe got chased off the PGA Tour for clowning around–probably to relieve the boredom of slow play…using a Coke bottle for a tee, playing holes backward Wedge-Driver…and basically embarrassing the stuffed-shirts. Ironically, it was probably Hogan who was sent to reprimand Moe.

  6. Doug Benner

    I think Hogan really was a cut above, at least if the historical accounts can be believed. He used to go entire tournaments and miss only a handful of fairways and greens, if any.

    However, Monte’s point is very true, and the reverence thing seems to be a bit overdone. What should be emulated about Hogan or Norman is not their exact swings but their determination to find their own answers to the golf swing. There are broad principals which apply to everyone, and Monte does as good a job as anyone (and a better job than most) in laying them out. But beyond that there is a lot of trial and error, and no easy answers or exact formulas. All of this stuff about the power accumulators being at such and such a place when the flying wedge is someplace else during the turn in the barrel while pressure point 4.3 is feeling the lag….madness.

  7. Calvin

    Best thing about the Coleman slow motion Hogan drill is the woman in the background: ” Ooohhhhh Beeennnah.” 🙂


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