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Perfecting your Golf Swing: Important Lessons from Ben Hogan

Perfecting your Golf Swing: Important Lessons from Ben Hogan

Shoal Creek azaleas are bright enough to rival Augusta’s this year, and it’s a grand place for perfecting your golf swing. Golf is the shining star of Shoal Creek, and golfers of all levels make this their home. Golfers are perfecting their golf swings and can get some great tips from the late golfer Ben Hogan who had a swing that wowed the world.

Take Notes: Ben Hogan’s Tips to Perfect the Golf Swing 

Golf’s most remarkable comeback story started in 1950 at Merion, when Ben Hogan, who some have called golf’s greatest all-time U.S. Open player, captured our national championship and five of the following seven majors. Hogan is a Masters, British Open, and U.S. Open champion, all victories earned in 1953 after surviving a serious automobile accident. Many predicted he would never play again, but he did. “It was a miracle,” the late golf champion and CBS analyst Ken Venturi told Golf Digest in 2009.

It was nice to hear Hogan’s name and his story again. While millennials may know Tiger Woods, who is currently recovering from a serious crash, they should know Hogan, too. Ben Hogan, you see, still matters, nearly 25 years after his death at age 84. And he still has wisdom to impart, even today, to Shoal Creek golfers at every skill level. Here are six lessons from the great champion that you can keep in mind this golf season. 

1. Accelerate Through Impact 

Gradually increase tempo from the top of the swing all the way through impact, so that clubhead speed is fastest after contact with the ball.

2. Think Low

Hogan believed that whenever possible, golfers should think low around the greens. Chips and pitches should be low to allow for spin and greater control. Hogan also recommended keeping hand movement to a minimum to avoid scooping the ball.

3. Accuracy is Key

Accuracy off the tee was a staple of Hogan’s game before and after his accident. The key was to delay wrist action during the downswing, which kept the clubhead falling behind his hands.

4. Solidify Your Grip

It all starts with the grip. In his classic book, Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons, Hogan wrote that a solid grip is the foundation of a great swing. Both hands have to work in harmony and firmly on the club as a single unit.  Paraphrasing Hogan, a partially correct grip is still partially incorrect, and the hands cannot work together.

5. Take Heart

The last lesson is something intangible. You can’t see it with your eyes or fix it with a new grip, new clubs, or weeks of lessons, though they will most likely lower your score. It’s the most powerful lesson from Hogan’s life. In fact, it’s one of the four most important lessons taught by the game. Golf teaches integrity and etiquette, to be sure.

6. Put in the Work

Hogan offered an example of work ethic. It all started for him as a kid, practicing 12 hours a day. He believed the practice was half the fun of playing.

“Nobody had to work as hard as Ben to play golf,” the late Byron Nelson said. “Nobody.” 

The Hogan story also teaches courage. Remember, he captured that 1950 U.S. Open 16 months after that near-fatal crash on a two-lane road that left him with a broken collarbone, a smashed rib, a double-fractured pelvis, and a broken ankle. 

“People have always been telling me what I can’t do,” he said once. “I guess I have wanted to show them. That’s been one of the driving forces of my life.

Golf, and championship courses like Shoal Creek, offer challenges that can seem to tell golfers what they can’t do. But the human heart and Ben Hogan’s life tell a different story – a story of what can be done.


Living at Shoal Creek: Luxury, Nature, Golf, and More! 

Shoal Creek itself is a testament to the vision of Jack Nicklaus, who at first glance only saw a bunch of par 3s in the tract hardwood-blanketed land in the Appalachian foothills that later became the vibrant community of Shoal Creek. 

One of the many benefits of living in the luxury community of Shoal Creek is access to the neighborhood’s many amenities, including the award-winning golf course. Shoal Creek is the ideal location not only for perfecting your golf swing, but also a fantastic community for your family’s forever custom home. Contact our on-site real estate agent to schedule your visit to our Birmingham, Alabama, community.