If you have been following this blog you more than likely have heard about the 84 degree secret. Let's take a look at how this line applies to the swing of Ben Hogan. It is important to remember that top golfers generally are flush up against the 84 degree line prior to any part of the body initiating the downswing. Some of the golfers are not necessarily all the way to the top of the backswing when they initiated a dynamic downswing, i.e. their hands and arms were actually still completing the backswing while their bodies (hips and legs) had already begun the downswing. A dynamic move is when one part of the body is travelling in the opposite direction to another part of the body. Starting the lower body forward while the arms and club are still going backward creates energy or snap in the swing – just like when a whip is cracked.
Let’s look at the swing of Ben Hogan. In the first illustration notice how he is just about against the 84 degree line with his right side and his swing appears to be the correct length. This is due to the fact that his arms and club have not completed the backswing, yet his body is about to start its move to impact. In the second illustration Hogan has completed the backswing with his arms and club, yet notice how far his mid-section is off the 84 degree line. This is because he is already halfway through the downswing with his body. I have read many an article about Hogan's so-called reverse pivot, but he did not have a reverse pivot, merely a very dynamic swing.
It is this dynamic motion that allows golfers to have what appears to be a slow and easy swing, yet efficiently generates tremendous speed in the clubhead and causes the ball to go a long way.
If you try this in practice start with small swings with a 7 iron. Focus on the rhythm of the shot - it should almost feel like you are making miniature figure 8's with your body. Well, you could either do that or take some rumba lessons!
Thanks for reading and please feel free to post your thoughts and questions.