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What Was Ben Hogan's Swing Speed?


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#1 sanderslongdrive

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 08:56 PM

Is it possible using  footage from old tapes to scientifically calculate swing speed?

If so does anyone know BH's SS?

I would love to calculate how far he would likely hit using today's equipment.


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#2 farmer

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 09:24 PM

I read that he was measured on radar late in his career, and it showed his ss at 117.  He wouldn't be a bomber, but longer than average.

#3 professor_doom

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 11:52 PM

 farmer, on 20 August 2010 - 09:24 PM, said:

I read that he was measured on radar late in his career, and it showed his ss at 117.  He wouldn't be a bomber, but longer than average.

When was that?  After his accident?

#4 freddiec

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 03:40 AM

I think you need to keep in mind that back then clubs were a bit heavier, especially the driver. Ben wasn't a particularily long hitter, but controlled the ball really well, from the swings I've seen I'm sure with a driver he rarely went over 105 to 110 max I bet with a driver.

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 06:31 PM

I can't agree about Hogan he was a very long hitter when he wanted to be. Mostly he played the drive like mortals play irons for a certain place on the fairway, flat spots or an angle to the pin, but he could hit it 300 when he wanted to.


#6 ignitewvu

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:28 PM

I'm sure you if you would give a 30 year old Ben Hogan a Major Brand Driver and a top flight shaft he would bomb it with anyone out there.  His swing was so pure it was sick......
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#7 dlygrisse

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:10 PM

He was one of the longest hitters on tour prior to the accident, when he wanted to be, major speed, major lag, very strong arms hands and pivot.  He may not have been thte longest of the long, but he was long.  

His first book was titled Power Golf for a reason, in the book he gives hit yardage with each club min. avg, and max. the max stated with his 42 1/2" persimmon  driver was 300 yards, average 260 I believe.  Hogan was probably the longest straight hitter in history.  I guarantee his swing speed would be well over 120 with modern equipment if he swung hard.
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#8 cavemeister

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 08:38 PM

You're right. If his swing speed at the end of his career was 117 with steel. He would have been 125 at his peak.

 dlygrisse, on 23 August 2010 - 09:10 PM, said:

He was one of the longest hitters on tour prior to the accident, when he wanted to be, major speed, major lag, very strong arms hands and pivot.  He may not have been thte longest of the long, but he was long.  

His first book was titled Power Golf for a reason, in the book he gives hit yardage with each club min. avg, and max. the max stated with his 42 1/2" persimmon  driver was 300 yards, average 260 I believe.  Hogan was probably the longest straight hitter in history.  I guarantee his swing speed would be well over 120 with modern equipment if he swung hard.

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#9 ballcards23

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 09:58 PM

117 SS.  That is solid.

#10 Jrose

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 04:59 PM

I believe in Jim Mclean's DVD Ben hogan, the Golf swing, they estimate Mr. Hogan's SS in the high 120's. Not saying its accurate, just saying thats what was said in the DVD.


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#11 TWshoot67

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 05:40 PM

Hech if Sergio can hit it over 300 I know my boy Ben Hogan could summon up the yardage when needed. Just look at some of his swings......probably the best ball striker of all time. JMO. But I'm biased. LOL :clapping:  :clapping:
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#12 mwgolfpro

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 09:54 PM

You guys...quit guessing!

#13 storm

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 03:01 PM

its not about the SS. its about the tempo ;)

#14 jak_bot

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:03 PM

Ben Hogan if he wanted to, would easily be in the top 5 in driving distance . Hogan having great control over his accuracy and distance played the shot that was required, not bomb and gouge type golf.

Here is an idea of his distances from 1952 (post-accident).  His largest drive was 310 yds., with several others in the 285-295 range.

http://books.google....0drives&f=false

Edited by jak_bot, 22 January 2011 - 07:03 PM.


#15 MadGolfer76

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:31 PM

285 with persimmon and steel is quite a whack. Dude would be huge with today's equipment, although that idea seems wrong somehow.

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#16 jak_bot

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:47 PM

 MadGolfer76, on 22 January 2011 - 07:31 PM, said:

285 with persimmon and steel is quite a whack. Dude would be huge with today's equipment, although that idea seems wrong somehow.

Yup, the stuff legends are made out of.

#17 tembolo1284

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 09:25 AM

Does anyone remember if he had the face of his driver cranked open? I know it was majorly anti-hook..but don't remember if he just got it built toe heavy, very flat lie, or if it was also very open.

Whatever his ss was...he def had a violent snap at the ball.  Good stuff.
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#18 justaman5

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 09:42 AM

Persimmon woods, being wood. Allowed you to take a file and make them more open. If you read any at all of players in the 1930's to the 1960's, and figure out they worked on their own clubs. Then refinished them, then you would understand that they could change a driver to the characteristics that suited them. Granted it was time on the trackman, but a much more time consuming process.

An example would be Bryon Nelson, bought several drivers in one year. His wife had not bought a dress in a year. He told her that he was going to buy a new driver. She said why dont you get one you like and use it. So the story goes, he fixed one to his liking, and then had the great years that he did. I have it in a book of instruction that he wrote. I will have to look for it again. Its a great read.
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#19 swbyps

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 09:55 AM

 mwgolfpro, on 16 December 2010 - 09:54 PM, said:

You guys...quit guessing!

Thank you...Although it does make for good conversation. I, like anyone else, would like to know what Mr. Hogans SS "truly" was, but without the benefit of the technology at the time we are only putting forth best guesses. The estimates here have ranged from 105 to high 120s...thats a HUGE difference. We just dont really know.

#20 tembolo1284

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:00 AM

 swbyps, on 24 January 2011 - 09:55 AM, said:

 mwgolfpro, on 16 December 2010 - 09:54 PM, said:

You guys...quit guessing!

Thank you...Although it does make for good conversation. I, like anyone else, would like to know what Mr. Hogans SS "truly" was, but without the benefit of the technology at the time we are only putting forth best guesses. The estimates here have ranged from 105 to high 120s...thats a HUGE difference. We just dont really know.

We should find out what it takes to hit one of their balls with their clubs 280 let's say.  That will take a ss of X and then we can start to say more about it.  Anyone have a Hogan, Palmer, or Nicklaus driver and ball handy? Need a trackman too.

I'll bet you need 120+ to whack it out there 280+ on the fly like Nicklaus did.  Palmer average in the high 270s low 280s for one of the US Opens he lost to Nicklaus if I remember.  But ya....what I said above would be a good start.

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#21 swbyps

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:37 AM

 tembolo1284, on 24 January 2011 - 10:00 AM, said:

 swbyps, on 24 January 2011 - 09:55 AM, said:

 mwgolfpro, on 16 December 2010 - 09:54 PM, said:

You guys...quit guessing!

Thank you...Although it does make for good conversation. I, like anyone else, would like to know what Mr. Hogans SS "truly" was, but without the benefit of the technology at the time we are only putting forth best guesses. The estimates here have ranged from 105 to high 120s...thats a HUGE difference. We just dont really know.

We should find out what it takes to hit one of their balls with their clubs 280 let's say.  That will take a ss of X and then we can start to say more about it.  Anyone have a Hogan, Palmer, or Nicklaus driver and ball handy? Need a trackman too.

I'll bet you need 120+ to whack it out there 280+ on the fly like Nicklaus did.  Palmer average in the high 270s low 280s for one of the US Opens he lost to Nicklaus if I remember.  But ya....what I said above would be a good start.

Now this is a good approach! Im sure there are those here who have a driver and similar type ball that Hogan used. If someone can get on a Trackman with similar equipment to what Hogan used, that would be great! Obviously they wont be able to strike it like he did, but we may be able to get some ballpark figures to go on.

#22 tembolo1284

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:44 AM

 swbyps, on 24 January 2011 - 10:37 AM, said:

 tembolo1284, on 24 January 2011 - 10:00 AM, said:

 swbyps, on 24 January 2011 - 09:55 AM, said:

 mwgolfpro, on 16 December 2010 - 09:54 PM, said:

You guys...quit guessing!

Thank you...Although it does make for good conversation. I, like anyone else, would like to know what Mr. Hogans SS "truly" was, but without the benefit of the technology at the time we are only putting forth best guesses. The estimates here have ranged from 105 to high 120s...thats a HUGE difference. We just dont really know.

We should find out what it takes to hit one of their balls with their clubs 280 let's say.  That will take a ss of X and then we can start to say more about it.  Anyone have a Hogan, Palmer, or Nicklaus driver and ball handy? Need a trackman too.

I'll bet you need 120+ to whack it out there 280+ on the fly like Nicklaus did.  Palmer average in the high 270s low 280s for one of the US Opens he lost to Nicklaus if I remember.  But ya....what I said above would be a good start.

Now this is a good approach! Im sure there are those here who have a driver and similar type ball that Hogan used. If someone can get on a Trackman with similar equipment to what Hogan used, that would be great! Obviously they wont be able to strike it like he did, but we may be able to get some ballpark figures to go on.

I don't mean to be a weenie...but seeing how many chaps here hit it 300 on the fly with modern stuff...they shouldn't have too many problems hitting a dead ball with persimmon 270 or so haha. Mean it with love of course. :friends:

I hope someone can do this...it would be ridiculously fun and awesome.
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#23 p.vandeloo

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 11:26 AM

I've seen guys hit persimmon 300 yds,
I think Hogan could do that too if he wanted to. But he was so much about accuracy that he never went at it a 100%.
I also think that hogan swung relatively heavy clubs (even for his era). This would obviously reduce swingspeed somewhat.

#24 tembolo1284

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 11:51 AM

 p.vandeloo, on 24 January 2011 - 11:26 AM, said:

I've seen guys hit persimmon 300 yds,
I think Hogan could do that too if he wanted to. But he was so much about accuracy that he never went at it a 100%.
I also think that hogan swung relatively heavy clubs (even for his era). This would obviously reduce swingspeed somewhat.


I agree with this.  Would be nice to see what it takes mph wise and launch angle and all that to see what it would take to make an old ball using an old club go 280+ yards in the air.

You think Hogan was good? Doing this experiment would show just how truly freakin' great he and guys like Nicklaus were!
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#25 MadGolfer76

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:33 PM

 p.vandeloo, on 24 January 2011 - 11:26 AM, said:

I've seen guys hit persimmon 300 yds,
I think Hogan could do that too if he wanted to. But he was so much about accuracy that he never went at it a 100%.
I also think that hogan swung relatively heavy clubs (even for his era). This would obviously reduce swingspeed somewhat.

I thought he said in 5 Lessons that he did sometimes try to hit the ball as hard as he could? I think it would be these instances that yield the 280-90 bombs we are talking about.

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#26 p.vandeloo

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 05:06 PM

Maybe you're right,
but I still don't think that he'd ever go 100% during a tournament.

If you go at it a 100%,  chances are you will miss the sweetspot when hitting persimmons with the much smaller heads.

Some of these guys on the tours are hitting titanium drivers so violently that they seem to lose their balance.
And in a sense they get away with it because the clubs are more forgiving.

And who blames them? Length is rewarded more than accuracy these days, especially compared to Hogan's era.

#27 tembolo1284

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 08:03 AM

I think we've seen plenty of times on old tourney coverage Nicklaus and Palmer lashing out at the ball as hard as Bubba does today.  And they still hit great shots...just shows you how good these guys were.
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#28 tedp

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:24 AM

I've read where Mr. Hogan's driver was D8 SW and the first step on the iron shaft
was just a little above the whipping.  To handle that type of driver setup, you have
to be extremely strong/high swingspeed.

I read where, I believe he was in his late 70s, he hadn't swung a club in years, he went
into the pro shop grabbed a new sleeve of balls, got his D8 XXstiff driver and proceeded
to hit three balls, all of which were over 260 and close together (one just barely in the
right rough and the other two close together and right edge of fairway which is the side to
be on for the hole- last time he swing a club per head pro at the course).

Amazing stuff!!

Keep it down the middle,

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#29 tembolo1284

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:31 AM

Hopefully one of these chaps on here can do the experiment we talked about above.

Any takers?
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#30 sfagolfjp

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 12:02 PM

 tembolo1284, on 09 February 2011 - 10:31 AM, said:

Hopefully one of these chaps on here can do the experiment we talked about above.

Any takers?


I have access to some old Macgregor woods.... the ball may be a little harder to find but if i can talk my buddy into letting my get on flightscope i'll try it.... i usually swing around 112 to 115 with todays stuff so it will be interesting to see what happens


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