SWINGS TO DIE FOR. Sam and Ben go Head To Head in 1965

GOLF 51 YEARS AGO. SAM SNEAD PLAYS BEN HOGAN. 18 HOLES MATCH PLAY IN SHELL’S WONDERFUL WORLD OF GOLF .

This television series of  golf matches between the famous golfers of this era was very popular in the 1960’s. Television coverage was not as readily available as it is today with golf live and results available to the general public all around the golfing world. In New Zealand, where I was living at this time, we had only one TV channel and it was mostly in black and white. Being avid golfers, a match between two golfing icons on TV. was always a program worth watching. Today we have hundreds of tv channels.

Both Hogan and Snead have probably the most copied swing techniques of any golfers in the history of golf. Present day champions are using a very similar body rotation technique or working to improve it. At the time this match was filmed both Ben and Sam were well past their prime.(check history below).  You will notice they could still drive the ball 275 yards plus, using the ball of the day, and wooden headed drivers with steel shafts that are not as long as we use now. This is a tough ask on the 7,000 yard golf course they are playing in this video.

As well as being entertaining, this match offers live action, illustrating all departments of Ben and Slamming Sam’s golf game. Driving, on the fairway, in the rough, around the green and putting etc..

By clicking on the settings icon just below the bottom right of your YouTube picture, then  clicking on “speed”, you can now set the action in slow motion . Slow down any swing and enjoy examining the old masters’ techniques. Sam Snead’s swing still  worked efficiently  even when he was over 80 years of age.

Greypower golfers may lose some flexibility and have a limited range of movement compared to Sam and Ben. A few simple golf exercises over time, may help with this.

For The Record book.  Dominant golf stats.

Sam Snead lived from 1912 until 2002. He won 82  P.G.A  Tournaments . This included 7 major titles.

Ben Hogan lived from 1912 until 1997. Hogan won 64 P.G.A. tournaments. This included 9 major titles. This ties Ben with Gary Player in 4th place, for the most major titles won. Ahead of them are Walter Hagen with 11 majors, Tiger Woods  with 14 majors and Jack Nicklaus with 18 majors.

Hogan is one an elite group of five golfers to win all four major championships. The others are Gary Player, Gene Sarazen, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.  Another 12  golfers have won 3  of the majors,  missing out on the fourth title.

The most P.G A. events won by an individual golfer in history to date is, Sam Snead 82, Tiger Woods 79, Jack Nicklaus 73. Ben Hogan 64

 

 

 

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Ben Hogan Swing

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Ben Hogan  Driver Finish

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Tips From Great Putters

Two putts a hole adds up to 36 putts in a round. This could be almost half the total score for an average golfer. Three or four putts on any green should be avoided at all costs. Tour players average 25 to 30 putts over 18 holes. Remember a short putt adds up to one stroke, the same as your longest drive.

Age should not be a huge factor when it comes down to your ability to hole plenty putts of good length on a regular basis. Its easy to find places to practice putting. Even in your living room. Here are some video tips from great putters. Check them out, then start practicing. It’s the easiest way to begin lowering  your score.

Below: Dave Stockton, one of the worlds great putters gives his advice and a practice drill. Others are Bob Charles. Brad Faxon and Ben Crenshaw, all famous golf putters.

Bob Charles of New Zealand. Could be the best stroke ever?

Using Gravity For Distance

Using gravity for distance gain sounds simple enough to the youthful, but it involves activating many body parts, more than you can think of during a golf swing. This harnessing of gravity for distance can be what one loses with age.

Lee Trevino was one of the very best at using every KG of body weight to get the most power to the golf club head through impact, and he was also the straightest. When using  “gravity drills” you are able to perform golf practice exercises without having to think  technically. As the drill is repeated you gradually learn to contact the ball effectively and the feel is remembered in the body.

I personally have used a specific drill, (single arm swings) regularly in the past when practicing. Start with a 9 iron and hit five balls using the right hand only. Then hit 5 balls using the left hand only. Now hit 10 balls with your normal swing. Do this set of 20 balls 3 times before your regular practice. To begin with you may hit only air and ground a few times, but I found this to be just part of the learning curve.

In The Video below  gravity swing and drills are explained in more detail. I recommend regular drills and golf exercises for all golfers, especially older golfers. As the doctor says “use it or lose it”.

This week’s winning swings in slow motion

USPGA SENIORS GOLF TOUR

Carlos Franco Wins Seniors Shaw Charity Classic. He’s still as flexible as ever. Most seniors swing back shorter. Not Carlos.

LPGA LADIES GOLF TOUR

Caroline Masson wins Manulife LPGA Classic in Ontario Canada See her swing in Slow Motion. More amazing scores this week.

USPGA  MENS  GOLF TOUR
Rory MacIlroy back in form. He Wins in America for the first time this year in a come from behind victory.. See his swing in Slow Motion. Average sized man who drives the ball a mile. See how he does it.

Senior Golf Tips

Getting older? Joints Stiffer. Need Reading Glasses? Sore Knees? Sore Hip? Sore Shoulder?

There are a host of little signs signaling you have seen 55, 65 or 75 years old and are past your youthfulness. The players of the 19th century had lots to overcome too, even as young golfers. One could draw a comparison to the stiffness and soreness some experience as they age, to having to play in a suit and waistcoat while wearing a neck tie. Also when using wooden shafted clubs players experienced a lot more turning and twisting of the club head  close to impact. Its very hard to time this. Clubs were of different weighting and feel, plus there was considerable variation in the shaft flex from club to club. The golf balls they used were softer and their distance and flight was not uniform from one ball to the next.

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This headless golfer even carried his pocket watch. Maybe he even had a pipe in his jacket pocket. He always rode his bicycle to the golf course.

With this information in mind you can see how efficient the olden day champions were at adapting their golf swing technique to their conditions of play. These pictures show clearly technique variations to the present day golf swing.

19th centuary golf swing

Top of the Swing. Elbows bent. Back of the left hand at a downward angle to the left wrist . Left knee behind the ball. Left heel off the ground. Weight over the right foot. Head back behind the ball.

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At address while still in balance, the golfer is standing farther away and reaching out more for the ball ,hoping to create more room between the body and arms through impact, This give more club head speed. A recommendation from James Braid, three time British open Champion. Just take your stance then wiggle your feet back another inch. It soon becomes comfortable.

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A lot of throwing action through the ball getting the arms to clear the body even when wearing restrictive clothing

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Take a look at Harry Vardon. How’s that for magnificent rotation through the shot, even while wearing a suit and  using a whippy wooden shafted driver with a wooden club head. Champion golf professionals have stated Vardon was probably the most dominant golfer in history. He won the British open 6 times and had to travel from England months by ship to win the US open in 1900. There were no Masters or PGA’s in those times.

So if you are feeling a little stiff, always be sure to loosen up and then hit a few balls, before playing your next game.

If at the driving range you find you are losing distance and accuracy and your body feels like a plank of wood even after an aspirin, try having some fun by with out one or two of the moves the old masters used to use. Who knows, one of them may work for you.

US Senior Tour, Bernhard Langer wins. See his Swing in Slow Motion

Bernhard Langer . The swing of a Senior Golfer in slow motion. Everlasting perfection.

Summary. The backswing demonstrates pure rotation of the spine. This increases ball striking efficiency which is confirmed by his accuracy numbers on the senior tour statistics. By keeping the entire spine tilted to the right from address into impact reduces the potential for neck and lower back injury. At 58 years old he appears injury free in these areas.