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Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
http://perfectpractice.wordpress.com...driver-set-up/



he uses an analysis on hogan's and nicklaus positions. Nowadays...nicklaus' seems to be the predominant school of thought on the topic.

what do you think about his opinion on ball position?

--im not sure if its his original idea...but i found it on his site.
post #2 of 12

Re: Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

Is it just me or is that not very well written?
post #3 of 12

Re: Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

I use the Nicklaus school although I need some work to strictly follow the method. The width of my stance is not consistent. I find for instance that I widen my stance on the driver in addition to moving the ball to inside the front heel. I also think I leave the stance too wide for my lower irons. So many problems so little time. I don't know about the article writer's adjustment to the Hogan method whereby he doesn't transition from the closed to open stance as his stance narrows for the high irons. Someone explained the reason for opening and closing the stance like this:

An open stance effectively moves the ball back further in your stance. Draw a line through the ball as it lays on the ground parallel to the stance (this will be at an angle to the target line for an open stance); draw another line through the golfers feet parallel to that one representing the "stance line". Now draw a perpindicular line between them from the ball. If you do this for say Hogans wedge position the perpindicular line intersects that "stance line" at about the middle of his stance. The ball is off his left heel if you drop a line from the ball straight vertically down but the open stance changes the dynamic.

I question how one can get their swing to bottom out just in front of a ball that is in the position off the left heel when using a wedge. Sure narrowing the stance will move the bottoming out point forward but I might have a hard time with that.
post #4 of 12

Re: Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

I used to change my ball position depending on which club I was using. However, I've changed to basically always off the front heel.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Re: Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

i'm going to go hit balls today and try the front heel method...it seems like you can be more consistent with moving your foot than with ball position.
post #6 of 12

Re: Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

I'm glad you brought this topic up. In Jack Nicklaus' videos, Golf My Way, he says he always plays off the left heel and uses the same swing for every shot. He just widens or closes the stance based on the club. He also opens the stance for short clubs (since he plays a power fade). I'm not sure where this guy (the one who wrote that article) got his information from about Nicklaus moving the ball around for normal shots. Nicklaus said in his video he only did that for special shots.

Another thing, has anyone tried Hogan's approach with the foot moving back to a closed position for the long irons and above? I never really thought about it, but it makes so much sense I might just have to try it. I must have not even realized it, but looking again at Five Lessons, it makes total sense with Hogan's swing. I heard of doing drills with the right foot way back, to learn to hook the ball and get away from slicing, but doing it a small amount on a regular basis with the long clubs seems very interesting.

Lastly, and maybe it is just because of how poorly written that article really is, how does that guy take the "Nicklaus" approach and the "Hogan" approach and arrive at his "ideal" approach? Seems to me like the "ideal" approach is just the best looking, but not the most functional when it comes to adapting the same swing to the different clubs.

Next time I hit the range, I'm taking Five Lessons with me and trying the Hogan method.
post #7 of 12

Re: Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

Hogan's method has always worked for me.
post #8 of 12

Re: Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

I use to hit everything off the inside of my front foot. I spent the better part of 3 months this year changing the ball position to the middle of my stance and adjusting to which club I used... because I wanted to learn to play golf the "right" way.

Now that I have made the transition I can say this about the two styles. If you have your front foot in an open position... obviously you are going to fade, cut, and slice the ball more than you want. The ball further up in your stance changes your whole game to basically a flop game with your irons. I would get an insane amount of height with my iron shots. You also will more than likely develop somewhat of a slide towards the ball during transition as well as lose a little bit of distance.

Unless I cant judge the center of my stance I would say now I hit my wedges and high irons about a half ball in front of center of my stance. This was the only thing that made me feel like I was making a good weight shift and transition towards the ball. If it were in the middle I would just hang back and hit it fat. Mid irons would be about a ball further up in my stance and low irons, fairway woods and low hybrids (I only use an 18*) another ball forward.

Maybe I am completely wrong but this is what I have found from doing both schools of thought.
post #9 of 12

Re: Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

Interesting analysis tincup. I am realizing now I am using kind of a hybrid approach which leads to probably inconsistent results. With the wedges for example I know I narrow my stance as well as place the ball in the middle. I definitely widen my stance with the driver and place the ball off the left heel. So as far as convention goes my ball positioning is a mess. I just have never concentrated on what I was doing enough. Maybe I should.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Re: Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

anybody feel a loss of distance with the hogan technique? i've been trying it out and it seems like my ball flies consistently about 10-15 yards shorter. I feel like, because my foot is flared, i cant hold off my lag as long. Mainly, my tempo is a little off because with this technique i feel like im taking a longer swing than i would if my front foot was parallel with my back.


It also feels like i cant get aggresive if i wanted to. If im in that between the clubs distance....it feels like i cant just hit my shorter club longer. Feels like im limited to making an 85% swing.

Although the shots do go nice and straight...it feels like im losing lag and definitely losing backspin and stopping power on the green.
post #11 of 12

Re: Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

Originally Posted by m11 View Post
anybody feel a loss of distance with the hogan technique? i've been trying it out and it seems like my ball flies consistently about 10-15 yards shorter. I feel like, because my foot is flared, i cant hold off my lag as long. Mainly, my tempo is a little off because with this technique i feel like im taking a longer swing than i would if my front foot was parallel with my back.


It also feels like i cant get aggresive if i wanted to. If im in that between the clubs distance....it feels like i cant just hit my shorter club longer. Feels like im limited to making an 85% swing.

Although the shots do go nice and straight...it feels like im losing lag and definitely losing backspin and stopping power on the green.
Yes you will lose distance, Hogan says this. You will however make up for it in accuracy.
post #12 of 12

Re: Ball Position. Nicklaus vs Hogan

Originally Posted by m11 View Post
anybody feel a loss of distance with the hogan technique? i've been trying it out and it seems like my ball flies consistently about 10-15 yards shorter. I feel like, because my foot is flared, i cant hold off my lag as long. Mainly, my tempo is a little off because with this technique i feel like im taking a longer swing than i would if my front foot was parallel with my back.
Originally Posted by TinCupTampa View Post
I use to hit everything off the inside of my front foot. I spent the better part of 3 months this year changing the ball position to the middle of my stance and adjusting to which club I used... because I wanted to learn to play golf the "right" way.

Now that I have made the transition I can say this about the two styles. If you have your front foot in an open position... obviously you are going to fade, cut, and slice the ball more than you want. The ball further up in your stance changes your whole game to basically a flop game with your irons. I would get an insane amount of height with my iron shots. You also will more than likely develop somewhat of a slide towards the ball during transition as well as lose a little bit of distance.
See bold sentences
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