Who else agrees with me that Ben Hogan would be irrelevant on today's PGA Tour? He might be able to squeak into the top 30 or 25 in the world, and he'd probably be a major winner, but dominant? No way. The only advantage that Ben Hogan would have would be his mental game. Hogan probably had the best mental game of any golfer ever, that can't be denied. His course management and attitude was second to none. But physically he could not hang with today's top 30. So I am not a hater, I am giving him his props. Here are the FACTS:
Ben Hogan's "legacy" was developed during a time when golf instruction was in the dark ages. In my opinion we are still evolving and developing technique every day, Hogan just happened to be significantly ahead of his peers at the time. No one knew jack about the golf swing back then, Hogan didn't have any "secrets," it's just that everyone else was such an idiot. Who were the best golf instructors back then? Claude Harmon? LOL. Jackie Burke? LOL. Reading the advice in "It's Only a Game," made me cringe. Welcome to the 21st century. LOL
The only reason Hogan's ball striking has achieved mythical status is that no one could hit the ball back then. There are literally dozens of golfers who would be better ball strikers today than Ben Hogan. Go to the range at any NCAA event and you are bound to see a bunch of college kids that can hit it better than Hogan. more far, more accurate, period.
Detailed stats were NOT kept in Hogan's day. We have no reliable metric to determine how good Hogan's ball striking was. The truth of the matter is that we do now, and guess what? It turns out that in the group of elite ball strikers, the best DO NOT have a significant edge on each other. Guys like Sergio, Joe Durant, Prime Vijay, Prime Tiger, Nick Price, Nick Faldo, Prime Boo, all of the best modern ball strikers, now that we have stats on them, are not significantly better than one another. This means that ball striking, once you are at an elite level, is mostly IRRELEVANT.
Ben Hogan's putting was pitiful. Yeah yeah yeah, "Oh before his accident he was so good at putting before he went blind in the left eye!" LOL, excuses, whatever. The truth of the matter is that Hogan's putting will forever go down as his achilles heel. The truth of the matter is that to play golf at the highest level of the PGA tour, you have to have elite level putting and short game. While Hogan's short game was pretty good, it was never his strong point. So based on his putting and short game I don't think he would be able to crack the top 5 in world rankings.
And I'm going to have to finally mention the elephant in the room. Power. Despite everyone thinking Ben Hogan hammered it, the fact of the matter is that he didn't okay? Even Hank Haney stated in his Golf Digest "My Shot" interview that Hank Haney, Lee Trevino, and Moe Norman despite their great ball striking ability lacked today's raw power. Hogan just couldn't hang with the big dawgs on tour today, and that's a fact.
In conclusion, I think that the new breed like Rory Mc, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, etc are way ahead of Hogan. If Hogan competed today he would be about on the same level as a guy like David Toms or Zach Johnson. Those guys certainly aren't bad, but they're mostly irrelevant, that that's where Hogan would be.