Clearly. He'd probably eke out a couple of top tens, maybe even win a John Deere Classic, but he probably wouldn't make much of a dent.
Huh? He won the Masters twice, the open four times, the British Open and the PGA. He is one of four people the ever win all four Championships. And he did it in a day when the equipment was good enough to manicure the golf course as well as today and the clubs weren't as forgiving. He had one of , if not the most influential swings in the history of the game. If Hogan was around today he'd do the same thing he did back then, He'd eat up Golf course. Same goes for Snead, Nicklaus, A great golfer could compete in any era. There''s a saying .."There's no place on the scorecard for how you did it" If anyone is judging Hogan on watching films of him playing, and analyzing his swing to come to such a conclusion as you have you might be better off to look at what his scores were.
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.
Maintenance of forum decorum dictates that I cannot properly express the low opinion I have of this entire concept. What is the point of the post? Hogan was who he was in his own time frame. Period. As an aside, I'd be interested to know if there is even one player on today's PGA Tour that didn't read Five Lessons early in their journey to pro status...
Not wishing to wade through the entirity of the thread to see whether or not its been mentioned, I thought I'd tell you a true story and apologise if its already been referenced
Carnoustie's sixth hole at 512 yds long with an SI of 2, was renamed 'Hogans Alley' in 2003. This is because there is an outward bounds fence running all the way down the left with a bunker smack in the middle of the fairway. The shot down the right has Jocky's burn in play but doesn't permit you to reach the green if going this safer route. The line between the bunkers and the out of bounds is narrow and was regarded as too high risk, borderline impossible, but it was always known that anyone strong enough with the required accuracy could thread this alley between the two hazards and give themselves a chance of reaching the green with their second. It wasn't regarded as a percentage choice though
For each day of the 1953 Open Hogan played through this narrow gap between bunker and out of bounds on his way to victory allowing him to become the only player to reach the green in 2 shots every day of the four. Others attempted it but it failed
On 24th September 2003 at the renaming ceremony some modern pros were invited to reproduce Hogans shots using a 1953 driver and old 1.62 golf balls
The winner was Arjun Atwal at 254yds
Paul Lawrie drove 245 yds
Adam Scott 231 yds
Vijay Singh 219 yds
Colin Montgomerie 203 yds
Sam Torrance 200 yds
I'm not really that interested in entering into an argument on the relevance of this. I'll leave that to others. But so far as I know its one of the nearest 'tests' that can be established to try and give us a read on inter-generational merits
The 6th hole on the Championship Course was officially renamed on Wednesday 24th September 2003 as Hogan's Alley by our 1999 Open Champion, Paul Lawrie.
To commemorate Ben Hogan's feat in 1953, today's professionals were invited to take part in a longest drive competition using a 1953 driver and old 1.62 golf balls. The winner was Arjun Atwal with a drive of 251 yards. Other notable entries were Paul Lawrie 245 yards, Adam Scott 231 yards, Vijay Singh 219 yards, Colin Montgomerie 203 yards and Sam Torrance 200 yards.
An interesting premise you present for discussion; however, your diatribe consists of comments that are demeaning to Mr. Hogan's ability as a golfer, and perhaps as an athlete. Moreover, some similar observations near an inclination of distain for Hogan. Mr. Hogan had the body much like a NFL fullback, and Ted Williams once said, "I just shaked hands with a man that has steel fingers."
That being said, I’d like to retort with some facts that contradict your assertion of Hogan’s purported “standings” with today’s professionals. First and foremost, likening Hogan to Toms or Johnson would be like saying, “Mr. Obama, I believe you are of similar presidential caliber of Abraham Lincoln.” David Toms or Zach Johnson would courteously deny any closeness in skill to Hogan, and would rebuff any such compliment.
As for putting, it is true that Hogan suffered from horrible putting starting in 1957. Before then, however, he was considered a very adept putter (you can look this up via “Google” as many of Hogan’s contemporaries will corroborate).
Lastly, in judging a golfer’s relevancy in history, one must judge said golfer’s performance at golf’s most difficult venue: the U.S. Open. The USGA says that Hogan won FOUR United States Opens (not exactly true because Hogan won the Hale America Open, a tournament purposely miss-named by the USGA to avoid terrorism at the much publicized event during the time of war). So, Hogan won the most difficult challenge FIVE (or four) times in a period of six years!
Ben Hogan is the best golfer that ever lived. He won more tournaments than anyone entered to play and finish said events. With the technological advances since Hogan’s dominance, he would still be the best, and no one even close. Your premise fails for a number of reasons; but most importantly, because Hogan intimidated the field. He also out-worked them. Ask any touring pro who IS the most hard-working pro? They’ll all say, without hesitation, “Vijay Singh.”
How would Hogan do against Woods, Phil Mickelson, or even the very prodigious Singh? Hogan would be as irrelevant as Nicklaus at the Masters in 1986.