Was Ben Hogan right or wrong?
Was Ben Hogan right or wrong? Let’s find out!
Was Ben Hogan wrong or not?
The most important shot in golf is the next one.
If you are a golfer, you probably heard this quote from the golfing legend, Ben Hogan.
Can the most vibrant golfing quote ever be wrong? Could you move forward if you were living in the wrong belief? The majority of golfers who play with golfing handicap knows their scoring numbers. They also know that these numbers are pretty high.
What they don’t always realize is that their scoring numbers could be better. What if that problem of no-improvement (even when golfers are practicing with certified Golf Pros) is simply logical, psychological, mental?
We love the game
We, who love the game, know that Ben Hogan did well in his career. Though, it wasn’t like that always. Luckily for us, he never stopped one particular activity that wasn’t (to be honest, still isn’t) very popular in his era. Practicing! Practicing was his domain.
Ben knew that practicing uncovered the weaknesses of his game.
He knew that with knowing and understanding them, he was able to cure, repair and fix them. He also knew that he could change weaknesses into strengths. It isn’t necessary to think about what was done. Only the actual shot, only what is now matters. The actual shot is the most important.
Wait, he didn’t say that. He said “The most important shot in golf is the next one”. Comparing “the actual” with “the next” makes it quite a different story. Was he wrong or right? How can we concentrate on actual golf shot when we are concentrating on the next shot, as he said?
Is the actual shot not important? If score on one hole affects overall score, it certainly is important. By skipping over actual shot and concentrating on the next one, we also skip every opportunity to fully connect our consciousness and attention to the target on the fairway. What is more important than to land the ball on the fairway or green, instead of rough, water, sand or elsewhere?
The logical proof that Ben Hogan was wrong
We and our thoughts in various golfing situations:
A. When we think about our absolute goals in the golf, we think (at least in the furthest corner of our mind) about major tournament trophies – the Green jacket or the Claret jug.
B. But when we enter the golf course, our goals start to change. They are becoming more present –
“I would like to shoot no more than 72 strokes today.”
C. Approaching the tee box, our goals reduce to the only one and specific goal –
“I would like to play PAR on this hole!”.
The next part
D. With picking the club, goal seems to change once again –
“I would like to hit it on the fairway!” (or green, depending on the type of the shot).
E. Golf ball is on the tee. Our goal isn’t acquiring of the major trophy anymore. Our goal is plain and simple –
“Just hit the ball!”.
To do this correctly, the golfer needs to concentrate on few (and no other) specific & present actions – the proper Grip, the stable Stance and the balanced Rhythm.
Raise your hands!
Please, raise your hand all of you, who think about anything else in last 3 seconds before the swing and still deliver a good output. Probably, not many. If any at all. What happens to the shot when you allow enter into your concentration any other thought than thought about an actual shot?
“If I’ll make this one from the sand, I still can go out of this hole with only 7 strokes. Of course, I cannot 3 putt on the green.”
The Actual shot
Have you ever shank the ball when you were saying this to yourself in last fragment of time before hitting the ball? Did you ever topped the ball in this kind of situation? Have you ever missed the ball in this kind of situation?
Have you ever thought about the “Hogan’s most important next shot” in last 3 seconds before hitting the ball and still delivered a good output from actual shot?
The logical proof that Ben was right
I’m certain that Ben knew about golf lot more than we do. I’m also certain that he knew very well what he mend with the quote “about the next shot”. Simply it is because he outpracticed us, physically and mentally. Does an average golfer understand his quote?
There is an exception where you can think about the next shot as the most important one and yet deliver a good result.
You can allow your mind play with an idea about “the most important shot as the next one” only between the shots.
Or you can allow it right after the shot. Once you execute the miserable drive into the hazard, you need to bomb yourself with positive motivational thoughts. Once you hit a dreadful approach shot, you can say to yourself that “This one is behind me. I need to concentrate on the next one.”.
In this case the next shot could be the called as “the most important”.
Mental game of golf
Our mental game has its own mysterious ways how to communicate with our results. The only *difficult* in the mental game is the execution. Understanding it is simple, yet not very clear for everyone.
Was Ben Hogan wrong? Was Ben Hogan right? Can we or can’t we? Everything is up to us.
We decide, we create and we conquer. But don’t forget that if you are thinking in the actual most intimate moment about anything other than your club and your ball, you are cheating yourself on your game.
In golf as well as in life
- You can learn systematic procedures how to instantly control your thinking in challenging situations.
- Your mind is free.
- There are no limitations.
- There are no ultimate heroes.
- Every of us is human.
- We learn day by day, action by action.
- Learn golf in an easy way.
- If you are not satisfied with one teaching professional, switch to another.
- Pick the one who will boost most of your potential. In golf, as well as in life.
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