Hogan considered Wild Bill Mehlhorn to be one of the finest strikers of a golf ball he had ever seen.Mehlhorn won the 1924
Western Open, which back then was considered a major for it’s time.
Here are some excepts that I found interesting from the Chapter on Mehlhorn.
“Because the golf swing happens so quicky, it’s like ten people describing a car accident. Everyone sees and feels it differently.”
Mehlhorn believed the elbows play a huge roll in the golf swing, just as in life in general, you can’t do much without moving your elbows. I think we can relate to this as so much of what we do is defined by how we use our elbows in our swing, particularly the right elbow. Because this very much is one of the main protocol differences between hitting and swinging.
It’s a great observation.
Mehlhorn also did not believe in maximizing swing radius… He talks about how if you put a stone on a three foot string, you can spin it faster than if it were on a 10 foot string. “You can move something faster in a small space than in a larger one”
Mehlhorn is was also the inventor of the compact golf club… he cut the toe off the long headed irons and then welded it to
the back of the club behind the sweetspot. He understood the concept of putting mass behind the hitting area… and was a proponent of using heavier clubs assuming you could swing them at or near the same speed as lighter ones. “You need mass with speed”
Mehlhorn also was the first to put numbers on the bottoms of his clubs! What a concept!
Mehlhorn was a big believer in swinging the club flat… He believed the golf swing should be 45 degrees to the ground…
He called the golfswing a “sideways move”
Most drivers are no where near that flat… most around 55 even up to 60 degrees.
I recently built a driver at 45 degrees and played with it, and it really feels like your swinging a baseball bat. It really embraces the pivot.
Mehlhorn said you should typically hit your shots with only about 2/3rd’s of your effort… and only use more than that near
the end of a round to keep your rhythm intact.
Mehlhorn said although Nicklaus had proved to be the greatest player of all time, he wouldn’t even put him in the top 50 of
the greatest ball strikers. “Hogan had the best swing, not Snead, because he had a more sideways movement”