Ben Hogan's Masters : Macdonald Smith

Macdonald Smith - one of very few Ben Hogan admired and learned from in his early days. Hogan was being said to get his famous pronation technique from Smith's marvellous swing action.
As Sports Illustrated informed a while ago - in 1946 Hogan was in the throes of just such a dilemma. As he intimates, many fine golfers had been there before him?in fact, all but a very few of the top tournament golfers since Harry Vardon, the last of the natural fade exponents. Gene Sarazen, for example, had to fight a hook throughout his career. Sarazen's solution was 1) to make certain his hands remained glued to the club at the top of the backswing and 2) to allow for the possibility of a hook by aiming, when in doubt, down the right-hand side of the fairway. At the stages in his career when he had to battle a hook, Bob Jones, in the view of his contemporaries, pronated his right wrist at address in order to open the club-head a shade. The mystery of the multiple "collapses" of Macdonald Smith, the greatest golfer who never won a major championship, was partially cleared up for many observers when they studied slow-motion pictures of Mac's beautiful swing and detected that, under the strain of the big events, he had a tendency to come into the ball with a slightly closed club face.

From Wikipedia:
Macdonald "Mac" Smith (March 18, 1892 -- August 31, 1949) (first name also given as MacDonald, birth year also given as 1890) was one of the top golfers in the world from about 1910 to the mid 1930s. He was a member of a famous Scottish golfing family.
Smith was born in Carnoustie, Scotland, where he learned his golf on the famous and very difficult Carnoustie Golf Links. He emigrated to the United States while still in his teens, to seek golf opportunities. Two of his brothers won the U.S. Open: Willie in 1899 and Alex in both 1906 and 1910. Brothers George and Jim also played golf at a very high standard.
Every state golf title in the United States has been won by one of the Smith brothers. Macdonald Smith lost a playoff in the 1910 U.S. Open to brother Alex; John McDermott was also in that playoff.
Smith won 24 times on the early PGA Tour, but never won a major championship, trailing only Harry Cooper for most wins without a major. He finished 17 times in the top-10 at major championships, including second place finishes at the 1930 U.S. Open and the 1930 and 1932 British Opens. He did win the Western Open three times, in 1912, 1925, and 1933, when it was a prestigious tournament rivaling the majors in stature. His four wins in the Los Angeles Open, another top event which featured strong fields, were also significant. Smith had a decade-long dry spell, between 1914 and 1924, without winning a tournament.
Smith's full-swing technique was much admired. Bing Crosby, himself an excellent player who followed golf closely, said that Smith's swing was better than any he had ever seen. Smith suffered a heartbreaking near-miss in the 1925 British Open at Prestwick Golf Club, when he was leading but took 82 in the final round, as crowd control broke down (with too few marshals and no gallery roping), with the numerous spectators, many of whom had travelled to watch him, invading the playing areas, causing delays, chaotic conditions, and deflected shots.
Smith died in Glendale, California.

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