It's fitting that Nick Price, 45, snapped his four-year winless streak last week at the MasterCard Colonial, in Fort Worth, Texas. Colonial Country Club is known as Hogan's Alley because the Hawk won there five times, including in 1959 at age 46, the 64th and final victory of his career. Nobody on Tour more closely resembles Hogan in technique and attitude than Price. Here are some of the similarities between these master ball strikers, and one big difference.
1. SWING KEY: Price hinges his right wrist to almost 90 degrees just after his takeaway and maintains the angle during the backswing, the change of direction (near left) and the downswing, always keeping the right elbow close to and pointed at his right hip. This move was also the key to Hogan's action (far left). By sustaining the hinge until nanoseconds before impact, Price, like Hogan, generates enormous power without sacrificing control.
2. PUTTING: Afflicted by the yips late in his career, Hogan advocated abolishing putting. Price, one of the Tour's streakiest putters, had a great week on the greens at Colonial and afterward said, "I hope I'm a better putter than he [Hogan] was in his 40s."
3. LATE BLOOMERS: Hogan didn't win the first of his nine majors until age 33, at the 1946 PGA, while Price got the first of his three Grand Slam titles, the '92 PGA, when he was 35.
4. LEFTIES: Hogan was a natural left-hander who played golf right-handed. Price plays every sport but golf as a lefty.
5. TEMPO: Despite very quick and pistonlike rhythms, Hogan and Price keep their arms and bodies in perfect sync from address to the finish.
6. PHYSIQUE: Price makes the club look like a twig because he has hands the size of a bear's and the arms of a gorilla. At impact Hogan's XXL arms hung so low that his hands were almost below his knees.
7. FOOT ACTION: Each player keeps his right foot flat until just before impact, an uncommon move that provides superb stability.
8. FOCUS: Hogan's work ethic was legendary. At a recent Masters, Price was striping practice balls at a post 275 yards away. "You're hitting it great, dead at the pole," sports psychologist Bob Rotella told him. "My target's the rope," Price said, pointing to a piece of twine hanging from the post.
9. PERSONALITY: The Hawk was distant and mysterious, while Price is golf's kindest soul. I met him in the early '90s when I worked for David Leadbetter, and not too long after Price let me and two other instructors spend several months at his lakeside house in Orlando rent-free.