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"Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

post #1 of 415
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Discuss "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan here.
post #2 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

IMO this book is a must-own for any golfer that desires a complete understanding of the golf swing. He covers every portion of the full swing in a thorough, matter-of-fact style.

It's totally worth the time and money to pick this book up and give it a read.
post #3 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

Yeap, this is the book to end all books. Why not read the treachings of a golf icon known to be one of, if not the best, ball stricker the game has seen? The book is written in a way that makes something as complicated as the golf swing read easily. And I was never much of a fan of reading. I used to like to learn by demonstration.

When my swing goes south, I like to read the chapter dealing with that certain part of the swing as a refresher. Seems to fix me up everytime.
post #4 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

I believe this is the best book for all beginners to start with. It gives a comprehensive overview of the golfswing (grip, stance, backswing, downswing, impact, followthrough, balance, weight shift).

However, as players become more advanced and sophisticated in owning their swing, they will notice that their are some subtle nuances that no longer apply necessarily.

Case in point: Hogan always feared a dreaded snap hook that would come out of nowhere. As a result, he would alter his mechanics (as described in the book) to prevent a hook from happening. Readers of the book, who imitate his teachings to the letter and who don't worry about snap hooking would find themselves fading and slicing the ball more often than not.

Still, it is the best book for beginners and a great refresher for better golfers who may happen to forget how to swing their club from time to time.
post #5 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

Agree with all of the above. Hogan's book was really the first to get me to understand what is going on in a golf swing. I would also like to to throw in Nicklaus's Golf My Way as a must have as well. Never a bad thing to have the advise of both the greatest ball striker and most prolific champion at the ready!
post #6 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

Great book. I only have one quarrell with the book though. Hogan was really great at describing his swing, but not at teaching how to learn to play golf. Of his era, Hogan may have been the best player, and definitely the best ball striker (ok, excluding Moe Norman), but Hogan wasn't a golf instructor. That doesn't mean he didn't understand his swing, but teaching players to develop their own swing is a different matter. Then and today, Hogan's swing is not regarded as technically correct in all aspects. Like most individual swings, it is a myriad of compensations to produce a desired result (in Hogan's case, a power fade). Hogan practiced more than any other tour pro and came to understand his swing better than anyone else. He could fix it on the fly and understood how to implement the correct adjustments for his own day to day inconsistencies. Hogan himself admitted he never really bothered to teach anyone because "no-one really wanted to learn". Some authors suggest he meant that no-one wanted to put in the time and practice to "learn their swing" as he had, so he couldn't really help them. Hogan did not believe in quick fixes. His swing was dug out the hard Texas dirt (and lemme tell you, it's some hard pan stuff down here) one practice ball at a time.

But Hogan also learned a great deal from conversing with some of the greatest teachers of his time. Included in these were Tommy Armour, Harvey Penick, and Percy Boomer. I think the value in Hogan's book is we gain his insight into what made his swing work for him, and how to apply the same "hard work" attitude to our own swings. Hogan really knew how to practice (keeping a journal, etc) and the results showed. If you want a book on how to feel your correct swing and how to learn to play the game of golf itself, you should definitely read some of the other instructional classics like "How to play your best golf all the time" or "Learning Golf".

It's too bad in today's world of mass commercialization and with all the "new swing theories" that keep coming out (really just regurgitations and manipulations of the same fundamentals with extra compensations that have been around forever) that some of the classic instructional books that have been forgotten. Maybe a real clue here as to why the average handicap has gone up rather than down in the last 50 years??? Wouldn't you think it should have not only gone down, but gone down dramatically because of the technological improvements?

Another topic for another post. Anyways.... read the classics! They might really suprise you with how timeless this game really is.
post #7 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

Originally Posted by rogerhuang View Post
I believe this is the best book for all beginners to start with. It gives a comprehensive overview of the golfswing (grip, stance, backswing, downswing, impact, followthrough, balance, weight shift).

However, as players become more advanced and sophisticated in owning their swing, they will notice that their are some subtle nuances that no longer apply necessarily.

Case in point: Hogan always feared a dreaded snap hook that would come out of nowhere. As a result, he would alter his mechanics (as described in the book) to prevent a hook from happening. Readers of the book, who imitate his teachings to the letter and who don't worry about snap hooking would find themselves fading and slicing the ball more often than not.

Still, it is the best book for beginners and a great refresher for better golfers who may happen to forget how to swing their club from time to time.
As a fade player I can attest this is exactly what happened when I was using the book as a training tool when starting out. It's been about four years since I have read the book but someone here commented that Hawk does talk about changing hand positions to affect ball flight. Because it is a quite wordy and thorough examination of the swing I don't recall reading it then and I certainly don't remember it now but missing or not understanding it certainly caused me grief until I figured out that parts of his hand position suggestions didn't, and still don't work for me. It is still a great book and has more than stood the test of time. Can't beat the price on it either.
post #8 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

The only golf book you'll ever need. I've played golf for one year and, with this book, I've achieved more than the average golfer will in a lifetime. Everything in it is spot on and perfect.

Most people just don't give it a chance. They ignore the big capital letters printed numerous times in the book that it is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE FOR A MAN OR WOMAN WITH AVERAGE COORDINATION TO BREAK 80 IN 6 MONTHS. Not only is it possible, but Hogan says that you will break 80 in 6 months if you practice for 30 minutes every day.

There are also those who disagree with some of the instruction in the book. For example: people say that Hogan didn't keep his arms as close together as possible as the pictures showed in the book.

The truth is that Hogan couldn't keep his arms close together because he wasn't physically capable. The car accident he was involved in forced his body to heal in ways that made it painful to do this. He had to bring his arms together in later parts of his swing to compensate.

Hogan doesn't teach "his swing" in the book. Actually, he doesn't teach a specific swing at all. He teaches the fundamentals, and with this, you will naturally create your own swing. To quote: "...style is function and function is style." People say that Immelman swings like Hogan... I always laugh and say "yeah, he swings like a crippled guy."

If you swing correctly as shown in the book you will actually have a natural ball flight from right to left (not a fade like Hogan). Hogan had to make adjustments to create his power fade, and in 5 Lessons he said that the truly fortunate golfer is the one who doesn't have to make adjustments. Luckily for me I haven't had to make any adjustments (unless I have without me knowing it.)

If only people would just trust it.
post #9 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

Originally Posted by lolzzlolzz View Post
Most people just don't give it a chance. They ignore the big capital letters printed numerous times in the book that it is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE FOR A MAN OR WOMAN WITH AVERAGE COORDINATION TO BREAK 80 IN 6 MONTHS. Not only is it possible, but Hogan says that you will break 80 in 6 months if you practice for 30 minutes every day.

There are also those who disagree with some of the instruction in the book. For example: people say that Hogan didn't keep his arms as close together as possible as the pictures showed in the book.
How interesting you would mention those two things. 5 Lessons is the only golf book I have read from cover to cover and the result was that I did break 80 for the first time ever in THREE months. Incidentally, the image of the arms held together with a tightly wound cord is the one that sticks in my mind most vividly, and works very well as a swing thought for me.
post #10 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

Reading it now. Just got through the first chapter about the grip. Trying out the short left thumb.
post #11 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

this is a great book and even though some of it has aged a bit, it's still a great read to brush up fundis.
post #12 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

Loaded with drawings of Ben Hogan's swing. Just looking at his swing sequence is great.
post #13 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

I'm a newbie and this is the only golf book I've read so far. I highly recommend it to anyone starting out as it provided me with a whole lot of information about the fundamentals of a proper golf swing. It's also an extremely quick and easy read.
post #14 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

THE Golf book
post #15 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

How do the proponents actually set up the ball? Do you set it up like he does?

How do you place your right index finger on the club? Is it like the illustration in the book (where there is a small gap between the index and middle finger?

How do you supinate the left hand?
http://www.internetgolfreview.com/im...pinate-250.jpg
Is this a conscious effort?
post #16 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

Originally Posted by titaniummd View Post
How do the proponents actually set up the ball? Do you set it up like he does?

How do you place your right index finger on the club? Is it like the illustration in the book (where there is a small gap between the index and middle finger?

How do you supinate the left hand?
http://www.internetgolfreview.com/im...pinate-250.jpg
Is this a conscious effort?
For the right hand grip, wrap your middle and ring finger around the club, than fold your right hand over your left thumb. You can then lay/wrap your thumb and index finger around the club, and they will be in position. Remember the V points directly to your chin.

There is no conscious hand action in the golf swing. You square the club automatically. How your club goes into the ball is already decided in the waggle. Just initiate your hips, then think of one thing: hitting the ball. Remember the hands follow the arms.

I don't understand your setup question... But if you're asking "how do you set up to the ball" then here's the answer: Hogan mentions this in the book. He says that before you walk up to the ball you should already have your grip in your hand. Then, you square the club face to the ball. Then you align your body to the club face.
post #17 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

Originally Posted by lolzzlolzz View Post

I don't understand your setup question... But if you're asking "how do you set up to the ball" then here's the answer: Hogan mentions this in the book. He says that before you walk up to the ball you should already have your grip in your hand. Then, you square the club face to the ball. Then you align your body to the club face.
I was referring to his illustration of the balls lined up with his left heel and just varying the width of his stance.

http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/Ho...llPosition.jpg
post #18 of 415

Re: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan

I bought this book about 4 days ago. I never bought it before now because I figured I had already seen everything since the book is so old. Its the best golf instruction book I have read. I wish I would have got it 4 years ago when I started playing.Its the best $12.00 I have spent on this game.

I got the book because I was struggeling with my ball striking.
Bens little diagram of the feet and ball placement was like gold to me.
Just moving the rear foot forward made a huge difference in my ball striking.

I am going to use this book to start teaching my daughter. Its nice to have everything in order knowing it all works together instead of listening to a thousand different ideas.

I could go on and on about this book.
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