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