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"Ben Hogan's Magical Device" by Ted Hunt

post #1 of 9
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Discuss "Ben Hogan's Magical Device" by Ted Hunt here.

post #2 of 9

Thank you for posting this iacas!  I want to first introduce myself.  I just started playing golf in March.  I was a baseball player and blew out my shoulder and at 28 I needed something to be competitive about.  My friends have played for 15 years and one is a 6 handicap, which stinks for me because as you know friends are very competitive.


Long story short I went from not being able to hit a golf ball in March to having my best score from the blues of 92.  Btw I want to point out that playing with my friends that means no mulligans and if you accidently hit the ball you have to count it, so I think a 92 is pretty good.


Anyway, I never could figure out what the term wrist release meant so I bought Hogan's 5 lessons and while it helped there were things I could not figure out that he was saying.  One of them is when he talks about supinating the wrist to create the "bulge" going toward the target.  Never could figure it out. 


I bought the book "Ben Hogan's Magical Device" in August and that is when I started getting better.  He explains alot of what Hogan was talking about.  For instance supination was a miss spoken explination for what Hogan meant as Palmer Flexion, which if you see it helps you feel your wrist Palmer Flex.


I recommend this book to anyone who has Hogan's five lessons.  They really should be used together.

post #3 of 9

It's a supplement to 5 Lessons, but it doesn't add a whole lot aside from explaining a few things better. Half the book is really a biography of Hogan, with half being swing related. The bio parts were cool, the swing advice was interesting but not up to the level of 5 Lessons. 


Personally, I think people analyze Hogan's swing way too much and don't do a good job. There's a difference between how he swung and how he told people to swing, so people try to claim he had some crazy secret. The secret was, he was tough as nails mentally and he practiced like there was no tomorrow. Also, any claim that he had a secret referred to his ability to consistently not snap hook despite having a swing which has a lot of potential for that miss. He gives a great overview of the swing, most of his metaphors are good, and his grip and stance advice are standard. 


I have to point out to everyone who will listen, however, that 5 lessons alone isn't enough to learn to swing optimally. There are a lot of flaws with that book, some of the advice is outdated, and much is poorly phrased, and people reinterpreting it usually doesn't help. This book mainly explains a few things better, and has the biographical info. In all, there are a million different ways to phrase the same piece of advice, and Hogan's images were not always the best for everyone. (An example is that, in 5 lessons, lag is not mentioned at all, but Hogan strongly advises using it by different names and by setting you up to produce it.)

post #4 of 9

Exactly!  Very well put.  This book is definately a supplement to 5 Lessons.  This book actually makes 5 Lessons a better book because it helps to explain what Hogan was really trying to say.  That's why for anyone who has read Hogans 5 Lessons I would definately recommend this book because in some ways it will open your eyes to some of Hogan's advice.

post #5 of 9

The next book of Ted Hunt's is "Ben Hogan's Short Game Simplified". It expands Hogan's short game with more photos (most not of Hogan), some drills and a lot less biography then "Magical Device". Another worthwhile addition to 5 Lessons and the under appreciated "Power Golf".


When it does come down to books I'll take "The Eight-Step Swing" by Jim McLean. While not a "Hogan book" the influence is there and it's not written to make the reader a Hogan Clone. (I excommunicated myself from the First Church of Hogan for heresy, but still attend.)


However, I prefer watching repetitive slow motion video on the DVD "The Ben Hogan Collection" (again Jim McLean) over any of the books, including Hogan's.  (Most of this DVD reminds me of a cake named "Death by Chocolate." A few bites are wonderful and too much is too much.)



Edited by The Tin Man - 12/12/11 at 5:11pm
post #6 of 9

PS: The "Magical Device" is Hogans connection between shoulders and arms.  The "secret"  is the way he moved his left hand. 

post #7 of 9

Bingo!  It's in the Palmar flexion.  Very well put!

post #8 of 9
Has anyone used this particular method for putting? I remember a couple years ago I tried it and was making lots of short putts but leaving long ones short. I'm in a putting slump right now, and was going to try it again for short putts and use a diff method for my lag putts.
post #9 of 9

Old thread so perhaps no one cares, but I'll add my 2 cents as an anatomist. As others have said, the two books by this author together make a nice appendix to 5 Lessons. In a few paragraphs, Hunt is able to better flesh out and emphasize two important points Hogan hinted at in 5 Lessons but did not clearly describe. Unfortunately, to find those important paragraphs explaining The Magical Device and The Secret one has to wade through a lot of extraneous and sometimes anatomically incorrect information. Still enjoyable reading, but one cannot merely flip through the book to get the point. This is probably why there are so many bad reviews on the internet.


I gather from reading reviews of this book that many people found the idea of palmar flexion (The Secret) to be very helpful in correcting 5 Lesson's description of supination. However, anatomically Hogan's supination was actually correct and palmar flexion is incorrect. Supination refers to an action and NOT a position. As such it cannot be shown in a single drawing. If you grab a door handle with your left hand and attempt to palmar flex using wrist flexors nothing will happen. If instead you twist the handle counterclockwise using forearm supination not only does the handle rotate BUT more importantly the wrist ends up in palmar flexion. So yes the wrist ends up in a position of palmar flexion as shown in that famous drawing in 5 Lessons, but the muscles and movements that achieved this position were supinator muscles and supination of the forearm. This is a very important distinction. ( Unfortunately Hunt mistakenly talks about facing "the dimple" at the elbow outward as "supination" when in fact this is only achieved through shoulder joint external rotation.)


Now take a golf club and swing down to the point where the shaft is at 9:00 and the arms nearly point to the ball. Have the wrists in extension (cupped) as Hogan called his "secret." In this position, actively palmar flex the wrist (flex the palm towards the forearm) and watch what happens. Do not twist  the forearm (supinate) but only flex the wrist into a bow. The wrist is now bowed but continues to face 90 degrees to the target line and upwards. This was palmar flexing. Now repeat the 9:00 position but instead supinate the forearm by rotating the forearm/wrist counterclockwise along the long axis of the forearm and club shaft. Don't let the clubhead leave the spot it is in but just rotate. Note that this rotation of the forearm also results passively in a palmar flexed (bowed) wrist BUT with the back of the wrist pointing down, towards the ball and down the line. This is the position we always see in stop action of Hogan at this position. The back of the wrist  the back of the elbow are in plane, which by definition is a fully supinated forearm, which it was not a split second before. So, yes the still photo position is palmar flexion of the wrist, but the movement Hogan is actively doing is supination using supinator muscles NOT palmar flexors to arrive at this position.


This is a brilliant move because it manages simultaneously to square the clubface, de-loft the club and place the wrist into a strong impact position all with a single micro-movement that takes very little effort or timing. On the other hand, palmar flexing the wrist only bows the wrist but does not square up the clubface. You can see how the release will be completely different. The golfer is now still faced with a violent unpredictable rotating lash at the ball with the right hand to bring the club around 90 degrees to square up the club face. Depending on the timing, this results either in "getting stuck" and push fading the shot or snap hooking. With Hogan's supination, one is only left with releasing the clubface down and straight through the ball.

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