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


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There is no strict commonality for left knee action between good golf swings. Some have the knee go in and even down a little, some don't. These minor differences often confuse us because we see playe

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

Great question. I have given up on most golf instruction and experiment to find dynamics that automate the swing. Dynamics determine positions not the other way around. Most golf instructors do not

OK, I see it. That's the 1985 edition.
When he says he swung his left arm across his chest on the backswing, put the sentence before it with the sentence in question, and you can see that he's railing against golfers who turn their body around one axis and their arms around another. The body and the arms are going in different directions, like there are two different swings going on at the same time. The following sentence implies that if you let your arms follow the lead of the body, you'll be all right. I don't think he's saying to do something weird with your left arm.

As for rolling the face of the club open, I'm sure he did this, but also that he knew just how much to open it to give him the gentle fade he was after. Anti-hook insurance. The wrist cupping is explained in Jody Vasquez's book as a means of keeping in balance at the top.

Hogan's swing was personal. If it doesn't work for you, don't use it. He said the same several times.
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Great job on the analytic end of things. I got lamblasted for "seeing" things in Five Lessons. I posted on another website golfwrx's under Hogan's Angle. A different perspective of Hogan's swing. My thoughts were raked over the forum coals. It is refreshing too see that there is another recreational golfer squeezing every last drop of wisdom out of Hogan's words.
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Great job on the analytic end of things. I got lamblasted for "seeing" things in Five Lessons. I posted on another website golfwrx's under Hogan's Angle. A different perspective of Hogan's swing. My thoughts were raked over the forum coals. It is refreshing too see that there is another recreational golfer squeezing every last drop of wisdom out of Hogan's words.

None of them can play like Hogan.

Imitating the swing dosnt make it Hoganeasque. Understading and play like Hogan did , his the secret , his swing was just the way he used to transport the ball in high level pressure tournaments. as far, I havent seen anyone being able to play like Hogan, which just is telling, people dont have his secret. I be trying the Hogan angle in my upcoming weekend when I travel south and plays. Still winter here heh.
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[QUOTE=authentic_golfer;443496]Some day I am going to read this book, I swear! Of course, I've been saying that about "War and Peace" for years...

Funny you should mention it, but I'm reading War and Peace right now. I'm on page 789 - only 667 to go. It's Dostoyevsky who gives Russian novels a bad name. This one is a real page turner. No kidding! Anna Karenina is even better, IMO.

As for the left arm going across the chest, look at the drawing on page 94 of Five Lessons , and look at a photo of Tom Watson in the 1980s. His arms are sticking straight up the air at the top of his backswing. That might have been what Hogan was upset about, but maybe not. We can interpret "too upright" in several ways.
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[QUOTE=The Recreational Golfer;443720]

Funny you should mention it, but I'm reading

That's hilarious! Actually have a copy of "Anna Karenina" lying around somewhere... Will get to that right after "Crime & Punishment."

This might be the worst thread-jacking ever. Seriously, every golfer should read "Five Lessons." Sean
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The biggest mistake people make is that they think the arms and hands travel down Hogan's Angle. They don't. The motion, the body, move in the direction the left foot is going. View the Hogan concentration drill taken at Seminole Florida on the beach. Watch where his eyes move at the start of the downswing. That is the direction the motion should move. Due to the fact that the left arm is connected, the net effect is that the swing action appears to move down the target line. Again. A whole new concept of Hogan's swing. I fully expect to start hearing from teaching pro's about this concept. Hopefully, they will stay away from this site, and the bulk of our discussions can be directed to swinging like Hogan.
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The line that you hit on is dependent on the ball position and the position from which you are hitting. The important thing is to get into position to hit and to do that you need the right dynamics exemplified by Hogan's swing :

1) during setup intentionally apply a torque of the lower body to the left side and maintain it throughout. The pressure to the left keeps the hands and clubhead in a consistent slot close to the right pocket during the takeaway sling, arriving at the same position at the top every time. The constant left side torque also forces the body into an early squat in the downswing - the correct position from which to hit.

2) keep the right side expanded/extended from setup to follow through to keep it from compressing/collapsing in the downswing which plagues good players like VJ to sling from under the plane.

3) turn the right shoulder toward the ball to start the downswing, not the hips. If the right shoulder turns first you can't come OTT. The hips must stay centered for stability and balance. Never try to turn the hips, keep them centered.

I have witnessed these three simple dynamics easily mastered by beginners within one day. For me, it has resulted in an automated consistent swing that requires little practice to maintain.
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At the prompt of this read, I went out and bought the book yesterday. Luckily, the grip I have been using matched up with what's in the book. The stance and posture feel awkward at setup, but really loose in a practice swing. I'm really excited to see how the instruction from the book pans out for me!
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  • 2 weeks later...
Interesting set up instructions. Opposite to Sevam1's instruction of torquing the right foot clockwise, or too the right. Your thoughts are in line with Hogan if they activate the inner muscles of the arms and legs. Hogan says the inside muscles are the ones to work. Hogan in Five Lessons admonishes us not too start the downswing with the right shoulder, he said it "...was all wrong". Hogan also said the hips are the first thing to move in the downswing, and lead the shoulders all the way to the finish where the shoulders finally catch up. It also appears that Hogan's head drops slightly as the downswing evolves, implying a compressing of his body against the ground. However, I am looking forward to trying your insights.
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The line that you hit on is dependent on the ball position and the position from which you are hitting. The important thing is to get into position to hit and to do that you need the right dynamics exemplified by Hogan's swing :

1) I don't remember him ever saying that... the closest would be "In order for them (hips) to do this work, these muscles must be stretched taut with tension that is just waiting for the golfer's signal to be released. This tension is built up on the backswing ." I'm pretty sure that he never intended what you say. 2) I never read what you say here, and could find no mention at all whatsoever of expanded right sides. 3) Repeatedly in the book Hogan says: "THE HIPS LEAD THE SHOULDERS ALL THE WAY ON THE DOWNSWING", "AFTER YOU HAVE INITIATED THE DOWNSWING WITH THE HIPS, YOU WANT TO ONLY THINK OF ONE THING, HITTING THE BALL." "To begin the downswing, TURN YOUR HIPS BACK TO THE LEFT. THERE MUST BE ENOUGH LATERAL MOTION FORWARD TO TRANSFER THE WEIGHT TO THE LEFT FOOT" The capitals are direct quotes from the book, not meant to be yelling. Did you read Five Lessons?
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  • 1 month later...
I started golf last year and wish this were the only book I'd purchased. I've got countless other books from you name them... but none have done more for me than Five Lessons. I strike the ball much better now and hit less balls fat or thin. Maybe it was the time Hogan was in where his drivers were like our 3 / 5W but I can honestly say it the fist day I hit the range and picked up a 3W / 5W I was hitting about 230 / 210 respectively with an occasional 250. Prior to that I couldn't hit a straight shot. My shots all have a slight fade to them which is fine by me but if that's all I have to work on this short read was well worth the money.

I only wish Hogan had written a book on how to intentionally fade / draw the ball. I understand the physics of if but so many players do it differently (grip position, body alignment, Intentional swing path.... etc...)
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I agree with you big Mikey. I too wish he had written a short game book. Now we just have to watch youtube videos of his short game. However, he did drop us a clue in Five Lessons. He said the hands perform the same in a short swing as they do in a full swing, chip, pitch, where the ball is contacted on the downswing. Hogan also said that the right thumb and forefinger are good for finesse shots. I don't know if he counted fading or drawing the ball to be a finesse shot. I think I picked up another secret of Hogan's. It is referred too as Ringing the Bell from the top of the swing. Or think, "Pull the shaft out of the clubhead from the top." Same motions. I read somewhere that Hogan took John Schlee's club when Schlee was at the top of the swing, and pulled the club down to the ground, while still at the top of the swing. Hogan remarked, "That is what it feels like" So, that is what I'm working on, along with getting the club on angle on the downswing.
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I started golf last year and wish this were the only book I'd purchased. I've got countless other books from you name them... but none have done more for me than Five Lessons. I strike the ball much better now and hit less balls fat or thin.

Just curious. Was there a particular point in the book that turned things around for you, or the whole thing in general?

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To be honest with you, it has been an on going study. It seems everytime I read the book or look at the drawings, I seem to pick something else out. A study technique I do is turn the book upside down, and view the drawings from Hogan's perspective. Try it. You will get a whole new look on the swing. I remember thinking how far over to the right the right hand placement is compared to looking at the drawing from a normal perspective. Another hidden gem, is that the hands, and handle of the club at impact are a lot more further ahead than you think. It looks, when you look at the impact drawing from normal that the hands are not too far ahead. But in reality, the hands cant' get too far foward. There is a great site, I can't find it. It is from the same guys that do the stick figure drawings on Hogan on youtube. Get to their site from the youtube video. Then click under articles, more impact. You will see how far forward the hands are between address and impact. Great site. I'm thinking of ordering their software.

Right now I'm studying the shading of the swing. Remember he said he shades areas to emphasize. It looks like he emphazises the right elbow pressure on the waggle, and downswing. I'm beginning to think he keeps the right elbow tucked in to deliver a lot more power to the ball. I know I've read that before from other readers, but with the drawings, it makes a little more sense

Alan
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Note: This thread is 956 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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