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


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Great book so far read the first 2 lessons yesterday, but my question is that, I have a flatter arch on my right foot, which over time has caused that foot to toe out a bit more naturally, I'm thinking I may have to compensate for that when I try Ben's stance recommendations. Just curious if anyone has experimented with the feet based on Ben's suggestions and how those adjustments affected your swing.

After re-reading some of the 5 Lessons, I noticed I was toe-ing out quite a lot with my right foot. I was curious as to whether it was as heinous a crime as Hogan suggested. Now, since I was in a not-so-good period as far as making consistent contact, I figured I would try that adjustment and keep my right foot perpendicular, and toe out my left foot. The results thus far have been quite positive. One thing that jumped out at me is that it allowed me to be more consistent with the downswing, ie. down in/thought the slot. That said, it's been really hot and humid, and with a shoulder/neck condition, I am taking a week off from serious range or rounds and just occasionally working tempo, grip and stance in the backyard.
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He didn't directly mention it in Five Lessons. He was quoted as saying, "I have a secret, it is easy to see if I tell you where to look" He also said, "The Secret is in the Dirt" It is very easy to determine if you are employing the secret. If, when you swing, you are not reversing every natural tendency and doing the opposite of what you are inclined to do, then you more than likely are not using Hogan's secret. Actually, if you make a careful study of Five Lessons, he shows you the secret.
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Great book so far read the first 2 lessons yesterday, but my question is that, I have a flatter arch on my right foot, which over time has caused that foot to toe out a bit more naturally, I'm thinking I may have to compensate for that when I try Ben's stance recommendations. Just curious if anyone has experimented with the feet based on Ben's suggestions and how those adjustments affected your swing.

Funny thing. Hogans first book "Power Golf" which was written entirely by Ben Hogan states that toeing out is specifically ok. However he wrote Five Lessons with a team of people. If one were to look at a timeline Power Golf came before Five Lessons.

Now onto the truth about Hogan. He was a real stickler about keeping the right knee flexed and he had his shoes custom made by a London company with an extra spike (13 total), which was located right on the ball of the right foot. I never paid much attention to feet position other than that they needed to be generally aligned with the target line of the ball prior to reading Five Lessons. With my swing I hit many shots Fat and suspect I did so because my body (hips and heads) would sway back on the back swing. Since reading Five Lessons I modified my setup to keep my foot perpendicular to the line as suggested. It really helps brace the right knee, which helps the hips turn in rather than away, which helps my head stay as still as I can hold it on a full swing. On the down swing if the foot is in the right position I can run my knee at the ball as I unwind the hips and the club head somewhat miraculously comes right back through where it was at address. Let me just assure you it helped my game and I'm a 10 handicap after where I was a 20+ before.
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I just briefly browsed through the entire book (mostly skimming, though I basically paid attention to the illustrations and instructions in caps) at B&N; the other day as I was killing time, and I definitely think that if I were to pick it up and read it through completely (or for whatever I need), I'll definitely be able to improve my swing. I'll attempt working with the stance advice the next time I'm at the range or course. However, my first goal is to take some lessons.
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Okay I am a complete beginner and I decided to buy this book after reading this thread. I am having a little bit of an issue with the grip he describes in this book, it does not feel like I have very good control over the club when I use it. Should I keep working on it and try and learn this grip or do you guys think there are better ones out there?
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Okay I am a complete beginner and I decided to buy this book after reading this thread. I am having a little bit of an issue with the grip he describes in this book, it does not feel like I have very good control over the club when I use it. Should I keep working on it and try and learn this grip or do you guys think there are better ones out there?

Keep working on the grip. This is one of the best grips in golf. What grip were you using up to this point? What about the grip feels incorrect or unstable? Keep in mind, anytime that you change any aspect of your grip, it's always going to feel "wrong" for a little while.

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I was not overlapping my fingers before and I felt like I was using my palm a lot more for my left hand. My main issue was when I was trying to do the exercise where he says to swing without your right thumb or index finger on the club. When I put them back on the grip feels okay though, should that be expected or should I be able to swing alright while doing that exercise as well?
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Wow, I didn't pay close enough attention when I was reading the part where right foot position was supposed to be and I glanced at it before I went out to play today. It made all the difference in the world with my drives. I had my feet even with each other and after moving the right foot back 6 inches I was straight as an arrow. I guess I will have to go back and read it over a few more times.
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Wow, I didn't pay close enough attention when I was reading the part where right foot position was supposed to be and I glanced at it before I went out to play today. It made all the difference in the world with my drives. I had my feet even with each other and after moving the right foot back 6 inches I was straight as an arrow. I guess I will have to go back and read it over a few more times.

Same here. Another critical point I found is making sure the lines of my right foot and club face are perpendicular to the target line. My last check point before I start my backswing is to look at the target and then check that the club face and right foot are parallel. It's done wonders for my FIR/GIR %.

However, my first goal is to take some lessons.

A piece of advice: Use the book rather than lessons at first. Immerse yourself into the 4 core lessons (the 5th is really just a review) and practice those on your own. I've probably read each lesson 4 - 6 times and each time I do I uncover another key detail. It's a real gamble to rely on lessons from an instructor because like many of us they have a personal preference. Hogan boiled down all the crud he'd learned in his 15+ years on tour and came up with key fundamentals which when executed correctly can't help but improve your game.

Note: I took formal lessons prior to getting this book and would say it really delayed my improvement drastically. For about a year, I was doing these drills my instructor wanted me to do that didn't really relate to reducing my score and improving my handicap and even formed some bad habits. I've since read and practiced the fundamentals in the book and take a regular lesson now about once every 1 - 2 months only after fully understanding the concepts Hogan outlined. The lessons are more or less checkups to see where I'm not executing proper fundamentals. I was having very inconsistent drives recently, and once I started looking at the video with my instructor my setup was too far out with the driver affecting my balance and forcing hard fades, pull hooks and slices. Now going back to the 2nd lesson on stance and posture, I'm much closer, hands down more and I'm back to hitting straight shots and baby fades. I'm still pure Hogan, but a checkup every now and then with a second set of eyes are really what you should be looking for in lessons. It's up to the individual to build his / her own golf swing. Just MHO.
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Same here. Another critical point I found is making sure the lines of my right foot and club face are perpendicular to the target line. My last check point before I start my backswing is to look at the target and then check that the club face and right foot are parallel. It's done wonders for my FIR/GIR %.

Awesome. I have a list of check points, they help me eliminate any focus on elements outside my swing. I will try that perpendicular thing. About the only problem I have is periodically getting uncomfortable with my left knee pointed inward.

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About the only problem I have is periodically getting uncomfortable with my left knee pointed inward.

Focus more on keeping the right knee flexed and acting as a brace for the backswing. The only lateral movement you'll need is to shift your left ass cheek right above your left knee / leg so that you can finished balanced. I kind of let my left knee do what ever it wants and don't force it to point in during setup. It does a little bit anyway but I certainly don't focus on that one point. But next time I'm out I'll focus on how it shifts and let you know.

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Wow, I didn't pay close enough attention when I was reading the part where right foot position was supposed to be and I glanced at it before I went out to play today. It made all the difference in the world with my drives. I had my feet even with each other and after moving the right foot back 6 inches I was straight as an arrow. I guess I will have to go back and read it over a few more times.

What part of the book is this in? I keep reading the posture section and can't seem to find it. And this book is really helping me, thanks to everyone in this thread who recommended it.

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What part of the book is this in? I keep reading the posture section and can't seem to find it. And this book is really helping me, thanks to everyone in this thread who recommended it.

I don't remember exactly where, but look around. It's in one of the diagrams. I remember seeing this when I was looking through the book.

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