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


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I picked this book up at the recommendation of one of my best friends, who stated this booked helped him more than any other book, video,or training aid he had ever tried (and he has been golfing since age 13 - almost 20 years now). As a newbie, I am constantly reading anything and watching anything I can find to help me develop a good, consistant, and repeatable swing. I would have to say, even with the ago of the material presented - it all seems to be be solid fundamentals, and even instructors and materials presented today seem to be taken almost directly from the pages of this book. To me, that says alot. I re-read parts of this book at least 1-2 times a week to try and instill the fundamentals, and also practice these - around the house, on the practice range, and on the course (although that has only been once ).

I would defenitely recomend this book to any golfer, especially someone new to the game as myself!

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  • 2 weeks later...
This was the first golf book I read and I found it incomprehensible -- not because it was poorly written (it wasn't), but because I didn't know enough to understand what he was talking about. Having played for a couple years now, I understand his thinking better but have trouble with some of his instructional tips. For example, holding my right arm against my side simply does not work for me -- I cannot hit the ball that way at all. And swinging with my arms closely pressed together is basically impossible -- I'm 6", 220 lbs., pretty broad and muscular, and my arms/chest can't merge together comfortably for any length of time. It may work if you weigh 135 -- and I know Hogan could hit it farther than I can regardless of size -- but the physics of it will not work for everyone.
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I don't know if anyone watched the analysis of the Ben Hogan Swing by Jim McLean but he covers a lot of information. He covers the swing in depth and compares what Hogan wrote, versus what he actually did.

The video, in no way, takes away from the basic fundamentals that Hogan taught.
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I don't know if anyone watched the analysis of the Ben Hogan Swing by Jim McLean but he covers a lot of information. He covers the swing in depth and compares what Hogan wrote, versus what he actually did.

A lot of people have tried this... proving that what Hogan said and what he did were different. Hogan's explanation for this, and he did tell some people this, was that he was not physically capable in the state he was in (after the car accident). He had to make adjustments during his swing to achieve the results he wanted.

Basically, he was trying to teach everyone the swing that he would have used if he was physically capable.
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Great forum, interesting thread. I just started playing the game in May of 2008 and discovered this forum a couple month ago. On the suggestion of this thread, I just bought this book about 30 minutes ago. Good read so far. Thanks for the tip, guys.
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This is possibly the greatest golf instructional book ever. Known as the "Bible of Golf" I think every golfer should own a copy just to refer to. Every time I pick it up I learn something new.

Okay, you guys have convinced me to read it again. As I said, it was the first golf book I ever read when I started golfing 2 years ago, and I didn't know enough to make heads or tails of it. Now that I know enough to be dangerous to myself and others I suppose it's time for a re-read. If I can get through Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (which I just read) I can certainly read the "Bible of Golf." Hopefully similar benefits will accrue.

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Okay, you guys have convinced me to read it again. As I said, it was the first golf book I ever read when I started golfing 2 years ago, and I didn't know enough to make heads or tails of it. Now that I know enough to be dangerous to myself and others I suppose it's time for a re-read. If I can get through Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (which I just read) I can certainly read the "Bible of Golf." Hopefully similar benefits will accrue.

What you said in your other post makes perfect sense though, about how body type dictates what your optimal swing style is, and finding that or creating that is different for every golfer. I would still try to keep that right arm tucked to your body though, even if it feels really awkward. I'm 6'0", 185 and it felt completely unnatural for me for a month, and this was when I was going to the range literally every day after work. I had to ease it in slowly, and would give up after only 3-4 balls early on. After a while though, practicing it in slow-motion in my living room and hitting balls at the range, it started to feel "right." So, I would still encourage anyone to still give it a chance and not to abandon it until they really have exhausted the concept and discovered that it really isn't for them.

But the stuff about grip, foot placement at address, etc. are all universal concepts that can help anyone. This book is definitely confusing, and i really can only stomach 3-4 pages at a time before my brain says "ughh, just go watch the golf channel." But I definitely feel in my gut that this book is great and can help anyone who has a thirst of knowledge about the game and has spent his due time practicing, which by your posts, definitely sounds like you do and have. PS- Keep in mind that my last few rounds have been in the high 90s so take my suggestion with a grain of salt, but I do love the game (I recently started playing). Hopefully, I don't sound like idiot.
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Ben Hogan, in practice, used a very wide stance in relation to the modern driver. Even in Power Golf, the instep of his feet are beyond the lateral margins of his shoulders.

I have adopted the square right foot and 25 degree left foot placement but a wider stance limits my rotation in the Five Lessons but in Power Golf he covers pointing the toes slightly out.
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Discuss "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan here.

This is one of the best golf instructional books ever written! The chapter on the grip alone is worth the price.

Learning the proper fundamentals in golf is crucial for beginners to get started off on the right foot. Correct golf fundamentals start with a sound grip. When you first learn the proper grip it will feel different, like you have no control over the golf club. This is normal. A beginner golfer's initial instinct will be to hold the golf club more in the palms of their hands rather than the correct way which is more in the fingers...fight this feeling! Here is an illustration from the book on the Hogan grip: IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: Hogan wrote this book later in his career so his grip is very weak in the illustrations. He weakened his grip to eliminate a nasty hook he fought for years. I do NOT recommend this weak grip unless you too are fighting a hook. Most amateurs have the opposite problem which is a slice, and a weak grip will only make a slice worse.
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This is one of the best golf instructional books ever written! The chapter on the grip alone is worth the price.

I agree on the grip chapter. I was in a discount book store two weeks ago and they had 6 copies of "Five Lesson" at $4.50 a piece. I've got two left after giving four as presents to friends.

I've completed a make-over on my grip over the last month. I'm learning the value of pressure points and how much they impact the club striking the ball... expecially my overuse of the right hand. Hogan's book should be on the shelf of every golfer. Five stars *****.
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You guys seem to have cheap bookstores.Recently purchased the book for £16 ($32?)
O well still worth every penny,My grip and set up are now much better.
Not too sure about the bit about swing plane and sheets of glass though,seems a bit restrictive
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  • 2 weeks later...
I am 100% going to read this book in the near future...

Some suggestions on the best way to get the book? ie. cheapest

internet? bookstore? torrent? etc...
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I am 100% going to read this book in the near future...

amazon.com currently has it for $16.32 USD new.

You can buy it even cheaper on amazon used as well. To buy it, search the amazon site with: "Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" Hope this helps...great read! --John
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It was my first golf related book, bought 26 years ago.
Loaned it out to a friend whom loaned it to someone else and never returned to me again.
I had bought several additional copies throughout the years, I keep one copy in my family room, one in the magazine basket in the bathroom and several on the book shelve. Each time I read it, I had found different messages which did not make sense to me before.
I may read it every week in pieces or I may not touch it for months at a time, but it still is one of my favorite golf books.
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