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


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  • 1 month later...

I've been self-taught since I was 7 years old, and finally decided to bite the bullet and start buying and reading books this year. This was my first choice, and it's restarted my game. Well written, the pictures were very helpful.

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I have been around golf a long time.

At one time Ben Hogan had problems with his game.

It seems he had an uncontrollable hook.

I remember an article in Life magazine (no longer published) about his 'secret')

Apparently it was called pronation.

He bent his wrists back at the top of the swing and ended up with a very small fade.

Now that type of adjustment is tough to duplicate.

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He fixed his hook by changing his grip.  His wrist pronation was one of his secrets for increasing power at impact and distance of his shots.

Originally Posted by camper6

I have been around golf a long time.

At one time Ben Hogan had problems with his game.

It seems he had an uncontrollable hook.

I remember an article in Life magazine (no longer published) about his 'secret')

Apparently it was called pronation.

He bent his wrists back at the top of the swing and ended up with a very small fade.

Now that type of adjustment is tough to duplicate.



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He fixed his hook by changing his grip.  His wrist pronation was one of his secrets for increasing power at impact and distance of his shots.

Sorry.  I can't agree with you on this one.

If you research the articles you will find that he cupped his wrist back at the top of his backswing.(Bad for slicers)

This resulted in a slight fade and in his words, the ball came down as light as a feather.

Hardly contributing to distance don't you think?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Overall, this was a very good book.  It helps a lot with novice level players, giving them visual and verbal references to how the swing should look and feel.  As far as Hogan's swing, he had different issues before and after his car accident.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The drawings in "Five Lessons" were made by Ravielli from selected photos taken in preparation for the book.  As I recall, photos not drawn for "Five Lessons" have been found and were reproduced for the first time in a book by -- was it Hank Haney or Ledbetter?

While there are some good drawings in "Five Lessons," the text is not all that clear and the lack of swing sequence photos make the book less useful than it might be.      (BTW, I have both the paperback and the original 1957 hardback.   You should be aware the hardback  has illustrations in it that were omitted from the paperback, at least the pbk version I have.)

I actually learned more about Hogan's swing outside of "Five Lessons."    And thanks to modern technology, everyone with a computer and internet connection has access to videotapes of the Hogan swing.

My understanding is that Hogan himself painstakingly wrote out the text of "Five Lessons."  Which if true means that Herbert Warren Wind's role was that of editor.

However, that does not mean the book is the ultimate authority on the Hogan swing, or on the swing per se.  One reason being that even Hogan might not have been doing exactly what he thought he was with his body.  A second reason is that "Five Lessons" is only a primer, not a treatise on the golf swing.   A third reason is that Hogan was not a teacher -- he probably taught other pros and amateurs and  gave advice less than any other professional.

Another reason is that Hogan may have intentionally held back.   I read Jody Vasquez' book "Afternoons with Mr. Hogan" with great interest.  (It reminds me of that TV Coca Cola commercial with Mean Joe Greene and the kid.  Similar awed attitude.  Neat book though.)

I have tried to use Hogan's swing as a model, mostly because I learned to swing flat from a college PE instructor who said he had read every golf book written on the swing but followed the Hogan example in his teaching.   Sam Snead is an excellent model too, but his swing was more upright than what now feels natural to me and his cue to start the downswing is not what I do.

Neither do I like Snead's or Harvey Pennick's advice about a "strong" grip;  mine is close to neutral, more like Hogan's, left thumb close to being on top of the grip and no more than two knuckles showing.    I do not at all like the oft given advice to "cure" a slice by changing the grip;  patch, not fix.

Nicklaus' book back in the 60s called "Golf My Way" is IMO much better at explaining the swing, ball trajectories and so forth than "Five Lessons."   Again, you may not want to swing like Nicklaus, but that book recognizes that not everyone has or wants an upright swing.

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According to the DVD set "The Ben Hogan Collection" Hogan wrote "Power Golf" alone.  The DVD set has clean slow motion swings (not on You Tube...yet) that show Hogan's head dip and a relaxed right elbow. Things that are not in the book.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Those of you who are interested in the history of the book might enjoy looking through this web site: http://www.35mmgolf.com/history/

This is a commercial site, which I have no interest in, but it does give you some interesting information about how the book was produced.

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  • 1 month later...


Originally Posted by The Tin Man

According to the DVD set "The Ben Hogan Collection" Hogan wrote "Power Golf" alone.  The DVD set has clean slow motion swings (not on You Tube...yet) that show Hogan's head dip and a relaxed right elbow. Things that are not in the book.



I totally agree.  If you watch quality video, Hogan doesn't always do what he says he is doing in the book.

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Originally Posted by sk golf

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Tin Man

According to the DVD set "The Ben Hogan Collection" Hogan wrote "Power Golf" alone.  The DVD set has clean slow motion swings (not on You Tube...yet) that show Hogan's head dip and a relaxed right elbow. Things that are not in the book.

I totally agree.  If you watch quality video, Hogan doesn't always do what he says he is doing in the book.


I'm surprised not a single person has mentioned this yet on this thread, but Hogan also incorrectly used the term "supination" in the book too. Take this excerpt for example:

Hogan-left-wrist-action.jpg

You can see in this bottom drawing that highlights the above drawing of the entire motion that the wrist is "palmar flexing" -- not supinating.

"Supination" is just the forearm rolling over. A wrist can't supinate.

Anyway, who knows how much of a difference this would have made had he gotten this part 100% correct, if any. Pretty much all high-handicappers though need to know what palmar flexion of the wrist is so they can stop flipping and trying to "release the club."

So in conclusion, "supination" for Ben Hogan in this book means a combination of palmar flexion and the correct definition of supination. Sure, if you over-do this you'll hit hooks; however, I find it far more likely that you'll hit hooks because the golfer is overdoing the supination part -- not the palmar flexion part. And if you combine it with adequate "hip bump," a centered head, the correct amount of an inside-out path, and a clubface open enough to the target line to push it before it draws, you'll be able to play good golf.

I've said this before in previous posts, but it seems like I should just post it here since those other threads I wrote on have since disappeared into the void forever.

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  • 1 month later...

Having only started golfing around a year ago, I'm not too sure how qualified I am to speak to this book, but I'll at least relate my experience:

This was the first book I bought starting out. It does a VERY good job of explaning each move in the golf swing in great detail. Now, that said, I had and continued to have a VERY bad slice. I have now since discovered that this is due at least in part to two things which the book taught. First, the grip Hogan teaches is far too weak for me personally. Second, his concept of "the hips can't move too quickly" led me to blocking and pushing shots right. Other than those two things, the book definetly helped me develp a good understanding of the golf swing....

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  • 2 weeks later...

I learned the game as a kid from three main sources:

1. My Dad. His instruction was as follows: "Watch me." Problem was, my dad wasn't a good player & right-handed. I'm a lefty. But he taught me etiquette & how to comport myself on the course.

2. Insatiable desire to hit balls every day until it got dark.

3. Two books: Ben Hogan's Five Lessons and Jack Nicklaus Golf My Way. From Ben I learned the basics of the swing. From Jack I learned the basics of how to play the game. Don't confuse the two - Hogan was arguably the best ball-striker in the history of the game so his word on how to swing a club is unmatched. Nicklaus was the best tactician in the history of the game - he dissected a golf course & navigated it in the fewest strokes possible better than anyone.

So I think, for anyone wanting to learn this game, you can't go wrong with those two books as guides.

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  • 1 month later...
I know this is a longshot but anyone here got a pdf or epub version of this book? Reason I want a pdf or epub version is so that I can read it on my iPad while on the range and practice with it :-) I' m a beginner based in Manila and seriously want to improve my game and I've read from here that this book can help me out. I've read Dela Torre's book and tried his lessons but it doesn't seem to work for me. Hope you can help me out guys. Thanks. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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Download the Kindle app or use the iBooks application and purchase it online for use on your iPad.

Originally Posted by VforVendetta

I know this is a longshot but anyone here got a pdf or epub version of this book? Reason I want a pdf or epub version is so that I can read it on my iPad while on the range and practice with it

I' m a beginner based in Manila and seriously want to improve my game and I've read from here that this book can help me out. I've read Dela Torre's book and tried his lessons but it doesn't seem to work for me.

Hope you can help me out guys. Thanks.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk



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Originally Posted by newtogolf

Download the Kindle app or use the iBooks application and purchase it online for use on your iPad.


I don't think it's available for Kindle or iBooks.

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You're right.  I did a quick search on iBooks on Five Lessons and got a hit but didn't look close enough to realize it wasn't the book from Hogan, sorry.

Originally Posted by iacas

I don't think it's available for Kindle or iBooks.



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