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


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RC,
Your post illustrates my point I believe. I thought about it and came up with this analogy. The golf swing is like the weather - we all like the temp to be around 75 (give or take a few degrees). Yet, depending on what part of the world we live in we need to dress differently to get us each closer to that desired 75 degrees. We all want the same thing yet need to do something different in order to achieve it! As each of writes about the swing, it can either be from a personal perspective ie. what we personally need to feel and sense in our own swing or a from general perspective ie. one that applies to the majority of golfers and their most common faults. I attempt to write from the latter perspective and as a 'hooker' you certainly are not the norm relative to the general golfing public.
I appreciate your response.
Sincerely,
Andrew Rice
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Golfire6,
Thanks for the response. I enjoy this type of constructive dialog. In my studies pertaining to the greatest players of all time is has become my opinion that there is no player with a grip as weak as that of Ben Hogan's, other than perhaps Olazabal. It is debatable as to whether he is one the best of all time.
Pertaining to the action of the hips - they essentially can only move in two fashions - rotationally or laterally. The more of one motion the less of the other I believe! as a result your average slicer stays centered in the downswing and relies more on rotation than lateral hip motion. The reason there is an overiding sense of tension through impact is due to the fact that the arms are working in aggresivelly to the left side as the arms swing out and in to it. As they jam in toward the left side and the left elbow gets forced up, there can only be a sense of tension.
Also, I am a big believer in swinging any way you want, but there is very little wiggle room at impact - it is the one point where all the greats are almost identical.
I appreciate your perspective.
Sincerely,
Andrew Rice
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  • 2 weeks later...
I just wanted to give a quick review on this book. I bought it a week ago and took my time and got through the first two chaptors (grip and posture). The grip part I was basically doing, just a little modification. The posture however I changed a few things that I wasn't doing. I went to the range today and practiced and let me tell you, I was hitting the ball with great contact, probably the best I have in a while. I consider myself a pretty good ball striker already, but I believe just reading the second chaptor has already improved my ball striking. Maybe it was just a good day, but I am a believer in this book already and looking forward to the next chaptors.
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  • 3 weeks later...
I tried to look and see if this had already been brought up but i couldnt find it. I have a question regarding Hogans explanation of his posture. He says that your upper torso should be similar to the position when you are walking down the fairway, you just drop down with the knee bend. Do people have success being this upright or do you bend slightly over the ball like most pros look like today?
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I tried to look and see if this had already been brought up but i couldnt find it. I have a question regarding Hogans explanation of his posture. He says that your upper torso should be similar to the position when you are walking down the fairway, you just drop down with the knee bend. Do people have success being this upright or do you bend slightly over the ball like most pros look like today?

Not having the book with me at work I think he also talks about a slight bend at the hips. Also, I think that he was trying to get rid of any curving of the spine. A fair number of people slouch to get to the ball instead of bending at the hips creating a curve in your lower spine.

I think he says bend your knees to lower yourself to the ball like an elevator going down then bend at the hips to set the club behind the ball. IIRC. The key being that your upper torso (above hips) stays in the same alignment as when walking (if you have good posture). Your hips and knees are what bends to bring you to the ball. -E
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Bob (Doc) Rotella the sports psychologist interviewed Hogan in the mid 90's shortly before Hogan's death. Rotella asked Hogan if he really had all those mechanical swing thoughts during tournaments. Hogan replied it wasn't until 1948 when he started winning consistently. He said he started winning because he stopped being so mechanical minded on the course and began playing by "feel" and trusting his swing. Hogan said you need to trust whatever swing you bring to the course and simply react to the target. The time to tinker with your swing is not on the golf course but on the practice range. This is the "real" Hogan secret...
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This sort of goes along with Five Lessons. I just read Tom Bertrand(sp) book The Secret of Hogan's swing. Alot of it is basically straight from Five lessons with a little more story behind it, the one thing that really struck me that wasn't enforced in Five lessons was the role of the left elbow. Gonna spend some more time with both books and hopefully get back on track. Maybe I just missed the left elbow thing in Five lessons, but once I tried it the supination of the left wrist at impact is almost automatic. Before stumbling upon this I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to flatten or supinate the left wrist at impact, I think I may have been even cupping. Now if I could get the rest of the swing gremlins out of my head.
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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.

I'd just like to know, how did you practise his teachings to get the hang of them so quickly? was it just hitting the range constantly, or did you practise mainly without a ball, or a mixture of both? thanks in advance :)
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This sort of goes along with Five Lessons. I just read Tom Bertrand(sp) book The Secret of Hogan's swing. Alot of it is basically straight from Five lessons with a little more story behind it, the one thing that really struck me that wasn't enforced in Five lessons was the role of the left elbow. Gonna spend some more time with both books and hopefully get back on track. Maybe I just missed the left elbow thing in Five lessons, but once I tried it the supination of the left wrist at impact is almost automatic. Before stumbling upon this I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to flatten or supinate the left wrist at impact, I think I may have been even cupping. Now if I could get the rest of the swing gremlins out of my head.

You are certainly on your way to becoming a great striker of the golf ball!

To effectively hit the ball solidly you must use all the grooves on your club face. By "bowing" your left wrist at impact you are in effect "trapping" the ball which cause the ball to "roll" up the club face, maximizing distance - just like the pros. Look at Tiger's left wrist at impact, it is bowed. Butch Harmon used to tell Tiger - " You need to have Bethlehem Steel in your left wrist at impact, not linguini". Keep at it Loopy, you'll get there...
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  • 4 weeks later...
Who here does the grip exactly as he says to? I was always told you were supposed to play the club completely in the fingers. Hogan shows the club to be (in the left hand) pressed up under the meaty pad of the back of the palm and across the left index finger.
I was out trying to hit like this and couldn't even hit my wedge worth anything. I was hitting way fat and really digging the club into the ground. I then went back to placing it all in the fingers (as he shows for the right hand) and started hitting somewhat better.
Am I doing it wrong and just need to try his method more? Thoughts?
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Hogan felt that the club is controlled better by having the club under the pad of the left hand . That doesn't mean not to hold the club with the fingers , it just means that the fingers have less work to do when the club is controlled by the muscle in the palm of your hand . Done properly , this move actually allows the player to control the club with less tension in the fingers . Keep working on it ( including the one-finger drill shown in the book ) and you should be able to figure it out ... -- K.
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Who here does the grip exactly as he says to? I was always told you were supposed to play the club completely in the fingers. Hogan shows the club to be (in the left hand) pressed up under the meaty pad of the back of the palm and across the left index finger.

Great advice by golfire6 - the one finger drill will engrain the feel of the proper left hand grip. Here's a picture from the book of Hogan's left hand grip (sorry for the poor quality)

As you can see the grip is still in the fingers of the left hand however as golfire6 stated in his post it is still controlled by the muscle in the palm. Keep working at it, it will feel different at first however pay huge dividends down the road! Play well.
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I believe The Five Lessons is the standard for the fundamentals of golf. It seems people run into trouble when they try to "copy" Hogans actual swing, rather than focus on the fundamentals taught in the book.

I do believe most would do better to start out with the grip tought in "Power Golf", or Tommy Armour's description of the grip in "The Complete Golfer".

Great Book...
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Note: This thread is 1122 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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