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


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5 lessons is the best book I have ever owned. I did a search on Hogan Books on Amazon and there are some new one's out as well Ben Hogan's Magical Device nad The One Plane Cut. Has anyone bought theses? I bought the one plane cut swing, it has the Hogan on the cover like in 5 lesson and it's black. I bought it and thought it was pretty good, just wanted to know if anyone else has read it and how you thought it compaired to 5 lesson.
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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

Great book. Classic of course. When I first started a couple years ago, I learned out of 5 lessons. I'm still learning from it today. The book answers all those little questions a new golfer might have. Just following the recommendations on getting a good grip and rotating the left hip to start the downswing got me off on the right foot. I went from hitting sporadic shots with no clue what I was doing to hitting quality shots with some regularity, at least for someone starting out.

Now, my only criticism of the book would be the chapter on stance and posture. I recently struggled with my game, and am just now getting out of the funk after about a month of struggle, largely due to the setup. I feel that the chapter on setup is not exact enough. There are some general basic things, but there is a lot of room for variation. For instance, I struggled for a long time, and still do with how far to stand from the ball. I don't think Hogan mentions much on how far to stand, even though it's seemed in my experience to be a crucial part to the success of the swing overall. Also stuff like knee flex - the closest part is the reccomendation of sitting on a bar stool, about two inches below the bottom. So knee flex is mentioned in that regard. Also, the hands at address and shaft lean at address. Hogan just reccomends the ball to be placed off the left foot, but how about the hands? At the belt buckle, up near the left hip, toward the back hip? Anyway, all those little details about setup plagued me for a long time, and even though some of them are mentioned in a roundabout way, that is my only criticism of the book.

Altogether though, there's no filler, and Hogan writes the book with a tone of authority and certainty that instills confidence.
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Now, my only criticism of the book would be the chapter on stance and posture. I recently struggled with my game, and am just now getting out of the funk after about a month of struggle, largely due to the setup. I feel that the chapter on setup is not exact enough. There are some general basic things, but there is a lot of room for variation. For instance, I struggled for a long time, and still do with how far to stand from the ball. I don't think Hogan mentions much on how far to stand, even though it's seemed in my experience to be a crucial part to the success of the swing overall.

with regards to setup, i think the reason why hogan does not mention it is because it is incumbent upon each golfer to find his own proper setup. because what we want to do with the ball can drastically change that. the easiest way to find where your ball should be in your stance is by taking the club, and swinging it back and forth in a swing plane that's comfortable for you for each club. get loose with about 10 swings back and forth, then start brushing the ground. the point at which you brush the ground with that given club will be where you should place the ball.

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5 lessons is the best book I have ever owned. I did a search on Hogan Books on Amazon and there are some new one's out as well Ben Hogan's Magical Device nad The One Plane Cut. Has anyone bought theses? I bought the one plane cut swing, it has the Hogan on the cover like in 5 lesson and it's black. I bought it and thought it was pretty good, just wanted to know if anyone else has read it and how you thought it compaired to 5 lesson.

What exactly did the book you bought go over?

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What exactly did the book you bought go over?

The book over all was short like 78 pages, but had several topic's in it. It starts out with the guys life and how Hogan was a big part of him coming to this new swing, the one plane cut. I thought the book was about Hogan's swing and it is, but it's about the swing the author created based off left to right players like Hogan, Duval and others common traits although, Hogan is the main focus. It has great photos in black and white some i've never seen before and talks about an angle in Hogan's hands that was one of his secrets, along with the clubs, setup, pivot, and other topic's. I also just ordered the Magical Device today, I have all of the books that are about Hogan and I collect other Hogan items. So, for me to say I like the one plane cut swing book being that i'm such a Hogan collector, is sorta big too me.

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The book over all was short like 78 pages, but had several topic's in it. It starts out with the guys life and how Hogan was a big part of him coming to this new swing, the one plane cut. I thought the book was about Hogan's swing and it is, but it's about the swing the author created based off left to right players like Hogan, Duval and others common traits although, Hogan is the main focus. It has great photos in black and white some i've never seen before and talks about an angle in Hogan's hands that was one of his secrets, along with the clubs, setup, pivot, and other topic's. I also just ordered the Magical Device today, I have all of the books that are about Hogan and I collect other Hogan items. So, for me to say I like the one plane cut swing book being that i'm such a Hogan collector, is sorta big too me.

Would you recommend it to a player who is looking to improve his swing and only had five lessons?

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Would you recommend it to a player who is looking to improve his swing and only had five lessons?

That is a good question! Some books are difficult reads and some are easy reads. Most every book I have ever read "difficult ie: TGM" or "Easy ie: Golf for Dummies" I have always taken something away from them. To answer your question I would say yes, but! only you would be able to truly answer that. I would say if you like Hogan or you are interested in a more rounded pivot driven swing this would be a very good read.
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with regards to setup, i think the reason why hogan does not mention it is because it is incumbent upon each golfer to find his own proper setup. because what we want to do with the ball can drastically change that. the easiest way to find where your ball should be in your stance is by taking the club, and swinging it back and forth in a swing plane that's comfortable for you for each club. get loose with about 10 swings back and forth, then start brushing the ground. the point at which you brush the ground with that given club will be where you should place the ball.

That's a vital piece of info missed by so many books it's not even funny.

I had the same problem with the coverage of that, in Hogan's and many other books. It does need to be explained, as it can lead to problems.
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McGolf - So what books have you read that actually goes into details about the setup?

I should have said "how-to" guides, whether in books, magazines, or online. Magazines probably the worst culprits.

Point I'm getting at (perhaps badly) is that set up and distance from the ball are so critical, and they are often taken for granted. I think a lot more ink could be written on it. Book I just finished The Negotiable Golf Swing by Joe Laurentino actually does a good job.
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I should have said "how-to" guides, whether in books, magazines, or online. Magazines probably the worst culprits.

I have hard of two different ways to make sure you have the proper distance from the ball.

First is to let your right hand (assuming you're right handed) just dangle and if you're in the right position, it should just fall into the grip. The second is to address the ball and have the butt of the club at your left inner leg. Then you should take a half a step back. I always worked with the first one and it has been decent for me. On a side note, I have read some other reviews (not on this site) that say this book is geared more towards people who hit hooks rather than slices. Any truth to that?
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I got through the first chapter and a half. It is a little wordy. All good information. So far my grip was right on and my stance is OK, could improve posture a bit.
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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Even though I’ve played for many years, it was always on and off, maybe going out 3 or 4 times a year and generally struggling. Now that my kids are a bit older and I have a bit more disposable income to throw that this game, I decided to make a real effort this year to improve my game. In addition to a new set of irons, I also picked up a copy of Five Lessons. The new irons have been great, but the book has definitely done far more to improve my game so far.

For someone like me who has always struggled with golf, Hogan’s book helped in many ways. First, by simply focusing on the most fundamental aspects of the game, its helped me start down the path of building a good foundation. For years, I just tried to learn as I played, picking up tips from friends/family, etc… In hindsight, that was mostly a complete waste of time as I was all over the place. I learned more in the time it took me to read the 1st chapter of Five Lessons than I learned in all the years previously.

One area I particularly liked about this book is the general tone of it. Again, for the occasional player like me, golf can be a bit of a mystery. But, in Five Lessons, Hogan demystified golf for me. There is no “secret” to golf, no magic, silver-bullet. As Hogan clearly stated, any able-bodied person can be successful through study and hard work (practice). This may sound strange, but to me, that was a revelation. Thanks to Hogan’s book, golf was no longer intimidating to me. By reading this book and applying myself, I now know I can become a good golfer. It won’t happen overnight, but I can see the path forward.

Since I’ve read this book, I’ve seen a huge improvement in my game. I still have a long way to go, but I’m now hitting the ball with consistency and accuracy. I’ve also supplemented this book with Gary McCord’s Golf for Dummies and Tiger’s How I Play Golf. As I pick up new things from these two books, I go back to Five Lessons and evaluate what I’ve learned in the context of Five Lessons.

Next week, I’ll have my first professional lesson, a step I would never have taken had I not gained the confidence from Five Lessons. There’s more to the game that what Ben Hogan covered in this book, but for a beginner or hacker like me, I can’t think of a better foundation to start with than Five Lessons. Highly Recommended.
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My golf game took a quantum leap in improvement when I finally learned how to perform the correct footwork in my golf swing - footwork I learned from Ben Hogan's "Five Lessons". Believe it or not I read that chapter about proper footwork dozens of times before I finally "got it".

Hogan said your feet should feel "alive" during the golf swing. This does not mean the "happy feet" most amatuers seem to have, but an active-alive feeling in the feet.

My feet actually had too much movement in it causing my swing to be too loose with too many moving parts. When I quieted down my feet I began to realize the "alive" feeling Hogan was talking about.

The results?

My golf swing became much more powerful, compact, and consistent.

Hope this helps.

--John
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  • 3 weeks later...
That's a vital piece of info missed by so many books it's not even funny.

I'm very willing to say my problems finding the correct distance from the ball a few years ago, were my own self-generated problem, and nothing to do with any missing part of the book. It was probably more a matter of me needing to bring a lot of other things into a more repeatable and serviceable line first, so that I could then have a more predictable swingpath.

That said, I'm going over the book a second time, (now that I have replaced my inexplicably missing first copy) and re-kindling my love for the book. It really does need to be read — and played and practiced — slowly and attentively, as some paragraphs are very rich in detail that's easy to miss. It's a joy to read and the way he weaves in thoughts about the mental/psychological aspect is just as valuable as the technical information. When I started out my golf 'career,' fighting the slice was part of the battle. My pro has me doing things a certain way, so now, if anything, hooks and pushes are the main issues.
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I picked up this book last night and read through the grip portion before I went to bed and was amazed of how awful my grip was. I tried the overlap and it was never comfortable so i went back to the interlock not knowing I was doing it wrong. I followed it exactly in the book and I must say I love how it feels and have been practicing it since I read that chapter.

I couldn't sleep so i got up at the crack of dawn and read the next chapter on positioning and Stance and again I was nothing like the book stated so I practiced into my net and there is a lot of promise. I am going to hit up the driving range here soon and really take my time with the grip and setup.

So far it was the best 12 bucks I have spent on golf in awhile
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Well, there you go. Hogan's Five Fundamentals and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged are my choices of most influencial books of the last century. Still waiting for candidates for this century.
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Im new to golf and i just finished the little red book, now im reading this and i love it. i have been going to the range for fun since i was about 10 but never got a chance to get on the course. Now at 19 i have developed a love for golf and ill be going out for the first time soon. I think reading these books before ever even getting onto a course will benefit me a lot.
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