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


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  • 1 month later...
I've probably read this book a dozen time. It seems like every time I pick it up and read it, I get a new insight into Hogan was trying to communicate about the golf swing.

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Titleist 909 D2 9.5 w/ Stiff UST V2 76 gram, Titleist 909F2 15.5 w/ Stiff UST V2 76 grams, Titleist 909H w/ Stiff UST V2 89 grams, Titleist AP2 3-9 irons w/ Project X 5.5, Titleist Spin Mill 56.11 Sand Wedge, Titleist Spin Mill 60.7 Lob Wedge, Scotty Cameron Newport 2, Pro V1 ball.
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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I havent been able to get my swing in order this season. Hitting the ball VERY fat, inconsistant drives, and a total inability to hit my fairway wood. A total wreck! I picked up Bens 5 Lessons a couple days ago and took what i learned to the range and after about 10 balls i was hitting them better than i ever have. Absolutely AMAZING. Im still having trouble with my long irons but everything else clicked right in. I played 9 holes after and i had zero short game. But i could care less because i only hit 1 bad iron shot! the ball was coming off my club pure, straight, and longer then ever! Lower handicap here i come. Best 12 bucks i ever spent.

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i picked up five copies of the paperback version at a local used book store for $1 each.  two of them are first editions and the other three are 1985 reprints. i'll be giving them to "newbies" who come to me for clubwork.  this and Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible are a must read!  Also see Ben Hogan on Youtube.  the Ed Sullivan Show clip in slo mo is the best.

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  • 1 month later...

Seriously, I WISH I had read this book ten years ago.  I feel like Hogan really leaves it open for each person to decide how to adapt the concepts individually, and the concepts he lays out are so powerful.  No, I don't think this book is for the person trying to get to scratch, but like he says, his fundamentals should be able to get a diligent student under 80.  I'm only an 'occasionally break 80' person, and I'd like to get to 'consistently breaks 80.'  And I know what keeps me from doing that, is lack of having a repeatable swing, plain and simple.  I have the short game shots, I'm an above-average putter, my obstacle is a full swing that consistently plays sound, quality shots, that can avoid trouble, and find fairways and greens.

What I would say someone should take away from this, isn't so much the ground-breaking ideas, but the fact that Hogan stresses the need for this fundamentals to applied every single shot.  I think I used to believe that, one day, the golf swing would just become automatic, that I would just 'have the feel' and not have to be so 'techincal.'  I suppose some lucky few do get to that point, but I don't believe most - and certainly not I - will.  It reminds me of a little 'mantra' I thought of once:

The golf swing should be like a surgical operation: the setup, as meticulous as the surgeon; the swing, as relaxed as the patient.

I think that's mostly right, but 'relaxed' may not be the word that should be used.  I think I'd replace it with 'as trusting,' but the more relevant point here is the first part.  EVERY swing needs to be meticulous in its setup as regards the fundamentals.

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It's a great book but I couldn't appreciate the concepts as much the first time I read it as I did the 2nd time.  It helps that I am taking lessons from an instructor that teaches using Hogans swing as the prototype swing.  When I read it the 2nd time, I could directly relate it to my lessons and the book has helped to reinforce the lessons.   My swing has improved tremendously since taking the lessons from my new instructor and I think I've benefitted from having both my instructor and this book as a resource to draw upon.

From a non-golf side, the book is written as though Mr. Hogan is actually speaking to the reader, which makes it more personal, and a nice reminder of how different (for the better) people were during his time.

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I think Hogan is presenting the complete basics of his golf swing and if you followed them to the note and practiced you would have the swing of a scratch player. Putting in the practice to be able to repeat this swing, touch on the greens, course management, player fitness and correct equipment are a completely separate matter and I think that's why Hogan thinks the 70s are a realistic goal.

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  • 1 month later...

I think Hogan's Five Lessons is the best golf instructional book ever...read this book and there will be immediate improvement in your game. I keep a copy in my SUV and whenever I go out somewhere and there is a delay or wait, I refer to this book and read it over and over and over. A must buy for anyone new to golf or like myself who had been playing a long time with no real improvement.

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+1!  but with the caveat that he suffered from a hook and this was his solution.  there is one secret that wasn't revealed in the book-  he "cupped" his right hand at the top of the back swing.

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I just pick up a copy of this at a local thrift store, I think it's the best 50 cents I ever spent!

Most definitely. Good find!

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Originally Posted by Freysmith

I just pick up a copy of this at a local thrift store, I think it's the best 50 cents I ever spent!



One thing to note- I havent read this book in forever but Hogan had a problem with hooking the ball, I was watching david leadbetter talk about Hogans grip in the book and how he used that grip so he wouldnt hook the ball, must be a weak grip or something and when Leadbetter was trying the grip he kept hitting the ball right

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One thing to note- I havent read this book in forever but Hogan had a problem with hooking the ball, I was watching david leadbetter talk about Hogans grip in the book and how he used that grip so he wouldnt hook the ball, must be a weak grip or something and when Leadbetter was trying the grip he kept hitting the ball right





Yup. There are a lot of pieces of his swing that Hogan instituted specifically not to hook the ball.

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The Fundamental do not include Hogan's prescriptions for stopping his hook. He clearly states in the book that he is showing the Ultimate fundamentals and that each player will be FORCED to have parts that he changes slightly(or cannot do physically) but still these represent the correct ways. They are not descriptions of exactly what he did all of the time but they are ideals to be strived toward. As Hogan said, you wake up each day and you don't know what body you have to work with, what swing and what mind. You go and try to repeat with whatever you got that day. It is very cliche for people to claim the stuff you read above, but I say stick to the Five Lessons and drop the Leadbetters of the world. What causes a slice worse that that weak finger grip Leadbetter posits?

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I don't know if changes were made in the content over the 64 printings, but I'm pretty sure in my copy Hogan cites the proper grip that he suggests for those reading the book along with the specific modification he used to control his hook such as the shortening of the thumb on his left hand.  Some have speculated that Hogans hook was partially due to being left handed and switching to be a right handed golfer because those were the only clubs available in the bin when he was growing up.

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Originally Posted by Edgk

What causes a slice worse that that weak finger grip Leadbetter posits?


Swinging across the ball from outside to in.

Very few golfers slice because the clubface is pointed right of the target at impact.

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