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


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I purchased this book last night from Amazon and read it twice already.  Mr. Hogan's book filled in a lot of the gaps in my understanding of the fundamental mechanics of the golf swing.

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  • 7 months later...
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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

I only post on this thread because it is near and dear to my heart. I have always loved Ben Hogan's Five Fundamentals while I've embarked on the search for my swing. It is a technical manifest on the principles of the golf swing. The details are true. I have often discovered them through the exercise of practice through feel (oh, that's what he meant!).

With that being said, I unexpectedly found Bryon Nelson's "Shape Your Swing the Modern Way" to be my respite in the discovery of my swing. It wasn't anticipated; but then it occurred. His instruction and explanations were so succinct. Whether it was the front-side dominate explanation of the takeaway or the downswing in unison concept; it all worked for me.

Please understand, I was a Ben Hogan disciple. But the concepts that fired the neurons in my brain in regards to the golf swing were predominately those of Iron Bryon. The reality for me was that Bryon's descriptions tied the four parts of the golf swing (takeaway, backswing, downswing, follow-through) into one fluid motion.

My last hurdle now seems to be the apprehension that I have to make a full, solid golf swing. But I'm sure that won't be as much of an obstacle as it used to be.

To close, here's my quote..."Becoming better at golf mentally and physically has quite an unforeseen impact on your ability to improve at life in general. A golfer is not the master of their souls until they can control their thoughts, emotions, and abilities. Own Your Game Within Yourself"

Jim

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I only post on this thread because it is near and dear to my heart. I have always loved Ben Hogan's Five Fundamentals while I've embarked on the search for my swing. It is a technical manifest on the principles of the golf swing. The details are true. I have often discovered them through the exercise of practice through feel (oh, that's what he meant!).

With that being said, I unexpectedly found Bryon Nelson's "Shape Your Swing the Modern Way" to be my respite in the discovery of my swing. It wasn't anticipated; but then it occurred. His instruction and explanations were so succinct. Whether it was the front-side dominate explanation of the takeaway or the downswing in unison concept; it all worked for me.

Please understand, I was a Ben Hogan disciple. But the concepts that fired the neurons in my brain in regards to the golf swing were predominately those of Iron Bryon. The reality for me was that Bryon's descriptions tied the four parts of the golf swing (takeaway, backswing, downswing, follow-through) into one fluid motion.

My last hurdle now seems to be the apprehension that I have to make a full, solid golf swing. But I'm sure that won't be as much of an obstacle as it used to be.

To close, here's my quote..."Becoming better at golf mentally and physically has quite an unforeseen impact on your ability to improve at life in general. A golfer is not the master of their souls until they can control their thoughts, emotions, and abilities. Own Your Game Within Yourself"

Jim

Thanks for posting.  I will check out the Byron Nelson book.

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  • 1 month later...

When Hogan stated on page 39 that we should start at address with both knees pointed in; does that mean close together or what? You certainly can't point both knees toward each other.  Can someone explain?

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Not in my book, luggage.  Probably due to differences in publication date, reprints, etc.  My book, First Fireside Ed. 1985, page 39, has only a drawing of Ben at address and a short para, "The proper stance...interrelated assignments correctly".

However, in the review section, my page 118, we find a drawing of Ben in his underwear at address. With the para "There is one correct basic stance:...It is extremely important to keep the elbows and arms as close together as possible. Remember, too: the knees point in'.

So yes, Ben wants our knees pointing inwards, and looking at the illustration we can see that his knees are that way.  Take a look at your book, luggage and then your knees.

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  • 9 months later...
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I just keep wading through all the content.

The thing about Hogan's contention that the elbows and forearms need to kept close together may stem from his particular build. I read an article where this claim was made. With most people when you look at them face on, standing erect yet relaxed, you will see just a bit of the backs of their hands. According to the author of this article, this was not the case with Hogan. When you looked at him in the above manner, you would see his elbows pinched in towards his ribcage, and see just a bit of the palms of his hands. Whether this was pre or post-accident, or just pure invention, I have no way of knowing. I was always taught to stand erect and look down at my left hand. However many knuckles I saw then, was how many knuckles I should see at address.

I will say this, Hogan's admonition to have both V's pointing at the chin is certainly not the current doctrine! Perhaps that is the "hook fighting" grip!

As far as having the knees pointed inward, how would that compare to the "Sam Snead squat"!

As always, golf swings are as individual as the individuals making them! But, Hogan has many valid ideas to offer that should be paid attention to. Maybe most importantly, his ideas about dedication to practice. An interviewer asked him how he developed his swing, and Hogan said, "I dug it out of the dirt!"

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  • 2 months later...

I've just started reading this book.  As a complete beginner, I figured it'd be worth reading some of the classics, so I've bought this and the Little Red Book.

I have a question about the grip... it says in the book:

 

1) The back of my left hand should face the target

2) The club should be in the general position it would be in at address

 

Since I am not aiming at anything - I'm just trying to learn how to hold the club, the back of my left hand isn't facing anything in particular.  I also don't understand what general position the club should be in at address.  I also don't understand where the club face should be pointing.  If I stand with my feet square, and ensure that if I drew a line pointing at an imaginary target, like this:

Quote

  <===========
   .oooO    Oooo.
   (       )    (        )
    \     (      )    /
      \ _)     ( _ /

 

And my club were to point at 90 degrees to the angle, if I rotate the club in my hands, the face opens and closes.  At one extreme, if I continue to turn the club clockwise, the face opens until at points to the sky.  At the other extreme, if I rotate the club counter-clockwise, the face starts to point down and to the left, towards the ground.  If I make the foot of the club perfectly straight, parallel to the ground, and at right angles to the line I drew above, the club shaft is pointing at an angle away from me:

 

Quote

     [)
    /
   /
  /
 /

Is this normal and ok?  I'm holding a 7I at present!

Edited by Dornenglanz
Add feet!
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Another question on grip: do you think a glove makes it harder or easier to grip the club as described?  Does the glove mean you lose some touch?  But does it help with grip?  I found an old B&W video of Hogan playing, and he wasn't wearing a glove.  Are gloves just fashion, or do they actually help?  Or indeed hinder?

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  • 1 month later...

My brother gave me a Hogan gift pack that had this book and a dozen golf balls many years ago.  I was more excited about the balls than the book, at the time.  After about 6 months, I figured I should probably read the book.

It did more for my game than I ever imagined.  My grip/stance/setup were terrible beforehand.  It was super awkward at first, but became more natural the more I played after reading.  My consistency improved greatly.

This was almost 20 years ago.  I've still yet to hit the balls, and probably never will.  One sleeve was balata balls; their covers have yellowed a lot over time.

I've recently started David Leadbetter's 'companion' book, The Fundamentals of Hogan.  I have mixed feelings about it, so far.

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Leadbetter's book is an excellent "companion" to the Hogan classic.  He presents a "then/now" appraisal of the work that serves to amplify the man's genius.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been playing golf for more years than I care to admit and just decided to read Ben's book again from cover to cover tonight for about the 100th time (It doesn't take long) because I realized that as your game improves over the years, your understanding of common faults and pitfalls improves also and, as Ben Hogan said in his book, refer back to the five lessons on occasion to brush up on the fundamentals which will help to keep your game sharp.   I have a very good game because of this book, and one of the main reasons for this is I have always been able to resist the temptation to "Tinker" with my game and instead, just paid attention to the important basic fundamentals which are so beautifully laid out in Five Lessons.  It really is the "Bible" for most of us who love the game. :content:

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22 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

This thread really belongs in the reading room forum. There is already a thread in there about this book. It's always good to search for a topic to see if it exists before starting a new thread. ;-)

Granted I am relatively new on this forum, but I have posted over 2000 times on Golfwrx since 2006.  Are you suggesting that before anyone posts something on this forum, they should check 20 other forums to see if anybody else has ever posted something on the same subject?

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  • 4 months later...
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IS BEN HOGAN'S Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf still relevant? No. I've read it hundreds of times, and it's increasingly clear that what Hogan thought he did in the swing isn't what he did at all. It's a smart book, and I can absolutely see how he arrived at his beliefs, but that doesn't make it a good how-to manual. Coaches who know what to look for can derive value from it, but average students, no. It will only confuse them.

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/the-best-teacher-no-one-knows

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

This is a great book. I got it as an audio book to listen to while I was on a long car trip. Highly recommend the book. I'm a fairly novice golfer and I found it helped me tremendously. I've already listened to it once and I'm on my second pass at the book. I'm guessing I'll go through this book a dozen times and learn something new each time. 

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