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


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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.

RC I notice you are a very accomplished golfer, and I'm just curios to what extent you use his stance (left foot out a 1/4 turn, right foot square, ... and his grip)? I'm currently converting to this as a basis for consistency, and since I started re-reading this book, I'm shedding strokes
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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 just read the first chapter and I obviously didnt know what I was doing before reading it....I THOUGHT I knew about grip but I had no idea.

A question, it seems like the club grip slowly slips off my "palm pad" and into my actual palm after a couple swings...any advice? maybe Im doin something wrong or my hands are not meaty enough...
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If it is your left hand, just move the club more into the fingers and get the heel pad secure on top of the grip. If you hold with the last three fingers, it can be a light grip and still be very secure.
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Just got done reading it a couple days ago and I can see a difference. Its going to take awhile since I am plagued with a bunch of bad habits but when I do get everything right man it feels good and the ball flight looks great. I am going to start my second pass through and slow down some and really hit the practice routines that he suggest doing for a week and then move to the next. Man I am excited!

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I bought it last night based off all the positive comments. I like the advice of really working on one section until it is mastered. So far the illustrations have really helped tie things together when I try and flip things since I am a Lefty.
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Leftys might try looking at the pictures in a mirror. Of course by now most of the port siders already know that and can read a golf book and automatically change right to left, etc. I've mentioned before, an old friend (a lefty) used to watch the golf tournaments on TV sitting right in front of the set with his back to the screen and a mirror in front of him. He was a huge Bob Charles fan because he could turn around and just watch him.
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QUICK!!! I do believe it's page 39 and if not it's page 59 but it is by far the best part of that book that will yield the best results without having to work too many of the swing positions. It says that EVERYONE should practice with their thumb and index finger off of the club. Without the thumb and finger (on the right hand if your right handed or left hand if your left handed) there must be a different set of muscles that delivers the club to the ball since the power hand can not. Give that a try and I promise that everyone will hit it better!!!!!
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Ok, so I've gotten through the grip portion in which I feel I have a great grasp on. Just have to keep working on it.

In the meantime, I've started reading Lesson 2 "Posture and Stance". Now this is a chapter that has me on overload and confused. If I'm not mistaken, he talks in the grip portion (maybe even in the posture and stance) that it is supposed to feel natural. Nothing I've read to this point in the second lesson (have 2 pages to go) seems or feels natural. To have to squeeze your elbows in or have your knees bent in with your back knee bent it slightly more gives me worst feeling in the world. I can compare it to someone tying me up in an awkward position and asking me to swing a ball.

Did any of you that have been trying to going through or had gone through lesson 2 have the same feeling as me? Any suggestions?

Maybe I'm just overemphasizing the points that he's making, but it just doesn't feel right or comfortable.
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Ok, so I've gotten through the grip portion in which I feel I have a great grasp on. Just have to keep working on it.

Yeah, you may be. I think the point he is trying to get across is that you want to be using your inside muscles. You don't want to stress those muscles like you're tied up. But you want to draw your power and use those muscles. You don't want your elbows and knees to start going outward. Try hitting a bucket with an effort to sort of keep your knees (especially the right knee) sort of buckled in like he explains. That aids in keeping the weight on the inside of your right foot in the back swing.

For me, the best part of the book is when he talks about how you should supinate the left wrist during the downstroke in lessons 4 (around page100). He talks about how bad player pronate the wrist and it's true. I know because I used to and I would hit a lot of weak pushes and slices because of it. When you get this small supinate down it fixes a lot of problems...at least it did for me. One day I had learned a couple things and started using them effectively but then started to develop this pronate and had no idea why. A PGA instructor quickly showed me what the problem (and how i was pronating!) was and it was corrected right away. With some practice I worked it out of my game and started hitting straight shots. After awhile I didn't have to consciously do it anymore. I got a drill from him to work it out and over a few buckets I was set and striking the ball with a lot more accuracy and power. This book is really good but you need to read it a few times and practice things. And you can't take any little piece for granted. All these little things work together. I believe with some careful study someone can transform their game to levels they never thought possible following the instruction in here and even better working with an instructor who can help drive the meanings home more. The grip and address can be done in a single lesson. 3 and 4 should take 2 more lessons of an hour each. And lesson 5 is something you can come back to and brush up on with your instructor every couple months to make sure you aren't slipping. Once you get these fundamentals down you can begin to learn to play golf. Until then you're just blindly hitting a ball.
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I think what Hogan was trying to do with the posture and stance advice was to get you to learn to relax in these positions. It other words, don't feel pressure and use muscle power to force your arms into his position, just move there and learn to start to feel the position as your normal relaxed position. It is not a tension thing, it is a "get there and relax thing." You can do that without it feeling robotic. Mimic the positon then "zen" out and feel yourself relax into having your arms closer and your "elbow cups" more upward. Don't twist them, relax into them.

I see guys on the range look like they are twisting into a starting position and they freeze up like liquid nitrogen has been poured on them -- that is not the objective. You should feel poised and ready to react... and in time it will feel natural.
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I keep hearing you guys talking about this book so I swung by the bookstore and picked up a copy today. It looks great so far. I can't wait to give it a read through and test out what he's saying because I have no doubt it will help my completely inconsistent swing out a lot. My goal is to build a consistent repeating swing and from the introduction it looks like that's what I'm going to learn.
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I keep hearing you guys talking about this book so I swung by the bookstore and picked up a copy today. It looks great so far. I can't wait to give it a read through and test out what he's saying because I have no doubt it will help my completely inconsistent swing out a lot. My goal is to build a consistent repeating swing and from the introduction it looks like that's what I'm going to learn.

Just be careful with some things. He advocates a weak grip which is bad for most of us. Also, make note of some subtle things. When discussing hip turn he points out building up tension between the hips and shoulders but doesn't make a huge point of it. He points out rotating the hips and starting the downswing with the hips (correct of course) but he only spends a small amount of time telling you not to rotate the hips too much. I guess he makes pictures and such, but that hip/shoulder angle is very important.

I got in trouble because of that and was over-rotating my hips and not building tension and hitting comparably weak shots to the right for how much effort I was putting in. they also weren't going straight because my body was so open to the ball it couldn't get around in time with everything else.
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Just be careful with some things. He advocates a weak grip which is bad for most of us. Also, make note of some subtle things. When discussing hip turn he points out building up tension between the hips and shoulders but doesn't make a huge point of it. He points out rotating the hips and starting the downswing with the hips (correct of course) but he only spends a small amount of time telling you not to rotate the hips too much. I guess he makes pictures and such, but that hip/shoulder angle is very important.

thanks for the input. I read the grip section last night and went to the range today to fool around with it. I can not get myself to follow his grip advice i.e. placing the right pinky over the left had in the groove between the index finger and the middle finger. it seems way to weak to me. I feel way more comfortable with my 10 finger grip, all my fingers are on the club, and I feel like I have more control over the club. I know the 10 finger grip is virtually unheard of these days but I've heard of nothing really wrong with it and it just seems natural to me so I've kept up with it.

Look forward to finishing the rest of the book.
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thanks for the input. I read the grip section last night and went to the range today to fool around with it. I can not get myself to follow his grip advice i.e. placing the right pinky over the left had in the groove between the index finger and the middle finger. it seems way to weak to me. I feel way more comfortable with my 10 finger grip, all my fingers are on the club, and I feel like I have more control over the club. I know the 10 finger grip is virtually unheard of these days but I've heard of nothing really wrong with it and it just seems natural to me so I've kept up with it.

Oh. When I mention "strong" and "weak" grip, it has nothing to do with how many fingers are on the club. You're using the "baseball grip", which really should be avoided. What Hogan uses is the "overlapping" grip, which is the standard grip. But if you're comfortable...

What I was talking about is the position of his hands. He keeps them a bit to the left and that's called a weak grip. A strong grip is recommended for most people and that's when your hands are to the right a bit.
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