Shelves: non-fiction In my list of gurus, Ben Hogan appears this year for the thoughts he has captured in this book. This book is a collection of five articles Hogan wrote on the "modern fundamentals" of golf for Sports Illustrated in the Fifties. He comes across as not only a purist, but an absolute obsessive over the game. Control freak?
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Lesson 1: The Grip Ben Hogan has an opinion on not just where every finger should be placed on the club, but on how much pressure you should be feeling in each finger. But not to worry, his explanations are excellent, as are the accompanying illustrations. He goes into great detail and gives the reasons behind his choice and recommendation.
It was the most popular grip at the time, and a long time before that. The average golfer will finally learn how to put all the elements of the swing together. And he will be hitting correctly executed golf shots, with real character to them. I cannot emphasize this point too strongly.
He believes the stance serves three purposes: Sets up the golfer so his body will be in balance throughout the swing His muscles are ready to perform fluidly As a result of 1 and 2, all the energy the golfer pours into his swing will be channeled to produce maximum control and power. I want to stress again, how much of an easy read this book is and how perfectly it makes sense when reading his words. Hogan says this part of the swing begins at address and ends at the top of the backswing.
As with the rest of the swing, he believes that the left hand left hand and arm for the full swing should control the waggle.
He thinks it must be instinctive and unique to each shot you intend to play. The order of movement for the backswing is as follows, hands- arms- shoulders- hips. Practice Drill — Designed to teach the golfer to entrust his swing to his arms and body With the stance and posture taught in the earlier chapter, initiate a mini backswing with the body, then, with the body, swing the arms forward.
Gradually build momentum until you reach hip height with your hand on the backswing hinging your wrists and hip height on the follow through, also hinging your wrists. Elbows tightly glued to your side the entire time. The shoulders, arms, and hands- in that order- then release their power.
The great speed developed in this chain action carries the golfer all the way around to the finish of his follow-through. He wants you to be brushing up against, but never over, the plane on the backswing, and executing a slightly shallower path on the downswing into and through the ball. The downswing plane should also point slightly right of the target.
He uses illustrations of a large pane of glass with a hole in it for your head to give a perfect visual representation of the plane.
He hits the main points in the prior four lessons, along with other notes, stories and thoughts on golf and the golf swing. He gives us a bit of a biography of when he took up golf and the important aspects of the swing he learned along the way, as well as who he learned them from.
I found and find this book thoroughly enjoyable to read. It will take a little effort to fix 25 years of haphazard fundamentals. I hope you find this review useful, and I really hope you pick up this book.
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf