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4.7 out of 5 stars
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2001
i know it's sacreligious to give any golf instruction piece from ben hogan anything less than perfect grades, but here goes.

the book is written too much in auto-biographical format with ben providing too much of the background and his personal experience for why he came to the conclusions he reached on golf fundamentals. so although there are something like half a dozen important insights on the fundamentals is it really necessary to read through 127 pages to get them? contrast this to jack nicklaus's "golf my way" where he gets right to the point and the instruction is not buried in text.

also, hogan's recommendations leave little room for individuality -- you either do it his way or there is no alternative. this applies to all of the fundamentals he asserts in the book which means that it's a real program you must commit yourself to. regardless of skill level, i would estimate it would take fully 2 years of intense practise to incorporate the totality of h!ogan's program into your own game.

that said, it's still worth getting if only for the legend who wrote it and the exposure you'll get to his thought processes. but don't get it thinking it's a targeted instructional manual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2015
Just ... wow. Like a lot of my buddies, I've been playing golf for years without any real instruction. The odd lesson here, the odd golfing magazine there. Tips from those better than me. As I approach 40, I realise that I do not have a ton of time left to get better at golf. I shoot anywhere from a 95 to a 110.

This year, I decided to start with reading some of what are considered "the" books about golf. I started with this one. Easy to read, easy to understand (okay, had to try and figure out some things). I practice holding the club nightly and feeling this "weird" grip. I've been shown the grip a lot over the years and thought I knew what I was doing. Wrong was I. I've been doing the drills and hitting the range to practice full strokes. My first time out wasn't great, but I could tell I was starting to build a simple, powerful and repeatable swing. A few more times and it's a world of difference. I was giddy out at the range today with the majority of my shots.

I don't buy into the criticism; these are fundamental to build from. Find what works for you. I was/am a slicer and my game has gotten dramatically better from reading this book. I have recommended it to my wife. I recommend it to you.

Now onto the short game and putting ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2011
When I was 14 years old I bought this book and devoured it. To this day I believe it is the best golf book ever written for anyone who has never played golf before. It helped me to become a scratch golfer. With all the books, gadgets, lessons, videos, gear etc. on the market today it is easy to overlook the most basic of fundamentals on golf. This is the best book available to get you back to those crucial fundamentals.

Do yourself a favour a BUY THIS BOOK, whether you are just starting out or are a scratch golfer. I lost my original copy over the years and was extremely happy to see Amazon carry it. I bought it again for my wife who is just starting to play golf and hope someday she will become a good player due to the help this book provides.

You will not go wrong by reading from the man who many believe has the best golf swing ever. Ben Hogan.

Enjoy it and if you follow the fundamentals Ben teaches, not only will you lower your golf score, but have a lot more fun and less frustration on the course.

Thanks Amazon for stocking this, and especially at such a good price.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2004
This classic is an exceptional, readable, and all-encompassing study of the golf swing. I learned much about my swing studying this book. The only problem I encountered was none of the information was very relavant to me or the vast majority of golfers who suffer from a slice.
Ben Hogan had a strong hook and much of this book includes his corrections to overcome this deficit and straighten out his swing. However, for the slicer, these corrections do the opposite - my slice was worse than ever after following Hogan's advice and I couldn't correct it.
An excellent book, for starters or as a follow-on to Hogan's "Five Lessons", is Leadbetter's "The Fundamentals of Hogan". Leadbetter reviews the Hogan swing, then tells why it doesn't work for most (Hogan was double-jointed, Hogan was correcting his hook, etc.) and what you should really do. After Leadbetter, I did straighten out my swing.
Both books break the swing down into 5 parts: Grip, Stance, Backswing, Downswing, Summary.
While Hogan's book was groundbreaking and certainly deserves a read, if you want to learn a basic swing, Leadbetter's is far more encompassing and just as readable.
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on October 17, 2012
This is a small, thin book (total of 127 pages) that centers on the very fundamentals of golf (as described by one of the old masters of the game). As a somewhat new golfer (taking up the game again as a senior after a 40-year lapse), I have to wonder if there are modifications to Hogan's approaches after fifty-five years of improvements in golf equipment, computerized measuring technology, and kinesthetic investigation. Perhaps not. Just be aware that this book is "dated"-- 1957 to be exact! There are no photographs in this book, there are drawings. Very good drawings, to be sure, but detailed sketches of grip, stance, swings, etc. Even the paper is somewhat brown and soft, making the book look like it came from the original printing batch.

Useful, yes. No doubt a lot of the fundamentals stay the same, and will continue to do so. But I suspect there are more modern methods of communicating those fundamentals that might bring more success than studying drawings, such as the golf instruction DVD that I recently purchased. It seems to cover these fundamentals and a lot more, and I can watch the instructions in action.

I assume the title is the original one: "Five Lessons - The MODERN Fundamentals of Golf". Just be aware that "modern" is a relative term, in this case indicating 1957.
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on February 13, 2012
The only two golfers to own their golf swings were Ben Hogan and Moe Norman. What more should I say about the instruction in this book? My book The Golf Swing: It's all in the Hands takes the illustration found on page 68 of Ben Hogan's book and delivers detailed instruction on the hand action of the golf swing using the waggle as a means to learn the hand action of the golf swing. In my opinion, it supplements Ben Hogan's instruction on the waggle extremely well.

The other point I would like to make about Ben Hogan's book is the instruction he gives on the position of the right foot. Hogan is adamant about positioning the right foot perpendicular to the target line. When I first read this as a teenager, I thought he was taking the right foot position rather seriously. Some years later when my golf swing was fully developed, my doubts about Hogan's thoughts on the right foot position came back to humiliate me. He had good reason for being adamant. I thought to myself, how could I have been so foolish to doubt the great Ben Hogan!
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on December 9, 2003
Everyone should buy this book! It really works.
I noticed some people, most notably a man from Florida, almost insult the book. Come on, surely you've all read what Hogan said:
"I do genuinely believe this: THE AVERAGE GOLFER IS ENTIRELY CAPABLE OF BUILDING A REPEATING SWING AND BREAKING 80, if he learns to perform a small number of movements.."
Ben Hogan was apparently a perfectionist, and noticeably had strong beliefs in his philosophy of the golf swing. I don't think he'd put it in his book if he didn't KNOW FOR SURE it was true. Remember this was the book people had nagged him to write for years. He probably tested the instruction on lots of people - maybe even amateurs and people of all shapes and sizes.
Hogan was obviously looking for a way to cure his pull-hook, and he did this by trial-and-error, over many, many years. I think if I practiced day after day for years, I'd know the golf swing and feel insulted if somebody questioned my ideas.
It's obvious all modern teaching is based upon Ben Hogan's method. He hasn't wrote a book on his style - he did say in the foreword the fundamentals just look different on different people - he wrote about THE fundamental movements which make a powerl, correcting, repeating swing.
It's just idiotic to say it only works for Hogan. Maybe the man from Florida was saying what he did because he learned to do something wrong instead of reading properly.
Buy this book!
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on April 15, 2003
This was the first golf instruction book that I ever purchased. Due to the book arising from the five lessons published in a magazine, the format is unlike anything before or since. Each lesson leaves you in no doubt as to what to practice and how. If you diligently apply yourself to each lesson, and only then move on to the next, you will have a set of solid building blocks, which will stand you in good stead as you progress through your golfing life. The illustrations are rightfully lauded as the best, and most instructive of all time. Listening to the most meticulous of all golfers, 'in his own idiom' brings a flavour of the man. This, his second book, tells you all you need to know to be able to develop a sound swing. You will read and re-read this book many times over the years. It's been said that Hogan wasn't generous in sharing his knowledge. An economy of words was always his style. That's why when he spoke, people listened. Read this book. Go out and practice what's in it, and Hogan will continue talking to you.
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on August 6, 2002
When I took up the game about ten years back, a co-worker (and single-digit handicapper) told me "Get Hogan's Five Fundamentals. It will tell you all you'll ever need to know about striking a golf ball." As time passed and my game improved, those words rung truer with each passing season. I've spent hundreds of dollars on other books but I keep coming back to this little treasure. My paperback copy is literally starting to fall apart from multiple re-readings. The first time I read through the book, the only things I took from it were how to properly grip the club and that awesome image of the pane of glass defining the swing plane (accurate or not...). The later chapters just went over my head at the time. As I worked on my game however a funny thing happened. One by one I would make "breakthroughs" only to find them staring back at me from the pages of Hogan's book. The comment about this book being laden with hidden gems is right on the money. It seems like every time I read it, I pick up another subtle insight.
I've heard the criticism that if this was such a great book, you wouldn't have to read it ten times to get the meaning. Perhaps there's a kernel of truth in this, but I think the nature of the golf swing makes describing it a monumental challenge indeed. Like most pursuits of substance though, diligent effort will eventually be rewarded. Talking with accomplished golfers, I'm simply amazed at the number of different benefits people have derived from this book. For me, the best single piece of advice was to start a practice journal. Over several years this allowed me to boil a million different ideas about putting down into my own very personal set of putting fundamentals. This ridiculously simple set of rules has stood the test of time, serving me well for a number of years now. I've since tried to bring the same methodical approach the other areas of my game. So my advice is get your hands on a copy of this book and be ready to invest yourself in it. Give it some time to work and check back periodically. Soon you'll be hitting those "shots with real character" Mr. Hogan and Mr. Wind speak so eloquently of.
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on December 2, 2001
It's true. Leadbetter and McClain have both found problems with Hogan's Five Lessons, especially for those who do not share his physique or his typical swing faults. Mann's Swing Like a Pro describes the modern golf swing much better, and the LAWS of the Golf Swing describes how golfers of different physical styles tend to strike the ball most effectively.
Still, this book is a classic that every golfer should own.
By today's standards Hogan was short, wiry, with unusually powerful shoulders and arms. What Leadbetter and McClain do not mention is that people who share Hogan's physique (like me) can pretty much take every word as gospel. If you have the same sort of physique and follow everything in this book, from the grip and stance to the backswing, the backstroke and swing planes, driving with the hips, and supinating the left wrist through impact, then you will get a very impressive swing, especially with irons. Woods may take a little adjustment, and for the short game and putting see Dave Pelz's Bibles. For pure ball striking, this is a perfect description of the classic golf swing.
I've been told that though Hogan was a deep thinker on the subject of the full swing, that he was the best putter on tour during his winning years. It's too bad he didn't put his thoughts on putting down on paper, because if he had, it would be THE classic on that topic too.
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