How Right Was Ben Hogan?
I'm an unabashed huge fan of Ben Hogan. My father had played golf with Mr. Hogan before the war, and became a huge fan himself. I inherited that, and always felt a connection to Mr. Hogan. His "Five Lessons" were originally published as a series of articles in Sports Illustrated, the first issue of the series being March 11, 1952, my fifth birthday. My father insisted that was not a coincidence.
In my youth, we made one trip to Colonial so that I could see Mr. Hogan hit golf balls in person, and it made an indelible impact on me. I grew up studying Power Golf and Five Lessons, and tried to learn the game "his" way. I would encourage any serious golfer to study the many videos on YouTube to see what I believe is the most efficient and effective golf swing in history.
Being a student of Mr. Hogan's has worked very well for me. I've always been a pretty consistent ball striker and believe Mr. Hogan had dissected the swing down into its most basic analysis. And I concur with his idea that anyone of reasonable physical skills can learn to strike a golf ball pretty darn consistently if they will master these basics. What I also find is that if my swing gets "funky" and my ball-striking begins to suffer, I can go back to those videos and "get right" pretty darn quickly.
So, here's my question for all of you? Do you think the way we play the game and the "modern" swing is far from what Mr. Hogan mastered? Is there a better way to strike a golf ball than he discovered through countless hours of practice? Remember, he did not have the luxury of video, launch monitors and such . . . he had to allow the golf ball alone to be the gauge of how close he was getting to his goal of perfection.
I would like to know your thoughts on Mr. Hogan's approach and his detailed description of the golf swing as presented in Five Lessons.
And if any of you are looking to make a quantum leap in your tee-to-green game this year, I highly recommend spending these early cold months diving deep into Five Lessons to rebuild your basics, starting with the way you hold the golf club. It all starts there and you rarely see a bad golfer with a good grip.
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