We all want the Ben Hogan golf swing.
Every golfer wants to be able to strike the ball like him.
Being able to swing the golf club like Ben Hogan teaches us in his book Five Lessons - The Modern Fundamentals of Golf is a dream for every golfer around the world.
I know it is for me.
And I know it is for you too.
(Either you know it yet or not.)
Isn't that true?
You know what it’s like stepping up on the first tee for an early morning round...
The air is cool, the sun is rising, the grass is green and you can almost smell the dew. You take a deep breath and know you’re about to face a challenge.
You can’t wait to get started.
Just as life itself, golf isn't that easy.
The Ben Hogan golf swing looks so beautiful and so easy. The word 'smooth' pops up in my head.
Do you get the same associations?
A smooth golf swing doesn't come naturally to most of us.
I sure didn't for me before I had read the Ben Hogan 5 Lessons book and put in the hours necessary for training…
How is your swing coming along?
We all know that building a solid repeatable golf swing that works well for you every round isn't that hard.
But on the other hand, it's not that easy either.
I know you spent a fair amount of time on your golf swing and you feel like a failure for not hitting the ball better.
This makes you feel frustrated and your mind can play tricks with you on the course.
You don’t think it's fair that some golfers make the swing look so easy while you struggle with fat shots and a swing that feels all but natural.
I remember how I felt.
I used to be in your position.
Today's a different story.
Today swinging the golf club is fun. (Almost on every shot.)
Of course we won't be able to swing like Mr Hogan. After all, he's the best ball striker of all time.
By studying the fundamentals of golf as taught by Ben Hogan in his Five Lessons you will be able to improve your game so much more than you ever thought possible.
A lot of golfers have this misconception that they have to get really good at golf in order to enjoy it, but that’s not the case. You don’t have to be the best golfer on the course to have fun, but you do have to be consistent.
Here's what I've learned from his book…
(And what you will learn, too.)
How this book changed my golf game and swing is also what you will learn when you study the Ben Hogan swing and his 5 lessons book.
Let’s start from the beginning….
The 1955 Sports Illustrated article, "Hogan Reveals His Secret" was released on the same day as the Life Magazine article where Ben was paid $10,000 to reveal his secret. He did not consent to the article being published in Sports Illustrated. He also didn't receive any incentives.
Mr. Hogan was offered $20,000 in exchange for writing a series of instructional articles for Sports Illustrated. He accepted and produced a new series called "Five Lessons: Modern Fundamentals of Golf," which was published in the spring of 1957.
Herbert Warren Wind and Anthony Ravielli collaborated with Hogan to make the most popular golf instruction book ever published.
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons is also available as an audiobook from Audible. It’s unabridged, 2 hrs and 25 mins long and narrated by Steve Carlson. Even though you will have a good time listening to it, this is a book I recommend you digest in a print version.
The Ben Hogan 5 Fundamentals of Golf pdf (Kindle) version is also a better option than the audiobook in my opinion, should you not like to buy the print version.
(For more about the structure of the book, see this article.)
Even if you don’t read books, you should buy this one just for the Ben Hogan Five Lessons illustrations by Anthony Ravielli. These illustrations are classic and they give you the fundamentals of golf in a way you’ve never seen before.
From the Ben Hogan swing, grip, waggle, impact position, slow motion belt drill - here’s my Ben Hogan 5 Lessons review summary...
Let’s sum up what you will learn from this classic instruction golf book. It’s simply the best book on golf you will ever read...
The Ben Hogan Five Lessons grip illustration was a new experience for me. I’ve never thought much about the grip in the past and I had no idea of its complexity.
I now understand why Hogan put such importance on a good grip!
If you’re interested in improving your golf game, grip pressure is one of the most important things to pay attention to. If you’re trying to control the direction and spin of the ball, you’ll need to adjust your grip pressure.
Ben Hogan’s golf grip instructions also work for you if you are left handed. He gives you his thoughts on grip pressure and these days I always place my hands on the club with respect.
In this section of the Five Lessons book Mr Ben Hogan covers stance and ball position. It’s easy to follow along and you will get an understanding of the importance of how you set up for your golf shots.
A golfer's stance is the position of your body relative to the golf ball prior to the stroke. A correct golf stance is one that enables you to generate the greatest amount of club head speed with the least amount of effort.
This has been a tremendous help for me on my way to build a more consistent golf swing.
Does Mr Hogan really have his right leg straight at the top of his backswing? Or does he keep his knee slightly bent?
I’ve talked about this with my pro. He prefers a slightly bent right leg at the top of the backswing and that’s how I do it. It also makes sense in my head when I connect the dots with hip turn and his power move.
(Can you too connect the dots further down this page?)
I’ve settled in the belief that Mr Hogan had a slightly bent right leg at the top of his backswing. When you consider the wide pants male golfers used back in the days, I think the width of the pants hid his bent right knee.
Or was his right leg straight..?
Now it’s becoming interesting…
For a long time I had a problem knowing how much to turn my hips in the golf swing. I studied the book and read what Mr Hogan said about the hip turn, but I was missing something. Not even the illustrations got me on the right track.
I knew I had to learn how to make my hip turn, so I spent a lot of time watching footage of great golfers and eventually came to the conclusion that the hip turn would be the key to getting better. I also realised that I needed to work on my posture and balance to help make the hip turn more efficient.
I had the local golf pro measure my body movement and hip turn using sensors to get the correct degree for my swing.
After my coach explained the hip turn to me, I was able to make a mental connection between what was happening in my swing in real-time and what I was supposed to be doing.
After understanding the hip turn my swing instantly got better and I became a better golfer.
But it didn't stop there…
In Fundamentals of Modern Golf, Ben Hogan describes this as digging the inside of his right heel into the ground, allowing him to get some extra power by giving the swing a little push on the way down from the top.
It’s Mr Hogan’s power move for extra distance.
One of the secrets to a powerful golf swing is the ability to get some leverage by creating a little bit of force coming down from the top of the swing. And it makes sense, because the downswing begins with your hips rotating forward!
This is something I understood and that felt natural to implement to my own golf swing. And I can tell you, I’ve never hit the balls as far as I’m doing now...
Is your body in the same position when you hit the ball as when you start the swing?
Of course not!
But it’s not that obvious, either.
I don’t know about you, but it sure wasn’t obvious to me when I first started to learn how to swing well.
The Ben Hogan impact position is a great place to start if you’re trying to improve the quality of your golf swing. Set up with the ball in your stance, the clubface square, and your hands ahead of the ball.
You will get a good understanding of the Ben Hogan impact position from the Five Lesson illustrations and by reading his swing thoughts.
Still there's more…
The Ben Hogan plane was another thing about the swing that was hard for me in the beginning.
And to some degree it still is.
The movement of the Ben Hogan swing plane and his right elbow is well illustrated and explained in 5 Lessons, still I had a hard time understanding the concept in the way he explains it. That holds true still to this day.
In the book the Ben Hogan pane of glass is used to explain the swing plane and how the club head is travelling on another, more shallow plane, on the downswing. What this does is allow you to to hit your shots inside out, helping you to hit it consistently with a solid ball strike.
I have no problem understanding the shallowing of the club and hitting the ball from inside out when the local pro explains it to me, but Mr Hogan pane of glass part of the swing is hard for me to understand.
Maybe it’s just because I’m having problems consistently hitting the ball from inside out...
The Ben Hogan Modern Fundamentals of Golf is a golf swing book every golfer should read.
It’s a classic that’s stood the test of time and the fundamentals of Hogan’s advice are still relevant today. It’s a short and simple read and it’s well worth your time.
I feel like I’m a better golfer and a better person because of the game, and reading about the game has given me a way to connect with other golfers and to learn more about the game and the people who play it.
There is a great deal of camaraderie among golfers, and the more you learn about the game, the more you can interact with other golfers, and the more you’ll feel like you “belong”.
Whether you’re a professional golfer or a weekend hacker, Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf is the best golf book ever written.
Ben Hogan is one of the greatest golfers in history and his book, Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf, is still considered one of the best golf instructional guides out there. The book is written in such a way that it’s like having Ben Hogan give you a golf swing lesson.
The Ben Hogan golf swing thoughts as taught in Five Lessons will help you become a better golfer by improving your knowledge and understanding. His fundamentals are based on the fundamentals of good athletic movement, which is why they’re still relevant and highly regarded today.
The knowledge you get will then be a good baseline for you when you take swing lessons from your local pro.
And from there, nothing will stop you on the golf course...
Will you find the Ben Hogan secret to the golf swing that golfers have been searching decades to find?