This video epitomizes golf instruction

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21 Comments

  1. Calvin

    Wonderful.

    We get puzzles.

    Reply
  2. woody

    Yeah, it’s puzzles. Here’s another one. Hogan told more about it than anyone before or since, on page 58 and page 71 of Five Lessons. (my paperback)

    Everyone ignored it and went with hips & shoulders.

    Reply
    • Calvin

      Hi Woody. I am a Hogan fan but my “5 Lessons” is in storage. Recently moved.
      I understand Monte’s weariness of the “Hogan Secret” stuff but the fact is that Hogan was a master player and his opinions matter.

      What’s on page 58 and page 71?

      Reply
      • woody

        page 58: Illustration with caption–Large anatomical drawing, and the smaller diagram sketch emphasize important *inside muscles* the golfer should use.

        [Book does not explain how these muscles are paired.]

        page 71: “A golfer wants to have tension; he wants the mid-section of his body to be tightened up, for this tension is the key to the whole downswing…When you have this stored-up tension in the muscles between the hips and shoulders (and the muscles of the thighs that work with the hips), you have something with which you can begin the downswing. (This tension will, in fact, automatically help to pull you down into the ball).”

        *****
        Personally, I think that the midsection tension more of a result, rather than trying to do it directly.

        I believe that a lot of “Five Lessons” contained a lot of material originating from Sports Illustrated, not Hogan. Hogan probably accepted their material because: 1) the book resulted from the settlement of a lawsuit regarding Time-Life ripping-off Hogan, and 2) they probably got him to buy into their material by showing him stop-action photos.

        Reply
      • Mike Divot

        The question is, why do they matter SO MUCH MORE than any other expert golfer’s?

        Reply
      • Calvin

        Thanks Woody. Here’s a guy who was a disciple of Bill Mehlhorn who Hogan said was the best tee to green he ever saw. I like simple and this guy really keeps it simple.

        Reply
      • Calvin

        Mike, they don’t. When it comes to golf Your opinion is as good as Hogan’s.
        Personally I don’t think his opinions necessarily matched what he did. I had rather watch his action than read his opinion. What he had was some kind of aura. Like Couples, but different.

        Reply
      • woody

        Calvin, 9:24 is a lot of time for an instructional video. Under 3:00 is good, 5:00 is pushing it.

        So, there are some things I like, and some I don’t. It started strong. I like how he said legs, not hips. And I like how he said that you don’t have to guide your arms on the backswing. He could have quit there. Skipping a stone is OK though. Try to skip a stone using “hips.”

        However, arms being independent is a problem, in my opinion.

        Reply
      • woody

        For Mike Divot: Mike, just because Hogan might have been the all-time best golfer doesn’t by itself make his ideas about instruction the best.

        However, Hogan did have actual students, so presumably anything that didn’t work at all was eliminated.

        The problem with Hogan’s books is that he didn’t write them. Hogan’s opinions were filtered through Warren Wind and/or Sports Illustrated, except what you hear coming directly from Ben’s mouth.

        Two problems are involved written instruction: 1) great golfers don’t write books, co-writers do, and 2) the more coordinated a person is, the less likely he is to be able to explain what he does. As Butch Harmon says, feel isn’t [always] real.

        Reply
  3. rojoass

    What ya gotta remember is sometimes smart instruction sounds like crazy instruction when you have been listening to stupid instruction…………
    a la swincrack……….

    http://rojoass.com/

    Reply
  4. Mike Divot

    What I’m saying is, of all the great golfers, why do people pay so much attention to Hogan above all the others?

    Reply
    • woody

      Hogan’s accomplishments gave him an aura of credibility: 13 wins in 1946, 7 in 1947, 10 in 1948…then coming back from horrendous injuries and winning 5 in 1953.

      In 1953, he won the US & British Open, and the Masters. Hogan won every major he could play in. (The PGA and British Open were nearly simultaneously played at that time.)

      That took Five Lessons (1957) to the top of the charts. Golf’s undisputed best-selling instructional book, with sales reported to be in excess of 10,000,000.

      Five Lessons did not claim to be the final word in instruction. In its conclusion it basically said, “This is a start, take the baton and run with it.” Nobody did.

      Reply
      • Mike Divot

        I get all that.

        I don’t get how “the Hogan swing” has been elevated to god status and those of Nelson, Snead, Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, Casper, Trevino, Watson, etc, etc, haven’t.

        Reply
      • Calvin

        Mike it was largely his fellow pros who created that. They watched him practice. They all had Hogan stories. They gave him his pedestal. The public followed along. Johnny Miller started something similar when he knocked down flagsticks for a couple of years but Johnny fizzled out early. Hogan got better and better as he got older. Snead’s swing is also revered. Nelson could have been the same but he quit and went to the farm at a young age. Hogan is a true icon. Credit Anthony Ravielli for some of the blame too.

        Reply
      • woody

        I think I’m seeing the same basic swing.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyCq7E7rfcg (2:21) Arnold, Gary, Byron, Ken

        None of the others tried their hand at instruction, especially basic instruction. (Nicklaus did, but it wasn’t exactly a how-to…it was golf his way. However, his videos are quite good.)

        And, throughout his career Palmer had a quirky finish. Player sometimes seemed off-balance at the finish. Nelson…haven’t seen enough of him to comment. They all had personal quirks in their swings. Ben was smooth as silk, and people want to imitate that. He was long, and accurate.

        Through his incredible perseverance and intensity of his practice, Hogan completely rebuilt his swing and golf game. The early years of his career were spent battling the dreaded hook shot, as well as the inevitable financial woes that accompany poor play. He was reputed to be nearing the point of quitting, when he made one final attempt at the Tour.

        As an instructor, Hogan had an advantage over all of them: “There isn’t a mistake I haven’t made when trying to learn to play golf.” ~ B.H., Power Golf (1948) He also did quite a bit of personal teaching.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          Woody, not that I am Comparing myself to Hogan, but that’s the advantage I have over all the other instructors both big an small.

          I have have taken all the wrong paths in the maze already.

          Reply
  5. jaybee

    I think John Jacobs said that 5 Lessons kept him in business…
    What might also have been an issue and reason for the sorry state of golf instruction is that since the advent of video and Arnie, most really good players were not forced to teach after their playing careers anymore but went on to the Senior Tours if they still needed some cash. There are a few exceptions, like Bob Byman or now Bradley Hughes (and Monte) but that’s nothing compared to who went into teaching previously.
    IMHO, it’s also a bit like investing, as a golf pupil you have to acquire some basic ‘knowledge’ yourself in order to be at least able to discard the most obvious BS and avoid ending up like Matt Damon here.
    But then you better go on and buy an index fund or give it to a really good fund manager instead of dabbling in the markets/with the swing yourself- unfortunately there are no index funds in golf, so after many other tries, I will now bet on and with Monte, who qualifies IMHO, and suggest the same to my golfing friends.
    FWIW, the best books on investing were written by people who went broke in the crash of ’29, were thereby forced to sort out things properly first and THEN recovered (Monte), not by billionaires (Nicklaus, Faldo, Tiger, Phil&co) or journalists (Haney&co).

    Reply
    • woody

      “Five Lessons kept him in business…”

      –That could be true. However, we don’t know what originated with Hogan, and what originated with Sports Illustrated. By my last count of Five Lessons, I saw 36 good concepts—allowing for less-than-perfect wording—and 18 bad concepts. Really, not bad for a guru source. So…if you take poison with your food, you get…???

      “since the advent of video”

      –Another key point. Depending on the frame of reference and skill in interpretation, video can prove things that aren’t true. They see lag. That can sure send you down the wrong path.

      Reply
      • woody

        Speaking of Hogan bashing, here are some notes from my favorite page. I forget whether I scanned it, so I could possibly be mistaken.

        “The downswing is initiated by turning the hips back to the left.” (71)

        “You must restrain your hips from moving until the turning of the shoulders starts to pull the hips around. “(71)

        I don’t see how both of these can be correct. So, I’ll say neither.

        Reply
  6. rojoass

    & he huffed & he puffed & he never broke 80 again…….

    I understand swingcrack is legal in Colorado & Washington oh never mind that’s the other stuff….

    Reply
  7. Jason

    Look familiar?

    Reply

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