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The Fundamentals of Hogan by David…

The Fundamentals of Hogan

by David Leadbetter

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385502109, Hardcover)

In the late 1950s, the great Ben Hogan consolidated his considerable knowledge of the golf swing into a small volume called Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf. Nearly half a century later, it remains the cornerstone of every intrepid hacker's instructional library, and one of the bestselling sports books of all time. But there was always something missing from its pages: photos. As marvelous as artist Anthony Ravielli's accompanying drawings of Hogan were, they weren't the same as seeing the Wee Icemon himself in action.

Surprise! Ravielli modeled those drawings on several rolls of film he took of Hogan, and those photos, recently discovered, are the heart of The Fundamentals of Hogan. For golfers, they are like finding a piece of the true cross; there has never been a more perfect swing than Bantam Ben's. If some of the pictures in Fundamentals are just explanatory poses--Hogan gripping the club, Hogan standing at address--and the majority of the swing sequences are actually not true sequences at all but, given the technology of the time, individually posed photos at appropriate intervals of the swing, no matter. They convey what they need to, providing a closer glimpse of the master's mastery.

Swing guru David Leadbetter tees up the accompanying text, analyzing Hogan's swing, parsing Hogan's swing theories, and adapting what Hogan knew to fit the rest of us. Leadbetter knows most of us can't possibly re-create the effortless power of Hogan's fluidity, but that doesn't mean we can't incorporate bits of Hogan's technique into our own herky-jerky hacks. Like Hogan, Leadbetter is obsessed with golf's mechanics, and while Hogan managed to breeze through Five Lessons with the help of the splendid writer Herbert Warren Wind, Leadbetter often gets mired in the kinds of technicalities that lead to the "paralysis by analysis" that plagues over-thinkers when they step up to the ball. Still, the team of Hogan and Leadbetter makes a twosome you can't help but learn from if you're willing to pay attention. --Jeff Silverman

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:10 -0400)

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"With 85 newly discovered photos from Ben Hogan's classic instruction."--Dust jacket.

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