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TOPIC: The Observatory

Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46650

  • Eyeball
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Linda,

Thanks for sharing that letter. I haven't read it all yet (don't worry - I will), but after reading the first page, I found myself feeling odd. I thought, "Something just doesn't seem right here."

As goofy as the following statement may seem, I just can't believe that the handwriting in that letter is actually Hogan's. I've spent a huge chunk of my life - for better or worse - staring at and making lines - evaluating lines. Lines make me happy. Lines disappoint me. Call me crazy, but those lines don't seem like they would have come from Ben Hogan's hand.

Enough conjecture. Back to reading page two.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46651

  • linda richman
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those lines don't seem like they would have come from Ben Hogan's hand.

Eyeball,

The letter has been around since 1948. Surely someone has checked the handwriting ? maybe not?

No worries. Jesse V is going to use the instruction in the letter to fix his driver swing. If it works for Jesse v, it must be authentic. NO pressure Jesse v.

It may be the most important piece of golf instruction since 5L, or not. Its up to you. :cheer:
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46652

  • Drew Art
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Here is the greeting that Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson penned to the British Ryder Cup team Manager Commander Roe in October 1947 at Portland, OR.

Judge for yourself regarding whether the hand that wrote that letter was Hogan's.

Color me skeptical.


_1947_Ryder_Cup_greetings_to_RCT_Roe-from_USA_team_including_Ben_Hogan_.jpg
Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Drew Art.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46653

  • moehogan
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Drew Art wrote:
Here is the greeting that Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson penned to the British Ryder Cup team Manager Commander Roe in October 1947 at Portland, OR.

Judge for yourself regarding whether the hand that wrote that letter was Hogan's.

Color me skeptical.


_1947_Ryder_Cup_greetings_to_RCT_Roe-from_USA_team_including_Ben_Hogan_.jpg

As you should be! Compare how the small "r's" are written in both letters ... completely different. Usually not a letter that varies in construction from one sample to another.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46655

  • Rick Marion
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regarding both documents...
review the words "and", "good" "you"
IMO...they were wrote by the same person...
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46658

  • svsvincenzo
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What strikes me most is the small letter "s". The Mahoney letter's many "s" is always very pointed, the Roe letter is always semi-rounded...
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46660

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svsvincenzo wrote:
What strikes me most is the small letter "s". The Mahoney letter's many "s" is always very pointed, the Roe letter is always semi-rounded...

Check out the small "t's" that end a word ... always crossed in the letter, never in the note. I could go on and on! LOL.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46662

  • Drew Art
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Check this: in the note to Roe, every lower case y, and g and p - every single letter that drops below the line, none of them, not one, has any connection to the next letter that follows, even the g in Hogan.

Even after a few clear ones, I doubt that would change.
Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Drew Art.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46663

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The note is pre-secret?....lol
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46664

  • Drew Art
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Note to Roe is post-secret, LOL

Went from Colonial up to Chicago to winning George May's tournament at Tam O'Shanter then on to Portland to cleaning up the Ryder Cup...

and yeah, he finished his p's better post secret and made his g's as hold off fades with a draw script..

;)
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46665

  • Eyeball
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You know, I like this place.

Linda submits a letter to the Observatory for general consideration. The content of the letter is spirited and interesting. None of us can actually seem to stomach the letter's authenticity, but the content itself is interesting. Drew Art - a well respected, rugged academic of the Dirt - presents a handwriting sample of Ben Hogan for comparison. Not a second too soon either…

Eyeball goes off on his own personal research tirade, examining the specific manner that Hogan's hand created letter forms, comparing book inscriptions, autographs and the like.

While looking for graphic examples of Hogan's authentic signature, Eyeball starts to feel a little mental indigestion, wondering if he will ever... Soon thereafter, Eyeball finds himself staring at a curious packet of Bromo-seltzer from the 1940's. Then things start to get interesting.

It took almost 2 full hours to digest the packet, but I feel that I may have encountered Hogan's authentic signature.

Lady and Gentlemen of the Dirt, we are all familiar with the animated personality that graces our forum known as Moehogan. I humbly present to you yet another animated personality.

Bromo-Hogan.

Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Eyeball.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46666

  • vinny
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for interest sake.....
.
...."I was talking with Loren Roberts at the recent Charles Schwab Cup tournament, in Sonoma, California and Ben Hogan’s name came up. Loren mentioned he had a copy of a letter Hogan wrote about how to hit the driver, said he’d send it to me, and did. It’s a 13-pager written by hand to Pat Mahoney, in 1948. Mahoney at the time was the head pro at the Pasatiempo Golf Club, near San Jose, California.

What Mahoney's relationship with Hogan was is not known. It was probably sketchy, at best. Hogan did not have many close friends in golf, or anywhere else. Which makes you wonder why he would write such a letter, especially because it was very rare for Hogan to give out information on his technique unless he was paid handsomely for it. And even then he didn’t tell anyone what he actually did. That’s not what you would expect, given his reputation for integrity, but the truth is that Hogan had a lot of the con artist in him. It’s a strange quirk in the human makeup that people who are quiet in public (and in private), such as Hogan, are often awarded the honor of having high ethical standards. It’s not always the case.


One Hogan instance in this regard stands out in particular. In 1955, Life Magazine paid Hogan $25,000—a huge amount in that day—to reveal his “Secret,” which had become the Holy Grail of Golfdom. Everybody and his uncle over the years when Hogan had dominated the game - a decade between 1945 and 1955-speculated as to what he did with the golf club that made him so great a player. The “Secret” he revealed in the Life article was that just a moment before starting the downswing he cupped his left wrist inward. Ninety-nine percent of golfers over all the years have cupped their left wrist at the top of the backswing, but with poor results, but never inward as Hogan made it look in the article. Hogan did this early in his career, but when he changed it, in his prime championship years, became "Hogan". One of his most prominent swing characteristics was a flat left wrist at the top of his backswing with the back of the left hand facing the sky. Or, the left palm facing downward.This is called pronation, a word that he helped make popular. An easier word for it is rotation, which he would use frequently in later years. In the image shown below, on the Life Magazine cover, you see his back swing is more upright and a cupping of the left wrist. In the accompanying picture, which is the way I remember seeing his action in competition and on the range, the left wrist was flat and the swing plane was also much flatter. The picture says it all.

Herbert Warren Wind, for many years the doyen of American golf writers, helped Hogan write the Life piece, and also his famous instruction book, Five Lessons. Many years after both had appeared I suggested to Wind that the so-called Life magazine “Secret” was bullshit. I was not the only one to come to that conclusion. Herb was nonplussed, and in a soft voice with an embarrassed tone he said, “Well, you have to make a living.” Wind knew his golf, and that Hogan was doing a number on the public. Proof of that is that in Five Lessons, published in 1957, there is not a single mention of the “Secret.” In fact, he says nothing about the hands except that they stabilize the club during the swing.


There are a lot of instructors out there nowadays who say they are teaching Hogan. But for one thing none of them ever saw Hogan swing in a tournament or on a practice range at a tournament, as I did. They are only teaching Hogan out of Five Lessons, which is another sample of Hogan not giving the public what it thought it was getting, to wit, how he himself did it. For instance, the stuff about the plane, which has always gotten a lot of attention because of the way it was illustrated. A pane of glass angles down from his neck to the ball, and he swings the club just inside that pane of glass. It looks good, and isn’t a bad way to swing the club. But he didn’t do it. His plane was much flatter, the shaft just beneath his left shoulder at the completion of his backswing and his left arm very close to horizontal with the ground.


I had my own experience with Hogan in regard to his putting people on about his technique. When the Hogan Tour was getting started—that was the first title of what is now the Nationwide Tour—Hogan agreed to a long interview, portions of which would be used to promote the new circuit. I was designated to ask him the questions. Afterwards, over lunch, I got a little feisty and told Hogan that I had figured out how he got the club into that backswing position of his. He said he’d give me the secret. Well now! Ben Hogan is going to give me the secret!

Some time passes, lunch is over, and Hogan and I are walking down the hallway at his hangout club, Shady Oaks. I still hadn’t gotten the secret, and asked him when it was coming. At that he steered me through the swinging doors of the kitchen, saying he didn’t want anyone else to hear. Fine. “Take your stance,” he commanded. I did. “Now turn your head to the right,” he said. I did. I waited for the next phase. It wasn’t coming. I asked if that was it, he said yes, and I said it was a gimmick. He said it wasn’t. The lesson was over. Hogan had given me a piece of swing business that went back to Bobby Jones, at least. Some secret!

Now, the letter to Mahoney, which I won’t produce in its entirety here if only because some of it is only common polite formalities. There were some lengthy parts, however, that were interesting in various ways. In one section Hogan presaged a swing concept called “Stack and Tilt” that is popular at the moment but appears to be sinking quickly into the horizon. Hogan wrote:

“The most important part of a good golf swing is to take the club back correctly so as to keep the head in one place. This can be accomplished in only one correct way, by moving the left knee in toward the right knee while moving the left shoulder in a slight downward arc … It feels like the hips are moving to the right but this is not so. Sagging the left side keeps the hips in one position and permits them to make a true concentric turn.”

Moving the left shoulder in a slight downward arc, and essentially shifting no weight to the right side, is the central point in “Stack and Tilt,” which the promoters of the idea almost certainly got from seeing photographs of Hogan’s swing. One in particular hangs on the wall of the Winged Foot Golf Club pro shop. It’s a Jules Alexander picture of Hogan taken in the early-1970s, when Hogan was playing his last tournament on the east coast, the Westchester Classic. The picture is taken facing Hogan’s back and he has completed his backswing. He is tilted so much to the left it looks like he’s about to reverse-pivot.

In this instance, Hogan was laying it on straight to Mahoney, although the move was nothing new or unique to him. Golfers as far back as Harry Vardon dipped their left shoulder toward the ball (and ground) on the backswing. Hogan made this move more pronounced, owing to the deterioration of his legs, which became weaker and weaker over the years in the aftermath of his near-fatal highway accident in 1949. He couldn’t get to the right side even if he wanted to. Hogan may be the only golfer who could make it work, because he could make such a violent hip turn in the downswing.

Another thing Hogan wrote Mahoney was that:

“at the top of the back swing, the left arm is on a horizontal plane to the ground….”

Which was true to his actual form, but is not what he prescribed in Five Lessons. In the book, the backswing plane he shows is conventional, the club’s path relatively vertical with the shaft above the tip of the right shoulder. Furthermore, the horizontal left arm he speaks of translates into a “flat,” backswing, which was another distinctive aspect of Hogan’s action. Here again, in the letter to Mahoney he says something else.
Hogan wrote:

“The left hand should not be turned over on the backswing. To verify this you should be able to see only one knuckle of the left hand at the top of the backswing. Turning the left hand over clock-wise creates a very flat swing and takes the club off the correct plane of the swing.”

In his remarks on the grip it was not at all what he did. He wrote to Mahoney:

“First the club must be gripped (lightly) correctly. The left hand should be in such a position that the vee formed by the thumb and index finger points to the right shoulder…The thumb of the left hand should be placed slightly to the side of the shaft.”

At this point in his career Hogan had come to the grip that played a major role in solving the hooking problem that had dogged his career and kept him out of the money until he was into his early 30s. At the suggestion of Henry Picard (Hogan did not dig it all out of the dirt, as he liked to say, suggesting he got no help from anyone), he weakened the left hand; that’s to say, he turned the hand counterclockwise so the vee formed by the thumb and index finger pointed to his left shoulder. What he gave Mahoney was boiler plate, what every teacher in the game had been teaching since the beginning of time.

One descriptive Hogan used is amusing:

“To verify a correct backswing, at the top of the backswing the groin muscle on the inside of your right leg near your right nut will tighten. This subtle feel of tightness there tells you that you [can make] the correct move back to the ball.”

Hmm, feel a tightness near the right nut. Sounds like it could be dangerous! "


Al Barkow.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46667

  • Jim Franks
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The Eyeball rocks.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46668

  • Drew Art
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:silly:

I'll drink to Bromo Hogan! Moe carried him in his pocket... maybe I can put him on my iPod! LOL.

A round of Dr. Peppers!

On Mr. Demeret's tab!

4d722e1b90fb39bc_large.jpg
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46670

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Eyeball wrote:


You know, I like this place.

Linda submits a letter to the Observatory for general consideration. The content of the letter is spirited and interesting. None of us can actually seem to stomach the letter's authenticity, but the content itself is interesting. Drew Art - a well respected, rugged academic of the Dirt - presents a handwriting sample of Ben Hogan for comparison. Not a second too soon either…

Eyeball goes off on his own personal research tirade, examining the specific manner that Hogan's hand created letter forms, comparing book inscriptions, autographs and the like.

While looking for graphic examples of Hogan's authentic signature, Eyeball starts to feel a little mental indigestion, wondering if he will ever... Soon thereafter, Eyeball finds himself staring at a curious packet of Bromo-seltzer from the 1940's. Then things start to get interesting.

It took almost 2 full hours to digest the packet, but I feel that I may have encountered Hogan's authentic signature.

Lady and Gentlemen of the Dirt, we are all familiar with the animated personality that graces our forum known as Moehogan. I humbly present to you yet another animated personality.

Bromo-Hogan.


Eyeball,

The Bromo side of the family actually was quite wealthy ... one of them invented the "squeeze bottle".

mh
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46674

  • linda richman
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looking for graphic examples of Hogan's authentic signature

Moehogan

We have Ben Hogans authentic signature… his swing.

The ‘secret’ was a money making ploy that worked. No doubt Ben Hogan practiced a lot, however he also received and internalized good advise eg Walter Hagen, Henry Picard.
Like all of us he had some larceny in him.

He was and always will be one of the greatest golfers of all time….full stop.

Knowing what we do, some will continue to follow 5L to the letter, however for many we are free of that yoke.

The LETTER, if true was based on Walter Hagen’s instruction.
Does his signature match up?

2:09 walter hagen


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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46680

  • Brad
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Herbert Warren Wind, for many years the doyen of American golf writers, helped Hogan write the Life piece, and also his famous instruction book, Five Lessons. Many years after both had appeared I suggested to Wind that the so-called Life magazine “Secret” was bullshit. I was not the only one to come to that conclusion. Herb was nonplussed, and in a soft voice with an embarrassed tone he said, “Well, you have to make a living.” Wind knew his golf, and that Hogan was doing a number on the public. Proof of that is that in Five Lessons, published in 1957, there is not a single mention of the “Secret.” In fact, he says nothing about the hands except that they stabilize the club during the swing.


I'm sorry but this statement above is total BS to me.

Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Brad.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46681

  • Phil McCraken
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Hogans secret in LIFE wasn't bullshit because he figured out he could open the club face more by cupping the wrist than by over rotating the left arm on the back swing.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46682

  • Drew Art
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"The Secret" was unquestionably a marketing gimmick to sell Life Magazines at the height of the cold war. Life created buzz about "The Secret" well in advance of the publication, had other pros guess the secret, and hyped their exclusive deal with Hogan in other advertizing, etc.

Hogan was well paid for the article, but back in the days before huge purses, players did what they could to leverage their popularity to supplement their income (e.g., demanding appearance money where they could get it, etc.) They were scratching it out... not at all like today.

Just because Hogan was well paid for the exclusive and the content in the Life magazine story, does not mean what he and wind wrote was just a scam or pulling a fast one on Life and the readers. But it also does not mean that Hogan told wind the COMPLETE story of what he found on the range at Colonial.

Unquestionably, Hogan wanted everyone to find their own "secret" to hitting straighter shots, or whatever the solutions were to their specfic problems that cropped up in their game.

Anyway, when Henry Luce (publisher of Life) broke the Life Exclusive by planting a pre-planned story in Sports Illustrated (also a Luce publication) which was also written by Herb Wind and Illustrated by Ravielli, Hogan reportedly went ballistic.

Luce then offered an even bigger payday for Hogan for 5 lessons, where he worked with the same team, Wind and Ravielli.

So, as for why "the Secret" is not mentioned in 5L, well there are several common sense responses to that allegation: 1) it is mentioned obliquely in the book, 2) recall the premis of 5L is a basic instructional series for guys trying to break 80, many or most of whom were slicers, and "the secret" was a technique to prevent the sporadic hook from popping up at undesired moments in the heat of tournaments; 3) Hogan thought his "Secret" wouldn't be worth a damn to the average golfer.

I think Barkow may have a bit of something else going on. Perhaps he was a bit jealous of Wind. Perhaps Hogan snubbed him for something... who knows. Anyway, the conclusions Barkow draws are not the only ones and not the most rationale ones that are supported by the facts.

After studying this for quite some time, I believe:

1) Hogan did find something specific and relatively simple that "worked like a charm" on the range at Colonial in September 1947 that allowed him to hit the fade at will and avoid the hook that had taken him out of contention to win some tournaments during the post war tour.

2) Hogan told most, but not all of what that simple and specific thing was for him.

3) Hogan believed in himself 100% and he was honest and trying to put out accurate information from his perspectve

4) Hogan wanted to be paid well for his knowledge

5) What he found at colonial would be a potential benefit to a small subset of golfers

6) He held some simple things back, believing he might have an opportnunity to get paid for more of his knowledge later on, and believing that people could work out their problems for themselves and find their own solutions with hard work.

7) He shared more with his inner circle.

8) Larry Mowry learned some great things from Tommy Bolt.

(P.S. The potetial connection between The Haig and The Hawk is VERY compelling. Hagen's father was also a blacksmith, he was completely self-made, he was an incredibly nice dresser, and he elevated the stature of the golf pro immensely and gave back generously. Hagen also commanded huge appearance fees. Hagen also taught Bobby Locke how to putt. Some of these things may be relevant in the shared connections he had with Hogan.)
Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Drew Art.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46689

  • svsvincenzo
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I think 5L is the basic swing DNA...the draw swing...the inside out swing. Not only was the secret (cupping) not mentioned in 5L, would you believe that 5L actually said the L wrist should be FLAT. Yeah, it was mentioned there...something like--a line from the forearm to the back of the L hand should be an UNBROKEN line. So IMO we should get a draw from 5L, otherwise we're not following it...then just insert the "secret" and it should be a fade...
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46704

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5 lessons is the full swing DNA, I agree with you. Not sure if any of you have been watching the GC academy with Larry Nelson, but in one of the segments Nelson asked Mr, Hogan how to hit the ball higher in the air and land it softly before his US Open at Oakmont. Mr, Hogan told Nelson to form a cup in the left wrist at the top of the backswing and maintain the cup all the way throughout the motion.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46714

  • Phil McCraken
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Theres a pretty good photo of Hogan in The Fundamentals of Hogan by David Leadbetter he shows you a photo of Hogan crossing over and another one where his left wrist is broken back and his right wrist is arched, this is a follow thru photo btw.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46738

  • Eyeball
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Bromo-Hogan. The final chapter.
Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Eyeball.
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46745

  • svsvincenzo
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Brad wrote:
5 lessons is the full swing DNA, I agree with you. Not sure if any of you have been watching the GC academy with Larry Nelson, but in one of the segments Nelson asked Mr, Hogan how to hit the ball higher in the air and land it softly before his US Open at Oakmont. Mr, Hogan told Nelson to form a cup in the left wrist at the top of the backswing and maintain the cup all the way throughout the motion.

Yes, with a cup that would mean additional loft for higher shots and the ball stops more quickly, perfect for US opens. The shorter distance due to higher shot is offset by the additional clubhead speed due to the "oil-ier" L wrist...what I call the "flipping" L wrist...careful with hitting it left though...lol
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Re: The Observatory 1 year 5 months ago #46762

  • linda richman
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5 lessons is the full swing DNA, I agree with you. Not sure if any of you have been watching the GC academy with Larry Nelson, but in one of the segments Nelson asked Mr, Hogan how to hit the ball higher in the air and land it softly before his US Open at Oakmont. Mr, Hogan told Nelson to form a cup in the left wrist at the top of the backswing and maintain the cup all the way throughout the motion.

Brad,

Larry Nelson is a veteran, honorable man who I believe when he says he learned the golf swing from 5L.
Isnt the logical conclusion that if you want swing like Larry Nelson, follow 5L?

I think the valid question is was 5L written to be a description of how Ben Hogan swung the club or was it a generalized full swing DNA, describing 'Fundamentals' thought appropriate by Ben Hogan.
(for someone who is trying to break 80)
Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by linda richman. Reason: clarity
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