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Crouching Tiger Hidden Hogan: The Sixth Lesson

Ben Hogan believed that the average golfer could play to a single digit handicap. It is with supreme confidence in his Secret that he declared to publisher Harry Phillips of Sports Illustrated: I’ve finally got the fundamentals of the golf swing worked out so clearly in my own mind that I’m certain any reasonably coordinated golfer who applies them can shoot in the seventies (reproduced with permission from Time Inc., owners of Sports Illustrated). In other words, Hogan believed that there is a Crouching Tiger within each of us, waiting to be unleashed. The leash is knowledge, not potential. 

This is not the first book on Ben Hogan's Secret, but it will be the last one. Because it is based not on speculation or prescription, but on simple and measurable facts of geometry and physics and a startling fact of human bio-mechanics never published before in any medical or golf journal. The Body Swing Golfing Machine is the Real Deal on Golf's Greatest Mystery: Hogan's Secret of the Perfect and Automatic Swing.

The first part of the book, Hidden Hogan, has been written as a story about the discovery of the Holy Grail. I sincerely hope that it makes for a compelling reading experience. It certainly made for a wonderful writing experience for me. While there is the element of fiction within it, all the golfing details are scientific and validated. The second part of the book, Crouching Tiger, derives the Master's fundamentals from the Secret and offers personal modifications to implement it.

Quotes from Book One: Hidden Hogan.

  • There is a Crouching Tiger inside every golfer. The leash is knowledge, not potential. Knowledge of the Secret is the key to unleash that potential.
  • The Master’s Secret is simple. It’s conceptually the simplest solution to the central problem in golf. That’s, of course, if you can recognize and define this problem clearly.
  • It was a singular leap of imagination. The concept of the machine liberated the Master from monitoring the plane of the club shaft just as the concept of the plane had liberated him from monitoring the arc of the club head.
  • In one fell swoop the three-dimensional degrees of freedom of the arm swing was reduced to the single degree of freedom of body rotation.
  • Henny Bogan is assembled half way into the backswing and fired three-fifths of the way into the forward swing when the hips run out of rotation.
  • An important distinction must be made between Henny Bogan the machine and Henny Bogan the golfer. In the machine, the axis of rotation remains stable. But in the golfer, the spinal axis of rotation moves continuously like that of a spinning top or gyroscope. This is because the golfer has one spinal axis and two legs while the machine has just the one central and common axis. The dynamic shifts of the Right Elbow Plane are a consequence of this gyroscopic motion of the spinal axis.
  • The subtler the change the better is the disguise; the lesser the talk the deeper is the mystique; the broader the hint the safer is the Secret.
  • The truth sets us free. The Master's Secret liberates us from having to imitate him. Once we discover the Secret, we can apply the Master's principle instead of having to duplicate his positions.
  • The Secret was God’s gift and the Master used it well, but not as well as he could have. It turns out that the true test of evolution is not: how much did you evolve? Rather, it is: how many did you help evolve?

Quotes from Book Two: Crouching Tiger

  • The Master’s fundamentals are those principles of Henny Bogan that cannot be changed without compromising its motion.
  • Henny Bogan must be positioned, set up and operated correctly to yield the desired result. First, one must fit the tool into Henny Bogan’s chuck correctly. This is the grip fundamental. Second, Henny Bogan must be positioned correctly. This is the address fundamental. Third, there must be a way of checking Henny Bogan’s placement and tool fitment. This is the waggle fundamental. Fourth, Henny Bogan must be loaded correctly. This is the backswing fundamental. Fifth, Henny Bogan must be fired correctly. This is the forward swing fundamental. Sixth, there must be a way to monitor Henny Bogan. This is the sixth fundamental.
  • A set of personal modifications is an implementation that unlocks the golfer’s Henny Bogan without compromising the fundamentals. The truly blessed golfer is one who has to make the least number of personal modifications.
  • The guarantee against over-swinging is not in the shoulder turn itself, but in the pre-programmed limit built into the stance at address and sustained by the resistance of the squared right foot.
  • The feel checkpoint at the top of the backswing is the left shoulder under the chin . This is accompanied by a lowering of the head and a shift of the weight distribution line to the right as the tailbone rotates behind the back till it points at the left foot.
  • The forward swing is an absolute. It is regardless of any personal modifications in grip, stance, address or backswing. The forward swing is powered by the chain reaction of the body’s natural kinematic sequence.
  • The shoulders cannot trigger the chain reaction because the number of the right shoulder is fourth in the kinematic sequence after the left ankle, the left knee and the left hip.
  • The Master’s implementation is not the recommended one because the big lateral motions on both sides are neither useful nor easy to do. The Master made a conscious decision to stop short of actualizing the Perfect and Automatic Swing in its rotational entirety. It was a brilliant trade-off: the final cut from the Master of Camouflage.
  • So, then, maybe, the right question to ask is why would you choose to do as the Master did if your considerations are not the same as his?

The Book

Buy the Book here.

Watch the Book Trailer Video here.

Who should read the Book?

See a few sample illustrations:

Read a book extract  on two famous Hoganisms: the controversial Three Right Hands and the enigmatic Pronation & Supination.

Hogan's Machine

“Life is too short to perfect one swing, let alone different swings to draw or fade the ball. We are creating a machine, your machine, where your hands are the chuck, and the club is the tool. If you want to work the ball, turn the tool in the chuck. Never alter the mechanics of your machine to alter the direction of the shot”.

Ben Hogan to his pupil John Schlee; quoted from the book The Secret of Hogan's Swing :Tom Bertrand & Printer Bowler: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.