off buying and reading this book for fivernyears, you will have only yourself tornblame.rnThomas Fleming is the editor ofrnChronicles and the president ofrnThe Rockford Institute.rnHogan Foreverrnby J.O. TaternThe Fundamentals of Hoganrnby David Leadbetter withrnLome RubinsteinrnNew York: Doubleday and Sleeping BearrnPress; 133 pp., $27.50rnOn July 25, 1997, Ben Hogan diedrnin Fort Worth at the age of 85; hisrnwidow, Valerie, did not long survive him.rnIn the season of 2000, Tiger Woodsrnsmashed scoring records in the U.S.rnOpen, the British Open, and the PGArnChampionship, winning nine tournamentsrnfor the year, and setting the golfingrnworld on its ear. So what happened?rnBook after book on Hogan emerges, asrnthough the man hadn’t won his last tournamentrnat Colonial in 1959, and asrnthough he had not since departed thernscene in more than one way. The evidencernsays that Hogan never left us, andrnthat Hogan, not Woods, is the man peoplernthink of when they consider that infernalrnanomaly, the golf swing, and thernchallenge of golf itself People still talkrnabout Hogan — they do so even whenrnthey talk about Woods. Tiger’s nine winsrnwere a lot, but Hogan won 11 in 1948rnand 13 in 1946. Tiger Woods won threernout of four major championships inrn2000, but Hogan won three out of thernthree he entered in 1953. At the PlayersrnChampionship in 2000, Hal Sutton explicitlyrnrefused to be intimidated by TigerrnWoods, and a look in his bag revealedrnone reason why. a set of irons forged withrnthe name Ben Hogan. The man justrnwon’t go away.rnIn recent times, we have seen the releasernof various videotapes devoted tornHogan, such as Clem Darracott’s In Pursuitrnof Perfection (The Bootlegger, 1995),rnan excellent home movie of Hogan practicingrnat Augusta in 1967; a digitized versionrnof Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf,rnHogan vs. Snead at the Houston CountryrnClub, as aired February 21, 1965 (alsornBootlegger); and the Golf Chanirel’s BenrnHogan: The Golf Swing, in which JimrnMcLean does verbally much of whatrnLeadbetter has done in text. And therernhave been books. A short list would includernCurt Sampson’s hostile and unauthorizedrnbiography Hogan (1996), whichrnis largely devoted to analysis of a remoternpersonality. Mike Towle’s 1 RememberrnBen Hogan (2000) is a miscellany of reminiscencesrnassembled as though to refuternSampson (Hogan liked children andrndogs). John Andrisani’s The Hogan Wayrn(2000) is a shrewd and useful study ofrnHogan’s theories as opposed to his practice,rnand that brings us to the presentrnvolume, with which it has much inrncommon. David Leadbetter, the number-rnone golf teacher in the world, hasrnworked with some of the best players, perhapsrnmost notably Nick Faldo and NickrnPrice. Like Andrisani, Leadbetter hasrnframed his book around Hogan’s famousrnone; like Andrisani’s, but more so, it is enrichedrnby a wealth of revealing photographs.rnHogan’s second book. Five Lessons:rnThe Modem Fundamentals of Go/f (1957),rnhas never been out of print and has soldrnover six million copies. Although it is thernmost important work ever written on therngolf swing, those who have studied itrnhave noticed that it has certain limitations.rnHogan’s vision of the swing as expressedrnin that study is both instructivernand exemplar)’, as well as idiosyncratic tornthe point of eccentricity. Andrisani andrnLeadbetter have insisted that there is arnsignificant gap between what Hogan saidrnand what he actually did. There is anotherrnone between the Hogan vision andrnthe instructional paradigms of contemporaryrnteaching professionals such asrnMcLean, Andrisani, and Leadbetter.rnIn Leadbetter’s case, the result is bothrninstructive and yet amusing, though in arnway that begins to sour. Leadbetter’s revisionsrnof Hogan become rather predictable.rnOn the hands, for example:rnHogan advocated a “weak” grip, butrnLeadbetter doesn’t. Hogan wanted arn”short” left thumb, and Leadbetter wantsrna long one. Hogan wanted the club inrnthe palm of the left hand, but Leadbetterrndoesn’t. Hogan cupped his left wrist atrnthe top of his backswing, but Leadbetterrndoesn’t recommend it, even thoughrnHogan once declared that this positionrnwas his “Secret.” Instead, Leadbetterrnmentions cupping the other wrist. Hoganrnsupinated the left wrist at impact, andrnLeadbetter likes that, as well he should.rnWliat is the alternative? On the addressrnposition: Hogan wairted the right footrnsquare, whereas Leadbetter wants a freerrnapproach, with the foot tipped out—arnconcession to humanity, like many of hisrnrevisions. Hogan advocated a wide stance,rnLeadbetter a narrower one —and forrngood reason, though Andrisani goes thernother way on this point, as does McLean.rnLeadbetter equivocates on whetherrnHogan had a reverse pivot, and advocatesrnloading the right side in contradistinction.rnOn the downswing: Leadbetter insistsrnthat Hogan did not do what his book saysrnhe did: begin the weight-shift by turningrnthe hips. There was a hip-slide first, as werncan see in photographs and film andrnvideotape, and McLean and Andrisanirnhave confirmed this point. L>eadbetterrngoes so far as to recommend “exactlyrnwhat Hogan advised against”—a pronatcdrnleft wrist at impact for certain “closedto-rnopen” players. But even before this,rnthe reader must have already sensed arnquality of absurdity —the paradigmaticrnswing, constantly mentioned and analyzedrnand illustrated, is repeatedly qualifiedrnand even reversed, as Leadbetterrnworks his image of the swing further andrnfurther from the Hogan model. And humanrnphysiognomy and variety beingrnwhat it is, Leadbetter has his reasons, asrnusual.rnWe are left with an excellent book ofrninstruction, sumptuously illustrated withrnimages any Hoganite must have. But wernare also left with a text that SigniimdrnFreud and, even more, Harold Bloom,rnwould find revealing. Leadbetter had arncommercial motive for framing his argumentsrnaround Hogan, no doubt. But asrnan anxious revisionist, he is in the positionrnof a Romantic English poet trying tornwork around Milton. The belated visionaryrnsquirms as he tries to escape from thernanxiety of influence and the primal example.rnFinally, to swing like Hogan, yournhave to be Hogan, and not even Faldo orrnPrice or Woods can do that. To instructrnlike Hogan, Leadbetter has deconstructedrnthe towering example, with ambiguousrnresults. At the end, golf is still a mystery,rnexegesis is contingent, and all thernhackers mumble “Hogan” as they swingrnaway, more with hope in things unseenrnthan any faith in repeating variable results.rn].0. Tate is a professor of English atrnDowling College on Long Island.rn28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn