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Friday, October 24, 2008

Ben Hogan


The production of the new dvd 'Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf' is moving along. The producer is in Fort Worth doing site research for upcoming filming at historic sites such as the Colonial Country Club, Shady Oaks Country Club, and the home of Ben and Valerie Hogan. Discussion with supporters and potential sponsors is ongoing. Hopefully, Mr. Hogan will be attired in some of the stunning new Ben Hogan Apparel. The clothing is classic, sharp and breaks new ground in sports performance apparel technology. The golf equipment will of course be from The Ben Hogan Company (http://www.benhogan.com/), owned by Callaway Golf.


According to golf historians Anthony Ravielli photographed Ben Hogan in Fort Worth to provide the documentation he needed to create the line drawing artwork found in the Five Lessons. Some of the original photos and negatives were sold on Ebay a few years ago. Also, some were used as images in David Leadbetter's book on Hogan's golf swing.


All the artwork and photos from Anthony Ravielli are now owned by Classic Sports Brands of New York (http://www.classicsportsbrands.com/). The portfolio is being preserved in tack along with Mr. Ravielli's studio. Select items will be incorporated into the new dvd production of the Five Lessons. Selection of a lead production company is almost complete with proposals under review.


This new modern production will incorporate the Ravielli drawings and artwork, photos and film of Mr. Hogan, and the new technologies of motion capture and high definition 2D and 3D computer graphics to create an entertaining and informative instructional program. The full capabilities of these new technologies and the outstanding artwork from Ravielli, the instruction content on golf fundamentals from Ben Hogan, and the poetic writing style of newly inducted World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Herbert Warren Wind are included in the pre-production plans.


Fort Worth is the 'Home of Hogan'. Friends and supporters of the new Ben Hogan Foundation have committed to several significant projects as part of their goals. One such project is the establishment and funding of a new Ben Hogan Learning Center in Fort Worth. Details of this project and other committments can be found at the organizations website, http://www.benhoganfoundation.org/. Donations to the foundation can be made throught this site or through Ebay. In addition, another donation solution for Ebay sellers is to identify the foundation as their charity of choice when listing new products for sale. A portion of the sale is then automatically sent to the foundation. Another option is to directly make a donation through the Ebay and Paypal systems. The Foundation has already started to receive donations through this option.


The Ben Hogan Collection website (http://www.benhogancollection.com/) is changing a bit. Some of the items that were listed have been sold out (towels, stand bags, golf balls) with no restocking seen in the future. Sales of The Ben Hogan Collection 3dvd Pack with software cd are contuing along with the coffee table photo book 'The Man Behind the Mystique'. Ben Hogan caps, visors, and new iron sets are still available but in limited supply. Coming soon to the site are Hogan's instructional book, 'Five Lessons' and 'The Secret Behind Ben Hogan's Golf Swing' among other titles.






Monday, October 13, 2008

Ben Hogan Collection stories

One of the best stories I heard about Ben Hogan had to do with his mastery of the pitching wedge. We are well aware that he could hit all 18 greens and hit all the fairways in a typical round. We are also aware thanks to HBO that Mr. Hogan's wedge shot in 1960 at the US Open came up short by 3 feet and ended up in the water, costing him the Championship.

But this is a better story, one that dares to be tested. Jody Vasquez in his book, 'Afternoons with Mr. Hogan' told this story about how Mr. Hogan could make his ball spin back uphill on the green. During practice sessions tended to by Vasquez he would watch Mr. Hogan practice from behind the green, down the slope of a green that sloped away from him. He would hit a crisp wedge shot up and towards the hole and make the ball back up - uphill! Vasquez said that he had never to this day seen anybody do that.

In fact, he told the story to Nick Faldo who promptly tried to match this feat. He tried and failed, repeatedly.

Ah, the Mystique lives on. I wonder who wll try to match this shot? Could Phil Mickelson do it? After all, he is the master of the present day wedge, showing off with Dave Pelz on one occasion on film and on another hitting a wedge that went backwards from where he was aiming at back on to the green. Pretty cool stuff.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ben Hogan Collection: Hogan Swing - Left Handed View

We have created a very nice down the line view of Mr. Hogan hitting a golf shot in a left handed rendering. The Ben Hogan Collection includes so many golf swings from the right handed viewpoint that we felt a view from the left side would be useful for both right and left handed players.

Enjoy.
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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Watching the beauty of golf shots on television

Other than actually feeling the sensation of hitting a really, really good golf shot with one's own hands and golfswing, watching a skilled player, whether an amateur or tour professional hit a great shot gives me that small moment in time where I can appreciate seeing the magic of a golf ball in flight, on a true trajectory, speeding towards its target.

No matter what, it is better watching it in person. Ask those golf fans that go to tournaments to cheer for a particular player and enjoy the shots they make on the course or even on the practice range. Watching this on television takes a distant second place.

The reality is I have to watch golf on TV most of the time as I cannot be at all tournaments all the time, even the local ones. I do go to all the local tournaments I can schedule permitting.

The producers of golf on television sometimes provide us with great viewing and most of the time they don't. I am not sure why. Frank Chirkinian had it right when producing for CBS by showing as much golf as you can within the limits of those sponsorship minutes for commercials. One should not talk over the action.

The best view of a golf shot, one that puts the viewer right there both visually and emotionally with the player is from behind the player and looking down the line towards the target as the ball is struck and launches into the sky towards its intended landing zone. This view can be on ground level, elevated, elevated at an angle or even elevated from the sponsor's blimp. Watching a shot from the green come up and land is fine. I like the close up of the ball on the green and where it lands and ends up. I really do not like watching shots hit from the tee or fairway from the viewing stand near the green.

It is a thing of beauty. At the Ben Hogan Collection website, one of the commercials we produced has a wonderful shot of Ben Hogan hitting to a bunkered green off into the distance. The swing is flawless, the strike pure, and you can see the flight of the ball as it rockets towards the green on its perfect trajectory. We have had many compliments on that shot over time. Within the collection there are some additional film clips of Mr. Hogan on the practice range at Augusta National that view him hitting golf shots from this similar angle, albiet from a further distance. The flight of the ball is seen over and over again. It is mesmerizing, let along entertaining.

I am not sure why this angle is not shown more. It really puts the viewer right there where they can appreciate the moment. One of the networks has a trajectory tracker that draws in the flight of the ball to give the viewer a graphic of its path. Its nice but contrived. I am sure that the camera can capture better than that in this day of high definition television. They did it in the late 40's with Mr. Hogan so why can't they give us thie view now? I know I would like to see a better view of the ball's trajectory.

There is a whole lot of new graphics and technology in place that the networks use to enhance our viewing experience. Some of it is just plain junk. A lot of it is pretty terrific. The fly overs of the various golf holes, the graphic representation of the green and its slopes and valleys, and even the dotted putting line. I do like the effect of the golf balls draining down the fall lines to give a real perspective of speed and curvature of the track of a rolling putt. However, about that dotted line. Award winning or not as the network claims, its nice to see what the player has to content with on slope and curvature but please eliminate it when the player is ready to strike his putt. When it stays in place it looks stupid, like a blue zipper.

Another reason golfers watch golf on television is to try to learn something from the pros that will help them improve their golf swing, lower their scores, hit the ball farther, and beat their buddies or competitors. We watch the golfers, we watch their preparation for a shot and listent to their discussions with their caddies. Way, way too often we have to listen to golf comentators who used to play competitively or in some cases never did go on and on about the shot and even critisize their play. Do we have to please with the networks to show more golf, more golfers hitting shots, and less dribble. The hype about the money list, the rankings, continued eligibility, the self promotion of the PGA Tour brand versus everything else except the Fedex Cup is really draining. It kills a telecast of a golf tournament, and championship, an enormous event for the local course and economy.

I do like to hear about the players especially if the piece has some journalistic quality to it and not just a 30 second interview at the end of a round that doesn't say anything, either from the player or the comentator. I do like to hear about newsworthy and interesting things that players do and that happens to them, and I do get bored about the boring stuff of life that even a tour pro has to do and endure.

Can more golf swings be shown? Yes, and with the great new slow motion technology available it really becomes a lesson for viewers. The viewing effect of slow motion photography is captivating when its about just about anything, especially a golf swing and club/ball dynamics. Wouldn't it be great if they showed more of these during the telecast for different players and different clubs. Wouldn't it be great if the networks could show similar effects for some of the legends of the game when they were in their prime. Slow motion works for viewers. Its a real benefit for us and I vote for more, more, more.

Overall I really do enjoy the Masters Tournament telecast by CBS. The tradition is there, the golf is there, and CBS puts its very best foot forward with their best talent, but very, very carefully. Thank you Augusta National members! I really do appreciate it. And, next spring, I get to walk the grounds on Tuesday of Masters week. Something I have waited so long to do and that I will always remember and tell my children and grandchildren.

Ben Hogan Collection 3 DVD set praised by golfers

The Ben Hogan Collection 3 DVD pack and 'Swing Interactive' software CD has been on the market for about a year. It has received praise from golfers that have either purchased it for themselves or received it as a gift for Christmans, birthday, and Father's Day presents.

To get a view of one of the commercial spots that aired on The Golf Channel and Fox Sports Net click on the video icon. Mr. Hogan's swing is presented for your enjoyment!

Setting Mr. Hogan's brilliance as a golfer and life story in the documentary was the goal of the producers. The cost was enormous but the outcome is worth every bit of effort and expense that went into the project. Family and friends of Mr. Hogan are all very pleased with the result.

Here are a few things that have been said about the 'Collection'. Also, comments on the purchases made from www.BenHoganCollection.com, www.Amazon.com, and Ebay are included as they provide some confidence for future transactions by consumers.

The results are below:

"This is easily the best dvd/video on ben hogan: very informative and well presented. mcctee was a pleasure to buy from." Date: 6/3/2008 Rated by Buyer: Peter M.

"My husband loved this gift for Christmas!" Date: 1/3/2008 Rated by Buyer: elliskit

"Wow! Fastest delivery ever from an Amazon seller - great service and excellent product" Date: 2/22/2008 Rated by Buyer: jdo-wv

Great DVD. Recommended Ebay seller. Thanks very much.
Buyer: Jul-18-08 13:14
The Ben Hogan Collection 3 DVD Set, Software, CALENDAR

Great product and delivery Thanks. A+++
Buyer: Aug-22-08 04:52
The Ben Hogan Collection 3 DVD Set, Software, CALENDAR

thanks for the great dvd set at a great price, ultra quick shipping!!
Buyer: Feb-23-08 21:11

Great Price, Quality Item, Very Fast Shipping, Would Do Business Again!!!
Buyer: Feb-21-08 05:22

Outstanding product from an outstanding seller. Fast shipping.
Buyer: Dec-20-07 12:51

Great item and a pleasure doing business with this seller!
Buyer: Nov-03-07 07:25

awesome thank you
Buyer: Oct-07-07 16:47

Execllent video! What an Icon! Dealer was very fast at shipping. Thank you!
Buyer: Sep-28-07 11:49

Great DVD series thanks very much.
Buyer: Sep-05-07 10:03

Just Received. Great Product with Fast Shipping. Perfect Transaction.
Buyer: Aug-29-07 10:33

fabulous product, and fast shipping to boot!
Buyer: Jul-07-07 16:37

Quick delivery, great DVD set, and good communication. Recommend seller***
Buyer: Jul-02-07 07:54

fast service! great transaction! highly recommend, glad to get this item!!!!!!!!
Buyer: Jun-04-07 04:48


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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ben Hogan Company New Irons


The Ben Hogan Collection now has on both its website and in Ebay listings new Ben Hogan Company irons and wedges. New posts for the wedges are forthcoming but we have listed on Ebay brand new in their original shipping box Ben Hogan Apex, Apex PLUS, and Apex Edge irons. All sets are 3-9 plus the E (Equalizer) Wedge. The sets are numbered and are all forged construction. They are beautiful.


The listings on Ebay can be found under the mcctee vendor listings. The price is a great value at $499. The Apex and the Apex PLUS can be found on our website at http://www.benhogancollection.com/. We are proud to be able to provide this Ben Hogan Company equipment along with our instruction dvd products.


We will be posting the other wedges as soon as the web techs are able to make the changes.


I am sorry to say that we are out of stock on a number of items that still appear on the website such as golf balls and golf towels. However, we will be posting some golf books including 'The Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf' in the very near future.