Friday, December 24, 2010

Ben Hogan - Circa 1968

I thought I would share this video clip of Mr. Hogan on the practice tee from around 1968.

It really shows how smooth and effortless his swing was almost 20 years after the accident when he was well into his 50's.  This was what his instructional books, 'Power Golf' and 'Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf' were all about.

Happy Holidays!

Motion Capture Shoot for the 'Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf' by Ben Hogan new Wii game and dvd

It finally happened!  The motion capture session last week was completed in Michigan, during a blizzard, with outstanding golf swing models and professional golfers Jared Isaacs and Maiya Tanaka.  Here is a link from the local Michigan CBS affiliate that came by the studio to film part of the events of the week.   The Detroit Free press sportswriter came by and also did a fine article on the proceedings.

The shoot was directed by a fantastic directer, Mark Soderwall, who brought a wealth of experience to the project from his previous work with Atari, EA Sports, and Lucas Films.  What a great professional.  I know the production is in great hands. 

I spent 3 1/2 days on site to help/assist the director on all things pertaining to Ben Hogan and provide intensive coaching to the golfers on matching subtle elements of Mr. Hogan's swing.  Jared is a long standing Master Instructor at the Jim McLean golf school at Doral in Miami, FL and was able to adjust his swing pattern to more close replicate the desired motions.  He achieved an excellent match that both I and Dave Kindred, the section President from Michigan's Southern PGA Section, were quite happy with. 

Maiya and Jared were terrific in their respective roles.  The director was able to elicit a wide array of golf movements for both on-course and off-course scenes for the Wii game and for the instructional dvd and interactive website.  They both were quite animated and their personalities will show through in the final product.  It was sure fun to watch.  Those reflective markers on their spandex suits glow quite nicely like light bulbs when taking flash photos!

Photos from the shoot will show up here on this blog in the near future as well as on our Facebook page.  Right now you can follow some of the threads on the current Facebook pages for the production company, Pixofactor.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tiger going for stack and tilt instead of Five Lessons-Hogan?

It looks like Tiger remembered how to putt today.  now  he is trying the foley  version of stack and tilt.  Chamblee says it looks like Hogan?  Nope.  Look again  Brandel.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sports Talent Agencies engaged for Ben Hogan swing model casting call

The original casting call has become more official and organized.  Our Michigan production company, Pixofactor, has engaged sports talent agencies to conduct the casting call to enhance the talent search for an accomplished golfer.  One agency is based in Michigan, Sports Studio Casting.  Here is their link.

The other agency is in Los Angeles, Athlete Source Casting.  Here is their link:

Details of the casting call can be accessed from either agency.  The Michigan agency has an online signup and video upload system (free) which is convenient.

The LA agency is both local to LA but does cater to out of state talent.

Generally, the what is being searched for are accomplished male and female golfers who can demonstrate/imitate Ben Hogan's golf swing from 1948.  Samples swings can be found on YouTube and some links are found in this blog in earlier posts.  The physical characteristics of the golfer is also very important due to the nature of the data to be used from the motion capture process.  Height range from 5'5" to 5'10" and weight no greater than about 160 lbs. 

Currently, the motion shoot in the studio is scheduled for mid-December and will run about 4 days with prepratation and studio time involved.  This is the same technology used to develop graphic action in movies and for realistic video games. 

All of this is part of the development and production process for the modern evolution of Ben Hogan's 'Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf'.  A lifelike 'avatar' of Ben Hogan will star in the dvd version of the golf instructional book, on the interactive instructional website, and in the Wii game as well as mobile device applications (Iphone,iPad, Droid, etc.). 

If you are interested, you should contact these two casting agencies directly.  I know we attempted to manage this a few weeks ago but this new method is certainly much better for all involved.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ben Hogan Swing Model Casting Call for 5 Lessons Project

Well we are finally at the beginning of the projection phase of the 'Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf' by Ben Hogan avatar project.  A schedule is now under development for the production activities and one of the first things we need to do is select a swing model for the motion capture shoot.  The location will be in California and should occur within about a month from now.  The shoot will take most of a day in the motion capture studio. 

We are looking for:

o Male: 5' 7" tall +/- 1" 150 lbs. +/- 10 lbs
o Age: 18 to 45 years old and very flexible
o Amateur or professional
o Able to demonstrate via video clip an 'exact' replica of Ben Hogan's golf swing circa 1947. Need two views, down the line and face on.
The golfer should contact me directly. If you want you can forward this contact information if you think someone would be interested.

My contact information is: or by cell at 305-297-6276.

The data from the shoot will produce a 'wire frame' or 'bones model' showing the motion of the golf swing.  The data will later be supplemented with laid on CG artwork to perfectly resemble Ben Hogan circa 1940-1950.  This moving lifelike avatar will be the basis for the new Five Lessons DVD, interactive website, and Wii instructional golf application. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ben Hogan, Vera Cellars and JanKris Winery 2010 Ben Hogan Legacy Wines

The Ben Hogan Legacy wine label is just about to bring their 2010 vintage to market.  The highly successful new wine label features a variety of delicious wines.  I enjoyed a tasting experience with them at last year's White Hot Gala in  Fort Worth, the charity event presented by PGA Tour star JJ Henry on behalf of his JJ House Foundation and The Ben Hogan Foundation.  The wines were wonderful with the merlot being my favorite for the evening.  Here is the link to the site.  I will also add it to the side bar here along with other links that I think readers will be interesed in.

There are a variety of packages and special offers on the website and they will ship directly to your door.  Matt Talbert the owner told me that they were very successful and well received over the past several years and the offerings are increasing each year.  I am not a wine expert but I believe the wines are well received by those in the know.  I heard also that the wine is being served at Colonial Country Club and Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth for the members there.

Next time out to California I hope to visit the winery and enjoy the pastoral atmosphere.  We have provided some photos of Mr. Hogan from our archives here at McTee's Champions.  They wil appear in the packaging and marketing materials this year.

Here are a couple of picture of a past year's offering.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Interview regarding the production story for The Ben Hogan Collection dvd set

This was just posted from an interview I had with David Wogan on David is well known in the golf industry for his directory.

The picture above is not David but a full size statue of Samuel Clemmons.  It looks like an interview so I thought it is appropriate.  The other fellow is me, just chatting and practicing my interview style.  The statue is located in a riverside park in Fort Worth Texas, just a stone's throw from Colonial Country Club, the site of this years Colonial Invitation PGA Tour event.  I do wish I was going to be there as in prior years.  It is a wonderful tournament, a great venue, and a tradition on tour that truly stands out. 

Here is the link. The history of the production process for 'The Ben Hogan Collection' is provided in the interview as well as some tips to others who want to produce media content.

Ben Hogan Life Magazine Photo Gallery from 1955 'Secret' Photo Shoot

Life Magazine has a great archive of photos from all aspects of life on this planet including some great shots of Ben Hogan. There are some out takes from the shoot they did for their August 8 article on Ben Hogan's secret that did not make it in the magazine. Browse their archives and see some really rare photos. I am sure they will be glad to sell copies to you if you are interested.

If you browse their archive you will find photos of Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus, and other champions.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Ben Hogan golf swing on YouTube posted - Circa 1968

I was reading some discussions about the one plane and two plane swing recently and the discussion referenced Ben Hogan. Even though Hogan described the backswing plane and the downswing plane as slightly different in his book, 'Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf' the discussion was still looking for some clarification. It brought to mind this clip from my personal collection that shows the path of the club head and club shaft for Hogan's swing while he practice on the driving range. It is one of about 10 separate swing clips that show pretty much the same thing, some with irons and some with driver. Enjoy

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Ben Hogan golf swing on YouTube posted

I just posted a video clip from the 'Ben Hogan Collection' archives to YouTube. Mr. Hogan is practicing in front a group of admirers prior to a tournament. The view is from behind Mr. Hogan and he is using his driver. A great viewpoint for golf professionsl on the PGA Tour (e.g., Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, etc.) and amateur golfers to learn from. Mr. Hogan almost always hit the fairways and greens even in the demanding course setups of the US Open he won.

Here is the YouTube link:

'The Ben Hogan Collection'; The Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf'; Ben Hogan: Jackie Burke, Jr. talks about Ben Hogan

'The Ben Hogan Collection'; The Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf'; Ben Hogan: Jackie Burke, Jr. talks about Ben Hogan

Jackie Burke, Jr. talks about Ben Hogan

In our production of the 'Ben Hogan Collection' DVD set we had the opportunity to interview Jackie Burke, Jr. in early 2006 when he was down in Miami teaching with Jim McLean at Jim's golf school at Doral Golf Resort.

We did our filming in one of the conference rooms in the Doral main building. Mr. Burke told a lot of stories about Mr. Hogan and responded to a film we showed him taken at the 1967 Masters during a practice round. Mr. Burke, Gardner Dickinson, and Mr. Hogan were playing together and the film depicted their shots on several holes. It certainly brought back memories for Mr. Burke and quite a few interesting stories about Ben Hogan. These are included in the 'Legacy' dvd documentary that is part of the 'Collection'.

Mr. Burke is shown in the photos conducting instruction on putting for several of McLean's instructors at the Great White Course at Doral. It was a real treat for all of us and especially the instructors. I hope they all could appreciate the opportunity they had to hear what a great champion had to say about putting and the short game. He does not mince words that's for sure. Mr. Burke was one of the best putters on tour in the 1950's. He currently resides in Houston and continues to operate the Champions Golf Club there.

Also, during that week Mr. Burke went out on the course and demonstrated his remarkable golf skills even at the young age of 80+. He can still outdrive most amateurs as he striped drives over 250 yards on the course and practice area!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Promo Reel for the 'Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf' by Ben Hogan DVD

We created promo reel for the 5 Lessons project. It runs about 10 minutes but really tells you about what we are working on. I hope to have a new WORKING link up on this site soon. The old link stopped working for awhile, not sure why but it will be back up. I may end up putting it on YouTube as an option but not sure of that track. The promo reel is very well done and provides a terrific look of several components of the project, from the DVD to the website and some of the special features that will be available including an iPhone app.

We are also working the art work for Mr. Hogan's Avatar for the Five Lessons project. I am receiving the 3rd version today or tomorrow and will try find a way to post it as well. It is still a work in progress!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Many advances on getting 'The Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf' by Ben Hogan to dvd. We are finalizing our promo reel that provides a great overview of our project and the applications we are devloping including the dvd and interactive website. We also are looking at some TV shows for 'The Making of the Ben Hogan Avatar'. We also put together financing packages for investors and sponsors as we move along. The 'Ben Hogan Avatar' is almost ready to hire a sports managment agent!

I promised some photos of the Ben Hogan Exhibit at the USGA's Golf House in New Jersey. These shots were taken during some of the filming of 'The Ben Hogan Collection' 3 dvd set. Its available on and select golf retailers. Ask for it.

This is a quick post and a couple of the photos are turned sideways. I will fix them later. Andy Mutch was the museum curator. The fellow in the white shirt and tan pants holding holding Ben Hogan's driver that he used in 1953 to win The Open at Carnoustie is me. That was a real treat, getting a feel of that historic golf club!