"Mr. Hogan - A documentary" - Review and discussion

sjo89sjo89 Golf NerdMembers Posts: 62
So I just bought and watched Christo Garcia's (of My Swing Evolution fame) self made film "Mr. Hogan - A documentary" and thought I'd offer some thoughts on it.



For those who don't know, Christo is famed for his youtube channel, which over the past 6 years has chronicled his rise from an average golfer to scratch/better by way of him modelling his swing on that of Ben Hogan's. It's certainly one of the more entertaining and unique youtube golf channels out there and over the past few years Christo has ventured into making instructional videos grounded in the perceived fundamentals of the "classic" swings of Hogan, Nicklaus, Trevino etc.



Christo works within the film industry so he is already a skilled filmmaker and this is apparent in the quality of camerawork and editing his videos and this film contains. It is a polished and slick production; though this is tainted somewhat by the fact it is only available to download or stream in 480p and not HD. In this day and age that is just not acceptable and for the cost of the documentary ($25) one would expect at least 720p at a minimum.



Perhaps the best aspect of the film is Christo's infectious enthusiasm for Mr. Hogan and the game of golf. Seeing him get all giddy at the just about anything to do with Hogan is endearing. Fair play to Christo for actually putting in the effort to make this film, which has some truly great moments in it, most notable of which are the interviews with Chi Chi Rodriguez and Jack Nicklaus. However, on the whole I felt somewhat underwhelmed by the film, which is a real shame as it had potential to be a really great piece of work.



I think one its biggest issues is the seemingly scattergun approach to the theme and storytelling. The chronology is all over the shop and there never seems to be any sort of story arc or end goal to it. I think the same could be said for Christo's instructional film "The Hogan Code", that I also bought months ago, which seemed more like a random montage of swing thoughts and concepts rather than a coherent and progressive step by step programme.



I think a better name for it would be "A documentary about the making of "Mr. Hogan - A documentary"", as there are lots of strange moments where Christo looks like he's being interviewed and is talking about how he's making this documentary...within the documentary...? Also, Christo is the interviewer and filmmaker, and yet he looks like he's talking to someone off camera who is questioning him....even though he's making the film...its quite a strange choice that I can only presume he did to make it look more professional, but we all know he's only pretending to be interviewed. Anyway!



I think its also a shame that there seems to be surprisingly little hard evidence and memorabilia of Hogan's exploits, and much of the film is Christo talking to ex caddies and acquaintances who just tell anecdotes, though some of these are entertaining. For some reason Christo spends a good portion of the film searching for the location of Hogan's crash, only to end up speculating where it is based on subjective evidence. Of course the crash was a significant event in Hogan's life and should be covered.



One of the big 'pulls' was that Christo finally finds out Hogan's 'secret', but on several occasions during the film people refer to said moves/thoughts being his 'secret' and all of them are different and not particularly exciting or radical. In fact I dare say if you're average golfer tried to implement some of the swing thoughts that are discussed in this documentary they would get much worse fast! This idea of Hogan cupping the wrist at the top being a swing "key" is surely nonsense and just an idiosyncrasy, not a conscious effort. A cupped wrist at the top with a neutral grip = open face. We know Hogan fought a hook so this makes sense FOR HIM, but for a slicer this move would be absolute death.



The clear highlights are the interviews with Chi Chi and Jack, both of whose names are written boldly on the front cover. But it isn't til minute 80 of the 90 minute film we see either of them, and then we get two 5 minute interviews, which although fantastic, leave me wanting much more. But this is a harsh criticism as no doubt Christo had very limited time with both.



The film definitely has its merits, but it definitely feels like the content is being stretched a little thin at time. Why we have segments from a sports psychologist and biomechanist who both have nothing to do with Hogan and don't talk about him at all I dont know.



Plus I understand Christo believes in the "old school/classic" swing and methodologies, but the fact is a lot of those guys preach what are actually individual swing feelings as facts and see results as causes etc. When people say "he uses his body to control the clubface", whilst that may sound like a cool concept, in a literal sense it is of course not true.



Perhaps I'm being too harsh. If you enjoy Christo's channel as I do and want to support him I recommend you buy it.



Thanks
«1

Comments

  • sjo89sjo89 Golf Nerd Members Posts: 62


    Christo is not scratch and has improved very little if any at all. He simply got better at performing his same swing. He is definitely not qualified to instruct anyone and to me his rhetoric is tired at this point. I also find his personality extremely "put on" and disingenuous. I feel bad for the people who pay for his material.




    I think thats a slightly extreme reaction but I see your point. I mean, he works in film so he's going to be 'entertaining' to a degree with his reactions, but I don't feel they're disingenuous, just exaggerated perhaps. He may not literally be off scratch but he's clearly a decent golfer and better than he was. I agree about the coaching to a degree - but if you say something that has long term positive effects on your pupil then in my mind you are a good teacher and a qualified one. Whether thats the case I cant say. I do know a lot of what he preaches as facts are to a large degree his own personal 'feels', which are subjective. But the same can be said for many qualified pros.
  • Im_A_SavageIm_A_Savage WisconsinMembers Posts: 1,600 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for taking the time to review the documentary. Although I must say, after reading it, I don't think I would invest my time in watching this documentary for free, let alone paying $25 for it.
  • thevaporzthevaporz Members Posts: 3,020 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Mike Malaska is so much better for instruction.
  • Cornwall1888Cornwall1888 Members Posts: 188 ✭✭
    These YouTube guys like him and bebettergolf make me uncomfortable. They use their YouTube channels to basically sell merch and golf schools when neither of them are qualified.



    They are probably both low single figure handicappers, golf isn't there profession, film making is



    Guys like crossfield and rick shiels are PGA pros but they don't try to sell anything although we know they do offer lessons.



    I don't like christo's fake super nice contrived on screen persona either.



    I'm also uncomfortable with him using hogan's name and brand to sell his stuff, although the hogan company are fans of his.



    The guy is a decent golfer and an average film maker, I won't be buying his movie or attending his golf schools anytime soon
  • Santiago GolfSantiago Golf I Strive to make you Better Members Posts: 5,035 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Christo golf game has come a long way though be completely honest i love some his videos. I have no issue with him talking about his swing or tour players swings. He knows good amount about Hogan and makes compelling content. The issue I have is he talk much about putting or short game as much as he does full swing and swing speed.
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  • toctoc Members Posts: 2,890 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Wait, OP has given Christo money not once but twice??
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  • MMB1500MMB1500 Members Posts: 6,395 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jul 26, 2017 #9
    Does it address the main question around him, which is why do his disciples insist on calling him "Mr."?
  • gvogelgvogel Members Posts: 7,693 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    sjo89 wrote:


    So I just bought and watched Christo Garcia's (of My Swing Evolution fame) self made film "Mr. Hogan - A documentary" and thought I'd offer some thoughts on it.



    For those who don't know, Christo is famed for his youtube channel, which over the past 6 years has chronicled his rise from an average golfer to scratch/better by way of him modelling his swing on that of Ben Hogan's. It's certainly one of the more entertaining and unique youtube golf channels out there and over the past few years Christo has ventured into making instructional videos grounded in the perceived fundamentals of the "classic" swings of Hogan, Nicklaus, Trevino etc.



    Christo works within the film industry so he is already a skilled filmmaker and this is apparent in the quality of camerawork and editing his videos and this film contains. It is a polished and slick production; though this is tainted somewhat by the fact it is only available to download or stream in 480p and not HD. In this day and age that is just not acceptable and for the cost of the documentary ($25) one would expect at least 720p at a minimum.



    Perhaps the best aspect of the film is Christo's infectious enthusiasm for Mr. Hogan and the game of golf. Seeing him get all giddy at the just about anything to do with Hogan is endearing. Fair play to Christo for actually putting in the effort to make this film, which has some truly great moments in it, most notable of which are the interviews with Chi Chi Rodriguez and Jack Nicklaus. However, on the whole I felt somewhat underwhelmed by the film, which is a real shame as it had potential to be a really great piece of work.



    I think one its biggest issues is the seemingly scattergun approach to the theme and storytelling. The chronology is all over the shop and there never seems to be any sort of story arc or end goal to it. I think the same could be said for Christo's instructional film "The Hogan Code", that I also bought months ago, which seemed more like a random montage of swing thoughts and concepts rather than a coherent and progressive step by step programme.



    I think a better name for it would be "A documentary about the making of "Mr. Hogan - A documentary"", as there are lots of strange moments where Christo looks like he's being interviewed and is talking about how he's making this documentary...within the documentary...? Also, Christo is the interviewer and filmmaker, and yet he looks like he's talking to someone off camera who is questioning him....even though he's making the film...its quite a strange choice that I can only presume he did to make it look more professional, but we all know he's only pretending to be interviewed. Anyway!



    I think its also a shame that there seems to be surprisingly little hard evidence and memorabilia of Hogan's exploits, and much of the film is Christo talking to ex caddies and acquaintances who just tell anecdotes, though some of these are entertaining. For some reason Christo spends a good portion of the film searching for the location of Hogan's crash, only to end up speculating where it is based on subjective evidence. Of course the crash was a significant event in Hogan's life and should be covered.



    One of the big 'pulls' was that Christo finally finds out Hogan's 'secret', but on several occasions during the film people refer to said moves/thoughts being his 'secret' and all of them are different and not particularly exciting or radical. In fact I dare say if you're average golfer tried to implement some of the swing thoughts that are discussed in this documentary they would get much worse fast! This idea of Hogan cupping the wrist at the top being a swing "key" is surely nonsense and just an idiosyncrasy, not a conscious effort. A cupped wrist at the top with a neutral grip = open face. We know Hogan fought a hook so this makes sense FOR HIM, but for a slicer this move would be absolute death.



    The clear highlights are the interviews with Chi Chi and Jack, both of whose names are written boldly on the front cover. But it isn't til minute 80 of the 90 minute film we see either of them, and then we get two 5 minute interviews, which although fantastic, leave me wanting much more. But this is a harsh criticism as no doubt Christo had very limited time with both.



    The film definitely has its merits, but it definitely feels like the content is being stretched a little thin at time. Why we have segments from a sports psychologist and biomechanist who both have nothing to do with Hogan and don't talk about him at all I dont know.



    Plus I understand Christo believes in the "old school/classic" swing and methodologies, but the fact is a lot of those guys preach what are actually individual swing feelings as facts and see results as causes etc. When people say "he uses his body to control the clubface", whilst that may sound like a cool concept, in a literal sense it is of course not true.



    Perhaps I'm being too harsh. If you enjoy Christo's channel as I do and want to support him I recommend you buy it.



    Thanks




    So, what was Hogan's secret?
    Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove.  P.G. Wodehouse
  • MountainGoatMountainGoat Mid-MarylandMembers Posts: 2,049 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    sjo89 wrote:




    I think one its biggest issues is the seemingly scattergun approach to the theme and storytelling. The chronology is all over the shop and there never seems to be any sort of story arc or end goal to it. I think the same could be said for Christo's instructional film "The Hogan Code", that I also bought months ago, which seemed more like a random montage of swing thoughts and concepts rather than a coherent and progressive step by step programme.






    I did the same and thought exactly the same thing.



    Nice review; thanks for posting!
  • sjo89sjo89 Golf Nerd Members Posts: 62
    toc wrote:


    Wait, OP has given Christo money not once but twice??




    lol, it seems so! More out of curiosity than anything else. But I enjoy watching documentaries on the history of the game and its legends and I thought this would be a much more in depth and interesting look at Ben Hogan. I think $25 is a lot, but I understand he isnt going to sell that many so he has to make his money back somehow.
  • sjo89sjo89 Golf Nerd Members Posts: 62


    These YouTube guys like him and bebettergolf make me uncomfortable. They use their YouTube channels to basically sell merch and golf schools when neither of them are qualified.



    They are probably both low single figure handicappers, golf isn't there profession, film making is



    Guys like crossfield and rick shiels are PGA pros but they don't try to sell anything although we know they do offer lessons.



    I don't like christo's fake super nice contrived on screen persona either.



    I'm also uncomfortable with him using hogan's name and brand to sell his stuff, although the hogan company are fans of his.



    The guy is a decent golfer and an average film maker, I won't be buying his movie or attending his golf schools anytime soon




    I dont have an issue because nobody is making you pay for it. Also, Brendan isnt doing instructional videos, hes featuring as a student in the videos alongside top name pros. Travelling and making these films isnt cheap so these guys need to make their money back somehow. I also dont have an issue with them being paid to teach. Just because they dont have a degree doesnt mean they are bad teachers - just look at Joseph Mayo.
  • Swisstrader98Swisstrader98 Members Posts: 3,555 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    thevaporz wrote:
    Mike Malaska is so much better for instruction.




    Love Malaska's stuff
  • Swisstrader98Swisstrader98 Members Posts: 3,555 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Nice review. Appreciated
  • YrrdeadYrrdead Better Living Through Chemistry Members Posts: 1,631 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    sjo89 wrote:



    These YouTube guys like him and bebettergolf make me uncomfortable. They use their YouTube channels to basically sell merch and golf schools when neither of them are qualified.



    They are probably both low single figure handicappers, golf isn't there profession, film making is



    Guys like crossfield and rick shiels are PGA pros but they don't try to sell anything although we know they do offer lessons.



    I don't like christo's fake super nice contrived on screen persona either.



    I'm also uncomfortable with him using hogan's name and brand to sell his stuff, although the hogan company are fans of his.



    The guy is a decent golfer and an average film maker, I won't be buying his movie or attending his golf schools anytime soon




    I dont have an issue because nobody is making you pay for it. Also, Brendan isnt doing instructional videos, hes featuring as a student in the videos alongside top name pros. Travelling and making these films isnt cheap so these guys need to make their money back somehow. I also dont have an issue with them being paid to teach. Just because they dont have a degree doesnt mean they are bad teachers - just look at Joseph Mayo.




    Brendan is 100% doing instructional videos, he had two out now with a third on the way. Syncing Your Swing, Source of Power. The latter is where he got in with Tony Lusak as a "teacher" of the reactionary golf method. He had teamed up with Tony to do two golf schools so far.
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  • MPStratMPStrat Members Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the review. I kind of suspected this is what it was since the trailer featured Christo hitting golf shots. I was hoping it would be old school guys telling stories about Hogan and his swing the whole time. I would have paid $25 for that.
  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Open Championship! IowaClubWRX Posts: 18,275 ClubWRX
    MrWolf wrote:


    Does it address the main question around him, which is why do his disciples insist on calling him "Mr."?




    If he dies in Texas they'll call him Corpus.
  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Open Championship! IowaClubWRX Posts: 18,275 ClubWRX
    sjo89 wrote:



    These YouTube guys like him and bebettergolf make me uncomfortable. They use their YouTube channels to basically sell merch and golf schools when neither of them are qualified.



    They are probably both low single figure handicappers, golf isn't there profession, film making is



    Guys like crossfield and rick shiels are PGA pros but they don't try to sell anything although we know they do offer lessons.



    I don't like christo's fake super nice contrived on screen persona either.



    I'm also uncomfortable with him using hogan's name and brand to sell his stuff, although the hogan company are fans of his.



    The guy is a decent golfer and an average film maker, I won't be buying his movie or attending his golf schools anytime soon




    I dont have an issue because nobody is making you pay for it. Also, Brendan isnt doing instructional videos, hes featuring as a student in the videos alongside top name pros. Travelling and making these films isnt cheap so these guys need to make their money back somehow. I also dont have an issue with them being paid to teach. Just because they dont have a degree doesnt mean they are bad teachers - just look at Joseph Mayo.




    He is doing instructional vids, putting on clinics (which he videos) and engaging in online instruction (nothing about his interaction with a variety of good teachers suggests he has the qualifications to be doing it). I think he lost his way a little bit.
  • augustgolfaugustgolf Golf with dignity Coastal NCMembers Posts: 3,925 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Hawkeye77 wrote:
    MrWolf wrote:


    Does it address the main question around him, which is why do his disciples insist on calling him "Mr."?




    If he dies in Texas they'll call him Corpus.


    I saw what you did there B)
    Pings from the beginning

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  • JobuJobu Members Posts: 1,147 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Both channels are entertaining. But neither loves golf more than they love making mone
  • oikos1oikos1 Members Posts: 2,319 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Haha. I'm sure I'm missing something insightful from Christo that isn't covered in the the 20+ youtube docuvideos already produced. After all, he does play Hogan clubs. Maybe I should splurge and drop the $25...
  • Soloman1Soloman1 Members Posts: 2,537 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    I followed Hogan's group the first round of his last Masters in 1967.



    I can tell you the secret I saw in person... for $25 image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />.
    I'm quitting at 6.022 x 10^23 posts.
    Avogadro would be proud.
  • AJ JosephAJ Joseph Members Posts: 110
    Is it illegal to sell high quality video display and editing about golf ?. No. Ask AJ Bonar. He has made a pile of cash.

    99% of golfers dont know good instructions from bad. But they know high quality video. And pay for it.

    Oh Jack Hamm too. Lol
  • BrianMcGBrianMcG Members Posts: 2,370 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Soloman1 wrote:


    I followed Hogan's group the first round of his last Masters in 1967.



    I can tell you the secret I saw in person... for $25 image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />.




    I did an informercial with Ken Venturi and spent an afternoon listening to him talk about Ben.



    I will give you the secret for free.



    Hit balls 8 hours a day for 10 years...without missing a day.




    But when you tell people that, it just pisses them off.
    Walter: Tell me Bobby, why do you play this game?
    Bobby: I play because I love it.
    Walter: Well I play for the money. I have to win. That is why every time we face each other I will always beat you.
  • MonteScheinblumMonteScheinblum Rebellion Golf Southern CaliforniaMembers Posts: 18,376 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jul 26, 2017 #27
    BrianMcG wrote:


    Soloman1 wrote:


    I followed Hogan's group the first round of his last Masters in 1967.



    I can tell you the secret I saw in person... for $25 image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />.




    I did an informercial with Ken Venturi and spent an afternoon listening to him talk about Ben.



    I will give you the secret for free.



    Hit balls 8 hours a day for 10 years...without missing a day.




    But when you tell people that, it just pisses them off.




    Fair enough. I'm going to go into seclusion for 2 months in John Kaczansky's cabin.



    When I come out I will have a non timing based release pattern and a drill on how to create it hitting only one small bucket per month.



    4 installments of $19.99 plus a $500 credit card fee per transaction.



    Better?
  • Soloman1Soloman1 Members Posts: 2,537 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    I wonder how many get the UniBomber/Long Drive reference? Can I charge for that?
    I'm quitting at 6.022 x 10^23 posts.
    Avogadro would be proud.
  • Walkoflife80Walkoflife80 Members Posts: 1
    I'm hearing a bit of venom towards this newer wave of non-pro instructional youTube channels. I get it!! I felt the same way when I first saw these popping up on YouTube, I was totally closed minded to it. I was like "What the F__K do you think you're doing, you're not a PRO???!!!" But over the past two or so years, I've really grown to appreciate these guys.



    I mean if there is one thing I love about golf, it's sharing the knowledge of the game...I guess I was just conditioned to think that could only be done on the professional level at some point. I don't feel that way any more. I Actually get a lot out of chatting about the swing with whomever, I've made breakthroughs this way. I have gotten a lot of great tips from the Be Better Golf and My swing Evolution channels. I also think I get a lot out of these channels because of my personality...These guys are fired up about this great game and for me that how things are best transmitted. Now if a pro is energetic in that way, that works for me too. But if I sniff that a pro is just comfortable in his job...that just doesn't work for me, no arguing that there are no shortage of tired a** pros at any range you go to. Give me a pro like Monte, that's a true soul Golfer, I'm all in.



    One more thing you guys have been touching on is the fact that these guys are making a little bit of money from this. I personally don't have a problem with that. The way I feel about is if you put a lot of time into something that people enjoy and use, there is nothing wrong with expecting some compensation for that time. I also don't think that's what motivates these guys to make all this content, it's pretty obvious that these guys genuinely love this thing of ours. So I say it's cool to see dome DIY stuff in this world of Big Brands and expensive tee times.



    All that being said, If you love this game like I do, I respect your difference of opinion. Much love!



    Eddie
  • xkilgorextroutxxkilgorextroutx Members Posts: 267 ✭✭✭✭
  • BottleCapBottleCap Members Posts: 1,406 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Another way to look at it, if we didn't have Christo, Brendon, and Crossfield, we'd have less golf stuff to watch.



    It's nice to have more golf stuff to watch.
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