“An Evening with Ben Hogan” will be presented on Saturday, September 22, at the Theatre of the Republic in Conway, South Carolina. Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 at the door. The box office number is 843-488-0821.
“An Evening with Ben Hogan” is a one-man show performed by George McDowell, a Hogan aficionado (and reader of this blog) who I’ve come to know over the last several months.
At one point in our correspondence, George sent me his bibliography of Ben Hogan. It rivals that of the Hogan biographies I’ve read. George has thoroughly researched his subject so he can bring Hogan and the golf legend's peculiarities alive on stage.
Ben Hogan is a fascinating, larger-than-life figure that captures the interest of so many golf fans. As I’ve blogged various stories and tidbits about Ben Hogan, many of you have contacted me with some interesting Hogan connection.
George was one of the first, and I think you’ll enjoy his story – how he got into golf and how he came to Ben Hogan and doing the show.
I took up golf at age 50, but the game interfered with my thriving law practice. Soon, the thriving law practice interfered with the game.
After a few snowy winters in Baltimore, I realized I could no longer tolerate months without being able to play. So I rented a house in Florida for the winter. I had to make money to afford maintaining two places, but a straight job would cut into the time I wanted to play golf.
I hit on the idea of doing the one-man-show. I could practice it and put it on at night, and it wouldn't interfere with golf in the daylight. I'm the same height, weight, and build as was Hogan, and I sort of look like him.
There are hundreds of country clubs around Tampa, and I put it on in a few. After a couple of shows, I began to feel that I really understood Hogan and what made him tick.
I used to translate ancient Greek texts, mostly mathematics, but some philosophy as well. To properly put in English what these very smart guys (Euclid, Archimedes, Plato, etc.) meant, it's necessary to fully immerse in what they are talking about.
For me, at least, more dogged and determined than smart or intuitive, I struggle with possible meanings, rattle them around in my head, even drink some beer at them, until a bright burst of crystal clarity comes, and I know for absolute certain I understand the concept under consideration. Then I try to add a little beauty and poetry to the words in English.
And this is what happened to me with Hogan. I've studied him so much, I understand the man.
I haven’t seen the show, but I hope to in the near future. If you live near or happen to be in the Myrtle Beach area, make plans to attend. And if you get a chance to meet George McDowell, tell him The Armchair Golfer sent you.
The Armchair Golfer