Wednesday, January 18

Golf Voices From the Past: Ben Hogan

BEN HOGAN WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST golfers to ever play the game. One could argue that no one worked harder to earn his spot on the professional circuit and among other golf legends.

Hogan was not as talented as Byron Nelson and Sam Snead. "The Hawk" (Hogan's nickname) simply didn't give up. The game of golf was his obsession. It consumed him.

Hogan wrote groundbreaking golf instructions books. The first was POWER GOLF published in 1948. Here are the opening lines from the introduction:
CONTRARY to anything you may read on the subject, there is no such individual as a born golfer. Some have more natural ability than others, but they've all been made.
A page later, Hogan talks about golf scores:
In my opinion the greatest rounds of golf are not shot by the tournament professionals and hot-shot amateurs, but by the 85-90 shooters. That may seem like an exaggerated statement, but I honestly believe it to be true and I'll tell you why.
The lowest score ever made by a professional in competition is 62. Several of us are co-holders of that record. I have two rounds of 62, one at Oakland, California, and another at Chicago, Illinois. Walter Hagen, Lawson Little, Byron Nelson, Jimmy Demaret, Jim Ferrier and Herman Keiser are the other professionals who had 62's in competition. 
Any time you can shoot a 62, no matter how easy the course may be, that's great golf. But to my mind any time an 85-90 shooter shoots a 75, that's even greater golf. That is the equivalent of a professional shooting 59.
Ben Hogan won 64 tournaments, including nine majors. Six of his major victories came after an automobile accident that nearly killed him. Hogan made four appearances in the Ryder Cup, including twice as captain.

More Voices:
Dave Hill
Frank Beard

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