57 Facts About Ben Hogan


William Ben Hogan was an American professional golfer who is generally considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of the game.

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Ben Hogan is notable for his profound influence on golf swing theory and his ball-striking ability.

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Ben Hogan is one of only five players to have won all four majors: the Masters Tournament, The Open Championship, the US Open, and the PGA Championship.

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Ben Hogan was born in Stephenville, Texas, the third and youngest child of Chester and Clara Ben Hogan.

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Ben Hogan's father was a blacksmith and the family lived ten miles southwest in Dublin until 1921, when they moved seventy miles northeast to Fort Worth.

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When Ben Hogan was nine years old in 1922, his father Chester committed suicide with a self-inflicted gunshot at the family home.

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Older brother Royal quit school at age 14 to deliver office supplies by bicycle, and nine-year-old Ben Hogan sold newspapers after school at the nearby train station.

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Club rules did not allow caddies age 16 and older, so after August 1928, Ben Hogan took his game to three scrubby daily-fee courses: Katy Lake, Worth Hills, and Z-Boaz.

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Ben Hogan dropped out of Central High School during the final semester of his senior year.

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Ben Hogan turned pro in the golf industry six months shy of his 18th birthday at the Texas Open in San Antonio, in late January 1930.

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Ben Hogan met Valerie Fox in Sunday school in Fort Worth in the mid-1920s, and they reacquainted in 1932 when he landed a low-paying club pro job in Cleburne, where her family had moved.

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Ben Hogan worked at Century as an assistant and then as the head pro until 1941, when he took the head pro job at Hershey Country Club in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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Ben Hogan served in the US Army Air Forces from March 1943 to June 1945; he was stationed locally at Fort Worth and became a utility pilot with the rank of lieutenant.

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Ben Hogan threw himself across Valerie in order to protect her.

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Ben Hogan would have been killed had he not done so, because the steering column punctured the driver's seat of their new Cadillac sedan.

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Ben Hogan's doctors said he might never walk again, let alone play golf competitively.

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Ben Hogan regained his strength by extensive walking and resumed his golf activities in November 1949.

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Ben Hogan returned to the PGA Tour to start the 1950 season at the Los Angeles Open, where he tied with Sam Snead over 72 holes, but lost the 18-hole playoff, held over a week later.

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Win at Carnoustie was only a part of Ben Hogan's watershed 1953 season, a year in which he won five of the six tournaments he entered, including three major championships.

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Ben Hogan, 40, was unable to enter—and possibly win—the 1953 PGA Championship because its play overlapped the play of The Open at Carnoustie, which he won.

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Ben Hogan often declined to play in the PGA Championship; he skipped it more and more often as his career wore on.

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Ben Hogan is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest ball strikers who ever played golf.

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Ben Hogan was known to practice more than any of his contemporary golfers and is said to have "invented practice".

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Ben Hogan thought that an individual's golf swing was "in the dirt" and that mastering it required plenty of practice and repetition.

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Ben Hogan is known to have spent years contemplating the golf swing, trying a range of theories and methods before arriving at the finished method which brought him his greatest period of success.

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Jacobs alleges that Byron Nelson told him this information, and furthermore that Ben Hogan developed and used the "strong" grip as a boy in order to be able to hit the ball as far as bigger, stronger contemporaries.

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Ben Hogan's late swing produced the famed "Ben Hogan Fade" ball flight, lower than usual for a great player and from left to right.

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In May 1967, the editor of Cary Middlecoff's 1974 book The Golf Swing watched every shot that 54-year-old Ben Hogan hit in the Colonial National Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Ben Hogan revealed later in life that the "secret" involved cupping the left wrist at the top of the backswing and using a weaker left-hand grip.

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Ben Hogan did this to prevent himself from ever hooking the ball off the tee.

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Hy Peskin, a staff photographer for Sports Illustrated, took a famous photo of Ben Hogan playing a 1-iron shot to the green at the 72nd hole of the 1950 US Open.

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Ben Hogan believed that a solid, repeatable golf swing involved only a few essential elements, which, when performed correctly and in sequence, were the essence of the swing.

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Ben Hogan believes that beginners place too much emphasis on the long game.

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Ben Hogan believes the second part of the swing, the downswing, is initiated by the hips starting to turn.

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Ben Hogan thinks that the downswing is very similar to this action.

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Ben Hogan is widely acknowledged to have been one of the finest ball strikers that ever played the game.

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Ben Hogan's ball striking has been described as being of near miraculous caliber by other very knowledgeable observers such as Jack Nicklaus, who only saw him play some years after his prime.

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In Scotland, Ben Hogan was known as "The Wee Ice Man", or, in some versions, "Wee Ice Mon, " a moniker earned during his famous British Open victory at Carnoustie in 1953.

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Ben Hogan rarely spoke during competition, and mostly kept to himself.

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Ben Hogan was highly respected by fellow competitors for his superb course management skills.

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Ben Hogan won ten tournaments in 1948 alone, including the US Open at Riviera Country Club, a course known as "Hogan's Alley" because of his success there.

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Ben Hogan remains the only player to win at least 10 PGA tour events in a year twice.

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Ben Hogan owns the longest streaks of consecutive major attempts finishing in both the top 5 with 12 and the top 10 with 18.

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Ben Hogan is the only player to win as many as 8 majors in as few as 11 attempts.

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Ben Hogan owns the longest streak of consecutive USOpen attempts finishing in the top 10 with 16.

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Ben Hogan is one of only two players to win 3 consecutive US Opens in 3 attempts.

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Ben Hogan finished in the top 10 in 12 consecutive US Open attempts which is the longest such streak in Open history.

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Ben Hogan achieved this on 12 different courses and won 5 times.

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Ben Hogan went on to achieve what is perhaps the greatest sporting accomplishment in history, limping to twelve more PGA Tour wins before retiring.

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In 1951, Ben Hogan entered just five events, but won three of them – the Masters, US Open, and World Championship of Golf, and finished second and fourth in his other two starts.

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Ben Hogan finished fourth on that season's money list, barely $6,000 behind the season's official money list leader Lloyd Mangrum, who played over twenty events.

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Ben Hogan even received a ticker-tape parade in New York City in 1953, upon his return from winning the British Open, the only time he played the event.

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Ben Hogan remains the only player to win the Masters, US Open, and British Open in the same calendar year.

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In 1967, at age 54, Ben Hogan shot a record 30 on the back nine at the Masters; the record stood until 1992.

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In 1945, Ben Hogan set a PGA Tour record for a 72-hole event at the Portland Open Invitational by shooting 27-under-par.

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Ben Hogan never competed on the Senior PGA Tour, as that circuit did not exist until he was in his late sixties.

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Ben Hogan died at age 84 in Fort Worth on July 25,1997; his wife Valerie died two years later, and they are interred at Greenwood Memorial Park in Fort Worth.

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