|Full Name||William Ben Hogan|
|Nickname (s)||The Hawk, Bantam Ben, The Wee Iceman|
|Profession (s)||Professional American golfer with a legendary ball-striking skill|
Physical Stats and More
|Height (approx.)||in centimetres: 174 cm|
|in meters: 1.74 m|
|in feet inches: 5 ft 8.5 in|
|Weight (approx.)||in kilogram: 66 kg|
|in pounds: 145 lbs.|
|Date Of Birth||Apr 13, 1912|
|Day of Birth||Tuesday|
|Place Of Birth||Stephenville, Texas, USA|
|Father||Chester Williams Hogan|
|Mother||Clara Williams Hogan|
|Education (High School)||Central High School drop out|
|Awards and Honours||1974: World Golf Hall of Fame
1940, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1948: PGA Tour leading money winner
1948, 1950, 1951, 1953: PGA Player of the year
1940, 1941, 1948: Vardon Trophy
1953: Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/Branch||US Army Air Forces|
|Years of service||1943-1945|
|Unit||Fort Worth Army Air Field|
|Total worth||$10 Million|
|David Justice Quotes||Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing.|
Lesser Known Facts about Ben Hogan
- Ben Hogan was born in a small town which was located southwest in Dublin. His father was a blacksmith and he committed suicide when Ben was only 9 years old. His dad actually committed suicide in front of him and that was the reason of his introverted personality.
- He faced financial distress at a very young age and hence, all his siblings including him started working at a very young age to make ends meet.
- At the age of 11, Hogan started caddying at Glen Garden County club which has a nine-hole golf course.
- He actually met his fellow rival there who was Byron Nelson. They both would actually lead at the caddie tournament held during Christmas. They both were 15 years of age at that time.
- Hogan is a school dropout. He dropped out of Central High School during his final semester year. He instead focused on golf and turned in to a professional in the industry only when he was 17 and a half. This was he played at the Texas Open in San Antonio in January 1930.
- Ben Hogan actually met his wife during Sunday school which he used to attend at Fort Worth in mid-1920. However, they were just friends at that time. Although, they reacquainted in 1932 when Hogan was working in a low paying club like a pro in Cleburne. They fell in love and got married in April 1935.
- Hogan faced a tough time as a pro in the beginning. He used to be broke most of the times. He had not won a single tournament until March 1940. Although, things changed and then he won three consecutive matches after that in North Carolina. However, it almost took a decade for Hogan to embark upon his first victory.
- Valerie, his wife was always with him. She believed in him and always motivated him during his low times and that kept him going. He had also developed a hook during this time which he was later able to cure only because of his wife.
- In 1938, Hogan actually finished at 13th in the money list. Although, he still took the job of an assistant at Century Country Club in Purchase, New York. He continued to work at the as an assistant until he then jumped to Hershey Country Club in Pennsylvania as the head pro in 1941.
- Ben Williams Hogan had his share of prime years which were from 1938 to 1959. He went on to win 63 different professional golf tournaments in spite of the interruption caused by the Second World War. He also had a fatal car accident during this time but managed to recover and play for the different tournaments.
- It is also a lesser known fact that Hogan served the US Army forces in World War II. He began his service in March 1943 and continued up till June 1945. His station was Fort Worth, Texas as he became a utility pilot with the rank of a lieutenant.
- The fatal car accident that Hogan faced was a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus. The bridge was filled with fog and this mishap occurred. This happened on February 2, 1949, in Texas. His wife was also traveling with him and he threw himself on her to save her. However, that action actually saved him because the steering column had actually punctured the driver’s seat. If he had not done that, then he would have died.
- Hogan was 36 when the accident took place and he actually got a double fracture of his pelvis, collar bone, and even left ankle. He also got chipped ribs and fatal blood clots. The doctor had said that he would suffer from lifelong circulations and other physical limitation problems. The doctors also said that he would never be able to walk again and thus, there was no question of playing golf. While he was in the hospital, he was also detected with a blood clot problem. He actually got the discharge only after 59 days of the accident.
- Hogan was a man of determination and dedication. He practiced and regained his strength with the help of walking and could resume to his golf activities in November 1949. He also returned to the PGA Tour to start the 1950 season at the Los Angeles Open.
- The year of 1953 was very beneficial to Ben Hogan. He won five out of six tournaments he entered in. This also included the three major championships which were also known as the Triple Crown of Golf. It is still considered as the greatest single season in the history of golf. This was actually the only time when a golfer had won three major professional championships in a year until Tiger Woods broke his record in 2000.
- Later, in his career, Hogan used to decline playing in the PGA Championship because it required several days of 36 holes competition. Although, after his accident, Hogan could only manage with 18 holes competition. Also, the championship was more like a match play event while Hogan was used to shooting a number and plan his strategy around that.
- Ben Williams Hogan is known and appreciated to be one of the greatest ball strikers to play golf. He possesses a formidable victory of 64 PGA tours. However, he is known for his striking ability and strategy today.
- Hogan was a dedicated man and he loved his sport. He used to practice more than any of his fellow competitors. People actually said that he was the player who actually invented the concept of practice. Hogan usually used to often say that, “You hear stories about me beating my brains out practicing, but… I was enjoying myself. I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning, so I could hit balls. When I’m hitting the ball where I want, hard and crisply, it’s a joy that very few people experience.”
- He used to also be the first player to match particular clubs to yardages or even mark reference points around the course in the form of bunkers or trees. He did this in order to improve his distance control. He enjoyed playing the game and thus, worked hard on improving his skills on a regular basis. This is the reason that Ben Hogan was a master of his time in the game of professional golf.
- He believed that individual golf swing was in the dirt and mastering it would require a lot of practice and patience. He also believed in the repetition of certain shots in the form of continuous practice. He has not mastered the golf swing move overnight. He used to practice it for years by trying ample of different theories and methods. He used to give all his time to the shot until he actually found his finish method. This particular practice and discipline got him a lot of fame and success. The swing actually got him his greatest period of success.
- Hogan used to always practice with a strong grip. He did this in order to hit the ball as far as he could. He used this methodology as a young boy to match up to his contemporaries. This strong grip actually got Hogan to hit the odd disastrous snap hook.
- However, the late swing of Hogan produced the popular flight which was called as the “Hogan Fade.” This particular flight was lower than usual for a seasoned player. It was also from left to right. This type of ball flight was a result of using a draw type swing which was coupled with a weak grip.
- Hogan actually spent a lot of time developing new strategies and different shots. He used to always practice gold with bare hands. He used to actually never ever wear gloves as he thought he had a better grip without it. Moe Norman was another golf player who used to play golf with bare hands. Both Hogan and Norman were known as the greatest golf ball strikers ever. They were known to own their swings as they had complete control over their balls which resulted in the control of the ball flight.
- A lot of people believe that there was some kind of secret in the way Hogan used to swing his ball and strike a shot. His swing was usually automatic. There are a lot of different theories formed in this nature. The first theory that the experts formed was related to his wrist movement. They believed he had trained his mind in a certain way in which he used to do a special wrist movement which is also known as cupping. This theory was first revealed in 1955 in a magazine named, “Life”.
- The second theory was based on his knee. The secret revealed included the information on the way he used to initiate his right knee for the movement of a swing. The right knee movement was also critical to the correct operation of the wrist. This secret was revealed in Golf Digest Magazine and also in a book. The book was called, “Afternoons with Mr.Hogan”. It was written by Jody Vasquez. However, many people used to say that Hogan was not revealing everything about the strategy.
- The secret shot of success was revealed by Hogan much later in his life. He said that the shot involved cupping the left wrist at the top of the backswing. At the same time, it is important to use a weaker left-hand grip where the thumb is placed more on the top of the grip. Hogan also said that he came up with this strategy in order to avoid draw or hook of the ball. The peculiar position of his hands ensured that the clubface would be slightly open upon the impact which would lead to a fade.
- Hogan tasted a lot of success as he played on two US Ryder cup teams in 1947 and 1951. He has also led the team under his captaincy for three times which included the games for 1947, 1949 and 1967.
- Hogan has also won the Vardon trophy three times for lowest scoring average in years like 1940, 1941 and 1948. Hogan has also won the Hicock Belt in 1953 in the United States. He won the belt as the top professional athlete of the year.
- He also has a place in the World Golf Hall of Fame which is one of the huge achievements and honor he possesses. He was inducted in the hall in 1974. Apart from that, in 1976, Ben Hogan was honored with the Bob Jones Award which is considered as the highest honor in the golf industry. It is actually given by the United States Golf Association in honor of recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in the game of golf.
- Hogan also has a special room dedicated in his name at the United States Golf Association Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History in Far Hills in New Jersey.
- Also, in 2000, Hogan was ranked as the second-best player of golf of all time by the Golf Digest magazine. Jack Nicklaus was first. In 2009, he was ranked the fourth best player of golf of all times by the same magazine. Tiger Woods stood second.
- Hogan had also started his own golf company after his massively successful year in 1953. The company was established in Fort Worth. His company began the production in 1954 during summers. The production began with clubs targeting towards the better player. Hogan was known for his precision and perfectionism. It is said that he ordered the entire first production run of clubs destroyed as they did not match his quality standards.
- Hogan sold his company to American Machine and Foundry in 1960. However, he was still operating as a chairman of the board in the company for several years. However, AMF Ben Hogan golf clubs were sold continuously from 1960 to 1985. AMF was originally bought by Minstar in that period. Minstar further sold The Ben Hogan Company to Cosmo World in 1988. The Cosmo World only held the club manufacturer. Although, they sold that to another independent investor Bill Goodwin in 1992.
- Post-1992 also the company was sold to various other investors and company. However, in 2017, Ben Hogan Golf Equipment company re-emerged as the golf’s first and only direct to consumer only golf direct company.
- Ben Hogan was a legend of golf. He died in Fort Worth, Texas at the age of 84. He died on July 25, 1997.