30 Interesting Facts About Ben Hogan – One Of The Greatest Player In The History Of Golf


Ben Hogan is an American professional golfer, considered as the best golfer of his time and one of the greatest player in the history of the game. He possessed fierce determination with unquestionable golfing skill and iron will, which created an aura which could intimidate opponent into submission. Here are 30 interesting facts about him:

  1. Hogan is known for his golf swing theory and for his ball striking ability. He along with Sam Snead and Byron Nelson are considered as the greatest golfer of 20thcentury. He was known by many nicknames such as ‘The Hawk,’ ‘Bantam Ben’ and ‘The Wee Iceman.’
  2. He was born on August 13, 1912 in Stephenville, Texas, U.S and grew up in Dublin. His father Chester Hogan was a blacksmith and his mother Clara Hogan was seamstress. He was the third and the youngest child.
  3. Hogan took to work at a very young age to support his mother, as his father committed suicide. He sold newspaper after school at train station when he was nine years old.
  4. He was introduced to golf at the age of 11 when started caddying at the Glen Garden County Club. After August 1928, he joined daily fee courses at Katy Lake, Worth Hills, and Z-Boaz.
  5. He became a profession golfer at the Texas Open after dropping out during the final semester of his senior year at R.L Paschal High School.
  6. Hogan was in a relationship with Valerie Fox resumed in 1932, when he landed a low paying job at her home town, Cleburne. He married her in April 1935 at her parent’s home.
  7. His early years in pro circuit were very difficult. To supplement his income, he worked at Century County Club and later at Hershey County Club as a head pro. Although he was listed as 13th on the money list in 1938, he did not win pro tournaments as an individual until March 1940.
  8. He served in the U.S Army Air Force as a utility pilot in the rank of Lieutenant, from March 1943 to June 1945.
  9. The US. Open at Riviera Country Club course is known as ‘Hogan Alley.’ His 8 under par score in the tournament in the 1948 was a record until 1980 when Jack Nicklaus matched it.
  10. On February 2, 1949 he and his wife met with an accident resulting in multiple fractures to Hogan. He returned to golf in November 1949 after spending 59 days in hospital.
  11. Despite a fatal accident and World War II, he won 63 professional golf tournaments during the primetime of his life.
  12. In 1953, Hogan won the three major championships, the Masters, the U.S Open and The Open Championship. He missed the Grand Slam as he could not participate in the PGA Championship due to clash of dates. Winning the three major championships in a year by Hogan is referred as the ‘Triple Crown of Golf,’ a feat which was never repeated by any other golfer until 2000.
  13. Hogan skipped PGA Championship more often for it is a match play event and his skill was in shooting numbers. Also that PGA required several days of 36 holes per day competition, which was a difficult proposition for Hogan considering his accident.
  14. He has a formidable record as a tournament winner and acknowledged as a greatest ball striker ever to have played golf.
  15. He is known for his intensive practice schedule, which he enjoys. He is known to practice more than any other contemporaries to the extent that it is said he ‘invented practice.’ He practiced and played with bare hands, without gloves. It gives him total control on the swing and as a result, the balls flight.
  16. In May 1967 in the Colonial National Invitation Championship in Fort Worth, Texas Hogan shot 281 for a third place tie with George Archer. Of the 281 shots, 141 reached the greens and 139 of these were well-to-superbly executed. It was impossible to conceive anybody hitting the ball over four-day span.
  17. Although he played right handed, he was actually left-handed. He started golf as a left hander because the first club he ever came in to possession of was a left-handed stick. Later he switched over to his right hand.
  18. In 1950 he used 1 iron shot during his 18-holeplay-off win in the U.S Open Championship. They have put a plaque on the spot where hit that 1 iron around 200 yards away from green. It has become iconic spot.
  19. His book ‘Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf’ is golf tutorial which is widely read. The book deals with the fundamentals, the Grip, Stance and the Swing. It was initially released as a five part series in ‘Sports Illustrated’ in 1957.
  20. According to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger wood, Hogan was the finest ball striker that ever played the game. He along with Moe Norman were the only players ever to have ‘Owned their Swing.’ He has developed a secret which made his swing nearly automatic. This is mainly due to his wrist movement known as cupping under.
  21. He was aloof on-course person and never captured the hearts of the galleries. After the accident on his return when he took second place in the 1950 Los Angeles Open, he was cheered on by the ecstatic fans.
  22. In 1951 he won three of the five events he participated and finished second and fourth in other two. He finished fourth on the season’s money list, which was headed by Lloyd Mangrum who played over 20 events.
  23. The movie ‘Follow the Sun ‘is biographical film on his life starring Glen Ford. Many golfers and sports figure of the day appeared in the movie.
  24. He received ticker-tape parade in New York City on his return from winning the British Open Championship in 1953. He is the second player to have won all the four major championship.
  25. He is the only golfer in history to win the Masters, U.S Open and British Open in the same year, 1953. His score of 14-under par at the Master stood the time of test for 12 years.
  26. In 1945 at the Portland Open Invitational in a 72 hole event, he set a PGA record by shooting 27 under par. This record was broken by John Huston in 1998.
  27. Hogan won the 1942 Hale American National Open Golf Tournament and received a gold medal and $ 1,200 in war bonds for his win. Since it was intended to war time substitute for the U.S Open, golf historians maintain that this win should be counted as major championship.
  28. Hogan was awarded the ‘Hickok Belt’ in 1953 as top professional athlete of the year in U.S. The award was created in honor of the founder of the ‘Hickok Belt Manufacturing Company.’ The Belt is made of alligator skin with gold buckle studded with 4 carat diamond and 26 gem chips.
  29. The ‘Golf Writers Association of America’ awards annually ‘The Ben Hogan’ award to a golfer who has remained active in golf despite of serious illness or physical handicap.
  30. In 1974, he was inducted in to World Golf Hall of Fame. A special room is dedicated to Hogan’s career, comeback and accomplishments at the United States Golf Association Museum and Arnold Palmer Golf History in Far Hills, New Jersey.

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