Ben Hogan - Professional Golfer, Life Achievements and Facts

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Ben Hogan's Personal Details

Ben Hogan was one of the finest golfers of his time and is best-remembered for his ball-striking ability

InformationDetail
BirthdayAugust 13, 1912
Died onJuly 25, 1997
NationalityAmerican
FamousProfessional Golfer, University Of Oregon, Sportspersons, Golfers
Nick namesThe Hawk, Bantam Ben, The Wee Iceman
SpousesValerie Fox (1911–1999)
SiblingsRoyal
Known asBen Hogan
Universities
  • University Of Oregon
  • University of Oregon
Notable Alumnis
  • University Of Oregon
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Ben Hogan Golf Company
Birth PlaceTexas
GenderMale
FatherChester Hogan
MotherClara Williams Hogan
Sun SignLeo
Born inTexas
Famous asAmerican professional golfer
Died at Age84

// Famous Professional Golfer

Ben Hogan's photo

Who is Ben Hogan?

Ben Hogan was an iconic golf player and is often named along with other big guns in the world of golf including, Tiger Woods, Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus. He is believed to be one of the greatest players in the history of the game and is remembered for his ‘golf swing theory’ and his ball-striking skills. During the course of his career, he authored a golf tutorial, ‘Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf’, which is still extensively read by budding golfers and professionals. A sturdy perfectionist, he was a man with an iron-will whose influence on the sport was reflective and his legacy was across-the-board. At the apex of his golf career, he won nine major championships—two Masters, one British Open, four United States Opens and two P.G.A. championships - being one of the five golfers to have ever done so in the history of golf. Despite a major accident that almost took his life, his comeback was a heroic one, with all his fans reveling with joy over his return. He was the proud recipient of a number of distinctions and honors and was known for his superb golf course management skills that could put even his severest opponents into an acquiescent zone.

// Famous Golfers

Childhood & Early Life

William Ben Hogan was the youngest child born to Chester and Clara Hogan, in Stephenville, Texas. The family moved to Fort Worth where they incurred numerous financial difficulties.

When Hogan was just 9-years-old, his father committed suicide with a self-inflicted chest gunshot. It is believed that his father died right before his eyes, which is often cited as the reason behind his introverted personality in his later years.

In order to make ends meet, he and his elder brother, Royal, quit school and began working a number of odd jobs. It was during this time he began to caddy at Glen Garden Country Club and his interest for golf was triggered.

In 1927, when he was 15-years-old, he and his opponent, Byron Nelson tied for the top at the annual Christmas caddy tournament.

Career

He dropped out of Central High School and began to focus his energies on playing golf professionally, debuting at the Texas Open in San Antonio, in 1930 at the age of 17, notwithstanding a terrible hook.

He participated in his first P.G.A. Tour in the 1932 Los Angeles Open, where he finished 38th and won $.8.50.

In 1938, he was hired by Century Country Club in Purchase, New York as an assistant pro and later became a head pro. In 1941, he was offered a head job at the Hershey Country Club in Pennsylvania, which he could not decline.

Till March 1940, he had played a number of pro tournaments but without much success, but after that he won three successive tournaments in North Carolina.

Success soon followed and he became a professional at the game owing to a technique he fondly called his, ‘secret’. His ‘secret’ allowed him to hit a power draw which he could control, by abating his left grip and swaying his arm in a clock-like motion.

From 1943 to 1945, his career was interrupted by a call for military service at the World War II. He served as a utility pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force and was stationed at Fort Worth, Texas.

Due to World War II, he missed a couple of years of golf. However, he returned full-time to the sport in 1946, during the P.G.A championship, which he won. Two years later, he won the championship yet again.

From August 1945 to February 1949, Hogan had won 37 times. However, a fatal car collision in 1949 jolted his career off balance, paralyzing him for sixteen months after the accident.

Despite the doctors mentioning that he would never be able to play again, he was more determined than ever to return to the sport; and so he did, during the 1950 U.S. Open. Not only did he participate in the event, but he won it, playing 36 holes on the final day, despite severe pain.

From 1950 onwards, he decided to play just seven PGA Tour events in a single year and won 13 more tournaments, including 6 majors. Until Tiger Woods broke his record in the new millennium, Hogan was the only man to win three professional majors in a year.

In 1951, he entered five tournaments, winning three of them including the World Championship of Golf, the U.S. Open and the Masters.

In 1953, he won the Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open, being the only golfer in history to win all three in the same year. He was meant to participate in the PGA Championship as well, but could not as the dates clashed with those of the British Open.

During fall the same year, he started his own golf business called, the ‘Ben Hogan Golf Company’ at Fort Worth. In 1957, he authored the instructional golf guide, ‘Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf’, which became a didactic success.

In 1960, he sold the company to American Machine and Foundry (AMF), but stayed on as the chairman. The company was then sold to Cosmo World of Japan, Bill Goodwin, Spalding and then Callaway Golf, before being discontinued.

In 1967, Hogan shot a best 30 on the back nine at the Masters before retiring officially, four years later.

Awards & Achievements

He won the Vardon Trophy three times for the lowest average score in 1940, 1941 and 1948.

In 1974, he was inducted into the ‘World Golf Hall of Fame’.

In 1976, he was honored with the ‘Bob Jones Award’, which is one of the highest distinctions conferred by the United States Golf Association for sportsmanship in golf.

He is featured at no. 38 in ESPN’s list of ‘SportsCentury 50 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century’, in 1999.

In 2000, he was ranked the ‘second greatest player of all time’ by Golf Digest magazine.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Valerie Fox in April 1935. He met her during Sunday school in Fort Worth and was then re-acquainted with her during his club pro job.

The couple survived a fatal head-on collision with a bus on February 2, 1949. In order to save his wife, he threw himself across his wife to protect her, which in turn, saved his life as well. Had he not moved from his seat to protect her, the steering column would have punctured his chest.

The accident left him paralyzed for several months with doctors stating that he would never be able to walk, let alone get back to the game. However, he was discharged from the hospital 59 days after the accident and he stunned all his fans when he made a comeback.

He passed away in Fort Worth, Texas after suffering from poor health since a surgery for colon cancer.

His legacy is extensive. A biopic on Hogan’s life titled, ‘Follow the Sun: The Ben Hogan Story’ was released, where Glenn Ford portrayed Hogan.

A special room is dedicated to Hogan’s career, comeback and accomplishments at the United States Golf Association Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History.

When he was alive, he helped design the original plans for the Trophy Club Country Club Golfcourse and 9 of the 18 holes there are known as the ‘Hogan’ course.

Apart from this, there are also two Ben Hogan Awards in golf, one which is presented to a college golfer and another award presented to any golfer who overcomes any handicap or damage to get back to the sport.

Trivia

This famous American golfer, who was regarded as one of the ‘best ball-strikers’, played and practiced the sport without wearing any glove, unlike the other players of the time.

// Famous Sportspersons

Ben Hogan awards

YearNameAward

Other

1942PGA Tour leading money winner
1946PGA Tour leading money winner
1948PGA Tour leading money winner
1948PGA Player of the Year
1950PGA Player of the Year
1951PGA Player of the Year
1953PGA Player of the Year
1940Vardon Trophy
1941Vardon Trophy
1948Vardon Trophy
1953Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year
1953Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete of the year
1976Bob Jones Award
1974 - World Golf Hall of Fame
1940 - PGA Tour leading money winner
1941 - PGA Tour leading money winner

Ben Hogan biography timelines

  • // 13th Aug 1912
    William Ben Hogan was the youngest child born to Chester and Clara Hogan, in Stephenville, Texas. The family moved to Fort Worth where they incurred numerous financial difficulties.
  • // 1927
    In 1927, when he was 15-years-old, he and his opponent, Byron Nelson tied for the top at the annual Christmas caddy tournament.
  • // 1930
    He dropped out of Central High School and began to focus his energies on playing golf professionally, debuting at the Texas Open in San Antonio, in 1930 at the age of 17, notwithstanding a terrible hook.
  • // 1932
    He participated in his first P.G.A. Tour in the 1932 Los Angeles Open, where he finished 38th and won $.8.50.
  • // Apr 1935
    He married Valerie Fox in April 1935. He met her during Sunday school in Fort Worth and was then re-acquainted with her during his club pro job.
  • // 1938 To 1941
    In 1938, he was hired by Century Country Club in Purchase, New York as an assistant pro and later became a head pro. In 1941, he was offered a head job at the Hershey Country Club in Pennsylvania, which he could not decline.
  • // 1940 To 1948
    He won the Vardon Trophy three times for the lowest average score in 1940, 1941 and 1948.
  • // Mar 1940
    Till March 1940, he had played a number of pro tournaments but without much success, but after that he won three successive tournaments in North Carolina.
  • // 1943 To 1945
    From 1943 to 1945, his career was interrupted by a call for military service at the World War II. He served as a utility pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force and was stationed at Fort Worth, Texas.
  • // Aug 1945 To 1949
    From August 1945 to February 1949, Hogan had won 37 times. However, a fatal car collision in 1949 jolted his career off balance, paralyzing him for sixteen months after the accident.
  • // 1946
    Due to World War II, he missed a couple of years of golf. However, he returned full-time to the sport in 1946, during the P.G.A championship, which he won. Two years later, he won the championship yet again.
  • // 2nd Feb 1949
    The couple survived a fatal head-on collision with a bus on February 2, 1949. In order to save his wife, he threw himself across his wife to protect her, which in turn, saved his life as well. Had he not moved from his seat to protect her, the steering column would have punctured his chest.
  • // 1950
    Despite the doctors mentioning that he would never be able to play again, he was more determined than ever to return to the sport; and so he did, during the 1950 U.S. Open. Not only did he participate in the event, but he won it, playing 36 holes on the final day, despite severe pain.
  • // 1950
    From 1950 onwards, he decided to play just seven PGA Tour events in a single year and won 13 more tournaments, including 6 majors. Until Tiger Woods broke his record in the new millennium, Hogan was the only man to win three professional majors in a year.
  • // 1951
    In 1951, he entered five tournaments, winning three of them including the World Championship of Golf, the U.S. Open and the Masters.
  • // 1953
    In 1953, he won the Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open, being the only golfer in history to win all three in the same year. He was meant to participate in the PGA Championship as well, but could not as the dates clashed with those of the British Open.
  • // 1957
    During fall the same year, he started his own golf business called, the ‘Ben Hogan Golf Company’ at Fort Worth. In 1957, he authored the instructional golf guide, ‘Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf’, which became a didactic success.
  • // 1960
    In 1960, he sold the company to American Machine and Foundry (AMF), but stayed on as the chairman. The company was then sold to Cosmo World of Japan, Bill Goodwin, Spalding and then Callaway Golf, before being discontinued.
  • // 1967
    In 1967, Hogan shot a best 30 on the back nine at the Masters before retiring officially, four years later.
  • // 1974
    In 1974, he was inducted into the ‘World Golf Hall of Fame’.
  • // 1976
    In 1976, he was honored with the ‘Bob Jones Award’, which is one of the highest distinctions conferred by the United States Golf Association for sportsmanship in golf.
  • // 1999
    He is featured at no. 38 in ESPN’s list of ‘SportsCentury 50 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century’, in 1999.
  • // 2000
    In 2000, he was ranked the ‘second greatest player of all time’ by Golf Digest magazine.

// Famous Alumni of University Of Oregon

Ben Hogan's FAQ

  • What is Ben Hogan birthday?

    Ben Hogan was born at 1912-08-13

  • When was Ben Hogan died?

    Ben Hogan was died at 1997-07-25

  • Where was Ben Hogan died?

    Ben Hogan was died in Fort Worth

  • Which age was Ben Hogan died?

    Ben Hogan was died at age 84

  • Where is Ben Hogan's birth place?

    Ben Hogan was born in Texas

  • What is Ben Hogan nationalities?

    Ben Hogan's nationalities is American

  • What is Ben Hogan nick names?

    Ben Hogan's nickNames is The Hawk, Bantam Ben, The Wee Iceman

  • Who is Ben Hogan spouses?

    Ben Hogan's spouses is Valerie Fox (1911–1999)

  • Who is Ben Hogan siblings?

    Ben Hogan's siblings is Royal

  • What was Ben Hogan universities?

    Ben Hogan studied at University Of Oregon, University of Oregon

  • What was Ben Hogan notable alumnis?

    Ben Hogan's notable alumnis is University Of Oregon

  • Which company or organization was founded by Ben Hogan?

    Ben Hogan was the founder/co-founder of Ben Hogan Golf Company

  • Who is Ben Hogan's father?

    Ben Hogan's father is Chester Hogan

  • Who is Ben Hogan's mother?

    Ben Hogan's mother is Clara Williams Hogan

  • What is Ben Hogan's sun sign?

    Ben Hogan is Leo

  • How famous is Ben Hogan?

    Ben Hogan is famouse as American professional golfer