It started in Dublin, Texas …
Ben Hogan was born on August 13, 1912. He spent his childhood in Dublin before the family moved to Fort Worth when Ben was 9 years old.
Ben’s father and grandfather owned the Hogan Blacksmith Shop so as a young child, Ben was exposed to blacksmithing. Biographers write that understanding both the science and the art of metal were instrumental in Mr. Hogan’s development as a golfer and creator of some of the finest golf clubs ever made.
Even as a child, Ben Hogan experienced tragic events which may have contributed to the quiet, somewhat shy man he became. The first was the suicide of his father when Ben was just 9 years old. The tragedy necessitated that the boys find employment to help support the family. Ben sold newspapers for awhile but heard that caddies were making 65 cents a game at Glen Gardens Country Club, seven miles from the Hogan home. So each day, Ben walked to the course to caddy. And there he was exposed to golf for the first time – and fell in love with the sport.
Young Hogan could not be considered a good golfer at that point. In fact it took a brutal 10 years, during which he went broke twice trying to turn pro, to finally become an outstanding ball striker.
When he finally began his professional career, he was called to serve in World War II. When he returned to the game afterward, he took awhile to return to his former skill level . Then in 1949, at the peak of his career, a head-on car wreck with a Greyhound bus threatened to claim his life. Mr. Hogan survived, but with massive injuries to his legs.
In what is considered one of the most impressive comebacks in sports history, Hogan learned to walk again and the following year won the U.S. Open at Merion, Pa. And in 1953, he won the Triple Crown: the Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open, all in the same year. It is a record that stands alone even today.
Hogan was known for his demanding practice regimen, his single-minded determinations and the amazing accuracy of his shot.
The greatest ballstriker of all time was probably one of the most complex men to ever play the game. Very much a product of the tragedies in his life, he also set the bar on hard work and dedication because of his deep love and commitment to the game. Few stories are more compelling and dramatic than the story of Ben Hogan, told through memorabilia, video interviews, movies and giant storyboards in the Ben Hogan Museum of Dublin.
As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.