Monday, August 18, 2014

As promised here is another installment of 'On This Day in Hogan History':

by Mark Baron and Tom McCarthy

On August 8, 1955, Life Magazine released their interview with Ben Hogan with his that now he was semi-retired and would finally reveal his secret he discovered in 1946.  Several times after 1946 he would only admit that he had a “secret” and a number of professional golfers speculated about it in the April 5, 1954 Life Magazine, which only piqued the interest of golfers everywhere.

Life Magazine paid Hogan $25,000, a huge amount in that day, for this article, but many people believed Hogan did not reveal all that he knew in the article.  From time to time over the next several decades, he stated there was more to the “secret” than he had previously disclosed.  He reportedly offered to reveal his actual “secret” in a new article for a fee of $100,000.  No magazine wanted to pay that kind of money in those days and the deal was never finalized. 

Some believe that the actual “secret” went with him to the grave, but others claimed that he told them what it was and he made them promise not to tell.  One such person shagged balls for Hogan at his country club, Jody Vasquez.  In his book "Afternoons with Mr. Hogan" Vazquez provided some additional specific keys that Mr. Hogan gave him.  However, some believe, including Dan Jenkins the great golf writer and long-time Hogan fan, that his “secret” was simply to dig it out of the dirt through many hours of practice.

Pictured is the cover of Life Magazine from August 8, 1955 of Ben Hogan showing one of the secrets he more fully describes in the article.

See our next blog for more about 'Ben Hogan's Secret'!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ben Hogan History - August 6: Hogan's Hole In One!

On This Day in Hogan History:

by Mark Baron with Tom McCarthy

On August 6, 1947 Ben made a hole in one at the 161-yard fourth hole during the final round of the Esmeralda Open played at the Indian Canyon Golf Course in Spokane Washington. The ball hit on the edge of the green and curled long across the green to drop in the hole. It was his second hole-in-one in his professional career, the first coming in 1934 at the 10th hole in the Texas Open, held at Brackenridge Park Golf Course.  It is an unsubstantiated rumor that Ben had five hole-in-ones in his lifetime, (ie playing in practice rounds or in tournaments).  He ended up shooting a 68 to finish T-2 along with Johnny Palmer, Ed Furgol and Ellsworth Vines, taking home $1,066.66, one stroke behind the winner Herman Keiser.  Ben missed a putt for par from less than 2 feet on the final hole that would have tied Keiser and forced a playoff.   Hogan, who was battling the flu, praised Keiser as “the world’s greatest putter even though he does not like to be called it.”