Born William Ben Hogan on August 13, 1912, the professional golfer would become known as Ben Hogan, one of the greatest golfers in the game. His influence on golf swing theory and his ability to strike the ball became legendary.
Hogan took home nine major championships, placing him fourth all-time, right behind Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Walter Hagen. He has won all four majors with his first major win at 34 years of age.
Hogan’s Exceptional Career
Hogan had an impressive career with ten tournament wins in 1948, including the US Open at Riviera Country Club. In fact, this location was so successful for him that one of the courses was referred to as Hogan’s Alley. He set a record that year for his eight-under par score. This record held until 1980 when Jack Nicklaus matched it. The record wasn’t broken until 2000 when Tiger Woods held 12-under par.
Hogan also won 13 events on the PGA tour in 1946, the only player to this day to carry such a distinction twice. He also has the claim for the longest streak to finish in the top five major events consecutively from 1940 to 1947 and again from 1948 to 1956.
Ben Hogan was one of two players to win the US Open three times in a row in three attempts. He also finished in the top 10 in twelve consecutive attempts for the US Open, which is also the longest streak. Hogan is the only golfer to win the Masters along with the US Open and British Open in the same year, which he accomplished in 1953.
While his numbers speak for themselves, what makes Hogan’s career even more outstanding is the fact that he suffered injury in a car accident that was nearly fatal in 1949. He had multiple injuries, including blood clots that would cause circulation problems throughout his life. His doctors thought he might never walk again or play golf. However, he was ready to play golf again by November of that year and returned to the PGA tour the following year.
The Business Side of Golf
Ben Hogan started a company in 1953 for golf equipment. The Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company began producing clubs for the better player. Though he sold the company just seven years later, he continued as chairman for several years. AMF Ben Hogan golf clubs continued to be sold until 1985, but the brand was in use until 2008. Since then, Eidolon Brands won the rights to use the Ben Hogan name for a new line of clubs in 2014.
Claim to Fame
Hogan is revered as one of the best ball strikers to ever play golf. Other top golfers credit Hogan as one of the few golfers to own their swing, having complete control of the swing and the flight of the ball. He was revered as the best golfer in his day and one of the best of all-time. Along with his calm, almost stoic demeanor, he never seemed rattled by pressure of the game.