Every sport has their fair share of heroes, those who changed the sport, made things what they are today, and inspired the sportspeople of today.
Even golf has plenty of legends. Gold has plenty of heroes who changed the sports betting lines over the years.
While golf is not the best bet on sport in the US, and nor is it the most popular sport, it does have plenty of fans, and plenty of people who adore watching and playing it alike.
Today we see plenty of golfing legends, and golfers who have a large fan base, but, if we take a trip back in time, to the 40s and 50s, we will see the name of a golfer who changed things, and who made golf as incredible as it is today.
Ben Hogan. You might not be super familiar with his name today, but Hogan was a well-respected golfer in his day, and if you are a hardcore golf fan, you will undoubtedly know his name well.
Hogan was a professional golfer, and is considered to be one of the most talented golfers who ever lived. A majority of his influence was in his swing and ability to strike the ball.
He has nine major championships, which have him tied for being the 4th greatest player of all time. He is also one of only 5 players to have won all four major tournaments as well!
In his wake, he left behind a legacy, one that few of us are going to forget any time soon. Today, we want to take an in depth look at the legacy he left behind, from his skills, how he changed the game, and other factors that make him such a legend.
The Ben Hogan Foundation
The Ben Hogan Foundation is a foundation in the name of this legendary golfer. Its purpose is dedicated to the honoring and celebrating of Ben Hogan’s life. When the foundation directors make key decisions around the foundation, they always consider ‘What would Ben Hogan have done?’.
They promote golf, preserve Hogan’s legacy, support the development and character of youth, find and fund educational opportunities for youth, and support the military, all in the name of Ben Hogan.
For youth individuals who are interested in golf, or those who perhaps struggle with finding a way to grow and learn, the Ben Hogan foundation supports them, and provides opportunities to help them.
In his wake, Ben Hogan left this foundation behind, showing us all that something, even like golf, can have an impact on the lives of many others.
An Unforgettable Legend
Hogan loved his sport, and loved what he did, but even more, he loved his wife. In multiple interviews he praised his wife, and noted that it was her who made him the successful legend he was.
In fact, if Hogan had not lunged over the passenger seat to protect his wife Valerie on that day in February 1949, where in the Greyhound bus left Ben with a fractured rib and pelvis, he may not have survived.
In an article he said that the true key to good golf was not in his quality shots, or having a good putter, but it was in his wife. He knew his golf, but his misses knew him, managed him, and he praised her.
Hogan was a man who truly appreciated his wife.
So many remember the incredible moment of Hogan’s comeback. It was thought that he would never walk again, but he came back, strolled in and won like a legend. It made him a true pioneer in golf.
Hogan’s aloof attitude spurred on countless stories, as did his quiet nature. However, there were also plenty of stories around his near superhero-like golfing abilities.
He was a man who could drive the ball to the same divot spot on successive days. He was one of the few players to ever get a standing ovation at a practice range.
Let’s not forget how his swing inspires sections of the magazine ‘Golf Digest’ and books, influencing current golfing scenes, and new books on the range.
His Turn To Professional Golf
Hogan actually dropped out of high school in his final semester, deciding to turn pro around 6 months before his 18th birthday at the Texas Open in 1930.
His early pro years were hard, and he ended up broke on multiple occasions, it took a full decade for Hogan to get his first victory, but he didn’t falter, his wife believed in him, and it helped him battle on through the hardships.
Hogan is known for introducing a lot of what we know of golf to this day.
One of his swings which were of most importance was the ‘backswing’. He advocated for the use of a waggle because it allows you to loosen your muscles and lets your arms and hands remember where to go for the first part of the swing.
He was also known for the downswing as well, and more as well. He was a record breaking golfer, who introduced ways of playing we never would have thought of, if he didn’t swing it in.