Ben Hogan is a golf legend. The former PGA professional won 69 tournaments during his long career. Of those wins, 64 came on the PGA Tour, placing Hogan fourth all-time in event wins. He is one of the few golfers to ever win the grand slam. It was a feat he completed in 1953 after winning the Open Championship for the first and only time.
Hogan turned professional in 1930. It was an era in which golf clubs lacked the same capabilities golfers enjoy today. Theories abound that Hogan had a “secret” way of swinging his golf clubs that allowed him to gain distance and ball control. His swings were always consistent and his play influenced magazines to write articles about his “secret” swing. It was believed other golfers could emulate it and rise to Hogan’s level.
It took Hogan 16 years after turning professional to win his first ever major. The win came in 1946 at the PGA Championship. Hogan was 34-years old win he won it. Suddenly, the major victories came in short succession. In an eight-year period, Hogan won all nine of his major titles. The figure makes Hogan fourth all-time in major wins.
Interestingly, many golf historians believe Hogan should be awarded a 10th major championship victory. He won the 1942 Hale America Open, a tournament that substituted for the U.S. Open that year. Historians believe Hogan should be awarded a fifth U.S. Open championship due to his win.
Hogan was named PGA Player of the Year on four occasions between 1948 and 1953. In the 1940s, he dominated the PGA Tour leading money winner list, topping it on five occasions from 1940 to 1948. Hogan retired from golf in 1971 after 41 years of playing professionally. Three years later, Hogan was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The legendary golfer passed away on July 25, 1997 in Fort Worth, Texas of a stroke. It came just two years after undergoing surgery in his fight against colon cancer.