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Why do people revere Ben Hogan so? - Page 3

post #37 of 86

Re: Why do people revere Ben Hogan so?

I admire him for quantifying the swing mechanics. Quantifying and analog motion is difficult and he nailed it. I am reading Hogan's book and will start Stack and Tilt next week because of Eric's review.
post #38 of 86

Why do people who try and emulate Hogan's swing, feel the need to all of the sudden wear cab driver hats and pull their pants up past their navels? lol....

 

Curious to see what any of the TST pros have to say about this guy trying to teach the "golf swing."

 

post #39 of 86

Good question.

 

I think the answer lies in the people who revere him, and not in the man himself.  By all accounts, Hogan was a decent and honest and didn't give off much in the way of warm and fuzzies.  He grew up hard and as a result he was a hard man.  It's interesting how golf has these pairing of the champion with the common touch, and the one with the more austere personality--Hogan and Byron Nelson, Jack and Arnie, Tiger and Phil, head and heart.  At least, those are the public personas.

 

It is a little weird how Hogan accolytes refer to him as 'Mr.' Hogan.  But then people who've never met the guy refer to Eldrick Woods as Tiger, even though Mr. Woods wouldn't know them from Adam.  And that's Adam as in Adam and Eve, not Adam Scott.

post #40 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by DwightC View Post
 

Good question.

 

It is a little weird how Hogan accolytes refer to him as 'Mr.' Hogan.  But then people who've never met the guy refer to Eldrick Woods as Tiger, even though Mr. Woods wouldn't know them from Adam.  And that's Adam as in Adam and Eve, not Adam Scott.

I think it is related to the era Hogan played in and that given his personality he preferred to be called "Mr. Hogan" by non-friends, especially those his junior.  Today there's a lot less formality, so it's unlikely that you'll hear any golfer referred to as "Mr." but given Tiger's unique name it was almost a given he'd be referred to by it.

post #41 of 86

I think it is simple.  He overcame tremendous challenges and became the best of his time and, arguably, all time.

 

And he played at a time when fans did not think the stars were personal friends of theirs and judged athletes by their accomplishments, not their personalities.

post #42 of 86

IMHO Ben Hogan was the greatest golfer of all-time, and it's not even close.  In his prime he was every bit as dominant at Tiger, against unbelievably tough competition in Snead and Nelson, and later Palmer and Nicklaus, without being born with the physical talents of a Woods, Nicklaus, Snead or Nelson.  Became the greatest golfer of all-time by sheer force of will, and relentless determination.  Then at the height of career he is nearly killed in a bus crash, spent 59 days in the hospital recovering, and was told he might never walk again.  Again, through sheer force of will, he manages to not only walk again, but is able to return to his previous golfing form in spite of his crippled legs.  In 1953, on legs so bad he could barely walk, he won all three of the majors he played in (The Masters, US Open, and British Open) and 5 of the six tournaments in total he played that year.  He was unable to play the PGA Championship that year because it was held at the same time as the British Open.
 

 

He was socially awkward, and an extreme introvert, but he was never rude and always a classy guy.  He was so focused on his own game that one time his playing partner got a hole-in-one, and when they finished playing the hole Hogan asked him "What did you score?"

post #43 of 86

From everything I have seen/heard first hand, Ben was absolutely the greatest ball striker of all time and for that, he should be remembered and revered. As for any personality shortcomings that he may have had, I more than give him a pass on those considering his difficult (to say the least) childhood and the incredible adversity he overcame in his career. Oh, and tossing himself over his wife in the bus accident in an effort to protect her doesn't hurt his legacy either.

post #44 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfnz34me View Post
 

In his prime he was every bit as dominant at Tiger

 

No he wasn't.

 

* (Click to show)
Apologies for the brevity, but it's a very very busy day for me. I don't believe you can demonstrate that he was dominant at all. Furthermore, the strength of field was incredibly weak in Hogan's day and age. Weaker than in Nicklaus's age, and much, much weaker than in Tiger's day and age (modern times).
post #45 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

No he wasn't.

 

 

No, he wasn't. But we'll see if Tiger comes back from a much less severe injury with anywhere near the second career Ben had- my guess would be that he won't.

 

Either way, apples and oranges trying to compare the two.

post #46 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by skydog View Post

No, he wasn't. But we'll see if Tiger comes back from a much less severe injury with anywhere near the second career Ben had- my guess would be that he won't.

Pretty irrelevant. Ben wasn't 37 or whatever, and Tiger already won on a broken leg.
post #47 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post


Pretty irrelevant. Ben wasn't 37 or whatever, and Tiger already won on a broken leg.

 

Ben was six months shy of 37 at the time. And the accident was so bad that most doctors thought he may never walk again. Not to mention the fact that he was left with permanent circulatory issues that made playing a round of golf extremtly painful. But you're right, Tiger's 2008 stress fracture win was much more impressive...

 

Like I said, Ben wasn't more dominant than Tiger or whatever career adjective/label people want to throw out there, but his comeback from that accident far surpasses anything Tiger (or most any other athlete) has ever done.

post #48 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

No he wasn't.

 

* (Click to show)
Apologies for the brevity, but it's a very very busy day for me. I don't believe you can demonstrate that he was dominant at all. Furthermore, the strength of field was incredibly weak in Hogan's day and age. Weaker than in Nicklaus's age, and much, much weaker than in Tiger's day and age (modern times).

 

It's certainly debatable to say he was better than Tiger, but not dominant at all? It's hard to say that even Tiger had a more dominant run than Hogan from 1946-1953. And Tiger is the only other guy in the history of golf in that discussion. Jack has more career accompishments, but accumulated over a longer period of time. His peak wasn't as high.

 

Even comparing career stats:

 

Tiger Woods: 312 PGA events, 79 wins (25.3%), 127 top 3 finishes (40.1%).
Ben Hogan: 292 PGA events, 64 wins (21.9%), 139 top 3 finishes (47.6%).

 

But you have to also consider, Hogan had only one tour win by age 27, missed three years because he served in WWII from ages 30-32, didn't win his first major until just after his 34th birthday, and then had the auto accident at age 36.  

 

You can make the strength of field argument, but I'm not sure how it applies to the top guys like this. Sure, there's more people playing golf today, but that doesn't mean that the very best are better.  Otherwise, you could say there's lots more people today than there were in 1500, so today's best artists must be better than Raphel, Michaelangelo, and DaVinci. And there's more people playing electric guitar than there were in the 1960s, so today's best electric guitarists must be better than Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page. 

 

I don't think it works that way. It is very hard to compare across different eras, and different people will have different opinions based on the criteria they choose, but Hogan at least is somewhere in the discussion, as one of the top 5 all time.


Edited by acerimusdux - 6/24/14 at 5:05pm
post #49 of 86

To answer the original question, there are a handful of other guys who might have been as good golfers or had as nice a swing, but Hogan

 

1. was a top 5 golfer all time

2. wrote one of the top golf instruction books all time

3. and made some of the best golf clubs as well

4. it's a matter of opinion, but also had one of the nicest looking swings.

 

No one else did all four (or even 3) of those things. And the fact that he wasn't especially likeable, should tell you that when his contemporaries rave about how good he was, and how influential, it isn't because they really want to say something nice about a buddy.  And yet you have quotes like:

 

Gary Player: "in my opinion, Ben Hogan was the greatest player in the history of golf" and "Nobody has come close to hitting the ball like him– the quality of the strike, and the swing."

 

Jack Nicklaus: (asked if Tiger was the best ball striker he's ever seen): "No, no -- Ben Hogan, easily."

 

Tom Weiskopf: "Every time I'd play with him [Ben Hogan], I could play pretty well—I felt like I was a caddie. I felt like I shouldn't even be out there. He played that much better than anybody else, in my mind, in my estimation, of the players that I ever saw play the game."

 

And Lee Trevino dedicated his own book to Hogan, "A great golfer who unknowingly influenced me to consistently fade the ball", because he had been inspired to learn to hit a fade just by watching Hogan on a driving range hitting practice balls.

 

So certainly he's not the only guy to emulate or admire or respect, but if you want to learn about the golf swing, Hogan still isn't a bad place to start. Of course there's lots of things that have been learned since the 1950s as well, so what Hogan says shouldn't be treated as gospel, either. 

post #50 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by acerimusdux View Post

You can make the strength of field argument, but I'm not sure how it applies to the top guys like this. Sure, there's more people playing golf today, but that doesn't mean that the very best are better.  Otherwise, you could say there's lots more people today than there were in 1500, so today's best artists must be better than Raphel, Michaelangelo, and DaVinci. And there's more people playing electric guitar than there were in the 1960s, so today's best electric guitarists must be better than Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page.
I think you're looking at it from the wrong angle. It's not that today's top pros are better than the top pros of yesteryear, but that today's mediocre pros are better than the mediocre pros of yesteryear.

That's why Tiger is the most dominant, not because he is better than Hogan heads up (we will never know), but because he dominates a field of players who are, collectively, better than their predecessors.
post #51 of 86
I respect Hogan for his dedication to practice and overcoming his car crash. I don't respect him as a person however (assuming these examples are true). Faldo once told the story on air about how he wanted to win the US Open even though he already had won a couple majors. So he visited Hogan at his office in Texas and got a meeting. He asked Hogan what he should do to achieve his goal. Hogan simply asked what clubs Faldo was playing (Wilson) and Hogan said get out of my office. I heard a former US Amatuer champion tell when he was playing a practice round at The Masters (Amatuer champs get invites). This guy was on the first tee getting ready to hit (he was paired with another little known golfer). Hogan comes up, puts a tee in the ground, tees off and goes on down the fairway not saying a word.
post #52 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristphoto View Post

I respect Hogan for his dedication to practice and overcoming his car crash. I don't respect him as a person however (assuming these examples are true). Faldo once told the story on air about how he wanted to win the US Open even though he already had won a couple majors. So he visited Hogan at his office in Texas and got a meeting. He asked Hogan what he should do to achieve his goal. Hogan simply asked what clubs Faldo was playing (Wilson) and Hogan said get out of my office. I heard a former US Amatuer champion tell when he was playing a practice round at The Masters (Amatuer champs get invites). This guy was on the first tee getting ready to hit (he was paired with another little known golfer). Hogan comes up, puts a tee in the ground, tees off and goes on down the fairway not saying a word.

I've heard that story as well, you have to remember that the pro's in Hogan's time made significantly less money winning tournaments than the pro's do today.  Hogan had his own line of clubs, he was personally invested in seeing his line of clubs succeed to put food on his families table, so while he may have not handled Faldo diplomatically he was protecting his own interests.

 

Read some books on Hogan, read how he grew up, worked from a very early age, witnessed his father commit suicide, served his country during the prime of his career and almost sacrificed his life to save his wife in a horrible car accident with a bus and then say you don't respect him as a person.

post #53 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfnz34me View Post
 

IMHO Ben Hogan was the greatest golfer of all-time, and it's not even close.  

Bizarre how one could hold such an "opinion".

You're suggesting that Woods or Nicklaus, to name two, are "not even close".

On what grounds? By what standards?

I would suggest that one might be making an argument to say that Hogan may well be up in the top 5 of all time, but to say he is unquestionably at the top of the tree is not a sustainable argument. It's simply wrong. And that is not a matter of opinion.

post #54 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post
 

Bizarre how one could hold such an "opinion".

You're suggesting that Woods or Nicklaus, to name two, are "not even close".

On what grounds? By what standards?

I would suggest that one might be making an argument to say that Hogan may well be up in the top 5 of all time, but to say he is unquestionably at the top of the tree is not a sustainable argument. It's simply wrong. And that is not a matter of opinion.


everyone, you included, are entitled to their own opinion. IMHO all three were the greatest and there is no comparison between the three.

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