Hogan by Curt Sampson

When I’m not playing golf … or writing about it … I like to read about it (o.k., I’m obsessed).

One of the most interesting books I’ve in recent months is Hogan by Curt Sampson.

Hogan is a figure obscured by the fog of legend. Everyone knows of his relentless pursuit of perfection, of his reputation for coolness and of the devastating automobile crash.

But Sampson’s book sheds some light on Hogan’s personal life. He comes as close as I think anyone can to revealing the “real” Ben Hogan. Although Hogan gave few revealing interviews during his life, Sampson uses every resource at his disposal to explain his foibles and motivations. It could not have been an easy job, but Sampson has produced a very enjoyable read.

In the end, I found Ben Hogan to be a sympathetic and very human character—not at all like the more popular image of him as an unlikable “ice man.”


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2 thoughts on “Hogan by Curt Sampson”

  1. I worked at Shady Oaks Country Club in high school, and saw Hogan on occasion. Mister Hogan. I only saw him hit balls once, because he always used the same caddy, and not one of us hanging around the shack. But he hit two drives off the tenth tee that I had the pleasure of seeing. They finished about two feet apart nearly 300 yards down the fairway.

    I have Dodson’s book and enjoyed it. But for anyone not from Fort Worth it may not be as interesting.

  2. Can I ask a question of Curt Sampson himself and get an answer?  I have an updated edition of HOGAN and have always been struck by what seems a huge gap in logic that suddenly happens on p.205—leaving a great deal unsaid, I’m thinking, about the creation and actual value and impact of FIVE LESSONS. (Not to mention some transition to clubmaking.) I’m guessing that the book’s great promise was compromised by what Hogan wasn’t “telling.”  Did you chase that rabbit?


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