The Professional Tour
In February of 1930, after the Depression had dealt another blow to the already-struggling Hogan family, Hogan registered for the Texas Open as a professional. He had a poor beginning and quit after the first two rounds. He tried again a week later, at a tournament in Houston, and again quit after two rounds. Hogan went home and worked at odd jobs for a year while continuing to practice whenever possible in preparation to give the tour another try in 1931.
The professional tour was not a place to get rich in the Depression years, even for the winners, and Hogan was not yet one of those. He finished in the money for the first time in Phoenix in the winter of 1931-32, but that win only provided $50. After a few more opens, with occasional but always small winnings, Hogan was broke. He returned to Texas and took a job as the club professional at the Nolan River Country Club, an hour south of Fort Worth. There, he continued to practice, but he also found some time to date a young woman named Valerie Fox, whom he had first met in Sunday school in Fort Worth several years before.
Hogan and Fox were married on April 14, 1935. Two years later, after buying a used Buick and saving up $1,400, they decided to give life on the professional tour one more try. By January of 1938, they were down to $86, but then, just before they went completely broke, Hogan won $285 at the Oakland, California Open. Within months, he was offered a $500 a year job as a club professional in White Plains, New York, and he was invited to play in his first Masters. That July, Hogan had his first ever tournament win, at the Hershey Four-Ball, which paid him $1,100. He finished in the money in all of the remaining tournaments of the year, for total winnings of $4,150.