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Ben Hogan

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.


1912 Born August 13 in Stephensville, Texas
1921 Hogan family moves to Fort Worth
1922 Hogan's father commits suicide
1930 Turns professional in February
1935 Marries Valerie Fox April 14
1938 Wins first professional tournament, the Hershey Four-Ball
1943 Drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps in March
1945 Discharged from the military in August
1948 Wins first major tournaments
1949 Involved in near-fatal car accident
1951 Follow the Sun is released
1954 Founds Hogan Company
1971 Retires from competitive golf
1989 Ben Hogan Tour for aspiring professionals launched
1990 Hogan Award, honoring the top U.S. college golfer, first awarded
1997 Dies at his Fort Worth home July 25
1999 Room dedicated to Hogan opens at the USGA Museum

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Famous Sports StarsGolfBen Hogan - Growing Up, The Professional Tour, Chronology, Success, Disaster, Awards And Accomplishments, Related Biography: Golfer Byron Nelson - SELECTED WRITINGS BY HOGAN: