Throughout his life Mr. Hogan overcame a very traumatic childhood, recovered from a nearly fatal head-on collision with a bus and built a golf equipment empire. Ben Hogan was born in a small town in Texas called Dublin.
He was one of three children. When Ben was only six years old he witnessed his father commit suicide while playing in the same room. “At age nine my childhood was shot through the heart”.(p.14) obviously Hogan was traumatize by the tragedy. Hogan’s instinctive reaction was to become protective of his mother. After the suicide the family underwent serious financial problems. To do his part Ben began selling newspapers, until he heard that there was big money to be made at the local golf club for caddies. This was Hogan’s ticket into golf, with golf being considered a “rich man’s” game Hogan probably would never have started playing golf.
Because of the poor wages the caddies received, most of the caddies made money by gambling on golf, this was where Hogan’s dedication was shown even as a child. Hogan was much smaller than any of the other caddies so they usually beat him. But Hogan wouldn’t accept it, instead he would show up for work a couple of hours early and practice his heart out, “Sometimes I practiced until my hands bled.”(p.11) Finally he began winning the bets, but also caddy and junior tournaments too. Secondly, on February 1, 1949 Hogan was on top of the world, having won the US OPEN, the MASTERS and appearing on the cover of Time life Magazine.
Until he collided head on with a twenty thousand pound passenger bus. Hogan suffered a broken collarbone, broken left ankle, broken right leg, broken pelvis and a few broken ribs. In the weeks after the accident several other complications occurred like blood clots in his lungs, the doctors said he would probably never play competitive golf again. However in the months of recovery that followed, Hogan practiced the things he could do with his injuries like practice his short game. For the next thirteen months Hogan practiced to the best of his ability, gradually improving. Thirteen months later he entered the L.A open and finished second this demonstration shocked the world, for it was only thirteen months earlier people thought they would never see Hogan play again. In 1953 Hogan decided to produce his own line of clubs.
In 1954, after a year of struggling sales, Hogan bought out his partners due to “creative differences”. Hogan took time off his regular playing schedule in order to oversee operations of his plant and to, “see if I can make some damn money out of this thing.”(p.207) Hogan worked harder than anyone in ’54 designing clubs that he liked and felt were traditional. But it wasn’t until he realized people wanted something new, that he made money. After his revolutionary cavity back design made his company number one in sales he decided he had done enough. Hogan decided to sell the company. He sold the company that he started for only 500 000 dollars thirty years later, for approximately 210 million dollars. He died on July 25, 1997.
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