Karen Wright, executive director of the Dublin EDC, and I recently had a conversation about one of the newest exhibits on display at Dublin’s Ben Hogan Museum. I was so intrigued by the story that I asked her to share it with you.
It is so easy for all of us to think of the famous golfer, his success, and his fame and see only what looks like a charmed life; however, as is always the case, there is a story behind the story.
The story behind the headline . . .
Ben and Valerie Hogan had followed the professional golf tour for 10 years. Now, with less than $100 in the bank, and having gone broke twice already, they resigned themselves that Ben Hogan wasn’t good enough to play golf for a living.
The morning of January 31, 1938 dawned to still another financial blow. While the Hogans slept, thieves stole the wheels off their car.
Accepting that this could be his last tournament, Mr. Hogan caught a ride to the course and then played his heart out. With a final score of 280, he finished sixth. The $285 he won that day was the biggest check he had ever gotten. That day and even decades later, Ben Hogan acknowledged that day as the turning point of his career. He earned enough to stay on the tour – and this time he succeeded. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Mrs. Hogan’s Little Black Book …
Valerie Hogan began a diary of the tour in 1937 in a little black book. Her details included where Ben was playing, how he finished and how much he won, sometimes she added how much he paid his caddy. In wartime, she listed the exhibitions and how much he received in war bonds.
The little black book, owned by the Hogan Estate, is a priceless piece of history. Through the generosity of Lisa Scott, Mrs. Hogan’s great niece, the book has been copied for the Ben Hogan Museum of Dublin. The book is open to January 31, 1938 — The Turning Point.