Ben Hogan Blade Irons
Even though Callaway Golf bought out Ben Hogan as a premium creator of golf supplies the name still has power in the world of vast greens and sand traps.
About Ben Hogan and Golf
In the summer of 1955, the Ben Hogan golf club factory was flooded with orders. This happened because in the National Open at San Francisco, the golfers who finished one and two were using Ben Hogan clubs. Interesting to note, Jack Fleck won in an upset over Hogan in that June 19 championship.
Prior to this, the Ben Hogan golf club manufacturing business enjoyed a two year backlog of orders, owing to Hogan's reputation as a perfectionist and his already having won four National Open championships.
Manufacturing at the plant began in 1954. By September of that year production had reached 600 sets of golf clubs per month. Abruptly shutting down the operation due to dissatisfaction with the product, Hogan was faced with a stockpile of about $150,000 in golf clubs that he considered to be rejects. Only after extensive deliberation did he decide to ship them as second-line Hogan clubs.
Long before opening his factory, Hogan customized and adjusted his golf clubs in the pro shop of the Colonial Country Club. The problem he faced in his factory was first getting machinery made that could produce the golf clubs the way he wanted them. The machines were very expensive, and personnel to operate them had to be carefully trained. Hogan felt that every step of club-making was an art.
Ben Hogan, the fabled Texas Hawk, spent a lot of time at his factory, participating in the production of the golf clubs that were to bear his name. In 1961, Ben Hogan sold his Ben Hogan Golf Club Co. to the American Machine and Foundry Co.
On June 12, 1948, Ben Hogan won his first United States Open Championship, at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. He shot a 72-hole score of 276 on the par 284 course. The Riviera's championship golf course was par 71 and 7,020 yards. Hogan's 276 broke the U.S. Open tournament record of 281 strokes for 72 holes, which had stood since it was registered by Ralph Guldahl in 1937 at Detroit. He also broke the 54-hole score of that stood at 211.
Bantam Ben Hogan shot a 67 on the first round and 72 on the second. For the final rounds he shot 68 and 69, as did second place finisher Jimmy Demaret. Hogan had a two-stroke lead over Demaret as they started the final 18 holes.
Hogan became the first man to win both the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship in the same year since Gene Sarazen did it in 1922.
For winning this U.S. Open golf championship, Ben Hogan got $2,000 and Demaret received $1,500 for second place. Jim Turnesa earned $1,000 for his third place 280 stroke finish.