"I have really enjoyed every minute I have spent in golf- above all, the many wonderful friends I have made. I have loved playing the game and practicing it. Whether my schedule for the following day called for a tournament round or merely a trip to the practice tee, the prospect that there was going to be golf in it made me feel privileged and extremely happy, and I couldn’t wait for the sun to come up the next morning so that I could get out on the course again"
"Well, I think anyone can do anything he wants to do if he wants to study or work hard enough… I really believe that. And relating to golf, I think, if you study and work hard enough, you can do almost anything you want to do with a golf ball in the air"
He had a different theory about once the ball got to the ground however…
"Because you don’t know what is going to happen. If all putting surfaces were identical, like a billiard table, for instance, then you could control that. And you can control a golf ball in the air but not on the ground. You are subject to too many undulations and grass changes and things like that. It’s utterly impossible. It could change by the hour."
"I think you are better off trying to move the ball one way or the other, or at least try to - and making it go that way… You decrease your margin of error all the time. For instance, if you take a 30 yard fairway and work it down the left side, you’ve got 30 yards to work with. But if you try to aim down the middle of the fairway, you only have 15 yards to work with-- It’s going one way or the other and you’re going to get in the rough. And playing to the green the same way. Everybody should do something so that they can control the ball. Everybody shouldn’t try to fade. They should control the ball, whether it’s a hook or fade or top or sky or whatever they want to do. and when they can do the same thing every time, then you can worry about judging distance"
Hogan thought that hitting a shot thirty feet long or thirty feet short was as bad as hitting one to the right or to the left by the same distance. He did not criticize players when they began stepping off yardages, but he also did not agree with the trend.
"I just think it’s part of the game to judge the distance. I get a great bang out of being able to look up there and say’ That looks like a 5 iron shot, but I want to lay off of it a little bit’ or ‘I want to give it a little more gas’… Personally, I get self satisfaction out of doing that. I don’t want to know the distance in the first place. If someone told me it was 167 yards, I couldn’t tell you what club I’d use. I wouldn’t have a clue. I think you have to visualize the shot and see the ball in the air and what’s going to happen to it and where the pin is cut and where you’re going to try and land it… It would take me a year of practice and go measure my shots to find out how far I hit a four iron or a five iron. I can’t tell you. The lie has a lot to do with it. Wind conditions, weather conditions, humidity- everything, you have to take into consideration… If you tell me it’s 167 yards, then you also have to tell me how strong the wind is blowing and from what direction and if there is any humidity and if it’s damp or a bright shiny day with no humidity- before I can possibly come up with some kind of club for you"
"Weight and size have little to do with golf…It is all about having a functional golf swing. The primary purpose in a tournament is to shoot the lowest score, not to have the prettiest swing"
Two nice videos of Hogan talking in his own words about his battles growing up and becoming a caddy.
I certainly can relate to Ben’s thoughts on yardages. I have noticed that when I am playing well, I’m feeling the yardages anyway. I find it a challenge to play a new course and just feel the shot. On a course you have played a few times, it gets better… and on your home course… who really needs yardages?
My home course "Mare Island’ is really fun to play without yardages. There is always wind, sidehill lies, and the fairways are not always perfect, so feeling the shot seems the natural way to play the course. I enjoy developing a relationship with each hole.
Each day plays slightly different, so adjusting to the ever changing conditions is part of golf out there.
I always used yardages on tour, but thinking back, I’m not really convinced it did me all that much good. For every time I missed a green long or short hitting what felt like a perfect shot, there were times I second guessed myself enough to pull a different club and go against my caddies suggestion and knocked one in there stiff.
I suspect that by not using yardages, you will learn the art of feeling your way around the course and open yourself up to a bit more of the magic we all feel when we are really tuned in and in the zone.
" Hit the ball up to the hole…you meet a better class of person there "
“The ultimate judge of your swing is the flight of the ball.”
“Golf is not a game of good shots. It’s a game of bad shots.”
“The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight”
“I would take longer on the first tee than I would any other place on the golf course. I was gearing my brain, taking a look at the fairway, taking three or four practice swings. A lot of people wondered what I was doing up there, why I didn’t tee the ball up and hit it. I was organizing myself to play this round. I thought harder about the first tee shot than any other shot I played. It set the tone for the day”
Nick Faldo during a meeting with Ben Hogan asked Hogan what in his opinion would it take for him to win the US Open-
Hogan replied- " Shoot the lowest score "
[b]" I liked to win, but more than anything, I loved to play the way I wanted to play"
[size=150]“You don’t hook a ball because you have a strong right hand… You hook it because you have a weak left”[/size]
Hogan on golf course architecture
“Why build a torture chamber? Why not build something everybody can enjoy. You can get TOO much water on a golf course. I think almost every golf course needs a little water, on one or two or three holes, just for aesthetics… But not too much. Not on damn near every hole”
Hogan talking about the test procedures for the Hogan brand of clubs.
" We have a testing machine here- [size=150]ME![/size]"
" I realize in some ways that I can be a demanding man and that some things are harder for certain people to do than I may appreciate, but it really cuts me up to watch some golfer sweating over his shots on the practice tee, throwing away his energy to no constructive purpose, and nine times out of ten doing the same thing wrong he did years and years back when he first took up golf… He’s going to get worse and worse because he’s going to get his bad habits more and more deeply ingrained"
" I just played with a kid who, if he had a brain in his head, would have won by 10 shots"
Hogan’s comment reacting to reporters questions after playing the final 36 holes of the 1960 US Open with Jack Nicklaus, who finished runner-up as an amateur
" That’s why they make eighteen holes"
Hogan’s response to fellow competitor Ken Venturi, who remarked to Hogan, “that’s a hell of a way to start” after Hogan double bogeyed the first hole of the round
"To tell you where the pin is, I think that is a mistake. Using your judgment is part of golf. I used to play a golf course and I could tell you within four feet where every pin was going to be. I didn’t know which day it would be there, but I knew it was going to be there. You can play a practice round on a golf course and tell where they are going to put the pin for the four days. We used to play a two dollar nassau on practice days and [size=150]I never won one of them because I always shot where I thought the pin was going to be in the tournament.[/size] I never shot at the practice pin"
Ben Hogan response to modern day players over reliance on exact yardages