Ben Hoganas former ball shagger recounts firsthand stories of the golf legendaand reveals, for the first time, Hoganas Swing Secret, a source of mystery to golfers for more than fifty years. Ben Hoganas pro-golf record is legendary. A four-time PGA Player of the Year, he celebrated sixty-three tournament wins and became known as a man of few ...
Ben Hoganas former ball shagger recounts firsthand stories of the golf legendaand reveals, for the first time, Hoganas Swing Secret, a source of mystery to golfers for more than fifty years. Ben Hoganas pro-golf record is legendary. A four-time PGA Player of the Year, he celebrated sixty-three tournament wins and became known as a man of few words and fewer close friends. Most of what we know about Hogan has been based on myth and speculation. Until now. In the 1960as, though Hoganas competitive career was over, he kept the practice habits that had made him famous and remade modern competitive golf. He hired fifteen-year-old Jody Vasquez to help. Each day, after driving to a remote part of the course at the Shady Oaks Country Club, Hogan would spend hours hitting balls, and Vasquez would retrieve them. There, and over the course of their twenty-year friendship, Hogan taught Jody the mechanics of his famous swing and shared his thoughts on playing, practicing, and course managementaunknowingly revealing much about his character, values, and beliefs, and the events that shaped them. In "Afternoons with Mr. Hogan," Jody Vasquez shares dozens of stories about Hogan, from the way he practiced, selected his clubs, and interacted with other star players to his little-known humor and generosity. Combining the gentle insight of Tom Kiteas "A Fairway to Heaven" (which recalls Kiteas golf education under Harvey Penick) with the sage perspective of Penickas own "Little Red Book," Vasquezas tribute is funny, poignant, and full of advice for golfers of all levels.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-01-05 Despite legendary golfer Ben Hogan's reported gruffness, reluctance to give interviews and inability to make polite small talk, people liked him. Especially first-time author Vasquez, who, at the age of 17, got a job shagging practice balls at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Tex., for the four-time U.S. Open champion, whom many still consider the greatest golfer in history. This slender volume, penned 36 years later, contains enlightening personal anecdotes and astounding golf tips that will thrill any enthusiast, including the secret to Hogan's legendary golf swing (hint" it's in the stance). "The Secret" was not revealed in Hogan's enormously popular book Five Lessons, or, apparently, to any other person than Vasquez before or since Hogan's death in 1997 (with once excetion: Vasquez secretly shared it with golfer Nick Faldo in 1989), but it is revealed to all here with the blessing of Hogan's widow, Valerie. Outstanding chapters include the meeting between Faldo and Hogan, with the latter intimidating the "out-of-town guy," and a poignant explanation of why Hogan was such a bad putter later in life. Hogan was "[d]riven to excellence, focused on winning, relentlessly hardworking, bent on improving, intensely competitive, intimidating and aloof to opponents, analytical, consumed by detail and equally dependent on skill and power." He was also quietly generous, intensely loyal and brimming with personal integrity. Vasquez's unique position and 20-year relationship with the champion allowed him access to all of Ben Hogan. In an easygoing, conversational writing style, the stories Vasquez relates here are the rich fruits of that relationship and should not be missed. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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