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SUBJECT: BEN HOGAN
Joan Flynn Dreyspool
June 20, 1955
In an unusually frank interview, golf's silent man discusses his own career, his future, and the changes that are taking place in tournament competition
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June 20, 1955

Subject: Ben Hogan

In an unusually frank interview, golf's silent man discusses his own career, his future, and the changes that are taking place in tournament competition

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For once, he didn't finish a thought.

"There isn't enough daylight in any day to practice all the shots that you need to. You have to get up early, and if a fellow practiced the way he should, he can't be going around to parties. You have to practically live like a hermit to get sufficient rest.

"I have never achieved what I thought was success. Golf to me is a business, a livelihood in doing the thing that I like to do. I don't like the glamour. I just like the game.

"When I started, my mother kept telling me, 'Quit fooling around with golf and go to work.' I kept telling her, 'This is what I want to work at.' After I won some tournaments, she was still after me. I think she'd still like me to quit and go to work." He laughed.

"Tournament golf and golf are like baseball and football, two entirely different games," Hogan said, lighting a cigaret.

"You build a swing before you go to a tournament, then it's a game of management on the course. The swing must be committed to muscle memory so it's secondary. I've practiced hard enough under duress and excitement so in a tournament my swing will remain just as good as it was on the practice teeā€”not that I'm not just as excited and nervous as the next fellow."

NO UNNECESSARY RISKS

"The morning of a tournament I sort of weigh my capabilities at the time. I don't try to extend myself and do something I know I can't do. Maybe I could have done it a week before or the week after. But I won't take an unnecessary risk if I feel I can't do it that day, not until maybe the last round, if I'm behind, but even then I won't try anything I haven't practiced.

"As I walk down the first fairway, I try to get all my thinking within me and obliterate every outside influence, the people, everything, even the fellow I'm playing with. I try to be very cordial and give him all the courtesy of the tee and the green, but I can't remember ever knowing what my playing partner has shot on the round. I'm very keen on watching the flight of his ball and knowing what it will take me to get there."

Hogan's determination and almost self-hypnotic concentration have earned him many enemies.

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