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I Learn About Tour Golf...


Randy Wilson

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nash.jpgShortly after the Auntie Grizz incident, Dad packed us into the old Nash and headed for Dallas.  Dad's reason for heading cross-country (remember, this was in the days before interstate highways) involved furthering his golf career by learning the secret of golf from his hero Ben Hogan, who just happened to be playing a tournament down there in Texas.

 

To this day, I am still convinced that rather than visiting with Ben, Dad was actually endeavoring to escape from Great Grandma Mitty and her raging band of anti-golf church ladies.  They had put a great deal of effort into cultivating and training Reverend Nando and losing him to golf was thoroughly humiliating, if not a scandal that could never be erased from the church.  Dad's choices were limited: either move forward into a golf career or go back to his previous career in the Army Airborne as a paratrooper... and the entire church was now very supportive of the military choice.

 

church_ladies.jpg

 

We arrived at Colonial on a stifling hot day and Nancy Jean and I were instructed to remain in the car and wait while Dad went in to see Ben.  This was due to the following:   A. The price of admission was five dollars and B. Five dollars was all we had left.

 

hogan_150.jpgDad went inside and found Mr. Hogan on the practice green.

 

"Mr. Hogan, my name is Norm and I just want you to know what a thrill it is to meet you."

 

Ben didn't even look up from his putting, turned his back to Norm and lined up another putt.

 

"Mr. Hogan, maybe you didn't hear me, but you're my hero and I sure would appreciate it if you would at least look at me."

 

Ben walked away.

 

"Mr. Hogan, I traveled all the way from Tennessee just to see you and spent my last five dollars to get inside and left my wife and baby out in the hot car and you won't even shake my hand?"

 

Ben walked farther away.

 

"So I guess this means you aren't gonna tell me the secret of golf, are you?"  Norm began circling Mr. Hogan, in an attempt to either make eye contact or force him to acknowledge that Norm was there.

 

Ben turned in circles, faster than Norm could move, always showing his . . . rear.

 

"Okay, Mr. Hogan, just so you know, you're not my hero anymore. In fact, you are a sorry individual and if I ever see you again, I just might whup your "

 

I don't know the rest of it, cause Norm and Nancy Jean got into one of those angry whispering matches and Dad went and found the recruiting office and went back into the paratroopers.

 

But it didn't end there.  From that day forth, in the Wilson family, we were not allowed to say the word Hogan.  Unless it was in the proper context, such as, "You're a miserable old Hogan" or "Are you trying to Hogan me?" or "I stepped in Hogan" and various other uses.

During the late Sixties/early Seventies, when I began my period of rebellion, I secretly acquired and played Hogan irons, wore Hogan shoes and sometimes

During the late Sixties/early Seventies, when I began my period of rebellion, I secretly acquired and played Hogan irons, wore Hogan shoes and sometimes, when Dad forced me to play a junior golf tournament, I flagrantly wore the cap Hogan made famous, even though it made me look like a walking mushroom.

 

I have long since forgiven Ben, as I now suffer from a similar affliction, that of not wanting to talk to people.  Especially when they want to know the secret of golf.

 

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