Afternoons with Mr. Hogan: A Boy, a Golf Legend, and the Lessons of a Lifetime

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Gotham Books, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 160 pages
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Ben Hogan’s former ball shagger recounts firsthand stories of the golf legend—and reveals, for the first time, Hogan’s Swing Secret, a source of mystery to golfers for more than fifty years.

Ben Hogan’s 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 1960’s, though Hogan’s 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 management—unknowingly 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 Kite’s A Fairway to Heaven(which recalls Kite’s golf education under Harvey Penick) with the sage perspective of Penick’s own Little Red Book, Vasquez’s tribute is funny, poignant, and full of advice for golfers of all levels.

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Afternoons With Mr. Hogan: A Boy, a Golf Legend, and the Lessons of a Lifetime

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This is a small, respectful book in the "brush with greatness" mode. While he was a teenager in the 1960s, Vasquez spent four years shagging balls and caddying for golf great Ben Hogan. That ... Read full review

Review: Afternoons with Mr. Hogan

User Review  - Charles M. - Goodreads

Delightful recounting of author's days as a shagger for one of golf's greatest, Ben Hogan---during Hogan's twilight years spent just conducting daily practices at Shady Oaks CC in Texas. Great ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

Jody Vasquez shagged balls for Ben Hogan for four years at the Shady Oaks Country Club in the 1960s. Vasquez is now a member of the Colonial Country Club, where he serves on the board of governors for the annual Colonial, the longest-running site on the PGA Tour and the tournament Hogan won five times.

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