Ben Hogan 1912 – 1997

hogan1When Ben Hogan came to Carnoustie in the summer of 1953 he was already holder of The Masters” and “The U.S. Open Championship”. For this, his only (British) Open Championship appearance, arrangements were made for him to practice at Panmure Golf Club, just two miles to the west, but well away from the busy practice ground at Carnoustie.

At Panmure, only his caddie Cecil Timms accompanied him. After two weeks of rigorous preparation for the Championship, he was familiar with the then smaller British ball and the unforgiving links grasses, which prevented him taking his customary long divot.

Methodical as ever, Hogan taught himself to pick the 1.62 inch ball off the turf. The long hours of practice paid off. He won the Open by four strokes, setting a new Carnoustie course record of 68 for his final round.

Hogan’s favourite hole at Panmure was the sixth and he suggested the cleverly-placed hidden pot bunker to the front right of the green. Over fifty years on, the members still refer to it as “Hogan’s Bunker”. It is a fitting memorial to a champion.