Ben Hogan At The Colonial and talking to Ken Venturi

PenneyVanderbilt

pgatour.com

Ken Venturi interview with Ben Hogan 1983
Multiple courses lay claim to the title of “Hogan’s Alley,” but few can rival the role that Colonial Country Club played in the legend’s career.

Not only did Hogan win five times at Colonial, which will host this week’s Fort Worth Invitational, but the course’s founder, Marvin Leonard, was a mentor and father figure who helped Hogan get his golf career off the ground after his hardscrabble upbringing.

Hogan passed away more than two decades ago, but he still plays a large role in the PGA TOUR’s annual stop at Colonial Country Club. A 7-foot statue of him eyeing another solidly-struck shot overlooks the course. The clubhouse is full of memorabilia from his historic career.

Hogan was so dominant at Colonial that sportswriters dubbed the tournament “Hogan’s Benefit” and the “Colonial National Second-Place Invitational.” He won the first two editions of what…

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Ben Hogan At The Colonial and talking to Ken Venturi

pgatour.com

Ken Venturi interview with Ben Hogan 1983
Multiple courses lay claim to the title of “Hogan’s Alley,” but few can rival the role that Colonial Country Club played in the legend’s career.

Not only did Hogan win five times at Colonial, which will host this week’s Fort Worth Invitational, but the course’s founder, Marvin Leonard, was a mentor and father figure who helped Hogan get his golf career off the ground after his hardscrabble upbringing.

Hogan passed away more than two decades ago, but he still plays a large role in the PGA TOUR’s annual stop at Colonial Country Club. A 7-foot statue of him eyeing another solidly-struck shot overlooks the course. The clubhouse is full of memorabilia from his historic career.

Hogan was so dominant at Colonial that sportswriters dubbed the tournament “Hogan’s Benefit” and the “Colonial National Second-Place Invitational.” He won the first two editions of what was then the Colonial Invitational in 1946 and ’47, and was runner-up in 1948. He went back-to-back again in 1952 and ’53. Hogan won his last PGA TOUR title at Colonial in 1959, at the age of 46.

Hogan first met Leonard while caddying as a boy at nearby Glen Garden Country Club. Hogan had lost his father, Chester, to suicide and Leonard had four daughters, but no sons.

Leonard founded Colonial in 1936 because of his desire to bring bentgrass greens to the area.

Leonard also funded Hogan’s early, and unsuccessful, attempts at the TOUR, as well as his foray into the equipment business.

Hogan was known for his secretive nature, but he gave one of the most revealing interviews of his life for the telecast of the 1983 tournament at Colonial. The sit-down with Ken Venturi came 30 years after Hogan became the first man to win three majors in a single season.

The conversation provided unforgettable insight into Hogan’s legendary career. It has been cited in multiple books on the 64-time PGA TOUR winner, including “Hogan” by Curt Sampson and “American Triumvirate,” James Dodson’s book about Hogan, Byron Nelson and Sam Snead.

Here are some of Hogan’s highlights from this 35-year-old conversation between two World Golf Hall of Famers:

Ben Hogan won at Colonial in 1946, ’47, ’52, ’53 and ’59. (Submitted photo)

On the satisfaction of improving:
“Well, I had to. I had such a lousy golf swing starting in. … Improving is the greatest satisfaction anyone could ever get. And the fellow that’s shooting 90, if he can cut it down to 87, he’s pleased. You’ll see him out on the golf course the next day. And a fellow that shoots 70, if he can shoot 69, he’s just as pleased, and he’ll be back the next day. It brings him back, and it keeps him enthused all the time. And it’s the greatest pleasure in the whole world.”

On his legendary work ethic:
“Very few times in my life have I laid off maybe two to three days, and it seemed like it took me a month to three months to get back those three days when I took a rest. It’s a tough situation. I had to practice and play all the time. I told you before my swing wasn’t the best in the world and I knew it wasn’t. And then I thought, well, the only way I can win is just to outwork these fellas.

“After I won a couple of tournaments, I noticed these folks were practicing longer, and I don’t know why that was. But they had to stay with me, and if it had been 12 hours during the day, I would have been out there 12 hours because I enjoyed it.”

Fighting a hook early in his career:
“I was hooking so badly, that I couldn’t get a 4-wood off of the ground. I had to use iron clubs all the time. Of course, I said to myself, you can’t play this way. … You’re going to have to train yourself to be able to get the ball in flight and hit a high shot when you want to, or a low shot. But for heaven’s sake, you have to get rid of this hook. Because a left-to-right dogleg, I couldn’t play it at all if it had any trees on the right side. I didn’t have room to start my hook out there, and I just couldn’t play it at all.”

His career’s humble beginnings:
“I went to the West Coast on a tour in 1932. … I left here with $75 in my pocket to go to the West Coast. Would you try that today?

“And the first tournament was Pasadena. I didn’t get any money there. I was always last if I got in the money at all. I was a terrible player. And after New Orleans, I wasn’t in the money and I was broke. I had to come home. So I spent five years compiling $1,400. And in the meantime, Valerie and I had gotten married. I told her I’d like to go back on the TOUR. She said, ‘I knew you had this in mind the whole time.’ She said, ‘Well, if that’s what you want to do, we’ll do it.’ ”
On the tournament that kept his career alive:
“We were driving to Oakland, California and Valerie said, ‘Do you know how much money we have?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I know, we have $86 left out of the $1400.’ So she said, ‘Well, what are we going to do?’ And I said, ‘Valerie, we made a deal to spend $1,400. We have $86 left and we’re going to Oakland.’

“I was driving a maroon Buick. I had a fairly early starting time. I left the hotel after breakfast, went across the street and my car, the two rear wheels are sitting on the rocks. They’d even taken the jack. So I came back to the hotel and bummed a ride with somebody. I can’t remember who. I got to the course and it was late and I couldn’t hit any practice balls because I’d be disqualified. … So I played and I won $385. That’s the biggest check I’ve ever seen in my life.”

On growing up poor in Texas:
“My family wasn’t rich. They were poor. I feel sorry for rich kids now, I really do, because they’re never going to have the opportunity I had because I knew tough things. I can handle tough things; they can’t. Every day that I progressed was a joy for me and I recognized it every day. I don’t think that I could have done what I’ve done if I hadn’t had the tough days to begin with.”

On course management:
“After a fellow learns how to hit a golf ball — that’s all there is left. Management is 70, 75 percent of the game after you learn how to propel a golf ball. And if you don’t know how to manage a golf game, you can’t play.

“What is required of this shot? What is required of the next shot? Where do you want to try to place the ball, on the right side of the fairway or the left side of the fairway. … And it’s where you tee up on the tee between the tee markers. … You see golfers just tee up in the same place every time. It’s the worst thing in the world. They don’t give themselves any margin.”

On making his lone Open Championship appearance in 1953:
“Walter Hagen and Tommy Armour called me on the telephone and said, ‘You can’t complete your career unless you go to Scotland and compete in the British Open.’ I thanked them, (but) I still had no inclination to go over there at all.

“Anyway, I won the Masters and I won the U.S. Open that year, and I sent my entry in to the British Open. The PGA Championship was in conflict with the British Open, and I’d played in the PGA several times. So I thought, ‘Well, these fellows have asked me to do this. I think I’ll oblige them.’ So I went over there and luckily enough, I had a good turn and won the tournament. And I’m delighted that I did.”

On his loss at the 1960 U.S. Open:
“You mention that shot on the 71st hole (at Cherry Hills). I find myself waking up at night thinking of that shot. Right today. How many years ago has that been? That was 23 years ago and there isn’t a month that goes by that that doesn’t cut my guts out.

“I didn’t miss the shot. I just didn’t hit it far enough. It hit just short of the green and bounced on the green. … I put so much spin on it, I just sucked it right back in the water.”

On the state of the game in 1983:
“In my opinion, these fellows that are playing now are better players than we were. I am delighted that they are because if they weren’t better than we were then I would feel like I never contributed anything to the game. (The courses) are in better condition now because people know how to take care of grasses more than they did long time ago. They get better lies and things like that. I think the equipment is much better, at least ours is. The golf balls are better. These fellows started in high school playing golf, they went through college playing golf. They had a lot of competition in college and in high school. And then when they played amateur golf, they had a lot of competition. Well I never had any competition at all, until I turned pro, and I found out the first day that I shouldn’t even be there. So they’ve got a leg up, which is fine, and I am delighted.”

LIRR’s Atlantic Ticket would slash prices for 10 Brooklyn and Queens stations

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

AM New York

The MTA board will vote on a proposed pilot program Wednesday that would dramatically reduce LIRR ticket prices for 10 stations in Brooklyn and Queens, including Atlantic Terminal. Photo Credit: The MTA board will vote on a proposed pilot program Wednesday that would dramatically reduce LIRR ticket prices for 10 stations in Brooklyn and Queens, including Atlantic Terminal.

The MTA is making Long Island Rail Road service more affordable for residents in some of the city’s worst transit deserts.

In June, the authority plans to launch the Atlantic Ticket — a half-off transit pass to Atlantic Terminal for riders at nine other LIRR stations located in Queens in Brooklyn. The idea is that the selected stations are located in neighborhoods poorly served by the subway, and the current cost of LIRR tickets discourages riders from using the railroad on a daily basis.

“[The pilot] will have an…

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4 Subway Lines Will Get More Trains To Cut Wait Times

It is about time!

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

patch.com

The MTA plans to run 16 additional trains around the weekday rush hours starting in November.

NEW YORK, NY — The MTA plans to run 16 extra trains on four subway lines starting this fall to reduce wait times and crowding. The A, D, E and F lines will see additional trains running just before and after the typical weekday rush hours starting in November, the transportation authority announced Monday.

Seven bus lines in Queens will also see additional weekend service starting in July as officials adjust to changes in ridership and demand in the city’s transit system, the MTA said.

“We’re thrilled to add some additional service for subway and bus riders, and much bigger improvements are on the horizon,” Andy Byford, the president of New York City Transit, said in a statement.

The extra subway trips will run in the late morning, mid-afternoon and late evening, hours…

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Beauty of unwanted birth

Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

when the pen of a poor poet
or a singer singing on the road
create flowers with
the most amazing smell
the most beautiful colour
fruits and berries
melting in the mouth
soothing all senses
past, present, all tenses
in a random unthought verse
unseen in the whole universe
even by the divine itself
she declares that
her unintended mission
to create humanity with
all its faults and absolute horrors
is accomplished
because of that moment,
unwanted children
became princes of the universe
for a random unthought verse
IMG_0137.JPG

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Why Do Some Parts of New York Have So Many Subways While Others Have None?

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

In a word: history

by JOSH FRUHLINGER

Village Voice

The New York City Subway is the lifeblood of the city, yet it seems perpetually embroiled in crisis; though it’s currently caught in a terrible backlog of deferred maintenance, the city can’t function without it, as the mounting panic over next year’s L train shutdown makes clear. Yet as a circulatory system, it leaves certain limbs significantly undernourished. Why was there only one line for the whole East Side of Manhattan until the Second Avenue line finally opened last year? Why does the G train wind so lonely and awkwardly from Brooklyn to Queens? Why are the Downtown Brooklyn lines such a chaotic thicket of difficult transfers, while other densely populated parts of the borough, like East Flatbush, are devoid of service?

The answers are embedded in the subway’s historic origins. While you may know that the subway opened in 1904…

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