Ben Hogan Quotes: Best Sayings by and About the Golfer

Jimmy Demaret with Ben Hogan Smiling
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Ben Hogan had a huge impact on golf in the ​1940s and 1950s, on the course, and his impact continues long after his career ended and long after his death as golfers of all stripes look to Hogan for inspiration.

Below is a collection of quotations, some of which were spoken (or written) by Hogan, others of which were said about Hogan.

Quotes by Ben Hogan

  • "I always outworked everybody. Work never bothered me like it bothers some people."
  • "There isn’t enough daylight in any one day to practice all the shots you need to."
  • "Every day that I missed practicing takes me one day longer to be good."
  • "Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing."
  • "Selecting a stroke is like selecting a wife. To each his own."
  • "I hate a hook. It nauseates me. I could vomit when I see one. It's like a rattlesnake in your pocket."
  • "You never fight your eye when you look at a hole. If it looks one way, play it that way. Don’t make a big deal out of an easy shot."
  • "I play with friends, but we don't play friendly games."
  • "Relax? How can anybody relax and play golf? You have to grip the club don't you?"
  • "There are no shortcuts in the quest for perfection."
  • "People have always been telling me what I can't do. I guess I have wanted to show them. That's been one of my driving forces all my life."
  • After winning the 1951 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills, the longest U.S. Open course to that time: "I’m glad that I brought this course, this monster, to its knees."
  • "You only hit a straight ball by accident. The ball is going to move right or left every time you hit it, so you had better make it go one way or the other."
  • "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."
  • "This is a game of misses. The guy who misses the best is going to win."
  • "A good round of golf is if you can hit about three shots that turnout exactly as you planned them."
  • "The most important shot in golf is the next one."

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Quotes by Others About Ben Hogan

  • Sportswriter Jim Murray: "For what Hogan meant, it's the old story: For those who know golf, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, no explanation is possible."
  • Tommy Bolt: "He was the greatest player I ever played with. If he could putt 25 percent as well as Palmer could, he would have won 50 more tournaments. Don't forget that he made all the putts he had to make to win his nine majors."
  • Jimmy Demaret: "When I play with him, he talks to me on every green. He turns to me and says, 'You're away.' "
  • Dave Marr: "Hogan plays one game and the rest of us play another."
  • Writer Will Grimsley: "He was a cold, detached artisan on the course, likened by some observers to an undertaker weaving a shroud of defeat for his adversaries."
  • Anonymous: "He looks at you like a landlord asking for next month's rent."
  • Sam Snead: "The three things I fear most in golf are lightning, Ben Hogan and a downhill putt."