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Garry Rippy Golf offers golf lessons, golf coaching, golf instruction, golf classes and golf schools in Austin, TX. This blog contains golf instruction articles, golf tips and golf instruction videos by Garry Rippy, PGA.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

My Ben Hogan Collection (Golf Clubs, Prints and Misc.)

As a former assistant golf professional at Shady Oaks Country Club, in Fort Worth, TX, I was fortunate to meet Mr. Hogan.  In fact I saw him almost every day from 1981 through 1984.  

He would come from the locker room into the golf shop and the conversation would go something like this:

Me:  "Hello Mr. Hogan"
Mr. Hogan:  "Hello sonny, do you have a bag boy today?"
Me:  "Yes sir, he will load your clubs on a cart right now"

He would then proceed to the Par 3 Little Nine with the bag boy to hit balls for 2-3 hours.  The bag boy was his target and would collect the balls.  In the middle of the hottest summer Mr. Hogan was still hitting balls almost every day.  He kept three staff size golf bags (all full of clubs) in the bag room and his shag bag full of Ben Hogan golf balls.  One of the staff bags contained his "play" clubs and the others had as assortment of irons and woods.  Mr. Hogan claimed he could tell if someone was handling his golf clubs by the feel of grips.  I looked at his clubs everyday and yes, I would take them out of the bag and give them a waggle.  It was the oil from my hands he was feeling.

When I was first employed there I couldn't wait to get "on staff" with the Hogan Company.  This meant I would get a set of irons, woods, staff bag, gloves and golf balls each year.  My first year there was 1981 and I received a set of the Apex II irons and they were my favorite of all the Hogan irons I played over the years and I still have them in my collection.  I stayed on the Ben Hogan staff throughout my employment at Shady Oaks Country Club and Ridglea Country Club.  I admired everything about Mr. Hogan and I loved his devotion to making high quality equipment.  

Following are the sets of Ben Hogan irons I have in my collection.  It was fun to pull them all out of the garage and give them a look and a waggle.

I have arranged these in chronological order:

                                            1974 Director Irons 2-PW

                                            1982 Apex II Black Cameo Irons (missing 7 and 9)

                                            1999 Apex Irons 2-SW

                                            2003 Apex Golden Anniversary Irons 3-PW

                                            2004 Apex FTX Irons 3-PW

                                            2006 Apex Plus Irons 3-PW

                                            2016 Fort Worth Irons with Scor Wedges

                                            Odds and Ends

This was one of my favorite staff bags, I wish I still had the first one I received in 1981.

Over the last few years I have also collected various Ben Hogan Prints which I have on my office wall.  If I had more walls I would have a bigger collection!  I love all of these however.

This is my collection of Ben Hogan books.  Power Golf is the oldest and contains some really great action pictures of Mr. Hogan.  Ben Hogan, An American Life is one of my favorite books.  You really get an appreciation of the work he put in to become one of the best.

These last two items are really cool.  The first picture is a Hole in One Certificate from the Ben Hogan Company.  I made an ace on the 7th hole at Shady Oaks while I was an assistant there.

The next picture needs explaining.  Occasionally Mr. Hogan would practice on the driving range before going out to play a round.  And to his credit, he always signed a ticket paying for his practice balls.  I was always to afraid to ask Mr. Hogan for an autograph so I paid for his range balls on this day and kept the ticket as a souvenir.  That was me teeing off on the 17th hole at Shady Oaks in 1982.

So I have many memories of my stint in Fort Worth, Texas, at Shady Oaks Country Club and Ridglea Country Club.  I met many important people through golf at these facilities which influenced the way I ran my golf operations and the way I teach the game.  I hope you enjoyed viewing my Ben Hogan Collection.


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