This 77th Masters Tournament marks the 60th anniversary of Ben Hogan’s second Masters victory. 1953 was an historic year for Hogan who had battled back from his life threatening bus accident in 1949 to win major championships and become one of the greatest of all time.
Hogan was close to never walking again, no less playing championship golf but the determined Texan overcame tremendous odds to reclaim his historic place among golf immortals.
In 1953 with Hogan hardly playing at all he had one of the best years in the history of golf. He entered only five tournaments and won them all, including The Masters, The U.S. Open and The Open Championship. That’s a career for any player and unthinkable for a player today.
Noted golf historian, Martin Davis details Hogan’s 1953 season in the New York Times and said of his Masters’ win,” No less an authority than an Augusta National co-founder, Bobby Jones, said that he never thought anyone would put on such an exhibition.”
Hogan’s impact on The Masters went far beyond his victories and scoring. It was Hogan that initiated the “Champions Dinner.” In a letter to Cliff Roberts he invited Roberts, Bob Jones and all the past Masters Champions for a dinner and Hogan even footed the bill himself. Hogan’s only stipulation was that they all wear their green jackets.
The Champions Dinner has grown into one of the most cherished events of Masters Week and it’s all because of Ben Hogan.