Book Review: A Pleasant 'Secret' for Golf Enthusiasts
By Kiel Christianson,
In his book, Ben Hogans Secret, author Bob Thomas throws a soft, warm light on the life and psyche of golfs greatest technician and competitor.
Thomass meticulous research and deep empathy for Hogan have allowed him to intertwine the more well-known events of the legends career with the fictionalized yet completely believable emotions, conversations, and, most importantly, secrets of one of golfs most private and misunderstood men.
Throughout this moving book, the reader develops a true appreciation for the hurdles that Ben Hogan, the poor caddie from Texas, had to overcome to become Ben Hogan, the greatest professional golfer in history.
What is most striking is that the hurdles external to the man werewith the exception of the tragic car accident that nearly ended his lifenothing compared to those inside his own mind.
The man branded Mr. Runner-Up, Texas Termite, and The Wee Ice Man by members of the media, who were irked by Hogans disdain for empty quotes, had to learn to check his emotional vulnerability at the clubhouse in order to steel his nerves for the demands of each tournament.
So what was Hogans secret? A mechanical trick? A work ethic verging on pathological obsession? Fear of failure? His devoted wife, Valerie?
The probing and prodding of the relentless (and clueless) press failed to dig it out of him. And his instructional books only gave us half of the story. Even though Ben Hogans Secret is fiction, its fair to say that the insightful pen of this skilled novelist gives us as credible a version of the actual secret as well likely ever have.
The dialogue rings so true, it is easier than not to believe that every word of this book actually took place.
Between its covers, theyll find not only a compelling human-interest story, but more than a few reflections on the nature of the game they love and the lessons it holds for life off the course.
Ben Hogans Secret
Autographed copies available from the author for $13.00 at Hoganbook@aol.com.