Ben Hogan’s Golf Shoes
LEGEND WORE PEALS AT HISTORIC COMEBACK AT 1950 U.S. OPEN
The 1950 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., marked Ben Hogan’s miraculous comeback.
Sixteen months earlier, Hogan suffered a nearly fatal injury after a head-on collision with a bus. Yet, playing in extreme pain, he defeated Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio in an 18-hole playoff to win the tournament.
It was a historic win in many ways. Hy Peskin’s photograph of Hogan at the tournament is among the most famous pictures in golf. The point on the 18th fairway where Hogan hit his famous shot to force a three-way tie, and eventually win, is commemorated with a plaque. And the iron Hogan used in the win resides in the U.S. Golf Association Museum.
Now, Heritage Auctions is offering a pair of Peal golf shoes nearly identical to the pair Hogan (1912-1997) wore during the tournament. The shoes were acquired by the current owner from a starter at Tamarisk Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., where Hogan was the winter golf professional.
“There are few names in golf so powerful or so mystical,” says Heritage Auctions sports specialist and consignment director Mike Gutierrez. “At the time and in the decades since Hogan ruled the greens, his status as a legendary player and style icon has only grown in statue.
“These Hogan artifacts,” Gutierrez says, “will be prized by any collector of golf memorabilia.”
Badge of a Legend
In 1930, as a 28-year-old amateur, Bobby Jones conquered the British Amateur Championship, the British Open, the U.S. Open and, finally, the U.S. Amateur Championship. “Only Jones has ever completed a Grand Slam,” says Heritage Auctions sports specialist and consignment director Mike Gutierrez.
Jones retired after his Grand Slam, playing only his own tournament, the Masters.
Of course, Jones artifacts are particularly popular with sports fans, which makes the discovery of his 1941 Masters Contestant badge, labeled “Player 1,” an exciting development, Gutierrez says. “It is the only known Bobby Jones Masters badge and the only one to be sold through auction.”
The badge has been held by the family of Merryl Israel Aron, a native of New Orleans who won dozens of local and regional amateur golf championships and played with famous golfers such as Ben Hogan, Jimmy Demaret and Babe Didrikson Zaharias. She passed away in December 2015.
This story appears in the Fall 2018 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition.