Ben Hogan was born in Stephenville, Texas and raised ten miles away in Dublin, Texas. His father Charles Hogan, a blacksmith, committed suicide when Ben was only nine years old. When Clara Hogan moved the family to Fort Worth, Texas, Ben helped the family put food on the table by delivering newspapers.
Hogan started playing golf as a pro in 1931 at the young age of 17. He joined the PGA Tour two years later, but still had many flaws in his game, especially a very large hook in his swing. His early years as a pro were very difficult, and he went broke more than once. He left the tour and didn't return until 1937 . He did not win his first pro tournament until 1938, nine years after first turning pro. Hogan's wife Valerie believed in him, and this helped see him through the tough years, when he was still battling his hook, which he later cured
When Hogan's struggles continued, he decided to switch his mechanics, a move that would change his career. John Omicinski, writing for Gannett News Service said, "(Hogan) lost his duckhook and start smashing shots of such purity that people came from miles around just to watch them fly.