The Wee Ice Mon Cometh

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The Wee Ice Mon Cometh

Ben Hogan's 1953 Triple Slam and One of Golf's Greatest Summers

Ed Gruver

Foreword by Trevor Williamson

272 pages
14 photographs

Hardcover

October 2024

978-1-4962-3898-6

$34.95 Pre-order

About the Book

It is considered by many the greatest season in golf history. In 1953 Ben Hogan provided a fitting exclamation point to his miraculous comeback from a near-fatal auto accident by becoming the first player to win golf’s Triple Crown—the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the British Open—within four months of each other. It was closer than anyone had gotten to the modern-day Grand Slam of winning all four of golf’s major tournaments.

The Wee Ice Mon Cometh is the first book to detail Hogan’s historic accomplishment. His 1953 season remains the world’s greatest, and golfers seek to match his achievement every year. Bobby Jones in 1930 and Tiger Woods in 2000–2001 achieved comparable “slams,” but the Hogan Slam stands alone due to the car crash four years before that left Hogan on shattered legs. He nonetheless won with record-setting performances on three of the most challenging courses in the world: Augusta National at the Masters, the U.S. Open at Oakmont, and the Open Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland. Ed Gruver weaves together interviews with members of Hogan’s family, golf historians, playing partners, and business partners along with extensive research and eyewitness accounts of each tournament.

Seventy years after his historic feat, the Hogan Slam still serves as a symbol for the many comebacks Hogan had to make throughout his life—his father’s death by suicide when Ben was a boy, desperate days during the Great Depression, frustrating failures in tournaments early in his career, and the horrific accident that nearly killed him just as he was finally reaching the pinnacle of his profession.
 

Author Bio

Ed Gruver is an award-winning sportswriter, reporter, and author. His books include Bringing the Monster to Its Knees: Ben Hogan, Oakland Hills, and the 1951 U.S. Open and Hell with the Lid Off: Inside the Fierce Rivalry between the 1970s Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers (Nebraska, 2019), among others. Trevor Williamson is the ambassador and keeper of the Carnoustie Way at the Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland.
 

Praise

“Ed Gruver picked a great subject to explore with Ben Hogan’s ‘Triple Crown’ season of 1953. Not only did Hogan win three majors that year; he dominated professional golf like few had done before—or since. The Wee Ice Mon Cometh tells the story of Hogan’s accomplishments in magnificent fashion.”—John Boyette, golf historian and executive editor of the Aiken Standard

“After his terrible car accident in 1949, Ben Hogan was told he might never walk again, much less ever play golf. He proceeded to win six of his nine majors over the next four years. He proved them wrong. This book details the greatest year (1953) Mr. Hogan ever had playing golf, in which he won five of the six tournaments he entered along with all three majors he entered that year. It was arguably the greatest year in the history of the game.”—Robert Stennett, CEO of the Ben Hogan Foundation

“As soon as Uncle Ben could walk again, he got back to work and rediscovered greatness in the dirt. Even those who have never hit a golf shot can find inspiration in Hogan’s perseverance, grit, and determination in putting together the greatest year in golf.”—Lisa Scott, Ben Hogan’s grandniece

“Ben Hogan’s ‘Triple Crown’ year is among the best of all time, highlighted by the fact that two of the wins came at arguably two of the toughest courses in the world—Oakmont and Carnoustie. His triumph at Oakmont was nothing short of classic Hogan—very methodical. Ed Gruver’s book finally brings Hogan’s season to light for all golf history lovers!”—David Moore, curator of collections at Oakmont Country Club

Table of Contents

Foreword
Prologue: A Great Champion Meets Defeat
1: Augusta
2: Georgia on Their Minds
3: ‘Best Golf of My Life’
4: Oakmont
5: Abandon All Hope
6: Hades of Hulton
7: Carnoustie
8: ‘A Beastly Test’
9: Wee Ice Mon Cometh
10: Canyon of Heroes
Epilogue: Grandest Slam: Jones vs. Hogan vs. Tiger

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