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Miracle at Merion: The Inspiring Story of Ben Hogan's Amazing Comeback and Victory at the 1950 U.S. Open Hardcover – October 8, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (October 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616080825
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616080822
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When golfer Ben Hogan won the 1950 U.S. Open less than two years after nearly dying in a car crash, sportswriter Red Smith called the comeback “the most remarkable feat in the history of sports.” Sixty years later, though, the details of Hogan’s ordeal have dimmed, even for avid golf fans. Barrett’s well-researched recounting of the tournament and the events that led up to it brings the remarkable story back to vivid life. Nothing was easy for Hogan, who grew up poor in the shadow of his father’s suicide and struggled for years to perfect his golf swing. It all came together for him in the late 1940s, however, but his career seemed over after the accident. Determined to play again, despite permanent damage to his legs, Hogan put his game back together in time for the Open, tying for the lead on the final day, after a 36-hole endurance test, and winning the 18-hole playoff the next day. Barrett lacks the flair for narrative nonfiction that distinguishes Mark Frost’s similar accounts of great moments in golf history, but in this case, the facts speak for themselves. A must-read for anyone who cares about golf. --Bill Ott

Review

"With Miracle at Merion, David Barrett has brilliantly dissected the sequence of events that transformed Hogan from the game's hardest-working underdog into it's most mythic and enduring star, providing a beautiful narrative framework for better understanding the game's transcendent power. If I was buying just one golf book this year, this would be it. A bravura reconstruction that should be in every golf reader's library." ---- James Dodson, bestselling author of Ben Hogan: An American Life

"Barrett's very thorough research and straightforward prose are just right for the topic. Hogan fans will love Miracle at Merion." ---- Curt Sampson, bestselling author of Hogan

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Customer Reviews

Well researched and well written.
William M. Kent
This is a wonderful story about Ben Hogan, his accident, and the amazing drive he showed to win the US Open over 90 holes of golf over 4 days.
Jetpack
If you're a golf fan, you need to read this book.
Tim Udinski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Donelson on October 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In 2008, the world watched agog as Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open on the 91st hole while struggling with a fractured left knee. In the excitement of the moment, little was said about a similar feat of physical endurance and mental strength by Ben Hogan in his epic victory at the 1950 U.S. Open, otherwise known as The Miracle at Merion.

Golf writer David Barrett, who has covered 25 U.S. Opens, presents a thorough and rounded account of Ben Hogan's comeback from a near-fatal car wreck to win the most coveted trophy in the sport. The astonishing story of how Hogan survived a head-on crash with a speeding Greyhound bus, fought through months of life-threatening surgery and painful therapy, then returned to the PGA Tour a year later has been told many times, but Barrett gives the reader both a wide view of the events and people surrounding the story as well as an incisive account of how Hogan the individual was changed by it.

Of particular interest are Barrett's portraits of Hogan's compatriots. Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, and Cary Middlecoff are among the giants of the game with whom Hogan competed. Barrett shows the reader how their careers meshed with Hogan's and, even more importantly, he reveals them not just as golfers but as human beings--just like he does Ben Hogan.

The book also gives a great look at the PGA Tour of Hogan's day. About the only thing today's tour has in common with Hogan's is the use of a little white ball and a four-and-a-quarter-inch hole. Among the many differences, of course, is money. Tiger Woods earned $1,350,000 for his victory in 2008; Hogan's check in 1950 was for a whopping $4,000. The Miracle at Merion brings both Hogan's historic win and the professional game of the era vibrantly to life.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence Roberts on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A good read for golf fans and a story about overcoming adversity. Ben Hogan was one of golf's greatest players ever. He nearly died in a head-on collision where his Cadillac was hit by a Greyhound bus that was passing a truck on a foggy two-lane highway. Hogan instinctively saved his wife's life by diving across her body (the days before seat belts) and ended up saving his own as well. Suffering severe injuries, he came back 18 months later to win the U.S. Open in an 18-hole playoff at Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia. It was a day when first prize was $4000 and 12th place paid $133.33. A different age, but values that should stand the test of time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By goldencycle on December 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The background detail of the players who played in this period is second to none ! It is like you are almost there yourself enduring all the hardships these players went through for the love of the game. Quite a book, one of the best I have ever read concerning golf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judy Corcoran on April 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book deserves a place of honor on all golf bookshelves for vividly presenting the miracle of Hogan's comeback, capturing the spirit of the times, and crediting all those who lived it and wrote about it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Snowsurfer on January 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I enjoyed the book, I really don't think the most non golfers or regular sports fans would.
The background info on many of the other players in the tournement was intersting for me, though.
3 stars is all. I even lost interest with the epiloque.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Putter Maker Bo on February 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book may be pretty good if you are looking for minute details about golfers that you never heard of and never will. For good reason! You get a page and a half about some guy who shot a 71 in the second round sandwiched between 78, 80 and 77. Who cares where "Joe Blowinski" went to college? This book reads much more like a newspaper column than a book. The author borrows very heavily from, "Ben Hogan: An American Life". If you have read that biography (it was a very, very good book) you will find yourself reading word for word from it a fair percentage of the time. The rest of this rag was very boring as it should have been about 50 pages long as this author has no gift for imagination or readability. Get the biography and you will get all you need to know about Merion and the U.S. Open in 1950.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thank goodness I was able to see Hogan golf in person. Growing up we didn't have yesterday's great golfers come into our lives via television. Reading of Hogan's triumphs (especially after his auto accident) we formed our impressions via the printed word or through viewing a short movie theater newsreel.

So I was able to follow him at the 1956 US Open at Oak Hill. Unfortunately he was master of all the clubs in his bag with the exception of his putter.

I enjoyed this book for the behind the scenes look at not only Hogan but for background tidbits about his contemporaries such at Mangrum, Snead, Nelson and others.

Having played Merion I could picture Hogan's play as the author depicted it, making the book even more enjoyable.

Not a great book but from a nostalgic viewpoint, a very good book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big Ben Hogan fan. This was a wonderful story about the single greatest golf shot in competitive golf
history. Lots of history about Mr. Hogan and other golfers. Interesting tidbits on how the game has changed and
evolved over time. All of this is built around a straightforward bio of Mr. Hogan. The portrayal of his determination
to play and win after his near fatal car accident is very inspiring. That the shot was made while his legs were wrapped
in bandages and he could barely walk (this was on the 36th hole of the day) makes it all the more inspiring.
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