At the 1967 Ryder Cup, Ben Hogan famously – and concisely – introduced his team by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce the finest golfers in the world.”
Following European captain Dai Rees’ player-by-player rundown, Hogan’s brevity and confidence set the tone for a dominant American victory that week at Champions Golf Club in Houston. But his lesser known “pep talk” to Team USA was just as legendary.
Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee shared Hogan’s words, according to US team member Johnny Pott, on Friday. And they’re, well, something else.
Ben Hogan’s speech to his Ryder Cup team 1967. pic.twitter.com/5ciKL5vThx
— Brandel Chamblee (@chambleebrandel) October 5, 2018
Simple, to the point, and still inspiring. Also, the line about Doug Sanders dressing like a peacock is pure comedy gold.
In a 2008 Golf Digest article by Nick Seitz on Hogan’s captaincy, Pott is quoted saying the same thing about Hogan’s addresses to the team. Pott actually attributes Hogan’s words to two separate talks, but either way, that is good stuff right there.
Hogan didn’t have to say much to get his squad to play well. Led by Arnold Palmer’s 5-0 record (He probably would have gone 6-0 if Hogan hadn’t benched him a session for buzzing the course with his plane), the US routed Europe by the final score of 23.5 to 8.5, the largest margin of victory in Ryder Cup history.
He also didn’t need to say anything to intimidate some of his players.
“He would park and gaze at their swings, paying no attention to where the ball went,” Tony Jacklin, a 23-year-old Team Europe member at the time, told Seitz. “Gay Brewer would see him coming and almost poop in his pants. That was amusing.”
Just a hunch, but Hogan probably wouldn’t have taken well to a player complaining about his role on the team. . .