literal truth and graphic clarity, hi imagernafter image, it demonstrates the mystiquernof a man who happened to playrngolf and who—though he has not appearedrnin competition for a quarter of arncenturv—is still spoken of in hushedrntones, no longer as “The Hawk,” as hernused to be called, but as “Mr. I logan.”rnJules Alexander’s photographs of Benrnflogan in action at the U.S. Open atrnWinged Foot in 1959, and at Westchesterrnin 1970 and elsewhere, arc thernheart of this book, and they are the finestrnof their kind that I have ever seen.rnAlexander’s old Nikon, in these blackrnand whites, drinks in cvcrv texture ofrngrass and leaves, of cotton and wool, andrnshows something about an America thatrnis alrcacK’ past. The photographs are ofrnmuseum qualitv, and some of them evenrnlook posed. One particularlv resemblesrncither the first stage of an oil paintingrnbefore the hues are worked up, or else arnretro adertisement for Ralph Lauren.rnIndeed, an analvsis of the I loganrnwardrobe would sav much about thernrelation of fashion, taste, stvle, and thernaluc of a dollar. We hae, in the backgroundsrnof trees and people, somethingrnof the old America before it lost itsrnintegrit” eompleteh.rnThese photographs show a Hoganrnwho was past his peak but still master ofrnthe game—and of himself. They don’trnshow the skinny kid who turned pro at 19rnand hooked the ball wildly. They don’trnshow the oung man who couldn’t makernit on the tour while his peers, Byron Nelsonrnand Sam Snead, bloomed eariy andrnoften. What thc- show are the physicalrnand moral results of Hogan’s struggles tornmaster himself so he could master therngame. More or less inventing practice,rnI logan went at golf with such passionrnand precision that people still talk aboutrn”Hogan’s secret.” But Hogan declaredrnthat “The secret is in the dirt.” He foundrnperfection bv beating balls—and peoplerncame to watch. After Lee Trevinornwatched Hogan practice at Shady Oaksrnin the ead 6()’s, he changed his game accordinglyrnand went from nowhere tornglobal success.rnLike Treino and Palmer, Hogan hadrnbuilt his game to beat a hook. It is just atrnthis point, I believe, that Hogan leavesrncivilians behind, for most people whornpick up a golf club need to develop arnhook, not prevent one. Even if that werernnot so, there are few if any players whornhae as strong a right hand as Hogan, orrnhis blacksmith’s arms, which he came byrnnaturally as well as by training—hisrnfather was a blacksmith. Henry Picardrnwas the one who “weakened” Hogan’srnleft-hand position, so that he could lashrnthe ball with his right without hooking,rnbut only someone of Hogan’s strengthrnand speed would have needed that.rnHogan’s famous pronation, his “fanning”rnof the blade, and low but extendedrnposition at the top, were all perfect forrnhim, but not models for human beings.rnOn the other hand, these photographsrndemonstrate a certain perfection of formrnthat is a model, even a Platonic ideal,rnand not only for golf. No one ever stayedrnbehind the ball or finished in balance asrnwell as Ben I logan, but what he did, andrnwhat these photographs show, transcendsrnthe sport even as he transcendedrnit during his peak years of competition.rnHe was the dominant plaver on tourrnfrom 1940 until 1949, losing some yearsrnto World War II and another one to arnhead-on Grevhound bus in a Texas fog.rnBroken bones, major surgery, and hobbledrnlegs pulled I logan off the tour, andrnstrangely transformed him by simplifyingrnhis aims even further. Focusing onrnmajor championships and competingrnonly with the ideal, he raised even hisrngame another notch as he withdrew stillrnfurther into himself. The result was hisrnrecord at the U.S. Open and at thernBritish Open in his only entry, and thernestablishment of that mystique whichrnthese photographs dramatically convey.rnMartin Davis’s book, fortified by essaysrnby Dave Anderson, Ben Crenshaw,rnand Dan Jenkins, as well as by commentaryrnon the photographs by Ken Venturi,rnfully succeeds in presenting the charismarnof Hogan in a stunning way. We must bernreminded that the word “legend” meansrnfirst the life of a saint, and that the wordrn”mystique,” related to “mystic,” is derivedrnfrom the Greek for “one initiatedrninto the mysteries” and “to shut therneyes.” We should not be surprised, therefore,rnto behold a photograph of Hoganrnon the tee, alone amidst the staringrncrowd, standing with his eyes shut.rnHogan’s mystique lives on wheneverrngolfers congregate, and many of themrnhope to steal a bit of that mystery wheneverrnthey reach in the bag for one ofrnthose Hogan Apex irons—the ones thatrnsay “Ft. Worth—TX” on the hosel,rnforged in steel—or for one of those Seriesrn56 drivers or Special Sure-Out II sandrnwedges. They are not reaching for arnbrand name so much as for an assurancernof complete simplicity and integrity ofrncraftsmanship. Hogan always gave that,rnand he still does.rnBut perhaps there has been one celebrationrnof Hogan’s mystique even finerrnthan the cult of his clubs or this collectionrnof authoritative pictures and words,rnand that was in Michael Murphy’s novelrnGolf in the Kingdom (1972). In thatrnbook, the mystical golf pro Shivas Ironsrnreveals to the narrator the “true zodiac”:rn”As I looked at the sky I saw an outline ofrnBen Hogan’s Indian profile appearrnamidst the other constellations. It wasrnthe only one I could recognize besidesrnthe Big Dipper.” Knowledge of the truernzodiac, possession of Hogan clubs, andrnacquisition of The Hogan Mystique arernnecessary not only for the golf-obsessed,rnbut for all seekers after ultimate reality.rn].0. late is a professor of English atrnDowling College on Long Island.rnFEDERAL FUNDINGrnJane Alexander, Bill Clinton’s headrnof the National Endowment for thernArts, expressed Deep Thoughts onrnpolitics in an interview with Paradernmagazine:rn”There are a lot of things the governmentrnsupports that one or anotherrngroup doesn’t like. Some city peoplerndon’t know why they should berntaxed to subsidize wheat farmersrnwhen they don’t live in a rural state.rnWhy should childless people berntaxed for public schools? Whyrnshould nonmotorists be taxed forrnhighways, or middle-elass people tornpay for health eare for the poor? Orrnpeople be taxed to support the arts?rnBecause it is in the good of the wholernnation…. So there!”rnIn case you object, that also goesrnfor her government salary ofrn$123,100.rn—Jeffrey TuckerrnAUGUST 1995/35rnrnrn