How a golf legend soaked up city’s hospitality for victory
Hogan’s need for a bath saw him forsake his Carnoustie hotel for a cash register maker’s Dundee establishment
It is the Tayside hotel that has taken its place in golfing folklore.
Forget a room with a view — it was a room with a bath that US golfing hero Ben Hogan was after when he arrived in Tayside in 1953.
As the clock ticks on the return of the Open to Carnoustie in July, staff at Taypark House on Perth Road, Dundee have been rekindling memories of their famous visitor 65 years ago.
Hogan travelled to Angus as the shortest priced favourite ever at 6-4 after his successes earlier that season in the Masters at Augusta and the US Open at Oakmont.
And those odds proved well founded as he duly won his third major championship of the year.
He arrived at Carnoustie two weeks early to practice.
However, he almost went straight back to America when he discovered there was no en-suite bathroom in his room at the Bruce Hotel in Carnoustie.
Back in 1949, Hogan and his wife survived a head-on collision with a
“It’s an incredible story to revisit ahead of this year’s Open. RICHIE HAWKINS TAYPARK HOTEL
Greyhound bus outside El Paso and he struggled to walk following the accident.
He knew if he could not soak his injured legs in a bath every night, he would not be able to complete the championship.
As luck would have it, a room with a bath was available in Dundee at Taypark House, which at the time was cash register-maker NCR’S private guest house.
The staff took him to their hearts, pooling their ration coupons to ensure he had a steak the night before the final round and putting good luck trinkets in his golf bag.
The company even gave Hogan a chauffeur to drive him to the course each day.
Richie Hawkins, the hotel’s owner, said: “We’re incredibly proud Taypark House has a place in Open history thanks to Mr Hogan’s visit in 1953.
“It’s an incredible story to revisit ahead of this year’s Open.”
By way of a thank-you, Hogan gave a clinic for the NCR employees at their factory and an inscribed watch to his driver.