Question: Hogan's Alley: What and Where Is It, and Why Is It Called That?
Actually, Hogan's Alley isn't an "it," Hogan's Alley is a "they" or "them." Because there are multiple Hogan's Alleys in golf: Two golf courses are nicknamed Hogan's Alley, and one golf hole is named Hogan's Alley.
Answer: The two golf courses nicknamed Hogan's Alley are:
- Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
- Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas
- No. 6, Championship Course at Carnoustie Golf Links, Carnoustie, Scotland
We'll start with the individual hole, the No. 6 at Carnoustie. This hole is a par 5 with a split fairway. The safer play is go up the much wider right side, but the better line is up the narrower and more dangerous left side.
In 1953, during his only appearance in the British Open, Hogan played up the more dangerous left fairway - bunkers on one side of the tight landing area, out-of-bounds on the other - all four days. He won the tournament, and the hole became nicknamed "Hogan's Alley." During a ceremony in 2003, Carnoustie officially renamed the hole Hogan's Alley.
The two golf courses picked up the nicknames of Hogan's Alley because Hogan was so successful at each.
At Riviera, Hogan won what was then called the Los Angeles Open three times, the first in 1942. But it was following the 1947-48 seasons that Riviera started to be referred to as Hogan's Alley. That's because Hogan won three times there in that two-year period: the Los Angeles Open both years, plus the 1948 U.S. Open.
Colonial Country Club has always been the site of what debuted in 1946 as the Colonial National Invitation Tournament. And Hogan holds the tournament record with five victories. He won the first two years of the event, 1946-47, plus in 1952-53, and again in 1959.
Hogan is the only golfer to win the Colonial in back-to-back years, and he did it twice. It's also noteworthy that his 1959 win at Colonial was the last of his PGA Tour victories.