Ben Hogan, considered by many of those who are most qualified to have an opinion on the matter as being the "greatest ever striker of the golf ball", didn't win his first tournament until 1940, at the age of 27.
He had turned professional at 18. The story is that it took him the best part of a decade to get his troubling tendency to "hook" (a problem he referred to as "like having a rattlesnake in your pocket") under control.
By the end of the 1940s Hogan, as well as having served as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps throughout World War II, was dominating the sport, winning 10 titles in 1948 alone.
And then, in February of 1949, disaster struck. Travelling with his wife Valerie, just outside of El Paso, Texas, the couple were involved in a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus.
Hogan, who had been driving, threw himself protectively in front of Valerie, an act of chivalry that likely saved both their lives - the steering column pierced the driver's seat. Valerie sustained only minor injuries but the impact left Hogan with a double fracture of the pelvis, a broken collarbone and ankle, a crushed rib as a bonus and blood clots in his legs to follow.
Doctors were doubtful as to whether he would ever walk again, let alone play golf.
Sixteen months later Ben Hogan, still suffering debilitating pain and with his legs bandaged, won the 1950 US Open at Merion.
It is one of the great sporting comebacks of all time. The story has everything: humble beginnings, hard work, duty, misfortune, heroism, courage and then triumph...
I'm sure there must be parallels that can be drawn between this and Tiger Woods' return to the top with his Masters win on the weekend... but they are a little bit thin on the ground...
Still, Tiger Woods, personal strife aside, is one of the very, very few players - literally a handful - who can be considered as occupying the same ball-striking ballpark as Ben Hogan.
And then there is the truly incredible thing about Woods - he putts as well as he hits the ball.
Unlike our Adam Scott, whose catastrophic efforts on the greens cost him, in the opinion of the experts, something like 10 shots and, more than likely, the tournament.
I watched Adam Scott putting on the weekend through my fingers, like you would a horror film. It was an unnerving experience, watching Scott over the ball on the greens.
I knew he was going to miss. He knew he was going to miss. I think he might've even known that I
knew he was going to miss. And then... he missed.
Putting is a dark art. Good technique doesn't hurt, but there's something more than good technique involved in getting the ball into the hole.
A type of combination of confidence, belief, luck and, for the believers, prayer. Success comes in unpredictable waves, like a lucky streak in a casino.
There is a talismanic element. You will find very little difference in the comparison from pro to pro with any of the other 13 clubs in the bag. But have a look at the putters! The strangest most varied assortment of objects you're likely to find outside the tray of a plumber's ute.
Champion of yesteryear, Tommy Bolt, once said, 'In golf, driving is a game of free-swinging muscle control while putting is like performing eye-surgery with a butter-knife.'
This gets to the crux of the matter. It's like there are two separate games when it comes to golf; there's golf and then that fiddling about bit on the greens.
And the thing is, a 300-metre drive has exactly the same value as a six-inch putt.
As the old saying goes, 'You drive for show and putt for dough.'
Ben Hogan was, perhaps, incredibly, both simultaneously the greatest player in the history of the game and the worst putter. He did however, in retirement, settle on a solution.
I was once in Fort Worth Texas, 1993. I played a round at The Colonial, Ben Hogan's home course, with the club pro.
At drinks after the round the pro told me, 'Mr Hogan still comes out every day, hits a bucket of practice balls and plays nine holes.'
'How does he go?' I asked.
'Oh, Tee to green he's still something to behold. Impeccable.'
'On the greens?'
'When he reaches the green,' the pro told me, 'Mr Hogan picks the ball up and puts it in his pocket. He does not putt.'