In the late 1980s, wounded Vietnam War veteran Mike Hogan stood at a great precipice in regards to both his personal life and chosen vocation.

In the late 1980s, wounded Vietnam War veteran Mike Hogan stood at a great precipice in regards to both his personal life and chosen vocation.

So he decided to become a nanny.

"The hardest part was finding a family willing to take in a middle-age man to watch their children," the 64-year-old recalled in a recent telephone interview from his home in Auburn, Ala., where he moved from Columbus' East Side a few months ago.

An accountant at the time, Hogan's sudden career change put him on a path that eventually would earn him the honor of being the Memorial Tournament's Volunteer of the Year for 2009. The award is chosen annually through recommendations made by the Women's Division Committee.

The 2010 recipient will be announced at a ceremony Friday.

"It was just one of those things that, well, I thought I'd be good at it," Hogan said. "I crunched the numbers and went ahead with it. I figured I could always go back to accounting. I was fortunate to have that safety net."
Hogan did return to his former occupation, but not before an instructor at the nanny school he attended in Columbus introduced him to the Memorial's CubCare program, which provides off-site daycare for the players' children during tournament week. The program began in 1989 and is overseen by the PGA Tour.

"The way it's set up, the children are able to get into at least some sort of a routine," Hogan said. "The volunteers like me who help out change from week to week, but the same (primary) handlers are there at every tournament.

"The kids have lunch at the same time everyday, breaks at the same time. The older ones might have school assignments, or by the time they're 11 or 12 they might even follow dad on the course or go on day trips into town with mom. Being on the road like that so much, CubCare gives them a structure to their day."

Over the past 20 years, Hogan has volunteered at the Memorial in several capacities. One of them was working the assembly line for The Sandwich Factory, one of the food providers.

He found his niche in CubCare, however, and the time he spends there continues to provide a measure of fulfillment. Already divorced by the late 1980s, Hogan remains estranged from his three children, all of whom now are in their 30s.

"It definitely has (filled a void); I appreciate that, too," he said. "It's been a lot of fun, very rewarding. It's for a great cause."

Born in Michigan, Hogan grew up in Upper Arlington and in 1963 graduated from Watterson High School, which at the time was the only co-ed Catholic school in Columbus. He was cut from the boys golf team, but did write for the student newspaper. Hogan said most of the top male athletes of that era attended either St. Charles or now-closed Aquinas.

He earned a degree in history from Ohio State in 1967. By then, however, Hogan's four-year student deferment was about to expire so he entered the army as the number of United States' combat troops in Vietnam reached its peak in the late 1960s. After attending officers training school, he eventually was wounded serving as an observer for a forward artillery unit and ended up spending the remainder of his enlistment at Fort Knox, Ky.

Hogan attended another semester of college in Arizona following his discharge, then returned to central Ohio and took a customer service position with Ohio Bell Telephone Company. He began working toward an accounting degree at Franklin University and accepted an accounting job with General Telephone & Electronics, which today is known as Verizon. He worked at GTE in Marion during the late 1970s and early '80s but still resided in Columbus.

"In those days, there was only one (traffic) light between (Interstate) 270 on the North Side and Marion," Hogan said.

He later spent eight years working as an accountant for Wendy's, leaving to pursue his ambition of becoming a nanny. Hogan worked for a private family for three years during the early 1990s, but retired six years ago as an accountant for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in Columbus.

By this time, he also had become a veteran working at the Memorial, which annually deploys a virtual army of more than 2,500 volunteers during tournament week. For every hour worked by a volunteer from the tournament's Women's Division Committee, a donation is made to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Patron badges are a perk for the volunteers, but Hogan said he hasn't seen much golf through the decades. He often works all three shifts at CubCare, missing only the 2002 tournament following the death of his father one month before the tournament.

"You can only walk the course and admire all the beautiful homes so many times; seeing how the other half lives you know," he said. "It got to be more fun being with the children."

Some players will even call ahead to see if Hogan is volunteering again in CubCare, Memorial officials write on the tournament's Web site.

"Mike is always met on the first day of CubCare by kids calling out his name as they run to greet him as they come in the front door," one posting said. "Often, the children bring drawings and notes for Mike."
The children wear nametags, but they do not include last names so many times he isn't sure which players are the fathers. He has struck up a relationship with several, however, Chris DiMarco included. They enjoy bantering back and forth about their college allegiances, especially after DiMarco's Florida Gators defeated Ohio State in both the football and men's basketball national championship games in 2007.

Hogan, who three years ago became a chaperone when field trips were added to the CubCare schedule, tended to Tom Lehman's children in 1994 as Lehman won for the first time in his career at the Memorial by setting the still-standing tournament record at 20-under-par 268. Hogan also has kind words for fathers such as Ernie Els, the 2004 Memorial champion, and Jesper Parnevik, who when he plays is always a popular attraction at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

"Most of the kids, they seem very well-adjusted," Hogan said. "They don't seem spoiled at all."

These days, Hogan also enjoys walking in his leisure time and participating in activities provided by nearby Auburn University. He's the treasurer of his condominium association, of course, and he said he might begin looking into volunteering at a LPGA Tour event next spring in Mobile, Ala.

At this year's Memorial, Hogan might well be traveling the longest distance to volunteer his time. He's anxious to see his mother, Theresa, who resides in an assisted living facility in Columbus, and also a younger brother who lives near Cincinnati.

Hogan said he plans on making the drive up Sunday from his home in Auburn, which is located along the eastern border about an hour south of Atlanta. Columbus, Ga., is just a short drive away, too.
"Feels like home when I see the signs," he said. "I imagine I'll keep volunteering as long as I'm able to make the drive safely by myself, and as long as they'll continue to have me."

The Memorial Tournament's Volunteer of the Year for 2010 will be announced Friday. Below are the previous winners:
2009 Mike Hogan 2008 Donna LeCrone 2007 Bernie Miesses 2006 Rick and Nancy Minton 2005 Joyce Williams 2004 Kenneth Starr 2003 Jan Catherwood