Harvey Penick spent his life teaching golf. He taught countless golfers how to “take dead aim,” claimed to have seen more golf shots than anyone who ever lived and shared his wisdom about the game in one of the best-selling sports books of all time. In recognition of his numerous contributions to the game, Penick was selected for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame through the lifetime achievement category.
A Texas native, Penick began his golf career as a caddy at Austin Country Club, became the assistant pro there at 13 and was elevated to head professional in 1923 upon graduation from high school.
“He found out in life that he had a gift for teaching,” said prized pupil and fellow Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw. “He was a fine player, but he made his life’s mission to help others in golf in any way possible.”
Penick frequently cited two events in determining his real strength lay in teaching. “I qualified for the U.S. Open at Olympia Fields in Chicago (in 1928),” he said in the book Texas Golf Legends. “It was the first time I was a long way from home. I saw Walter Hagen hit that ball like a bullet. I didn’t play very well. Coming home on that slow train, I thought I better stick to teaching.”