Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Harvey Penick (October 23, 1904–April 2, 1995) was a well-known golf pro and instructor. He began his golf career as a caddy at Austin Country Club at the age of eight. He became the club's assistant pro five years latter, and was promoted to head professional in 1923. He remained in the role until 1973.
Penick had a gift for teaching. He was the Golf Coach at the University of Texas from 1931 - 1963. In 1989 Penick was honored by the PGA of America as the inaugural Teacher of the Year. He is known as the author of the most popular golf book ever published.
Penick continued to teach almost up to the moment of his death. During his final illness, he rose from his deathbed to give a final lesson to his longtime student Ben Crenshaw. The day after serving as a pallbearer at Penick's funeral, Crenshaw played in The Masters. Crenshaw went on to win the event, weeping immediately after sinking the tournament-winning putt. In the post-tournament interview, Crenshaw told an audience of millions, "I had a 15th club in my bag," an obvious reference to Penick. (The "15th club" reference is based on the golf rule that limits a player to carrying 14 clubs during a round.)
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