Deconstructing the Glen Garden Caddy Championship segment

Aug 16, 2019

The Golf Films documentary Hogan relies extensively, and far too much, on the commentary of Dan Jenkins and Curt Sampson in its segment devoted to the infamous Glen Garden caddy championship of 1927. Chapter 2 - Childhood of Hogan as it Happened: Setting the Record Straight, available in the free preview, goes into great detail documenting from contemporaneous sources what actually did and didn't happen on the afternoon of December 23, 1927.

Somewhat surprisingly, the event was well covered by a local newspaper, the Fort Worth Morning Register, in its December 24 issue, and an image of the paper's extensive coverage, including a picture of the champion and runner-up, is included in the documentary:

Here is the same page, downloaded from the newspaper's archive, enlarged and annotated:

Here is a closer look at the article that discusses the results of the tournament, and it appears the folks at Glen Garden had a sense of humor: "Junior Williams, one of the smallest caddies, was presented with a football when he turned in the highest score, 137" for nine holes. 

One has to wonder why Golf Films chose to go with Jenkins' and Sampson's faulty recollections, other than theirs made a more melodramatic story, in keeping with a time-honored tradition of most Hogan biographers embellishing his hardships. It's worth noting that James Dodson's official biography tracked the realtime reporting very closely, and included some useful insight regarding the debate over the second nine holes that was omitted in the documentary.

In what is now an amusing time capsule, the Fort Worth Morning Register promoted the Glen Garden caddy day in its December 23rd issue:

I wonder whatever became of Skinnay, Pie-Face, Toad and Fats...


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