My Harvey Penick Story

This really isn’t about Harvey Penick per se, instead involves his daughter. I used his name because it will grab ahold of just about anyone that has ever played the game of golf or has connection to The University of Texas.

Mr. Penick owed a ranch down the road from us when Kenny and I were growing up down on the creek out of Jollyville. I think it was his weekend get away, but at the time of this happening his daughter was living there. She had a German Sheppard Dog and a Collie.

Us being goat people, we had to always be vigilant about dogs getting into and killing our animals. It was an acceptable practice at the time to shoot any dog found on your property that was endangering your flock.

Cec found the Penick dogs killing our goats one day and he shot and killed the German Sheppard, but the Collie got away and headed home. He was aware of where the dogs lived so he went up to tell the young lady that one of her dogs wouldn’t be coming home. I think the real reason he went was so she would know to keep the Collie penned up and not let it roam freely.

As you can imagine she didn’t take the news very well, declaring that her dogs were very well trained and would never be involved in such a thing. Of course the Collie ran up and nuzzled her and had blood all over him, but that didn’t change the fact that this barbarian had just admitted to killing her dog.

With Cec feeling like the message had been delivered he returned home and shortly thereafter the Sheriff’s Dept. showed up. I’m not sure if he was arrested for killing the dog or the manner in which he addressed the officer.

He was released when he posted a $15 cash bond. As far as I know there was never anything else came from this, nor should there have been.

Perhaps a city cop didn’t know the rules of engagement in the country but his superiors did.

FOOTNOTE: Harvey Penick was 87 before his book became the best selling sports book in history.

Harvey Penick obituary

The newsprint is difficult to read, but this excerpt sums up Mr. Penick.

Harvey Penick, the golf instructor whose little red book of hints and witticisms became the best-selling sports book in history when he was 87 years old, died at his home in Austin., Tex., on Sunday. He was 90 years old and had been in poor health for some time.

Only a week before Mr. Penick died, Ben Crenshaw, one of professional golf’s top players and best putters, visited the ailing Mr. Penick at his home. Frail, hard-of-hearing, and bed-ridden, Mr. Penick was made aware that Mr. Crenshaw, his longtime pupil, was having trouble with his putting.

Mr. Penick had troubled speaking, but he motioned to Mr. Crenshaw to get his putter — and proceeded to give the golfer a lesson from his sickbed.

Mr. Penick was a long-time guru in the golf world. He was the boyhood instructor of Tom Kite; he was the only coach Mr. Crenshaw ever had; he instructed Mickey Wright and Kathy Whitworth, two past stars of the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour, and he was a golf doctor consulted for emergency advice. He taught generations of players at the University of Texas, where he coached the golf team from 1931-1963

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