The golf world lost one of its most famous writers on Thursday as Dan Jenkins passed away at the age of 89 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Jenkins’ career covering major championships started in 1951 at the U.S. Open and he would cover more than 230 in his career, which will arguably never be beaten because no one else is even close to that number.
Jenkins wrote for the Fort Worth Press, Sports Illustrated, and Golf Digest. He also wrote many books in his career and received the PGA Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the PGA of America.
In 2011, at the time he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Jenkins said of the honor, “There aren’t many writers in here. It’s a small group, and I’m pleased to be a part of it. I’d follow Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson anywhere.”
Both Hogan and Nelson were Fort Worth natives and Jenkins attached his wagon and rode it with great writing his entire career.
Jenkins was amazing. He knew when to be shrewd and how to convey information in a way that many of us can only aspire to do, and I ask you to spend some time reading his work on both Sports Illustrated and Golf Digest.
For now, enjoy this little excerpt from his book, “Sports Makes You Type Faster: The Entire World of Sports by One of America’s Most Famous Sportswriters,” which was published in August of 2018.
So this sportswriter walks into a press room …
That sounds like the start of a joke, right? But it isn’t. At this writing, it has been my job to spend one year and four months of my life in Augusta, Ga., covering the Masters for 68 consecutive years.
That’s a Masters record for journalists that stretches from the Augusta National veranda to a public course in Istanbul. Each day I go to the mailbox to see if the prize money has arrived yet. No luck so far.
But it’s been a great gig.
I can’t even fathom the things he’s seen between the pines at Augusta. Things I’ll never see in my lifetime. Things I can only imagine what it was like to be a part of while watching replays on TV.
Jenkins was also a fun follow on Twitter and used the platform both to inform and give opinions that show humor and the knowledge gained by a lifetime of covering the sport of golf.
His final Tweet sums up just how frustrating the game of golf can be for so many, but there aren’t many who have seen as many legends of the game play golf in person as Jenkins.
“To justify my inclusion in this terrific society,” he said of his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame, “I went back and looked at everybody who’s in it and did some statistics. It turns out that I have known 95 of these people when they were living. I’ve written stories about 73 of them. I’ve had cocktails and drinks with 47 of them, and I played golf with 24 of them. So I want somebody else to try and go up against that record.”
Good luck to anyone who tries to beat that feat.
It won’t be done.
The feature image is of Dan during the 2005 Golf Writers Association of America Awards Dinner.