The following posting was submitted by Kyle Crawford, grandson of Johnny Crawford, one of Austin’s best golfers in the 50’s. It includes a couple of newspaper articles from that time period that list the ten best golfers in Austin as of that time.
Coverage in the local paper was all there was before the internet and a digital world. Cell phones and computers did not exist.
Things have changed since then. The Austin papers now provide minimal coverage of local amateur golf. Fortunately Austin Amateur Golf and GolfAustin.Org are providing some coverage of those events, promoting local golf and trying to pay homage of our golfing history. I hope you enjoy this article.
My grandfather was also a legendary Austin golfer. He was in the top ten Austin golfers in the early 1950’s, maybe even longer.
In the 4/29/1979 Austin American-Statesman, Chuck Clark wrote, “Back in the late ’40’s and early ’50’s, tournaments in Austin were filled with many truly excellent shot-makers, their excellence attested to galleries far larger than what today’s local competitions attract. It was golf worth watching. Off the top of my head, there were folks like the Connolly brothers, Jimmy and Willard, George Seaholm, Walter Benson, Dudley Krueger, Johnny Crawford, Billy Penn, Roane Puett, Bill Morriss – and many others of championship caliber.” (Below is a copy of that article).
I could talk for hours about his stories, but I’ll keep it short for this email. He grew up in Hyde Park. He got into golf because his dad passed away when he was 8 and he had to make money to put some food on the table, it was during the Great Depression. To make money for the family, him and his brother, another Austin golf legend Maurice Crawford, caddied at Austin CC that was a few blocks down the road from where they lived. While he caddied, he got some lessons from Harvey Penick, and the rest was history in the making. He won some city tournaments and was runner up to some too. I have a couple of articles that show him as a top Austin golfer in the early ’50’s. My dad, Mike Crawford, went to UT and was on the golf team in 1978-1979. I went to Concordia University and was on the golf team in 2008-2010.
It’s so cool that this website exists. Austin really does have a rich golf history.
Although there is a standing invitation to the golfing public to contribute content to the GolfAustin.Org website, contributions like this rarely occur. We would like to say thanks to Kyle Crawford and encourage anyone with a golfing story to send material to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I like to say, it’s only a couple of paragraphs and a photo or two. All of you have written much more complex articles in high school and college English classes.