England’s Stiggy Hodgson may not be the highest profile amateur in the Walker Cup matches this week, but he might be the most colorful.
He’s 5 feet 4, a bulldog in golf spikes, born of little means in a hardscrabble section of Chester, England, but his story starts with his name.
Hodgson’s first name is actually Eamonn, but he got his nickname and start in golf all at once. He got them falling into a garbage dump.
You might not believe the story in my words, so here’s how Stiggy explained it to the American media when we first met him at Merion after he won two points on opening day of the Walker Cup matches two years ago:
“Basically, when I was 2 1/2, my dad was late at home from work, and the trash guy out there, we called him a bin man. I don't know what you guys call the guy who collects the trash. My dad missed him. So he had to go to the skip, the dumpsters, I think you call them, to put all our trash away,' Stinson said.
'I was always glued to my dad's side. So, I went with him, and I was sort of messing around trying to help. Being knee-high, I fell into the skip, and I was rolling around, and I found a golf club. My dad, not knowing anything about golf, he thought it was a putter. And it turned out it was a mashie niblick, a 7-iron. And that's how I started golf. I went from there. And the story goes, there used to be a cartoon in England [Stig of the Dump], I don't think it's run anymore. So people just started calling me Stiggy.”
Hodgson is the only returning member of the ’09 Great Britain & Ireland team.