FORT WORTH, Texas -- When most people think of the classic Byron Nelson-Ben Hogan duels, Colonial Country Club is probably the first golf club that pops into their minds. But their early competition took place down the road at Glen Garden Country Golf & Country Club in Fort Worth.
When they were both 15 years old, Nelson defeated Hogan in a playoff during the annual caddie championship there back in the 1930s, setting off one of the greatest golf rivalries of all time.
Hogan and Nelson have another tie with Glen Garden as well. They were all born in 1912 as Glen Garden celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
The now semi-private club, one of the oldest in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is planning a celebration packed with activities and special guests May 7-12. Among the guest speakers will be Nelson's widow, Peggy, who will address guests at a dinner at the club on Friday night, May 11, and sign copies of her book, 'Life with Lord Byron.'
The dinner will be followed the next day by a hickory golf tournament, which anyone can enter.
'We're encouraging everyone to wear early to mid-1900s golf attire,' Head Professional Jason Rocha said. 'And all proceeds will benefit the First Tee of Fort Worth.'
Glen Garden Country Golf & Country Club's nine-hole roots
Like many courses of that era, Glen Garden began as a nine-hole golf course with sand greens, the same kind of greens that Hogan and Nelson learned on in their youth. A few years later, nine more holes were added to create a golf course that Nelson said had one of the most unique back nines anywhere.
The course was designed by John Bredemus, the same architect who did Colonial Country Club as well as Memorial Park in Houston.
The course hosted a number of prestigious tournaments in its day, including a PGA Tour event. In 1945, when Nelson won his record 11 consecutive events, he notched his last victory of the year, his 18th, at Glen Garden Country Golf & Country Club.
In 2001, the golf course underwent a renovation, though Bredemus' layout was not change. Today, it's a par-71 just under 6,200 yards with four sets of tees.
Glen Garden's Centennial Celebration
Glen Garden Country Golf & Country Club's Centennial Celebration is open to members and non-members alike.
Cost for the hickory tournament is $150 for nonmembers and $100 for members. Tickets to the dinner are $35 each. Club officials are also working on getting some other special guests during the week, including Marty Leonard, daughter of Colonial C.C. founder Marvin Leonard, who is expected to participate in some capacity.
During the previous days, guests are invited to come out to the course and play. For more information, contact Rocha at (817) 535-7582, ext. 1.
'I really believe it will be a week to remember for all of those involved' Rocha said. 'And it will certainly be educational for those who aren't familiar with us and our ties to Hogan and Nelson.'