When Palmer lost at the 1961 Masters, Jenkins displayed his tough-but-truthful style: “Gary Player of South Africa is the Masters champion because Arnold Palmer was in too big a hurry to win it again.”
“There’s no other way to say it. The 18th hole at Augusta National might as well have been a slab of meat, the way Palmer butchered it.”
In 1985, Jenkins moved from Sports Illustrated to Golf Digest and has remained there since. But over the years his writing was not contained to magazines. Or just golf, for that matter. While at Sports Illustrated, Jenkins began writing fiction and non-fiction books, often about his other love: football.
In 1972, Jenkins wrote “Semi-Tough,” a best-selling novel about professional football viewed through the lens of his beloved Fort Worth. His most well-known golf books are “Dead Solid Perfect” and “The Dogged Victims of Inexorable Fate.” In total, he has written 20 books and sold millions of copies.
His career has spanned the typewriter to Twitter. Jenkins won his first award in the Golf Writers Association of America’s annual writing contest in 1957 while working for The Fort Worth Press. In 2011, he earned his ninth career award. This time, he was honored in the Internet category.
It should be no surprise, then, that Jenkins is now part of the small but decorated group of media members in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
“There aren’t many writers in there,” he said. “It’s a small group, and I’m pleased to be a part of it. I’d follow Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson anywhere.”