Hermon Densmore “Denny” Shute is a familiar name only in golf’s most erudite circles. Certainly not a self-promoter, Shute was quiet, reserved and unassuming in life. He was so guarded against catching the gaze of the spotlight he would, at times, have his wife, Hettie, accept the trophies and checks on his behalf.
“[Shute] was about as loquacious as Calvin Coolidge,” wrote Herbert Warren Wind, comparing the golfer to the former President who, being a man of few words, earned the nickname “Silent Cal.”
While Shute wasn’t a vocal person, his golf game spoke volumes. Shute, whose father gave him his first set of clubs at just 30 months old, was a quick study. The son of an English pro, young Shute learned the game in Huntington, West Virginia. He won his first West Virginia State Amateur as a teenager in 1923, then won it again in 1925, and in 1927 added the Ohio Amateur to his burgeoning resume.