Henry Picard

Henry Picard (1 Masters, 1 USPGA)

1906 - 1997

Henry Gilford Picard (November 28, 1906 – April 30, 1997) was an American professional golfer.[2]

Born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Picard learned to play golf while caddying at the Plymouth Country Club. Already a talented player by his early 20s, he came to prominence after coaching from the leading instructor Alex Morrison.[3] A leading player on the PGA Tour in the 1930s and early 1940s, he won two major championships: the Masters in 1938[4] and the PGA Championship in 1939, where he defeated Byron Nelson on the 37th hole of the final.[5] Picard ("Pick" to friends) played on both the 1935 and 1937 Ryder Cup teams, winning both singles matches and one of two pairs matches.

Picard helped a struggling Ben Hogan with his game in the late 1930s, advising him to weaken his grip, and Hogan combined this advice with his own hard work to become one of golf's all-time great players. When he left the sought-after pro's position at Hershey Country Club in early 1941, Picard recommended Hogan as his replacement,[6] and he got the job.[3][7] Hogan dedicated his first book, "Ben Hogan's Power Golf," to Picard in 1953.[2][8]

Picard was pro at CC of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, 1925–34; Hershey Country ClubHershey, Pennsylvania, 1934–41;[9] then moving to Twin Hills G & CC, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,[6][10] for two years, then returned to his South Carolina farm in early 1943.[11] Other professional positions include CC of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PennsylvaniaCanterbury Golf ClubCleveland, Ohio; and Seminole Golf ClubPalm Beach, Florida. Among his students was Jack Grout, who later taught Jack Nicklaus.[12]

Picard retired from Seminole in 1973 and returned to Charleston and was named to the South Carolina athletic hall of fame in 1977.[13] He was a fixture in the local golf community in his later years, and helped future LPGA hall of famer Beth Daniel in her teens.[2][14] Picard played regularly into his 80s and died at age 90 in 1997.[2] He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in April 2006 and inducted in that October.[15]