Curt Sampson

Curt Sampson

Curt Sampson, golf professional turned golf writer, came to golf the old-fashioned way—as a caddie. He looped for his father for a few years on summer Saturday’s, then turned pro, in a manner of speaking, at age 12, as one of the scores of disheveled boys and men in the caddie pen at Lake Forest Country Club in Hudson, Ohio. His golf game developed from sneaking on LFCC at twilight, an occasionally nerve-wracking exercise because the greens keeper intimated a readiness to call the cops on trespassers. Sampson—never caught—progressed as a player and as an employee, scoring a job as starter/cart maintenance boy at age 16 at Boston Hills CC, a public course, also in Hudson. His high water mark as a young golfer was a win in the Mid- American Junior in 1970. Sampson attended Kent State University on a golf scholarship and managed a municipal course for two years following graduation, worked a couple more as an assistant pro at clubs in South Carolina and Tennessee, then bummed around as a touring pro in Canada, New Zealand, and Florida. In November 1988, Sampson began to write full-time, mostly about the game of his father, golf. Texas Golf Legends, his first book, was collaboration with Santa Fe-based artist Paul Milosevich. Researching TGL gained Sampson introductions with people he has written about many times since: Hogan, Nelson, Crenshaw, Trevino, and a few dozen others. His next book–The Eternal Summer, a recreation of golf’s summer of 1960, when Hogan, Palmer, and Nicklaus battled–is still selling 15 years after its debut, a rarity in the publishing world. Sampson’s biography of the enigmatic William Ben Hogan struck a chord. Both Hogan and his next book, The Masters, appeared on the New York Times bestseller lists. Subsequent books and scores of magazine articles cemented Sampson’s reputation as readable and sometimes controversial writer with an eye for humor and the telling detail.

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