Clay, a question about Ellis Bogan...

Mr. Bogan used to own Paradise Valley golf course back in the 60’s. I tried googling him and looked on the ASGA website, but couldn’t get any information. I just wondered about him and his life. He is an Arkansas Golf Hall of Fame Inductee, just like your dad. I was at the induction ceremony when your dad was inducted and you spoke.

I have a funny, interesting story about Mr. and Mrs. Bogan. When I came to college in 1966, I would play golf with my buddies at Paradise Valley. In those days, the course was in the country on a county road about 12’ wide with a cow pasture on the other side of the road. I had a horrible temper and used to get pissed off playing golf and would throw a club or two. Mr. Bogan, owned the course and was the superintendent also, would drive across the course in his pickup and tell me to leave. He told me one time to not come back. Well, I loved golf and in a couple of weeks, I came back to play, went into the pro shop where Mrs. Bogan, his wife, ran what passed for a pro shop. As I was paying to play, Mr. Bogan came in…he said to me, “what are you doing here?”. I knew I was toast, but Mrs. Bogan said, “Oh Ellis, let him play” and they let me play. I never got run off again. I remember hearing he was on the PGA tour in the 40’s or 50’s. He was one tough son of a gun who always had a cigar in his mouth.

Here is another really funny story. One day my buddies and I were playing 18 which ran alongside the county road going to the clubhouse. One of my buddies, who will remain nameless, hit a drive left out of bounds into the road. He threw his driver across the county road into the cow pasture on the other side of the road. There were some cows in the pasture, but we didn’t give it much thought. Willie, my buddy, crosses through the fence on the golf course side, walks across the road and is going to go through the barbed wire fence to get his driver in the pasture while us 3 guys are watching. He grabs the fence to pull it up and sneak in and get his club and much to his surprise, it is hot. He screams as he is shocked by the fence. We laugh until we cry. It was good to see somebody else make an $%# out of themselves, besides me.

I played the course through college and have a lot of great memories about the place. We had the SWC golf tournament there one year, and your dad covered it and wrote a piece on Ben Crenshaw of Texas in the Gazette.

Well, another story about that. I am living at Chateau apartments in Fayetteville and am out at the swimming pool reading the Gazette during the tournament. Your dad’s article was about Ben Crenshaw and he wrote in the article, “Crenshaw’s hair was that not unlike a thatched roof”. You know your dad’s writing style…it was pretty eloquent, but I was making fun of what he wrote or how it was worded to my buddies( not the hot wire buddy). Well, what are the odds…one of the guys around the pool was your brother Butch, and he let me know never to make fun or criticize his daddy. He caught me. It was pretty embarrassing. I never met your brother or ever saw him again, but I remember that little incident. What a coincidence…I still remember it from 50 years ago.

Great stories. My dad enjoyed hanging out with Ellis. I know I’ve heard stories about his golf ability. I’ll probably remember one as I think about it for a day or two. Tom Kite was on that Texas team, too. They grew up together in Austin.

Director of Operations for Petrino was Dean Campbell. He grew up in Austin, too. All three of them learned golf from Harvey Penick.

Dean and I watched a lot of practices in the two or three years he worked for Petrino. I don’t know why, but Dean gravitated to me. We talked golf and fly fishing. He’d been at Air Force under Fisher DeBerry and picked up fly fishing in the Colorado streams, some of the same ones I like. I took Dean to the Norfork River during his time here.

Just casually one day Dean asked me if I still played any golf. Not much was the reply. He said, “But would you still play a round with me.” So we went out to the Links at Wedington. He took a practice swing on the first tee and I was stunned. It was a PGA Tour swing. I know them.

Dean went around the 9-hole course in 34. He hit every fairway, every green and never had anything longer than about 30 feet. Then, he told me that he grew up with Crenshaw and Kite playing junior golf under Penick. Now it’s not a difficult course, but I don’t think it would matter. He could shoot par on most courses.

So he told me Crenshaw and Kite stories from their youth. Dean looked like a Tour player from that era. Almost all were 5-8 to 5-9. But you’ll remember he was one of the alternating split ends on Darrell Royal’s great teams in 1969-70. Dean grew up on the same street as Royal. Their fathers were friends. Dean went to junior college out of high school because he was too small for a scholarship. Darrell let him walk-on and he was basically a messenger for the plays because Texas wasn’t going to pass out of the wishbone.

A side note, I think they did a movie on Freddie Steinmark (the Texas player who died of cancer) and they shot footage of an Arkansas-Texas game. Dean was hired to make sure the wishbone was run properly in the movie and also gave advice on how the actor should play Broyles, too, but mostly just technical football stuff.

I threw a club once. I think I was about 17. I got mad after a t-shot got a bad break and bounced out of the fairway. It was at old Riverdale Golf Course, I think on No. 17. I was furious. I got a bad bounce. I don’t know if it went in a bunker, although I don’t even recall there being a fairway bunker on that hole. It’s funny how you can remember some things about a golf course. I think my thought was, I’ll throw it forward and I’ll pick it up. It landed on the toe and the shaft snapped. I saw it happen. I got home that night and was taking my clubs out of the trunk of the car and my dad saw the broken driver. He took my bag and put it in the car port shed and locked the door. He said he’d have to think about it awhile before he’d give the clubs back. I think it was several days before he relented. My Uncle Bill, the pro at Riverdale, was tough on me, too. I worked there for college funds. He gave me a used driver to play with. It wasn’t nearly the kind of shaft I needed and the persimmon head had some cracks. It was a couple of weeks before he put a new shaft in my old driver. I am sure that my dad and Uncle Bill conspired against me and I deserved it. I have not thrown a club since.

My dad took up golf when I was in the 8th grade. He didn’t really like golf but I was wildly in love with the game and he bribed me with new clubs, shoes and a new guitar if I would give up football. He was a smart man since I was way too small and slow to play football. We played almost every week at the Jaycee Coarse in Pine Bluff when I was in the 9th and 10th grades. After that work and girls became more important than playing with dad.

Years later dad and I played on occasion. When I was in my late 20’s we were playing at the Sheridan Golf Club and I was having a bad day. And I was grumbling and griping (and possibly throwing a club or 2). Dad stopped and told me either to act right or he was going home. I apologized and straightened my act out.

My dad taught how to be a man my entire life. I would give anything to play a round or two with him again.

I grew up in southeast Arkansas near a little fork in the road call Reydell on Hwy 88. My daddy was a tremendous shooter of the shotgun. He was a Sports Afield All-American in trap shooting in 1954, one of the best shots in the world. Some of the stories people tell me are incredible about how he could shoot. He would shoot at the Grand American in Vandalia, Ohio…like the U.S. Open of trap shooting. Anyway, he loved to hunt, but I grew up an animal lover and didn’t like to kill anything, but I did like to bird hunt because of the dogs. I loved sports, so I went with baseball and basketball.

He didn’t play golf, so we didn’t get to bond in that way…he probably would have jerked a knot in me had he played. I needed somebody to tell me how to act on the golf course. I was so competitive it just drove me crazy not be excellent at anything I did. You guys were lucky…

I was privileged to work for Ellis a few years at Paradise Valley. I will always remember him saying, “Johnny, go change them cups for me”. One time I made him laugh. When I first started working at PVC it was during the summer and very hot. I was having to hook up sprinklers and hoses all over the place. Ellis told me that I needed to make sure I took some breaks to get water. He laughed when I told him that I had been drinking out of the hoses. He told me that the water from those came out of the ponds on the course.

I did something similar working for my Uncle Bill at Riverdale. I was drinking out of the hoses on the course and he said it wasn’t a good idea. The water came from the Arkansas River.

Clay, are Drs. Bill and Dick Henry, the golfers, your first cousins?

Great stories all…

I don’t know the Henrys you are mentioning. My dad had four brothers: Bill, Howard, Ed and Travis. None were doctors. Bill and Howard were PGA Club pros. All four are deceased. They had three sisters. Dot and Margurite are both deceased. Youngest is Pat. She’s the only one left.

Which one is Brad Henry’s dad?

None of those. He’s son of my brother Russ. So Brad would be my dad’s grandson. My nephew. Fine father and husband. His mom Moppy was married to my brother for only a few years. I think a lot of Moppy.

Great stories and thanks for sharing. Tells me I need to figure out a way to make time going forward to play golf with my dad, before he can no longer play! Life is too short and I need to make the time, even if it means missing a couple of hours of work which I can do.

Side note, wish I could have played with my Grandfathers (Ray Watson and Hugh Kincaid) when I was a kid. Both of them were amazing golfers (One had I believe 5-6 holes in one) and my Grandpa Ray played in a lot of semi type professional stuff way back in the day. Back when I was finishing college and decided to take up the game (played on a tennis scholarship in college) I didn’t have any clubs. I went out to play a round with my dad thinking I would just use his clubs and he shows up with an old set of my Grandpas (Grandpa Ray) in an alligator skin golf back and cover. That son of gun was HEAVY to lug around but this guy wasn’t complaining. I used it for many years (boy did I get heckled by my buddies) until I finally had some money to upgrade my equipment. Man I wish I could have played golf with those two!!!

Brad’s a top notch guy…

Agreed. My daughter Sarah was able to sit with Moppy and Brad for two games at the College World Series.