A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
“Forget about world peace. Visualize using your turn signal” (6/2)
“World peace begins with your turn signal” (6/2)
“World peace starts with using your turn signal” (6/2)
“Forget world peace. Visualize using your turn signal” (6/2)
Entry in progress—BP (6/2)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Entry from May 28, 2008
Horrible Horseshoe & Hogan’s Alley (Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth)

Fort Worth’s Colonial Country Club holds an annual PGA event and is recognized as one of America’s best golf courses. Ben Hogan (1912-1997) lived in Fort Worth and won the Colonial five times; the course has been nicknamed “Hogan’s Alley” since at least 1950. ("Hogan’s Alley” was also the name of an 1890s cartoon called by some to be the newspapers’ first comic strip.)

“Horrible Horseshoe” is the nickname for holes 3, 4 and 5—an unusually difficult part of the course. The “Horrible Horseshoe” nickname dates to at least 1985.

Wikipedia: Colonial Country Club (Fort Worth)
Colonial Country Club is a private golf club in Fort Worth, Texas (USA). It is host to an annual PGA Tour event. It is the longest running PGA Tour event to be held at the same site.
. The fifth hole of the course (which has the Trinity River running alongside the right for nearly the entire length) is often mentioned as one of the best holes in America, and is regularly ranked as among the most difficult in the annual survey performed by the Dallas Morning News (which appears in early spring in a special golf section).
. The course is ranked 73 on Golf Digest’s list the 100 greatest America golf courses.
. Annika Sörenstam was the first woman to play in PGA event since 1946, when Babe Didrikson Zaharias played in the Los Angeles Open.
. Ben Hogan has won the Colonial tournament a record five times.
. The course is nicknamed “Hogan’s Alley.”

Colonial Country Club—In the Beginning
Colonial Country Club was founded in 1936 by Marvin Leonard chiefly out of a desire to introduce Bentgrass greens to the area. Some people viewed Mr. Leonard’s determination to see Bentgrass greens succeed in the Southwest as a sign of his tenacity, but those who knew him better, recognized it as pure bullheadedness.

In 1927 at the age of 32, Marvin Leonard became enamored with the game of golf, playing regularly at both Glen Garden and River Crest. He developed his own game to the point where he shot in the low 80s consistently and dipped into the 70s when his putter was hot. 

Leonard’s interest in golf became intense to the point he studied all aspects of the sport, including golf courses - how they were built, how holes were designed, all about grass and sand. Unlike the bumpy native Bermudagrass greens in Texas, Bentgrass greens were as smooth as a billiard table. Leonard made up his mind that Texas courses should have Bentgrass greens. Everyone told him Bentgrass was too fragile to withstand the unforgiving Texas heat. Leonard persisted to the point he told the River Crest governing Board that if they’d let him convert two or three greens to Bentgrass, he’d underwrite the cost. If the experiment didn’t work, he’d pay for the conversion back to Bermudagrass. The then president of River Crest grew weary of Mr. Leonard’s harping about Bentgrass greens and finally told him, “Marvin, if you’re so sold on Bentgrass, why don’t you go build your own golf course and put them in?” The idea of Colonial Golf Club was borne.

Mr. Leonard engaged John Bredemus of Texas and Perry Maxwell of Oklahoma to assist with the course layout by asking each to submit five alternative plans for the course. After reviewing their recommendations, he asked them to submit five more from which Mr. Leonard began picking and borrowing from both designers to create the Colonial design.

By 1935 the golf course and first clubhouse neared completion. Mr. Leonard busied himself by contacting friends and business associates in Fort Worth to extend a personal invitation to play the Bentgrass greens at his “Colonial Golf Club.” The first members of Colonial were not charged a membership fee, rather they had to put up a security deposit of $50. When the club opened in January 1936, about 100 Fort Worth residents had joined Colonial Golf Club.

Mr. Leonard’s travels and his appreciation of golf had provided him the necessary insight to put Colonial Golf Club on par with the best courses in the nation; his dream was to put his club on the national map of golfdom. In the late 1930s, Mr. Leonard began lobbying the United States Golf Association to conduct the U.S. Open, golf’s most prestigious event, at his club. Getting the USGA’s attention was no easy feat, but with help from well-connected leaders in Fort Worth and by guaranteeing the USGA $25,000, the 1941 Open was headed to Fort Worth, Texas.

From the beginning, Colonial Golf Club was the private domain of Marvin Leonard, but in late 1942, Leonard had a different idea for Colonial; he decided to sell the club with a specific buyer in mind - the members of Colonial. He believed by giving them equity in the club, it would ensure its long-term success. His first pitch to the members was rejected almost unanimously. Not accustomed to the word “no” he continued to insist that selling Colonial to the membership was the best way to ensure the club’s future. He offered to sell the club at his own cost - an investment of about $300,000 - and was willing to forego the appreciation on the property. After many discussions, some heated, about 300 Colonial members voted on Mr. Leonard’s offer and approved it by a margin of less than a dozen votes. Thus, Colonial Golf Club became Colonial Country Club on December 31, 1942. 

Wikipedia: Ben Hogan
William Ben Hogan (August 13, 1912 – July 25, 1997) was an American golfer, and is generally considered one of the greatest golfers in the history of the game. Born within six months of two of the other acknowledged golf greats of the twentieth century, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson, Hogan is notable for his profound influence on the golf swing theory and his legendary ball-striking ability, for which he remains renowned among players and aficionados. His life is depicted in the biographical film, Follow the Sun (1951).

Early life and character
Born in Stephenville, Texas, he was the third and youngest child of Chester and Clara (Williams) Hogan. His father was a blacksmith and the family lived ten miles southwest in Dublin until 1921, when they moved 70 miles (112 km) northeast to Forth Worth.
Career and records
In 1948 alone, Ben Hogan won 10 tournaments, including the U.S. Open at Riviera Country Club, a course known as “Hogan’s Alley” because of his success there. Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, a modern PGA tournament venue, is also known as “Hogan’s Alley” and may have the better claim to the nickname. Hogan’s Alley is also the name of an FBI training complex, and the term has its origins in the late 19th century in the form of a cartoon strip, only later being matched with courses at which Hogan excelled. The sixth hole at Carnoustie, a par five from the tee of which Hogan took a famously difficult line off during each of his rounds in the 1953 Open Championship, has also recently been renamed Hogan’s Alley.

Wikipedia: The Yellow Kid
The Yellow Kid emerged as the lead character in Hogan’s Alley drawn by Richard F. Outcault, which became one of the first Sunday supplement comic strips in an American newspaper although its graphical layout had already been thoroughly established in political and other entertainment cartoons. The Yellow Kid was a bald, snaggle-toothed child with a goofy grin in a yellow nightshirt who hung around in a ghetto alley filled with equally odd characters, mostly other children. The kid wontedly spoke in a ragged, peculiar ghetto argot printed on his shirt, a device meant to lampoon advertising billboards.

Outcault drew four black and white, highly detailed single panel Hogan’s Alley cartoons for Truth magazine in 1894 and 1895. The character which would later become the Yellow Kid had a minor supporting role in these panels. The fourth cartoon, Fourth Ward Brownies, was reprinted on 17 February 1895 in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World where Outcault worked as a technical drawing artist. The World published a new Hogan’s Alley cartoon less than a month later and this was followed by the strip’s first color printing on 5 May 1895.

23 May 1950, Sedalia (MO) Democrat, “Ben Hogan in Tuneup Round,” pg. 11, col. 1: 
FORT WORTH, Tex., May 23—(AP)—The 36-man field for the $15,000 Colonial National Invitation golf tournament will be completed today. And the first news to hit the stars of the links tour as they come to town is that Ben Hogan still knows every blade of grass on tough Colonial country club course.

It hasn’t been called “Hogan’s alley” for nothing—the Mighty Mite has won two of the three Colonial tournaments held to date and tied for second in the other. He also holds the competitive record of 65 for the 7.035-yard course.

18 May 1967, New York (NY) Times, “Fort Worth Golf Gets a New Look” by Lincoln A. Werden, pg. 80:
This is Hogan’s native city and the Colonial course of 7,100 yards, with its sturdy par of 70, is known as “Hogan’s Alley.” Ben, the four-time United States Open Champion, has won the Colonial five times during its 20-year existence.

16 May 1985, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Colonial Has a Challenger at Each Hole” by Sam Blair:
The Horrible Horseshoe has the statistics over the long haul to support its nickname. In the 38 years since they started keeping records here,...

10 May 1987, Dallas (TX) Morning News, ‘Colonial Poised for This Year’s Walk into PGA Spotlight” by Mark Johnson:
Holes 3, 4 and 5, which came to be known as the “Horrible Horseshoe,’ were redesigned specifically for the Open.

19 May 1996, New York (NY) Times, pg. S5:
The second-round co-leader Wayne Levi ran afoul of the final hole in what locals refer to as the “Horrible Horseshoe,” the testy triangle out on the northeast corner of the course that comprises the third, fourth and fifth holes.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (1) Comments • Wednesday, May 28, 2008 • Permalink