The Loop

The day at Augusta National when an amateur routed Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer

February 26, 2016

Charles Harrison is a Georgia golf icon, a career amateur who is in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur 16 times and played in two Masters.

Harrison has had many memorable moments in golf, but maybe none as impressive as the round he played at Augusta National on April 1, 1960. It was the Friday before Masters week and he was playing a practice round with Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Australian professional Norman Von Nida.

On Thursday, the website ClassicGeorgia posted on Instagram a photo of the scorecard from that round. It shows Harrison shooting a 65 and beating Palmer by eight shots, Hogan by seven and Von Nida by nine.


Harrison, a member of East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, had qualified for the Masters by virtue of his reaching the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur.

On that memorable day, he was paired with Palmer in a match against Hogan and Von Nida, and had an individual bet with Hogan. Writer John Companiotte briefly described the match in a Georgia Journal feature on Harrison in 2010.

“At the turn,” he wrote, “Hogan asked Harrison where they stood in just their individual bet between the two of them. ‘You’re 4 down,’ replied Harrison, who had shot a 31 to Hogan’s 35. ‘Then I guess I better press you on the back side,’ Hogan replied. Harrison smiled back at him and said, ‘Mr. Hogan, I wish I had a recording of that.’ ”

Harrison would win $10 from Hogan, who shot 72, and another $25 partnering with Palmer on the team bet.

Palmer, incidentally, was the guest speaker at the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame dinner in Augusta in 1992, when Harrison was among nine inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.

Harrison, 84, still plays at East Lake and is an instructor for the First Tee East Lake.