John Marvin Leonard

In the depth of the Great Depression, Marvin Leonard was convinced he should build a championship course in Fort Worth and that the course would be a host of the U.S. Open. In all of this, Leonard proved to be right. The new club, designed by architect John Bredemus, opened in 1936 and was a masterpiece. His dream came true - the U.S. Open was held there in 1941.

The visions of Leonard required imagination and money. The source of his fortune was the Leonard Brothers Department Store. The store was a huge success in the Fort Worth area. Leonard’s doctor ordered him to get out of the store and get some fresh air. In 1927, Leonard began to play nine holes everyday. He played at Glen Garden Country Club, where he occasionally employed a quiet caddy named Ben Hogan. The merchandising genius and the caddy/assistant pro would eventually become business, golf, and gin rummy partners. Leonard eventually built three Fort Worth golf courses: Colonial, Shady Oaks, and Starr Hollow.


Birthplace: Linden, Texas

Born: February 10, 1895

Died: August 27, 1970