Book recounts Crenshaw, Jackson's Masters partnership
The partnership of Ben Crenshaw and Augusta native Carl Jackson, the caddie who helped Crenshaw to both of his Masters Tournament victories, is historic in its longevity.
The men, who are together in their 36th Masters this week, have documented their experiences – and their great friendship – in a new book.
Two Roads to Augusta (The American Golfer Inc.), written by Crenshaw and Jackson with Texas writer Melanie Hauser, was released April 1. It came out just in time for Jackson’s 52nd Masters (a record for a caddie here) and Crenshaw’s 42nd start at Augusta National.
Starting work soon after the 2012 Masters, Crenshaw, Jackson and Hauser went “full bore” on the book, Hauser said.
Sessions were held in Crenshaw’s hometown of Austin, Texas.
“Carl, who lives in Little Rock, Ark., would fly in and we’d work,” said Hauser, who lives in Houston. “Sometimes it would be all three of us and sometimes it would be two of us. We sat down for a lot of hours. We knew what each other’s lunch orders were.”
Hauser thought she knew a lot about the Crenshaw-Jackson partnership until she sat down with them.
“With those two together, just hearing them talk about each other and the feelings they have for the place (Augusta National), I don’t think I’d ever heard them do that in such depth,” she said.
“I think it came out great,” Jackson said. “We had a lot of laughing; we had some crying, too. It felt good doing it. It’s like everybody thinks their baby is the best baby in the world. I hope this is true in this case.”
Crenshaw, who won his Masters titles in 1984 and 1995, said doing the book was fun.
“I think people will really, really enjoy it,” he said. “Carl spent his early life in Augusta. His Augusta stories are just fantastic. Growing up and starting as a caddie at Augusta Country Club and working his way up here.”
As a fellow Texan, Hauser knew much more about Crenshaw’s background than Jackson’s going into the project.
Jackson came from the poverty-riddled Sand Hills section of Augusta, and Crenshaw grew up comfortably in Texas. Their lives converged at the Masters, thus the title of the book.
“It’s the two different roads Carl and Ben took to Augusta,” Hauser said. “A lot of those caddies came out of the Sand Hills. Carl was one of those who was determined to make something out of his life. He didn’t want to just caddie and drink it or gamble it away. He wanted to make it a profession, and he did.
“And here comes Ben from a middle-class family. He’s a talented guy. Augusta gets on his radar, really about 15. It was the place he wanted to get. Carl, it was the place he wanted to get to get out of poverty. It was either picking cotton, doing something not so legal or caddying, if you wanted to get out of the Sand Hills.
“So it was their two different roads. The roads are so different but those men had such similar feelings about Augusta and knowledge about it that it was just amazing. ... It’s special. It’s really special.”