Using his 64th birthday as an excuse to laud the place Ben Crenshaw holds in the hearts of those who have benefitted from golf's architectural renaissance, we at Morning Drive discussed his legacy. (And Bill Coore also talked to the show via phone about his design partner's role in their many classic designs.)
While it's easy to morph Ben into the category of player-architect, his legacy is much greater than that of famous golfer who helped someone sell real estate. (Because in all honesty, pushing some lot sales is about the extent of most player-architect's legacy in the game.)
But as we discussed, Ben followed the groundwork layed by Pete Dye to revisit links golf and the efforts of our forefathers. His credibility as a lover of golf history and his worship of heros like Macdonald, Tillinghast, Ross, Thomas and MacKenzie opened the eyes of so many, including the host of this site. And by lending his name to book forwards, introductions and epilogues, Crenshaw injected his thoughts via writings that carried much needed weight with readers and decision makers at some of the world's great courses.
So while his legacy will always be tied to his amazing career as a two-time Masters champion, Ben Crenshaw's greatest contribution to golf will ultimately be his work as an advocate, historian, aficionado of golf literature and co-designer of courses.