And Picard has a bagful to see. "I love to sit next to Henry at the champions dinner," says Sarazen. "He's so congenial. And he was an excellent player."
"He's a truly wonderful man," says Snead. "He was one of the very best players on tour. He was such a good athlete, he could have won some tournaments one-handed."
Picard is exceedingly generous, which is one reason he is so well liked. He received $1,000 for winning the 1934 North & South, and that night he gave the cash to a friend's son, Willard Reynolds, so he could enroll in medical school. The same night, Picard went to the home of Charleston's mayor to ask for help in getting Reynolds into the school.
One of Picard's biggest benefactors was Hogan, who used Picard as his swing coach for many years. In 1940 Hogan was battling a wicked hook when, desperate, he asked Picard for help. "Ben came to me in a pretty good fix. He said, 'I'm playing great, but I don't win enough. What can I do?' " The two worked together at a tournament in Florida, then Hogan went to Pinehurst in North Carolina, to practice. Picard rotated Hogan's left hand a tad to the left in his grip. That summer Hogan won the North & South and three other titles, and, of course, he eventually conquered the world.
Hogan got more than golf advice from Picard. In the mid-1930s, Picard was in the dining room at the Blackstone Hotel in Fort Worth when he overheard Hogan arguing with his wife, Valerie. Hogan didn't have enough money to take her with him to the West Coast. Picard offered to lend him the money to help out, an offer Hogan appreciated but never took him up on. "He never used a penny of my money," asserts Picard. "It was the safety of knowing it was there that kept them going together."
Even though he didn't take the money, Hogan was so touched by Picard's gesture that in 1948, he dedicated his first book, Power Golf, to him. The dedication was especially meaningful, considering Hogan's dispassionate nature. "Henry is a very fine man, and I was fortunate to have enjoyed his company and friendship," says Hogan, who still talks to Picard on the phone once or twice a year. "He was a great golfer and he remains one of my best and favorite friends. He was so kind and generous, and his encouragement gave me the inspiration to keep playing in my early years."
Despite his legacy as player and teacher, Picard remains one of the Masters' most uncelebrated champions. He has no videos, no books, no signature equipment or course designs. While peers like Snead, Nelson and Sarazen are still star attractions, Picard is content on the sidelines.
But one day each year, Picard steps back into the spotlight at the annual Masters champions dinner at Augusta National. Until 1980 Picard made the trip to Augusta himself, driving 175 miles west on Route 78, but because of cataracts and a pacemaker, one of his three sons, Larry, 59, now drives him.
"I never dreamed how important the Masters would be to me," Picard says. "It was still a young tournament back then, but over the years the aura has grown. It's tough to explain how it feels being a champion, but it does feel good. No matter what, I've got the jacket that everybody seems to want, and I love having it."