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Trivia Tidbits from Golf First Major

Any chance you have one of those guys around that thinks he knows virtually everything about the first major of the year? The course? The past winners? You know that guy, the guy that thinks he knows EVERYTHING!

Well, here are a few nuggets of little known or forgotten information that you might want to drop on him.

  1. “The 2 leaders after the 3rd round have always played in the last twosome. Of course they have! – Nope. Incorrect.  In the early years, the 3 round leader was given the honor of being paired with Bob Jones for the final round. When Mr. Jones’ health would no longer permit him to play, the honor was passed on to Byron Nelson until 1956. That year, the tournament leader was none other than Nelson’s student, amateur Ken Venturi. Thinking that playing with his instructor might give Venturi an advantage, the committee paired Sam Snead. From that point forward, the low 2 scores have paired together for the final round. Also, the 1956 tournament was the last one to be played without a 36-hole cut. Another little nugget of information for you free of charge.
  2. “I’ve got a buddy that’s good friends with the winner from 19XX, and he’s getting us on (to play the course) this summer!” – Not so fast my friend, wrong on 2 counts. Back in 1987 when Ben Crenshaw snapped his Wilson 8802 putter in the Ryder Cup and was trying to find a suitable replacement, I contacted him and sent him mine. Long story short, he used it for a bit, sent it back, thanked me and asked if anything he could do for me. Well now, being the salesman that I was, I jumped on the opportunity to ask him to get me on the course with him sometime, as he was now a Member of the club after winning, right? Not quite. Per Gentle Ben, the tournament winner is considered an Honorary Member of the club, not a Full Member, and is not allowed to bring guests. Guests must be invited by, and play with, Full Members. So, no, your buddy cannot get you on because he knows a past winner, and especially during the summertime. The course is closed from the end of may May until October.
  3. “The best hot dog I ever had in my life was at the tournament.” – Probably one of my all time favorites. A few years back, a local windbag was going off about the greatest hot dog he ever had was at the tournament and how cheap it was. I let him ramble on for awhile before I buried him by going through the menu of pre-prepared sandwiches that are sold at the concession stands that I knew by heart: Pimento Cheese, Ham and Swiss on Rye, BBQ, Masters Club, Egg Salad, etc. There are no hot dogs or burgers at the concession stands at the course that hosts the first major. “Well, maybe it wasn’t a hot dog I had.” I got a little personal satisfaction writing this speeding ticket. They say if you’re nice to the cop, he might go light on you. I didn’t on this guy.
  4. What are the 2 things found on most golf courses that you absolutely will not find at the club that hosts the year’s first major. Hint – Hot dogs and hamburgers don’t count. Think about it. Give up? Here you go, this one might win you a quarter or two. Cart paths and ladies tees. “Hey, there’s a cart path that cuts across 15 fairway in front of the tee box?” Unfortunately, that’s a maintenance path/service road that bisects the course, not a cart path. And before you pull out that the former U.S. Secretary of State is a member, yes she is and she plays from the member tees. On another note, you won’t find the tees that were played back in the day, the ones before the course was lengthened a couple of times. They’re gone. But, they do have GPS markers planted at the location of the old tees so that they can be easily found if ever needed.
  5. Final Jeopardy question? Here you go. “On this year’s telecast, they kept referencing this as the 79 tournament. The first ever was played in 1934, so that would make this year’s 82nd, right? Why are they saying the 79”  You’re right, it would be 82 years, if it were played each year. But, in 1943, 1944 and 1945, the tournament was not held because of World War II, when the club assisted the United States in the war effort by closing the course and actually allowing cattle and turkeys to be raised on the grounds. The course reopened for member play in 1945, but the tournament didn’t resume until 1946, so counting each year it has been played, yes, this year was 79.

Well, there you have it.

5 little nuggets of info that you might not have known or may have forgotten.

“But, where are all of the pictures normally found in your blog,” you might ask?

Ah, the club that hosts the first major championship for men’s golf each year (you note we’ve not mentioned either the name of the club or the tournament) certainly has those photos, and you can find them on the Internet. But, they are copyrighted.

Like the name of the club and the tournament.

Posting them would be a big no-no.

Let’s put it this way.  The only money we’d want to see change hands as a result of this blog is money from that guy’s pocket that you’re thinking of, into yours.

Who knows? With the right wager, you might win enough to buy yourself a hot dog.