The GCS Bulletin Published by the Golf Collectors Society • March 2016 • Number 206
Rare Medals and
Olympic Golf’s First Champion
Also – The Beaumont Putter – It took 1,000 to get just one.
Jay Sigel to keynote 2016 AGM B
ob and Mary Gettis are pleased to announce that golf professional Jay Sigel has agreed to keynote our 2016 Annual General Meeting at the Kalahari waterpark/convention center in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. Sigel, a member of the Aronimink Golf Club, is a two-time U.S. Amateur Champion (1982-83), U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion (1983), Senior Professional Rookie of the Year (1994), and recipient of the USGA’s Bob Jones Award (1984), given in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. It will be a treat to hear from Sigel and maybe hear some stories of playing on the tour as well as his amateur championships. Will he try hickories at the GCS National, we wonder? Given the emphasis on leisure, recreation, and a Donald Ross Course at the Kalahari Resort, Bob Gettis is hoping for a sizable turnout in Pennsylvania. “Thanks to all who participated at the 2015 GCS Annual in St. Charles,” he says. “It was important to the success of the event and we hope you are planning to make it in September.
on the cover –
The 2016 AGM is scheduled for Sept. 17-20: • Saturday, Sept. 17 – Open House at USGA Far Hills Museum • Sunday, Sept. 18 – Registration, Pocono Manor GC available for play, evening auction • Monday, Sept. 19 – General Meeting, presentations, GCS National Championship, and banquet with Jay Sigel • Tuesday, Sept. 20 – Trade Show Be sure to visit the website of the Kalahari Pocono Manor Waterpark and Convention Center (there is a link on the GCS website. Not only is there an indoor waterpark (kids and grandkids will love this), there also is a spa and salon, fitness center, three restaurants, bars and additional dining options. Just nearby are a shopping outlet mall, casino, candle factory, and the Delaware Water Gap. For information, contact Bob at 570-646-0748 (h), or 919-3160044 (mobile). His email is email@example.com. Updates will be posted to the GCS website when available. TM
lympic golf is in the news this year, for the first time since September 1904, when the sport was last contested on this world stage. The venue was the Glen Echo Country Club of St. Louis, Mo., held there and then to coincide with the great World’s Fair. In 2016, it will be Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. George Lyon, a top Canadian golfer, bested Chandler Egan of the U.S. for the individual title. A story on Lyon by Doug Marshall, GCS member and president of the board of the Golf Historical Society of Canada, can be found on page 23 of this issue. The medal pictured on our cover this issue is not the one awarded to Lyons. Rob Stewart, general manager of the Glen Echo CC, says the club would dearly love to find it for display, but Lyon’s descendants believe it was sold or pawned during the Great Depression of the 1930s. No one has been able to find it. All that exists of the champion medal is the large photo, right, that is displayed in the Glen Echo clubhouse. Golf Collectors Society Bulletin
I attended the January “Cabin Fever” show in Columbus and there was a nice gathering of collectors and dealers, plus plenty of discussion about upcoming shows and hickory events.”
What you see on the cover is a medal awarded to second place in the team competition that was held on Sept. 17 (the individual matches were Sept. 1924) between three teams of 10 players each. The winner was the Western Golf Association team. This medal was given to members of the second place TransMississippi Team. The reverse of the medal is engraved Glen Echo Country Club, Olympic Team Golf Runner Up, Mermod & Jaccard Jewelry Co. ST LOUIS This medal is part of the collection of George Petro, whose collection of tropies and medals is featured in this issue on pages 10-14, and on the back cover as well. It was a happy coincidence that Marshall was writing about Lyon and Petro included a photo of this medal from his collection. Petro says the medal was part of an old St. Louis Fair Collection that had several “true” Olympic non-golf and one golf piece that all went to auction about 20 years ago. The auction did not 2
photo courtesy glen echo country club
A photo of the 1904 Olympic Champion’s medal given to George Lyon hangs in the Glen Echo clubhouse.
advertise to golf collectors. March 2016
Welcome to The Bulletin of the Golf Collectors Society
here are few other hobbies or pastimes with such a devoted following as golf collectors, historians, really, as their passion is the incredibly rich history of this ancient game. Collectors look for clubs and balls, of course, but there are books, art, ceramics, cards, post cards, bags, photographs, autographed items, rare items, trophies... well, the list is long and the enthusiasm for hunting down that rare and wanted item for the collection is part of what makes golf collecting so interesting, so gratifying. The GCS is more about just collecting, though. In this community you will meet men and women from all walks of life whose knowledge of the game is deep and fascinating. Their stories are colorful and include experiences on the tour, auction excitement, finding a rarity in a musty antique store, or speaking about the letter for a famous early golfer they just found in an old book. In the pages of The Bulletin, at golf collector meetings, or casual local events you can learn about almost any golf-related subject, share your own knowledge, and maybe pick up some important leads to help your golf club or historical society find a sought-after item. Each issue of The Bulletin offers news, history, stories, auction information, book reviews... stories you won’t find anywhere else... guaranteed! We’ve presented in these pages a few abbreviated articles to provide you a sample of what the magazine offers members on a quarterly basis. The stories are presented in their entirety on the members-only portion of the GCS website and in available print editions.
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Don’t wait. Visit the website below to join and gain access to a world of golf and golf history! The Golf Collectors Society is an international organization dedicated to preserving the treasures and traditions of the game of golf. Founded in 1970 by Robert Kuntz and Joseph S.F. Murdoch, the organization today has more than 1,400 members from 15 different countries. The philosophy of the Society was and has always remained a not-for-profit fraternal organization that encourages members to visit, share information, and to establish friendships based on a common interest, the love of golf.
Visit www.golfcollectors.com for information on how to join the Society.
18 Genevieve Hecker, part II – One of golf’s early women stars. 21 Canada’s George Lyon – The first Olympic golf champion. 22 The Beaumont Putter A golfer’s quest to create the “perfect” putter. 24 Classic Golf Books 25 Reading the Greens – Book reviews 26 Collecting European Clubs & Balls 28 Museum Corner – The USGA’s Pynes Putting Course. 29 Auction Activity 30 Classifieds
6 Regional News 9 Letters 10 Collector Spotlight – Major medals, rare golf trophies 14 The Unsung Greenkeeper – John Pressler 16 Letter from Across the Pond Report from Great Britain on hickory matches, amateur golf 17 Chicago Golf Heritage Society March 2016
President’s Desk H
Columbus to The Masters to the Poconos – a full season of golf and collecting
ere it is, March again. For those of you who live in the sunny climes, this might not be news, but the golf season is about to get underway.
In January, Gary and Susan Wyckoff hosted their “Cabin Fever Trade Show” at the Embassy Suites on the northeast of Columbus, Ohio. This event picks up the winter trade show started by GCS co-founder, Bob Kuntz, originally held at the Dayton, Ohio airport and known as “the Dayton Fly-In.” That event moved to a Holiday Inn on the south of Dayton that closed two years ago. Gary and Susan John Fischer III is a longtime took up the reins from Andy Crewe and moved collector of golf memorabilia, the event a little farther north. especially postcards and The show has been notorious for cold, and artwork. He is a member sometimes very snowy, weather. I can attest of the USGA Museum and that last year it was so cold I was afraid my Library Committee. John and car wouldn’t start. This year, the weather his wife, Lennie, have two was decidedly warmer, although we saw sons, John and Leonard, some rain. A nice crowd was present and both of whom are Golf Collectors Society members. there were around 60 tables full of quality collectibles. One exhibitor told me he’d made some wonderful acquisitions on Friday, but no sales. Perhaps Saturday treated him better, but, as I’ve always said, nothing ever leaves the trading room, it just moves around from table to table, which is fine as long as everyone leaves happy. For the second year, Columbus resident and GCS member Dr. Michael Hurdzan opened his
doors to display his collection. This alone is worth the trip. Another harbinger of the start of the golfing season is The Masters which starts the week of April 4. Last year, 1988 Masters Champion Sandy Lyle, an ardent hickory player, played a practice round on Saturday before the tournament with a set of Tad Moore replica clubs which Tad made to Sandy’s specifications. Lyle’s goal was to break 80 (he didn’t), but he played from the back tees. While the final tally wasn’t reported, Lyle did par the first and last holes. It would have been interesting had he played from the forward tees which approximate the course and yardage from the first Masters in 1934. Sandy played 13 modern clubs during the tournament itself, but kept his hickory shafted putter in play. For those who want to follow Lyle’s example, his putter was a Tad Moore Chicopee model, a center shafted blade with a flanged sole. Lyle may have picked up a few hickory acolytes. Dustin Johnson tried Sandy’s hickory driver and knocked it 280 yards down the fairway, and Tiger inquired at the Champions dinner about Lyle’s hickories and came back later to make sure he got Tad Moore’s name correct. I call first dibs on Tiger for my hickory scramble foursome. GCS members are always helpful, generous and outgoing. Bob Gettis, knowing my wife’s nickname is Lennie, brought a Walter Hagen “Lucky Leny” putter to Columbus for my consideration. Its wooden head was a bit dirty and the name hard to decipher. I got three separate suggestions from our members on how best to clean up the head – all different. Hmmm, where to go from here?
Sandy Lyle on the 12th at Augusta National. He played the course from the back tees with a set of Tad Moore replica hickory irons and woods. Golf Collectors Society Bulletin
The GCS is a wonderful organization, but we always need new members. Print out a few membership applications, put your name down as sponsor and give them to your golfing buddies. I’ll buy dinner at the Annual Meeting for the member who brings in the most new members. John Fischer III
The ultimate DIY putter The Beaumont Putter is testament to the fact that one good putter is worth a 1,000 others. But, really, who in their right mind would go to such lengths? Surely it would have to be someone with a talent for design, an engineering background, perhaps, plus connections in the golf industry, and a very healthy wallet. Consider the story of Mr. Green Berry Beaumont of Philadelphia. Orphaned in 1887, Beaumont and two brothers “left” the the orphanage and hitchhiked to New York by stagecoach, there to seek a living. Arriving with a “nickel and a banana,” the boys found work and Beaumont managed to attend night school, eventually earning a degree from Temple University. Skilled in the area of commercial construction, Beaumont became one of the principal construction superintendents on the F.W. Woolworth Building in New York City. Over time he would help build some of the largest buildings in the country. As an Army officer stationed in Washington D.C. during
By John Capers III
he putter. Perhaps no other club in the considerable history of the game has generated greater anguish or been the subject of as much experimentation. Anything that might give its owner greater confidence in the two-foot to six-foot range was a consummation devoutly to be wished. Pick up a copy of The Golf Club, by Jeff Ellis, or a copy of Pete Georgiady’s Collecting Antique Golf Clubs, or one of his value guides and you will find any number of iterations on the flat blade. Most golfers have dreamed of owning the perfect putter, that special club which excites the envy of all. In our fancies, it was of a special material and of a precise design of our own creation. It would be patented, of course, and its secrets kept close. A club maker, sworn to secrecy, would be solicited to produce the sacred blade.
Canada’s Lyon was 1904 Olympic champion George Lyon was an exceptional athlete who found golf quite to his liking. By Doug Marshall
y September 1904 George S. Lyon was 46 years old, had been playing golf for only eight years and was in a tough match with the reigning U.S. Amateur Champion, 20-year-old Chandler Egan. It was an Olympic match, too, only the second time golf would be an Olympic sport, and the last, until this year in Rio de Janeiro. (Canada, by the way, is the defending Olympic golf medalist.) The venue in 1904 was the Glen Echo Golf Club in St. Louis, which was hosting both the World’s Fair and the Olympics. In a thrilling 36-hole final, Lyon overcame the young champion, who had already earned a first-place trophy in the driving contest and a gold medal in the March 2016
team event, by 3 up with 2 holes to go. How could an unknown Canadian best the young American, whom many considered the favorite? Lyon was one of 80 some contestants competing to qualify for 32 match play spots and then play five days of 36-hole matches to win the Gold Medal. Glen Echo was a fairly new course of 6,100-yards with undulating fairways, trees, ravines, and creeks. The one-year-old greens had not yet matured and were difficult to read. The length was acceptable at the time, many players george lyon photographed around 1904. having converted to the new wound rubber Haskell golf ball, nicknamed their yardage to protect their par. the “Bounding Billy.” This ball was to Lyon had qualified tied for ninth make golf courses at that time lengthen while Mr. Egan, had led the qualifying 5
Classic Golf Books By peter yagi
an old classic
A History of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews from 1754-1900. By H.S.C. (Harry Stirling Crawford) Everard. 1907 William Blackwood and Sons.
his venerable tome is certainly one of the cornerstone books in golfing literature. It has all you could ask for in a piece of classic literature – a topic that is central to golfing history; an attractive cover with the silhouette of
A Modern classic
the St. Andrews’ skyline; and beautiful plates (the first golf book to employ the use of colored illustrations, nine total, plus many black and white). The book is very well written. It is easily read and enthralling even today. Personally, I’ve found many of the books from that time period quite hard to decipher. This one is certainly not. Obviously an important history, this is the first work on the home of golf, St. Andrews. For such a famous and important book, it is not at all easy to obtain and, curiously, has never had a
Legendary Golf Clubs of the American East. Photographed by Anthony Edgeworth. Written by John de St. Jorre. Published by Edgeworth Editions, Wellington, Fla. 2003. Trade edition with dust jacket and green limited leather-bound edition with attached silk bookmark and hard shell slipcase. Preface William C. Campbell.
term too commonly used nowadays is “spectacular,” but this item truly is. Among the many so-called coffee-table books out there, this one is certainly a cut above. The quality of the production,
reprint. It is invaluable since it contains much information on the early history of the club, and thus the game. Topics include: The early Dutch origins of the game;
photos, topic, and composition make it a definite collector’s item. Born and educated in England, de St. Jorre was a worldwide journalist before turning his attention to writing golf books and screenplays. Edgeworth is a top-notch photographer who has done work for many high quality magazines and major corporate advertising campaigns. His signature style with the golf series is doublepage panoramic views of golfing venues. Edgeworth was not just the photographer in this case but also the publisher. This volume covers 12 of America’s most historic venues, nine of which were formed
Collecting European clubs and balls By Geert and Sara Nijs
very now and again auction houses, antique dealers and private persons offer for sale clubs and balls once (or still) used in the continental golf-like games colf/kolf, crosse/choule and mail/ mall. The way in which these rather exceptional collectables are named and described by the auctioneers shows that there is limited knowledge of these games and their equipment. They probably use the information provided by their clients. It seems that sometimes these clients may be rather ignorant about what they have collected. Golf Collectors Society Bulletin
crosse balls are recognisable for their ellipsoid shape. From left: a golf ball, an
original boxwood ball, a modern hornbeam ball, a celluloid ball, a nylon ball and a ‘pressed wood’ ball.
Auction Activity Willie Dunn’s Stars & Stripes Golf Ball One of the rarest golf balls in the world, this ball was produced in the 1890s and is among the most valuable – fewer than a dozen are known to exist. This is one of the finest examples of the remaining known balls. Final Bid $25,330.80 Green Jacket Auctions www.greenjacketauctions.com
Walter B. Pedersen Convex Face Niblick Golf Club In his patent application, Pedersen explained that he believed that the convex face of a club would generate greater backspin from prolonged contact with the ball. This convex face niblick has a flange, pat. pend. stamp, from Mount Vernon, N.Y. Very few were ever produced. Final Bid $438.15 The Golf Auction www.thegolfauction.com www.greenjacketauctions.com Golf’s first book, published in 1743, offered for auction by Bonhams on Feb. 14 (after deadline of the March Bulletin).The auction house stated, “only 2 copies appear in the auction records for the last 40 years and only 10 copies are recorded in the census of the United States Golf Association published in the 1981 facsimile edition.” Expected to fetch up to $60,000. Check the GCS website for the final bid.
Bubba Watson Head Cover. Autographed. Final Bid $131.45 Heritage Auctions www.sports.ha.com Upcoming Auctions
• Mullock’s Sporting & Golf Memorabilia, 10:30 a.m. May 26, 2016 • Green Jacket Auctions, March 23 - April 9, 2016 March 2016
The Machrihanish Golf Club, watercolour on paper signed and dated 1902 A view across the dunes with golfing figures and distant hills, image 6.75-by-15 inches. By Maude Parker, a watercolor artist who exhibited at the Royal Academy, New English Art Club, the Fine Art Society, Society of Women Artists and elsewhere. Final Bid £4,600 Mullock’s Specialists Auctioneers and Valuers www.mullocksauctions.co.uk 7
Classifieds FO R S A L E
WA NTE D
F OR S A L E
GCS Bulletins beginning in 1979. Numbers 46-199 (missing 51, 104, 107, 119, 134). All prior to No. 181 are in three-hole punch binders. Also, The Best of the Bulletin 1970-1977. Shipping at actual cost. Highest bid accepted. firstname.lastname@example.org
Very large accumulations of the following types of golf collectibles: Pinbacks and Medals, Autographed Hats and Visors, Pin Flags, Tournament Money Clips, and Programs. Bob at Golframer@gmail.com or 408-838-5340
Golf/Golf Illustrated 1890-1914 copies available. The premier research reference material for the Golf Historian. See the GCS Bulletin, December 2015 issue, pages 35-37. For information, Colin Palmer at email@example.com
Exciting second edition of Golf – A Good Walk & Then Some, a Quintessential History of the Game. 500 pages, over 100 photographs. At Barnes & Nobel and Amazon.com. John Jenchura at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inventory and equipment from Class A Clubmaker who is retiring and would like to sell. New and used irons and woods, new sets, shafts and grips. Equipment from Mitchell, Golfsmith and Golfworks. Contact email@example.com or 828-754-3509 (N.C.)
Old golf ball boxes of either Patty Berg and Babe Zaharias. Ideally full – but empty OK. Contact Gary Hilgers: GaryHilgers@gmail. com or 612-325-3175 China-related golf clubs, items and memorabilia. Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org Ceramics, Art. Peter Helweg, Henrico, Va., 804-683-4697, email@example.com Autographs of U.S. Open Winners – Horace Rawlins, James Folis, Joe Lloyd, Willie Smith, Willie Anderson, Laurie Auchterlonie, Alex Smith, Alex Ross, George Sargent, John McDermott, Cyril Walker. Contact: Tom Lupinacci, 904-233-1023 or firstname.lastname@example.org For Sale – Tom has a wonderful collection for sale with over 580 items. Email Tom for details.
Library for sale – includes Robt. T. Jones limited edition Down the Fairway and two other signed Robt. T. Jones books. And many others. New Tad Moore Tom Morris 8-club hickory set. Large, heavy, Tommy Armour door stop. Ron Swesey at: email@example.com 402290-0565 or 402-933-7164
WA NTED Dorset Field Club memorabilia – This year Dorset Field Club will commemorate its founding 130 years ago. Member Dick McDonough is seeking any historical memorabilia – clubs, old scorecards, photos, trophies, etc., that you may have and are willing to part with for $$$ or trade. Dick at: firstname.lastname@example.org Any memorabilia pertaining to The California Golf Club of San Francisco, founded in 1918. Contact: Member Ray Youngdahl, 650-703-8349; or Glenn Smickley, GM, at 650244-0104, email@example.com
Artifacts or memorabilia pertaining to the 1971 Ryder Cup at Old Warson Country Club in Ladue, Mo. Judy Drennen, 314-968-0840, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Golf Library and Memorabilia Collection of the Late Joseph P. Garrity With Additions Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 11:00 am Pacific Time Previews: Monday, February 29th, 1 pm - 5 pm Tuesday, March 1st, 9 am - 5 pm Wednesday, March 2nd, 9 am - 5 pm Thursday, March 3rd, 9 am - 11 am Now accepting consignments for our Fall Sale. For more information contact Gregory Jung at 415.989.2665 or email@example.com SPECIALISTS IN EXCEPTIONAL BOOKS & PRIVATE LIBRARIES AT AUCTION BOOKS - MANUSCRIPTS - MAPS - PHOTOGRAPHS - WORKS ON PAPER 1233 Sutter Street : San Francisco, CA 94109 415.989.2665 firstname.lastname@example.org www.pbagalleries.com
Golf Collectors Society Bulletin
SPORTS COLLECTIBLES AUCTION May 12-14, 2016 | Online
18 Paintings from the Walter Spitzmiller/Jack Nicklaus Original Artwork Collection “Jack’s Majors” Seeking Quality Consignments – Deadline: March 21
1986 Masters Jack Nicklaus “Do You Believe in Magic” Original Artwork. Estimate: $20,000+
1967 US Open Jack Nicklaus “Another Duel with Arnie” Original Artwork. Estimate: $15,000+
1978 British Open Jack Nicklaus “A Return to St. Andrews” Original Artwork. Estimate: $15,000+
1972 Masters Jack Nicklaus “Beginning a Magical Year” Estimate: $12,000+
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THE WORLD’S LARGEST COLLECTIBLES AUCTIONEER
Each issue of The Bulletin presents a profile of a collector and items from his or her collection. The March edition featured items from a collector in New York who had acquired several items on the table shown above. The photo shows golfing great Harry Vardon, pictured around World War I, with all of his significant trophies and medals. The four-page collector profile introduces members of our far-flung Society and shares their stories of auction adventures and other treasure hunts. The above photo was a portion of the display on the back cover of the March 2016 edition of The Bulletin.
Also presented in the March 2016 Bulletin, was a story on the Pynes Putting Course, at right, a treat for visitors to the USGA’s Far Hills, N.J. headquarters. A “Museum Corner” story is in every edition of The Bulletin with information on displays and exhibits at the USGA and other golf museums around the world.
The Bulletin is the Society's quarterly magazine, with information and stories about golf history, golf collecting, and national collector m...