Golf Legends Revealed #2

This is the second in a series of examinations of legends related to golf and whether they are true or false.

This installment is a re-format edition, so these legends have already been posted on this site, just not in this format.

Let’s begin!

GOLF LEGEND: Sam Snead made a hole in one with every club in his bag (except for his putter).

STATUS: True

It just sounds absurd, doesn’t it?

Like the sort of thing you just tell a guy for the heck of it. “Oh yeah, Sam Snead? He totally hit a hole in one with every club in his bag!” Then, just for authenticity’s sake, “Oh, except for the putter, of course!”

However, remarkably enough, it’s true.

samsnead

Sam Snead is one of the most famous golfers of the 20th Century, a winner of seven major championships – three Masters, three PGA Championships and one British Open.

sam-snead-3

But perhaps most remarkable of all (to me, at least) is that of the thirty-seven holes-in-one (or “aces”) that Snead hit over his career, he had one for each of the clubs in his bag (except, as mentioned before, his putter).

That’s an interesting story, but the fact that it is actually TRUE just blows me away, but according to Golf Digest (who are real sticklers when it comes to approving these things, as you can only imagine how many stories take place on courses without video):

The holes-in-one he made with every club in the bag, including a 3-iron swung using only his left hand, were all witnessed and attested.

Amazing.

Chris Rodell also relates the story in his book about Holes-in-One (click on the link to purchase a copy), Hole In One! The Complete Book Of Facts, Legend And Lore On Golf’s Luckiest Shots.

GOLF LEGEND: A professional golfer protested a missed putt during a playoff match due to duck dung being on the green.

STATUS: True

In 2003, professional golfer David Hartshorne (shown below from his victory at the SRIXON Club Pro Championship in 2004) found himself in a bit of a predicament.

04_club_pro_winner

Hartshorne was in a three-way playoff match in a qualifying match where the winner would qualify to compete in the New Zealand PGA Open, where the winner could win $750,000. So a lot was at stake.

It got to the point where Hartshorne needed to drill a 35-yard putt to stay in the competition.

The problem was that there were duck droppings on the green between his ball and the cup.

Hartshorne requested that the duck dung be removed from the green.

The judge denied his request, arguing that “because the droppings had adhered to the green, they were not loose impediments. Furthermore, the droppings had been flattened and would not affect the outcome of the putt.”

After missing, Hartshorne appealed to the PGA for admittance to the Open anyways, but he was denied.

Done in by dung – so sad!

Thanks to Golf Digest for the quote from the New Zealand official!

GOLF LEGEND: CBS aired fake bird noises during their golf tournaments.

STATUS: True

The 2000 Masters Golf Tournament was won by Vijay Singh.

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However, it was a whole other type of singing that ended up with CBS, who aired the 2000 PGA tournaments on television, receiving a great deal of criticism.

The Masters tournament is always held the first week of April at the Augusta National Golf Club in August, Georgia, so there’s usually some nice Spring days to see the golf. The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping…wait a sec, ARE the birds chirping?

As it turned out, in 2000, CBS was actually pumping in recorded bird noises during their television coverage of various PGA golf tournaments, to give it a more naturalistic feel…to an outdoor tournament!!

They figured that the quiet would be unsettling, so they added chirping.

The ruse was discovered in August of 2000, when CBS aired the PGA Tournament in Kentucky. You see, their problem was that the birds on the tape were species that were not native to the tournament location and/or wouldn’t be singing in August.

Bird enthusiasts quickly picked up on it, and CBS copped to the ruse.

EDITED TO ADD: Since I first did this post, CBS has returned to the practice (or more likely, they began admitting they were still doing it), only making a point of recording the noises earlier in the day in the location where the tournament is taking place and then pumping the noise in later in the day so it has a more naturalistic feel (so no more New York birds chirping in Kentucky, for example).

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com

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