Back in the Day...

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    Fred Hawkins with Hogan in 1959. Remember watching him hit balls at various LA Opens at Rancho Park in the early sixties, toward the end of his career.


    Phil Rodgers, who  was one of the best putters and chippers I ever saw. He taught Nicklaus a better way to chip and now works with a few tour pros. Loved to watch this guy play. He never won as much as he should have given his talent, as his temper got in the way. His brashness and boasting covered an  insecurity that impeded his ability to break through and win majors. Here is a recent interview with Rodgers:,28136,1739172,00.html. I talked to him and took his photo with Chi Chi and Charlie Sifford at the US Open in 2008 (below)

    Rookie golf sensation Phil Rodgers holding his putter.


    And for those of you who remember, here's the man who was for awhile the longest hitter on the tour, a mountain of man (6'5")with very large hands, George Bayer. He won 3 tour events, died in 2003 at 77. I remember watching Bayer hit the ball out of sight.


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    Here's Marty Furgol, the pro I had mentioned in another post, who won five times on the Tour and played on the 1955 Ryder Cup team.  Curiously, although he grew up in the same town--New York Mills--as Ed Furgol, they were not related.

    I used to enjoy putting with him and he'd watch me hit balls when I was about 12 and 13. Not the easiest guy to relate to for a kid, but he knew a fair amount about the game and had some stories about playing with the greats of his era.

           1948 Marty Furgol hits from fairway-Wire Photo

    With Lawson Little: VINTAGE GOLF AP WIRE PHOTO Lawson Little Marty Furgol  Golf SIGNATURE (Eagle )  MARTY FURGOL   Logo Ball


    Martin A. Furgol (January 5, 1916 – November 23, 2005) was an American professional golfer. He won five times on the PGA Tour in the 1950s. He played on the 1955 Ryder Cup team. He was born in New York Mills, New York and died in Florida. Although he was from the same town as golfer Ed Furgol, they are not related.

    Coincidently, he was born on the same day as me.

    The Ryder Cup team he played on included Jerry Barber, Tommy Bolt, Doug Ford, Chandler Harper, Sam Snead, and Ted Kroll and Cary Middlecoff with Chick Harbert as the playing captain.  Not a bad team to be part of!


    I am constantly amazed at the stuff you come up with to post.  It's fun to wander along memory lane with you.



    Great post and pics.  True icons in our day, and George Bayer at 6'5'230lbs, was a BEAR.  Drafted by the Washington Redskins



    Another cool post that is early than my time.

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    Bert Yancey had a smooth, classic swing but an erratic career, due to being a victim of manic-depressive illness (bipolar personality). He was a good friend of Tom Weiskopf. His illness led to a few hospitalizations after some bizarre public incidents that were delusional and paranoid in nature. 

    Yancey became obsessed with the Masters and ended up sculpting out of clay small replicas of the greens at Augusta. He led the tournament one year but never ended up wining. He also finished high in other majors. He did have 7 PGA victories in 13 seasons. He took some teaching jobs after the Lithium he was taking for his illness led to tremors in his hands.

    After changing medications from Lithium to Tegretol, and being able to play again, at age 50 he tried the Senior Tour for a few years without much success. He ended up having a heart attack and dying at age 56 as he was preparing to tee off at 1994 Parklin Quest event in Park City, Utah. The tournament was won by Wesikopf, who asked that Yancey's name be engraved on his winner's trophy along with his own. I remember what a classical swing he had and what a good ball-striker he was. 


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    Thanks Doc for the story. These guys were just a little ahead of my time, I really didn't know anything about them till you shared with the community.



    Great story amd insight on a gool golfer.   Very classy move by the original "TW".


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    We continue our look at pros from the past with Joe Campbell.   He won the 1955 NCAA Championship, along with the 1956, and 1957 Big Ten Conference Championships. A win at the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur in 1955 added to his impressive golf resume. Campbell competed in the Masters in 1956, 1957, and 1958 as an amateur

    Campbell turned professional in 1958 and joined the PGA Tour in 1959 and competed for eight years. He received Golf Digest's Rookie-of-the-Year award in 1959. His 43 top-10 finishes[1] included three wins; he also finished in Top 25 103 times. He played on the Senior PGA Tour from 1986–1989, 1995–1996.

    Campbell made his home in Knoxville, Tennessee after graduating from college in 1957 until 1974. After his days as a tour professional were over, he was the golf professional at Knoxville's Whittle Springs from 1967–1974.[1] In 1974, he began working as the men's golf team coach at Purdue. Campbell is a member of the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame, inducted in 1969 and the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame, inducted in 2007.

     I remember that, like Charlie Sifford, Cambell would hit balls  on the range with a cigar in his mouth.


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    Johnny Jacobs is known for having a good time, in addition to his golf game. He loves betting on the ponies. Another one of those guys who had real natural talent, partly because of his size and strength, but never made the most of it while playing on the PGA Tour.

    Some say he never had the discipline to practice and liked partying too much rather than practicing. But he's had a successful career as a senior player. He always played in the shadow of his older brother, Tommy. 

    Johnny was one of the hot-shots in junior golf when I was young in Southern Calfironia Junior Golf. He's about 4 years older than me. He would wear these great white  FJ shoes with the kilites hanging to the side and tattered jean shorts. Big, strong, and clearly one of those guys who had his way with the girls. 

    Besides his brother, the guy he is now partnered with (Roger Fredericks) also played junior golf, was, as I remember, one of those who competed against my brother, a year younger.


    John Alexander Jacobs (born March 18, 1945) is an American professional golfer who played on the PGA Tour and currently plays on the Champions Tour. Jacobs is the younger brother of professional golfer Tommy Jacobs.

    Jacobs was born in Los Angeles, California. He turned professional in 1967. He played on the PGA Tour from 1968–1980. He never won an official PGA Tour event; his best showings were three 2nd place finishes.

    After reaching the age of 50 in 1995, Jacobs began play on the Champions Tour; his level of success has been dramatically greater than during his regular career. His accomplishments as a senior include a major championship and more than 70 top-10 finishes.

    Jacobs has teamed up with his brother Tommy and Roger Fredericks, to form Champions Corporate Golf Outings, a company specializing in creating custom tailored golf outings to small and medium size groups and companies.

    Jacobs lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    Regular wins (5)

    Note: None of these are PGA Tour events.

    tChampions Tour wins (5)

    From an article by Dan Gleason at in 2007:

    "Jacobs qualified for the 1960 National Junior in Detroit, at 15. While other kids dropped water balloons from hotel windows, he got a fake I.D., checked into a suite, rented a Cadillac, bought a bottle of scotch and picked up a 20-year-old girl.

    After the war, his carefree demeanor made him a fearsome money player. "He was always at his best when he was flat broke," says Jacobs's older brother, Tommy, a four-time Tour winner. A lot of marquee pros who played him for money went home with their pockets turned inside out."

    "I was a footloose bachelor looking for a good time," Jacobs says. "As for the women, I don't remember most of them. It's all a blur now. If I'd been going for a record, hell, I would have hired Wilt Chamberlain to be my accountant."

    "I take care of myself, compared to before," says Jacobs. "I quit cigarettes. And I don't drink hard liquor anymore--only red wine. Of course, I drink a hell of a lot of it." "He's a wonderful guy," says Tom Watson. "I just don't think his lifestyle was conducive to playing winning golf."

    Read more:

      John Jacobs Image

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    Frank Richard Stranahan (born August 5, 1922)[1] was a successful amateur golf champion. Stranahan was also the number one power lifter in his weight class from 1945 to 1954 and he became known on the golf course and off as the "Toledo strongman" long before the modern game of golf and fitness. After he retired from golf, He became a prolific runner, competing in over 100 marathons.

    Stranahan was born in Toledo, Ohio[1] and now resides in West Palm Beach, Florida. During his amateur career spanning from 1936 to 1954 he won over 70 amateur championships. His greatest accomplishments was that he was a finalist in over a dozen national championships, winning seven. He won two major championships (as they were counted at the time) the 1948 and 1950 British Amateur.[1] Stranahan was runner-up in five other major championships including the British AmateurThe MastersThe Open Championship, and the U.S. Amateur. He won the Canadian Amateur Championship in 1947 and 1948.[1] He won the Tam O'Shanter All-American Amateur six consecutive years from 1948 to 1953.[1] His globetrotting allowed him to compete in over 200 tournaments across three continents during his amateur career.

    Stranahan was born into a wealthy family. His father, R.A. Stranahan, was the founder of Champion Spark Plug. His father's millions allowed Frank to concentrate on golf. He remained an amateur most of his career, finally turning pro in 1954[1] after losing to Arnold Palmer in the 1954 U.S. Amateur Championship. As a pro, his greatest victory was the 1958 Los Angeles Open.[1] Stranahan retired from competitive golf in the mid-1960s.

    However, Stranahan's greatest personal feat, a footnote in anglo history, is that he helped save a British tradition unequal in world sporting competition, The Open Championship. After World War II when most American golfers ignored competing "across the pond", Stranahan competed in eight consecutive British Open Championships. His personal support, along with the 1961 and 1962 wins of Arnold Palmer, revived, sustained, and returned the greatness of The Open Championship.



    I remember Stranahan at the LA Open.  He also was a lady's man and the first that I can recall who was into weight training and diet. Probably a bit before Gary Player. When he gave up pro golf, he became a marathon runner.

    Amateur wins

    this list is incomplete

    [edit]Professional wins

    this list is incomplete



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    Arne Dokka won the USGA Public Links Championship in 1965 crushing Leo Zampedro 10 and 9. He had been a semi-finilist the year before. He was a three time winner of the Griffith Park Club Championship, and back to back Western Intercollegiate Tournaments playing for CS Los Angeles (where he was voted to their Hall of Fame) and USC. He was a teaching professional in the Los Angeles area who qualified  for and made the cut in  a number of local PGA Tour events in the seventies and eighties, including the LA and San Diego Opens.

    Arne was a friend of mine  when he was about 16-18 and I was a few years younger. I would practice with him at Sepulveda Municipal Golf Course in the early and mid-sixties. A very good chipper and putter who knew how to keep the ball in play, had an unorthodox swing, and died way too young, in 1996 at the age of 53.


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    Stan Altgelt 


    Golf instructor Stan Altgelt died on May 6, 2006 at his home in San Antonio, the result of a blood clot on his lung. 

    Altgelt, a Corpus Christi native, spent the last third of his life as a golf instructor. His approach was to focus on the body's role in the golf swing - how the muscles work to put it all together. "When you practice for months on one movement," Altgelt told the San Antonio Express-News in 2004, "you get a real awareness of one part of the body. As you start working on the whole swing, you really know and sense what everything is doing. You even know what your eyelashes and earlobes are doing."

    What made Altgelt's approach all the more unusual is that since 1994, when he suffered a spinal injury in a fall from a deer blind, Altgelt had been confined to a wheelchair.

    Stan Altgelt was a star of Texas golf in the late '60s and '70s. He played on the SMU golf team from 1969-72, then spent 1975-84 on the PGA Tour. His results weren't great, but his reputation was:

    "He was a very strong, physical ball striker," said Ben Crenshaw, who first met Altgelt when both were in college. "He had a beautiful swing. He struck the ball with a lot of authority, but he also hit the ball with the middle of the clubface so many times."

    Briggs Ranch partner Bill Rogers, who won the British Open in 1981, said Altgelt was one of the tour's most revered players.

    "Stan had as much talent as anyone that has picked up a golf club," Rogers said. "He had strength, mechanics, fundamentals and no one worked harder. It was beautiful to watch him play."

    Chronic back problems that first appeared in his rookie season on tour limited what Altgelt would accomplish as a tour professional. But not even the spinal injury suffered in 1994 would limit his accomplishments as a teacher.

    Altgelt applied lessons learned from ballet - his mother was a ballet instructor and, his obituary in the San Antonio paper said, he was taught "the mechanics of physical motion" by a Russian ballerina - to the golf swing, hence his focus on the phsyicality of the swing.

    While Altgelt wasn't the best-known instructor in San Antonio - he felt potential students were often scared off by the thought of taking lessons from someone in a wheelchair - he was among the accomplished. His students - including Alan Hill and George Fillis - have dominated the San Antonio city golf championships over the past decade.
    I remember Stan when we were about 15 year old. We played at the same country club course. He was pretty strong at that age with a square jaw and big smile. His family had moved out to California from Texas, where he grew up. We played at the same level at that time. Stan hit is further than I did but I could still beat him head to head more than he beat me. He was a good golf friend.
    Stan would talk about wanting to play on the tour. And, after some college golf,  he ended up doing it, even if it was with limited success. He talked about liking hunting even as a teenager. And it ended up that his becomming paralyzed had something to do with his interest in hunting, as he fell from a deer blind decades later. I enjoyed playing golf with him, as he was one of the few around the club who took the game as seriously at that time as I did.