Greatest, Smallest, Stalest: The Most Interesting Stuff At The Museum of Golf
Golf Digest's very own Max Adler heads to the USGA Museum in NJ to see everything from the George Low Wizard 600 Jack Nicklaus used and golf balls fashioned from shoe leather in a WWII POW camp to the club Alan Shepard took a shot with on the moon.
Released on 1/5/2017
Hi, I'm Max Adler with Golf Digest.
We're here today at the United States
Golf Association Museum.
Follow me, let's see what we can find.
Jack Nicklaus used this to win 15
of his 18 major championships.
A George Low Wizard 600 Sportsman.
There's two little sight lines on the top line,
which is rare.
You hardly ever see that anymore.
It's too bad it's in this case.
I wish I could kind of hold on to it right now,
and kind of steal some of that magic.
You know there's probably only one putter in existence
that could possibly overtake this,
and that's the Scotty Cameron that Tiger Woods
has used to win 13 of his 14 major championships.
It's a foil-wrapped cigar given to Bobby Jones
on his return from winning the British Open,
the British Amateur.
Why did he never smoke it?
He was a guy form Atlanta.
He like his bourbon, he liked his cigarettes,
but in this moment he showed some restraint.
It's almost a little bit of a metaphor for his career,
one that was kind of unfinished as he retired
from the game at age 28.
You look up in the night sky
and see the moon 240,000 miles away.
This golf club right here, it's been there.
Alan Shepard hit a couple shots in 1961
on the Apollo 14 mission.
And, you know, your first instinct is to think,
Who approved this?
And the answer is nobody.
He took this club head,
had it specially designed,
just tucked away in his sock
and was gonna attach this head
on the end of this sort of rock and specimen collector.
These prisoner of war golf balls,
fashioned from just scraps of shoe leather.
One of the guys who actually sewed this golf ball
was Pat Ward Thomas, who'd gone to become
one of Britain's premier golf writers.
A guy who loved the game and definitely believed that
a life without golf wasn't really worthwhile.
It kind of reminds you never to get hung up
on the difference between a Pro V and a Pro V1x.
It's Ben Hogan's 1-iron form the 1950 U.S. Open.
The most momentous win ever.
16 months earlier he'd been in a near fatal car crash.
Probably the most iconic photo of all time,
Ben hitting it on the 18th fairway at Merion
to set up the playoff that he'd win the next day.
And then the club went missing for about 30 years.
And so it's amazing to think of that 30-year gap
all the people who probably hit shots with it,
duffs and shanks and hooks.
And they didn't realize they were holding
the greatest golf club of all time.
This portrait of Arnold Palmer composed of quotes
that either he said or that people said about him.
The letters are a tenth of an inch.
There are almost 23,000 words here.
The artists worked at a rate of six to eight words an hour.
And it took them nearly 15 years to complete.
Around his nose are comments Arnold made
about the smells of golf.
Around his mouth are things that Arnold said.
Around his ears are things that he'd heard.
Well, I hope you enjoyed your exclusive tour
of the USGA Museum.
It's truly the history of the game.
I wish we could spend the whole day here.
Each item unlocks a whole new story
and a whole new chapter of the game.
If you're ever on I-78, heading towards New York,
definitely worth a stop.