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A Chronicle of the Philadelphia Section PGA and Golf in the Philadelphia Area
by Peter C. Trenham
1935 to 1939
Contents

Go Back to 1930 - 1934... ...
1935 Henry Picard won six PGA Tour events and Gene Kunes won the Canadian Open.
1936 Jimmy Thomson reached the finals in the PGA Championship and won the Richmond Open.
1937 Byron Nelson won the Masters Tournament and Henry Picard won his second consecutive Hershey Open.
1938 The Section hosted the PGA Championship at Shawnee Inn & CC and Henry Picard won the Masters Tournament.
1939 Byron Nelson won the U.S. Open and Vardon Trophy while Henry Picard won the PGA and led the money list.

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1935 - On the second weekend in February Henry Picard won the Agua Caliente Open in Mexico. He picked up a first prize of $1,000 from the $5,000 purse plus a percentage of the betting money by finishing two strokes in front of Harry Cooper (288) and Willie Goggin (288). Picard put together rounds of 73, 73, 70 and 70 for 286. Jimmy Demaret and Ky Laffoon tied for fourth with 290s. There was pari-mutuel betting there and a strong field was entered even though the PGA had gone on record in opposition to those tournaments. The pros received 10% of what was bet on each round.

Henry Picard and Johnny Revolta won the $4,000 International Four-Ball tournament in Miami in mid March. They defeated Paul Runyan and Horton Smith one-down in an 18-hole playoff. Their better-ball score was a four-under-par 68. The day before they had finished up tied at the end of the 36-hole final match. The winners each received $1,000. The Picard-Revolta team reached the finals by beating Willie Klein and Vic Ghezzi one-down. In the other semifinal match the Runyan-Smith team eliminated Jug McSpaden and Gene Sarazen 5&4.

Leo Fraser followed George Izett as the professional at the Seaview Country Club. Leo’s father James had been the professional at Seaview from 1916 to 1922 and Leo had grown up next to the course. Now 25-years-old he had been working in Michigan as a head professional for nine years. Izett, a former assistant at the Merion Cricket Club and the head professional at the Seaview Country Club for the previous two years, opened a custom club shop in Haverford that spring. Izett had been trained in club making in his native Scotland and had gained an enviable reputation as a club maker. Later that year he moved his business to Ardmore.

On March 15 with the opening of the golf season just weeks away Llanerch Country Club announced that Denny Shute would not be retained for another season. A salary difference that could not be worked out was the reason given. The next day Shute’s assistant Marty Lyons was hired to succeed him when the contract expired on May 1. 150 members had signed a petition asking the officers of the club to hire Lyons. Lyons had started at Llanerch as a caddy and he had been an assistant there under two professionals, John Edmundson and Shute. Lyons contract, which was identical to Shute’s, included a guarantee that he would earn $10,000 or more. He stayed at Llanerch as the head professional for the rest of his life, 34 years.

Henry Picard won the $3,000 Charleston Open on the fourth Saturday in March. He had just left Charleston in December to take the head professional position at the Hershey Country Club. He led from the start, to finish two strokes in front of Johnny Revolta (280). Picard’s rounds were 68, 69, 71 and 70 for 278. Harry Cooper (282), Wiffy Cox (283) and Byron Nelson (284) finished third, fourth and fifth. Walter Hagen, who finished up at the end of the money list in 14th place, was allowed to enter the tournament one day late. Hagen played 36 holes the last day while the rest of the field played 18 holes.

The next week in March several Philadelphia Section members cashed checks in the $4,000 North and South Open. The tournament was played on the Pinehurst Country Club #2 Course. Felix Serafin (284) and Henry Picard (285) finished second and third, well back of the winner Paul Runyan. Runyan put together rounds of 65, 71, 72 and 68 for a 276. Ray Mangrum finished fourth at 286. First prize was $1,000. Serafin won $700 and Picard won $500. Ted Turner (290 for a tie for 9th) and Gene Kunes (294 and tied for 13th) were also in the money. The tournament ended on Friday.

Two days later the pros were at the Atlanta Open. On April 1st Henry Picard won again with a last round 65, which added to his earlier rounds of 70 and 74 gave him a 209 total. Picard ended up two ahead of Harry Cooper (211) and six in front of Byron Nelson (215). Horton Smith and Johnny Revolta tied for fourth with 216s. First prize was $400.

At the second Masters Tournament in early April Henry Picard (286) finished fourth and Denny Shute (287) finished fifth as Gene Sarazen (282) won beating Craig Wood (282) in a 36-hole playoff with a 71-73 for 144 against Wood’s (75-74) 149. In the last round Sarazen had holed a 230-yard spoon shot for a double eagle on the 15th hole to catch Wood. Sarazen’s tournament rounds were 68, 71, 73 and 70 for 282. Olin Dutra finished third at 284. Sarazen won $1,500, Picard $500, and Shute $400. Leo Diegel (296) and Ed Dudley (296) tied for 19th. Gene Kunes (298), who had worked for Dudley at Augusta the winter before, tied for 28th.

With the playing of the Masters Tournament the Winter Tour had been completed and new Section member Henry Picard was the leading money winner with $5,560. He had won three tournaments, Agua Caliente, Charleston, and Atlanta, since early February.

On April 13th Ed Clarey left Juniata Golf Club and started his new job as the professional at the Cobbs Creek Golf Club. That winter the Fairmount Park Commission had put the position up for auction and Clarey had won the bid. He succeeded Horace Gamble as the professional. Gamble, who was retiring, had been the professional at Cobbs Creek since the day the course opened in 1917.

The Section’s spring meeting was in Philadelphia at Raymond’s Restaurant on the third Monday of April. The main topic of business was their first annual Philadelphia PGA Invitation Tournament that was scheduled for the end of May at the Llanerch Country Club. The Section officers had decided to invite some amateurs. They thought that the dates would give them an excellent chance to attract a strong field since the U.S. Open was in Pittsburgh a week later. It would be a two-day tournament with 18 holes the first day and 36 the second day. If there were more than 60 entries the field would be cut to the low 60 after the first day. The purse would be $3,000 and it would be generated by selling ads in a program book and charging admission fees to the spectators. A.B. "Al" Nelson, one of the Section’s three vice presidents, had moved across the Delaware River to the Hopewell Valley Country Club and was now a member of the New Jersey PGA. The tournament chairman and First Vice President Charlie Schneider presented the season’s schedule of nineteen competitions to the members at the meeting.

U.S. Open qualifying was held at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club in mid May. Qualifying was now being held at 25 cities in the country, five more than the year before. The entry fee was still $5. Philadelphia entries totaled 111 and the players were competing for eleven places in the championship. In spite of 200 yards having been recently added to the course the course record of 70 was broken twice. Forty yards was added to the 8th hole. Ted Turner led the field with a four-under-par 68 and a 72 for140 as he broke the record in the morning round. Even though Henry Picard was the leading money winner on the winter tour he had to qualify. He grabbed the second spot with an afternoon 69 for 142. Next in line to earn their passes to the Open were Ed Dudley, George B. Smith and Clarence Ehresman with 149s. Gene Kunes, Felix Serafin and John W. Campbell were one stroke higher at 150 and safely in. Joe Zarhardt, the professional at the Burlington Country Club and Joe Brennan, now the assistant at the Langhorne Country Club, also qualified with 151s. Buzz Campbell (152) grabbed the eleventh and last spot in a sudden-death playoff with a par on the first hole. All eleven qualifying places were won by the Philadelphia Section pros. Leo Diegel and Joe Kirkwood, Sr. were exempt from qualifying for having finished among the top thirty in the previous U.S. Open. Kirkwood withdrew just before the U.S. Open was played.

In late May Henry Picard was still on his game winning the Met Open at the Lakeville Country Club on Long Island. With his four rounds of 69, 75, 67 and 73 for a 284 total he finished four strokes ahead of South Africa’s Sid Brews (288). Former Section member Charles Lacey now the head professional at the host club tied for third with Willie Macfarlane at 289 and the defending champion Paul Runyan was next with a 290.

Two days after the Met Open the Section’s members held their stroke play championship at the Concord Country Club. There was a small entry due to the number of tournaments scheduled near the same time. Some of the pros said they had a problem with the expense of tournaments so close together and the time away from their clubs. Clarence Ehresman edged out the host professional and the Section’s tournament chairman Charlie Schneider (148) by one stroke with a 71 and a 76 for a 147 score for the day. Ehresman took possession for one year of a new solid silver cup that replaced the Public Ledger Cup. Ed Dudley had retired the original cup the year before by winning the tournament three consecutive times. Gene Kunes, Bruce Coltart and George Low, Jr. tied for third with 149s. The entry fee was $5 and the secretary-treasurer of Concord added $100 to create a purse of $180. First prize was $60.

The Section held its first annual Philadelphia PGA Invitation Tournament at the Llanerch Country Club. The two-day tournament began on the last day of May with 78 professionals and 34 amateurs entered. Among the pros entered were five Japanese professionals who were touring the country and playing in their first tournament in the United States. Clarence Ehresman led the first day with a 67, sparked by a front nine 30. The field was cut for the second day and the contestants played 36 holes. Sid Brews, runner-up in the British Open the year before, finished on top with rounds of 68, 74 and 71 for a 213 total. Brews, who had been born in England, had been living in South Africa for a number of years. He took away $300 from the $1,225 purse. North Jersey’s Clarence Clark (214), who set a new course record with a last round 66, missed tying for first by one stroke and won $250. Five hundred spectators watched Clark just miss a 15-foot putt on the last green, that would have forced a playoff. Leo Diegel (216) and Henry Picard (216) tied for third and Felix Serafin (218) finished fifth. Merion Cricket Club assistant Al Keeping (221), Ted Turner (221), Clarence Ehresman (222) and George Fazio (222), the assistant pro at the Jeffersonville Golf Club, were also among the thirteen pros cashing checks.

The U.S. Open was played at the Oakmont Country Club in first week of June. Eleven Section members were in the starting field. The course had over 300 bunkers and the greens were the fastest the pros played on all year. Henry Picard shot a two-under-par 70 in the third round, which was the low round of the tournament, but his other three rounds were in the high 70s. Picard’s 306 total left him tied for sixth, seven strokes behind the winner Sam Parks, Jr. a local professional from the Pittsburgh area. Parks won with rounds of 77, 73, 73 and 76 for 299. Jimmy Thomson (301) reached the 621 yard twelfth hole in two on the way to a second place finish. Walter Hagen was next with a score of 302. Denny Shute and Ray Mangrum tied for fourth with 303s. Ted Turner (309) tied for 14th. Picard won $218.75 and Turner won $55.  Ed Dudley (312) and Gene Kunes (312) tied for 21st, missing the money by one stroke and Felix Serafin (324) also made the cut. Leo Diegel, George B. Smith, Buzz Campbell and Joe Zarhardt missed the cut. Joe Brennan, John W. Campbell, Clarence Ehresman and Joe Kirkwood, Sr. withdrew in the first round.

The annual Pennsylvania Open was played at the Hershey Country Club in late June. Ray Mangrum of Los Angeles won with rounds of 72, 73, 75 and 70 for a two under par 290. Clarence Clark finished second one stroke back with a 291. Gene Kunes led the Section pros finishing third with a 294, which included a 68 in the third round. Country Club of Scranton professional Felix Serafin and Clarence Ehresman tied for fourth at 296 with former Section President Bob Barnett who was visiting from Chevy Chase.

At the same time the Pennsylvania Open was being played at Henry Picard’s home course he was playing in the British Open at the Honorable Company golf club, Muirfield, Scotland and finishing sixth. Picard’s (292) total was nine shots off Alf Perry’s winning score of 283. Perry’s rounds were 69, 75, 67 and 72. Alf Padgham finished second at 287 and Charles Whitcombe was next with a 288. Lawson Little and Bert Gadd tied for fourth with 289s. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. withdrew.

In the third week of July Ted Turner won the Philadelphia Open at the Aronimink Golf Club. Par for the course was reduced from 73 to 72 for the tournament. The defending champion, Herman Barron (297) finished second, five strokes back of Turner’s four over par 292 total and Ed Dudley was third with a 298. For his rounds of 75, 69, 76 and 72 Turner won $350 and received a gold medal. Ralph Hutchison the new head professional at the Saucon Valley Country Club and Angelo Paul tied for fourth with totals of 300. Charlie Schneider and the Skytop Club’s professional Harold Calloway tied for sixth at 302. Calloway’s brother thought up the Calloway System for handicapping events for golfers who didn’t have handicaps. Some of the Philadelphia pros received checks for being affiliated with clubs that were members of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. The purse totaled $950.

Henry Picard teamed up with Johnny Revolta to win the first annual Inverness Four-Ball at Toledo in early August. This was Picard’s fifth win of the year on the PGA Tour. The winners each took away $500. The field consisted of eight two-man teams with a team playing an 18-hole match against each of the other teams. This meant that each team played 126 holes of match play golf in four days. The pros burned up the Inverness Club as Picard and Revolta were 24 under par and Leo Diegel and Jimmy Thomson who finished last were 11 under par. Denny Shute and Vic Ghezzi finished second and they split the second prize of $800.

On the first Monday in August Ed Dudley won the Central Pennsylvania Open at the Reading Country Club. Even though the weather was perfect no one broke 70. Dudley shot a 70 and a 73 for a one-over-par 143, to edge out Felix Serafin (144) and Gene Kunes (144) by one stroke. Kunes had a 70 in the afternoon. Dudley won $100 plus he and Kunes made $25 extra for having the low individual rounds. Harry Markel (145), Jack Hiner (146), now the professional at the Tavistock Country Club and Ted Turner (147) finished fourth, fifth, and sixth.

Ed Dudley won the $3,500 True Temper Open in mid August. Dudley put together rounds of 71, 70, 73 and 71 for 285. True Temper was the brand of steel golf shaft that most golfers used at that time. The company that manufactured the shafts was the American Fork & Hoe Company. In 1949 the company changed its name to True Temper, after its best-known product. The company was located in Madison, Ohio and the tournament was held at the Acacia Country Club near Cleveland. Terl Johnson, who had been working at the Valley Country Club near Hazleton the year before and was now in Decatur, Illinois, tied for second one stroke back at 286 with Clarence Clark. Johnson would be the head pro at the Plymouth Country Club two years later. Billy Burke and Ted Luther tied for fourth with 287s. Walter Hagen (288) finished fifth and Henry Picard (289) tied for sixth.

Five days later in August the third annual Hershey Open got under way at the Hershey Country Club. At the completion of the second round a gallery of about 600 watched Joe Kirkwood, Sr. demonstrate his trick shots. Ted Luther of Ohio and Felix Serafin ended up tied at the conclusion of 72 holes with two-under-par 290s. Milton Hershey, the president of the Hershey Chocolate Company that also owned the Hershey Country Club, invited all of the 60+ contestants who completed the 72-hole tournament to a dinner that evening. The next day, a Sunday, after 72 holes in three days, an 18-hole playoff was held and that ended in a tie when Serafin chipped in for a birdie 2 on the 18th hole. The two pros tied with 76s. They were then sent out for another 18-hole playoff. After 108 holes in four days Luther finally emerged the winner of the $1,000 first prize with a 75 against Serafin’s 80. Luther’s tournament rounds were 72, 73, 74 and 71. The total purse was $4,000 purse. Denny Shute (293) and Milwaukee’s John Revolta (293) tied for third three strokes back and two strokes ahead of Gene Kunes (295), who finished fifth. Leo Diegel was in the money as he finished tenth at 297. The host pro, Henry Picard (300) tied for 13th keeping his money-winning streak alive. It had been nine months since he had missed cashing a check in a tournament. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. and Clarence Ehresman came in at the end of the money list with 301s.


Buzz Campbell
1935 Section Champion
The Section Championship was played at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in late August. It started on Monday, the day after the Hershey Open ended. Bruce Coltart, Woodcrest Country Club professional, won the qualifying medal with a one-under-par 71. The low sixteen qualified. The host professional Morrie Talman qualified with a 74 and lost in the quarterfinals to Walter Work. The clubhouse and pro shop at the Altwold Golf Club, where Work was the professional, had burned to the ground recently without one cent of insurance. Robert "Buzz" Campbell, the son of 1926 champion Jack Campbell and his assistant at the Old York Road Country Club, won the title defeating Harry Markel in the finals 6 & 5. In the semifinals Campbell defeated George Low, Jr. 2&1 and Markel ousted Work two-down. The defending champion Gene Kunes opted not to defend his title as he had entered the Canadian Open instead.


Gene Kunes
1935 Canadian Open Champion
Won Philadelphia PGA twice
Won the Pennsylvania Open
The same week of August the Section Championship was being played the Canadian Open was also being held near Montreal at the Summerlea Golf & Country Club. Gene Kunes showed that he had made the right decision by outplaying a strong international field. Kunes’ even par 280, which was made up of rounds of 70, 68, 74 and 68, won by two strokes over Vic Ghezzi (282). Ed Dudley tied for third with Tony Manero at 285. Jimmy Hines (286) finished fifth while Horton Smith (287) and Ray Mangrum (287) tied for sixth. Kunes had won two Connecticut PGA Championships and the East Falls Open along with the Philadelphia PGA Championship. By reaching the semifinals of the PGA Championship at the Park Club in Buffalo the year before, he had shown that he was getting close to a big win on the PGA Tour.

The 72-hole Wildwood Open was played on the first Saturday and Sunday of September. The course was very wet due to heavy rains the day before the tournament started. The players were allowed to improve their lies in the fairways and on the greens they were allowed to clean the mud off their golf balls. George B. Smith, now an assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club and Joe Brennan were tied for the top spot at the end of the 72-holes with 287 totals. On a Saturday two weeks after the tournament had been concluded Smith defeated Brennan in an 18-hole playoff with a 73 against Brennan’s 74. Smith’s rounds in regulation play were 71, 69, 73 and 74. North Jersey’s Maurice O’Connor finished third with a 290 and Bruce Coltart ended up in the fourth spot at 291. At the same time the amateurs in the field played for the Bright Memorial Trophy. Smith won $250 and nine other pros won checks. 

Qualifying for the PGA Championship was held at the Rolling Green Golf Club in late September. Thirty-one Section members played for eight places in Oklahoma City. Ed Dudley grabbed the medal with a 72 and a 70 for an even par 142. The only other professional to score under 150 was Ted Turner with a 145 total. Charlie Schneider finished third with a 150. Ed Ginther (151) and Ralph Hutchison (152) finished fourth and fifth. The Lancaster Country Club professional, A.B. Thorn, qualified with a 150 but he decided that he didn’t want to go to Oklahoma City and didn’t turn his card in. Leo Diegel, Walter Brickley, Charlie Hoffner and Jimmy Lyons tied at 153 for the last three spots. That necessitated an 18-hole playoff, which was required by the PGA. Before the playoff was held Lyons also decided not to go to Oklahoma City and the other three were in. Henry Picard was exempt from qualifying as a Ryder Cup Team member and Gene Kunes had a free pass as a semifinalist the previous year.

The Ryder Cup matches were held at the Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey at the end of September. Walter Hagen was the captain for the fifth time and his team won 9 points to 3 for the British team. Section member Henry Picard won his foursomes match and his singles match. There were three Whitcombe brothers on the British team. Henry Cotton was not on the team again as he was still working in Belgium. A ticket for Sunday’s play cost $2.20. Byron Nelson was working at Ridgewood as an assistant to George Jacobus, the president of the PGA of America.

The PGA Championship was played in mid October at Oklahoma City. Five Section members made it through the 36-hole on site qualifying for the 64-man match play. Ted Turner (146), Henry Picard (147), Ed Dudley (147), and Gene Kunes (149) qualified with ease. Charlie Schneider (153) made it with one stroke to spare as the 154s played off. Walter Hagen led with a (67-72) 139. Sixty-three players plus the defending champion qualified for the match play that year. The 36-hole qualifying round was scheduled for one day but darkness prevented some of the players from finishing. The first two rounds of 18-hole matches had been scheduled for the next day but the extended qualifying was causing a problem. The committee estimated that scores of 151 and under would qualify and made some of the match play pairings based on that. Those matches were sent off early the next morning. The players that had been able to complete their rounds finished the next morning but then a sudden death playoff was needed as there were ten players tied at 154 for the last three places. Three players holed birdie putts on the first hole and the playoff was over. By the time all of the qualifiers had been determined it was too late to get in two match play rounds that day so one round was played that day and one the next day. With the other four rounds being 36-hole matches the tournament had to be extended one more day, which meant it would end on a Wednesday. Leo Diegel, Ed Ginther, Charlie Hoffner, Walter Brickley and Ralph Hutchison failed to qualify. In the first round Henry Picard was edged out by Horton Smith one-down, Gene Kunes lost to Denny Shute 4&3 and Ted Turner was beaten 2&1 by Eddie Loos. Charlie Schneider beat Steve Holloway 4&3 in the first round and then he lost to Tommy Armour in the second round 3&2. Ed Dudley won three matches to advance to the quarterfinals before losing to Tommy Armour in 39 holes. On the way to the quarterfinals Dudley beat L.G. Wilcox in the first round one-down, Dick Metz 3&1 in the next round and Jimmy Thomson in the third round by 6&4. Armour went on to beat Al Watrous 2&1 in the semifinals before losing to Johnny Revolta in the 36-hole final that went three extra holes. Revolta beat Al Zimmerman 4&3 in the semifinals. The purse was bumped up to $7,820. First prize was $1,000.

Forty Section members were at the Llanerch Country Club to reelect Ed Dudley President on the first Monday in November. Bob Aitken and Jim Govan, Pine Valley Golf Club professional, were elected first and second vice president. Walter Brickley was retained as the secretary-treasurer. Dudley appointed Marty Lyons to the chairmanship of the tournament committee. George Jacobus, the national president was in attendance also. He noted that in the three years that he had been president the national membership had nearly tripled rising from 600+ members to more than 1,700. Jacobus stated that when he was first elected the PGA had 637 members and a business manager making $22,000 so he decided to drop the business manager. Now with the increase in members he was swamped with detail work and didn’t have time to do his job or the work of the PGA properly. He said that if the association would pay him $15,000 he would give up his job at Ridgewood Country Club and spend all his time working for the PGA as the president and business manager. The Section members went on record as approving Jacobus’ plan. Dudley and Brickley were elected delegates to the national meeting scheduled for later in November. 

In mid November Gene Kunes and Dick Metz won the Midsouth Best Ball Championship at the Pinehurst #2 Course. Their 69 and 68 for 137 nipped Tommy Armour and Bobby Cruickshank (138) by one stroke to win the $400 first place check for the team. Jimmy Hines and Willie Klein finished third at 139. 

The national PGA meeting was at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago during the third week of November. The delegates rejected George R. Jacobus’ plan to be the business manager, but did elect him president again. Jacobus’s club Ridgewood Country Club had bailed out the PGA by taking the Ryder Cup matches on late notice. The matches even turned a small profit. The other officers, Secretary R.W. "Doc" Treacy and Treasurer Jack B. Mackie, were reelected also. The vice presidents were James M. Anderson, Thomas Boyd, John J. Martin, Johnny Farrell, Willie Maguire and George Norrie. The delegates unanimously adopted the new vulcanize covered golf ball for the PGA line. The ball would be made in two grades, 75 cents and 50 cents. The PGA had retained A.W. Tillinghast, a respected golf course architect and a member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club. His assignment was to be a consultant to golf courses employing PGA professionals. He outlined the work he would be performing for the PGA members and their clubs. He said that he was not out to spend the clubs’ money but he wanted to show them how to save money.

The $10,000 Miami Open was held at the Biltmore Golf Club in Coral Gables, Florida in the third week of December. Horton Smith overtook Ted Turner in the last round to win by three strokes. Smith’s rounds were 69, 70, 72 and 70 for 281. Turner who led at the end of the third round with a score of 209 ended up tied with Ky Laffoon for second at 284. Willie Macfarlane finished fourth at 285. Henry Picard tied for fifth with a 286 total. First prize was $2,500 and Turner won $1,125.

Henry Picard finished the year on the PGA Tour as the second leading money winner and had the second lowest scoring average. Paul Runyan won the Radix Trophy for the lowest scoring average on the tour with 72.29 strokes per round. Picard averaged 72.37 for 95 tournament rounds. He entered 30 events and had more tournament rounds than anyone else in the top ten scoring averages. The leading money winner, Johnny Revolta won $9,543 in the 34 tournaments he entered and Picard won $8,417. Picard and Revolta played in more tournaments than any of the 63 leading money winners. Gene Kunes played in seventeen tournaments and finished 17th on the money list with $2,535. Felix Serafin ($2,070), Ed Dudley ($1,739) and Ted Turner ($1,442) each played in less than nine tournaments but still managed to end up in the top 32 money winners. During the year the pros played for $135,000 in total purses. The top twelve won more than half of the money.

Leo Diegel failed to make the top ten in scoring average on the PGA Tour for the first time since 1919. Starting in 1937 the trophy for the low scoring average was changed from the Radix Cup to the Vardon Trophy. Diegel had injured his shoulder in a friendly wrestling match with Harry Cooper during the trip to Australia the year before. He announced that he had lost so much distance on his shots that he could not compete successfully and would take a year off from competitive golf to rest his shoulder.

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1936 - The Section had a new member Jimmy Thomson, the longest driver on the PGA Tour, who had signed on to represent the Shawnee Inn & Country Club at Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pennsylvania. Thomson had finished second in the U.S. Open the previous summer at Oakmont. In mid January he and Henry Picard tied for second to Jimmy Hines at the Los Angeles Open winning $650 each.

Henry Picard and Johnny Revolta won the twelfth annual International Four-Ball tournament in Miami. Picard and Revolta were the defending champions. The tournament was played at the Miami Country Club in the second week of March. They defeated Gene Sarazen and Jimmy Hines in the 36-hole finals by a margin of 4 and 2. Picard and Revolta beat Willie Macfarlane and Willie Klein by 5&4 to reach the finals. Picard and Revolta won $1,000 each and Sarazen and Hines received $500 each from the $4,000 purse.

On the third Monday in March the Section pros held their spring meeting at the Wanamakers Men’s Store in Philadelphia. The tournament chairman, Marty Lyons, laid out a tentative tournament schedule for the season. Final plans would be approved when the Section President Ed Dudley returned from Augusta. The Lancaster Pro-Am was on the schedule for the first time. The format was better ball of partners and the professional invited an amateur to play as his partner without a handicap. The tournament was later renamed the A. B. Thorn Pro-Am for the long time professional at the Lancaster Country Club who initiated the event.

Leo Fraser wrote a letter to the PGA of America stating that they should own their own golf course. He mentioned that Florida was the place for it and that there was a course in the Miami area that had been closed for several years and could be had for the "proverbial song".

For the second straight year Henry Picard won the Tournament of the Gardens. The $3,000 open was played at Charleston, South Carolina in the third week of March. Picard had started his career in Charleston nine years before as a caddymaster. He had the same winning score, 278, both years. Picard’s rounds were 67, 69, 71 and 71. Paul Runyan (285) finished second seven strokes back and Frank Walsh (286) was third. Walter Hagen and Dick Metz tied for fourth with 289s.

The $4,000 North and South Open was held the next week on Pinehurst Country Club’s remodeled #2 Course. Henry Picard (288) and Ray Mangrum (288) tied for first at the end of 72-holes one stroke ahead of Horton Smith (289). The next day Picard won another title and his second North and South Open defeating Mangrum in an 18-hole playoff with a 72 against a 77 for Mangrum. Picard’s tournament rounds were 71, 72, 73 and 72. Picard won $1,000 and a gold medal. Horton Smith (289) finished third and Tony Manero (292) was next. Ed Dudley (296) and Felix Serafin (296) tied for eighth.

The third Masters Tournament played the first week in April was plagued by rain. Two days were rained out and the players had to play 36-holes on Monday in heavy rains just to be able to finish one day late. Horton Smith won his second Masters title in three years with 74, 71, 68 and 72 for 285. Harry Cooper finished second at 286 and Gene Sarazen was next with a 287. Paul Runyan and Bobby Cruickshank tied for fourth with 290s. Ed Dudley (293) tied for sixth, Henry Picard (294) tied for ninth and Jimmy Thomson (299) tied for 15th. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (305), Ted Turner (310) and Gene Kunes (311) missed the money. First prize was $1,500.

On the Friday after the Masters Tournament many of the touring pros were at the $3,000 Richmond Open. The two-day 72-hole tournament was held at the Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course. Jimmy Thomson, who had been born in Scotland but learned his golf in Richmond, came out on top with a 285 total. Thomson began with a 73 in the morning of the first day and came back with an afternoon 68, which was played in a cold rain. The next day he put together a pair of 72s to finish four strokes in front of Ray Mangrum (289). Harry Cooper (290), Frank Walsh (290) and Bobby Cruickshank (290) tied of third one stroke in front of the Masters champion Horton Smith (291). Thomson won $700 and Mangrum won $450. Sixteen years before that Cruickshank had arrived in America on the same ship with Jimmy Thomson and his father.

Two days later some of the pros that had played at Richmond were entered in the second annual 72-hole Wildwood Open held at the Wildwood Golf & Country Club. The players did 36 holes the first day and 36 holes the second day. Ray Mangrum led by four strokes on a cold windy first day with a 71 and a 72. The next day was cold and windy again and Mangrum shot another solid 73 in the morning but he slipped a bit in the afternoon with a 78. Wisconsin’s Leonard Dodson picked up six strokes on the last round to pull even with Mangrum at 294. The two pros were all set to call it a tie, split the money and move on out of town but the tournament chairman Gus Heil said there had to be a tournament champion. Heil suggested a nine-hole playoff but Mangrum, who had finished earlier, said he had had four drinks. Dodson told the bartender to set up four drinks for him and promptly tossed them down. Out they went into the cold twilight and both struggled through the nine holes in 42 strokes apiece. Then sudden death was agreed on and Mangrum won with a par on the tenth hole to win the $500 first prize. The touring pros must have played much faster in 1936 than they did in later years to get in 46 tournament holes in one day in mid April. Bruce Coltart (296) finished third two strokes back. The defending champion George B. Smith (298) came in fourth one stroke ahead of Clarence Hackney (299) and Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (299). Ten of the fourteen pros that won a check from the $1,500 purse were Section members. Joe Zarhardt (305) tied for 7th, Cooper River Golf Club professional Tony Midiri (307) finished 11th, Jack Hiner (309) was next and Dick Renaghan, the professional at the Moorestown Field Club, (311) was 13th. Walter Brickley and Buzz Campbell tied for 14th at 312. The host professional was Harry Avery.

In mid May 112 pros and amateurs were at the Aronimink Golf Club qualifying for the U.S. Open. Qualifying was held the same day at 27 other locations in the country. After five years of declining entries there was a record entry of 1,277. Thirty-three players were exempt. For the first time the contestants had to enter using formal entry blanks obtainable from USGA member clubs. Philadelphia had 11 spots and seven were taken by the Section’s pros. Bruce Coltart led the scoring with a 71 and a 76 for 147. Woodbury Country Club professional Ray Raynor shot a 151 to finish one stroke in front of Joe Zarhardt (152) and Charles Schneider (152). Clarence Hackney, Felix Serafin and George Low, Jr., the new professional at the Plymouth Country Club, won the last spots with 153s. Five Section members, Ed Dudley, Gene Kunes, Henry Picard, Jimmy Thomson, and Ted Turner were exempt from qualifying for having finished in the top 30 at the U.S. Open the year before.

Henry Picard (289) won fourth money and Ted Turner (294) finished tied for sixth in the Met Open during the fourth week of May at the Quaker Ridge Golf Club. Ridgewood Country Club assistant pro Byron Nelson won with rounds of 71, 69, 72 and 71for a score of 283. Craig Wood finished second with a 285 and Paul Runyan was next at 286. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. played in the tournament and put on his trick shot exhibition after the second round on Friday.

In the fourth week of May, the day after the Met Open ended, the second annual 54-hole Philadelphia Section professional invitation tournament drew an entry of 84 pros and amateurs to the Woodcrest Country Club. The contestants played 18 holes on Sunday and 36 holes on Monday. Deal, New Jersey professional Vic Ghezzi won the $500 first prize with rounds of 74, 70 and 74 for 214. The 70s were course records. Ghezzi finished five strokes ahead of Ed Dudley (219) and the host professional Bruce Coltart (219) who each won $200. Twenty-five-year-old Leo Fraser held the lead after the first round with a par 71. He finished in a tie for fourth with Yardley Country Club professional Al MacDonald at 222. New York’s Craig Wood grabbed the sixth place money from the total purse of $1,195 as ten pros won money.

The caddies at the Woodcrest Country Club and Tavistock Country Club had been on strike in mid May. They were striking for increased fees and use of the golf courses on Mondays. The caddies were making seventy-five cents for an 18-hole round and wanted $1. The interclub matches were postponed and the members were carrying their own bags. State police were assigned to guard both clubs but the pickets were entirely peaceful. Before the Great Depression most of the caddies were school age kids. As a result of the Depression a large percentage of the caddies were now men. There were more caddies than golfers and the tips were smaller.

The first week in June the U.S. Open was held at the Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. There were 170 starters in the Open, which was also a record. Twelve Section members were in the field and ten made the cut but only Henry Picard and Jimmy Thomson finished in the money. Picard tied for fifth seven strokes behind the winner Tony Manero. Manero put together rounds of 73, 69, 73 and 67 for 282. Harry Cooper finished second with a 284, Clarence Clark was third at 287 and Macdonald Smith was fourth with a 288. Picard (289) won $350 and Thomson (293) tied for 14th winning $60. Felix Serafin (295) tied for 22nd, missing the money by one stroke. Bruce Coltart (300), George Low, Jr. (301), Gene Kunes (302), Ted Turner (304), Ed Dudley (304), Charlie Schneider (307) and Clarence Hackney (309) made the cut but finished well down the list. Joe Zarhardt and Ray Raynor missed the cut. The prize money totaled $5,000.

After waiting six years for a renewal of the event, Ed Dudley defended his title from 1930 by winning the $3,000 Shawnee Open. The entry fee was $5. The tournament drew a strong field even though it started the day after the National Open finished at Baltusrol. Dudley tacked on two rounds of 70 the last day to go with his first day’s 76-70 and finished with a 288 total. Dudley finished one stroke ahead of Washington D.C.’s Roland Mackenzie and Ralph Guldahl who won the next two National Opens. Byron Nelson, Orville White, and Ray Mangrum tied for fourth at 290. Shawnee’s Jimmy Thomson (291) led the other Section pros tying for seventh and Pat Browne, the professional at the Glen Brook Golf Club, came in two strokes further back at 292. Felix Serafin tied for 12th with a 295. The host professional Jack Patroni (298) tied for 16th.


Charles Lacey & Ed Dudley
On 1st tee before their playoff
In late June Felix Serafin won the Pennsylvania Open for the second time. Seventy-five pros and amateurs entered the two-day championship at the Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh. Serafin’s 72-hole total of 295 won by four strokes over Al Espinosa (299), playing out of Akron, Ohio. Serafin’s rounds were 74, 74, 71 and 76. Ed Dudley led the first day with a score of 145 but a third round 80 finished his chances of winning and he wound up in third place with a 300 total. Sam Parks, Jr. ended up alone in fourth place at 304.

In the fourth week of June Ted Turner could have been playing in the Pennsylvania Open but he was entered in the British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, England, instead. The Open was won by Alf Padgham with rounds of 73, 72, 71 and 71 for 287. Jimmy Adams (288) finished second by one stroke. Henry Cotton and Marcel Dellemagne tied for third with 289s. Turner (299) tied for 15th.

Ed Dudley won his third Philadelphia Open in the third week of July at the Manufacturers Golf and Country Club. He defeated former Section member Charles Lacey in an 18-hole play-off 69 to 73. They had tied with two-day 72-hole totals of 286, which was two-over-par. Dudley put together rounds of 74, 73, 71 and a last round of 68 to catch Lacey. The 68 was the low round of the week. Ed Oliver, an assistant at the Wilmington Country Club, made his first strong showing in professional golf. The former Philadelphia caddy champion finished third with a 293, one stroke ahead of Dick Renaghan (294). Bruce Coltart and New York’s Herman Barron tied for fifth with 295s. There were six cash prizes and Dudley took home $350 from the $950 purse. The Golf Association of Philadelphia provided three additional prizes for pros that were affiliated with their member clubs. There were 130 entries.

The first annual Lancaster Pro-Am was played at the Lancaster Country Club on the last Monday in July. The host professional, Arthur B. "A.B." Thorn, had come to Lancaster from the Middle Atlantic Section in 1934 and it was through his efforts that a number of teams were entered from there as well as the Philadelphia Section. Tavistock Country Club professional Jack Hiner and his amateur partner Horace Horton tied with Roland Mackenzie, the professional at the Congressional Country Club near Washington D.C., and his partner Rodger Peacock with five-under-par 67s. A winner was determined when Mackenzie, who had been a three-time Walker Cup member, birdied the second hole in a sudden-death playoff. Sixty-one teams were entered. Some pros and amateurs entered with more than one partner. Nineteen teams finished under par (72). Horton was later a longtime salesman for the Dunlop Golf Company. When Thorn died in late 1959 the tournament was named the A.B Thorn Memorial in his memory and was still being held at Lancaster CC more than 50 years later. .

Nineteen-year-old Ed Oliver won the Central Pennsylvania Open at the Reading Country Club on the second Monday in August. In second place was Bruce Coltart (141) two strokes off Oliver’s (69-70) 139 score. Oliver broke par in both rounds and set a tournament record even though he broke his putter on the 10th green in the morning round. Dick Renaghan and George Fazio tied for third with 142s. George Low, Jr. had the low round of the tournament, a 68 in the morning, and finished fifth at 143.

In early September Henry Picard, the host pro, won a tightly contested Hershey Open. Picard began with rounds of 72, 74 and 74 to trail the leaders by six strokes. His six-under-par 67 in the last round gave him a 287 total and a one-stroke victory over Jimmy Thomson (288). Two thousand spectators watched Picard hole-out a nine-foot comeback putt on the last green for the win. Picard collected $1,250 and Thomson $800 from the $5,000 purse. Harry Cooper finished third at 289 and Ed Dudley and Orville White tied for fourth with 290 totals. 24-year old Sam Snead was playing in his first tournament outside his home region of Virginia. In the last round Snead’s drive reached the 343-yard 11th green. He ended up in a tie with Ralph Guldahl for sixth place at 291.George Fazio and Snead had played a practice round before the tournament. On the 329-yard first hole, which was then straight and not a dogleg like later, Snead hit his first two drives into the chocolate factory and the third one was on the green. Other than the major championships, the Hershey tournament had the richest purse in the eastern United States.

The next week at the Canadian Open the Philadelphia Section members made a good showing even though Gene Kunes wasn’t there. He was back in Philadelphia too ill to defend his title. Lawson Little of San Francisco earned his first victory as a professional and $1,000 with a nine-under-par 271. Little broke Leo Deigel’s tournament record by three strokes with rounds of 67, 66, 69 and 69 for an eight-stroke win. For the second straight week Jimmy Thomson (279) finished second earning $600. Craig Wood finished third with a 282. Leo Diegel and Vic Ghezzi tied for fourth at 283. Ed Dudley (285) was also in the money as he finished in a tie for seventh.


Ted Turner
Section Champion 1936
Won Phila. Open 1935 & 1938
Won New Jersey Open 1938
The Section Championship was played at the Llanerch Country Club in the third week of September. The host pro was Marty Lyons. On Monday Leo Diegel was the medalist with a 70 and a 69 for a five-under-par 139 that included eleven birdies. The Section’s stroke-play and match-play championships were combined for the first time. As the stroke-play champion Diegel took possession of the Evening Ledger Cup for one year. Thirty-one pros qualified and the defending champion, Buzz Campbell, was exempt. Henry Picard and Jimmy Thomson were entered but didn’t appear for the qualifying rounds. Gene Kunes and Bruce Coltart withdrew due to illnesses. The quarterfinals and the semifinal matches were scheduled for Wednesday. Ted Turner, Leo Fraser, Leo Diegel and Joe Coble won their quarterfinal matches in the morning. In the afternoon Turner defeated Fraser 3&1 in the semifinals. The semifinal match between Diegel and Coble had to be postponed until the next day because Diegel was playing in an exhibition at the Merion Cricket Club with Glenna Vare, Patty Berg and Ed Dudley, who he had beaten that morning. The next day Diegel eliminated his assistant Joe Coble by the count of 5&4. In the 36-hole finals Ted Turner birdied the last two holes to defeat Diegel two-down.

The next week qualifying was held at the Atlantic City Country Club for the PGA Championship. Thirty-nine Section members were competing for seven places in the championship. Wind and rain caused high scores, as Jimmy Thomson was the medalist with rounds of 72 and 74 for 146. That beat out the host pro Clarence Hackney (148) and Leo Diegel (148) by two strokes. The other qualifiers were Bruce Coltart (154), Harry Markel (154), Ted Turner (155) and Jack Patroni (156). Ed Dudley was exempt as a quarterfinalist the previous year and Henry Picard was exempt as a member of the 1935 Ryder Cup Team.

On the fourth Monday in October sixty Section members were at the Hotel Walton in Philadelphia for their annual meeting. Their national President George Jacobus was there to report on the national affairs. Jacobus informed the Section members that the PGA Championship, which hadn’t been held as yet that year, was going to be played in May the next year. He stated that in the future the tournament would be held in June in order to bring more attention to the winner. The Section was now the third largest in the PGA of America with 116 members, an increase of 15 over the previous year. There were 94 "Class A" and 22 "Class D" members. Ed Dudley was reelected president and Walter Brickley was reelected secretary-treasurer. Clarence Hackney was elected first vice president and George Sayers was elected second vice president. At that meeting it was decided to make a change in the Section Championship. A decision was made to invite amateurs to compete in the tournament. The reasons given were to stimulate interest among the better amateurs and to receive better co-operation from the newspapers in publicizing the Section’s tournaments. Qualifying would be 36 holes at stroke play. The professional having the lowest score in the qualifying rounds would be recognized as the Section champion for that year and the winner of the Evening Ledger Cup. Dudley and Brickley were elected to represent the Section as delegates to the national meeting.

The PGA’s national meeting was held in Chicago at the Congress Hotel during the second week of November. George R. Jacobus and Jack B. Mackie were reelected president and treasurer respectively. There was a new secretary, Tom Walsh. Ed Dudley was elected to the office of vice president at large. He was one of two vice presidents representing the eastern part of the United States. There were now eight vice presidents and 28 PGA Sections. This office was later renamed District Director. Also he held the position of chairman of the tournament committee. The other vice presidents elected were Grange Alves, Thomas Boyd, Al Collins, Ray Hall, Dewey Longworth, Willie Maguire and R.W. "Doc" Treacy, who had declined to run for secretary again. A report was made on the consulting work of A.W. Tillinghast. It was estimated that his work had saved the clubs he had worked with $320,000. He had visited 370 courses and removed 7,427 bunkers, 92 at one course. It was announced that the touring pros had played for $156,745 that year. The big news was that the federal government had agreed to build close to 600 new public golf courses in the next few years. Tillinghast would inspect the site for each course and no course would be constructed where it would compete with an existing course. Only PGA members would be hired to serve as the professionals. Tillinghast had just designed and supervised the construction of four courses for the state of New York at the Bethpage State Park on Long Island. The delegates decided to continue paying the railroad fares of the qualifiers for the PGA Championship. That total expense money was between three and four thousand dollars. The Metropolitan Section wanted this money added to the $9,200 purse but it was voted down. Plans were made to have a senior professional championship the next year for PGA members who were more than 50 years old. Those contestants would receive mileage money also.


Jimmy Thomson
RU 1936 PGA Championship
Longest driver on the PGA Tour
The PGA Championship was played in North Carolina on the Pinehurst Country Club’s Number 2 course. The PGA Championship was played the week after the national meeting. The Section members made a very good showing. Nine Section members had qualified locally or were exempt. Six of them were able to qualify on site for the 64-man match play field. Fay Coleman was the medalist with a (68-75) 143. Ed Dudley and Henry Picard led the Section pros with 147s. Jimmy Thomson (150), Clarence Hackney (152), Ted Turner 153) and Jack Patroni (156) also qualified. Patroni had to survive an eight-man playoff for the last seven spots. Leo Diegel, Bruce Coltart and Harry Markel failed to qualify. Turner lost in the first round to Jimmy Hines two-down. Patroni sent Gene Sarazen home in the first round by holing an eight-foot par putt on the 18th green to preserve his one-up lead. In the second round Patroni lost by 6&5 to Horton Smith. Hackney won his first round match by defeating Orm Beaupre in 21 holes. In the second round Hackney lost to Leo Walper 2&1. Ed Dudley and Henry Picard each won two matches before losing. Dudley beat Herman Barron in the first round 3&2 and Tom LoPresti by 2&1 in the second round. Dudley lost by 6&4 to Bill Mehlhorn in the third round. Picard beat Leo Mallory in the first round two-down and then he eliminated Alvin Krueger in the second round 5&4. Picard lost to his fellow Section member Thomson in the third round 4&2. Thomson won five matches to reach the finals where he lost 3&2 to former Section member Denny Shute. To reach the finals Shute defeated Mehlhorn one-down in semifinals. On his way to the finals Thomson beat Rod Munday 5&3, Willie Klein by 3&2, Picard 4&2, Jug McSpaden one-down and Craig Wood 5&4. The first two rounds were 18-hole matches and the rest were 36-holes. First prize was $1,000 from a purse of $9,200.


George Izett
Champion golfers
and U.S. Presidents
played the clubs that he made.
Late that year Sam Snead, a rookie on the PGA Tour, bought a driver from Henry Picard for $5.50. Snead had been having problems with a hook and the new driver straightened out his drives. The club had been made for Picard by George Izett. It had a stiff shaft that weighed five ounces. The driver weighed 14 and 1/2 ounces and had 8 degrees of loft. Izett, an accomplished club maker, had been trained in Scotland. Snead used the driver for over thirty years even though he was on the staff of the Dunlop Golf Company when he got the club and then he was a member of the Wilson Sporting Goods Company’s staff for many years after that.

The year ended with Henry Picard in third place on the PGA Tour money list with $7,681 and Jimmy Thomson in sixth place with $5,927. Horton Smith led the money chase with $7,884.75. Picard was third in scoring with an average of 72.11 strokes for his 60 tournament rounds on the tour that year. The scoring leader and winner of the Radix Cup was Ralph Guldahl with an average of 71.63.

The PGA dismissed Bob Harlow from PGA Tour management citing conflict of interest. He was also Walter Hagen’s manager. Several of Harlow’s ideas were now an accepted part of the PGA Tour.

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1937 - Early that year it was discovered that an individual who worked at Llanerch Country Club had the experience and the equipment to make motion pictures with sound. Arrangements were made to take pictures of some of the Section’s professionals swinging a club while playing various shots and explaining how it was done. About one hundred feet of film was taken and it turned out to perfection. The thought was that the film could be rented out to clubs or other groups to bring money into the Section’s treasury. A second reason for the film was that it would keep the golf professionals in the golfing public’s eye. Marty Lyons had pictures taken of his junior golfers while he was giving them instructions and he found this to be very helpful in achieving the results he wanted. One of those juniors was twelve-year-old Dorothy Germain. She would go on to win the Women’s U.S. Amateur in 1949 as Mrs. Dorothy Germain Porter.

Ed Dudley won the Sacramento Open in California in the fourth week of January. He put together one of the lowest 72-hole totals on record. The course measured 6,700 yards. His fifteen-under-par score of 65, 70, 71 and 67 for 273 was ten strokes better than Harry Cooper (283) who finished second. Jimmy Hines was next at 285. Jug McSpaden and Horton Smith tied for fourth with 286s. Byron Nelson was next at 287. Henry Picard finished seventh at 288. Many of the big names in golf were there but no one could come close to Dudley’s scores. Dudley won $750.

Ed Dudley tied for first at the $3,000 Thomasville, Georgia Open in the third week of February. Dudley and Dick Metz had tied with 284s. The next day Dudley lost a playoff to Dick Metz shooting a 76 against a 72 for Metz. Metz won $700 and Dudley won $450. Henry Picard (285) tied for third and Jimmy Thomson (289) tied for eighth.

Henry Picard and Johnny Revolta won the International Four-Ball tournament at the Miami Country Club in the second week of March. They won the tournament for the third year in a row defeating Lawson Little and Tony Manero 4&3 in an 18-hole playoff. Their 36-hole finals match had ended in a tie the day before. It took two extra days to complete the tournament. The day that the semifinal matches were to be played was rained out. To reach the finals Picard and Revolta defeated Jimmy Thomson and Harry Cooper 7&6. In the other semifinal match Little and Manero edged out Willie Macfarlane and Frank Walsh one-down. Picard and Revolta won $1,000 each and Little and Manero won $500 apiece. All of the matches were 36 holes.

The next week Henry Picard and his partner won the $3,000 National Pro-Am championship at St. Augustine, Florida. Picard won $1,000 by defeating Jimmy Hines and his partner in the finals. Picard and a different partner had lost in a 39-hole final match against Gene Sarazen and his partner the year before.

Two new members of the Section that spring were Byron Nelson and Sam Byrd. Byrd had played in the outfield six years with the New York Yankees and two years for the Cincinnati Reds. With the Yankees he usually got his chance to play when Babe Ruth had over indulged and wasn’t feeling well. They called him the Babe’s caddy because he was his substitute and he was as good at golf as he was at baseball. Early that year his contract had been sold to the St. Louis Cardinals and he turned down their salary offer to concentrate on golf. He soon joined Ed Dudley’s staff as an assistant pro at the Philadelphia Country Club.


Byron Nelson
Won five major championships
Won 11 straight PGA Tour events
The fourth annual Masters Tournament was played in the first week of April. Twenty-five-year-old Byron Nelson, the new professional at the Reading Country Club, opened up with a course record 66 in the first round. He followed that up with a 72 and a 75. On Sunday he picked up six strokes in three holes on Ralph Guldahl by shooting a 32 on the last nine for a 70. He finished with a total of 283. Nelson beat out Guldahl (285) by two strokes and Ed Dudley (286) by three. Harry Cooper finished fourth at 287. The entry fee was $5. Nelson won $1,500, Guldahl $800 and Dudley $600. Jimmy Thomson (291) finished sixth and earned $300. Felix Serafin (299) tied for 19th and Henry Picard finished farther down the list with a 305 total. The total purse was $5,000 and paid twelve places. The fourth annual Masters Tournament was played in the first week of April. Twenty-five-year-old Byron Nelson, the new professional at the Reading Country Club, opened up with a course record 66 in the first round. He followed that up with a 72 and a 75. On Sunday he picked up six strokes in three holes on Ralph Guldahl by shooting a 32 on the last nine for a 70. He finished with a total of 283. Nelson beat out Guldahl (285) by two strokes and Ed Dudley (286) by three. Harry Cooper finished fourth at 287. The entry fee was $5. Nelson won $1,500, Guldahl $800 and Dudley $600. Jimmy Thomson (291) finished sixth and earned $300. Felix Serafin (299) tied for 19th and Henry Picard finished farther down the list with a 305 total. The total purse was $5,000 and paid twelve places. The fourth annual Masters Tournament was played in the first week of April. Twenty-five-year-old Byron Nelson, the new professional at the Reading Country Club, opened up with a course record 66 in the first round. He followed that up with a 72 and a 75. On Sunday he picked up six strokes in three holes on Ralph Guldahl by shooting a 32 on the last nine for a 70. He finished with a total of 283. Nelson beat out Guldahl (285) by two strokes and Ed Dudley (286) by three. Harry Cooper finished fourth at 287. The entry fee was $5. Nelson won $1,500, Guldahl $800 and Dudley $600. Jimmy Thomson (291) finished sixth and earned $300. Felix Serafin (299) tied for 19th and Henry Picard finished farther down the list with a 305 total. The total purse was $5,000 and paid twelve places.

The fourth annual Masters Tournament was played in the first week of April. Twenty-five-year-old Byron Nelson, the new professional at the Reading Country Club, opened up with a course record 66 in the first round. He followed that up with a 72 and a 75. On Sunday he picked up six strokes in three holes on Ralph Guldahl by shooting a 32 on the last nine for a 70. He finished with a total of 283. Nelson beat out Guldahl (285) by two strokes and Ed Dudley (286) by three. Harry Cooper finished fourth at 287. The entry fee was $5. Nelson won $1,500, Guldahl $800 and Dudley $600. Jimmy Thomson (291) finished sixth and earned $300. Felix Serafin (299) tied for 19th and Henry Picard finished farther down the list with a 305 total. The total purse was $5,000 and paid twelve places.

The Section’s spring meeting was held at the Riverton Country Club on the second Monday in April. The tournament chairman, Marty Lyons, announced that all entries for the Section tournaments had to be in his hands no later than the Friday proceeding the day of the tournament. Any member failing to do this would have his entry fee increased by one dollar. Some of the other committees were employment, finance, rules, publicity and membership. The Secretary-Treasurer, Walter Brickley, was pleased to report that 1936 was a banner year in payment of dues in the Section. They did not have one delinquent member. All 122 members had paid their dues in full and this was quite an accomplishment as America was at the peak of the Great Depression. Collecting the Section dues at that time was more of a challenge, as the Section officers had to do this. Later on the PGA of America collected the Section dues for the Sections. Also at the meeting there was a lot of discussion concerning the upcoming True Temper Open. The Section’s third annual invitation tournament had been combined with the True Temper event. The American Fork & Hoe Company manufacturers of the True Temper shafts for golf clubs put up the purse for the tournament. The Philadelphia Section and Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, the host club, managed the event and the Section received the proceeds. The profits were earmarked for the Section’s benevolent fund, which had been created to assist members who were having difficulties. Brickley handled the entries, and the Section set the daily admission price at $1. They also decided to offer a fee of $1.50 for the three-day ticket as Leo Diegel said this had proved to be a success at some other tournaments.

That same week right after the Masters Henry Picard won the Tournament of the Gardens at Charleston, South Carolina for the third consecutive year. Picard put together rounds of 68, 67, 76 and 71 for a 282 total that nipped Jimmy Thomson (283) by one stroke and Sam Snead (285) by three. The third round was played in 35-mile-per-hour winds. Craig Wood and Harry Cooper tied for fourth with 290s. Picard collected $1,250 and 25% of the entry fees that were $20 per contestant. The total purse came to $6,000.

The stop in Charleston marked the end of the Winter Tour. With that win Henry Picard held on to his lead in the money title race. Picard ended the winter with $5,583 and Sam Snead was in second place with $4,150. Byron Nelson was in fifth place with $3,312 and Ed Dudley was seventh with $3,022, even though he was serving as the professional at the Augusta National Golf Club.

Byron Nelson, the new professional at the Reading Country Club, arrived in Reading the week after winning the Masters. Before that he had worked two years as an assistant at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey for George Jacobus, President of the PGA of America. Jacobus had hired Nelson on the recommendation of Ed Dudley. Nelson said that he used the $1,500 first prize from the Masters to stock his pro shop at Reading. The total Masters purse that year was $5,000.

Qualifying for the PGA Championship was held at the Riverton Country Club the first Monday in May. Forty-nine pros were entered and the Section had seven places to qualify for. The various Sections were vying for 100 places in their championship at the Pittsburgh Field Club. Seventeen professionals were exempt. The Sections were allotted one place for every 18 members in the Section. Bruce Coltart was the medalist with a pair of one-under-par 70s edging out Ed Dudley (141) by one stroke. Next came two assistants, Clarence Doser, new to the Merion Cricket Club’s staff, at 142 and George Fazio at 143. Doser put together a 67 in the morning and Fazio turned in one in the afternoon. Also making the grade with a 145 was the Masters champion Byron Nelson. Two-time PGA champion Leo Diegel had to qualify also. Diegel and Charlie Schneider won the last two spots with 146s. Henry Picard was exempt as a member of the 1935 Ryder Cup Team and Jimmy Thomson had an exemption as the runner-up in the 1936 PGA Championship.

The thirtieth Met Open was held at the Forest Hill Field Club in New Jersey in mid May. Henry Picard had a chance to win his second Met Open in three years. Picard took a two-stroke lead with five holes to play, but he three-putted on two of the next three holes. Picard (280) finished second one stroke behind the winner Jimmy Hines and three strokes in front of Sam Snead (283). Paul Runyan finished fourth at 284. Snead had a course record 65 washed out when the second round was canceled due to torrential rains. Hines’ rounds were 68, 71, 70 and 70 for 279. Byron Nelson did not defend his title.

In late May the PGA Championship was held at the Pittsburgh Field Club. Byron Nelson led the 107 professionals in the on-site qualifying by three strokes with a 68 and a 71 for a 139 total. As the medalist Nelson’s name was engraved on the Alex Smith Trophy. Eight of the nine Philadelphia Section representatives qualified for a place in the 64-man match play field. Ed Dudley was next Philadelphia qualifier at 145. Jimmy Thomson (147), Henry Picard (148), Bruce Coltart (149), Leo Diegel (151), Charles Schneider (152) and Clarence Doser (154) all qualified with strokes to spare as the 157s played off. George Fazio was the only Philadelphia casualty as he failed to qualify. Diegel, Coltart and Doser lost in the first round. Diegel lost to Nelson 2&1, Doser lost to Olin Dutra 3&2 and Coltart lost to Pat Wilcox 2&1. Schneider won his first round match over Neil Christian 4&3 and then he took Johnny Farrell to the last green before losing one-down. Thomson and Ed Dudley won two matches each. Thomson beat Dan Galgano 3&1 in the first round and then he beat Ralph Guldahl by 6&4 in the second round. Thomson then lost to Ky Laffoon 4&3. Dudley beat Herman Barron in the first round 5&3 and he beat Wilcox in the second round 4&3. Dudley lost in the third round to a former Section member, Denny Shute, by a 3&2 margin. Nelson and Picard each won three matches to reach the quarterfinals. On the way to the quarterfinals Nelson beat Diegel 2&1, Craig Wood 4&2 and Farrell 5&4 before losing to Laffoon two-down. Picard beat Perry Del Vecchio 5&4, Sam Bernardi one-down, and Horton Smith 4&3 before losing to a future Section member, Jug McSpaden, in 39 holes. Shute went on to win the championship by defeating McSpaden, in the finals on the 37th hole. In the semifinals Shute outlasted Tony Manero one-up and McSpaden beat Laffoon 2&1. The first two rounds were 18 holes and the remaining rounds were 36 holes. The total purse was $9,200.


Zell Eaton
Won Western Amateur
Won one tour title
Qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the North Hills Country Club on the first of June. Ed Dudley and Byron Nelson led the qualifying for the eight spots in the national championship with 140s. Dudley was around in 71-69 and Nelson turned in a pair of 70s. Jimmy Demaret from Houston, Texas tied John Beadle and Bruce Coltart for third with 144s. Dick Renaghan (145) and Al Heron (146) also qualified. There were 1,302 players competing for 130 places at 30 locations in the country. Forty players were exempt from qualifying including Section members Henry Picard, Jimmy Thomson, Felix Serafin and Zell Eaton. They earned their exemptions for having finished in the top 30 in the Open the previous year. Eaton, who had just been hired as the assistant at the Saucon Valley Country Club, didn’t enter the Open. Eaton replaced Ralph Hutchison’s brother Willard who had just moved to the Gulph Mills Golf Club to be their head professional. Eaton had been invited to the Masters Tournament in April but he didn’t play there either.

In the second week of June Ed Dudley led after three rounds at the U.S. Open with 211. The Open was at the Oakland Hills Country Club near Detroit. A final round 76 left Dudley (287) in fifth place with a check for $450. Ralph Guldahl won beating Dudley by six strokes with a 281. Guldahl’s rounds were 71, 69, 72 and 69. Sam Snead, playing in his first U.S. Open, finished second at 283. Bobby Cruickshank (285) finished third and Harry Cooper (286) finished fourth. Henry Picard (292) tied for tenth and won $175. Byron Nelson (295) and Jimmy Thomson (296) also were in the money finishing 20th and 28th. Also making the cut were Felix Serafin (300) and John Beadle (306). Al Heron made the cut right on the number with 152 but he didn’t make his starting time for the third round on Saturday morning. Bruce Coltart and Dick Renaghan missed the cut. The purse was increased from $5,000 to $6,000 and the money places from 21 to 30. First prize was $1,000.


1937 Ryder Cup team with three
Philadelphia Section members
Byron Nelson, Henry Picard, Ed Dudley
Former member Denny Shute and
future member Sam Snead
Back Row-L to R-Nelson, Shute,
Picard, Smith & Manero
Front Row-L to R-Corcoran, Snead,
Guldahl, Dudley & Revolta
Team on way home with cup—Hagen
and Sarazen came home later
As of late May Henry Picard, former Section member Denny Shute and four other professionals had earned places on the Ryder Cup Team based on their tournament records. The Cup committee ruled that the other four places on the team would be filled based on the total score from the thirty-six hole on site qualifying at the PGA Championship and the seventy-two hole scores in the U.S. Open. Based on that 108-hole qualifier Byron Nelson and Ed Dudley won two of the spots along with future Section member Sam Snead.

In the fourth week of June the True Temper Open was held at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. This was the third annual Philadelphia Section PGA invitational tournament. All of the committee members for managing the tournament, except the tournament chairman, were members of the Philadelphia Section. This year the True Temper Golf Company that made the steel golf shafts joined up with the Philadelphia Section as a co-sponsor. The True Temper Company was trying to play their tournament in different states each year. Harry Cooper won the tournament with a last round 68 that was topped off with a 30 on the back nine. Cooper’s earlier rounds of 70, 73 and 69 gave him an eight-under-par score of 280, which finished two strokes in front of Wiffy Cox (282). Texan Harry Cooper, who was working in Chicago, was one of the great golfers that never won a major championship. Jimmy Hines finished third at 286. Billy Burke, Clarence Clark and Bud Oakley tied for fourth with 287s. Also history was being made in what had been men’s professional golf in Pennsylvania. Along with a strong contingent of male professionals from outside the Philadelphia Section the first females were in the starting field. Babe Didrikson, the star of the 1932 Olympics and now a professional golfer, and Helen Hicks were entered. The Shawnee professionals, Jack Patroni (288) and Jimmy Thomson (290), had the highest finishes of the Philadelphia Section members, finishing 7th and 11th. Dick Renaghan (292) tied for 12th and George Fazio (292) won last money tying for 15th. First prize from the $4,000 purse was $900. Joe Zarhardt, Leo Diegel, John Beadle, Bruce Coltart and Felix Serafin each won $25 as the highest finishing Philadelphia Section pros that were out of the True Temper money. The entry fee was $5.

Two days later in June the Pennsylvania Open was played at the Merion Cricket Club’s East Course. This was probably the strongest field in the history of the tournament. Again Babe Didrikson was entered in what had always been an all-male event. Once again the title left the state as Ohio’s Toney Penna came out on top with rounds of 75, 71, 72 and 71, which gave him a nine-over-par 289. First prize was $500. Penna was working for the MacGregor Golf Company of Dayton, Ohio. He was their number one club designer and many of the best professionals played MacGregor clubs at that time. Ed Oliver, Bill Mehlhorn, Louisville, Kentucky and Willie Goggin, San Francisco, California tied for second two strokes back at 291. Ted Turner and Lloyd Mangrum tied for fifth with 292s. The total purse came to $1,750.

On the last two days of June the Ryder Cup matches were held at Southport, England with Walter Hagen as the non-playing captain again. Ed Dudley and Byron Nelson teamed up to win a foursomes match. Also Dudley and Henry Picard won their singles matches. Dudley’s win in the singles was the clinching point as the American team defeated the British team on their soil for the first time. The final tally was eight points for the USA and four points for Great Britain. That would be the last match until after World War II.

At the British Open in the second week of July Ed Dudley led the first day with a 70. Held at the Carnoustie Golf Club, Angus, Scotland, it was won by Henry Cotton as he put together rounds of 74, 73, 72 and 71 for 290. Reg Whitcombe finished second with a 292. Former Section member Charles Lacey (293) was the low pro from the states finishing third, three strokes behind Cotton. Reg Whitcombe’s brother Charles finished fourth at 294. Byron Nelson (296) finished fifth, Ed Dudley (297) was next in sixth place, and Henry Picard (303) tied for 15th. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. missed the cut.

Jimmy Thomson won a $1,000 driving contest in early July staged in conjunction with the General Brock Open in Ontario, Canada. The balls were driven from the club’s first tee that was 164 yards above the course. Thomson drove ten balls that totaled 3,407 yards, the longest being 386 yards and one-half inch. Finishing second was a young pro from Ft. Worth, Texas named Ben Hogan with 3,354 total yards.

Lawson Little won the 20th, and what turned out to be the last Shawnee Open in mid July. He carded rounds of 74, 71, 71 and 68 for a total of 284 at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club to win out over a field of 100 entries. Shawnee’s Jimmy Thomson (285) bogeyed the par three final hole and finished tied for second with Connecticut’s Leo Mallory (285), one stroke off the winning pace. Toney Penna finished fourth at 286, one stroke in front of Harry Cooper (287), who played the last round back nine in 29. Philmont Country Club assistant Matt Kowal (288) led at the halfway point with 137 but fell back the second day to tie for sixth. Felix Serafin (289) tied for ninth and Sam Byrd (291) tied for 12th. The host professional was Jack Patroni.

Five days later in July the Philadelphia Open title left the Section again. Leonard Dodson, Springfield, Missouri won at the Concord Country Club in a playoff with Bruce Coltart. The two professionals had tied with four-over-par 284 scores at the completion of the two-day tournament. The next day Dodson won an 18-hole play-off by one stroke with a 74 against Coltart’s 75. Dodson’s tournament rounds were 75, 70, 69 and 70. After the playoff Dodson caught a 5 PM airplane from the Camden Airport to play in the Chicago Open. Matt Kowal and Charlie Schneider, the host pro, tied for third with 287s. Ed Oliver finished fifth at 288. Oliver won a $75 check for being the low pro affiliated with a Golf Association of Philadelphia club. Sam Byrd, who finished sixth, received the fifth place check. First prize was $350 from the total purse of $950.

Byron Nelson, just back from the Ryder Cup matches in England, won the Central Pennsylvania Open at his home course on the first Monday of August, but it didn’t come easy. He drove 300 miles the night before to get to Reading for the tournament. Nelson led after round one with a 69 but he had to share the lead with three other professionals. In the afternoon he posted a 71 and at the end of regulation play he was tied with Bruce Coltart with two-under-par 140s. Five days later on a Saturday Nelson won an 18-hole playoff with a course record 68 against a 75 for Coltart. First prize was $150 and second was $75 from the total purse of $425. Ed Oliver, the defending champion, and Sam Byrd tied for third at 143. Dick Renaghan and Charlie Schneider tied for fifth with 144s. The tournament drew a gallery of 500 people.

The fifth annual, $5,000 Hershey Open, was played at the Hershey Country Club in early September. The tournament’s $1,200 first prize went to the host pro, Henry Picard, as he won the title for the second straight year. Picard finished three strokes ahead of the U.S. Open champion Ralph Guldahl’s 283 total. His tournament record twelve under par 280 included a 65 in the second round that was witnessed by 1,000 spectators. Picard’s three other rounds were 70, 73 and 72. Ray Mangrum (285) and Jimmy Hines (289) finished third and fourth. Sam Byrd (292) finished fifth two strokes in front of his employer Ed Dudley who tied for sixth at 294 with Gene Sarazen. Jack Grout and Ed Oliver tied for ninth with 297s. The total purse was $5,000 and paid fifteen places. On the first Tuesday of September Ed Dudley and Jimmy Thomson represented the United States in a team match against the Canadian PGA. The match was played at the St. Andrews Golf Club in Toronto. Eight singles matches were played in the morning followed by four four-ball matches in the afternoon. Dudley won his four-ball match and Thomson won his singles match. The U.S. team made up of eight professionals defeated the Canadians by a score of 8 to 4.


Byron Nelson & Henry Picard
at the Belmont Match Play
Sixteen of the Section’s top professionals were in Massachusetts playing in the $12,000 Belmont Open Match Play tournament just four days before their championship was scheduled to begin. This included Ted Turner the defending champion of the previous year’s Section Championship along with the medalist and runner-up Leo Diegel. The Belmont Match Play’s $12,000 purse was the largest that golfers had ever competed for in the United States. As a comparison the total purse at the U.S. Open that year had been $6,000 and would be the same amount for the next four years. A 36-hole qualifying tournament was held to trim the 221 pros and amateurs who had entered down to 64 for the match play. Seven of the Philadelphia Section pros qualified. Byron Nelson (141), Diegel (144), Henry Picard (146), Ed Oliver (148), Jimmy Thomson (148), Clarence Doser (149) and Matt Kowal (151) all made the grade with ease. Tony Manero won the medal with a 140 and the 153 scorers played off for the last spots. The first two rounds of the match play were 18-holes and the last four rounds were 36-hole matches. In the first round Kowal lost to Harry Cooper 4&3 and Doser lost to amateur Ray Billows one-down. Oliver won his first round match over Joe Stein by a one-up margin but he lost in the second round to Ralph Guldahl two-down. Diegel and Thomson each lasted two rounds. Diegel beat Herman Rama 3&1 in the first round and Charlie Yansick in the second round by 5&4 before losing to Cooper 2&1. Thomson eliminated Willie Hunter 3&2 in the first round and Dutch Harrison two-down in the second round before losing to Johnny Revolta 3&1. The Philadelphia Section’s two other qualifiers went all the way to the finals. After 216 scheduled holes and seven days Nelson emerged victorious. He defeated Picard, who had been born about fifty miles away in Plymouth, by a margin of 5&4. They were even after the first 18 holes. The second 18 was played in a pelting rain that seemed to bother Picard more than Nelson as many of his tee shots found the rough. To reach the finals Nelson defeated amateur John Levinson in 19 holes, Frank Walsh one-down, Ray Mangrum two-down, Charles Lacey 6&4 and Cooper 5&4. Picard made the finals by beating Dan Galgano 6&5, Tom Mahan 5&4, Wiffy Cox 4&3, Lawson Little 6&4 and Guldahl 7&6.Nelson won $3,000, which was double his first place Masters check, and Picard won $2,000.


Charlie Schneider
1937 Section Champion
Marty Lyons and Llanerch Country Club hosted the Section Championship again on the last Monday of September. Only four of the professionals who had played in Massachusetts were entered. Byron Nelson and Henry Picard were still in the Belmont Match Play but the others had all been eliminated before Sunday. Bruce Coltart won the match play portion of the event beating Matt Kowal on the 38th hole, but he was not the Section champion. Since the decision had been made to invite amateurs to enter the championship, the low professional in the stroke play qualifying rounds would be the Section champion. Six amateurs played in the qualifying but none played in the match play. On a chilly day Charlie Schneider turned in the low medal play score with two rounds of 70 and 69 for a five-under-par 36-hole score of 139. Therefore Schneider was crowned Section champion. Tied for second four strokes back were Coltart and Clarence Doser with 143s. Joe Zarhardt finished fourth with a 144. The defending champion Ted Turner did not enter either the stroke play or match play portions of the championship. He did not have to qualify and was paired for the matches. In case Turner did not show up Bill Neilan, the first alternate was scheduled to play in his place. Neither Turner nor Neilan showed up for the first round match. An interesting bit from the match play finals took place on Llanerch’s par-four 18th hole when Coltart and Kowal came to the tee all even after 35 holes. Kowal drove the green on the fly and held it, two putting for a birdie but Coltart also birdied the hole and they moved on to a sudden death playoff, which Coltart won two holes later.

In early October Henry Picard, Byron Nelson and Denny Shute left by plane for South America and an exhibition tour competing with their golf professionals. While they were there Picard won the Argentina Open.

Twenty-one year old Ed Oliver won the Wood Memorial at the Jeffersonville Golf Club on the first Monday of October. Oliver was around in 33-35 for a two under par 68. George Fazio and the host professional Bud Lewis tied for second with 70s. Sam Byrd, Walter Brickley and Johnny Schuebel tied for fourth with 71s. First prize was $60 from the $200 purse.

Sixty professionals attended the Section’s annual meeting at the Hotel Walton in Philadelphia on the fourth Monday of October. The President, Ed Dudley, was reelected for a fourth straight year but he had opposition. Clarence Hackney ran against him and lost by just two votes. The Secretary/Treasurer, Walter Brickley, was reelected for the fourth straight year also. This made Hackney the first vice president and Marty Lyons was elected second vice president. Under Dudley’s leadership the Section now had more money in its treasury than anytime since it was formed in 1921. Brickley reported that the Section now had 126 members. Jimmy D’Angelo, Baederwood Golf Club professional and editor of the Section’s newsletter, The Reporter, stated that the meeting lasted five hours with some serious and important discussions. One was a complaint by a Section member that a fellow professional was selling 75 cent golf balls below the $8 per dozen price that ha d been set by the Section. The secretary was instructed to write to the accused member requesting him to appear before the Board of Control, along with the complainant. Another important subject was brought up by President Dudley, saying that he had been accused of placing professionals from outside the district in jobs within our Section. He proceeded to give an explanation that was acceptable to the members that were present. George Jacobus, the president of the PGA of America, was in attendance along with A. W. Tillinghast, the internationally known golf course architect and PGA course consultant. President Jacobus discussed several important national subjects including the upcoming national PGA Championship to be played at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club in July. This required a lot of detail work and the membership of the Section was told that they would be looked upon for their assistance. The meeting was followed with a turkey dinner and a floorshow.

In 1935 the PGA of America had retained A.W. Tillinghast, a member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, as a consultant to courses employing PGA professionals. He was also the editor of Golf Illustrated in which his articles were written under the byline "Hazard". At the request of a PGA member Tillinghast would visit the pro’s course and spend a day with the pro and the green committee. He only came at the invitation of the professional and the PGA of America paid his fees. He would make suggestions for improvements to the course and give ideas for saving money such as removal of bunkers that he considered unnecessary, changing sand bunkers to grass, or narrowing and recontouring the fairways. He considered rough to be an inexpensive hazard that didn’t require much maintenance. The clubs were able to reduce their budgets and make the courses more inviting for the average player with a minimal expenditure and saving money was of vital importance. The country was in the middle of the Great Depression and over 600 golf courses would close forever between 1932 and 1952. Tillinghast visited all regions of the country for two years providing this service. A number of courses in the Philadelphia Section were altered by Tillinghast during this time.

On the last weekend of October Pine Valley Golf Club held the first of three annual invitational professional-amateur tournaments. Seventy members contributed $1,710 to cover the expenses of the 12 professionals and create a purse of $800. The Section was represented by Ed Dudley, Leo Diegel, Jimmy Thomson, and Ted Turner. Dudley shot a 71 in the first round, the low round of the weekend, and finished third. Sam Snead and Thomson tied for first with 302 totals, 22 over par.

The national PGA meeting was at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago during the second week of November. The officers (President George R. Jacobus, Secretary Tom Walsh and Treasurer Jack B. Mackie) were all reelected. Ed Dudley was reelected to the office of vice president at large and he was again named chairman of the Tournament Committee. Dudley’s committee had put together a schedule for the next year that consisted of events nearly every week covering the entire country. The committee had also instituted some new rules for the PGA Tour starting with the last three tournaments of the year. One rule was that if a player’s ball was in the line of another player he would have to putt out instead of marking and lifting his ball. This was done to speed up play in the tournaments. The new rule would also alleviate the custom of making indentations or thumbnail scratches to mark the position of the ball on the green. Also the players were told that they were to only play one ball in the practice rounds to lessen turf injury caused from playing several practice shots. The other vice presidents elected were Grange Alves, Thomas Boyd, Al Collins, Ray Hall, Dewey Longworth, Willie Maguire and Frank T. Sprogell. The Philadelphia Section delegates to the meeting were Clarence Hackney and Leo Diegel.

The first official PGA Seniors’ Championship was held at the Augusta National Golf Club in late November. A PGA member had to have reached the age of 50 to be eligible. There was no entry fee as only a PGA membership card was needed to enter and each pro received money for travel expenses. Dave Cuthbert was a member of the tournament’s committee. There were 37 entries. Jack Campbell and Sunnybrook Golf Club professional Frank Coltart led the Philadelphia Section professionals tying for twelfth with 242s and George Sayers (245) finished 18th. George Low, Sr. (248) tied for 21st and he also finished second to Jack Campbell’s brother Alex in the 60 years and over age group. Alec Duncan was in eighth place after two rounds but withdrew. Their old contemporary from the Southeastern Section days, Jock Hutchison, won with rounds of 76, 75 and 72 for a 223 total. George Gordon finished second at 231 and Jim West was third with a 233. Fred McLeod and Dave Ogilvie tied for fourth at 234. The PGA of America put up $2,000 to cover the purse and expenses but the amount won by each professional was not announced. The field was divided into three age groups. Class A was 50 to 54, Class B 55 to 59 and Class C was 60 and over. Alfred S. Bourne contributed $1,500 for the purchase of a trophy that bore his name.

Henry Picard had completed another outstanding year on the PGA Tour as the second leading money winner with $10,866.58. Byron Nelson ($6,734.50), Jimmy Thomson ($5,243.58) and Ed Dudley ($4,418.58) were in seventh, tenth, and twelfth place on the list. Harry Cooper topped the money list with $14,138.69. The PGA Tour professionals had competed for purses totaling $175,000 that year, up $20,000 from the previous year. Cooper also won the Vardon Trophy with 500 points and he had the lowest scoring average for the year (71.62). That year the Vardon Trophy had replaced the Radix Cup. For the first five years the Vardon Trophy was calculated on a point system.

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1938 - Effective January 1st the USGA and the R&A imposed a limit of 14 clubs that a player could use in a round of tournament golf. The caddies applauded the decision. Henry Picard said he would carry driver, brassie, #4 wood, #2 to #9 irons, sand wedge, chipper, and a putter.

Early in the year A.W. Tillinghast resigned as the PGA Golf Course Consultant-Architect. He felt that he had covered all of the clubs that had officially sought his services through the PGA. He didn’t think that there would be sufficient requests within the near future to warrant his covering the country systematically as he had been doing. He stated that he feels at home among the pros and during the past two years he has come to regard them with genuine affection.

Jimmy Thomson, who had finished second on many occasions, won the Los Angeles Open in the second week of January. This was his second victory of the PGA Tour. The tournament was played over Griffith Park’s Wilson and Harding courses. The field of 290 players competed over the two courses for the first 36 holes and the players that made the cut finished up on the Wilson course for the last two rounds. Before the final round the tournament sponsor, The Los Angeles Times, announced that the purse had been increased from $5,000 to $7,500. First place was worth $2,100. The last day 5,000 people turned out to see Thomson shoot a 68, which added to his earlier rounds of 65, 66 and 74 gave him a 273 total. He finished four strokes in front of Johnny Revolta (277). Henry Picard and Lawson Little tied for third with 278s.

In late January Henry Picard won the Pasadena Open in California. Picard won $700 as he edged out Jimmy Hines (278) by two strokes with a 276 score. Picard’s rounds over the Brookside Park Course were 70, 66, 71 and 69. Byron Nelson came in third with 279 and Jimmy Thomson, who had led going into the last round, finished fourth at 280. Picard’s assistant Jack Grout tied for sixth. Jimmy McHale won the low amateur prize and announced that he was turning pro.

Byron Nelson won the Thomasville Open in Georgia at the end of February. His 280 total over the Glen Arven Country Club beat Dick Metz (284) by four strokes and Harry Cooper (285) by five. Nelson’s rounds were 66, 73, 71 and 70. Frank Moore finished fourth at 289. Felix Serafin finished seventh and five other Philadelphia Section professionals made the cut. First prize was $700.

In the second week in March Byron Nelson won again at the $3,000 Hollywood Open in Florida. He won $700 shooting 275 to beat out Horton Smith and Frank Moore by one stroke. Denny Shute and Frank Walsh tied for fourth with 278s. Nelson’s rounds over the Orange Brook course were 71, 68, 69 and 67. Ed Oliver (281) tied for eighth and five other Section pros made the cut. First prize was $700.


Henry Picard
Won 1938 Masters Tournament
Won 1939 PGA Championship
Played on 3 Ryder Cup Teams
The fifth Masters Tournament was scheduled for the first four days of April with a Friday start and a wrap up on Monday. The defending champion was Byron Nelson and the favorite was Sam Snead who had just won the Greensboro Open. Snead arrived at Augusta on his first airplane flight. In the first round Felix Serafin played the first nine in four-under-par 32 and was five under par on the back nine when the rains came. The on-course scoreboard system wasn’t what it would be in later years so there were discrepancies in the newspaper articles as to what hole Serafin was on when play was halted. Unfortunately for Serafin the first day’s play was canceled. They played 18 holes the next day, 36 holes on Sunday and finished up on Monday. Ed Dudley (70-69) led after two rounds and Henry Picard was in front after the third round. In each of the first three rounds Picard had finished birdie-birdie-par. The next day no one broke 70 but Picard was one of the ones who shot a 70. Picard’s 285 total, won by two strokes over Ralph Guldahl (287) and Harry Cooper (287). Picard’s rounds were 71, 72, 72 and 70. The amazing part of Picard’s victory was that due to an injured thumb he had changed his grip in the second week of March. Picard had been playing in the Hollywood (Florida) Open, which was held at the Hollywood Beach Hotel Golf Course where the noted instructor Alex Morrison was the winter teaching pro. At the suggestion of Morrison Picard changed from the overlapping grip to an interlocking grip, which included taking his left thumb off the shaft of the club and wrapping it around behind his right hand. The Masters was just his third tournament using that grip. Paul Runyan finished fourth at 288. First prize was again $1,500 and Picard also received a silver plaque and a gold medal. The Augusta National golf course was considered to be a little short for a championship but only four players broke 290. All five of the Philadelphia Section entries finished in the top eight and the money. Nelson (290) ended up in fifth place and won $400. Serafin and Dudley tied for sixth with 291s, each winning $275. Jimmy Thomson (292) was one stroke farther back in a tie for eighth. He won $175.

The Masters Tournament marked the end of the Winter Tour. The leading money winner was Harry Cooper with $4,448.83. Henry Picard, Jimmy Thomson, and Byron Nelson were in third, fourth, and fifth place.

The Section’s spring meeting was on the second Monday in April at the Hotel Walton in Philadelphia. An active tournament schedule for the coming season was announced. There were open events such as the Central Pennsylvania Open at the Reading Country Club, the South Jersey Open at the Atlantic City Country Club, the Wood Memorial at the Jeffersonville Golf Club, the Philadelphia Open and Pennsylvania Open as well as the usual pro-ams. The pro-am championship was changed from a three-day match play event to 36-holes of stroke play. The pro-lady was still three days of match play. A PGA Championship Committee of twenty-five pros was formed with Leo Diegel chairman. They made weekly trips to the Shawnee Inn & Country Club for the purpose of getting everything in top shape for their national championship. A benevolent fund was created and a number of tournaments were conducted, increasing the treasury considerably. The Section was becoming interested in the development of junior golf. Marty Lyons and his brother Tony had started group lessons for the juniors at his club in 1935. Plans were made to conduct pro-junior tournaments for both boys and girls. The Section had 130 members and not one was unemployed. The members voted to ask the Golf Association of Philadelphia to rescind a rule it had just made which restricted the Philadelphia Open entries to pros that were employed by clubs that were members of the GAP. They felt that the tournament should be open to all members of the Philadelphia Section.

In mid May Jimmy Hines won his second Met Open in a row at the Fresh Meadow Country Club on Long Island. He beat out Sam Snead (290) by three strokes and Ralph Guldahl (292) by five, with rounds of 70, 72, 73 and 72 for 287. Horton Smith finished fourth at 295. Jimmy Thomson (297) tied for eighth and Ted Turner (298) finished one stroke further back in tenth place.

Qualifying for the PGA Championship at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club was held at Shawnee on the fourth Monday in May. Clarence Doser, Jimmy Thomson, and Terl Johnson, the professional at the Plymouth Country Club, made it that day. Doser led with a 70 and a 74 for 144. Thomson posted a 146 and Johnson was next at 149. Leo Diegel, Felix Serafin, Leo Fraser, Dick Renaghan, Jack Patroni and Matt Kowal tied for the last four places with 151s. Eight days later they returned to Shawnee for an 18-hole playoff. Serafin was thirty minutes late for his starting time because he forgot about the daylight savings time change. Diegel and Renaghan had waited for him and all three of them were successful in the playoff. Serafin led with a 75 that was two less than Diegel (77) and Renaghan (77). Fraser won the other place with a 78. As 1937 Ryder Cup Team members Ed Dudley, Byron Nelson and Henry Picard were exempt from qualifying.

The Inverness Four-Ball in Toledo, Ohio was that same week in May. The round-robin tournament consisting of seven 18-hole matches ended on Sunday. Ed Dudley and Ky Laffoon tied for second one point behind the winning team of Sam Snead and Vic Ghezzi. First prize was $650 per man and the second place tie was worth $375 per player. Jimmy Thomson and Henry Picard were also in the 16-man field and all the players won money.

On a Tuesday, the last day in May, qualifying for the U.S. Open was at the Aronimink Golf Club. Because the Open was in Denver the local entry was not large and Philadelphia was allotted only four places. Four professionals from the Section, Ed Dudley, Henry Picard, Byron Nelson and Jimmy Thomson were exempt from qualifying as they had all been in the top 30 at the Open the previous year. The low qualifier was George Low, Jr. who was running a driving range in Jenkintown with his father. He putted right-handed with the back of a left-handed putter he had borrowed. He only three putted one time to shoot a 70-71 for 141. In the morning round Low made a double-eagle on the par-five fourth hole when he holed a #4 wood shot for a two. The other three pros that made it were Sam Byrd (144), Bruce Coltart (145) and George Fazio (146).

Joe Kirkwood, Sr., who had just returned from a yearlong world tour with Walter Hagen, successfully qualified for the U.S. Open in San Francisco on the same day that the Philadelphia pros were playing at Aronimink. There were five spots at San Francisco and Kirkwood picked up the last one with a 145.

In the second week of June at the U.S. Open Byron Nelson and Henry Picard had good opportunities to win. The Open was played at the Cherry Hills Club in Colorado. Nelson (294) tied for fifth winning $412.50 and Picard (295) tied for seventh and won $216.67. Ralph Guldahl won his second straight U.S. Open with rounds of 74, 70, 71 and 69 for an even-par 284. Dick Metz (290) finished second, six strokes back. Harry Cooper and Toney Penna tied for third at 292. Jimmy Thomson (308) and Ed Dudley (315) also made the cut but missed the money. George Fazio made the cut and withdrew after the third round. Bruce Coltart, Sam Byrd, and George Low, Jr., missed the cut. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. withdrew after the first round.

The next week in June Ralph Guldahl won the Western Open for the third straight year. Played in St. Louis at the Westwood Country Club, this was the 38th annual open championship of the Western Golf Association and this was the first time anyone had won it three years in a row. Guldahl put together rounds of 71, 73, 70 and 65 for a 279 that finished seven strokes in front of the second place finisher Sam Snead (286). Toney Penna was next at 289. Jimmy Thomson and Leonard Dodson tied for fourth with 292s. Thomson did it with the help of a last round hole-in-one. First prize was $750.

The Pennsylvania Open was held at the Pittsburgh Field Club at the end of June. Lloyd Mangrum who was playing out of Los Angeles stopped off to visit his brother Ray at Oakmont Country Club on his way to the Shawnee Inn & Country Club for the PGA Championship. Lloyd won the tournament over Ray who ended up one stroke back in second place. Lloyd shot a pair of 71s for 142 and Ray’s rounds were 72-71.Vic Ghezzi (145), Sam Parks, Jr. (147) and Ed Dudley (148) finished third, fourth, and fifth. Lloyd’s two-under-par 142 earned him $250 from the $700 purse. There were 71 entries.

The British Open was held at the Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, England in the first week of July. Reg Whitcombe (295), the runner-up in 1937, won with rounds of 71, 71, 75 and 78. The wind blew so hard the last day that exhibition tent collapsed. Jimmy Adams finished second at 297 and Henry Cotton was third at 298. Dick Burton, Alf Padgham, Jack Busson and Allan Dailey tied for fourth with 303 totals.


Shawnee Country Club
Host of 1938 PGA Championship
Hosted 20 PGA Tour Shawnee Opens
Hosted 7 Section Championships
In mid July the PGA Championship, hosted by Shawnee Inn & Country Club and the Philadelphia Section, came to the Philadelphia Section for the first time. Jack Patroni was the host professional. The Worthington family, who had made their money in pumps and owned the facility, had spent $20,000 on course improvements preparing for the championship. Ten professionals from the Philadelphia Section were entered. Seven had qualified locally and three were exempt. After the 36-hole qualifying round at Shawnee only one of the ten failed to make the low 64 who qualified for the match play. Frank Moore, brother of Terry Moore the St. Louis Cardinal baseball player, won the medal with a pair of 68s for an eight-under-par 136. One year later Moore would be running the golf shop at Reading Country for Byron Nelson. Henry Picard and Byron Nelson tied for third with 140s. Long hitting Jimmy Thomson, playing out of Shawnee and Ed Dudley each recorded 141s. Terl Johnson (144), Leo Fraser (144), Leo Diegel (147), Dick Renaghan (150) and Felix Serafin (150) also survived the qualifying as the 151 shooters played off for the last four spots in the match play ladder. Clarence Doser was the lone Section member that didn’t make it through the qualifying rounds into the match play. The first two rounds of matches were 18 holes each and the rest were 36 holes. In the first round Fraser lost to Bob Shave, Sr. 4&3 and Renaghan lost to Dick Metz 4&3. Dudley, Thomson, Diegel and Johnson won their first round matches only to lose in the second round. Dudley upset Johnny Farrell 3&2 and then lost to Harry Bassler 4&3. Thomson beat Guy Paulsen 5&4 and then lost to Jim Foulis one-down. Diegel beat Francis Gallett 2&1 and was defeated by Horton Smith 2&1. Johnson defeated Henry Ransom 2&1 and then lost to Sam Snead 4&3. Serafin won two matches before losing in the third round. Serafin upset Harry Cooper 4&3 and then he upset Ky Laffoon 3&2 before losing to Snead 4&3. Nelson won three matches. He beat Clarence Yockey 5&4, Al Krueger in 20 holes and Bassler 11&10 before losing to Jimmy Hines in the quarter-finals 2&1. Picard made it to the semifinals as he defeated Andy Gibson 3&2, Shave 3&2, Metz 4&3 and Gene Sarazen 3&2. Picard lost to Paul Runyan 4&3. In the other semifinal Snead defeated Hines one-down. The final went down as one of the more amazing matches in the history of the PGA. The short driving Runyan defeated Snead who was a great player and one of the longest drivers in the game by a wide margin of 8&7. Runyan picked up a check for $1,100 and Snead won $600 from the $10,000 purse. Snead must have made a good impression as less than two years later he would be representing Shawnee on the PGA Tour.


Frank Moore
Medalist 1938 PGA
Won Westchester Open
1938 & 1939
Three days later in July Ted Turner won the Philadelphia Open for the second time at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club. Leonard Dodson could not defend the title since the Golf Association of Philadelphia had held fast to their new rule and only professionals employed by the member clubs could enter the tournament. Turner put together rounds of 70, 73, 70 and 73 for a two-under-par 286 in the two-day event. The 36-hole leader Matt Kowal and Terl Johnson tied for second with 287s. Johnson had a last round of 68, the best of the tournament. Clarence Ehresman finished fourth at 290. Sam Byrd and amateur Dave Douglas tied for fifth at 291. Leo Diegel and Clarence Doser were next with 294s. First place paid $250 and the second place tie earned $87.50. The GAP pros didn’t have to compete with outside pros that year but there wasn’t as much money to win. First prize was $100 less and all of the other prizes were reduced.

Ten days after winning the Philadelphia Open Ted Turner won the New Jersey Open at the Braidburn Country Club. He was only the second professional from South Jersey to win this tournament and the first since Clarence Hackney had won it three years in a row from 1924 to 1926. Turner was the only pro entered from South Jersey. With rounds of 71, 74, 75 and 75 for a score of 295Turner finished three strokes in front of John Kinder (298) and the host professional Ralph Guldahl (298), who had won the last two U.S. Opens. Vic Ghezzi and Craig Wood tied for fourth with 299s.

Harry Anderson, who had been the golf professional at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club for the last 13 years, was building another nine holes for the club that would open in July of the next year.

The first South Jersey Open was played at the Atlantic City Country Club on the first Monday of August. On a windy morning Ed Oliver went around the course in 64 strokes making nine birdies on the way to lead by seven strokes. Leo Diegel, who played with Oliver, said it was the greatest round of golf he had ever seen. Oliver was on all four of the par five holes in two. In the afternoon the wind picked up and Oliver needed 77 strokes but his score of 141 still won by six strokes. Matt Kowal along with amateurs Dave Douglas and Sonny Fraser tied for second with 147s. The total prize money was $620 and Oliver won $200.

On the second Monday of August Ed Oliver made it two wins in a row by annexing the Central Pennsylvania Open at the Reading Country Club. This was also his second win in this event. The host pro Byron Nelson led after the morning round with a course record 66, which included six birdies and an eagle. Oliver finished with a pair of 70s for a two-under-par 140 that nipped Nelson (141) by one stroke. Nelson bogeyed the last four holes in the afternoon. First money was $125 and 15 pros won money. Terl Johnson (142) finished third and Clarence Doser finished (144) fourth. A driving contest was held that day which Nelson won with a drive of 273 yards-6 inches. Oliver, who could drive 300 yards with ease, missed the fairway with his three drives.


Joe Zarhardt
1938 Section Champion
The format for the Hershey Open was changed to a better-ball round robin with eight teams competing. The tournament was held in early September and consisted of seven rounds in four days as a team played each of the other seven teams. The 16-man field was made up of invitees that had victories on the PGA Tour. The host pro Henry Picard invited Ben Hogan who had never won a tournament. Milton Hershey, President of the club and the Hershey Chocolate Corporation, questioned Picard about his choice but Picard said he thought Hogan was going to be a great player. Hogan was to be paired with 43-year-old Tommy Armour who wasn’t in training for a marathon like that. Hogan got a break when Armour broke a bone in his hand and could not make it. Twenty-five year old Vic Ghezzi was brought in at the last minute to be his partner. The club members purchased the teams in a calcutta auction and the Hogan-Ghezzi team sold for the lowest amount, by far. Hogan and Ghezzi proceeded to open up with a 61 and a 63, 22 under par. They finished the seven rounds 53 under par and plus 17, which was 15 points ahead of Sam Snead and Paul Runyan who finished second. Hogan and Ghezzi each won $550. The total purse was $4,600. All the other teams finished with zero points or less. Byron Nelson, Ed Dudley and Jimmy Thomson were the other Section pros in the field.

In the second week of October the Section Championship was once again at the Llanerch Country Club. The host professional Marty Lyons and forty-three other professionals entered the qualifying round. Terl Johnson, who had been in the money in every Section tournament that year, was the low qualifier with 73-70 for a one-under-par 143. The low 32 players qualified and the 160 scorers played off for the last three spots. George Fazio was second with a 144 and Ted Turner was next at 145. Turnerdidn’t play in the match play because he couldn’t get away form Pine Valley. Joe Zarhardt, the former Burlington Country Club head professional but now unattached and living in Plainfield, New Jersey, became the new champion. He defeated Ralph Hutchison 3&2 in the 36-hole final. Hutchison beat his former employer Ed Dudley one-down in the quarterfinals. He had caddied for him on the tour and worked as his assistant at the Concord Country Club, Augusta National and the Philadelphia Country Club. With the aid of a ruling Hutchison won his semifinal match one-up against Leo Fraser. It appeared that Fraser had won the 16th hole with a par five to make Hutchison dormie, but Hutchison had seen Fraser’s caddy use a rake to remove leaves from the line of his putt. There was a delay of more than an hour in which time the PGA called the USGA. Fraser was penalized and the penalty was loss of the hole so instead of winning the hole he lost it. The match was now even and Hutchison proceeded to win the 17th hole and eliminate Fraser. Zarhardt eliminated a former champion Gene Kunes in his semifinal match but it took three extra holes. About 300 spectators came out to see the 36-hole final match on Sunday.

The Section’s annual meeting was held at the Llanerch Country Club on the second Monday of October, which was the evening after the Section Championship qualifying rounds. There were 55 members in attendance. The most important subject discussed was price-cutting among the so-called outlaw pros and cut-rate stores. A plan to combat this sort of thing would be decided upon in the immediate future. Along with this a definite program was put into effect by Marty Lyons chairman of the tournament committee, whereby clubs would be asked to submit bids for their championship events in 1939. Ed Dudley was opposed in the election for president again by Clarence Hackney. For a fifth consecutive year Dudley was elected Section president. He won more easily this year, as the vote was 36 to 12. Lyons was the first vice president and Hackney was the second vice president. Walter Brickley was reelected to the dual office of secretary-treasurer. Dudley was still one of the vice presidents of the PGA of America and the tournament chairman and as well. The U.S. Open was coming back to the Section the next year at the Philadelphia Country Club’s Spring Mill Course. Dudley mentioned that the Country Club would need about fifteen pros to assist in marshaling the gallery during the National Open in June.

On the last weekend in October Pine Valley Golf Club held its second annual professional-amateur tournament. The members contributed $2,300 this year and 13 professionals were invited. The Section members in the field were Ed Dudley, Leo Diegel, and Pine Valley’s Ted Turner. In the second round Craig Wood shot a one-under-par 69 to set a new course record and went on to complete the two-day event with a 286 total. Wood, the only player to break 300, won by 14 strokes. First prize was $500 and he received another $250 for establishing a new course record.

The PGA’s annual meeting was held at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago the third week of November. President George R. Jacobus was reelected. Secretary Tom Walsh and Treasurer Jack B. Mackie were also reelected. Ed Dudley was elected to a third one-year term as a vice president at large. The other vice presidents elected were Thomas Boyd, Captain Charles Clarke, Ray Hall, Dewey Longworth, Willie Maguire, George Norrie and Frank T. Sprogell. The delegates decided that all past PGA champions would be exempt from local qualifying for the PGA Championship. The former champions could attempt to qualify locally. If they failed to qualify locally they would be permitted to play in the tournament but they would have to pay their own travel expenses. The exemption of the past champions would not affect the allotment of qualifying places to the various Sections. The head professional of the course holding the championship was also exempted from local qualifying. At the suggestion of Ed Dudley it was decided that one full day of the next national meeting would be devoted to teaching and promotion of the game. This would include looking at motion pictures of the leading players and discussing instruction. Fred Corcoran was retained for another year as the tournament bureau manager. Corcoran and the tournament committee reported that when the current PGA Tour schedule closed at the end of December the professionals would have competed for $182,500 in purses that year. This was an increase of $19,500 over the previous year. It was decided that the PGA Senior’s Championship that was held as an experiment the year before would be an annual event. There were now 1,739 PGA members. The Philadelphia Section’s delegates to the meeting were Marty Lyons and Clarence Hackney.

At the same time as the national meeting Henry Picard and his assistant Jack Grout, were tying for the top spot in the Mid-South Professional 4-Ball tournament. They tied two veteran Scottish professionals, Tommy Armour and Bobby Cruickshank, on the Pinehurst #2 Course with 132s. Picard-Grout scored 67-75 and Armour-Cruickshank had a pair of 66s. The two winning teams divided $700 four ways. Felix Serafin and Terl Johnson tied for third with Jack Patroni and Jim Turnesa at 133. They each won $70. Sam Byrd and Dutch Harrison (134) finished fifth and won last money of $50 apiece.

In early December the senior pros were back at the Augusta National Golf Club for the second PGA Seniors’ Championship. Again Frank Coltart (159) and Jack Campbell (160) led the way for the Philadelphia Section members, finishing sixth and eighth. Playing in inclement weather Fred McLeod and Otto Hackbarth tied with 154s as one round was washed out and the tournament was reduced to 36-holes. McLeod shot a 75-79 for 154 and Hackbarth was around in 80-74. McLeod won an 18-hole playoff with an 80 against an 82 for Hackbarth. Frank Belwood finished third at 157. Jock Hutchison and Dave Ogilvie tied for fourth with 158s.

Henry Picard just missed winning the $10,000 Miami Open in the third week of December. Jug McSpaden edged out Picard (276) by one stroke with a 72-hole score of 275. McSpaden’s rounds on the Miami Country Club’s course were 66, 69, 71 and 69. McSpaden won $2,500 and Picard won $1,250. The second place check moved Picard into third place on the money list for the year with $8,050. With one tournament left to play Sam Snead topped the list with $19,439. Johnny Revolta (279) finished third one stroke in front of Denny Shute (280) and Ben Hogan (280). A total of eight Philadelphia Section pros made the cut. Jimmy Thomson (282) and Sam Byrd (285) were in the top twelve and the money.

The last tournament of the year was the Houston Open that ended on December 31. Jug McSpaden won for a second week in a row with a score of 214 for the 54 holes. Sam Snead needed to win the $700 first prize to top $20,000 for the year but he finished tied for tenth and won $95. Snead still set a record for one year with his total winnings of $19,534.49. Harry Cooper had been the money leader the year before with $14,300. Snead also won the Vardon Trophy with 520 points. Johnny Revolta ended up in second place on the money list with $9,553.33, less than one-half of what Snead won, and Henry Picard was third with $8,050.34. Byron Nelson finished in tenth place on the money list with $5,455.16. Jimmy Thomson was eleventh with $5,100.

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1939 - The USGA announced that they were working with the manufacturers to stabilize the golf ball at its present length. They said that there were no plans to make any change in the ball but some kind of safeguard was needed to prevent somebody from bringing out a ball that would go 25 or 50 yards farther than the present one.

Byron Nelson set a new tournament record at the $3,000 Phoenix Open in early February. There were 78 entries. Playing in forty-degree weather and an all day rain Nelson had a 68 the first day. The second day he shot a pair of 65s and finished with a 15-under-par 198. Nelson won the $700 first place check by twelve strokes as Ben Hogan finished second at 210. Dutch Harrison was next at 211 and Harry Bassler (212) ended up in the fourth spot. Nelson’s 130 was a new 36-hole record for the PGA Tour bettering by one stroke the previous record held jointly by Jimmy Thomson and Horton Smith. His 198 was also a PGA Tour record for 54-holes.

Henry Picard won the Crescent City Open at New Orleans in the third week of February. The purse was $10,000 and there were 90 starters. His 72, 69, 68 and 75 over the City Park Golf Club gave him a 284 for a five stroke win over Dick Metz (289) and a $2,000 check. Jimmy Thomson (290) and Jug McSpaden (290) tied for third one stroke in front of Byron Nelson (291) and Chandler Harper (291) who tied for fifth.

The next week in February Henry Picard won again at the $3,000 Thomasville Open. His 54-hole 211 score over the Glen Arven Country Club course brought him home one ahead of Johnny Bulla (212). First prize was $700. Sam Snead (213) finished one stroke further back with a final round 67. Byron Nelson ended up in a six-way tie for fourth at 215 with Dutch Harrison, Ky Laffoon, Herman Barron, Horton Smith and Leo Wapler.

Byron Nelson won the North and South Open on Pinehurst Country Club’s #2 Course in late March. Nelson was the only contestant to break par in every round as he put together rounds of 71, 66, 70 and 71 for an eight-under-par 280. Horton Smith (282) was in second place two strokes back while Sam Snead and Dick Metz tied for third with 286s. Henry Picard tied Harry Cooper and Craig Wood for fifth place at 287. There were ten members of the Philadelphia Section in the starting field.

Ralph Guldahl shot a 33 on the last nine to win the Masters Tournament in early April. This was his sixth major victory to go along with two U.S. Opens and three Western Opens. Guldahl’s four rounds were 72, 68, 70 and 69 for 279. 8,000 spectators saw Sam Snead shoot a last round 68 for a total of 280 that missed tying Guldahl by one stroke. Billy Burke and Lawson Little tied for third with 282s. Byron Nelson (287) finished seventh, Henry Picard (289) was eighth, and Ed Dudley (291) tied for tenth. Felix Serafin (295) and Jimmy Thomson (296) were in the top 20 but out of the money. It took a score of 293 to finish in the money Serafin tied for 16th and Thomson tied for 18th. First prize was $1,500.

At the conclusion of the Winter Tour in early April the leading money winners were Dick Metz with $5,586, Byron Nelson $4,632, and Henry Picard $4,497. Jimmy Thomson was in ninth place with $2,746.

The Section’s spring meeting was at the Riverton Country Club on the third Monday in April. The topic of discussion was that the Section’s officers had designated the second week of May as "PGA Golf Week". A committee of pros from different parts of the Section was formed to promote the week. Baederwood Golf Club professional Jimmy D’Angelo was appointed chairman and every possible idea to publicize the week was put into action.


L to R--Ted Bickel, Jr., Byron Nelson,
Ed Dudley, Leo Diegel
At Beverly Hills Golf Club in May
Leading up to the "PGA Golf Week", KYW radio interviewed a golf professional on the air one night each week. Ed Dudley started the series of interviews and was followed by Ted Turner, Leo Diegel and Jimmy D’Angelo. Dudley was also interviewed several times over radio station WIP. They used radio and newspapers, along with demonstrations at theaters and driving ranges. Dudley, Diegel and D’Angelo visited a Philadelphia Rotary Club luncheon held at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel that was attended by 350 Rotarians. They demonstrated the golf swing on stage and then drove Ping-Pong balls into the audience and any man receiving a ball was entitled to a free golf lesson. The same idea was used in the theaters. Over three hundred free golf lessons were donated to the public. A golf clinic was held on Monday evening at George Low, Sr.'s driving range. A gallery of approximately 1,000 people watched Jimmy Thomson, Leo Diegel, Bud Lewis, George Fazio, Morrie Talman and George Low, Jr. demonstrate golf shots. On Thursday the Beverly Hills Golf Club hosted an exhibition put on by Dudley, Diegel, Byron Nelson and the host professional Ted Bickel, Jr. In the Reading area the week was started with a golf rally at the City Hall auditorium. Nelson gave a demonstration of shots and a talk on golf to an audience of nearly 1000 people. The week was climaxed with an exhibition at the Reading Country Club featuring Harry Markel, Gene Kunes, Diegel, and Nelson, the host pro. In New Jersey Bruce Coltart, Walter Brickley, Dick Renaghan and Leo Fraser held demonstrations at golf courses and driving ranges. Iron Rock Golf Club professional John Hayes, Cooper River Golf Club professional Charlie Arena, Spring Hill Country Club professional Tony Midiri, Merchantville Country Club professional Henry Wetzel, and Burlington Country Club professional Cas Banas had special days at their courses to promote the PGA and golf. Al MacDonald, now the professional at the Langhorne Country Club put on a one-man show in his area appearing at three theaters, making two trips across the river to New Jersey and going on the radio several times. Probably the biggest piece of publicity obtained for the PGA Golf Week was a huge sign in electric lights on City Hall in Philadelphia announcing "PGA GOLF WEEK---MAY 7 TO 14".

Qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at 32 sites. The entry fee was $5. The largest number in the country, 146 players including Walter Hagen, was entered in Philadelphia on the fourth Monday in of the month. The number of places to qualify for was based on the quantity and the quality of the players entered at each location. Philadelphia was allotted the most with 19. The Overbrook Golf Club located in Wynnewood and St. Davids Golf Club in Wayne hosted the qualifying rounds on the fourth Monday of May. That was the first time that two courses were needed in Philadelphia for the qualifying rounds. Ted Turner led the scoring with a one over par 72 in the morning at St. Davids and a two under par 69 at Overbrook in the afternoon for 141. The Philadelphia Section pros secured 14 of the 19 places. Felix Serafin and Sam Byrd were tied for second with amateur Ray Silverstein with 144s. They finished one stroke in front of George Fazio (145), Bruce Coltart (145) and Lawson Little. Also safely qualifying were Gene Kunes (148), Terl Johnson (149), Clarence Ehresman (150), Clarence Doser (151) and Tom O’Connor (151), the professional at the Yardley Country Club. Matt Kowal, Charles Schneider, Ralph Hutchison and Leo Fraser all posted 152s and prevailed in an eight-man playoff for the last four spots. Local amateurs and Lawson Little took the other five places. Late in the afternoon a storm that brought thunder and lightning hit St. Davids. Dick Allman, an amateur from Philmont Country Club, was struck on the 16th hole and Max Cross, the professional at the McCall Field Golf Club, was struck on the 18th hole. Both were knocked flat. Allman finished the round par-bogie-birdie to qualify at 149. Cross was carried into the clubhouse unaware that he had hit his shot onto the green. He was revived and he returned to the green where he three-putted from eight feet for a six. This put him at 153 and made him miss the playoff of the 152s for the last four spots. Hagen failed to make it along with Joe Kirkwood, Sr. and Leo Diegel, who lost out in the playoff. Ed Dudley was exempt from qualifying as the host professional and Henry Picard and Byron Nelson were exempt for having finished in the top 30 in the Open in 1938.

Ed Oliver also qualified for the U.S. Open on the fourth Monday of May. Oliver led the qualifying at the Park Country Club of Buffalo with a 75 and a 69 for 144. There were four spots in Buffalo.

Later that week in May Henry Picard (283) won his second Met Open at the Metropolis Country Club in New York. Picard birdied the last hole to create a three-way tie for the title at the end of 72 holes with Paul Runyan (283), the host pro, and Vic Ghezzi (283). The next day Picard birdied the last hole for a score of 70 that eliminated Ghezzi (77) and tied Runyan (70), so a second playoff was needed. On the fifth day Picard shot a two-under par 69 in his sixth round of the tournament to beat out Runyan (71) for the title. Picard’s tournament rounds were 71, 71, 69 and 72 for a total of 283. Jimmy Thomson and Craig Wood tied for fourth with 285s. First prize was $750.


Byron Nelson
Host Professional Ed Dudley
On 1st at U.S. Open on day one

In the second week of June the U.S. Open was back in the Philadelphia Section. The venue was the Philadelphia Country Club’s Spring Mill Course. Bill Flynn, who had designed the course in 1927, had revamped the 6,786-yard course with the help of Ed Dudley and his two assistants, George B. Smith and Sam Byrd. They had spent many days on the course the previous year with Flynn making suggestions for the changes. More than 20 new bunkers were built and many more were enlarged to tighten the approaches to the greens. Par for the Open course was 69 as the par five #8 and #12 holes were played from the forward tees as par fours. Due to problems encountered during one of the qualifying rounds just three weeks before at St. Davids Golf Club, a fire siren from a fire truck was installed near the clubhouse to halt play for thunderstorms. The year before the USGA had used the banging of a hammer against a tire rim to stop play. Some of the contestants were returning home like Houston's Jack Burke, Sr. He had started his golf career as a caddy at the Philadelphia Country Club’s Bala course and had been an assistant pro there in 1908. Three other contestants, Clarence Ehresman now the professional at the Ashbourne Country Club, Bruce Coltart and Ralph Hutchison had also worked there as assistant pros. Eleven Section pros made the cut that was set at the low 60 and ties. On Saturday nearly 10,000 people showed up to see the final 36 holes of the tournament. This number was estimated from a count of 5,000 cars in the parking areas. Amateur Bud Ward had as good a chance to win as anyone but he bogeyed the short par-three eleventh hole in all four of his rounds. He finished fourth at 285, one shot out of a playoff. Sam Snead (286), who would be a member of the Section the next year, made a bogie on the 71st hole and a triple bogey eight on the 72nd hole to miss a playoff for the title by two strokes. Snead finished fifth. Byron Nelson, Denny Shute and Craig Wood ended up in a three-way with eight over par 284 totals, which necessitated an 18-hole playoff on Sunday. The "Blue Laws" were still a part of Philadelphia so sporting events could not be held until one hour after church services had concluded. The playoff began at two o’clock. Shute fell behind on the front nine while the battle went back and forth between Nelson and Wood. On the 17th hole Wood took a one-stroke lead when he holed a 18-foot putt for a birdie and Nelson three-putted. Shute was out of contention and he would finish with a 76. With two great tee-shots Nelson and Wood were in position to reach the par-five 18th hole in two. Nelson played first and his brassie (two-wood) shot ended up three-feet short of the green. Wood hit a 4-wood and hooked it toward the gallery hitting a spectator in the head. The ball wound up in the fairway just short of the green. The spectator was Bob Mossman, an Ardmore driving range proprietor. Mossman was unconscious and an ambulance took him to a hospital. From there Wood pitched his ball eight-feet past the cup. Nelson then chipped ten-feet beyond the cup and proceeded to hole his putt for a birdie. Wood’s putt was weak and died to the left. Nelson and Wood were still tied. After they had finished Wood visited Mossman at the hospital. A second 18-hole playoff was held at 9:30am on the next day. On Monday Nelson holed a 1-iron on the fourth hole for an eagle two. That gave him an almost insurmountable lead of four strokes. Nelson went on to win by three, shooting a 70 against a 73 for Wood. Wood was now 0 for 4 in playoffs for majors as he had also lost the British Open, Masters Tournament in playoffs and the PGA Championship final in extra holes. Nelson, a Section member, had another major championship and a check for $1,000. Nelson’s tournament rounds were 72, 73, 71 and 68. Nelson was the first winner of the U.S. Open who didn’t wear a tie. He wore an open neck short sleeve shirt. Dudley (290) made a very creditable showing finishing in a tie for 12th with Henry Picard (290) winning $108.33. Dudley’s assistant Sam Byrd (292) finished tied for 16th, winning $66.67. Matt Kowal finished 25th at 295. Felix Serafin and Ed Oliver tied for 29th and also finished in the money with 296 totals. Kowal, Serafin and Oliver each won $50. Making the 36-hole cut but out of the money were Terl Johnson (299), Gene Kunes (300), now back in the Section at a driving range in Norristown, Bruce Coltart (302), and Ted Turner (305). Tom O’Connor made the cut by three strokes with a 149 score but was disqualified on Saturday. He missed his starting time due to a tire blowing out on his way to the club and he had no way of notifying the officials. Clarence Doser, Charlie Schneider, Leo Fraser, Clarence Ehresman, George Fazio and Ralph Hutchison missed the cut.

When Denny Shute lost out in the playoff for the U.S. Open the PGA of America announced that he was out of the PGA Championship. Even though as a member of the Ryder Cup team he was exempt from qualifying Shute was not eligible because he had been two days late paying his PGA dues of $35. The PGA said that if he had won the U.S. Open he would have been in as there was always a place reserved in the PGA Championship for the national open winner.

The same day Byron Nelson was winning the U.S. Open the Philadelphia Section pros were qualifying for the PGA Championship at the Lancaster Country Club. Byron Nelson, Ed Dudley, Leo Diegel and Henry Picard were exempt from qualifying. 1,319 PGA members were eligible to enter the qualifying rounds for 102 places in the championship. The Philadelphia Section had 31 entries. The PGA announced that no alternates or substitutes would be permitted to play in the championship. That was because there was a rumor that in the past players had sold their spots in the tournament to alternates. Jimmy Thomson led the qualifying for the seven places allotted to the Section with a morning 68 and an afternoon 73 for a three-under-par 141. Felix Serafin and Clarence Doser were tied for second with 142s. Gene Kunes was next at 144. Bruce Coltart and Charlie Schneider tied with 147 and made it safely. Ted Turner, Tom O’Connor and Matt Kowal tied for the last spot at 148. After having played 36-holes that day the three pros were sent out for an 18-hole playoff the same day even though Turner and Kowal had just finished playing in the U.S. Open with 36 holes on Saturday. Turner earned the last spot shooting a 72 in the playoff against a 73 for O’Connor and a 75 for Kowal. Even though O’Connor lost the playoff and the PGA had stated that no alternates would be accepted he went to the PGA. He replaced Kunes who seemed to be ill more often than he was well.

The next week in June fourteen of the top professionals were in Toledo, Ohio for the $5,200 Inverness Four-Ball. Again Henry Picard and Johnny Revolta were a very difficult team to beat. They had won the tournament in 1935 and this year they won again. To achieve victory this time they had to win a three-way playoff. At the end of the 126 holes of regulation they were tied at plus 6 with the teams of Byron Nelson-Jug McSpaden and Sam Snead-Vic Ghezzi. Revolta birdied the first extra hole for the win and the $1,050 team prize. The two second-place teams each won $850. Ed Dudley was also a member of one of the eight teams.

In the fourth week of June the PGA Tour arrived at the Country Club of Scranton for the $5,000 Anthracite Open. Henry Picard shot a 65 the first round for a four-stroke lead and led all the way to the finish with rounds of 69, 71 and 68. His total of 273 won $1,200 as he beat the second place finisher Sam Snead (279) by six strokes. Terl Johnson tied for third with Jimmy Hines and Ray Mangrum at 280. Ed Dudley finished sixth with a 281. Other Section members in the top twenty and the money were Ed Oliver (284), Sam Byrd (285), Jimmy Thomson (288), Gene Kunes (289), Byron Nelson (291) and Ted Turner (291).

The next day in June after the Anthracite Open ended, which was the last Monday in June, the Pennsylvania Open was played at the Llanerch Country Club. Oakmont Country Club’s Ray Mangrum eked out a one-stroke victory to take the $250 first prize in what was now a one-day 36-hole championship. He kept the title that his brother Lloyd had won the year before with a 72 and a 67 for a five-under-par 139. This made him the third person to win the title twice. Lloyd could not defend his title because the Pennsylvania State Golf Association had restricted the tournament to players who were affiliated with Pennsylvania clubs or lived in Pennsylvania. Charlie Schneider, Matt Kowal, and Jimmy Thomson tied for second at 140. Clarence Doser (141) finished fifth and the two other two-time winners Ed Dudley and Felix Serafin tied for sixth with 142s.

At the same time the Pennsylvania Open was being played Byron Nelson was winning the Massachusetts Open at the Worchester Country Club. Nelson had a two-day 72-hole score of 283 and won by five strokes over Lloyd Mangrum (288). Nelson opened with a 70 and then posted three straight 71s. Horton Smith (289), Tony Manero (290) and Jug McSpaden (291) finished third, fourth and fifth. McSpaden had won the last three Massachusetts Opens.

The British Open was played in the first week of July at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, St. Andrews, Scotland. Dick Burton (290) won with rounds of 70, 72, 77 and 71. Johnny Bulla finished second at 292. Sam King, Alf Perry, Bill Shankland, Reg Whitcombe and Johnny Fallon tied for third at 294.

In the second week of July the PGA Championship was held at Pomonok Country Club on Long Island. That site was chosen because it was just one mile from where the Worlds Fair was being held. The first sit-down strike in championship golf took place when fifty or more of the leading players refused to tee off unless Denny Shute was allowed to play Shute had been banned because he had been 48 hours late paying his $35 dues. There were meetings involving PGA officers, club officials, players and lawyers. Corky O’Keefe, who had put up $15,000, and the club officials were ready to call the tournament off. 51 of the players that were entered signed a petition stating that they would not play if Shute wasn’t in the field. When the first day of qualifying arrived many of the players weren’t ready to tee off. Some were on strike and some were in PGA executive meetings. George Jacobus decided to take matters into his own hands. He overruled his executive committee and gave Shute a place in the field. The secretary of the PGA Tom Walsh stated that Shute was ineligible and the championship was illegal. Ninety minutes after the scheduled start the tournament went off with the players being told that Shute was in the field, no matter what they heard otherwise. When Shute teed off he was not given a scorecard but his playing partner Walter Hagen sent someone back to the clubhouse for a scorecard, which they used to record Shute’s score. When Shute reached the 10th tee the PGA offered him $300 to withdraw from the tournament but he refused. Shute posted a 143 for the two days and qualified with ease. Nine Section members qualified for the match play. Ben Hogan, Dutch Harrison, Ky Laffoon and Emerick Kocsis led the qualifying with six under par 138s. Henry Picard and Charlie Schneider qualified with 140s and Bruce Coltart was in with a 142. Byron Nelson (143), Tom O’Connor (143), Jimmy Thomson (144), Leo Diegel (145) and Clarence Doser (145) also qualified with ease. As usual a playoff was needed for the last places in the 64-man match play field. One of the ones who survived the playoff was Felix Serafin (148) and one of those who lost in the playoff was Ed Dudley (148), a member of the PGA executive committee, who had been in favor of Shute being eligible. Ted Turner also failed to survive the qualifying. Shute lost in the third round and that seemed to end the controversy. The first two rounds were 18-holes and the remaining rounds were 36-holes. Coltart, O’Connor and Doser each won two matches and Diegel won one. Coltart beat Buddy Peteet 4&3 and Mike Turnesa in 21 holes before losing to Harrison 10&9. O’Connor eliminated Al Morley 7&5 and Laffoon two-down before losing to Rod Munday two-down. Doser put out Rut Coffey 3&1 and Ralph Guldahl two-down before losing to Horton Smith 4&2. Diegel beat Willie Goggin 2&1 and then he lost to Shute 3&1. Schneider, Serafin and Thomson lost in the first round. Schneider lost to Johnny Farrell one-down, Serafin lost to Munday in 21 holes and Thomson was beaten two-down by Herman Barron. The finals turned out to be a Philadelphia Section match for the title. Picard picked up his second major title in two years by defeating Nelson one-down on the 37th hole. On the 36th hole one of the motion picture trucks ran over Picard’s ball. Picard was given a free drop by PGA president George Jacobus, who was referring the match. Picard proceeded to birdie the hole, which tied up the match and he birdied the next hole for the win. On the way to the finals Picard defeated Earl Martin 6&4, Joe Zarhardt two-down, Al Watrous 8&7, Munday 2&1 and Dick Metz one-down. Nelson eliminated Chuck Garringer 4&2, William "Red" Francis 2&1, Johnny Revolta 6&4, Kocsis 10&9 and Harrison 9&8. Nelson was 28 under par for the 156 holes he played in the five rounds leading up to the finals. The purse was $10,600 and first prize was $1,100. Everyone was guaranteed money for travel whether they qualified or not, which brought the total payout to $15,000.


Sam Byrd
Won Philadelphia Open
Won Pennsylvania Open
Won 6 PGA Tour titles
Two days after the PGA Championship ended in July the Philadelphia Open was played at the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Flourtown Course. Sam Byrd won with 76, 70, 71 and 67 for an even-par 284 for the two days and picked up $250. The 67, which was capped off with a birdie three on the last hole, was a course record and the 284 tied the tournament record. Ted Turner and Matt Kowal finished just one stroke back with 285 totals. Gene Kunes (288), Terl Johnson (289) and Leo Diegel (292) ended up 4th, 5th, and 6th. There were seven money spots and the purse added up to $585.

That next weekend in July Byron Nelson won the Western Open in Chicago at Medinah Country Club’s #1 and #3 courses. In the first round one half of the field played on each course and the second day they switched places. The last two rounds were played on the #3 course. This was Nelson’s fourth victory of the year on the PGA Tour. His rounds were 68, 72, 70 and 71 for a total of 281. One stroke back in second place was Lloyd Mangrum (282) and Henry Picard (284) finished third. Dick Metz was next at 285. The entry fee was $5 and there were 349 entries. First prize was $750.

Byron Nelson won the Central Pennsylvania Open on the first Monday in August at the Reading Country Club. This was his second victory in this tournament on his home course in three years. He scored 68-69=137, a tournament record, to win by three strokes over Sam Byrd (140). The entry fee was $5 and first prize was $100. Ed Oliver did not defend his title as he was working in western New York that summer. Charlie Schneider and Matt Kowal tied for third with 143s. Lancaster amateur Harry Haverstick finished fifth at 144. Frank Moore (145) and George Fazio (145) tied for sixth. Moore, who had won the Westchester Open the previous two years, was now Nelson’s assistant at Reading.

In late August Ed Dudley and Billy Burke won the Walter Hagen Anniversary tournament in Chicago. This commemorated Hagen’s first U.S. Open victory on the same course, Midlothian Country Club. Against a field of seven two-man teams of nationally known professionals, they won easily. The tournament was based on the most plus holes a team won. In the four-day 126-hole event they were 50 under par. The final standings showed Dudley and Burke at plus 19, 13 ahead of Ralph Guldahl and Jug McSpaden. Byron Nelson and Dick Metz were third at plus four. Henry Picard and Jimmy Thomson were also in the sixteen-man field. Dudley and Burke won $575 apiece.


New York Times
1939
The Hershey Open was played four days later and ended on September 3. Felix Serafin won his biggest tournament putting together four rounds of 68, 73, 72 and 71 for an eight-under-par 284 on what was later called Hershey Country Club’s West Course. Serafin had lost a playoff for the title there in 1935 but this time he won by two strokes over Ben Hogan (286) and Jimmy Hines (286) who were both members of the Metropolitan Section. Serafin won $1,250 and the two pros in second place earned $650 each. The entry fee was $5. Byron Nelson was fourth at 287. On the 70th hole Nelson’s tee shot was just off the fairway but the ball could not be found so he had to take a penalty and replay from the tee which cost him two strokes. This ended his chances of winning and cost him second money for sure. Sam Snead and Ralph Guldahl tied for fifth with 288s, one stroke ahead of Ed Dudley and Vic Ghezzi who tied for seventh at 289. Jimmy Thomson tied for 9th at 292 and Ed Oliver tied for 15th with a 296. There were 15 money places and for the first time at Hershey Henry Picard, the host pro, was out of the money.

Two weeks after the Hershey Open Byron Nelson received an anonymous letter from New York with a money order for $300. A note in the envelope said that a lady in their party at the Hershey Open had picked up Nelson’s golf ball as a souvenir. The person who sent the letter said he didn’t realize it until the tournament was over. The money enclosed was the difference between the $750 second place prize and the $450 that Nelson won.

In September the Ryder Cup was canceled due to the beginning of World War II in Europe. The matches were to have been played at the Ponte Vedra Club near Jacksonville, Florida. The professional at Ponte Vedra was A.B. "Al" Nelson, the former secretary-treasurer of the Philadelphia Section PGA. The team had been selected and two Section members, Byron Nelson and Henry Picard were on the team along with future Section members Sam Snead and Jug McSpaden.


Charlie Schneider
1939 Section Champion
In the third week of September Llanerch Country Club and Marty Lyons hosted the Section Championship for a fourth consecutive year. The entry fee was $5. The medalist in the qualifying was U.S. Open titleholder Byron Nelson with a 36-hole seven-under-par (68-69) 137. This score was a record for a 36-hole Section Championship qualifier. As the low qualifier Nelson, who couldn’t stay on for the match play portion of the championship due to a previous engagement, received $100 and his name was engraved on the Public Ledger Cup. The defending champion, Joe Zarhardt, could not defend his title, as he was no longer a member of the Philadelphia Section. The low 32 qualified and the 159 scorers got in just under the wire without a playoff. Charlie Schneider won the championship after 36-holes of qualifying, four 18-hole matches and a 36-hole final. Schneider defeated John Beadle in the final match by the count of 6&5. A gallery estimated at 1,000 witnessed the Sunday final. Schneider received $300 for his victory. In the semifinals Schneider put out Bruce Coltart one-down and Beadle eliminated Tom O’Connor one-down.

The pro-lady championship, played in early October at the Old York Road Country Club in Jenkintown, started on Monday with qualifying and continued with one match on Tuesday, two matches on Wednesday and the 18-hole finals on Sunday. The format for the tournament was selective drive and alternate shot. The stars turned out for this event. Joe Kirkwood, Sr., now the professional at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club, and his partner were the low qualifiers. In the best match of the event the Kirkwood team defeated Clarence Doser, Merion Cricket Club assistant and his partner on the 22nd hole. Kirkwood and his partner then went up against Byron Nelson and his partner in a match that ended up all square. As the players walked to the first tee again for the sudden-death playoff it was getting quite dark. One of the spectators commented that the winner would be forced to play a trick shot and there is only one in the foursome capable of doing it. Kirkwood then hit what they called "the shot in the dark" as he drove the first green 245 yards away. Nelson missed the green with his drive and the Kirkwood team won with a par three. The Kirkwood team then lost in the finals to Ed Dudley and Helen Sigel. Sigel would later be the runner-up in the Women’s U.S. Amateur in 1941 and 1948. Leo Diegel and his partner won the first flight.

On the second Monday in October a pro-green chairman tournament was held at Philmont Country Club with forty teams participating. Byron Nelson bid farewell to the Section by playing in this event. Also entered and making a rare appearance in a Section event was Henry Picard.

The Section’s last annual meeting of the decade was held at Raymond’s Restaurant in Philadelphia on the third Monday in October. Fifty-three members attended. Ed Dudley was elected president for a sixth year. Marty Lyons was reelected first vice president and Charlie Schneider was the new second vice president. Once again the membership decided to split the office of secretary and treasurer. Walter Brickley was just the treasurer now and Jimmy D’Angelo was elected secretary. D’Angelo announced that the Section membership now totaled 120, consisting of 94 Class "A", 25 Class "D" and 1 Class "F", which was a few less than the previous year. The secretary was instructed to write to those who were not in attendance to inform them that it was imperative and to their benefit to attend future meetings. Those present were asked to do their utmost to secure new members. Henry Picard attended his first Section meeting since becoming a member of the Section in 1935. He brought up some very important matters for discussion by the delegates to the national meeting. President Dudley appointed Picard to the Section’s Board of Governors that included nine other professionals.

The third annual Pine Valley Golf Club professional-amateur tournament was held on the first weekend in November. The members contributed $1,961 and 15 professionals were invited. Ed Dudley, Leo Diegel, Jimmy Thomson, Sam Byrd, Joe Kirkwood, Bruce Coltart and Pine Valley’s Ted Turner represented the Section. Dudley led the first round with a course record 68 and Thomson shot a 69 in the afternoon round. At the end of the first day Dudley led Coltart by one stroke with a 146 total. Due to heavy rain and low temperatures on Sunday the tournament was shortened to 54 holes. Only two players broke 80 and they had 79s. Vic Ghezzi shot one of the 79s, which gave him a 226 total. That allowed him to edge out Turner by two strokes and Thomson by three. Dudley posted an 85 and Coltart 91. Again first prize was $500 and second prize was $200.

The PGA of America’s annual meeting was held in mid November at Chicago’s Morrison Hotel. Ed Dudley ran for president but lost the election to Tom Walsh of the Illinois Section. Walsh as the secretary of the PGA had been the executive committee spokesman for ruling that Denny Shute was ineligible for the PGA Championship. Dudley, a tournament player and a member of the executive committee had supported Shute. This irritated some of the club pros. Walsh received 55 votes and Dudley received 22. George Jacobus, who had been president for seven years, had announced the week before that he was not running for an eighth term. Captain Charles Clarke was the new secretary and Willie Maguire was now the treasurer. The elected vice presidents were Howard Beckett, Charles Congdon, Alex Cunningham, Johnny Farrell, Ed Gibson, Wendell Kay, Joe Novak, Joel Smith and Frank T. Sprogell. Dudley was still the PGA tournament chairman and Leo Diegel was a member of his tournament committee. The tournament committee and Fred Corcoran reported that the PGA Tour had played for $174,000 that year and the thirty-eight tournaments had drawn 500,000 spectators. Diegel and Clarence Hackney were the Section’s delegates to the meeting.

The touring pros were in Florida in mid December for the Miami Open and the last tournament of the year. The competition for the year’s leading money winner and the Vardon Trophy were both very tight. Henry Picard, the winner of six tournaments that year, was in first place in both races.

Sam Snead shot a last round 64 to win the $2,500 first prize in the $10,000 Miami Open. Jug McSpaden finished second two strokes back. Byron Nelson was in fifth place. Gene Kunes, Ed Oliver and Dutch Harrison tied for sixth. Henry Picard tied for 14th.

Henry Picard won $600 at Miami in the third week of December and ended the year on the top of the money list with $10,303. Sam Snead almost caught Picard with his Miami Open victory ending up with $9,712, about one-half of what he won the year before. Byron Nelson was in fourth place with $9,444, Jimmy Thomson finished 11th with $4,175, Felix Serafin won $2,368 for 17th place and Ed Dudley was 18th with winnings of $2,337.

The Vardon Trophy competition was another story as Byron Nelson’s fifth place finish at Miami moved him into first place with 473 points. Henry Picard slipped down to second place with 461 points. Jimmy Thomson was 15th and Ed Dudley finished 18th. The top 20 players in each tournament were awarded points. The tournament winner received 45 points and the second place finisher earned 25 points each week. Points were awarded down to 20th place on a graduated basis.

There was no PGA Seniors’ Championship that year as the tournament had been moved to Florida in hope for better weather. The next tournament was scheduled for January of 1940.

The Philadelphia Section had a very productive and successful decade in the 1930s. At the close of the decade there were twenty-eight Sections and the Philadelphia Section was one of the largest in number of members. They had made their mark as club professionals promoting the game of golf and as players they were outstanding locally and nationally. The Section members could look back on the last ten years as a period of time when the Section had a number of professionals working in the Section with national playing reputations. During the decade Section members won the Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship, British Open, Western Open, Canadian Open, the North and South Open, the Vardon Trophy and led the PGA Tour in money winnings. Four Section members played on Ryder Cup teams while employed in the Section. Professionals from the Philadelphia Section also won a number of events on the PGA Tour and several state opens.

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