Old-fashioned golf fun in Phillips on Aug. 16
PHILLIPS - Want to follow in the footsteps of golfing’s greats? On Thursday, Aug. 16, Winona Davenport of Justafield Golf Teaching Center in Phillips will host a day of old-fashioned golf fun.
From 10 to 4 anyone who shows up at Justafield may play golf as they did in the early 1900s. Clubs from that period will be provided and only those clubs may be used, unless someone brings old clubs that are approved by Winona. Instead of using a tee, a small amount of damp sand will raise the ball off the ground just as they did many years ago.
The Old-Fashioned Challenge will be played on backyard greens, all that Justafield has, but, as Winona says, “they’re probably a lot better than those of bygone days.”
The idea for the challenge came when she recently had to move her collection of more than 600 old golf clubs and found two endorsed by Lawson Little. The name seemed familiar to her, but not until she searched the 2006 World Golf Hall of Fame Annual in her bookcase, did she learn of his habit of carrying 26 clubs, a habit that in 1938 prompted the USGA to institute the 14-club limit.
The discovery of Little’s clubs inspired her to offer the Old-Fashioned Challenge, especially after she read the following in the Hall of Fame book: “In the long history of golf there have been three instances of sustained brilliance. Two are immediately obvious – Bobby Jones’ Grand Slam and Ben Hogan’s 1953 campaign. Although it is rarely remembered, Lawson Little may have topped them both. In 1934-35, Little became the first golfer to sweep the British and American Amateur Championships in consecutive years, two ‘little slams’ as the golf pundits of the day referred to them. Little won 32 consecutive matches on both sides of the Atlantic.”
To recall that era, the clubs to be used in Winona’s golf challenge will be from her collection, including clubs endorsed by players from 1800 to 1900, such as J.H. Taylor, Harry Vardon, Willie Anderson and Donald Ross. From 1920 to 1930, she has clubs endorsed by Chick Evans, Gene Sarazen, Robert Tyler Jones Jr., Walter Hagen, Jim Barnes, Horton Smith, and Glenna Collett Vare. From 1930 to 1940 there’s Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Betty Jameson. The collection includes clubs underwritten by other recognizable name as well – Patty Berg, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Mickey Wright, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Kathy Whitworth, Jo Anne Carner and Tom Watson.
The fee to play is $5 for three holes. Justafield supports a Men’s and a Women’s League, as well as a Junior League and a Sunday event. During the Challenge, prizes will be awarded for various feats and awards will be announced prior to the Golf Ball Drop that is held every year during Phillips Old Home Days. The drop will take place Thursday evening at dusk.
Spectators are welcome. In case of rain, the Old-Fashioned Challenge will take place Sunday, August 19 from 10 to 4. Justafield is off Route 4 in Phillips. For more information, call Winona Davenport at 639-4296.