Answers to Previous Questions
Question #1: Name the golfer who has won the Australian Open the most times?
Gary Player won 7 times: 1958, 62, 63, 65, 69, 70, 74. Close behind was Jack Nicklaus, who won six times: 1964, 68, 71, 75, 76, 78. Ivo Whitton won five times: 1912, 13, 26, 29, 31. Greg Norman won five times: 1980, 85, 87, 95, 96.
The 1960s and 1970s were heady days for the Australian Open, when it was much easier than it is now to attract the top international players like Player and Nicklaus. About 1960 international travel by long-range jet aircraft became practical.
The PGA Tour in America finished much earlier in the year in the 60s and 70s, making summer tournaments in Australia attractive to professional golfers. Other national and regional tours were less important than they are today.
Question #2: When was the last golf major won using only hickories in the winner’s bag?
John W Fischer won the US Amateur at Garden City NY in 1936 using hickory clubs. As far as anyone knows, he was the only player in the field to have only hickory clubs in the bag.
In the final he defeated star Scottish golfer Jack McLean, halving the match on the 36th hole with a birdie 2 and winning on the 37th with a birdie 3 (Chicago Tribune, 20 September 1936).
Fischer did all his own repairs, including re-shafting. He only moved to steel in 1955, when it became increasingly difficult to get supplies of good hickory.
In 1950 he played in the US Celebrity Pro-Am with his hickory clubs and finished second to none other than the great Ben Hogan. Needless to say, Hogan was not using hickories.
Questions for the Next Issue:
1. When was golf first played in Melbourne?
2. What is the oldest golf club, still in existence outside of the UK?