Pinehurst Heritage Archive

Denny Shute – The Forgotten PGA Champion

Denny Shute receives the Wanamaker Trophy for winning the 1936 PGA Championship at Pinehurst.

Denny Shute receives the Wanamaker Trophy for winning the 1936 PGA Championship at Pinehurst. Photo courtesy of the Tufts Archives

 

Denny Shute is a Hall-of-Famer, a 3-time major champion, and won Pinehurst No. 2′s first foray into major championship golf in the 1936 PGA Championship. So why isn’t he remembered among the greatest names in the game’s grand history?

BY LEE PACE

Trivia question on the cusp of the PGA Championship, beginning Thursday:

Tiger Woods won back-to-back PGAs in 1999 and 2000 at Medinah and Valhalla, becoming the first player to collect consecutive PGA titles since who, when and where?

Since Denny Shute in 1936-37 at Pinehurst No. 2 and Pittsburgh Field Club.

Denny who?

He was known as “The Human Icicle,” a man so reserved and demure in the public eye that he sometimes had his wife Hettie accept a trophy and paycheck on his behalf.

Densmore “Denny” Shute was the son of an English golf professional who had immigrated to the United States and taken a club pro job in West Virginia. The boy began hitting golf balls at 30 months of age and grew into a steady and studious player, not particularly long but accurate and unlikely to make big mistakes. How else could one shoot four straight rounds of 73 at St. Andrews in 1933 en route to winning the British Open championship?

Denny Shute: owner of three major titles, a spot on three U.S. Ryder Cup teams and perhaps the lowest awareness quotient in the World Golf Hall of Fame.

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[VIDEO] Michael Campbell relives the 2005 U.S. Open – “It changed my world.”

Michael Campbell’s pitch to the 18th green on Sunday, June 19, 2005, was 77 yards from the pin – the exact same yardage Payne Stewart had for his third into the finishing hole in 1999.

“The bells are ringing,” NBC on-course analyst Dottie Pepper said of the nearby Village Chapel chimes. “It’s pretty eerie out here.”

“Yup, same spot Payne laid it up to,” Johnny Miller added. “Payne left it 15 feet under the hole, and made that putt.”

Campbell knocked his to 3 feet.

Two putts later – we failed to mention Campbell left his pitch above the hole – one of the more unlikely U.S. Open champions put the finishing touches on a remarkable performance. Michael Campbell, the 2005 U.S. Open Champion, held off a furious charge by pre-fire hydrant Tiger Woods at Pinehurst No. 2, making birdies at 10, 13 and finally, on 17, to clinch the national championship. He finished in even par 280, two strokes better than who Campbell calls the best player “we’ve ever seen.”

“The heart of the week was holding off Tiger,” Campbell told us of winning the Open. “I had the best player in the world chasing me down.”

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Video: Payne Stewart at Pinehurst – One Moment in Time

 

On June 20, 1999, Payne Stewart walked to the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2 needing to hole a 15-foot putt to win this U.S. Open.

It was a moment the game of golf will never forget.

And now, in less than a year, we’ll be back.

We look forward to seeing you.

Again.

 

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Happy Father’s Day from Pinehurst – and Payne

Happy Father’s Day from Pinehurst. Payne Stewart’s lasting sentiment says it all.

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Pinehurst’s Back-to-Back U.S. Opens – One Year Away [Video]

And so here we are, on this day, June 10, 2013, officially just 365 days away from Pinehurst once more making a historic footprint in the annals of the grand game of golf.

A couple of years ago, the United States Golf Association made an unprecedented step in its championship history: it selected Pinehurst to host both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in successive weeks in 2014.

The announcement makes history on several fronts. It’s the first time in Pinehurst’s 114-year history to serve as the site of the U.S. Women’s Open Championship. It is the only site in USGA history to host all five of its major championships. And it is a new chapter in the USGA book of traditions: never before has one site hosted both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in the same year, on the same course.

And so here we are, just one year away. And while we visit Merion this week to cover the 2013 U.S. Open (check the Pinehurst Blog for updates and behind-the-scenes coverage you won’t find anywhere else), we look forward to 2014. (Not to mention a RIDICULOUS sweepstakes, which you can enter here.)

Pinehurst is next on the tee.

Play away…

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