Not long ago, we tweeted a 3-second Vine of Payne Stewart’s tee shot on the 17th hole of Pinehurst No. 2 during the fateful final round of the 1999 U.S. Open. The response was immediate. The swing looks effortless. It’s classic. It’s so far removed from pretty much every swing you see on any PGA Tour broadcast today.
Today, the golf world – more than that, actually – is mourning the passing of Charlie Sifford, who courageously broke golf’s color barrier. The World Golf Hall-of-Famer was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in November.
It’s common knowledge Pinehurst is the home of golf in America, but did you know the nation’s first miniature golf course was built here?
James Barber constructed the course in 1918.
According to the Feb. 2, 1918 edition of the Pinehurst Outlook, the first people to play the course were the ladies of the Advertising Golf League on Jan. 26, 1918.
The article states: “For some time now Mr. Barber has been laying out and perfecting a miniature golf links winding in and out among the shrubbery and paths of his place — a kind of glorified and elongated putting green, with obstacles to be negotiated with a well pitched mashie shot, and bends and curves calling for nice and discriminating slices and pulls.”
The story goes that upon first seeing it, Barber proclaimed, “This’ll Do.” It was translated into Thistle Dhu and the name stuck.
Fox will air an hour-long documentary titled “Nicklaus: The Making of Champion” at noon Sunday prior to the NFC Championship Game.
The film, produced by the USGA and Ross Greenburg Productions, features interviews with golf icons Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. It also includes never-before-seen home movies from the Nicklaus family collection.
Until then, we have a treat for you. A new documentary we’re producing features footage of Jack’s iconic 1959 North & South Amateur win at Pinehurst. You know, the one that launched his championship career.
Jack went on to win his first national championship that year at the. U.S. Amateur. You know the rest.
The BEST part of our video is the footage from son Jackie’s North & South Amateur win in 1985. Jack followed him throughout the tournament, offering advice and support.
It’s a really wonderful look at a special father-son relationship.