Gene Sarazen

You may ask who the best golfer to ever play at the Skaneateles Country Club might be, and the answer is easy: Gene Sarazen.

Gene Sarazen (1902-1999) was one of the world’s top players in the 1920s and 1930s. He was the first to win the Grand Slam: the U.S. Open (1922, ‘32), the PGA Championship (1922, ’23, ’33), the British Open (1932) and The Masters (1935). Only four others have been able to do that: Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Sarazen was that good.

On Saturday morning, September 13, 1947, Sarazen came to Skaneateles with Bob Borth and Bob Bahr of General Electric; he had a long-standing relationship with GE, including golf outings with Charles Wilson (President/CEO) and Philip Reed (Chairman of the Board). Billie Richards, the SCC steward, made the arrangements for the game, and SCC pro Dick Govern rounded out the foursome.

Sarazen drew a gallery as word of his presence spread through the village, and by the final holes, he had a large and appreciative audience, including Hobart Weeks, the Club champion in 1931 and ‘33.  When the last ball went down, Sarazen had carded a 68, and Club pro Dick Govern had a 69.

Before retiring to the clubhouse for lunch with James Huxford, the Club’s president, Sarazen told reporters that Dick Govern had “as solid a game as he’d ever seen.”

Golf is clearly good for you. Gene Sarazen and Dick Govern both lived to be 97.

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