Basket Case
By Torleif Sorenson on 6/12/13
On the eve of what promises to be an exciting (and rainy!) U.S. Open Championship, writer Wayne S. Morrison has contributed a fascinating history behind William Flynn's iconic flagstick baskets at Merion Golf Club.

Among the nuggets of information is that Flynn actually obtained a patent for the baskets, as well as how architect Hugh Wilson got the idea from a tour of English and Scottish courses:
"Tony Nickson, an English golf historian from Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, visited Merion in April 1989 and presented the club with a copy of a painting by Michael Brown entitled 'First International Match Scotland v. England, Prestwick Golf Club, 1903.'

"The painting shows a caddie holding a golf standard with a basket. The use of baskets on golf standards was not widely adopted, though Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire, not far from Sunningdale, and Golf de St. Germain northwest of Paris utilized the basket standards."
Of course, the basket is featured in the club's logo, as well as that of the 2013 U.S. Open Championship. Interestingly, Morrison also points out that those iconic baskets were not used during the 1950 U.S. Open Championship, memorialized forever in the iconic photograph of Ben Hogan hitting a 1-iron that propelled him into an 18-hole playoff with Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio.

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[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
Right now there are several course owners trying to figure out what cool attachment they can use to replace the standard flag on their flag sticks.

Trump National - a bad toupee (red in front, brown middle, gray back)
Augusta National - an oversized dollar bill ($50 front, $100 middle, $500 back)

Hmmm - already ran out of ideas. Sigh.
falcon50driver says:
How about a watermelon?

too soon?
Matt McGee says:
One of the local courses here has permanently replaced the flag on the 18th hole with an American flag. They have a stand next to the green to lean it against, so that it doesn't touch the ground. Pretty cool.
SpaceMaNy0 says:
Just in time for Flag Day. Well done.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Matt: That *is* a nice story - which course is it?
[ post comment ]
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