George Jacobus (kneeling, right), then president of the PGA, poses with the American Ryder Cup team in 1937. Photo: Getty Images
PARAMUS, NEW JERSEY | The Ridgewood Country Club is acclaimed for its A.W. Tillinghast golf courses, all 27 holes of them, as well as for the important competitions it has hosted over the years, from the 1935 Ryder Cup to this week’s U.S. Amateur. Just as significantly, this 122-year-old institution was where one of the great club professionals in PGA of America history gave lessons; made and repaired clubs; mentored young assistants, Byron Nelson among them; nurtured junior players (in part by conducting free clinics for them on Saturday mornings); and ran tournaments. A slight fellow who nonetheless hit the ball a long way, he was also good enough to have qualified for the 1923 U.S. Open – and to have been asked to play in the first Masters, which was then called the Augusta National Invitation Tournament.
His name was George Jacobus, and in addition to holding the top job at Ridgewood for nearly hal...
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