Course records are like a popular U2 song. They move in mysterious ways. A record set by the all-time leader in PGA TOUR wins (Sam Snead) is broken some 80 years later by a Philadelphia Section PGA professional (Alex Knoll). An international upstart (Edoardo Molinari) sets a record at a neighboring club while in town to compete in a national championship (2005 U.S. Amateur, which he won). Five PGA TOUR names match a mark held by a GAP Hall of Famer.
There isn’t a science to it. Course records
rise and fall – sometimes fluidly, sometimes
stagnantly, all the time newsworthy. But
before viewing the records framed at GAP
Member Clubs in the forthcoming pages, a
disclaimer is necessary.
A course record, in the eyes of the GAP
Magazine, is reflective of the lowest score posted, whether in a competitive or non-compet-itive setting, per the club. Some of the scores
listed see the light of day under high-pressure
circumstances, such as state championships
and USGA qualifying events. Others stem
from social rounds yet warrant recognition. A
score in the low 60s is impressive, regardless of
whether a trophy or qualifying berth is at stake.
What’s interesting, too, is the impact of a
course record. Some clubs immediately docu-
ment the historic round: a framed scorecard,
copies of media coverage, a glossy photograph
of recordholder or a board displayed promi-
nently with the basics included (name, score
and year). Others know the number and the
culprit, but the year and the backdrop remain
a mystery. And then there are a number of
clubs with detectives still on the hunt for
clues. Archives vanish without a trace. In
some cases, the only evidence exists in the
form of locker room lore or whispers down
the clubhouse hallways.
It’s an unfortunate reality, quite frankly. But
one that brings us to a portion of our purpose.
Let the following pages serve as a call to arms
to preserve/present course records with honor.
They’re an essential refrain in the club song.
Look at some of the names mentioned amid
the GAP Member Club melodies. Arnold Palmer, during a 1959 exhibition match, set a course
record of 67 at West Shore Country Club.
Four years – and 100 miles eastward – later,
he traversed Whitemarsh Valley Country Club
Y Going Low
Legendary golfers, from left,
A nold Palmer, Sam Snead
and R. Jay Sigel still hold a
number of GAP Member Club
There are big names and low numbers when
it comes to Member Club course records.