Golf Magazine 1971; The Good Old Days

The sports culture in America has grown tremendously over the last decades. Our society is consumed with sports and the people associated with it. We may think that the issues and interests that face today’s sportsmen and fans are different from those of thirty years ago, but they are really not. I recently came across an issue of Golf Magazine from 1971. It was their Annual issue and it took a glance back at 1970 and a look toward 1971. It included many of the features of a current issue of Golf Magazine and all that we golf fans have come to expect from Golf. It had articles on instruction, travel, business, fashion, equipment, television and interviews. It had plenty of instructional tips by the pros of the day. There was an article that covered Shell announcing that it would no longer support the Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf. There was an extensive article on the popular winter and summer golf resorts. It was strange to see advertisements for beer, liquor and cigarettes. Take out the ads that no longer appear in magazines and update the graphics and you would have the same content in the magazine that we have today.

One of the features was an article on Lee Trevino. He had already won a US Open and was entering a stretch where he was the main challenger for Jack Nicklaus. The title of the piece was “Lee Trevino Talking”, isn’t he always. In the article he predicts the winners of the 1971 major championships. He chose Nicklaus for the PGA, Bert Yancey for the Masters, Nicklaus for the US Open and himself for the British. He wasn’t far off. Charles Coody won the Masters, so he missed that one but Nicklaus won the PGA and Trevino captured the British Open and he out dueled Nicklaus in a US Open playoff. There was plenty of controversy over equipment back then also and Trevino discussed the “ball size change.” The R & A and the USGA were trying to come to an agreement on a standard ball size. Trevino also is seen in a picture with fans holding signs at a PGA Tour event. Shortly thereafter the tour banned the fans from displaying any signs. There was an ad for a Jack Nicklaus instructional movie: an 8mm film with a separate cassette with the audio for $24.95, that’s pretty pricey considering you, could spend a week at Pinehurst for $134 dollars. Yes, seven days and six nights, all day golf, breakfast, dinner and tips and no extra surcharge for #2. Callaway Gardens in Georgia had an ad for all day golf for $17 dollars, which included room, breakfast, dinner and a boat to use to fish on their own lake. The 1971 Annual also listed the year’s upcoming events, all thirty three events. Only three of them had a corporate sponsor’s name attached their name. On the back cover is an ad for Michelob, with the copy that reads, “It’s an unexpected pleasure…No matter how you slice it.” That’s a fairly good play on words and the beer looked nice and cold. Oh, the good old days!

Take a look at some of the pages from Golf’s 1971 Annual; it’s a blast from the past.

Thanks to Mike McCall of Casperkill Country Club.


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