Keiser University’s College of Golf (COG) History of Golf class students recently had the unique opportunity to participate in a putting competition using hickory-shafted putters and golf balls from different historical eras, beginning in the early 1800’s and progressing through modern day.
Organized by professor Ken Martin along with College of Golf Executive Director of Golf Operations Dr. Eric Wilson, the event began at the Outdoor Putting Green as Martin and Wilson explained each of the six different putting stations. It culminated as an 18-hole competition with students putting three-hole segments using each of the following:
- Long nose putter and featherie golf ball (pre-1848)
- Kempshall Pyraline putter and smooth gutta percha golf ball (1848-1850)
- Wry-neck blade putter and hand-hammered gutta percha golf ball (1850-1865)
- Brown-Vardon semi-mallet head putter and bramble pattern gutta percha golf ball (1865-1900)
- Spalding Hollow-Back putter and balata covered golf ball (1900-1960)
- Personal putter and Pro V-1 golf balls (1960-modern day)
Par for the course was 36, and the second Champion Putter of the Historic Open Putting Championship was student Jay Jay Howard, who tied Christian Brown for first place with a score of 37 and won a three-hole aggregate playoff with a score of even par. Finishing third by a single stroke were students Brennan Gillis and Robert Stingo. The remainder of the field results follow: Jonathan Gosbee (39), James O’Hara (39), Tom Brady (41), Ed Dougherty (41), Dima Koba (42), Winston Crosier (44), and David Geers (47). Seventeen holes-in-one were recorded, a record number for the event, with Jonathan Gosbee claiming four during his round.
Future History of Golf class students will continue to enjoy the competition, and they too will have their plaques added to the base of the Open Claret Jug replica to commemorate their victories.