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George Low Sr.

Sport: Golf

Born: November 1, 1874

Died: April 17, 1950

Town: Springfield

George Anderson Low was born November 1, 1874 in Carnoustie, Scotland. He went to work as a teenager in the club-making shop of Archie Simpson, and later moved to Aberdeen, where he became one of the country’s best young golfers during the 1890s. At the age of 24, George decided to seek his fortune in America as a golf pro. He got off to a good start, finishing second in the 1899 US Open and pocketing $125. The fine finish earned him an invitation to play with Harry Vardon on an exhibition tour. He had good finishes in the US Open in 1900 and 1901.

Between tournaments, George put his club-making skills to work in Brooklyn and then to New Jersey, where he became the greens superintendent and club pro at the Baltusrol Golf Club, in Springfield. He supplemented his income by making clubs and selling them through magazine ads. In 1915, George finished 7th at the US Open, which was held on his home course. He played tournaments in the NY Metro area during the spring and summer and then competed in Florida and California in the winter. Jack Dempsey was a longtime friend, pupil and partner.

Besides being a superb player, teacher and club-maker, George had a talent for course design. He made some clever modifications to the old course at Baltusrol and designed the golf course in Newark’s Weequahic Park in 1913 and quit Baltusrol in 1925 to go into the business, but nothing much materialized and after the stock market crashed, he had to go back to his old job, this time as pro at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club outside Philadelphia.

George remained a competitive golfer into his 60s, qualifying for the US Open at the age of 60. His son, George Jr., also became a good golfer and designed a famous putter. George passed away in 1950 in Clearwater, Florida.

 

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