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George Dunlap

Sport: Golf

Born: December 23, 1908

Died: November 23, 2004

Town: Arlington

George T. Dunlap Jr. was born December 23, 1908 to Elizabeth and George Dunlap Sr. in Arlington. George Sr. was the owner of Grosset & Dunlap—publisher of popular series like Tom Swift, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew—who had become obsessed with the game of golf. He bought George his first club at the age of 3 and was horrified when the by began swinging left-handed. That flaw was corrected and within a few years young George was hitting shot long and clean right-handed, making up for his diminutive frame by swinging hard and fast. Even as an adult, he would never weigh more than 135 pounds.

George Sr.’s health was not good, so the family spent 6 months of each year in Pinehurst, North Carolina. That mean his son could work on his golf game year-round. He broke 80 at age of 10 and won the 1920 Pinehurst Junior Championship at 11. As a young amateur, he competed against some of the country’s most gifted players, including Gene Homans, Dick Chapman and Forbes Wilson, his fiercest rival.

As a student at Princeton, George stepped onto the national stage. He was intercollegiate champion in 1930 and 1931. Also in 1931, he won his first North & South title at Pinehurst. George was an easy pick for the 1932 Walker Cup team, which was captained by Francis Ouimet. He played the foursomes stage with Ouimet and won, and then won his singles match, breaking the course record at The Country Club in Brookline, MA with a morning round of 66. The Americans won, 8–1. George also won the Long Island Amateur in 1932.GDunlap2

George went to work on Wall Street, was married and had a family. It cut into his golf time, but not his golf talent. When he played, the results were sensational. He won the North & South again in 1933. He reached the semifinal of the British Amateur and had the best score in qualifying for the British Open (he finished 35th). George returned to America in time to enter the 1933 U.S. Amateur in Cincinnati. He had to sink a 20-foot to qualify for the last spot in the 32-man field, but then upset long-hitting Lawson Little and former champion Max Marston in match play to win the tournament. George was invited to play in the 1934 Masters and initially declined. Only after his friend Bobby Jones prodded him did he agree to compete. He finished 34th.

George played on two more triumphant Walker Cup teams, in 1934 and 1936. He continued to dominate play at Pinehurst, winning the North & South in 1934, 1935 and 1936—and the again in 1940 and 1942. During this time, George and his father purchased the Pine Needles Inn and Donald Ross-designed golf course for 10 cents on the dollar; it had fallen behind on its loan payments during the Depression and was in disrepair. In 1935, George relocated fulltime to the property to oversee its management. After World War II, the hotel was sold to a convent with the understanding that the golf course would remain open to public play.

George moved to Ft. Lauderdale, where he enjoyed playing with his son, George III, who also played for Princeton. He passed away in Naples at the age of 95.


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