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Max Marston

Sport: Golf

Born: June 12, 1892

Died: May 7, 1949

Town: Cranford

Maxwell Rolston Marston was born June 12, 1892 in Buffalo, New York and grew up in Cranford. The Marstons were a family of considerable means. Max learned to play golf at the Baltusrol Country Club and was skilled enough to win the 1915 New Jersey Amateur Championship. He did not have any one specific strength, but had no flaws in his game either—and had a calm, determined approach to each shot, which was an important asset in match play. He was also known as a flashy dresser, sporting bright argyle sweaters when he played.

After a brief enlistment in the Navy during World War I, Max repeated as state amateur champion in 1919. He took a position at the Philadelphia brokerage Bean & Co., of which his father was a partner. He continued to hone his golf game as a member of the Merion Golf Club and won the Pennsylvania Amateur title in 1921, 1922 and 1923. He was also a member of the first US Walker Cup teams, from 1922 to 1924.

Max’s 1923 season was one for the ages. In addition to the state championship, he won the club titles at Merion, the Philadelphia Cricket Club and the Pine Valley Golf Club, in New Jersey. He also won the Philadelphia Amateur. In May, he led the Walker Cup team to victory in Scotland with a clutch victory on the second day. That September in Chicago, Max capped off an incredible year by winning the U.S. Amateur—outplaying Bobby Jones and Francis Ouimet. After edging Jones by a stroke, Max defeated Ouimet in the semis, sinking a 45-foot putt on 13 that turned the tide of their match. Max beat defending champ Max Sweetser in the final in sudden death on the 38th hole.

Max never regained his 1923 form, but he did reach the semifinals of the US Amateur the following year and the final in 1933. He was also a member of the victorious Walker Cup squad in 1934. Like most people who lived off the stock market, Max took a huge hit during the Depression. He sold his home in Philadelphia and moved to Connecticut, where he died at the age of 56.


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