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Ed Furgol

Ed Furgol, born in 1917, stands amongst giants in the annals of golfing history. His story is one that inspires, motivates, and awe-inspires golf enthusiasts around the world. Born in Utica, New York, Furgol was not your typical golfer, but an exceptional sportsman who played a significant role in shaping the game of golf as we know it today.

One might think a debilitating childhood injury would have hindered Furgol from pursuing a professional career in golf. But instead, it was in the hospital bed, where he was recovering from his injury, that he found his passion for golf. The game was, in his own words, a “refuge from the pain”. Even with the physical limitations caused by his left arm which was several inches shorter than his right, Furgol managed to nurture his golfing skills and develop a unique swing style that would help him overcome these hindrances.

Furgol began his career as a caddy while pursuing his education. His dedication and passion for golf soon got him recognized. Furgol’s talent was undeniable, and by the time he was 28, he had won the 1945 San Francisco Open. The unorthodox swing that had originated out of necessity soon became his trademark swing that drove his successful career path.

One of the essential landmarks in his illustrious career was the U.S. Open in 1954. Held at the Baltusrol Golf Club, Furgol’s victory in this match made waves in the world of golf. It wasn’t just an ordinary win, though. It was a victory for Furgol and everyone with dreams restricted by physical barriers, demonstrating that determination and perseverance could make the impossible, possible. His triumph at the U.S. Open was just the beginning of a series of impressive victories that soon followed. He won six PGA Tour titles by the time he hung up his clubs.

Many players would have been satisfied with such a glittering array of titles and accolades, but not Furgol. He never stopped pushing his limits and chose to stay involved with golf for the rest of his life. After retiring from professional golf, Furgol served as the clubhouse professional at St. Louis Country Club for nearly twenty years until 1975. He later became a special liaison to the USGA, a testament to his continued commitment to the sport.

Beyond his golf career, Furgol was also an exceptional leader. He served as the National Chairman of the PGA’s ‘Golf Day’ for many years. ‘Golf Day’ was a fundraising event with the purpose of raising money for charitable causes, including the March of Dimes. It is estimated that during his tenure as National Chairman, the event raised over one million dollars annually, a monumental achievement that speaks volumes for his dedication to giving back to the community.

One of the major contributors to improving golf’s visibility and credibility, Furgol’s name can frequently be seen on lists of influential figures in the sport. Though he passed away in 1997, his legacy persists. His unique approach to the game, his unyielding spirit, and his steadfast dedication have left an indelible mark on the world of golf, inspiring new generations who, through his example, believe that they can overcome any obstacle. His relentlessly positive spirit, persistent demeanor, and consummate sportsmanship still serve as inspiration for aspiring golfers.

Furgol’s story is a testament to his love for the sport and an example of how an ordinary man, with unwavering determination and an indomitable spirit, can leave an extraordinary legacy in a world besotted with the belief that physical perfection dictates success. His name, Ed Furgol, will remain etched in the sands of golfing history, as an embodiment of courage, determination, and the sheer tenacity of the human spirit.

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