By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
FORE! That’s a word you don’t hear too often when discussing George Knudson and the sport he loved to play. A golf master, the artefacts pictured here are his golf clubs and customized bag when he played professionally in the 50s and 60s.
Known for his driving game, he had every opportunity to do well at each hole he teed off on. Picture Happy Gilmore, but with a lot more grace and less vulgarity. That was George.
As a young man growing up in Winnipeg, George began his career playing golf at the St. Charles Country Club. He moved up the ranks quickly, winning the provincial title before setting his sights higher.
After becoming a professional golfer, George won a few open tournaments in Canada and pushed for more. He went on to rack up five Canadian Professional Golfers Association Championships wins, posted eight major victories on the PGA Tour, and won international events around the world – making him one of the greatest Canadian golfers.
Taking a closer look at these clubs, it’s tough to see the differences between then and now, but they’re there. With so much money invested in the sport and substantial tournament prize money, it is no wonder technology has taken over the advancement of the equipment used in today’s game.
Back in the 50s and 60s, golfers did not have many options in terms of clubs. Firstly, club performance was not tracked or measured. Drivers were usually replaced only when they were wearing out. There wasn’t much variety in irons either. Most offered little forgiveness, like the ones pictured here, so when you hit the ball wrong or had a bad swing, it really affected your chances of a good score on a hole.
Today, clubs have thinner iron faces and adjusted weights, which offer more forgiveness and can give you more distance. Given the advancement in club and ball technology today, it is quite remarkable that George posted some of the best scores of all-time to date. Imagine what he could have accomplished with modern equipment!