Remembering the 1-iron at Merion
Friday, September 11, 2009
ARDMORE, Pa. – There is a plaque embedded in the middle of the 18th fairway at Merion Golf Club, about 223 yards from the middle of the green. The inscription on the plaque is simple. It reads:
June 10, 1950
It is the spot where Hogan hit his famous 1-iron shot en route to his heroic winning of the U.S. Open that year, capping his remarkable comeback following a near career-ending auto accident.
This week it was a spot where players from both the U.S. and Great Britain and Ireland, here for the 42nd Walker Cup match, played tourist.
At least, that’s what Americans Rickie Fowler, Nathan Smith and Adam Mitchell did during one of the practice rounds this week.
“It’s a pretty special spot and goes with the great history of Merion,” Fowler said. “The three of us dropped a ball and hit a shot and just posed a little and had pictures taken. It’s pretty neat.”
While Hogan hit 1-iron, that was hardly the case for these guys. So what did they hit into the green?
“I think we all hit 4-iron,” Fowler said.
Guess technology and today’s players have come a long way in the last 59 years.