Youngest Golfer to Shoot His Age, and the Coincidences that Followed

Did you know that the youngest golfer to shoot his age was only 59 years old when he did it? The golfer in question is Bob Hamilton, and his feat was followed by a couple of remarkable achievements related to Hamilton's own.

First, about Hamilton and his 59: Hamilton was born in, and lived most of his life in, Evansville, Indiana. He was a professional golfer who won five PGA Tour titles, including the 1944 PGA Championship (he beat Byron Nelson in the final, 1-up), and played in one Ryder Cup. Obviously, a golfer with many notable accomplishments.

In the mid-1970s, Hamilton and his family opened a golf course in Evansville, the eponymous Hamilton Golf Course. And in 1975, when Hamilton was 59, he shot a round of 59 on that golf course. That made him the youngest-known golfer to shoot his age. At the time, the course played a little over 6,200 yards.

(Note: I have seen one reference to Hamilton's score being 58, but most sources — including the Evansville newspaper — agree it was 59. I have also seen one reference to Chuck Kocsis, a legend of amateur golf in Michigan, shooting his age of 59 in 1972, but cannot confirm that.)

So what are the remarkable achievements related to Hamilton's 59 in 1975? One of the members of Hamilton's group that day was a younger fellow named Charles Glaser. Fast forward to 1996, when Glaser was 61 years old: Glaser shot his age, 61, at Hamilton Golf Course. According to the Evansville Courier newspaper, that set an Indiana state record for youngest amateur to shoot his age.

Three years later, in 1999, another golfer playing at Hamilton Golf Course broke Glaser's state record by shooting 59 at age 60, the Courier reported. Who was that? John Hamilton — Bob Hamilton's son!

Unfortunately, Hamilton Golf Course is no longer around. It shut down in 2008, victim of the economic problems that were snowballing then. At the time it closed, the course was being run by Jim Hamilton, another of Bob's sons, who also coached the golf teams at the University of Evansville.

Can we find any more coincidences related to Bob Hamilton's age-shooter record? Well, if we stretch a little: Hamilton played in the 1949 Ryder Cup, where one of his teammates was Sam Snead. Who is the youngest golfer to shoot his age in a PGA Tour tournament? Snead.

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