Who was Count Yogi? Yogi was born Harry Hilary Frankenberg in 1906. Yogi learned the game at age six, peering through the fence at a country club near his Chicago home and mimicking the golfers’ swings with a stick. He’d spent a lifetime performing trick-shot exhibitions and teaching; his students included Jack Dempsey, Bob Hope, John F. Kennedy. He’d played some pretty good golf, too. Of course, this was a time when golf was only played by the truly wealthy.
When he was about 6 years old and standing in a corn field, a voice came to him that said, “your brain is your body’s greatest gift – use it. Watch the ball with your eyes, but put your brain eyes (like a blind person would) on the end of your stick (club head). Take the stick back and return it, circling under to loosen, standing tall and straight with perfect relaxed posture.” This insight would form the foundation of his golf swing philosophy throughout his lifetime.
His feats are truly mindboggling. For example:
1. Shot 26-29 for a 55 at Bunker Hill Golf Course, a regulation course, winning the 1934 Chicago golf championship. Included two back-to-back holes-in-one (187 and 347 yards) while playing with Al Espinosa and Terry McGovern
2. Shot seven birdies in a row for a world tournament record (held for eighteen years) in the 1941 Chicago Open at Elmhurst Country Club.
3. Sixty-nine or under almost every round of professional career.
4. Seven rounds of eighteen-hole golf from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Not running-just proving infallible mental routine; 69, 66, 67, 66, 67, 68, 67, Bunker Hill Country Club, 1940
5. Eight birdies and two eagles in succession in a 58 at Paw Paw Lakes Links, Michigan, 1939.
and on and on.
Of course, there is a “Count Yogi System” that they are selling but perhaps there is something in his “infallible mental routine” and “boneless and musclelessly loose and fluent” ideas on the golf swing.
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