The Mystery of Count Yogi

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.

  • NothingMan

    WOW! Impressive! Although I’ve been under 69 in every one of my rounds (9-hole) and have gotten several Par 3 hole in ones (miniature golf).

  • doug

    I actually card similar scores on the Golden Tees!! (video game)

  • Anonymous

    What’s the mystery? Harry was my uncle.

  • grant house

    that guy has nothing on me when i play pga tour 06

  • Anonymous

    that must have stunk to get kicked of the pga tour- fat head

  • tiger woods

    man i kick that guys but any day a’ight

  • Anonymous

    I have memorized most of Yogi’s golf facts. I tell every golfer I meet about him because I love the game of golf. If he would have been allowed to play on the professional tour back when he was young, the boys today would be chasing different records from a guy that played for the love of golf, not how much money can I make. I think that would be great.

  • Anonymous

    I played with, took lessons, and knew Yogi as a friend and teacher until his death in 1990. Never was there a player, or a person like him. One in a million.

  • Anonymous

    Tiger Woods said; “man i kick that guys but any day a’ight.”

    I believe before Tiger had made that comment, he should have first tried to attempt to perform, with the same perfection, Count Yogi’s ‘putting exhibition’ performed in the “King of Golf Vol.1.” DVD, or also caught on film, One of Yogi’s ‘World Records’! Fastest played/lowest scored 9 hole round in history! A shattering 8 under par accomplished at age 53 in 57 minutes, walking!

  • Some genuinely superb posts on this website , thankyou for contribution.

  • Greg Rodriguez

    I had the privelage to play nine holes of golf with the count in the early eightys at Roosevelt golf course in Los Angeles Ca. He was very friendly and entertainig. He made a lasting impression on me, and he played a mean game,even at his advanced age.

  • golfdash

    That’s incredible Greg. How old was he? What was his game like?

  • Greg Rodriguez

    To:Golfdash,the count was probably nearing 70 when I met him. His drives were always down the pipe,he took a putt here and there,but it wasn’t a serious 9 holes,and we even took a couple belts of peach schnapps together. He could have been”the most interesting man in the world”not that beer guy.

  • alan chern

    I am his student via his book Five Simple Steps To Perfect Golf. After his book never took a lesson from a golf pro.

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