On this day, In 1970 VP Spiro Agnew sends Pro Doug Sanders to the hospital with an errant shot


When Spiro Agnew picks up a club, you oughta run and take cover…

On this day, back in 1970 Vice President Spiro Agnew was his usual self, hacking at golf balls and injuring spectators.  This time is was at the Bob Hope Desert Golf Classic where he beaned pro Doug Sanders not he head with a shot.  Sanders was the winner of the Pro-Am earlier that day, but wouldn’t keep that $200 for long.  Vice President Spiro Agnew believes the $200 Doug Sanders won in the Bob Hope Desert golf classic will just pay Sanders’s doctor bill.  “Sanders won $200 in that tournament and that just paid for his medical attention after I creased him with that ball,” Agnew said.

The Vice President corrected a newsman who termed it a “slice.”

“That wasn’t a slice. That was just an ordinary miss,  I was hitting off a golf path there. It was right on the bare ground. I took a three wood, and I think I should have had something a little bit easier than that.”

…Sure… Spiro….Sure…Sad thing was that he was far from finished.

The Next Year: Hits Three More, Sends Spectators to Hospital

Vice President Spiro Agnew had about as bad of a start imaginable when he teed off on the first hole at the Bob Hope Desert Golf Classic as part of a pro-am foursome that included Bob Hope, baseball great Willie Mays and pro partner Doug Sanders.

Agnew’s drive off the first tee sliced off the toe of his club and into the gallery striking a 66-year old man and his wife. After taking time to visit with and apologize to the couple, Agnew returned to the tee box but again shanked his tee shot into the gallery, hitting another woman in the ankle and eventually sending her to the hospital for x-rays.

If you’re keeping score at home … that’s two shots, three spectators. Not sure if that’s an official stat, but Agnew’s name should be in the record books somewhere.

The Vice President moved on after that, (as a collective sigh of relief swept across the crowd) and continued play from farther down the hole.

Hope had some good quips about the ordeal, including “He did play the last 15 holes in great shape and on the back nine he got a birdie, an eagle, an elk, a moose and a mason.”

Aside from his poor golf game, Agnew’s political skills came under question as well in 1973 when he was formally charged with having accepted bribes totaling more than $100,000, and became the only vice president in United States history to resign because of criminal charges.

Subscribe to Golf History Today

Click to receive instant desktop notifications
February 2019
« Jan    

Sign Up with Email

Subscribe to Golf History Today for FREE content & Daily Golf History

Leave a Reply