In the 1967 Ryder Cup, The U.S. won by the largest victory in Ryder Cup history
During the 1967 Ryder Cup, Captain Ben Hogan and the United States squad made the most of their home field advantage winning by fifteen points in Houston, Texas. The event was played at the Champions Golf Club in Houston that was founded ten years earlier by Jack Burke Jr. & Jimmy Demaret. Interestingly Hogan opted for all of his players to use the smaller European size ball before the event. This was in stark contrast to Team Europe’s first pairing of George Will & Brian Huggett who used the larger American style ball.
The Americans led 5.5 to 2.5 after Day 1; swept 7.5 of 8 available points on Day 2 to increase the lead to 13-3; then easily won the singles session, too. Arnold Palmer and Al Geiberger both went 5-0-0 leading the United States Team. Peter Aliss struggled and went 1-4-0 for The European side. The United States side was so dominant it even managed to live up to captain Ben Hogan’s introductory comment. At the team dinner, and following a long introduction of the Great Britain team by captain Dai Rees, Hogan simply gave his players’ names and then stated that they were “… the finest golfers in the world.”
It was considered something of an insult by Hogan to the British golfers at the time, and caused controversy.
Arnold Palmer’s daredevil flight
Arnold Palmer took Tony Jacklin and other members of the European squad, to a local airfield to show off his plane during the 1967 Ryder Cup. He took them up and dipped and dove, criss-crossed and scared the life out of his passengers. Palmer said in a interview regarding the incident that, “They didn’t come around asking for another ride.” Palmer loved to fly planes in his off time as is quoted saying thats its as big as thrill to him as playing golf.
The Jack Nicklaus Omission
Despite being the reigning U.S. Open Champion and seven time major winner Jack Nicklaus wasn’t included on the United States squad. At the time, a five year apprenticeship was required by the PGA to accurate Ryder Cup points. Nicklaus turned pro at the end of the year in 1961 just missing eligibility. Its crazy to think that a 7 time major was kept from the Ryder Cup because of that. This was in an era where there weren’t captains selections either. The same ruling kept Arnold Palmer from playing in the 1957 and 1959 Ryder Cups as well.
Josh Morris is the Editor of Golf History Today. A proud USGA Volunteer and golf enthusiast. In his free time he enjoys being a weekend caddie as well as playing as much as he can.