In the early 1960s, Shell Oil produced a series called The Wonderful World of Golf. Every week the match was in a different country, featuring an American touring pro playing a pro from the host country.
One of the matches in the year’s lineup would be on an America course. In 1963, the American match was between Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead at Pebble Beach.
Years later, all the WWoG matches were released on DVD–except this one. Because of a contractural barrier, this episode was prevented from being released.
Pebble Beach was a different course back them. It was somewhat ragged, especially the edges of the bunkers, not the pristine $500 per round course it is now. You’ll notice that right away when you watch the video.
Notice also that they left the pin in when they putted. The rules allowed that back then.
Notice also the forecaddies marking the way when the players hit their blind second shots on #6. That would not be allowed now.
Notice the dimples on Nicklaus’s ball at 36:55.
And then there’s the dog at 31:11.
Keep your eyes open and you’ll see a lot of other quirky things from the time.
But watch the ball flight when they hit long irons, which they hit a lot of. High, straight, just as easy as pie. I would like to see the pros hit those shots with those clubs today.
Oh, yes, one more thing. Those were the early days of color television. Very few programs were in color and this was one of them. A neighbor who lived down the hill from us let me do odd jobs around his property and in payment I got to come to his house on Sunday afternoon and watch WWoG in color.
The money if he had paid me would have have been so long gone and I would have no idea now what I did with it. But the memories of watching these shows is still with me.