On this day, In 1951 tragedy struck the Scioto Country Club clubhouse when a fire broke loose sometime during the evening of December 16. Scioto Country Club is in Upper Arlington, Ohio, and was designed by Donald Ross.
Twelve members were having dinner at the time and all made it out safely. Reports cite that damages would cost up to $150,000, which would have been $1,392,421.15 worth of damage in the present day.
The New York Times wrote that “Firemen were handicapped during the fire due to cold weather and frozen hydrants. The club had just held the PGA Championship a year earlier in which Chandler Harper was the victor.
Scioto Country Club History
The Club opened 100 years ago in 1916 and has hosted five PGA/USGA tournaments, including a Ryder Cup in 1931. Augusta co-founder Bobby Jones won the second of his four U.S. Open titles there in 1926.
One of its co-founders was Samuel P. Bush, who was the paternal grandfather of President George H. W. Bush and great-grandfather of President George W. Bush. Scioto is one of only four courses to host the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup, and the U.S. Amateur.
The other three are Oak Hill Country Club (east), Oakland Hills Country Club (south), and Pinehurst Resort (#2): all four courses were designed by Ross.
Scioto was where Jack Nicklaus first learned the game
The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus learned to play the game at Scioto in the early 1950s, mentored by Jack Grout. He originally took up golf at the age of 10, scoring a 51 at the club for his first nine holes ever played.
Nicklaus & Grout’s relationship was unique in that Nicklaus would visit Grout at the beginning of each year to review his game. Grout was known as the “first and only teacher” of Nicklaus.
Grout groomed young Texan superstars Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson early in their careers. He later attracted coaching advice from many other players such as Raymond Floyd, Dow Finsterwald, and even sometimes Ben Crenshaw.
1926 U.S. Open – Bobby Jones (amateur)
1931 Ryder Cup – US defeated Great Britain, 9–3
1950 PGA Championship – Chandler Harper
1968 U.S. Amateur – Bruce Fleisher
1986 U.S. Senior Open – Dale Douglass