THE QUESTION: Do you think there can be a perfect game in golf?

August 23, 1959

TOMMY BOLT
1958 Open champion
Crystal River, Fla.
Golf equipment is improving so much that we will get scores in the low 50s. The perfect game would be getting on the green in the required number of strokes and holing your putt. At Winged Foot that would be 52, now highly improbable but possible in the years to come.

KEN VENTURI
Los Angeles Open champion
San Francisco
The perfect game is not so much the score as it is the complete satisfaction you feel after playing each hole. I'm sure Sam Snead doesn't think his 59 was a perfect game. No, it will never be played because the better a player becomes the more of a perfectionist he is.

ART WALL JR.
1959 Masters champion
Honesdale, Pa.
No. A golfer must position each tee shot in the most favorable spot preparatory to getting on the green. Then he has to hit to the proper spot on the green. These two shots alone are well-nigh impossible. If you could manage them for only nine holes you would be a marvel.

DOUG FORD
1957 Masters champion
Paradise, Fla.
The format would be to make 18 birdies. Sure it's possible, but it will never be done. Sam Snead shot the lowest score ever in major competition, a 59. Tommy Bolt shot a 60 at Wethersfield in as fine a game on a tougher course. I think that is as close to perfection as we pros will get.

ARNOLD PALMER
1958 Masters champion
Ligonier, Pa.
If you mean the perfect game within the realm of probability, maybe it will be played. That would mean hitting 18 perfect tee shots and 18 perfect second shots and landing in the cup in no more than one or two putts. But no one is ever going to birdie 18 holes.

FRANK STRANAHAN
1950 British Amateur champion
Toledo
In the perfect game you reach the green in the fewest possible number of strokes and hole your first putt. If you can reach the green in two strokes, then the second shot should go in the cup. It will never be played. That means perfect driving and putting for 18 holes.

CARY MIDDLECOFF
Two-lime U.S. Open champion
Hollywood, Fla.
I don't think the perfect game will ever be played. Even on your most fantastic rounds you won't hit 36 perfect shots on a par-72 course. A golfer's natural makeup won't let him do it. Sam Snead had 11 one-putt greens when he shot 59 at Greenbrier. That's pretty close to perfection.

JIMMY DEMARET
Three-time Masters champion
Houston
A perfect game by a pro is one where the shots come off as he plans them. The score has nothing to do with it. He may be playing against the wind or with it. The point is that his plan works. I don't think the perfect game has ever been played, but it may be done someday. It's not impossible.

CLAUDE HARMON
1948 Masters champion
Mamaroneck, N.Y.
The perfect game will never be played. I shot as good a game at Seminole, Fla. as I will ever play. My score, a record for the course, was 60. But I have the chart of that course in my office. And if I show you the pattern of my score you will see that a lot of my shots were not perfect.

TONY PENNA
1948 North and South Open champion
Cincinnati
What do you mean by a perfect game, the evaluation of every shot or the score? If you are talking about the score, with a birdie on every hole, a couple of holes in one and eagles on the par 5s, I think it is a possibility. Some day it will be done. Sam Snead didn't come too far from it with a 59.

MIKE SOUCHAK
1959 Tournament of Champions winner
Grossinger, N.Y.
In football every play is good for a touchdown if each man blocks perfectly. Similarly, in golf, if every shot goes where you plan and you get to the green in the fewest possible shots and hole your putt, it's a perfect game. This is possible but it will never be played because of human failings.

HARVIE WARD
Two-time U.S. Amateur champion
San Francisco
To me, an amateur, a perfect game of golf is a par score on any course. Since it is humanly impossible to hit the ball perfectly every time, I would not give this as a definition of the perfect game. I prefer to say that whenever I break par, I've played better than a perfect round.

TOMMY ARMOUR
Former U.S. Open and PGA champion
Defray Beach, Fla.
No perfect game is possible in any sport. In golf there will always be something to spoil a perfect game. Tee to green you may be perfect, but then perhaps you'll fall down on the greens. On a full drive the clubhead moves 20 to 22 feet. I'm happy if I can hit five perfect drives in a round.

SAM SNEAD
Pro at the Greenbrier Country Club
White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
Of course, it's got to be within the realm of possibility. The perfect game of golf should be par on any course. Then a better than perfect game, in my opinion, would be getting on each green in less than the number of strokes required for par and holing each green in two putts or less.

FIFTEEN PHOTOS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)