Talking Snack

Al Geiberger, the winner of the 1966 PGA, didn't know it at the time, but he and his humble PB&J sandwiches started a trend on Tour
September 07, 2005

There was a time when Tour players didn't carry snacks and fresh fruit in their bags for a quick energy boost. Then came Al Geiberger, who marched to victory in the 1966 PGA Championship while snacking on peanut butter sandwiches. And, oh, how the world took notice! Tour stars like Bob Charles and Gary Player went on peanut butter jags of their own, and Geiberger was signed to endorse Skippy peanut butter--an alliance that would last 37 years.

The saga actually began a year earlier, when the PGA was held at Arnold Palmer's home course, Laurel Valley Country Club, in Ligonier, Pa. "I have to eat during a round because I have low blood sugar," Geiberger says, "but at the '65 PGA I got paired with Arnie. I thought, Oh, my God, I'll never be able to get to the concession stands." Serendipitously, Geiberger saw his wife, Judy, making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for their daughter, Lee Ann. "It worked out super," he says of his munchies masterstroke. "Whenever I needed a lift, I simply went to my bag and got a sandwich."

Geiberger's snacking didn't attract much attention in Pennsylvania, but sportswriters jumped on the sandwich angle two weeks later when he won the American Golf Classic at Firestone Country Club, the Ohio venue that would host the '66 PGA. As a result, "they were ready for me when I came back to Firestone in '66," Geiberger says. Playing his part perfectly, Geiberger overcame two final-round bogeys with a sandwich-aided birdie on the 5th hole and went on to beat Dudley Wysong by four strokes. --John Garrity

Al Geiberger's Perfect Peanut Butter & Jelly

1 "White bread, pita bread--anything will work--but I use wheat bread. Put peanut butter on both halves so the jam isn't absorbed into the bread."

2 "I usually use Skippy [creamy] and grape jam. Don't use a whole lot of jam. Too much and it oozes out and gets on your grips."

3 "Always wrap the sandwich in foil, so it'll last a couple of days. Then put it in a Baggie, something like a medium-sized ziplock freezer bag."

4 "For extra protection use a plastic container. (My caddie has sat on the bag and crushed my sandwich.) But don't worry--smashed, it still eats."

B/W PHOTOTONY TOMSIC MR. SMOOTH Geiberger's munchies at Firestone were big news. B/W PHOTOJOHN RONNEY/AP  [See caption above.] FIVE COLOR PHOTOSTODD BIGELOW

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)