The USGA’s museum scored a sacred piece of golf history this week by acquiring the 4-wood that Gene Sarazen used to hole his famous double-eagle at the 1935 Masters—only no one can be sure it’s the actual 4-wood.
The hallowed club was donated by Thor Nordwall, a Minnesota man who caddied for Sarazen at the 1939 St. Paul Open. Nordwall says Sarazen, clearly not a hoarder, threw in the 4-wood and one other club as part of his payment, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. What's the mystery? It seems that while Sarazen told a Minneapolis newspaper reporter that the club he gave Nordwall was the real thing, he apparently told a couple other people he was giving them his club, too. So the donation is actually the latest chapter in the club's lore. Squire, you prankster, you! [Years later] Nordwall offered to return the club to Sarazen and wrote him a letter proposing a reunion. He never heard back. What he did hear, however, was that Sarazen’s family thought he gave the club to someone in Japan. And Augusta National Golf Club was also at times reporting it had the real club. The USGA says it plans to present the club as a “curatorial dilemma.”