Thursday, December 4

Q-School Flashback: 17 Times a Charm for Mac O’Grady

Mac O'Grady

THE FINAL STAGES OF Q-SCHOOL are underway. Both the men and women are fighting for their cards on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour at La Quinta, California, and Daytona Beach, Florida.

As I considered the rigors of Q-school, Mac O’Grady popped into my head. O’Grady, a California native who attended Santa Monica Junior College, turned pro in 1972. He won twice on the PGA Tour in the mid 1980s and finished in a ninth-place tie at the 1987 U.S. Open.

But his Q-school adventures were legendary. Mac made a mind-numbing 17 trips to Q-school before finally securing his tour card. Whoa.

The ambidextrous O’Grady was also known for being an eccentric. A right-handed tour pro, Mac could play scratch golf as a lefty and attempted to gain amateur status as a southpaw. That’s different.

(Had Mac’s application been approved, maybe he could have been his own amateur partner in pro-ams.)

O’Grady was not a friend of PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman, calling him a “thief.” Back problems drove him from the tour in 1989.

Want to see his swing? Here's a recent clip (2008) of Mac hitting a two-iron:

Mac O’Grady’s swing

Nice action, huh?

Mac is 57 years old and teaches golf at the Mac O’Grady Golf Schools in Palm Springs.

−The Armchair Golfer


Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't he also become famous (or infamous) for refusing to talk to the media? Great talent, but really just a so-so player.

Anonymous said...

I love to see the determination, 17 times before he made the cut... That's hardcore!

14 STIX said...

And kind of a different guy too if I remember right. My college teammate played out of the same golf club as Mac and said some days he'd see him standing on the front lawn of the club - in a speedo - hitting sand wedges over clubhouse.

Love the action though. Pretty good range for 52.

The Armchair Golfer said...

Sounds like Mac, STIX. Can't say you're wrong, Lancer. O'Grady was not your normal tour pro, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

yup the guy has a great talent.. amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Talented like i wish i were.

Unknown said...

Mac O'Grady is legendary amongst some of the golf professionals I work with. His Stack & Tilt method of swinging the golf club is genius and as you said, a thing of beauty. It's hard to believe that with a swing like that he had such a hard time getting on the tour. 17 times is crazy!

Clayton Garland, PGA, C.G.F.I.