Here’s a photo from the January 27 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, featuring a golfer whose missed putt cost him $10,000:
$10,000 is a lot of money even now, but it was a whole lot of money in 1931, equivalent to over $150,000 today.
Ironically, George von Elm (1901-1961) had only recently turned pro – he had been a celebrated amateur golfer in the 1920s, duelling regularly with famed golfer Bobby Jones in the U.S. Amateur tournament. He turned pro in September 1930.
Besides this $10,000 putt, von Elm had two other famous near-misses:
- In 1930, he lost the U.S. Amateur after ten sudden-death extra holes.
- In 1931, he lost the U.S. Open after tying Billy Burke during the regulation 72 holes, and then tying him again in a 36-hole playoff the next day. This forced yet another 36-hole playoff the day after that; von Elm lost that one by a stroke.