The 1965 Oklahoma City Open Golf Tournament

by Lynne Rostochil. 

Since this is the closing weekend of the Masters Tournament, I thought I’d stick with the golf theme and show you one of my all-time favorite finds, a program from the 1965 Oklahoma City Open golf tournament, which was held at the then-new Quail Creek Country Club.

The O.C. Open, as it was often called, began in 1926 and future Masters champ, Al Espinoza was the big winner.  The event steadily gained in popularity in 1927, 1928, and 1929 but then the entire world seemed to go bust when the stock market collapsed that October, ushering in the lean years of the Great Depression followed by even more years of belt tightening during World War II.

It wasn’t until 1956 that the next O.C. Open was held and the tournament called the Quail Creek golf course home from 1962-1968.  The course was designed by Floyd Farley and its famous … or maybe I should say notorious … 17th hole was chosen by Sports Illustrated authors when they decided to create the perfect golf course comprised of their favorite holes throughout the nation.

In 1964, Arnold Palmer was the big winner of the tournament and he was the strong favorite in 1965 when this program was sold to O.C. Open attendees for a whopping $.50.  Palmer didn’t capture the big prize, though.  That year, a young player named Jack Rule, Jr., inched out a one-stroke victory, narrowly beating Bobby Nichols.

Now that you know the outcome of the 1965 tournament, have a look at this amazing program that is filled with some pretty incredible photos and ads:

I’m not sure why, but the Oklahoma City Open ceased in 1968 and wasn’t played again until 1977 and 1978 at The Greens.  After that, it seems to have ended for good.