George S. Pietzcker Images

The following text is taken from “Golf’s Golden Age,” published in 2005 by the USGA, in partnership with National Geographic, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Bob Jones’s “Grand Slam.” To order the book, and learn more about George Pietzcker’s photography, please visit http://www.usgapubs.com)

A remarkable photographer from St. Louis by the name of George Pietzcker traversed the country documenting the personalities, places, and happenings of the golf world from the early 1910s until the mid 1930s. For almost 30 years, “Photo” Pietzcker was a fixture at every major golf tournament played in America. In the course of these three decades he amassed a collection of golf photographs that by some estimates exceeded 15,000 images.

Born in the small town of Sour Lake, Texas, on January 18, 1885, George Sealy Pietzcker received his formal training at the Illinois College of Photography in Effingham, Illinois, working the 1906 Western Amateur at the Glen Echo Club in St. Louis. Apparently he was quite taken with the game, its colorful players, and rich landscapes, for then and there he decided to specialize in golf photography. For several years his work appeared in Chicago-based “Golfers’ Magazine,” but his reputation quickly spread and soon his images were picked up by all of the major golf periodicals of the day, including “American Golfer” and “Golf Illustrated.”

In 1913 Pietzcker covered the U.S. Open for “Golf,” an early publication of the United States Golf Association, where he captured some of the most indelible images of Francis Ouimet’s historic victory. Soon thereafter he signed on as the official photographer of the USGA. For the next 20 years he provided a visual record of the country’s national championships and champions.

Many of the photographs that Pietzcker created were journalistic in nature, intended simply to document the important events, places, and individuals of the championship golf calendar. Most remarkable among Pietzcker’s works, however, are the photographic portraits he created of notable golfers of his day. These full- and half-length portraits captured the individual character, style, and personality of his subjects more successfully than any golf photographer previously. During the 1920s and 1930s, Pietzcker advertised and sold framed prints of these portraits to individuals and clubs around the country. There is no record of how many sets of these “National Golf Champions” Pietzcker may have distributed. Today they are extremely rare. In the mid-1930s, Pietzcker relocated his studio to Miami Beach, Fla. He attended fewer and fewer championships as the years passed, and his reputation as one of the game’s greatest photographers was slowly forgotten. George Pietzcker passed away in December, 1971, the same month and year as Bob Jones, leaving a rich visual legacy of golf’s Golden Age.

The 12 portraits currently on display in the Museum are all from Pietzcker’s “National Golf Champions” collection, and feature USGA champions such as Walter Travis, Glenna Collett Vare, and Francis Ouimet.

Displaying products 1 - 27 of 27 results
Bob Jones At 1922 U.S. Amateur
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Bob Jones At 1922 U.S. Amateur
Bob Jones At 1922 U.S. Amateur
U.S. Open Champion Johnny Goodman
U.S. Open Champion Johnny Goodman
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U.S. Open Champion Johnny Goodman
Johnny Goodman, the 1933 U.S. Open champion, poses for a portrait.
Portrait Of Champion Harry Vardon
Portrait Of Champion Harry Vardon
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Portrait Of Champion Harry Vardon
Harry Vardon poses for a portrait. Vardon won the 1900 U.S. Open and a record six British Open crowns.
1922 U.S. Amateur -- The Country Club
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1922 U.S. Amateur -- The Country Club
A view of the par-4 third hole at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California.
Bob Jones - 1922 US Amateur
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Bob Jones - 1922 US Amateur
Bob Jones At 1922 U.S. Amateur
Bob Jones - 1926 Walker Cup
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Bob Jones - 1926 Walker Cup
1926 Walker Cup Match at St. Andrews (Old Course) in Scotland
Bob Jones, C. Tolley, Francis Ouimet, R. Wethered - 1922 US Amateur
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Bob Jones, C. Tolley, Francis Ouimet, R. Wethered - 1922 US Amateur
1922 U.S. Amateur Championship at The Country Club, Brookline, Mass.
Bob Jones, C. Tolley, R. Wethered, Francis Ouimet
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Bob Jones, C. Tolley, R. Wethered, Francis Ouimet
Legendary Players Pose for Portrait
C.B. Macdonald
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C.B. Macdonald
C.B. Macdonald, inaugural U.S. Amateur champion
Charles "Chick" Evans
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Charles "Chick" Evans
Three-time USGA champion Chick Evans
Francis Ouimet
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Francis Ouimet
Ouimet stuns golf world with 1913 Open triumph
Gene Sarazen - 1922 and 1932 US Open Champion
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Gene Sarazen - 1922 and 1932 US Open Champion
Portrait of seven-time major champion Gene Sarazen
Glenna Collett Vare
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Glenna Collett Vare
Six-time U.S. Women's Amateur champion Glenna Collett Vare
Harold H. Hilton
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Harold H. Hilton
Harold Hilton, 1911 U.S. Amateur champion
Harrison R. Johnston,Stewart Maiden,Robert T. Jones Jr.,Leo Diegel
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Harrison R. Johnston,Stewart Maiden,Robert T. Jones Jr.,Leo Diegel
Legends pose for portrait
Harry Vardon, Bob Jones
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Harry Vardon, Bob Jones
Champions, present and future
Inwood Country Club, 16th green
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Inwood Country Club, 16th green
Inwood C.C., site of Bob Jones' first U.S. Open title (1923)
Merion GC, 8th green
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Merion GC, 8th green
Merion G.C., site of 1916 U.S. Amateur
Ouimet Wins 1913 U.S. Open
Ouimet Wins 1913 U.S. Open
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Ouimet Wins 1913 U.S. Open
A crowd gathers around the 18th green at The Country Club during the 18-hole playoff to decide the 1913 U.S. Open, won by Francis Ouimet.
Robert T. Jones Jr. - Portrait
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Robert T. Jones Jr. - Portrait
Bob Jones at 1922 U.S. Amateur
Robert T. Jones Jr. (Bob Jones)
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Robert T. Jones Jr. (Bob Jones)
Bob Jones makes U.S. Amateur debut
Ted Ray: 1920 U.S. Open Champion
Ted Ray: 1920 U.S. Open Champion
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Ted Ray: 1920 U.S. Open Champion
Ted Ray tees off during the 1920 U.S. Open at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
Tommy Armour
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Tommy Armour
U.S. Open champion Tommy Armour
Two-time U.S. Amateur Champion Robert Gardner
Two-time U.S. Amateur Champion Robert Gardner
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Two-time U.S. Amateur Champion Robert Gardner
A portrait of two-time U.S. Amateur champion Robert Gardner, who won his titles in 1909 and 1915.
U.S. Open Champion Johnny Goodman
U.S. Open Champion Johnny Goodman
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U.S. Open Champion Johnny  Goodman
A portrait of Nebraska native Johnny Goodman, the 1933 U.S. Open champion, the last amateur to capture the title.
Walter Hagen
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Walter Hagen
Walter Hagen, two-time U.S. Open champion
Walter J. Travis
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Walter J. Travis
Walter Travis claims third U.S. Amateur title