The Untouchables

The Untouchables

GOLF Magazine
May, 1982

George Peper shared an idea for a story he’d had, on all of the par-5 holes that had never been hit in two shots, and I had plenty of spare time over the fall semester at school to write to all of the state golf associations to ask about holes that might qualify, and chase down leads.  I also wrote to the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and had a good response to my questionnaire about whether such long holes were good design or bad design.


It was a very popular article, with many readers writing in to share stories, or nominate holes that we’d missed.  [There were three or four of them.]  I actually wrote a follow up piece ten years later documenting how many of the holes had then been reached in two shots.  With the changes in equipment technology, none of them have maintained their virginity to the present day — but it has been nearly forty years now!


The article was published in the spring of 1982, as I completed my last classes at Cornell.  I was actually taking a course on Writing for Magazines, and just before the end of the semester I had an eight-page feature article in a national publication:  A+


The best part of the article was the catchy title.  We might have had a hard time using it, except that Oscar Fraley, the author of the original book, The Untouchables, was a contributing editor to GOLF Magazine at the time, so he granted permission.


Two months later, I was off to Scotland with my postgraduate scholarship to spend a year touring the golf courses of Great Britain & Ireland.  1982 was a very good year.

Read the article.