Historic Tryon Country Club hosts Donald Ross Invitational

Published 5:48pm Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A swimming pool rests on the grounds, and it used to be spring-fed. Sometimes the caddies would hit balls into it, especially in winter. They also had the chance to get good at their golf games on the course.

“All of the caddies could play in the late afternoon, once or twice a week, and we’d pass one or two clubs around,” Edwards Sr. said.  “I never had a lesson in my life. I just watched to see what other people did.”

Edwards Sr. got good, too. He hit a hole-in-one on the No. 9 hole, but he was looking to see who was coming down the dirt road, and didn’t get to see the ball fly into the hole.

On his 19th birthday, April 10, 1951, he had won the honor of caddying for Sam Snead, a legendary golfer. Snead got grumpy, though; he’d lost the Masters to Ben Hogan that year, and his personality wasn’t any the better for it, Edwards said.

Edwards’ oldest son, Fred Jr., acquired Edwards’ passion for the game and has worked in golf as a pro and supervisor all his life. In 1979, Edwards Jr. won the annual championship, but Edwards Sr., got the title back in 1980. In all, Edwards Sr. has won nine championships and seven senior championships.

The quiet beauty of the golf course has enhanced many people’s lifelong love of the game, Edwards Jr. said.

“People say, they turn in here, and their blood pressure starts going down,” he said. “It’s relaxing.”

More than 20 class A pros and superintendents have played there. Ted Fox played there, and Cecil Turner was the pro for many years. Cecil’s sister, Margaret Turner Hannon, became a celebrated golfer, and won the women’s tournament 27 times. And it’s a place where family tradition flourishes.

“Most of what I know, I learned from my dad,” Edwards Jr. said.

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