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This club is famous for… Bernhard Langer climbing a tree

They're still talking about this shot 35 years later...
 

Tom Weiskopf won the tournament and holed out for an eagle two on the 13th, but no one remembers the 1981 Benson & Hedges International Open for either moment.

Seve Ballesteros didn’t even play, because of a dispute over appearance money, and Tony Jacklin was controversially left out of the Ryder Cup team as the event reached its conclusion.

But 35 years on, these are mere footnotes. There is no plaque at Fulford to remember either moment.

There is, though, for Bernhard Langer.

Langer

The German’s acrobatics at the York course are still enshrined in club legend to this day.

Snapshots of the event, captured by the late Phil Sheldon, not only adorn the club’s locker room, they also have pride of place on the front of the scorecard.

What could it have been that has seen the multiple Major champion enshrined in legend?

It came during the third round. Langer’s second to the 17th was overcooked and clattered a large ash tree that lay to the left of the green.

Gravity did not do its work. The ball came to rest between two large branches about 12 feet up from the ground.

It looked like a young Langer, then 23, would have to take a one shot penalty.

The German thought differently. Spotting that his lie was not impaired, he climbed up the tree, with the help of spectators, to play the ball.

Manoeuvring himself into position, with both legs tight together around one branch and with a hugely restricted swing, Langer got the ball on the green and two putted for an unlikely bogey.

With television cameras streaming the pictures around the world, the shot quickly became the stuff of legend and copycats have been climbing the tree ever since to try and recreate the remarkable shot.

Click here for the full ‘This Club Is Famous For’ archive

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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