1: traditional customs, tales, sayings, dances, or art forms preserved among a people
2: a branch of knowledge that deals with folklore
3: an often unsupported notion, story, or saying that is widely circulated
Once again the Greater Columbus Area, specifically Muirfield Village and Dublin, will be swarming with professional golfers, sportscasters, and fans. It is time for the 2011 Memorial Tournament, a golf invitational hosted by Jack Nicklaus.
The tournament benefits many children’s charities in the Central Ohio area including Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.
What, you may ask, does this have to do with Folklore?
Sure, the Memorial Tournament attracts celebrities and honors legendary professional golfers, but that is not what this post covers. No, my friends.
I am not writing to make any accusations about what a certain fallen golf hero may or may not be purported to have done during bygone tournament weeks… I’ll leave those reportings to Perez Hilton.
This post is about something more nefarious altogether….
The Curse of Chief Leatherlips.
(Insert evil laugh here)
Unless you are from the area, you may not be familiar with the folklore surrounding the tournament. Allow me to enlighten you.
Traditionally, the Memorial Tournament is plagued by Mother Nature’s wrath, whether it be torrential downpours, tornado warnings, or locust infiltration. Many rounds have been delayed or cancelled due to rain. In 1990, Greg Norman was declared the winner and the tournament was ended after just 54 holes of play.
|Chief Leatherlips Monument in Dublin, Ohio|
In 1993, when the Memorial was delayed by rain for the fourth straight years and 11 of 18 years overall, Barbara Nicklaus tried to do something about it. Arnold Palmer’s wife, Winnie, suggested that if Muirfield Village was built over an old cemetery that a glass of gin left at the burial site of Chief Leatherlips—it rests in the trees beyond the practice fairway—might mollify any angry spirits.
So, late Thursday night during the ’93 tournament and again during the Friday afternoon suspension, Barbara Nicklaus made trips to a nearby cemetery and monument to Chief Leatherlips. Both times she left a glass with gin in it. Jack even drove her Thursday night, albeit reluctantly. “I had nothing to do with it, absolutely nothing,” he said at the time in mock disbelief. “She just said, ‘Maybe I’ll give them a little gift this year, and maybe next year it’ll be something really nice.’” Not even that worked.
This year's tournament will run
Monday, May 30 to Sunday, June 5.
Have your umbrellas ready!
Be sure to stop by Jenny Matlock's blog for more F posts.
MAKE IT A GREAT DAY!