Source: VT Golf Magazine | Issue: Summer 1996 | Author: Mary Ann DeSpirito

Synopsis: This article is about Joe Kirkwood and his accomplishments and successes throughout his golf career.


Joe Kirkwood hated being called a “trick-shot artist.” He would say, “I don’t perform trick shots, I control the golf ball. There’s nothing gimmicky about it.” Kirkwood’s incredible control of the ball earned him a place in golf history and in the hears of residents of Stowe, Vermont, where he became Stowe’s first golf professional.

Born in Sydney, Australia, in 1897 Joseph. H Kirkwood went on to work as a drover for a sheep station at the age of ten. His employer, a golfer, had a three-hole course set up on some pastureland. Joe played the makeshift course with club he made himself.

Kirkwood entered and won his first tournament when he was 16 years old. Golfbcame foremost in his life, and he turned professional in 1920 when he won the Australian Open and New Zealand Open and was named winner of the New Zealand Championship. He finished as runner-up in the 1921 Gleneagles 1,000 Tournament. He posted several top five finishes in the British Open and looked like the winner at Troon in 1923. But a poor final stretch left him in third place. He tried to put tournament golf in perspective, noting that “golfers are brothers and that money was the least value of importance,” a philosophy that stayed with him all his life.

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