By David Shefter, USGA
Snoopy Exhibit Takes Center Stage In USGA Museum
Jan 28, 2010
Far Hills, N.J. - From now until late June, the USGA Museum in Far Hills, N.J., is presenting a special exhibit honoring some of Charles M. Schulz’s best golf works. ”Snoopy On The Links,” which will appear in the temporary exhibition gallery that is situated between the Ben Hogan Room and the reception area, features eight original drawings and nine comic reprints by Schulz.
Schulz is best known for creating the popular “Peanuts” comic strip that appeared in thousands of newspapers in the U.S. and abroad. By the time he retired in 1999 (Schulz passed away one year later due to complications from colon cancer), Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and the rest of the “Peanuts” gang had been printed in 21 different languages in 75 countries.
Many of the “Peanuts” storylines centered around sports, from Charlie Brown famously missing the football held by Lucy, to baseball, to golf. Golf was a passion deep-rooted with Schulz from his youth in St. Paul, Minn., where he caddied at Highland Park Golf Course and later participated on the Central High golf team. Later in life, he was a frequent participant at the AT&T National Pro-Am on the Monterey Peninsula. One year after his death, Schulz’s Santa Rosa, Calif., property was turned into the Mayacama Golf Club, site of the 2010 USGA Men’s State Team Championship this September.
“The things I like to do the best are drawing cartoons and hitting golf balls,” said Schulz in 1967.
Of his many “Peanuts” golf vignettes, one included Snoopy as the World Famous Golf Pro.
Schulz’s boyhood idol was Hall-of-Famer Sam Snead. In a 1963 “Peanuts” strip, Lucy consoles Charlie Brown over his favorite baseball player going hitless by saying, “Every year for 25 years my dad has been rooting for Sam Snead to win the National Open.”
Upon seeing the strip, Snead sent Schulz a picture of himself with his scorecard displaying a 59 shot at the Greensboro Open mounted at the bottom. It also came with a note that said: “I thought you might like to have this. You can hang it out in the outhouse to keep the rats away.”
Schulz admitted that most of his early golf themes featured what he called “trite humor,” but he did have strong knowledge of the game. “I would never draw someone on his hands and putting like he was hitting a pool cue. You can tell by my strip that I know the game.”
For many years, the USGA used Snoopy in special publications, specifically to help people better understand the Handicap System or the Rules of Golf. As stated in a May 2000 obituary in Golf Journal: “It would be impossible to know how many millions could relate to the on-course failures of [Schulz’s] characters; it’s also impossible to estimate how many of those same people learned Equitable Stroke Control at the paws of a beagle.”
During his career Schulz used his “Peanuts” characters in several books, including “Snoopy’s Grand Slam” (1972); “An Educated Slice: Starring Snoopy as the World Famous Golfer” (1990); “Peanuts at Work and Play; A Good Caddie is Hard to Find” (1996) and “It’s Par For The Course, Charlie Brown” (2005).
Children’s activities are planned with the exhibit, including the chance for parents to read two Schulz golf-themed books to their kids: “A Good Caddie is Hard to Find” and “It’s Par For the Course, Charlie Brown.”
Both books will also be sold in the gift shop as well as the Snoopy Tee Time Golf Set that features a towel, ball and tees.
The exhibit is being displayed concurrently with “To the Moon: Snoopy Soars With NASA” that is running Jan. 27-April 18 at the Morris Museum in Morristown, N.J. Any individual paying full admission to either museum will receive a half-off coupon to visit the other exhibit.
“Snoopy Soars With NASA” examines the history of Apollo 10 and the “Peanuts” characters’ role in that flight and in the NASA Manned Flight Awareness safety program. Schulz’s involvement with NASA actually started in 1968 when he was approached to use Snoopy as its safety mascot. The Silver Snoopy Award program proved to be a huge success with the astronauts and NASA employees, and the beagle continues to be used today.
Additional information on the USGA’s Snoopy exhibit can be obtained by visiting www.usgamuseum.com or by contacting Kim Gianetti at (908) 234-2300, ext. 1245 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The USGA Museum is open daily except Mondays and major holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
David Shefter is a USGA staff writer.
Many of the “Peanuts” storylines centered around sports, from Charlie Brown famously missing the football held by Lucy, to baseball, to golf. (USGA Museum)
Golf was a passion deep-rooted with Schulz from his youth in St. Paul, Minn., where he caddied at Highland Park Golf Course and later participated on the Central High golf team. (USGA Museum)
For many years, the USGA used Snoopy in special publications, specifically to help people better understand the Handicap System or the Rules of Golf. (USGA Museum)