I was looking for something in the Woodson vault the other day, and I mean I was really looking, trying to find something specific that wasn’t in any obvious place. I was looking so intently that I wedged myself into the back corner and got down on my hands and knees. I was quite surprised when I peered into the dimness and saw this:
Yes, that’s a golf club and a it’s very old one.
The tag tied to the hickory shaft, in Miss Turnbull’s handwriting:
My mind reeled. I spent several minutes trying to conjure up any scenario in which William Marsh Rice would have golfed. I failed completely. I know a lot about William Marsh Rice and this is simply unimaginable. Never happened. Then I realized that the Houston Country Club didn’t even exist until 1908, at which point he’d already been dead for eight years.
So this must be Will Rice’s club, right?
And indeed a check of the 1938 anniversary booklet from the club reveals that not only was Will Rice a charter member he was also the first president. His member number, by the way, was 1.
Here’s what he had to say on this occasion, including an interesting reference to some real estate owned by the Rice Institute in 1903. I might be able to figure out precisely where it was: