Q-School Flashback: 17 Times a Charm for Mac O’Grady

Q-School Flashback: 17 Times a Charm for Mac O’Grady 1Mac O’Grady

THE FINAL STAGES OF Q-SCHOOL are underway. Both the men and women are fighting for their cards on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour at La Quinta, California, and Daytona Beach, Florida.

As I considered the rigors of Q-school, Mac O’Grady popped into my head. O’Grady, a California native who attended Santa Monica Junior College, turned pro in 1972. He won twice on the PGA Tour in the mid 1980s and finished in a ninth-place tie at the 1987 U.S. Open.

But his Q-school adventures were legendary. Mac made a mind-numbing 17 trips to Q-school before finally securing his tour card. Whoa.

The ambidextrous O’Grady was also known for being an eccentric. A right-handed tour pro, Mac could play scratch golf as a lefty and attempted to gain amateur status as a southpaw. That’s different.

(Had Mac’s application been approved, maybe he could have been his own amateur partner in pro-ams.)

O’Grady was not a friend of PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman, calling him a “thief.” Back problems drove him from the tour in 1989.

Want to see his swing? Here’s a recent clip (2008) of Mac hitting a two-iron:

Mac O’Grady’s swing

Nice action, huh?

Mac is 57 years old and teaches golf at the Mac O’Grady Golf Schools in Palm Springs.

−The Armchair Golfer

Photo of author
Neil Sagebiel

7 thoughts on “Q-School Flashback: 17 Times a Charm for Mac O’Grady”

  1. And kind of a different guy too if I remember right. My college teammate played out of the same golf club as Mac and said some days he’d see him standing on the front lawn of the club – in a speedo – hitting sand wedges over clubhouse.

    Love the action though. Pretty good range for 52.

  2. Mac O'Grady is legendary amongst some of the golf professionals I work with. His Stack & Tilt method of swinging the golf club is genius and as you said, a thing of beauty. It's hard to believe that with a swing like that he had such a hard time getting on the tour. 17 times is crazy!

    Clayton Garland, PGA, C.G.F.I.


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