The Golfer Who (Briefly) Put His Match on Hold to Get Married

John Ball Sr. was an important figure in the history of golf in Hoylake and Liverpool, England. He owned the Royal Hotel, which was the first home of Royal Liverpool Golf Club. And he was the father of John Ball Jr., who won a British Open and won the British Amateur Championship a record eight times from the 1880s into the 1910s.

One day the senior Ball was playing his regular foursome on the Hoylake links (a k a Royal Liverpool). Upon completing the 9th hole, John told his friends he needed to take a short break to attend a wedding.

His three friends were welcome to join him, Mr. Ball said, and it really wouldn't take very long. So off the Ball Sr. foursome headed to church. Imagine the surprise of his three friends when, upon arrival, they learned it was Ball Sr. himself who was getting married!

When the ceremony ended, Ball put his new bride into a cab and sent her to his own Royal Hotel. He and his three friends returned to the 10th tee and resumed the match. No word on the outcome of the foursome match — or the outcome of the marriage.

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