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Golf: The Cinderella Kid

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Contributor:
Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“In 1935, just five years after the great Bob Jones won his Grand Slam and retired from competition, a 20-year-old amateur golfer in a struggling family left Racine, Wisconsin for a $17-a-week shipping clerk job in Poughkeepsie, New York. Ray Billows brought with him a self-taught golf game from the caddie ranks, a gritty determination, and wondrous dreams of competing and succeeding at the highest level of American amateur golf.”

Sounds good as a Christmas present
With the festive season not far off Tom Buggy’s Ray Billows The Cinderella Kid sounds like it fits the bill for golfers who also like an inspiring story.
The blurb at Amazon continues, “He (Ray Billows) brought little else. He arrived at the prestigious Winged Foot Golf Club for the 1935 New York State Amateur Championship in a dilapidated $7 Model T Ford convertible that he intended to sleep in, and without enough money for a caddie. He left with his first significant title and a nickname – The Cinderella Kid – which captured what he was and what he had accomplished. All of Ray Billows' dreams came true, except for one that would haunt him throughout his life. This book tells his story, a story that is sprinkled with thrilling golf, wonderful success, cruel disappointment, personal highlights, humorous anecdotes with Bob Jones, the Duke of Windsor and Babe Ruth, and a reputation as one of the finest gentlemen in the game. The book also provides a glimpse into American amateur golf during the period from 1930 to 1950. It contains a 12-page photos insert with 27 photographs.

Alas no Kindle edition
Should you be inspired to purchase please note the book is only available as paperback; no hard cover or Kindle edition and the book is so new that as yet there are no reviews at Amazon.
The book’s complete title reads, “Ray Billows - The Cinderella Kid: The unlikely and colorful story of a world-class amateur golfer,” and it’s worth noting that the USGA has recognised Ray’s place in history.

In a post dated October 13, 2016 and headlined, “Ray Billows Exhibit Debuts at USGA Museum,” were told, “Despite all those close calls, Billows is regarded as one of the finest amateurs of his era. The USGA Golf Museum is celebrating his success with an exhibit entitled Ray Billows – The Cinderella Kid. The memorabilia on display includes the three silver medals he earned in the U.S. Amateur along with contestant badges from his two USA Walker Cup appearances in 1938 at the Old Course at St. Andrews and 1949 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. World War II disrupted his chance to compete on two additional Walker Cup Teams.

The New York Times dubbed him the “Cinderella Kid” because he arrived at the championship in a beat-up Ford Model T, didn’t have any money to pay for a caddie and, according to the Times,  slept in his car following a qualifying round. Another report had him sleeping on the clubhouse porch, while there's a report he slept in the locker room. He was later offered room and meals in the clubhouse by two generous Winged Foot members.

Here’s the link to Amazon  and to the USGA

Quote of the Day
“Despite going 0-for-3 in U.S. Amateur finals, Raymond Billows still carved out a magnificent amateur career.” – USGA web site

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