Mac O'Grady

Mac O'Grady
Personal information
Born (1951-04-26) April 26, 1951
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Nationality  United States
Residence Palm Springs, California
College Santa Monica Junior College
Turned professional 1972
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 2
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 2
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T30: 1988
U.S. Open T9: 1987
The Open Championship T46: 1986
PGA Championship T43: 1987

Mac O'Grady (born April 26, 1951) born Phil McGleno, aka Phillip McClelland O'Grady, is an American professional golfer and golf teaching professional who played on the PGA Tour in the 1970s and 1980s, known mainly for his eccentric behavior[1] and brash statements,[2] in addition to his attending PGA Tour qualifying school 17 times before achieving his card.[3]

Biography and career highlights

O'Grady was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended Santa Monica Junior College in Santa Monica, California, and turned pro in 1972. He attempted to qualify for the PGA Tour through Q School 17 times before finally receiving his tour card. During this time, he legally changed his name from Phil McGleno to Phillip McClelland O'Grady, and then to Mac O'Grady.[1] O'Grady won two events on the PGA Tour. His first win came at the 1986 Canon Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open; his second and final win came a year later at the MONY Tournament of Champions. His best finish in a major was a T-9 at the 1987 U.S. Open. O'Grady had 18 top-10 finishes as a PGA Tour player. O'Grady left the PGA Tour in 1989 as a result of back problems.

Quirkiness and off the course issues

O'Grady, a right-handed player, is ambidextrous; he can also play left-handed at "scratch" level (no handicap). He has previously attempted to gain status as an amateur "lefty" and pro "righty".[4] O'Grady once tried to enter the Chrysler Team Championship as both halves of the same team. He would have played one ball left-handed and the other right-handed.

At the 1984 USF&G Classic, O'Grady got into an altercation with a female tournament volunteer. Eventually O'Grady was fined $500 for it and the fine was taken out of winnings at the 1985 Bob Hope Desert Classic. O'Grady soon afterwards began a series of verbal attacks against Tour Commissioner Deane Beman. At one point, O'Grady said "Deane Beman is a thief with a capital T."[5] He was fined $5,000 and was made to serve a six event suspension late in the 1986 PGA Tour year for conduct unbecoming a professional golfer.[6]

Five years after he left the tour, O'Grady called for a crackdown on beta blockers. O'Grady saying "of the top 30 players worldwide I would be surprised if less than seven stepped to the first tee each week without the use of beta blockers to calm their nerves." Several top European players scoffed at O'Grady's allegations.[7]

Later years

The main focus of his career now is teaching the game of golf. Recognized as one of the world's top instructors;[8] he teaches at his Mac O'Grady Golf Schools[9] and lives in Palm Springs, California. His teachings and swing concepts were influenced by Homer Kelley's book The Golfing Machine whom O'Grady had studied with personally in his earlier years. Interestingly, on O'Grady's website, it states, "He was forced to retire in 1990 due to a congenital spine disorder known as Spondylolisthesis." However he has been trying and in some cases, succeeding in qualifying for Champions Tour events.


O'Grady still plays persimmon woods and believes that the tradition of woods being made of wood is not only for the betterment of the game in general but the players themselves. O'Grady believes that by using persimmon woods and classic blade style irons, a golfer's swing will develop properly without the aid of the bigger headed titanium drivers that are popular today. This view has been gaining in popularity with the proliferation of several websites and tournaments supporting the retroactive movement. In 2010, O'Grady finished 5th place in the Australian Senior Open using the clubs of the late Australian professional Roger MacKay which included a matching set of persimmon woods and Hogan Apex irons against the field of senior golfers playing modern equipment.

PGA Tour wins

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of victoryRunner-up
1 Jul 6, 1986 Canon Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open −15 (71-69-67-62=269) Playoff United States Roger Maltbie
2 Jan 10, 1987 MONY Tournament of Champions −10 (65-72-70-71=278) 1 stroke United States Rick Fehr

PGA Tour playoff record (1–0)

1 1986 Canon Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open United States Roger Maltbie Won with par on first extra hole


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