A few days later, they were at it again. Turpie broke them up and then, as a crowd gathered, pulled a coin from his pocket.
" Evans called 'heads' and that's how it turned up," says Turpie. "I told Moheiser he'd have to go, and I never heard from him. Chick went on to win the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open. I've often asked myself if Joe could have reached those heights. He had just as much ability."
In the winter of 1901-02, Turpie took a teaching job in Pasadena, Calif. and soon discovered he had an illustrious pupil: John D. Rockefeller, richest man in the world.
" Rockefeller would take a half-hour lesson and then we'd play nine holes," recalls Turpie. "He would have his valet along with a pail of ice and a towel. Every now and then, he'd dip the towel in the water to soothe his head. He'd tip his caddie a dime."
One winter George went to visit his brother, who had moved to New Orleans. He grew fond of the city and its mild climate, which was good enough for year-round golf. There he met a Scottish girl named Mary Begg, who had come over from Scotland with her uncle after her parents died. They were married in February 1907, and the following December they arrived in St. Andrews for a visit just in time for the birth of their first child, Marion.
Nineteen years later, Marion Turpie won her first of three Southern championships, rewarding a doting father for hours of painstaking instruction. By the time she was 5, she had been swinging special clubs fashioned by her dad.
Turpie caught his first glimpse of Bobby Jones at the 1919 men's Southern in New Orleans. The 17-year-old Bobby arrived with his mother and played a practice round at the New Orleans Country Club. That was all it took to convince Turpie. "I caddied for Vardon and saw all of the other greats, but I had to take my hat off to this youngster," says Turpie. "Here was a gift from heaven. It looked like the game had been invented for him."
Jones advanced to the semifinals, where he lost to Nelson Whitney 6 and 5, but a shot he made in the qualifying round was the talk of the tournament. "Bobby's tee shot on the first hole—a par-3—bounced off to the right side of the green and wound up inside a discarded shoe left by one of the green-keepers," says Turpie.
"I was referee, and they called me over for a ruling. Since he wasn't entitled to a lift under the existing rules, I told Bobby he'd have to play both the ball and the shoe if he wanted to avoid a penalty. He then calmly took out his niblick and pitched both onto the green. The ball popped out and rolled to within 15 feet of the hole. He missed his putt and took a bogey, but his shot was the main topic of conversation the rest of the week."
Turpie has no claim to fame as a player. "I finished third in a Los Angeles tournament in 1902 and picked up $25," he says. "I played in several U.S. Opens but was always out of the money."