Few, if any sports pay homage to the past quite like the game of golf. Our sporting grounds date back to the early 15th century. The Open's claret jug dates back to 1872.
Ever since Old Tom Morris grew into a larger than life figure around St. Andrews in the second half of the 19th century, both winning golf tournaments and designing some of the earliest links around the United Kingdom, golfers have been wont to erect monuments paying homage to the game's roots.
Today, you can find multiple statues of golf icons Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, while Texas clubs have immortalized their own in Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and instructor Harvey Penick among others. In the cases of Payne Stewart and Seve Ballesteros, statues pay tribute to a life cut short. Other times, it's the golf course architect that receives the statue, whether it's Pete Dye, Donald Ross or Stanley Thompson.
Other resorts have built statues to commemorate difficult stretches of holes, like PGA National's "Bear Trap" and Innisbrook's "Snake Pit." Others have historic icons that have become beloved over a century, like Pinehurst's "Putter Boy."
Statues can also be little more whimsical. When Japanese developers crafted Kauai Lagoons (now named the Hokuala Ocean Course) in Hawaii, various eastern-inspired statues of Buddhas and animals adorned each tee box. Celebrating its 125th anniversary this summer, Lahinch in Ireland will unveil a statue of a goat, the famous symbol of the club.
U.S. presidents get the monument treatment as well. Dwight D. Eisenhower may have had a tree named after him at Augusta National, but Bill Clinton is so beloved in the Irish town of Ballybunion, a statue was erected in his honor in the town center. Clinton's assertion the town's links was his favorite in the world no doubt curried favor with the locals.
If you have a favorite statue that you've encountered during your golf travels, tag us on Instagram with #LivingtheGreen.