Darrell Royal was invited to join Augusta National, but wife said no
This story sounds like an April Fool's joke, but it apparently is true.
Legendary Texas Longhorns football coach Darrell Royal was invited to become a member of Augusta National – and his wife turned it down. In fact, his wife got the invitation, and never told Royal about it.
This mind-boggling tale comes to us from Kirk Bohls of The Austin American-Statesman, who lays out the entire story in his column this morning. I heartily recommend you click on over and read the whole thing.
The short version is this: Royal was an avid golfer – and close to a scratch player in his prime, who often played with celebrities from Bob Hope to Willie Nelson. He was also good friends with longtime Arkansas coach and athletic director Frank Broyles who, Bohls says, at age 91 still attends the Masters every year. Broyles brought Royal to Augusta many times, and he absolutely loved the place.
According to Bohls, Dallas car dealer Finley Ewing, a prominent Texas grad and close friend of the Royals, had volunteered to cover the cost of the membership and annual dues. But Royal's wife, Edith "declined the offer largely because they didn't have access to a private jet," Bohls explains, and she feared they couldn't afford the all the trips to Georgia that her husband would have wanted to make.
Edith, who's now 90, knew Royal would be upset with her decision, so she never told him. Eventually, of course, he found out.
"He would have loved to have been a member," she told Bohls, laughing at the recollection. "I think he wanted to choke me."
Oh, man. I'm not sure what the writing version of speechless is, but that's what I am right now.