French Open, the mystery of the 1937 edition



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French Open, the mystery of the 1937 edition

The Open de France, the oldest continental golf tournament, resumes the path of its very long history after two years of interruption due to the Covid. A 104th edition which will take place as usual at the Golf National. But in the more distant past, several other clubs have hosted it, including the prestigious Chantilly golf course, on 10 occasions.

This is an error that persists: in reality, Chantilly hosted 11 Open de France: 1913, 1925, 1933, 1937, 1947, 1950, 1964, 1974, 1988, 1989 and 1990. The 1937 edition , won by the French pro of St-Germain Marcel Dallemand, went well on the famous and celebrated course of Vineuil and not in Saint-Cloud as it is usually indicated.

This blunder seems all the more incredible as the club concerned was not aware. The honor rolls that adorn the walls of the clubhouse, in the dining room precisely, did not mention this edition! Fortunately, after the publication of the book Golf de Chantilly – 1909 which celebrates its centenary, the fault will be repaired… For historians, the main source of information remains Tennis et Golf, the first magazine to deal with golf as a whole.

However, it appears in the July 1937 issue, a report titled "The International Omnium Championship at Chantilly" (name of the time of the French Open). Other reviews like Le Golf also mention it. The evidence is irrefutable...

As could be that of the 1947 edition! If this is still attributed to Chantilly, the same Tennis and Golf magazine makes a terrible mistake by titling "The International Omnium Championship of France at St-Cloud" while the article mentions Chantilly as the theater of the tournament...

The explanation could therefore come from a double giddiness: that of the bad title of 1947 and the disappointment of a decade! We can no longer trust journalists, even those of the time… Ultimately, any search for the French Open winners should start with the simplest and surest source: the Edward George Stoïber trophy awarded to the winner.

But here again, some inaccuracies can lead to confusion… On reading more closely the names of the winners engraved on the metal plate which encircles the base of the cup, we realize that in parentheses it is sometimes mentioned the nationality, the club to which the winner belongs or the host club...