Jack Jolly (1880-1964) was born in Saint Andrews, Scotland, the undisputed cradle of golf. At the age of 13 he joined the merchant marines, with golf clubs in hand. In 1901, while in New York, he came down with malaria and his ship sailed without him. While waiting for another ship, Jolly ran into fellow Scotsman, Alex Pirie, professional at Forest Hill Field Club. Jack Jolly the assistant became Jack Jolly the pro and greenskeeper when Pirie left after the 1901 season. Staying at Forest Hill for only one year, Jolly left the only club position he would ever hold.
Kempshall Golf Ball Company of Arlington hired Jack to test and demonstrate their new rubber-cored golf balls. This relationship lasted for several years. In 1911 Jack invented the liquid core golf ball. The new liquid center concept gave golf balls truer balance. For the next 17 years, golf ball manufacturers paid substantial fees for the right to this new concept. After selling the patent to his invention, Jolly started a golf equipment distribution business in Newark, NJ, now called Jack Jolly & Son, Inc.
Jack Jolly competed in ten United States Opens, starting in 1902. He was never a standout tournament player, having a best finish of only 13th in 1906. Mr. Jolly and fellow golfer Donald Ross achieved some notoriety when they played a match by moonlight at the Pinehurst Country Club in January of 1905. The match started at 8 PM and they finished without losing a ball. Mr. Ross' scored was 86 and Mr. Jolly's score was 92.
While the United States was Mr. Jolly's adopted home, his did not forget his origins, nor the people he considered so important in tournament play, Jack Jolly & Son, Inc., through a trust fund, sponsors an annual golf tournament at Saint Andrews.
In 1970, Alex McGugan, Jr., Life Member of the Professional Golfers Association of America, Philadelphia Section, purchased Jack Jolly & Son, Inc. Alex operated the company until his passing in 2016. His youngest son, Jonathan Ed McGugan, followed in his father's foot steps and took over the company. Ed has been operating the company with his family since.
In loving memory of Alex McGugan