Rudolph, Director of Golf
an effort to bolster the Commodore golf program, Vanderbilt
Director of Athletics Todd Turner named Mason Rudolph Director
of Golf in the fall of 1997. In the summer of 2002 Rudolphs
title changed to Director of Golf Emeritus, but his impact
on both the lives and the golf games of the Commodores remains
In his five seasons as Vanderbilt's head coach, Rudolph enthusiastically
charted the process of taking the Commodore men's golf program
to the next level. He taught his players how to improve their
games and gave them a new appreciation for the game of golf.
is what this game is all about and Mason has as much experience
playing at the highest level as anyone," Vanderbil coach Jim
Ragan said. "He enjoys sharing his experience with the players
and advising them on what it takes to become a successful
A veteran of 21 years on the PGA Tour, Rudolph has seen golf
at its very best. He posted six victories on the PGA Tour.
He also played for his country in the Ryder and Walker Cups,
helping to capture these championhips for the United States.
He played in 15 Masters and 16 U.S. Open Championships. He
won his first tournament in 1959, the Golden Gate Open, and
was named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 1960.
In 1950, when he was just 16 years old, Rudolph became the
youngest player ever to compete in the U.S. Open, and that
same year, he became the first 16-year-old ever to win the
prestigous USGA National Junior Championship. His accomplishments
as a junior player did not go unnoticed when in 1999 Rudolph
was selected by Golf World magazine as one of the Top-10 Best
Junior Boys of the 20th Century.
Some interesting highlights from his career include having
hit 18 holes-in-one (five on the PGA) and playing in 105 straight
PGA tournaments in the mid-1960s without hitting the ball
out of bounds.
For all of his accomplishments, Rudolph was elected as a charter
inductee into the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. In 1995, he
was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Rudolph is a native of nearby Clarksville, Tenn. He played
his collegiate golf at Memphis State (now the University of
Memphis) before being called into service in 1956. After that,
he returned home and started on the PGA Tour.
He is married to the former Carol Griffin, who is a long-time
and loyal Vanderbilt fan. Her father, V.H. Griffin, received
his undergraduate and medical degrees from Vanderbilt. Mason
and Carol have two sons - Mason II of Nashville and Griff
Vanderbilt is privileged to have a man with such a storied
career, respect at all levels of the golfing community and
a passion for the sport as Mason Rudolph has.