Mason Rudolph, Director of Golf

In 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 Rudolph’s title changed to Director of Golf Emeritus, but his impact on both the lives and the golf games of the Commodores remains the same.

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.

"Experience 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 Tour player."

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 of Memphis.

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.



Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)