124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Most Expensive Puzzle

June 13, 2010

Back in 1969, Golf Digest started publishing a monthly puzzles page. The first was a block of 2,450 letters that included frontward, backward and diagonally the names of 72 golf pros. The Editor was so convinced nobody could complete the puzzle that he offered lifetime subscriptions to anyone who did. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that the Puzzle Editor was the wife of the Editor, his first wife.) In the end, there were 241 winners declared. At a then-subscription rate of $5.95 per year and a life-expectancy calculation of 30 or so more years, the Editor's boss figured it would cost the massive sum of $50,000. Here we are 41 years later, reading the correspondence shown at left from Bob Klingman, one of 76 surviving life-timers.

The current Editor decided to commemorate the occasion by re-creating the original puzzle with modern names on the back page this month. Important to note: The wife of the current Editor wanted no part of the assignment, and the first 60 winners get a Golf Digest hat.