George Frederick SPARLING / Martha I WILTSEY

George Frederick SPARLING / Martha I WILTSEY

Husband : George Frederick SPARLING

Male Born : 19 MAY 1880at : Ireland
Married : 1915at :
Died : 10 JUL 1964at : Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut
Father : Henry Edwin Thomas SPARLING
Mother : Matilda RONALDSON
Spouses : Elizabeth DUNDON , Martha I WILTSEY

  • OCCUPATION: Carpenter, 1900
  • OCCUPATION: Instructor - Golf Club, 1910
  • OCCUPATION: Golf Instructor, 1920
  • OCCUPATION: Golf Instructor - Country Club, 1930
Notes : [495]

Wife : Martha I WILTSEY

Female Born : 1890at : Connecticut
Died : 02 FEB 1973at : Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut
Father :
Mother :
Spouses : George Frederick SPARLING

Family :
  • CENSUS: 1920, 84 Rose St, Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut
  • CENSUS: 1930, 86 Rose St, Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut
  • CENSUS: 1940, 86 Rose St, Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut


Name : George SPARLING
Male Born : 28 OCT 1916at : Bridgeport, Connecticut
Died : 20 DEC 1993at : Hamden, New Haven, Connecticut
Spouses :

  • REFERENCE: Ch VIII M 3 b ii

Name : William Ronaldson SPARLING
Male Born : 18 OCT 1917at : Bridgeport, Connecticut
Married : 19 OCT 1940at : Bridgeport, Connecticut
Died : 22 AUG 1993at : Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut
Spouses : Louise PISTY

  • REFERENCE: Ch VIII M 3 b iii


[495] The Bridgeport Post Friday, July 10, 1964

At Brooklawn 40 Years, He Taught Sarazen, Other Greats

George Frederick Sparling, 84, of 149 James Street, Fairfield, golf pro at Brooklawn Country Club 40 years whose gift for teaching developed such talents as Gene Sarazen and whose ability as a player established records throughout the region, died today in Hillside hospital where he had been a patient several months.

Services will take place Monday at 8:15 a.m. in the funeral home of D'Arcy, 1046 Fairfield Avenue, and at 9 o'clock in St. Thomas Church, Fairfield. Place of burial will be announced.

Mr. Sparling came to Brooklawn Country Club in 1908 when it was a nine-hole course and during four decades of service saw it grow into one of the largest links organizations in New England.

Retired in 1947
When he retired Dec. 1, 1947 he was presented with a silver bowl loaded with silver dollars and a check for $2,500 by members of Brooklawn.

Never a great tournament player, Mr. Sparling was best known as an instructor. Among boys he tutored were five who captained Yale golf teams: Arthur C. Williams, William Bone, the late Paul Haviland and the late W. Parker Seeley. He also developed such state champions as Tony Kusinski and Robert Walsh.

But one of his greatest claims to fame was that he started Gene Sarazen on the career of a champion. Gene worked for him as a club maker and an assistant.

Known as Wit
Known as a wit, as well as teacher and player of golf, Mr. Sparling was born in County Clare, Ireland in 1880. He came to the United States at the age of 15 and immediately began to learn the craft of clubmaking at Slazenger's in New York City, one of the famous sporting goods stores of its day.

At 18 he was sent to Lennox. Mass., as an assistant professional and clubmaker. In that era all professionals had to know how to make and repair clubs. He served two seasons at summer resorts in the Bay state and in 1898 worked as assistant to Willie Parks1 at Dyker Beach, Fort Hamilton, N.Y. The following year he was aide to Willie Tucker at St. Andrew's, Hastings, N.Y., before returning to Slazenger's as a clubmaker in 1900.

He had his first full-fledged job as a professional at the Dutchess Country Club, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He arrived there five consecutive seasons and during two years also doubled as pro at the Powelton Club, Newburgh, N.Y. Mr. Sparling was also pro in 1906 in Dunwoodie, N.Y. and in 1907 at White Beeches, Haworth, N.J. He was a member of the national and state organizations of the Professional Golfers' Association.

Mr. Sparling is survived by his wife, Mrs. Martha Wiltsie Sparling; two sons, George W. of Fairfield and William R. Sparling of Bridgeport; a brother, Harry Sparling of Miami, Fla.; as sister, Mrs. Bella Faddie, New York City, and three grandchildren.

1 This reporting is incorrect. The pro at Dyker Beach in 1898 was Mungo Park, brother of Willie Park, Jr.


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