Bobby Jones was the only golfer to win four major championships in one year. He bought a piece of land, built the fabulous Augusta National Club, Founded ‘TheMasters,’ and mass-produced metallic clubs making golf easily accessible to the common man. Golf is perhaps the only outdoor game which, through the recognition of its use of one’s unique muscles and brain power, keeps its doors open for the seniors to play and win championships in this world class sport.
1. Old Tom Morris
Thomas Mitchell Morris, Sr., popularly known as ‘Old Tom Morris,’ was born on June 21, 1821 at St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland and died on May 24, 1908 at the age of 86 at St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. He won four major championships and was recognized as a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1976.
2. Harry Vardon
Harry Vardon was born on May 9, 1870 at Grouville, Jersey, Channel Islands and died on March 20, 1937 at the age of 66 in England. He became a professional golfer in 1890; won the U.S.Open, and 6 times won The Open Championship. He became a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
3. Bobby Jones
Popularly known as Bobby Jones, Robert Tyre Jones, Jr. was born on March 17, 1902 at Atlanta and died on December 18, 1971. He is the only single season grand slam golfer. He won seven professional matches and six amateur. He is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. USGA’s annual award for sportsmanship is named the ‘Bob Jones Award’ after him.
4. William Ben Hogan
William Ben Hogan, also known by his nicknames: ‘The Hawk, Bantem Ben,’ and ‘The Wee Ice Man,’ was born on August 13, 1912 at Stephenville, Texas and died at the age of 84 at Fort Worth, Texas. He became professional in 1929. In 1937 Hogan was down to his last $5 when he won $380 at a PGA Tournament, and in 1940 Hogan won the PGA’s Harry Vardon Trophy for his winnings of $10,656 that year. He won the U.S. PGA Championship, the U.S. Open, The Masters Tournament, and the British Open. Hogan was known for accuracy and precision of his shot making. ‘Accuracy’ is ‘the capability of putting the ball into the hole’ while ‘precision’ is ‘the capability of delivering the ball repeatedly to the same spot, not necessarily the hole.’ Hogan devised the ‘golf swing theory’ and revealed that the secret of accuracy was ‘cupping the left wrist at the top of the backswing and to use a weaker, left-hand grip which is the thumb being more on top of the grip contrary to the right side. He did it to create a fade-left-to-right ball flight unlike the draw or hook-right-to-left ball flight. While driving to Fort Worth with his wife in his Cadillac, he had a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus. The accident caused a double fracture of his pelvis, a fractured collar bone, left ankle fracture, a chipped rib, and blood clots. Just 16 months after the accident, Hogan won the U.S. Open at Merion, and he was named Player of the Year in appreciation of his will and determination.
5. Arnold Palmer
Arnold Daniel Palmer, also known by his nickname, ‘The King,’ was born on September 10, 1929 (now age 82) at Latrobe, Pennsylvania. His height was 5 feet 10 inches, and he weighed 185 lbs (84 kgs.). He won 7 major championships and became member of World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
6. Gary Player
Gary Player was born on November 1, 1935 (now age 76) at Johannesburg, South Africa. He was a slim 5 feet 6 inches weighing 150 lbs (68 kgs.). He became a professional golfer in 1953. He won 6 major championships and became member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
7. Jack William Nicklaus
Sometimes known by his nickname ‘The Golden Bear,’ Jack William Nicklaus was born on January 21, 1940 in Columbus, Ohio, U.S. He is 190 lbs., 5 feet 11 inches. Jack studied at Ohio State University and became a professional golfer in 1961. His Major Championships include 18 professional tournaments: 6 being Masters, 4 U.S.Opens, 3 British Opens, and 5 PGA Championships. Nicklaus is one of the all time best putters, and his remarkable concentration skills are legendary. JackWilliamNicklaus is a member of World Golf Hall of Fame. He received the Golfer of the Century Award twice. Five times he has been rated as the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year, and eight times ranked the Tour Money Leader. In 1970 Sports Illustrated named him as ‘Athlete of the Decade.’ His awards include being captain of the U.S. President’s Cup team but do not exclude many other awards not mentioned herein. Of the Nicklaus Golf Equipment founded in 1993, Nicklaus said, ‘I don’t think we ever planned to get into the golf equipment business to be the biggest, but hopefully to be among the best.’ The company specializes in club designs. Nicklaus stated, ‘I have certainly used enough of them and understand well enough how golf equipment performs and how it should perform.’
8. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods with the birth name of Eldrick Tont Woods, the only child of Earl and Kultida Woods,was born on December 30, 1975 in Cypress. By ethnic background he is African-American, Thai, Chinese, Native American, and Caucasian. His parents say that ‘Tiger Woods started playing with putters before he started walking.’ He was featured in a popular TV Show That’s Incredible when he was only five. His father trained him to concentrate and tried to distract him by making noise. He had already started gaining fame when he entered Stanford University in 1994 as freshman on a full golf scholarship. By 1996 Woods had won three U.S. amateur titles one after the other. By 1997 he had won three professional tournaments. In 1997 he won the Master’s title, the greatest honor in the world of golf. On November 30, 1999 he was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year and earned $6.6 million in prize money. Ever since Ben Hogan’s win in 1948, Tiger became the first player to win six straight tour events. After winning the 65th Master’s Tournament at Augusta, he became the only golfer in history to hold 4 major championships simultaneously.
9. Nancy Lopez
Nancy Lopez was born in Torrance, California, U.S. on January 6, 1957. In fact, she entered the golfing world at an early age. According her, ‘When I was seven, my father put a club in my hand and said ‘Put the ball in the hole”. NancyLopez won 48 career titles which included three majors, four Player of the Year awards, and three trophies. She became the first woman member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987.
10. Tom Watson
Tom Watson, also known as ‘Huckleberry Dillinger’ by some media persons, was born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 4, 1949. His major championship wins include two Masters, one U.S.Open, and five British Opens. He was inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988. Nicklaus was runner up in four of his eight major championship wins. He has written a book The Timeless Swing and a DVD Lessons of a Lifetime. Tom Watson said, ‘If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.’
Jean Piaget, the renowned researcher in the field of developmental psychology, in context with the cognitive process opines in his Piaget’s theory that in the toddler and early childhood stages, memory and imagination are developed, egocentric thinking predominates, and non-logical thinking prevails. A study of the all-time great golfers reveals that this stage has played an important role in their making. The golf city has no return gates, and it is learned that the toddlers who entered this city could never make a way out in any stage of life; you and golf go hand in hand from early childhood to the senior stage of life.
September 5, 2012 5:29 pm
Gary Player won either 8 or 9 major championships, not 6. One of only 5 persons to have won each of the 4 Professional majors.