Golf legends

Anyone interested in learning more about the history of Golf and its greatest players might be interested in visiting the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida. The Hall of Fame was originally based in North Carolina but moved to its current site in 1998. The museum is open daily (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas) and admission covers entry to the museum, a film in the IMAX theatre and a round on the on-site 18-hole putting course.

To earn a living as a professional Golf player is an impressive feat. After deducting the considerable expenses incurred from employing a caddie, travelling to tournaments and paying their entry fees, it is only the very best who are able to sustain themselves, yet alone earn their fortune. The achievements of some who have beaten the odds and excelled on the professional circuit are listed below:

James Braid

James Braid was one of the first great British Golf players. Braid was born in Scotland in 1870 and had become a professional player by 1896. After managing to secure the Open Championship title five times in the first decade of the 20th Century, Braid effectively dominated the sport in the early 1900s. He became famous as one of the so-called “Great Triumvirate” of British golfers; a distinction he shared with Harry Vardon and J.H. Taylor. Despite his successes, James Braid had a relatively short career. He decided to retire from the sport in 1912 at the age of 42.

Laura Davies

Laura Davies is one of the greatest ever female British Golf players. Her professional career got off to a flying start in 1985 when she was named Rookie of the Year. To date, Davies has won 67 professional Golf tournaments. Her achievements were recognised in 1988 when she was named a Member of the British Empire.

Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo is perhaps the greatest British Golf player of all time. Born in 1957 in Welwyn Garden City, Faldo’s passion for Golf did not develop from early childhood. In fact, he began his career as a carpet fitter before he discovered his natural talent and won a number of amateur tournaments before deciding to make a permanent career out of playing the sport in 1976. His professional career reached its zenith in the 1980s and early 1990s.

By the time he was 21, Faldo had already been selected to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup team (as its youngest ever member), an honour that would be bestowed upon him a further ten times. Faldo is set to Captain the European Ryder Cup Team in 2008. During the course of his career, he spent 98 weeks at the top of the world rankings and accumulated nearly 30 European titles. In 1988, his contribution to British sport was acknowledged when he received an MBE.

Anyone interested in learning more about Nick Faldo can visit his Official Website.

Ben Hogan

Ben Hogan won 71 titles throughout the course of his long career, including four U.S. Opens, two Masters, two PGA Championships and the British Open. His record of success began in 1938, when he and his partner Victor Ghezzi defeated Byron Nelson and Ed Dudley by eight strokes in the Hershey Open. The highlight of Hogan’s career is generally thought to be the 1953 season, when he won five of the six tournaments he entered.

Ben Hogan passed away in his home states of Texas in 1997 at the age of 85.

Bobby Jones

The achievements of Bobby Jones are all the more remarkable for the fact that he never turned professional. Born in Atlanta in 1902, Jones developed a love for Golf as a child. Proving that Tiger Woods is not the only child prodigy in the history of the sport, Jones managed to win his first tournament when he was only six years old. By the time he retired in 1930 (when he was still only 28) he had won the U.S. Open, the British Open and a great number of amateur tournaments.

More information can be found on the Bobby Jones website.

Jack Nicklaus

To ardent Golf fans, the name of Jack Nicklaus is synonymous with greatness. Born in Ohio in 1940, the career of Jack Nicklaus lasted a quarter of a century and included almost a hundred victories in professional tournaments, including eighteen major titles. During the course of his career, he also represented the United States on the Ryder Cup team six times.

Nicklaus caught the golfing bug when he was just ten years old, winning numerous Junior titles before deciding to make a career out of his talent. He finally decided to end his long and illustrious career when he retired after The Open Championship at St. Andrews in July 2005.

Fans of Jack Nicklaus might be interested in visiting The Jack Nicklaus Museum in his home town of Columbus. The museum is dedicated to the achievements of the man himself and also includes exhibits and information about Golf in general. Those unable to visit the museum might nevertheless be interested in the website, which contains detailed biographical information about Nicklaus.

Gary Player

Gary Player, who turned pro in 1953, has probably notched up more air miles than any other professional golfer. A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, he spent his long career traversing the globe in order to be able to maintain his standing on the professional Golf circuit. His frequent jet lag and large expenses bills were, however, worth the effort. Player is one of only five individuals in the history of the sport to win a Career Grand Slam. The high standards he managed to consistently maintain during his career are perhaps best demonstrated by the fact that he is the only player to have won the British Open in three separate decades.

Anyone wishing to learn more about Gary Player can visit the Gary Player website.

Gene Sarazen

Eugenio Saraceni, who would later become known as Gene Sarazen, was born in New York in 1902. Sarazen enjoyed a successful career, accumulating an impressive 39 Tour victories during its course. His achievements were recognised by the World Golf Hall of Fame when he became one of the first to be honoured with induction in 1974.

Gene Sarazen is held in high esteem on the basis of a number of remarkable achievements, but he is perhaps most famous for becoming the first player in the history of the sport to manage a Career Grand Slam. While he is generally remembered as one of the greatest players of all time, he is also remembered as one of the sport’s most diminutive stars; he was only 5’5” tall. He passed away in 1999 at the grand old age of 97.

Tiger Woods

Ask a member of the public to name a famous golf player, and it is more than likely that they will name Tiger Woods. Woods is revered amongst Golf fans, but has also earned the respect of millions of people who do not know an albatross from an eagle. This respect is rooted in the fact that Woods is an undisputed prodigy, who had barely learned to walk when he picked up his first Golf club.

Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods was born in 1975 and grew up in California. He acquired his unusual nickname from an old war friend of his father. It was also Woods’ father who encouraged his interest in Golf. With his natural talent and the support of his parents, Tiger’s talent developed so rapidly that he was on the cover of Golf Digest by the time he was five.

Woods won many youth tournaments before finally turning pro in 1996. His subsequent achievements, including almost eighty tournament titles, secured him a reputation as one of the greatest players of all time. By June 1997, only a year after he had joined the professional circuit, Woods had become the World Number One. He is the youngest player in the history of Golf to secure the coveted Career Grand Slam and has been voted PGA Tour Player of the Year a remarkable eight times. Still only in his early thirties, Woods looks set to continue breaking records for years to come.

Those interested in learning more about Tiger Woods and his professional achievements might like to visit the Tiger Woods Official Website.