Over the past 100 years, major international golf championships have hosted many outstanding players worthy of a Hall of Fame induction. It is difficult to compare golfers from different eras, since individual characteristics and achievements must be taken in the context of time, conditions, competition rules, etc.
Harry Vardon (1870-1937)
Jersey native Harry Vardon has won six British Opens and one US Open. He popularized, but did not open up, Vardon’s grip, and also revolutionized the game with the unprecedented power of his game. Together with D.Kh. Taylor and James Bride (The Great Triumvirate), he dominated the game for 25 years. Even at the age of 50, he finished second in the US Open.
Walter Hagen (1892-1969)
Born in Rochester, New York. Hagen has won 11 major championships – two US Opens, four British Opens, and five USPGA championships, including four in a row between 1924 and 1927. He was the captain of the first six American Ryder Sire teams. He owns the famous phrase that he used to say at any tournament: “Well, who will be the second?”
Hagen has traveled all over the world, playing exhibition matches and living a tumultuous life. If he was not a millionaire, then at least he lived like a millionaire.
Gene Sarazen (b. 1902)
The goltfist changed his real name, Evgeny Saraceni, because it sounded like the name of a violinist. Gene Sarazen became the first player to win all four major championships. In 1922 and 1932. he won the US Open, the 1932 British Open, and 1922/3 and 1932. – USPGA.
Most memorable, however, is his victory at the Masters Tournament in 1935, where he performed one of the most remarkable golf strokes. He hit the No. 4 wood hole, making an albatross, winning two hits on a pair 5 on the 15th hole in the final round, catching up with Craig Wood, who was relaxing in the clubhouse and feeling like a winner.
Sarazen won the playoffs. In 1973, during the British Open in Troon, he did a hole-in-one on a ghastly eighth hole – a shot that was shown on television and seen by television audiences around the world. Sarazen played in the same tournament in the same place 50 years earlier – one of the longest careers in professional sports.
Ben Hogan (b.1912)
Texas native Ben Hogan is legendary for his technique and hard training. Having won in the period from 1946 to 1948. two USPGA championships, in 1949 he was in a terrible car accident, and doctors concluded that he could never walk, let alone play golf. However, the following year he won the US Open again, and in 1953 he won three major tournaments in which he took part – the British Open, the US Masters and the US Open. The Grand Slam was impossible – that year the USPGA coincided with the British Open!
Arnold Palmer (b.1929)
Perhaps the American Arnold Palmer has done more to make golf a mainstream entertainment sport than any other. He has the charm of a movie star and his golf game is very popular with the public.
He performed sensational blows, followed by blows that hit the trees. His strikes on returning the ball were very spectacular. When golf became a television sport, large sums of money began to be played out in the game.
In the period from 1960 to 1964. Palmer has won seven major championships, was a member of six World Cup winning teams, and a personal title winner in 1967. In essence, he made minority sports a popular sport.
Mickey Wright (p. 1935)
San Diego-born Mika Wright was arguably the greatest female golfer of all time. She has won four US Opens and six times the Weir Trophy for the lowest average number of shots, four times Mickey has been ranked first in money won with 82 US Tour wins. In 1962 she won 10 tournaments – and in 1963 she was already 13. Because of her fear of flying, she rarely left the United States, and because of her shyness, she is less known than she should be.
Laura Davis (b. 1963)
Thanks to her long range strikes, Englishwoman Laura Davis was the winner of the British and US Women’s Open and took first place in the tournaments in America and Europe. The extraordinary range of her strikes, combined with extraordinary personal qualities, made her the favorite athlete of the whole world.
Nancy Lopez (b. 1957)
Star of the USLPGA Tour since 1978; it was in this year that Nancy Lopez spent her first full professional season, following which she won nine tournaments, including five in a row. Nancy brought a new wave of popularity to women’s professional golf and made it America’s main television sport.
Recommended for watching the video “Golf Legends: Nancy Lopez”.
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