Presentation on theme: "Golf 1920-1929 Golf was an almost exclusively upper-class sport in the 1920s. There were relatively few public courses and private clubs were too expensive."— Presentation transcript:
Golf 1920-1929 Golf was an almost exclusively upper-class sport in the 1920s. There were relatively few public courses and private clubs were too expensive for almost anyone but the rich to join. 3 golfers symbolized golf in the 1920s and they were so colorful that millions followed their exploits. 2 were professionals, Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen, and the 3 rd remained an amateur, Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones.
1920-1929 Golf’s Bobby Jones Jones was more typical of the nation's golfers. He was from a wealthy Atlanta family and began playing golf at a very young age. He won a children's tournament at age 6 and played in the top amateur tournaments from his early teen years. He also graduated from Georgia Tech University with a degree in mechanical engineering and later received a degree in English from Harvard. He read for the law and was admitted to the Georgia bar and practiced law while playing in the world's best golf tournaments.
1920-1929 Golf’s Bobby Jones Beginning in 1923 at age 21 Jones was the dominant figure in golf for 7 years, winning the U.S. Open 4 times, the British Open 3 times, the U.S. Amateur 5 times, and the British Amateur once. He retired from competitive golf after winning the Grand Slam of the time in 1930. After retiring as a competitive golfer, Jones practiced law, designed golf clubs, and founded both the Augusta National Golf Club and its fabled tournament, the Masters. He was confined to a wheelchair in 1948 as a result of a rare disease of the central nervous system. He continued to host the Masters tournament until his death in 1971.
1920-1929 Golf’s Walter Hagen Jones's chief rivals for attention in golf were Hagen and Sarazen, whose lives contrasted greatly with that of Jones. Walter Hagen was the son of a blacksmith in Rochester, New York, and he learned the rudiments of golf by practicing in a field while herding cows. He caddied at an exclusive country club where the professional taught him the finer points of the game. He also worked as a taxidermist. A great natural athlete, Hagen turned down a tryout with the Philadelphia Phillies at age 21 in order to play in the 1914 U.S. Open, which he won.
1920-1929 Golf’s Walter Hagen At that time there was a stark difference between amateurs and professionals in golf. At some private clubs, especially in England, professionals were allowed on the golf course, but not in the locker room, because they were not considered “gentlemen.” This class distinction was reflective of American society at that time, but Hagen's success and insistence on better treatment of professionals was a large factor in breaking down some of the class barriers in golf. He garnered a huge following among “common people” who had previously had no interest in golf. Hagen won the U.S. Open again in 1919 and the British Open 4 times in the 1920s as well as 5 PGA championships. He designed golf clubs, played in tournaments and exhibitions well into his 60’s and was one of golf's greatest ambassadors until his death in 1969 at age 76.
1920-1929 Golf’s Gene Sarazen A rival to Hagen, was Gene Sarazen (born Eugene Saraceni, and the son of a carpenter), from Harrison, New York. Sarazen won the U.S. Open in 1922 and 1932, 3 PGA championships, 1 British Open, and a Masters championship. Sarazen became more Hagen's rival in the 1930s and was too young to play much against Jones, but Sarazen was a popular player because of his outgoing nature and because he came from such a humble background. Sarazen played golf into his 80’s, was a golf commentator on television for decades, invented the modern sand wedge, and made golf seem like something for more than just the very rich.