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1960s golf


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1950s SPORTS
Golf in the 1960's saw many players come from obscurity to become household names. Out of all those champions there were three men and one woman who stood out from the crowd. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Mickey Wright all become superstars in a sport not known for stars. Winning a majority of tournaments and purses these players gained national attention and television coverage for golf, greatly increasing interest in the game as well as ushering in a new era of players. A record number of golf courses were built during the sixties and a new class of professional golfer was created, the teaching pro.

New manufacturing methods brought the cost of golf clubs down and the increase in available courses to play on including some new public courses made playing golf affordable for the average person. Golfing's popularity soared and because of television so did the purses paid at the tournaments. Prize money enticed new golfers to go pro and golf schools flourished. The sixties were good for the game of golf.

While Mickey Wright and Arnie Palmer were winning the lion's share of tournaments in the early 60s new players were starting to make a name for themselves. Jack Nicklaus in 1960 challenged Palmer stroke for stroke in the US Open and finishes second, he was only an amateur at the time. Gary player becomes the first non-American to win the Masters in 1961 and Betsy Rawls squeaks by Mickie Wright to win the Open that same year.
1960s sports

Welcome to golf in the 1960s.
Below you will find year by year highlights, winners and scores from the decade. I've included interesting tid-bits when I can find them, enjoy!

1960s sports

Arnold Palmer Jack Nicklaus
  • U.S. Open - Arnold Palmer shoots a 4 under (280) to win
    he was 7 strokes down starting the last round but he shot a 65 to beat amateur Jack Nicklaus by two strokes
  • The Masters - Arnold Palmer again proves he is the player to beat this year he shot a 6 under (282)
  • Palmer wins a total of 8 tour events in 1960 including the first ever Bob Hope Desert Classic
  • Betsy Rawls wins her fourth U.S. Women's Open
  • British Open - Kel Nagle ; PGA Championship - Jay Hebert
  • Sam Snead's popularity spawned a 30 minute tv show called Celebrity Golf which pitted Snead against top celebrities in one on one matches
sixties sports
1960s golf Mickey Wright

  • U.S. Open - Gene Littler shoots a 1 over (281) to win at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • The Masters - Gary Player beat Arnold Palmer on the last hole to become the first international player to win the Masters
  • PGA Championship - Jerry Barber 3 under (277) in a playoff against Don January
  • British Open - Arnold Palmer
  • U.S. Womens Open - Mickey Wright, she goes on to win 10 LPGA events and three majors

60s golf
sixties golf Arnold Palmer

  • U.S. Open - Jack Nicklaus shot a 1 under (283) to edge Arnold Palmer by 3 strokes in an 18 hole playoff,
      it was played at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, PA
  • The Masters - Arnold Palmer won a three way playoff with Gary Player and Dow Finsterwald
      they all shot an 8 under (280) in regular play to earn a spot in the 18 hole playoff
  • PGA Championship - Gary Player shoots a 2 under (278) to win at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, PA
  • British Open - Arnold Palmer, he wins 7 tour events in 1962
  • Mickey Wright continues her dominance of Womens golf by again winning 10 LPGA tournaments
      including Titleholders and the Western Open


1960s professional golf
1960s USGA Julius Boros

  • U.S. Open - Julius Boros shot a 9 over par (293) to tie Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer
      resulting in an 18-hole playoff which Boros won by 3 strokes, played in Brookline, MA
      Boros was 43 years old at the time, he continued to win tournaments well into his fifties
  • The Masters - Jack Nicklaus by shooting a 2 under (286) one stoke better than Tony Lema
      this is the first of six green jackets for Nicklaus
  • PGA Championship - Jack Nicklaus; British Open - Bob Charles
  • LPGA - Mickey Wright, she would go on to win 13 tournaments in 1963
  • U.S. Womens Open - Mary Mills
  • The use of rubber grips and casted metal irons reduces the cost of golf clubs and allows more people to play the game

1960s golfing Ken Venturi

  • U.S. Open - Ken Venturi shot a 2 under par (278) despite playing the last 18 holes accompanied by a Doctor because of heat stroke
    it was played at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD where the temperatures were well over 100
  • PGA Championship - Bobby Nichols with a (271) beating both Nicklaus and Palmer by 3 strokes, played at Columbus Country Club in Columbus, OH
  • The Masters - Arnold Palmer won with a remarkable 12 under (276), this was his fourth Masters win which was a golfing first
  • British Open - Tony Lema by five shots over Jack Nicklaus, he also won four other tournaments in 1964
  • Sam Snead wins the PGA Seniors Championship, the beginning of a dynasty in this event
  • Mickey Wright wins 11 LPGA events for the fourth straight year, including her fourth U.S. Women's Open
  • LPGA Championship - Mary Mills; Titleholders - Marilynn Smith; Western Open - Carol Mann

60s golfing
sixties golfing Sam Snead

  • U.S. Open - Gary Player shoots a two over (282) to tie in regulation with Kel Nagle, Player wins the 18 hole playoff by 3 strokes
  • Player is the first international contestant to win the Open, he donates his winnings to the USGA for a youth golf program
  • Player also becomes one of three golfers to have won the U.S. Open, the Masters, British Open and PGA Championship
    making a career "Grand Slam" of those events
  • The Masters - Jack Nicklaus won by a whopping 9 strokes over the tied Arnold Palmer and Gary Player,
    he shot a record breaking 17 under par (271) That record would stand until 1997 when Tiger Woods shot an 18 under
  • British Open - Peter Thomson PGA Championship - Dave Marr
  • Sam Snead at 53 years old wins his last PGA Tour event the Greater Greensboro Open
    this is the 8th time he's won this tournament and his 82nd PGA win overall


Masters tournament
US Open Billy Casper

  • U.S. Open - Billy Casper ties Arnold Palmer at 2 under (278) and then wins the eighteen hole playoff 69 - 73
    Palmer blew a 7 shot lead to wind up in the playoff, the tournament was played at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, CA
  • The Masters - Jack Nicklaus shot into an even tie with Tommy Jacobs and Gary Brewer at even par (288)
    Nicklaus won the playoff round shooting a 2 under (70), it was his second consecutive Masters victory
  • British Open - Jack Nicklaus also won this tournament making him the fourth career "Grand Slam" winner
    with previous wins in the PGA Championship and U.S. Open
  • PGA Championship - Al Geiberger won by 4 strokes shooting an even par (280)
  • LPGA Championship - Gloria Ehret; U.S. Womens Open - Sandra Spuzich; Titleholders - Kathy Whitworth
    Western Open - Mickey Wright, Wrights stranglehold on Womens golf is finally broken this year, she does win 6 events however

British open
1960s major golf tournaments Jack Nicklaus

  • U.S. Open - Jack Nicklaus shot a 5 under par (275) this is his second Open win, it was played at Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, NJ
  • The Masters - Gay Brewer shot a 8 under par (280), he won by 1 stroke over Bobby Nichols
  • British Open - Roberto de Vicenzo shooting a 10 under (278) and beating defending champ and runner up Jack Nicklaus by 2 strokes
  • PGA Championship - Don January won a 18 hole playoff against Don Massengale, they both shot a 7 under (281) in regulation
    it was played at Columbine Country Club in Columbine Valley, CO
  • U.S. Women's Open - is won by a French amateur, Catherine Lacoste the only amateur to ever win this tournament
  • Sam Snead makes the croquet-style putting stroke famous by winning his third PGA Seniors Championship,
    the new putting stance would soon be not allowed by the PGA
  • The 10 year old Beverly Klass enters and makes the cut in 3 tournaments including the U.S. Womens Open,
    the PGA quickly passes a eighteen year old age limit to turn pro, she rejoins the PGA in 1976

1960s sports
60s sports 60s golf

  • U.S. Open - Lee Trevino scored a 5 under par (275) it was played at Oak Hill Country Club, Pittsford, NY
  • Trevino set two new records, one for having four rounds scoring under 70 and four rounds under par
  • The Masters - Bob Goalby shot an 11 under (277) but he won by default in what was remembered as the biggest mistake in golf,
    Roberto DeVicenzo was tied with Goalby and should of had a playoff but he signed and turned in a scorecard which had a one stroke
    mistake on it, he had to live with the one stroke higher score and lost his chance for a playoff, it was also his 45th birthday
  • PGA Championship - Julius Boros shooting a 1 over (281) at Pecan Valley Golf Club in San Antonio, TX, Boros was 48 years old
  • LPGA Championship - Sandra Post in her first year as a pro, she was 19 years old and received the "Rookie of the Year" award
  • Both Kathy Whitworth and Carol Mann won 10 tournaments in 1968, dominating the 32 events season

sixties sports
1960s golf Gary Player & Jack Nicklaus

  • U.S. Open - Orville Moody shot a 1 over par (281) at Champions Golf Club in Houston, TX
  • The Masters - George Archer scoring a 7 under (281) with a birdie on 18 to
    beat Billy Casper, George Knudson and Tom Weiskopf who all tied for second place
  • PGA Championship - Raymond Floyd he shot an 8 under (276) played at NCR Country Club in Dayton, OH
  • British Open - Tony Jacklin shot a 4 under (280)to beat Bob Charles by 2 strokes,
    Jacklin was the first British player to win the Open in 19 years
  • LPGA Championship - Betsy Rawls shooting a 1 over (293) at Concord Golf Course in Kiamesha Lake, NY
  • JoAnne Carner as an amateur won the 1969 Burdines Invitational becoming the last non pro to win an LPGA event
    she was playing for Arizona State University and turned pro in 1970 after her graduation

Click on the icons below to get year by year highlights in that particular sport including info on the stars that made us cheer!

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