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What is the history of golf?


Historic Golf Stats

Golf breaks down greatness via a variety of statistics, most of them concerned with consistency, low scores and tour and tournament victories. Here are some standout stats:

PGA Tour

The Professional Golfers' Association was founded in 1916 by professionals and amateurs led by department store mogul Rodman Wanamaker, who thought it would increase golf equipment sales. Now the world's largest working sports organization, it's responsible for the PGA Championship, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, the Senior PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

The 11 golfers with the most PGA Tour wins are Sam Snead (82 wins), Jack Nicklaus (73), Tiger Woods (71), Ben Hogan (64), Arnold Palmer (62), Byron Nelson (52), Billy Casper (51), Walter Hagen (45), Cary Middlecoff (40), Gene Sarazen (39), and Tom Watson (39).

PGA Championship

Nicklaus and Hagen are tied for the most PGA Championship wins, at five each, but Hagen edges out Nicklaus for consecutive wins, at five to four.

The Masters

The Masters Tournament was begun by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts in 1934 at Augusta National Golf Club and is still held there annually.

Most Victories:

6 -- Jack Nicklaus (1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986)

4 -- Arnold Palmer (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964)

4 -- Tiger Woods (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005)

3 -- Jimmy Demaret (1940, 1947, 1950)

3 -- Sam Snead (1949, 1952, 1954)

3 -- Gary Player (1961, 1974, 1978)

3 -- Nick Faldo (1989, 1990, 1996)

3 -- Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010)

Mickelson made 12 attempts prior to winning the Masters. Tiger Woods has won the Masters with the widest margin, at 12 strokes.

U.S. Open Championship

U.S. Open Championship

The United States Golf Association held the first U.S. Open on Oct. 4, 1895, at the Newport Golf and Country Club in Rhode Island. As Americans began to increasingly dominate the game, the U.S. Open developed into an important world golf championship.

Most Victories:

4 -- Willie Anderson (1901, 1903, 1904, 1905)

4 -- Robert T. Jones, Jr. (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930)

4 -- Ben Hogan (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953)

4 -- Jack Nicklaus (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980)

3 -- Hale Irwin (1974, 1979, 1990)

3 -- Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008)

The Open Championship (British Open)

The Open celebrates its 150th anniversary on the Old Course at St. Andrews in 2010. It has been played in various rotations at 14 different courses.

Most Victories:

6 -- Harry Vardon (1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, 1914)

5 -- James Braid (1901, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1910)

5 -- John Henry Taylor (1894, 1895, 1900, 1909, 1913)

5 -- Peter Thomson (1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1965)

5 -- Tom Watson (1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983)

4 -- Tom Morris Sr. (1861, 1862, 1864, 1867)

4 -- Tom Morris Jr. (1868, 1869, 1870, 1872)

4 -- Willie Park Sr. (1860, 1863, 1866, 1875)

4 -- Walter Hagen (1922, 1924, 1928, 1929)

4 -- Bobby Locke (1949, 1950, 1952, 1957)

In the next section, we'll look at some of the traditions that lend golf its unique personality.