Amateur Golf

According to the rules of golf, amateur golfers mustn’t play golf for money or give instructions for payment or compensation. All golfers, even the most legendary ones were once amateurs. But there are also some who never turned professional despite the fact that they successfully competed against the pros.

Some of the most successful amateur golfers include:

Bobby Jones (1902-1971). The American amateur golfer is found on most lists of the greatest golfers of all times despite the fact that he never turned professional. He retired as early as 1930, aged only 28 but he returned already 1934 and continued to play golf until 1948 when he permanently retired due to health problems. He dominated amateur golf but he was also successful against professional golfers, winning nine PGA Tour events including four US Open, four British Open, five US Amateur and one British Amateur championships.

Jerome “Jerry” Travers (1887-1951). Widely regarded as one of the best amateur golfers of the early 20th century, Travers won four US Amateurs, three New Jersey Amateurs and five Metropolitan Amateurs. In 1915, he also won the US Open and became the second of only five amateur golfers to win the prestigious tournament.

John Ball, Jr. (1861-1940). One of the best English amateur golf players is remembered for his achievements in the late 19th and early 20th century. In 1888, he won his first Amateur Championship and two years later become the first English golfer to win the Open Championship. In the same year, he also won his second Amateur Championship. By 1912, he won 6 more Amateurs.

Harold Hilton (1869-1942). Another celebrated English amateur golfer won the Amateur Championship four times and in 1911, became the first British golfer to win the US Amateur and the only British to date to win both the US and British Amateurs in the same year. Besides competing in amateur golf tournaments, Hilton was also the editor of the Golf Monthly and Golf Illustrated, and helped design many golf courses including the Ferndown Golf Club which is considered as one of the finest courses in the UK. He also helped in the design of spikeless golf shoes which are now more popular than soft spike golf shoes.

Michael Bonallack (born 1934). English amateur golfer is remembered for both his achievements in amateur golf and contribution to the 20th century golf administration. Bonallack won five Amateur Championships and five English Amateurs. For his services to golf, he received an OBE in 1971 and was named Knight Bachelor in 1998. In 1972, he was also given the Bob Jones Award by the USGA.

Chick Evans (1890-1979). The American amateur golfer dominated amateur golf in the early 20th century. In 1916, he became the first amateur to win both the US Amateur and US Open in the same year. With 50 consecutive appearances in US Amateur, he holds the all time record. However, he managed to repeat the success from 1916 only in 1920 when he won his second and last US Amateur.