Walter Hagen

Walter Hagen was golf’s first great showman. “I never want to be a millionaire,” he said, “just live like one.” 
  • Hagen was the world’s first full-time golf professional

    Did you know?

  • 75

    Professional wins

  • He was also very skilled at baseball as a pitcher

    Fun fact

Walter Hagen was golf’s first great showman. “I never want to be a millionaire,” he said, “just live like one.” He is also famous for saying: “Never hurry, never worry, and always remember to smell the flowers along the way.”

He had supreme confidence in himself and often opponents were beaten before they teed off. But behind the act was a brilliant golfer. With a swaying swing, he could be wayward but enjoyed pulling off exciting recoveries, pitched the ball excellently and was an inspired putter.

His tally of 11 majors was compiled before the start of the Masters yet has only been overtaken by Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. He won two US Opens and five PGA Championships, as well as The Open four times.

Hagen

Two of them came at Sandwich, in 1922 and 1928, when he beat the other great professional of his era, Gene Sarazen, by two strokes. That was the time, after a humbling 18 and 17 defeat in a 72-hole match to English professional Archie Compston, Hagen put away his “little black book” and concentrated on his practice and preparation.

He also won at Royal Liverpool in 1924, when he holed from six feet on the last to win, and at Muirfield in 1929 when he was the first player to score a 67 in The Open, the best round of his career, he said, and went on to win by six strokes from reigning US Open Champion Johnny Farrell.

He was hugely popular on both sides of the Atlantic and did much to boost the appeal of The Open and the standing of his fellow professionals. On his Open debut at Deal in 1920, he changed his shoes in a Daimler in the car park after being told he could not enter the clubhouse.

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Carnoustie 1937
26
76
72
80
81
309
-
St Andrews 1933
22
68
72
79
82
301
-
Muirfield 1929
1
75
67
75
75
292
-
Royal St George's 1928
1
75
73
72
72
292
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1926
3
68
77
74
76
295
-
Royal Liverpool 1924
1
77
73
74
77
301
-
Royal Troon 1923
2
76
71
74
75
296
-
Royal St George's 1922
1
76
73
79
72
300
-
St Andrews 1921
6
74
79
72
77
302
-
Royal Cinque Ports 1920
53
84
82
78
85
329
-

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