The Complete History of Golf
(Part 7: Timeline 1922 -1944)
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The Elements of Scoring
by Raymond Floyd
Learn what mistakes you can afford to make, how to play to your strengths and hide your weaknesses, and discover the ten mistakes amateurs make that pros never do.
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1922: Walter Hagen becomes the first native American to win the British Open. He subsequently becomes the first professional golfer to open a golf equipment company under his own name.

The Walker Cup Matches are instituted. The grandson of Walker Cup founder George Herbert Walker is George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States.

The Prince of Wales is elected Captain of the R & A.

The Texas Open is inaugurated, the second-oldest surviving PGA TOUR event.

Pine Valley Golf Club opens.

1923: The West and East courses at Winged Foot Golf Club open for play, designed by A.W. Tillinghast.

1924: Joyce Wethered wins her record fifth consecutive English Ladies' Championship.

The Olympic Club in San Francisco opens for play.

The USGA legalizes steel shafted golf clubs. The R & A does not so until 1929, widening the discrepancy in The Rules of Golf.

1925: The first fairway irrigation system is developed in Dallas, Texas.

Deep-grooved irons are banned by both the USGA and the R & A.

1926: Jesse Sweetser becomes the first native-born American to win the British Amateur.

Bobby Jones wins the British Open.

Gate money is instituted at the British Open.

Walter Hagen defeats Bobby Jones 12 and 11 in a privately sponsored 72-hole match in Florida.

The Los Angeles Open is inaugurated, the third-oldest surviving PGA TOUR event. The L.A. Open is also the first tournament to offer a $10,000 purse.

1927: The inaugural Ryder Cup Matches are played between Britain and the United States.

Creeping bentgrass is developed for putting greens by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

1928: Cypress Point Club opens, designed by Alister Mackenzie.

1929: Walter Hagen wins the British Open for the fourth time.

Seminole Golf Club opens in Palm Beach, Fla., from a design by Donald Ross.

1930: Bobby Jones completes the original Grand Slam, winning the U.S. and British Amateurs and the U.S. and British Opens in the same year. Since Jones is an amateur, however, the financial windfall belongs to professional Bobby Cruickshank, who bets on Jones to complete the Slam, at 120-1 odds, and pockets $60,000.

The Minehead Club makes Captaincy elective. They had been the last club to award the Captaincy to the winner of the annual competition.

The Duke of York (later King George VI) is elected Captain of the R & A.

Shinnecock Hill Golf Club opens its modern course on Long Island, NY.

Bob Harlow is hired as manager of the PGA's Tournament Bureau, and he first proposes the idea of expanding "The Circuit," as the TOUR is then known, from a series of winter events leading up to the season ending North & South Open in spring, into a year-round TOUR.

1931: Billy Burke defeats George Von Elm in a 72- hole playoff at Inverness to win the 1931 U.S. Open, in the longest playoff ever played. They were tied at 292 after regulation play, and both scored 149 in the first 36-hole playoff. Burke is the first golfer to win a major championship using steel-shafted golf clubs.

The USGA increases the minimum size of the golf ball from 1.62 inches to 1.68 inches, and decreases the maximum weight from 1.62 ounces to 1.55. The R&A does not follow suit. The lighter, larger "balloon ball" is universally despised and eventually the USGA raises the weight back to 1.62 ounces.

1932: The first Curtis Cup Matches are held at Wentworth in England.

The concave-faced wedge is banned.

Gene Sarazen introduces the sand-wedge.

1933: The Prince of Wales reaches the final of the Parliamentary Handicap Tournament.

Augusta National Golf Club, designed by Alister Mackenzie with advice from Bobby Jones, opens for play.

Craig Wood hits a 430 yard (393 m) drive at the Old Course's fifth hole in the British Open, this is still the longest drive in a major championship.

Hershey Chocolate Company, in sponsoring the Hershey Open, becomes the first corporate title sponsor of a professional tournament.

1934: The first Masters is played. Horton Smith is the first champion. In this inaugural event, the present-day back and front nines were reversed.

1935: Glynna Collett Vare wins the U.S. Women's Amateur a record sixth time.

Pinehurst #2 is completed by Donald Ross, generally described as his masterpiece.

Gene Sarazen double-eagles the par-5 15th hole to catch the leaders at the Masters. His "Shot Heard Round the World" propels him to victory, and due to the coverage of his feat, propels both the game of golf and Augusta National to new heights of popularity.

1936: Henry Cotton wins his third consecutive British Open.

Johnny Fisher becomes the last golfer to win a major championship (the U.S. Amateur) with hickory-shafted clubs.

1938: The British amateurs score their first victory over the United States in the Walker Cup Matches at the Old Course.

The Palm Beach Invitational becomes the first tournament to make a contribution to charity-$10,000.

The 14-club rule is instituted by the USGA.

1940: The British Open and Amateur are discontinued for the duration of the Second World War.

1942: The U.S. Open is discontinued for the duration of the war. A world-wide shortage of rubber, a vital military supply, creates a shortage and huge price increase in golf balls. Sam Snead manages to complete an entire four-day tournament playing one ball, but the professional circuit is severely curtailed.
The U.S. government halts the manufacture of golf equipment for the duration of the war.

1943: The PGA Championship is cancelled for the year, and the Masters is discontinued for the duration of the war.

1944: The PGA expands the TOUR to 22 events despite the absence of many of its star players due to military service.
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