About Humana

8 little-known golf facts

Here are some things you may not have know about the game of golf.

  1. Among Gene Sarazen's achievements and contributions to golf was his invention of the sand wedge.
  2. In the 1920s, Walter Hagen became the first professional to make a living playing golf rather than teaching it as a club pro.
  3. Phil Mickelson may be the most successful left-handed golfer ever, but he's right-handed in everything else that he does.
  4. Today, purses on the PGA Tour routinely exceed $5 million. Quite a difference from Nicklaus' first paycheck on tour—$33.33 at the 1962 L.A. Open.
  5. Before the 1930s, clubs were identified by names. Instead of a 3-wood, 5-iron, or 9-iron, you would have used a spoon, a mashie, or a niblick.
  6. Dr. Cary Middlecoff, an honoree at this year's Memorial Tournament, gave up dentistry to play golf and won 37 tournaments, including the Masters and two U.S. Opens.
  7. Of the last 10 U.S. presidents, nine have been golfers; only Jimmy Carter was not.
  8. Jack Nicklaus grew up idolizing Bobby Jones, who won the 1926 U.S. Open at Scioto Country Club—a course in Jack's hometown of Columbus, Ohio.