From the Lone Star State to the international circuit: Texas golfing greats.
Texas has been fortunate enough to have many amazing athletes represent the state in the professional golf arena. From Ben Hogan to Jordan Spieth, the Lone Star golfers stand out among the field.
Haynie won her first professional competition in 1962 at the Austin Country Club. By 1976, she had won 39 PGA titles and walked away from professional golf due to health-related issues. After realizing she missed the sport, Haynie returned to the pro circuit in 1981 and earned three more LPGA wins.
Born near Waxahachie, Nelson’s best season occurred in 1945 when he won 11 tournaments in a row and 18 tournaments in total. He was the second recipient of the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award, accepting the honor in 1997.
Demaret was the first golfer to win the Masters three times, earning titles in 1940, 1947, and 1950. He was also know for his tournament wardrobe, opting for brightly colored, custom-made outfits.
Mangrum, a.k.a. “Mr. Icicle,” became a professional golfer at 15, working alongside his brother, who was a pro in Dallas. His career was placed on hold while he served with the U.S. Army during World War II, where he earned two Purple Hearts. His golf career saw 36 PGA wins, including the U.S. Open in 1946.
Ben “The Hawk” Hogan is widely considered one of the greatest golfers ever to play the game. Hogan has 64 PGA Tour wins, and his nine championship titles tie him for fourth all-time wins.
Guldahl started playing professionally in 1931. Before turning 20, he won the Santa Monica Open during his rookie season. Until 2013, no other player had managed such an early win.
2015 was the year of Jordan Spieth. At 21 years old, Spieth won both the Masters Tournament and the U.S. Open. He was ranked number one in the world, and his fellow competitors voted him PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Number 10 on ESPN’s list of the greatest athletes of the twentieth century, Zaharias made a name for herself in track and fi eld, winning three Olympic medals before ever turning to golf. She quickly dominated that sport with 41 LPGA Tour wins and 10 LPGA major championship wins.
Crenshaw turned professional in 1973, winning the first competition he entered. Since then, he has won 19 PGA Tour stops. In 2015, at the age of 63, Crenshaw competed in the Masters Tournament for the last time.
At the end of Trevino’s first full season on the PGA Tour, Golf Digest named him Rookie of the Year. The self-taught golfer went on to win 29 times on the PGA Tour, including six major championship wins.
In 1981 Whitworth became the first woman in golf to earn $1 million. In 23 years, she won 88 stops of the LPGA Tour, giving her the most titles of any golfer.
Special thanks to Ryan Sprayberry at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame for assistance with this article.
-Words by Jeida Mitchell, photographs courtesy of Texas Sports Hall of Fame