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The 18 Most Important Moments In Golf

Francis Ouimet's stunning 1913 U.S. Open victory over his heavily favored foes was followed by other important moments that have shaped the sport in the last century
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February 2013
Francis Ouimet

The centennial of Francis Ouimet's victory in the 1913 U.S. Open, when the unheralded amateur upset British stars Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a playoff at The Country Club, got us thinking. Ouimet's transcendent triumph, which captivated America and set it on a path to becoming a great golf nation, is clearly one of the game's seminal occasions. What, though, about other important moments that have shaped the American golf narrative since the cheering stopped that far-away September afternoon in Massachusetts? Narrowing our list was probably a tougher task than that of a golf architect who has a great piece of land and can build only 18 holes, but we did it. Our roster consists of fantastic shots, defining championships, amazing seasons and pivotal off-course developments all resonating long after they occurred.

-- Bill Fields

1920 U.S. Open

Opening The Door (1920)

In the early days of golf in America, professionals were looked on as second-class citizens and not allowed in the clubhouse when they played in tournaments. The dapper and proud pro Walter Hagen is largely credited as spearheading a change in attitude, but Inverness Club founder S.P. Germain played a major role. When the 1920 U.S. Open came to his Toledo club, Germain announced that pros would be welcome in the clubhouse and locker room. Throughout the 1920s a pro tour gradually developed and grew. The pros didn't forget the club's role. When the U.S. Open returned in 1931, they presented Inverness with a cathedral clock, still standing in the clubhouse today.
Photo: Golf Digest Resource Center
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