Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Historical Timeline of Golf - 4 of 4 - 1956 to 2004

1956 - The current yardage guides for par are adopted by the USGA.

1961 - Gary Player becomes the first foreign player to win The Masters.

1961 - Charlie Sifford becomes the first black golfer to play in a PGA co-sponsored tournament in the south.

1962 - Jack Nicklaus wins his first professional tournament, the U.S. Open.

1963 - Arnold Palmer becomes the first professional to earn over $100,000 in official prize money one year.

1972 - Spalding introduces the first two-piece ball, the Top-Flite.

1973 - The graphite shaft is invented.

1974 - The Tournament Players Championship is inaugurated.

1976 - The USGA institutes the Overall Distance Standard- golf balls that fly more than 280 yards during a standard test are banned.

1979 - The Ryder Cup is reformatted to add European continent players.

1980 - Tom Watson is the first golfer to earn $500,000 in prize money in a single season.

1980- The Senior PGA Tour is born with four official events.

1985 - The USGA introduces the Slope System to allow golfers to adjust their handicaps to allow for the relative difficulty of a golf course compared to players own ability.

1986 - Jack Nicklaus wins his 18th and final professional major, The Masters. This is his 20th overall.

1988 - Curtis Strange becomes the first player to win over $1,000,000 in a single season.

1990 - The Ben Hogan Tour is launched as a minor league PGA Tour. Now called The Nationwide Tour.

1991 -Oversized metal woods are introduced, with Callaway Golf’s Big Bertha quickly establishing itself as the dominant brand.

1993 - An ownership group led by Joe Gibbs and Arnold Palmer announce plans for The Golf Channel, a 24- hour, 365 –day cable service

1994 - Tiger Woods becomes the youngest man to ever win the U.S. Amateur, at age 18.

1996 - In September Tiger Woods turns professional and plays in his first PGA Tour event as a pro in Milwaukee, WI.

1997 - In his first major championship as a professional, Tiger Woods becomes the youngest-ever Masters Champion at 21 years 3 months, while setting the 72 hole scoring record of 270 (18 under par)

2000 - Tiger Woods records lowest 72 hole score in relation to par at minus 12 and his margin of victory of 15 strokes is the largest ever in any major. He also has $9,188,321 in official earning during the year

2004 - Michelle Wie at age 14 becomes the youngest female to play in a PGA Tour event. She misses the cut by only one stroke.