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1938: The Year in Golf


Ben Hogan 1938

Ben Hogan (above, in 1953) and Jimmy Demaret both claimed their first PGA Tour wins in 1938.

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The USGA limits players to 14 clubs in their bags. Some players, the USGA says, have been carrying as many as 25 clubs, and the new rule is "designed to restore shot-making skill."

Sam Snead wins eight tournaments on the PGA Tour, setting a new record for most money won in a season: $19,534. One of his victories comes in the Greater Greensboro Open, an event he would go on to win a total of eight times.

The Palm Beach Invitational makes what is considered the first PGA Tour contribution to charity, donating $10,000.

Jimmy Demaret claims his first PGA Tour victory at the San Francisco Open.

Ben Hogan's first victory on the PGA Tour is at the Hershey Four-Ball Open, where he teams with Vic Ghezzi.

Paul Runyan wins the PGA Championship, defeating Sam Snead in the final, 8-and-7.

Ralph Guldahl, nattily attired in the custom of the time, wins the U.S. Open. He is the last person to win the Open while wearing a necktie during play.

During the U.S. Open second round, a club pro named Ray Ainsley scores a 19 on the par-4 16th hole, the tournament record for highest one-hole score.

The USGA modifies the stymie rule so that a ball may be lifted if it is within six inches of another golfer's ball and within six inches of the hole. The ball is to be replaced after the other golfer plays. Otherwise, stymies remain in effect.

Patty Berg wins the U.S. Women's Amateur plus the Titleholders, a professional major.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias plays in the PGA Tour Los Angeles Open, shooting 81-84 and missing the cut.

The PGA of America and eight golf ball companies are accused of price-fixing, and the Federal Trade Commission orders a stop to the practice.

Born This Year:

• Dean Beman, PGA Tour player and commissioner
• Lou Graham, 1975 U.S. Open champion
• Jacky Cupit, PGA Tour
• Homero Blancas, PGA Tour
• Phil Rodgers, PGA Tour and noted instructor
• Judy Kimball, 1962 LPGA Championship winner
• Bert Yancey, PGA Tour
• Babe Hiskey, PGA Tour

Money Leaders:

PGA: Sam Snead, $19,534.49

Men's Major Championship Winners:

The Masters: Henry Picard
U.S. Open: Ralph Guldahl
British Open: R.A. Whitcombe
PGA Championship: Paul Runyan

Women's Major Championship Winners:

Titleholders: Patty Berg
Western Open: Bea Barrett

Amateur Champions:

U.S.: William Turnesa
British: Charles Yates
U.S. Women's: Patty Berg
British Women's: Helen Holm

Walker Cup:

Great Britain and Ireland 7, U.S. 4

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