Remembering Golf Pro Johnny Golden

It sounds like the invention of a screenwriter: "Johnny Golden, born in Tuxedo." But the golfer of the 1920s and '30 was real. His story ended early, alas, with an untimely death.

Full name: John Golden

Date and place of birth: April 2, 1896, in Tuxedo, New York

Date and place of death: January 27, 1936, in Stamford, Connecticut

Significant Wins

  • 1927 New Jersey Open
  • 1928 New Jersey Open
  • 1929 La Jolla Open
  • 1929 New Jersey Open
  • 1931 Agua Caliente Open
  • 1932 North and South Open

Golden is credited today with nine wins by the PGA Tour. He also won the Connecticut Open four consecutive years, 1932-35 (only the last three of which are counted as tour wins).

In the Majors
Johnny Golden never won a major, but he usually advanced deep into the PGA Championship bracket during the years it was played at match. He reached the semifinals three times and the quarterfinals twice. Golden played the British Open only once, in 1929, finishing 13th. His best showing in the U.S. Open was fifth in 1930.

Notable Notes: Johnny Golden was never a major star in golf, but he was well-known and well-liked by many of the big stars. Walter Hagen, in particular, was a booster of Golden, and liked Golden as a parter in matches because of Golden's straight driving.

Twice as Ryder Cup captain, in 1927 and 1929, Hagen selected Golden as his partner in foursomes. Golden never lost in his two Ryder Cup appearances, going 3-0.

Like most pro golfers of his era, Golden had to work as a club pro to support himself. ... He died young, at age 39, in 1936, from pneumonia.

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