Bio of Golfer Johnny Bulla

Johnny Bulla was a pro golfer on the PGA Tour from the 1930s into the 1950s. He won only one PGA Tour event, which is surprising given that he came close to multiple majors. He was the first pro golfer to own and fly his own airplane.

Full name: John Guthrie Bulla

Date and place of birth: June 2, 1914, in Newell, West Virginia

Date and place of death: Dec. 7, 2003, in Phoenix, Arizona

Significant Wins
1941 Los Angeles Open

That was Bulla's only PGA Tour win, but he won the Arizona Open 14 times, the 1951 Pennsylvania Open, and dozens of PGA of America sectional tournaments. He also won many senior tournaments in the days before the Champions Tour existed.

In the Majors
Johnny Bulla never won a major, but he did finish in the Top 10 12 times, including three times as runner-up. He finished second at the 1939 British Open, 1946 British Open and 1949 Masters.

Notable Notes: Bulla and Sam Snead were good friends, and it was Bulla who convinced Snead to play the British Open for the first time in 1946. Snead won it, and Bulla finished second. ... The driver Bulla used when finishing second at the 1939 British Open was displayed in the R&A Museum in St. Andrews. Why? Despite playing in terrible weather, Bulla never missed a fairway at that tournament.

Bulla was right-handed and played golf right-handed — except for putting, which he did left-handed. ... Through much of his career, Bulla played PGA Tour events with a value golf ball, a ball he endorsed called the Po-Do, which was sold at Walgreen's. He later endorsed clubs for Sears.

Bulla owned his own airplane, a DC-3 he named The Golfer, and he often flew his friends on tour to tournaments. ... He worked as a pilot for Eastern Airlines in the 1940s, and then for Arizona Airways (which later became Frontier Airlines).

He designed several golf courses in Arizona. ... Bulla is enshrined the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame and the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame. ... His oft-repeated golf philosophy was, "Think about the next shot, not the last."

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