Bio of Golfer Herman Barron

Herman Barron was a PGA Tour golfer who won in the 1940s and a longtime, PGA teaching professional at clubs in New York. He also has the distinction of being the first Jewish golfer to win on the PGA Tour.

Date of birth: December 23, 1909

Place of birth: Port Chester, New York

Date and place of death: June 11, 1978 in Pompano Beach, Florida

PGA Tour Wins by Herman Barron

Barron is credited with four wins in tournaments that are today classified as PGA Tour events:
  • 1942 Western Open
  • 1946 Philadelphia Inquirer Open
  • 1946 All American Open
  • 1948 Goodall Round Robin
Barron won numerous other tournaments that were either PGA of America (non-tour) events or were tournaments no longer considered "official" by today's PGA Tour. Some of those are noted below in the bio section.

Barron also won the Senior PGA Championship in 1963.

Barron In the Majors

The first major Barron played was the 1930 U.S. Open (he finished 30th), and his last was the 1963 British Open (which was his only appearance in that major). He finished in the Top 10 in a major four times, with four additional appearances in the Round of 16 of the PGA Championship when that major used a match-play format.

Barron's best finish in a major was also his most disappointing. In the 1946 U.S. Open, Barron had a birdie putt on his final hole that, at worst, would have gotten him into a playoff. And there was a strong chance he would have won the tournament outright had he made it. But he didn't.

Still, Barron would have made the playoff had he then rolled in the par putt. But he missed that, too. Barron wound up tied four fourth place, one stroke out of the playoff.

More About Herman Barron

golfer Herman Barron sports trading card
Barron was known to his golfing peers for his short game being the strength of his game. Early in his career he was a club pro at Fenimore Country Club in Scarsdale, N.Y., but soon moved to Fenway Golf Club, also in Scarsdale.

He began winning PGA section and regional tournaments in the 1930s, including the 1934 Philadelphia Open Championship, Barron's first tournament win of note. The Metropolitan PGA Championship followed in 1937, and in 1938 he won the first of an eventual five titles in the Westchester PGA Championship.

Barron's big breakthrough, though, was winning the 1942 Western Open. That was an official PGA Tour tournament, making Barron the first Jewish golfer with a PGA Tour win. (Keep in mind, at that time there were still many golf clubs around the United States that did not allow membership to Jews.)

And the Western Open was one of the biggest tournaments in golf at the time. Barron beat the runner-up, future Hall of Famer Henry Picard, by two strokes.

Barron's best year was 1946. He won the Philadelphia Inquirer Open and two weeks later took the All-American Open, the highest-dollar tournament in golf. In-between was Barron's unfortunate final-green 3-putt that kept him out of the playoff in the U.S. Open. Barron won $23,000 that year, second only to Ben Hogan on the tour money list.

His great year was rewarded when Barron was named to the United States' 1947 Ryder Cup team, his only appearance in that event. Barron played only one match, teaming with Byron Nelson (who won that 1946 U.S. Open) in a foursomes win.

His final tour win happened at the 1948 Goodall Round-Robin Tournament played at Wykagyl Country Club, a neighbor of Barron's Fenway Club, and for the benefit of New Rochelle Hospital. Barron rallied the Fenway membership to pony up for tickets to support the hospital, cajoling and corralling them into buying 1,000. When he won the tournament, Barron donated 20-percent of his winnings to the hospital, too.

He stopped playing the tour after 1948 due to health concerns (he'd had repeated bouts of pneumonia, among other things), and focused on teaching the game for the rest of his life. Barron eventually served 43 years at Fenway Golf Club, retiring in 1975. (He still made occasional tournament entries, however. Barron has the unfortunate distinction of having made the highest score ever on Augusta National's 16th hole, an 11 in 1950.)

Barron also was involved in the creation of the first golf course in Israel, Caesarea Golf Club. When it opened in 1961, Barron was listed as co-designer of the course. (The club still exists today, but the golf course was rebuilt in the early 2000s by Pete Dye.)

But he had another big win left: In 1963, Barron, then 53 years old, won the Senior PGA Championship. He was the first golfer in that event's history to record four sub-70 rounds; his scores of 16-under and 272 were both tournament records at the time.

Later in the year Barron also won the World Senior Championship in Great Britain.

Barron is a member of the PGA Metropolitan Section Hall of Fame, and also of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Popular posts from this blog

Ryder Cup Captains: The Full List