John Jacobs (English golfer)

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John Jacobs
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full name John Robert Maurice Jacobs OBE
Born (1925-03-14) 14 March 1925 (age 97)
Lindrick, Yorkshire, England
Nationality  England
Spouse Rita (died 2006)
Children Joanna, Jonathan
Status Professional
Former tour(s) European Tour
Professional wins 2
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament DNP
U.S. Open DNP
The Open Championship T12: 1955
PGA Championship DNP
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 2000 (member page)
Officer of the Most
Excellent Order of
the British Empire

John Robert Maurice Jacobs OBE (born 14 March 1925[1]) is an English professional golfer, coach, entrepreneur, writer and administrator. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000. He is an Honorary member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews.

Jacobs was born in Lindrick, Yorkshire. He was the son of Robert Jacobs, a golf professional, and had a moderately successful tournament career at home and abroad in the pre-European Tour era. He won both the Dutch Open and the South African Professional Match Play Championship in 1957, two years after making his one appearance in the Ryder Cup.

He was largely responsible for the creation of the European Tour due to his coaching activities and contacts in so many European countries.

He served as Tournament Director-General of the European Tour from 1971 to 1975, a period which included the inaugural season of the modern tour in 1972. In 1979 and 1981 he was the non-playing captain of the European Ryder Cup team which was remembered for a dispute between Seve Ballesteros and the European Tour. Ballesteros had only played a handful of tournaments in Europe in the season leading up to the 1981 Ryder Cup because of a disagreement over appearance money. Jacobs wanted Ballesteros on his team and rang him in America. "Seve, I want you to come back to play in Europe. I can't guarantee you will get one of the two Ryder Cup places that are up for grabs - the organising committee can fill them as it sees fit - but I will be voting for you.".[2] In the end, although Ballesteros did come back and Jacobs as captain voted for him, Neil Coles and Bernard Langer voted against his inclusion.[3][4]

Jacobs was also a leading golf coach, who worked with many top players, and established his own golf academies. In 1972 he set up a driving range business in the United Kingdom. He wrote several books including Practical Golf and Golf Doctor. His influence has been acknowledged by later coaches such as Butch Harmon, who stated, "John Jacobs wrote the book on coaching. There is not a teacher out here who does not owe him something."

He has also designed golf courses, such as the Buckinghamshire in Denham.

Jacobs has written a number of golf instruction books. His best known is "Practical Golf", written with Ken Bowden and illustrated by Anthony Ravielli. It was first published in June 1972 and it is on a number of top 10 lists of the best golf instruction books of all time.

Tournament wins

this list may be incomplete

Results in major championships

Tournament 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
The Open Championship CUT T27 T14 T20 T12 16 CUT CUT CUT T32 T20 CUT CUT CUT

Note: Jacobs played in only The Open Championship.
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Team appearances

  • Ryder Cup (representing Great Britain & Ireland/Europe): 1955, 1979 (non-playing captain), 1981 (non-playing captain)
  • Joy Cup (representing the British Isles): 1954 (winners), 1955 (winners), 1958 (winners)
  • Amateurs–Professionals Match (representing the Professionals): 1957 (winners), 1958


  2. Ballesteros, 2007, page 137
  3. Williams, Michael (1990). The Official History of The Ryder Cup 1927–1989. Century Hutchinson. ISBN 978-0091739102.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Ballesteros, Severiano (2007). Seve The Official Autobiography. Yellow Jersey Press. ISBN 978-0224082563.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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Template:1955 Great Britain Ryder Cup team

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