Willie Ogg

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Willie Ogg
— Golfer —
Ogg hitting a fairway wood shot, c. 1920
Personal information
Full name William R. Ogg, Jr.
Born (1888-05-10)May 10, 1888
Carnoustie, Scotland
Died December 25, 1959(1959-12-25) (aged 71)
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 184 lb (83 kg; 13.1 st)
Nationality  Scotland
 United States
Turned professional c. 1906
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 4
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 3
Other 1
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament DNP
U.S. Open T15: 1924
The Open Championship DNP
PGA Championship T9: 1923

William Robertson Ogg, Jr. (May 10, 1888 – December 25, 1959) was a Scottish-American professional golfer, club maker, and golf course architect. He won the 1921 Shawnee Open, 1923 Maine Open, 1924 New England PGA Championship, and the 1924 Massachusetts Open. He finished tied for 9th place in the 1923 PGA Championship, a career-best result in major championships.

Ogg was one of the founding members of the PGA of America, serving as vice president. He was an excellent golf instructor and was the author of the book "Golf as I Know it", published posthumously in 1961.

He was the first golf club maker to build and patent the forerunner to the modern perimeter-weighted or cavity back iron.[1] Ogg also patented a design for a golf glove.

Early life

Ogg was born in May 10, 1888 in Carnoustie, Scotland,[2][3][4] the son of William Robertson Ogg and Margaret Bissett.[5] He emigrated from Scotland to the U.S. to pursue a career as a professional golfer.

Golf career

Ogg began his career in golf as a club maker in Scotland where he worked for the St. Andrews Golf Company. After his arrival in the U.S. he eventually was elected the vice president of the PGA of America. Ogg was instrumental in arranging for the first Ryder Cup matches to be held at his home course of Worcester Country Club in 1927.[6] He laid out the Green Hill Golf Club in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the course opened up for play on April 1, 1929.[7] Ogg is also responsible for the design of the Country Club of Wilbraham in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.[8] After leaving Worcester, he accepted a position as professional and course superintendent at Albany Country Club in Voorheesville, New York, where in 1954 he made changes to improve the quality of the golf course by planting thousands of trees and installing a modern watering system.[9][10]

In 1933, Ogg – who at the time was serving as an advisory staff member for Wilson Staff – created a patented design for distributing weight away from the heel of the clubhead, moving it towards the "sweet spot" of the blade.[1] This design feature was used in the Wilson "Ogg-mented" irons, the forerunner of perimeter-weighted or cavity back irons. While working for Wilson Staff, he also enhanced their line of woods in 1930 by improving their shafts; in doing so he obtained better balance between clubhead and shaft.[1]

1922 PGA Championship

The 1922 PGA Championship was the fifth PGA Championship, held August 14–18 at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, a suburb northeast of Pittsburgh. The match play field of 64 competitors qualified by sectional tournaments.[11] This was the first PGA Championship with a field of 64 in the bracket, the previous four had fields of 32 players. In the Friday final, Gene Sarazen defeated Emmet French, 4 and 3.[12] Ogg began the tournament with a 2 up victory over Clarence Hackney in his first round match. In the second round, he battled Sarazen in a closely contested match before finally losing 2 and 1. Ogg's final place in the event was a tie for 17th.[13]

1923 PGA Championship

In the 1923 PGA Championship, a single-elimination tournament contested from September 24–29 at the Pelham Country Club in Pelham Manor, New York,[11] Ogg improved on his performance from 1922 in the same event. He was at the peak of his playing powers in 1923 and in a first round match was in fine form when he beat Fred Baroni 2 and 1. He wasn't done, as evidenced by a convincing second round win by the score of 12 and 11 over Carl Anderson. Having battled his way into the round of 16, he met George McLean in the third round. Brimming with confidence, Ogg didn't acquiesce easily; it took McLean 38 holes, the final two being playoff holes to break a tie, to finally win 1 up. Ogg's excellent play in this tournament would be his best performance in a major championship during his career, a T9 result.[13]

1924 PGA Championship

Ogg didn't fare so well in the 1924 PGA Championship held September 15–20 at the French Lick Springs Golf Club in French Lick, Indiana. Walter Hagen, the 1921 champion, defeated Jim Barnes in the finals 2 up.[12] Most of the competitors in the starting field of 32 first had to qualify in a 36-hole stroke play qualifier on Monday, September 15. Ogg succeeded in qualifying, however he lost to Bobby Cruickshank 7 and 5 in the first round.[13]

Memorable matches

On April 26, 1919, Ogg was paired with the young Bobby Jones – who had taken lessons from Ogg[6] – in an alternate shot match held at Druid Hills Golf Club against James Douglas Edgar and Perry Adair. At the time, Ogg was posted as head professional at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta where he succeeded Stewart Maiden who accepted a position at St. Louis Country Club. Jones and Ogg, who had played golf together before, knew each other's game well whereas the pairing of Edgar and Adair did not. Ogg and Jones, who used their previous golf playing partnership to their advantage, were able to prevail in the match by the score of 1 up when Jones holed a putt on the final hole. In June 1919, Ogg partnered with Edgar in a best ball match and beat 17-year-old Jones who on that occasion was paired with Adair.[14]

Death and legacy

Ogg died on Christmas Day 1959 in Tampa, Florida.[4][15] At the time of his death, Ogg was engaged in design work on a new course in Tampa.[9] He is remembered as a touring golf professional with a number of tournament wins and good finishes in golf major championships. He was the first golf club maker to build and patent the forerunner to the modern perimeter-weighted or cavity back iron.[1]

His lectures on golf fundamentals at the PGA Assistants' School in Clearwater, Florida, were described by Herb Graffis in 1960 as "classics".[9]

Professional wins

PGA Tour wins (3)


Other wins (1)

Results in major championships

Tournament 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
U.S. Open T41 ? ? T19 T18 T15 ? ? ? ?
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP R32 R16 R32 R32 DNP DNP R32

Note: Ogg never played in the Masters Tournament or The Open Championship.

"T" = Tied for a place
? = Unknown
DNP = Did not play
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
Yellow background for top-10



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  2. "World War I Draft Registration Card – William R. Ogg Jr". June 5, 1917 – via ancestry.com. Missing or empty |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "World War II Draft Registration Card – William Ogg Jr". April 27, 1942 – via ancestry.com. Missing or empty |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  8. "Golf Course Architects: William Ogg". GolfAdvisor.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Graffis, Herb (February 1960). "Swinging Around Golf" (PDF). Golfdom. p. 5 – via MSU.edu.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  15. "Willie Ogg, Golf Pro At Albany, Dies In Florida". The Times Record. Troy, New York. December 26, 1959. p. 14 – via ancestry.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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