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Sir Walter

Sir Walter

Walter Hagen and the Invention of Professional Golf

During the Golden Age of Sports in the 1920s, Walter Hagen was to golf what Babe Ruth was to baseball. The first professional golfer to make his living playing the game rather than teaching it, Hagen won eleven major professional tournaments over his long career -- two U.S. Opens, four British Opens, and five PGA Championships (including an amazing streak of four consecutive PGA wins) -- a record surpassed only by Jack Nicklaus. Hagen was also influential in helping to found the Ryder Cup and was the first American golfer to top $1 million in career earnings -- a figure equivalent to over $40 million today.
Award-winning sportswriter Tom Clavin has penned a thrilling biography that vividly recalls Hagen's dazzling achievements and the qualities that made him a star. Energetic, witty, and one of the best putters ever to walk the green, Hagen was a man who loved to party, was extraordinarily generous to his friends, and golfed the world over, giving exhibitions. He preferred to travel by limousine, and if he intended to stay awhile he'd bring a second limo just to transport his clothes, which were nothing but the finest. On his many trips across the Atlantic to compete in the Ryder Cup or British Open, Hagen was known to throw parties that lasted days, ending only when the ship reached the shore. He was also the first professional golfer to admit to playing not only for the love of the game, but also for the love of the winner's purse.
Walter Hagen, forerunner of today's sports superstars, is as dynamic a character as can be found in American sports history. Bringing Hagen to life with incredible detail and countless anecdotes, Sir Walter is the authoritative biography of the man who helped create professional golf as it's known today.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476711218 | 
  • August 2012
List Price $24.99
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

"JONES MEETS HAGEN TODAY AT WHITFIELD," blared the eight-column headline atop the front sports page of the Sarasota Herald on February 28, 1926.

Bobby Jones versus Walter Hagen was the equivalent of a heavyweight world championship bout in boxing. It would take a full week to determine the outcome -- 36 holes in Sarasota and seven days later an additional 36 holes in St. Petersburg. During that week many of the major daily newspapers and most golf fans around the country were focused on the events in Florida because they believed that the results of the match would determine who indeed was the best golfer on the... see more

About the Author

Tom Clavin
Anne Drager

Tom Clavin

Tom Clavin is the author or coauthor of sixteen books. For fifteen years he wrote for The New York Times, and magazines he has contributed articles to include Golf, Men's Journal, Parade, Reader's Digest, and Smithsonian. He is currently the investigative features correspondent for Manhattan Magazine. He lives in Sag Harbor, New York.

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