Tony Jacklin (1944 - )
Born Scunthorpe, England, Jacklin is remembered as a hero of British golf during the 1960s and 1970s.
Jacklin, whose father was a lorry driver, grew up in a working class family. Like many other people with a similar background, Jacklin's parents encouraged their young son to learn a trade and therefore have some degree of job security throughout life. To that end he became an apprentice steelworker after leaving school. However he loved golf and would spend lunchtimes and evenings practising.
A member of his local club was a solicitor and he gave Jacklin a job whereby he could take every afternoon off and practise golf. In 1962, confident of his talent but not convinced, Jacklin later became an assistant pro at Potters Bar GC . Under the guidance of Bill Shankland, Jacklin emerged from a baptism of fire to become an accomplished professional.
When Jacklin won the Open in 1969 and the US Open in 1970, he became a national celebrity. He was the first person to hold both titles simultaneously. Furthermore no British player had won the US Open in over 70 years. These remarkable victories earned him an O.B.E.
Greater honour was to come as part of the Ryder Cup squad. In 1985, he brought the Ryder Cup back to Europe after a 28 year absence. In 1987, he captained the team which won on American soil for the first time. He cites beating the Americans as a joy in itself.
Today, Jacklin lives in Florida and competes on the US Seniors tour. While he was initially successful, his form has dipped recently. Unfortunately, from interviews, it seems that Jacklin must still play golf to earn a living rather than live off investments made at the height of his career.
Jacklin is a great golfer and an inspiration to young British golfers. He has deservedly earned himself a place in golf's hall of fame.