USPGA Title Holders

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David Bell

Davie Bell was born in Carnoustie in1880 his parents resided in Kinloch Street close to Willie Smith's family. On leaving school Davie apprenticed as a grocery assistant/clerk and was a talented golfer.

He was said to be an outstanding foursomes and four-ball player never having lost a match. His old partner at Carnoustie Golf Club was R.B.Cant who said that Davie was the finest player ever to have left Carnoustie.

He emigrated to America in 1899 and joined Willie Smith at Midlothian Country Club, Illinois. October 5, 1900 Bell finishes behind Harry Vardon and J H Taylor for 3rd place in the United States Open Championship held at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois. His 3rd place came with a prize and fame all of its own.

It transpired Spalding Sporting Goods offered the top American finisher $150 and a gold medal. Bell, was now an American resident ended up the top money winner, receiving a total of $275.

The USGA awarded him the official title Resident United States Open Champion. He followed this up in the 1901 Western Open, held at Midlothian Country Club, where he was second behind Laurie Auchterlonie.

With his new found fame and another Carnoustie member Willie Smith they decided to issue a challenge that they would play any two professionals for $1000. In the picture it shows the open invitation to all comers and there is a record of them playing some exhibition matches in Santa Barbara in 1901. The Los Angeles Herald reported that in addition to their excellent abilities as golfers, they were genial, gentlemanly fellows, modest and unassuming.

The following winter Davie Bell returned to Southern California as instructor at Santa Catalina Island Golf Club. Sadly in 1902-3 he went with Alex Baxter to New Orleans. There he slipped down a flight of stairs on his way to breakfast and incurred severe neck, arm and leg injuries from which he died a few days later.

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Frederick Brand

Frederick Brand was born in Carnoustie on 31st December 1885 to Agnes Anderson Brand, a powerloom weaver. Fred grew up in his grandfather’s household with his mother and five aunts, a schoolboy on the 1891 census and a 15 year old clubmaking apprentice at Dundee Road, Barry on the 1901 version.

After his clubmaking apprenticeship he began his golfing career on the course as caddy to the famous amateur Robert Harris who is became Scottish and British Amateur Champion.

He was an outstanding player in the Carnoustie Club but really came to wider attention in the Scottish Open tournament in September 1904 when, as probably the youngest player in the competition at 16. Straight out of high school, scrapped his way to the semi-finals. Brand’s opponent would be the English champion, J.H. Taylor, holder of three British Opens titles and destined to win two more. Taylor couldn’t keep pace with Brand that day and advanced to the finals, losing the to another titan, Alexander Herd.

His play was described at the time ‘Blessed with a powerful physique, a broad and supple wrist, and with a free natural swing acquired in boyhood and developed with the years. Brand is the typical pro of Scottish birth. He has made a reputation as a prodigious walloper from the tee. The ball leaves the clubhead like a shot and soars high and far like an eagle in its flight. There is no sudden dip, like the meadowlark, in a ball which Fred starts with wood from the tee. There is carrying power always.’

Fred left Carnoustie in 1905, with Peter Robertson both bound for the Allegheny Country Club in Pennsylvania.In his first year in the United States he won the Open Championship of Western Pennslyvania. The “Carnoustie Siege Gun”, as he came to be called, won the tournament regularly, triumphing again in 1908, 1916 and 1924.

Some accounts have him leaving Allegheny in 1907 but it was simply to go back to Carnoustie for the winter. He returned at the end of March with George Low, David Robertson and Norman Clark, and the Western Pennslyvania Open win again that year was playing from Allegheny. At the end of the 1910 season he spent a year without a club as he played a competition at Stanton Heights in August as unattached. 1912 saw him at the Butler Country Club. By the time of the 1916 Western Pennsylvania championship he was playing from Bellevue.

He was back at Allegheny, at the latest in 1918 when he played an exhibition match for the benefit of the American Red Cross. As the WPGA championship was not held during the years the US was involved in WWI Brand was still reigning champion in 1919 but had to settle for second behind Dave McKay.

Brand founded the Tri-State P.G.A. and was the first and only President for 25 years. Vice-President of U.S.P.G.A. 1922-27 and again in 1935. Member of U.S.P.G.A. Rules Committee 1921-25. Official Starter at 10 Championships of the U.S.P.G.A. His health had been failing but he continued as professional at Allegheny until his sudden death on 13th May 1943.

While Fred Brand’s club-pro career in greater Pittsburgh never included a stop at Oakmont, his two sons certainly became fixtures there. Graduates of Penn State and tournament golfers themselves, the brothers joined Oakmont after college and military service and contributed vigorously to the club’s high profile in American golf. His son, Fred jnr, was elected to the Executive Committee of the USGA in 1959 and received the 1997 Bobby Jones Award for distinguished service.

Fred, Jr., a life member of Carnoustie Golf Club and made trips across to play the old links when time permitted. He became an honorary life member of our club in 1971.

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Clarence W. Hackney

Clarence W. Hackney was born in Carnoustie March 10 1894 and learned to play golf as a caddy at Carnoustie. Before emigrating to the United States he worked locally as a butcher.

The professional at the Atlantic City Country Club from 1914 through 1940 Hackney also played in first U.S. Professional team versus Britain the forerunner of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 1921. Hackney achieved seven PGA Tour tournament wins -

1923 - Philadelphia Open Championship, Canadian Open
1924 - New Jersey State Open
1925 - New Jersey State Open
1926 - New Jersey State Open
1930 - Philadelphia Open Championship
1931 - Philadelphia Open Championship

His best results in the majors were PGA Championship tied 5th in 1920 U.S. Open tied 8th in 1921 and 23rd in The Open Championship the same year. Other wins included the 1924 and 1928 Philadelphia PGA Championship.

He also served the Philidelphia PGA of America as first vice president and tournament chairman for two years and the second vice president for one year. Five times he was a delegate to the PGA of America’s annual meetings from the Philadelphia Section.

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George Low

Low was born in Carnoustie in 1874. He went to work in Archie Simpson’s golf shop at Carnoustie.

At some point he moved to Aberdeen, where he became a top-ranking golfer Low emigrated to the United States in 1899, arriving on St. Patrick's Day and quickly acclimated himself to the American golf scene by finishing tied second in the 1899 U.S. Open held at Baltimore Country Club .

In 1900, Low accompanied Harry Vardon for a portion of his American exhibition tour. That same year, Low finished sixth in the 1900 U.S. Open and finished tied ninth in the 1901 U.S. Open. In total, he had five top-10 finishes in the U.S. Open.

Low won the Metropolitan Open in 1906 and the Florida Open three times. George Low served as green superintendent and Golf Professional at one of Americas greatest venues - Baltusrol from 1903 to 1925. Active in formation of the Eastern P.G.A. and was its first President. Three fantastic articles from Dick Brown on George Low are available on Baltusrol Golf Club's web site on how Low brought a special flair to his work and was a brilliant success at Baltusrol.

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James Maiden

James Cameron Maiden born on the 1st October 1881 was born in Carnoustie. His father James was payroll clerk at a local foundry and his brother was Stewart Maiden.

Maiden would lose in the final of the amateur championship in 1901 to the St Andrews player and future Chicago professional Fred Mackenzie. He emigrated to the United States in 1902 travelling with Dick Clarkson on the Laurentian from Glasgow, arriving in New York on 14 March.

He took a job as assistant under head professional Alex Smith at Nassau. Maiden's main duties as a club professional were to give lessons and repair and build clubs for members at the courses where he worked, therefore his appearances in tournaments were minimal.

His most important achievements as a player was a tie for third place in the 1906 U.S. Open. He won the professional championship of Ohio at Canton in July 1906 by a margin of 16 strokes. Alex Smith had moved on to East Lake early the same year.

1st March 1907 James would also become a professional at East Lake a post he would hold for one year before returning to Nassau. As Bobby Jones later pointed out, there was a run of six Carnoustie-born professionals at East Lake from Alec Smith to Willie Ogg.

Maiden in his short term at East Lake lowered the course record to 74. Regarded as the most difficult and one of the longest courses in the country at 7,000 yards. This might not sound so spectacular nowadays but H Chandler Egan, the former US amateur champion had been playing a few rounds over it just previously with his best score being 84.

He took over from Alex Smith as professional at Nassau in Glen Cove in 1908 and the first tournament he played in was the Metropolitan Open at Wykagyl, Smith’s new club, finishing fourth behind him with the lowest round of the championship to finish. In 1909 he won the Eastern PGA championship at Garden City, defeating Tom Anderson 5&4 in the final of the matchplay which followed medal play qualifying. During World War I he played numerous Red Cross benefit matches on the East Coast.

He was a founding member of the PGA of America in 1916 along with George Fotheringham they were elected the first two Vice-Presidents. Maiden had known Bobby from his days at East Lake in Atlanta where his brother, Stuart Maiden, was a professional. Bobby Jones, often stopped at Nassau when in the New York area. It was the eve of the 1923 Open being played across the Island at Inwood,

Bobby was was struggling with his putting at the time and went to play a practice round at Nassau. After the round, on the 18th green, Jim handed Bob a putter he had taken from his shop and asked Bob to try it. After a few strokes, he proceeded to roll in “six footers” with ease. Bob immediately wanted the putter. Jim explained that he had been using the club and had named it “Calamity Jane.”

Bobby Jones went on to win the U.S. Open at Inwood on July 15, 1923, and from that day on used Calamity Jane until he retired after his Grand Slam in 1930. Jones used Calamity Jane to win 13 major championships, including the Grand Slam in 1930. During the course of his career, Jones used two versions of the Condi rose model. The original version was actually made for William Winton, a golf club dealer from the Acton area of London, but made its way to the U.S. via James Maiden.

In 1924 he won the Long Island Open, a PGA Tour event at the time.

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Stewart Maiden

Stewart Maiden was born on 19 February 1884 in Taymouth Terrace, Carnoustie and was the son of James Maiden and Elspeth Maiden née McLean. His father James worked as a payroll clerk at a metal foundry in Carnoustie.

A talented amateur, by the age of 17 he was playing off a handicap of two and by 23, plus one. An 'artisan' player, one who paid reduced fees in exchange for working occasionally on the Links, he was noted for his graceful swing. Working as an iron moulder in the local foundry, it came as no surprise when in 1908 he followed in elder brother Jim's footsteps to America to become a professional.

Following his brothers, he went to the United States, specifically to be the golf professional at the East Lake Golf facility, in 1908. East Lake Golf Club was Bobby Jones home course and has been the permanent home of the TOUR Championship since 2005.

Stewart "Kiltie" Maiden was well-known for his teaching and club building and was recognised for his expertise and golf swing, grand slam winning golfer Bobby Jones imitated his style from a young age. Maiden made Jones his first set of matched clubs. As a young boy, Jones followed Maiden around the course at East Lake and fashioned his swing after the professional.

Along with Jones, Maiden is known for teaching other golfers such as Watts Gunn and Alexa Stirling. Jones said about Maiden later in his life -

"The best luck that I ever had in golf was when Stewart Maiden came from Carnoustie to be pro at the East Lake Club. Stewart had the finest and soundest style I have ever seen. Naturally I did not know this at the time, but I grew up swinging like him. I imitated his style, like a monkey I suppose".

Maiden's main duties as a club professional were to give lessons and repair and build clubs for members at the courses where he worked, therefore his appearances in tournaments were minimal. His most important achievement as a player was a tie for third place in the 1906 U.S. Open. Years later at the age of 42 he would win the 1924 Long Island Open, a PGA Tour event at the time.

In 1919 Maiden left East Lake, having been replaced by Willie Ogg also a member of The Carnoustie Golf Club. Maiden accepted a post as professional at the Saint Louis Country Club in Ladue, Missouri. Maiden’s importance to Jones was huge. In one of our three pictures Bobby is seen outside our club house when he played at Carnoustie in 1928, Bobby said he simply wanted to see where his mentor had come from.

Maiden opened an indoor golf school in New York in 1930. He returned to Atlanta with the help of Bobby Jones to become the first professional at the then newly opened Peachtree Golf Club in 1948. The same year Maiden died on November 4, 1948 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Macdonald Smith

Macdonald "Mac" Smith was one of the top professional golfers in the world. Smith was regarded, on his results alone, as one of the best golfers of all time who never won a major championship.

Ben Hogan studied Smith intently to improve his own swing. Smith employed a strong grip, with both hands turned more to the right on the club, which produced a draw on the majority of his full shots.

Another admirer of Smith's full-swing technique was teacher Harvey Penick. Penick wrote "The prettiest swing I ever saw belonged to Macdonald Smith. His swing was full and flowing and graceful."

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In 1910 he lost a three-way U.S. Open playoff to his own brother, Alex. It was the first of four times Smith would be a runner-up at a major.

Smith went onto win 25 official events on the PGA Tour. Smith continued to win several Tour events after the introduction of steel shafts in the late 1920s.

Smith won the Western Open three times. The Western Open was a prestigious tournament rivaling the majors in stature. He also won the Los Angeles Open times, another top event which featured strong fields.

Smith became a Honorary Life Member in 1924. At the 1925 British Open played at Prestwick, Smith led after 54 holes but finished fourth.

Significantly Smith won the 1926 Canadian Open, a national championship. In 1930 he came second in both the Open Championship and the US Open (on both occasions runner-up to Bobby Jones).

While he never came away with a major trophy, he came close. He placed in the top ten of major championships a total of 17 times.

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William Robertson Ogg Jr.,

William Robertson Ogg Jr., was born 10 May 1888 in Carnoustie.

Ogg began his career in golf as a club-maker for the St. Andrews Golf Company in Scotland. He remained in Carnoustie until 1914 when he left and settled in Massachusetts. He left Massachusetts for Atlanta, Georgia where he became the Head Golf Professional at East Lake CC.

While at East Lake he worked with and played a lot of golf with a young Bobby Jones. Ogg moved to Worcester Country Club in 1921 and served as the club’s Head Golf Professional from 1921 until 1944.

Willie Ogg was one of the founding members of the PGA of America and served as a National Vice President of the PGA of America in 1921. Ogg won the 1921 Shawnee Open and the 1923 Maine Open. In 1923 he finished tied for ninth place in the PGA Championship which was the career best in the major championships.

Ogg was instrumental in Worcester Country Club being able to host the 1925 US Open and also the first site of the Ryder Cup Matches in 1927. President of Senior P.G.A. 1946-47. Ogg was the author of the book “Golf as I Know it” which was published posthumously in 1961.