Golf and Florida


Bobby Locke (born 20 November 1917 Germiston, South Africa, d March 9, 1987) was one of the first internationally successful South African golfers.

Locke played in his first British Open in 1936, when he was eighteen, and finished as low amateur. He turned professional two years later and was a prolific tournament winner in his native country, eventually accumulating 38 wins on the South African Tour (now the Sunshine Tour). His golf career was interrupted by service in the South African Air Force during World War II.

In 1948, he won the Chicago Victory National by 16 strokes, which, as of 2005, remains a PGA Tour record for margin of victory. The following year, Locke was banned from the tour because of a dispute over playing commitments. The ban was lifted in 1951, but Locke chose not to return to play in the United States. Despite (or perhaps because of) his success, many American players disliked Locke, though not for anything Locke did. They simply resented a foreign player arriving on tour and "raiding" the prize money, as the highly skilled Locke often did.

After leaving the PGA Tour, Locke continued his career in Europe and Africa, where he felt more comfortable. He won twenty-three times in Europe, most notably a quartet of successes in the British Open titles, which came in 1949, 1950, 1952 and 1957. In 1959, Locke was involved in a serious car accident, and subsequently he suffered from migraines and eye problems that put an end to his competitive career.

Locke was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977.






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