The Lives They Led

December 21, 2011

The game will long remember Europe's leading light, a pioneering woman and a television innovator.

Seve Ballesteros 54
Ballesteros taught himself to play golf as a child by hitting rocks with a three-iron on the beach near his home in ­Pedrena, Spain, and became one of the greatest shotmakers in history. He won 70 titles worldwide, including two Masters and three British Opens, played on eight Ryder Cup teams and was the captain of the victorious European Ryder Cup team in 1997. He led the European tour money list five times.

* Feherty: Ballesteros made us feel good
* Bamberger: Seve made most of his time in America
* Patri: Saying goodbye to my personal friend
* Mahoney: Remembering time I met my hero
* Bamberger: Seve brought exuberance to the game
* Garrity: How it all began

Ted Forstmann 71
After playing goalie on the Yale hockey team, Forstmann made a fortune running a private equity firm. He forged a close friendship with Vijay Singh, whom his firm sponsored for many years. In 2004, Forstmann acquired IMG, the global sports, fashion and media business that represents hundreds of athletes, including golfers.

Betty Hicks 90
The 1941 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, Hicks cofounded the Women’s Professional Golf Association, the first professional golf ­association for women, in ’44. After retiring from LPGA competition in 1965, Hicks became a flight instructor and coordinated the aviation department at Foothill College in Los Altos, Calif., and coached the women’s golf team.

Frank Chirkinian, 1995

Bill Frakes / SI
Chirkinian working in the truck at Doral in 1995.

Frank Chirkinian 84
Known as the father of televised golf, Chirkinian (above) produced the Masters for CBS from 1959 until 1996. Overall he brought the game to life on TV with his inventive techniques, including showing as many shots as possible, placing microphones around the course and putting cameras in blimps and trees.

* Bamberger: Chirkinian elected to World Golf Hall of Fame in emergency vote

Bruce Hamilton 59
Captain of the Loyola Marymount golf team from 1969 through ’73, Hamilton became the head professional at Las Posas Country Club in ’75. In 1997 he became head pro at Spanish Hills Country Club. Formerly a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, Hamilton was the longtime coach of 1995 U.S. Open champion Corey Pavin.

Paul Harney 82
A six-time winner on the PGA Tour, Harney also had six top 10 finishes in major championships, including a fourth at the 1963 U.S. Open. After his playing career, Harney became a teacher and was the PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1974. He is a member of the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame.

Maureen Garrett 88
A prominent figure in British golf, Garrett became the first non-American woman to receive the USGA’s Bob Jones Award in 1983. In 1948 she won the French Women’s Amateur and competed as a member of Great Britain and Ireland’s Curtis Cup team. Garrett returned to the Curtis Cup in 1960 as captain.

Alex Hay 78
Regarded by many as the voice of golf, Hay served as a BBC commentator from 1978 through 2004 and called all the majors with broadcast partner Peter Alliss. Hay also served as a referee and observer for the Ryder Cup from 1973 through ’77. He wrote several books, including the 1985 best seller The Handbook of Golf.

Dave Hill, 1988

Hill teeing off at La Costa in 1988.

Dave Hill 74
Hill (above) won 13 PGA Tour titles, six times on the Champions tour and played on three Ryder Cup teams. His younger brother, Mike, also played on the PGA and Champions tours.

Joseph Lewis 103
Lewis joined the PGA of America in 1931 and at his death was the longest serving and oldest member as well as the first person to reach 80 years of membership. He won the Philadelphia Open in 1942 and ’50.

Mason Rudolph 76
Rudolph won the 1950 U.S. Junior and later played for 23 years on the PGA Tour, winning five times, but was best known for his consistency. He made the cut in 409 of 430 career starts.

Cesar Sanudo 67
The 1966 Mexican Amateur champion, Sanudo played on the PGA Tour from the late ’60s through the early ’80s, winning the ’70 Azalea Open. Later he taught at the Coronado (Calif.) Golf Course.

Billy Joe Patton 88
Patton finished third in the 1954 Masters as an amateur and later worked as a rules official at the tournament. He was a member of five Walker Cup teams and captained the U.S. team in 1969. In 1982 he received the USGA’s Bob Jones Award.