This Week In Golf History – February 18-24

This Week In Golf History – February 18-24


With origins dating back over five centuries, golf is one of the world’s oldest sports that is still widely played today. Emerging from the eastern coast of Scotland in the 15th century, golf steadily evolved from a pastime for kings and commoners alike to the modern professional sport we know now.

From the introduction of landmarks like the first Open Championship in 1860 to Tiger Woods’ era of domination, golf’s history winds through a rich tapestry of innovation, legendary athletes, and timeless courses across the globe.

Here’s what happened this week in golf history.

February 18, 1975 – Sandy Herd Passes Away


February 18th marks the death in 1944 of renowned Scottish golfer Alexander “Sandy” Herd at the age of 75. Herd was born in April 1868 in Scotland. He etched his name in the golf history books when he won the prestigious Open Championship in 1902.

February 19, 1994 – Marta Figueras-Dotti Wins In Hawaii

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

On February 19th, 1994, Marta Figueras-Dotti clinched victory at the Cup o’ Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Golf Open held at Ko Olina Golf Club in Ewa Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. Figueras-Dotti carded a 7-under par score to edge out Jane Geddes by one stroke and capture the title.

February 20, 1927 – Golfers Arrested For Playing On The Sabbath

Los Angeles Times / Wikimedia

On this day in 1927, golfers finding respite on the greens in South Carolina on a Sunday were allegedly arrested, accused of violating religious Blue Laws prohibiting recreational activities on the Sabbath. As legend has it, these golf enthusiasts were detained for partaking in their passion on the Lord’s day of rest — a testament to how strictly Sunday pastimes were once regulated in certain regions.

February 21, 1971 – Ruth Jessen Wins Women’s Golf’s Richest Prize

WA Golf

On February 21st, 1971, Ruth Jessen made history at the Sears Women’s World Classic held at the Port St. Lucie Country Club Sinner’s Course. She fired a 2-shot victory over Sandra Palmer to seize the richest prize purse ever offered in women’s golf at the time – $10,000 out of $60,000 total. Jessen’s monumental performance cemented her name among the greats in the sport and marked a major milestone as women began competing for unprecedented earnings on the links.

February 22, 1937/1963 – Major Champions’ Birthday

(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

February 22nd marks the birthdays of two major championship winners in golf history. Vijay Singh, born in 1963, captured the 2000 Masters Tournament as well as two PGA Championships in 1998 and 2004 over his prolific career. Tommy Aaron, the 1973 Masters Champion, was also born on this date in 1937. Both champions have left an indelible mark on the game, etched into the annals of all-time great golf athletes.

February 23, 1967 – Steve Stricker Is Born

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Celebrating his birthday on February 23rd is Steve Stricker – the 2020 United States Ryder Cup captain hailing from Wisconsin. With 12 PGA Tour titles under his belt, Stricker’s standout play peaked with a second place finish at the 1998 PGA Championship. Though still competing on the PGA Tour, he frequents the Champions Tour circuit where he continues to demonstrate the world-class precision and consistency that became his trademark through decades of elite golf.

February 24, 1976 – Zach Johnson Is Born

(AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

Iowan Zach Johnson, born on February 24th, 1976 in Cedar Rapids, led the United States at the 2023 Ryder Cup captain in Italy. The Drake University graduate boasts an imposing resume that includes conquering Augusta National at the 2007 Masters and winning the 2015 Open Championship. Johnson has also come remarkably close to adding another major title to his name, like his third place finish at the 2010 PGA Championship.