Jim Barnes

James Martin Barnes (April 8, 1886 – May 24, 1966) was a leading figure in the early years of professional golf in the United States.

Born in Lelant, Cornwall, England, Barnes was like many golfers of his era, and worked as a caddie and a club-maker's apprentice while growing up. He moved to the United States and turned professional in 1906, but never became an American citizen. He arrived in San Francisco, and later worked in Vancouver, British Columbia, Spokane and Tacoma, Washington, and then at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. From 1923–1926, he was resident professional at the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club in Temple Terrace, Florida, which hosted the 1925 Florida Open (dubbed "The Greatest Field of Golfers Ever to Play in Florida") as well as the 1926 Florida Open with over one hundred contestants and a $5,000 cash prize. In 1925–26 his good friend and fellow golfer Fred McLeod wintered with him and they worked with James Kelly Thomson from North Berwick.

Barnes was also known as "Long Jim" for his height of 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m). He later moved west to the Oakland, California area, where he resided for many years. Barnes authored several books on golf technique, and died at age 80 in East Orange, New Jersey.

Barnes won four majors:

  • PGA Championship: 1916, 1919
  • U.S. Open: 1921
  • The Open Championship: 1925

Barnes' two PGA titles were the first in the event; there was no tournament in 1917 or 1918 because of World War I. His winning margin in the 1921 U.S. Open was nine strokes, a record which was not broken until Tiger Woods won by 15 strokes in 2000.

Barnes was one of the most prolific tournament winners of the first few seasons of the PGA Tour, which was also founded in 1916. He won 21 times on the tour in total. He led the tournament winners list in four seasons: 1916 with three, 1917 with two (shared with Mike Brady), 1919 with five and 1921 with four.

In 1940, Barnes was honored as one of the 12 golfers to be inducted in the PGA's inaugural Hall of Fame. Later he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1989.

By Dean Hanley

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