skip to main content

November: This Month in Golf History November 3, 2016 | FAR HILLS, N.J. By Colin Brown, USGA

Player, Nicklaus and Palmer -- the original 'Big Three' -- celebrate a round with President Gerald R. Ford at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. (USGA Archives)

Nov. 1, 1935: Three-time USGA champion Gary Player was born. The Black Knight won the 1965 U.S. Open in a playoff over Kel Nagle to complete the career grand slam. He won back-to-back U.S. Senior Opens in 1987 and 1988.

President Warren G. Harding never let golf interfere with any other part of his life, even when he was living in the White House. (USGA Archives)

Nov. 2, 1865: President Warren G. Harding was born. The 29th President of the United States and avid golfer once said, “I may not know everything about being president, but I know that a lot of decisions can be made on golf courses.”

Curtis Strange led a team that included Jerry Pate, Gary Koch and George F. Burns III in the 1974 world Team Amateur Championship. (USGA Archives)

Nov. 2, 1974: The USA won its fourth consecutive World Amateur Team Championship. The team consisting of George F. Burns III, Gary Koch, Jerry Pate and Curtis Strange has combined for five USGA championships (including three U.S. Opens) and two Walker Cup titles.

Nov. 3, 1995: Judy Bell was nominated to serve as the first female president of the USGA. Bell was the first woman nominated to the USGA Executive committee (1987) and received the 2016 Bob Jones Award, the USGA’s highest honor.

Nov. 15, 2004: Charles Sifford became the first African American to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Sifford broke barriers as the first golfer of color to win an open event, shooting a final-round 64 to win the 1957 Long Beach Open. In 1961, he became the first African American to join the PGA Tour.      

Nov. 18, 1923: Alan Shepard, the first American to go to outer space, was born. In 1971, as the commander of Apollo 14, Shepard became the first person to hit a golf ball on the moon. The club is on display at the USGA Museum in Far Hills, N.J.

Nov. 20, 1997: Golf icon Nancy Lopez is selected as the recipient of the 1998 Bob Jones Award. A two-time U.S. Girls’ Junior champion and four-time U.S. Women’s Open runner-up, Lopez became the ninth woman to receive the award.

Nov. 29, 1920: The USGA Executive Committee adopted an amendment to the Stymie Rule: “When either ball lies on the putting green, the player may lift his opponent’s ball. The opponent will then be deemed to have holed in his next stroke.”

Colin Brown is the social media content coordinator for the USGA. Email him at