Known as “Long Jim” because of his 6-feet 4-inches in height, lanky build and long hitting, Barnes won four major championships in an era best known for the exploits of Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen.
The tallest of the champions for the first half of the century, Jim Barnes won the first PGA Championship ever played, in 1916, and won the next one, played in 1919. He won the 1921 U.S. Open at the Columbia C.C. by nine strokes and the 1925 Open Championship at Prestwick, when he came from five strokes behind after Macdonald Smith faltered with a final-round 82. He is one of only eight golfers to have won those three. He also won the Western Open three times, which in his day, was considered an elite championship.
He never played in the Masters, which began in 1934. On the U.S. tour, he is credited with 21 career victories and 14 seconds. In his U.S. Open victory, Barnes opened with a 69 to take a three-stroke lead and was never challenged. When Barnes won, he was given the trophy by President Warren Harding, making him the only player in history to receive the U.S. Open trophy from the President of the United States.