John Jacobs served a lifetime in golf and is enormously respected as the pioneering architect of Europe’s united approach to the modern game. As a Ryder Cup player, tournament winner, administrator, writer, commentator and an outstanding coach, he has reached the peak of success in many widely different areas of golf. In recognition of the indelible mark he has made on the game, Jacobs was voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame through the Lifetime Achievement category in 2000.
A Yorkshireman born in 1925, son of a golf professional, Jacobs earned the unique distinction in his 1955 Ryder Cup debut of winning both his matches in America. Two years later, he won the Dutch Open and beat Gary Player for the South African Match Play Championship.
In 1972, after a successful business venture establishing driving ranges in Britain to help encourage the growth of the game and following his coaching of the victorious Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team, he accepted the challenge of becoming the first Tournament Director General of the European PGA Tour. In this position he inspired the uniting of nations on the continent with Britain.
“John has quite properly been defined as the father of European golf,” said Ken Schofield, who succeeded Jacobs as Executive Director of the European Tour. “He turned the vision into reality and the position of respect commanded by Europe in the world of golf owes much to his pioneering spirit.”