Tony Jacklin’s brief, but memorable, brilliance revitalize British and ultimately European golf with his remarkable exploits. For four seasons, from 1969 through 1972, there was no brighter star in golf’s firmament than Jacklin. At age 26, he broke a number of performance records in British golf, simply doing for the game in Great Britain what Arnold Palmer had done for it in the United States barely more than a decade before.
For these compliments and for breathing life back into the Ryder Cup later in his career, Tony Jacklin was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Despite his success as a teenager in winning the Lincolnshire Championship as an amateur, Jacklin’s parents thought turning pro was too risky a proposition. But when Bill Shankland offered him an assistant pro position at Potters Bar, the 17-year-old Jacklin thought the six-pound salary was a fortune and launched his professional golf career. But life as an assistant wasn’t always appealing to Jacklin.