1966: Jim Barnes passes away, The 1st man to win The PGA Championship

Jim Barnes

The Death of Long Jim Barnes 

On this day, sadly Jim Barnes passed away at 80 years of age.  Barnes is known for being the first (and second) winner of the P.G.A. Championship first held in 1916.  Originally he was born in Cornwall, England and grew up as a caddie and a club-maker’s apprentice before coming to America in 1906.  At 6’4 he was often referred as “Long Jim Barnes” on the golf circuit.


Fact: Jim Barnes won the 1st two PGA Championships held in 1916 and 1919.  Due to World War II there were no majors held in the United States or Europe.  So Technically he defended his PGA title over that time span.


Jim Barnes

Barnes came pretty much as close as you can to winning a career grand slam.  In all he won four major championships: His two PGA Championships in 1916 & 1919… The US Open in 1921…Then The Open Championship in 1925.  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.

He won 21 times on the tour in total. He led the tournament winners list in four seasons: 1916 with three, 1917 with two, 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

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