1. 1939

    The Swiss Open is first played at Crans-sur-Sierre. The total budget of the first event was CHF 5,000, today the budget is in excess of CHF 11m, that is an increase of 2,200%, an average of 31% a year. The tournament was held just as WWII was breaking out with many of the players having to leave the tournament to fight for their countries.


  2. 1939

    As we welcomed the Swiss Open to Crans-sur-Sierre in 1939, we also said farewell to arguably one of the most influential golfers of all time. 1939 was also the year that the pioneer of professional golfers, Walter Hagen, retired from the professional game. He was the first golfer to turn pro and to also earn $1m from playing. He also clocked up 75 professional tournaments wins and sits behind only Jack and Tiger for the most major wins.


  3. 1940

    In 1940, OMEGA became the largest watch supplier for the armed forces of Great Britain. With these timepieces, OMEGA industrialised its advances in water resistant, shock-proof and anti-magnetic watches.


  4. 1940

    From the years 1940 to 1947 the tournament was not held due to World War II. From the first days of World War II, players put away their sticks and served for their countries, not only on the front line but also hosting Pro-Am events in order to raise funds for the wounded. A surprising number of legendary golfers have served in uniform but perhaps the most famous was Bobby Jones, at age 40, his golf exploits long behind him, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and landed at Normandy on D-Day plus one.


  5. 1940

    This is a 1940 Crans Montana in Valais vintage travel sport poster.


  6. 1941

    The PGA of America celebrates its 25th anniversary with 2,041 members, and also establishes the Golf Hall of Fame with its first inductees being Willie Anderson, Tommy Armour, Jim Barnes, Chick Evans, Walter Hagen, Bob Jones, John McDermott, Francis Ouimet, Gene Sarazen, Alex Smith, Jerry Travers and Walter Travis.


  7. 1944

    The ten millionth OMEGA watch was manufactured in 1944.


  8. 1945

    Lord Byron Nelson wins 18 tournaments in a calendar year to set an all-time PGA Tour record-including a record 11 in a row and a record 19 consecutive rounds under 70. His total prize earnings during his 11-win streak, $30,000, is less than last place money for the PGA Tour Championship by 1992. During this spring and summer he invented The Zone - "I guess what they call it now is being in a zone," Nelson said. "Then, I just felt a good rhythm and I was making the kind of swings that were repeatable."


  9. 1947

    Golf is televised for the first time on a local station, KSD-TV St. Louis. The tournament was the US Open, which was played at the St. Louis Country Club and won by Lew Worsham who defeated Sam Snead in a play-off. Amazingly, Worsham was also the champion of the first nationally televised golf tournament in 1953, winning with one of the greatest shots in golf history.


  10. 1947

    Golf was on the rise in Switerland, especially in Crans Montana. Shortly after the Second World War, the decision was taken to build another course to alleviate the overcrowded existing 18 holes. The course opened in 1951, but in the late 1980s was remodeled by golf legend Jack Nicklaus - his first and only course in Switzerland.


  11. 1948

    1948 was OMEGA's centenary. Happy 100th birthday! This was also the year that OMEGA introduced the Seamaster.


  12. 1949

    The golf pro to the Royals, Frenchman Marcel Dallemagne won the tournament in 1949 thanks to an albatross on the 18th. He had told Princess Murat, who was his partner “we need to hurry your Highness, it’s going to piss with rain”.


  13. 1949

    Sam Snead was known for his straw hat, but his first Masters win will always be linked to another piece of clothing: the first green jacket. The Masters first awarded the iconic garment to the winner in 1949, and Snead was its recipient.


  14. 1949

    Bobby Locke wins the British Open, a tournament he would go on to win a total of four times. Bobby defeated Ireland's Harry Bradshaw in a 36-hole play-off. In round two Bradshaw had played his ball from a broken beer bottle, rather than take a free drop, because the rules were ambiguous and he feared disqualification - it cost him a shot, and the title.


  15. 1950s

    The man in the gray flannel suit turned into a peacock as '50s golf clothes were ablaze with color. The knitted golf shirt, based on the Lacoste shirt invented for tennis, was matched with increasingly colorful trousers and shorts, ushering in an era when golf style became an enduring joke. However, the emergence of Arnold Palmer changed the game's look. The King was all coiled muscular energy, and his clothes—cotton shirt, lightweight tan trousers, oxford shoes — emphasized his athleticism. But in the 50s (and early 60s) it wasn’t just the clothing that set the scene for decades to come but the modern game was changed forever with the emergence of legends Player, Palmer and Nicklaus.


  16. 1950

    Ben Hogan’s miraculous win at the 1950 US Open goes down in the books as one of the brightest moments that changed the game. It was 16 months after recovering from a car accident that, by all logic, should have killed him. In those days the U.S. Open demanded that golfers play 36 holes and on a scorching final day, it would take its toll. The effort almost broke Hogan, he nearly fell down on the back nine and was barely able to walk. When it came to the 18th, Hogan needed par to force a playoff. His second shot, became one of the most famous shots and photographs in golf, hitting a 1-iron from the middle of the fairway – which is all but impossible to do!


  17. 1951

    The 1951 Swiss Open was Scottish Eric Brown’s first ever title and kicked off his best competitive decade of golf. Eric was on his honeymoon at the time with his bride Joan!


  18. 1951

    The USGA and the R&A, golf’s world rules and development body, had a joint conference and agreed on uniform rules of golf worldwide.


  19. 1953

    Sixty-three years ago, Ben Hogan won all five official PGA Tour events he entered, including all three of the Grand Slam tournaments – an achievement that is still recognised as one of the greatest season a professional golfer has ever had. It all started at the Masters in April and despite scattered rainstorms, Hogan caught the best of the weather each day, playing under a sunny sky and a gentle breeze with just enough rain before his tee times to take the fire out of the fast, undulating Augusta greens. He then went on to win the United States Open at Oakmont and the British Open at Carnoustie in the only time he entered, earning the love of Scotland, where he was called “The Wee Ice Mon,” for his approach to the ancient game.


  20. 1953

    Little did Gary Player know when he turned professional in 1953 that three years after first picked up a golf club, he would become one of the greatest players of all time and the best golfer South Africa has ever produced. He joined the PGA Tour in ’57 and within two years, he began to win. His first major championship victory came in 1959 at the Open Championship, the first of three British Open titles he would go on to win. Gary believes that it was just an ‘act of God’ that he managed to do so well as a golfer.


  21. 1954

    When Robert Trent Jones (often noted as one of the best all time golf course architects) redesigned the fourth hole at the Baltusrol Golf Club's Lower Course in Springfield, N.J., before the 1954 United States Open, some members thought the par 3 over a pond was unfair so he offered to play the hole along with Johnny Farrell, the club pro, and two members whilst the other members watched. Playing from the 165-yard members’ tee, Mr. Farrell and the two members each hit balls on the green. Mr. Jones stepped up and swung his 4-iron. His ball landed on the green and rolled into the cup for a hole in one. Turning to the assembled members, he said: ''Gentlemen, the hole is fair. Eminently fair.''


  22. 1954

    Oliver Barras, arguably the best amateur player that Switzerland has never known and a local to Crans-Montana, was a 9 times Swiss champion and 10 times best amateur of the Swiss Open. His success included a 0 ranking 3rd in 1954, finishing only three shots behind the legendary Bobby Locke.


  23. 1954

    Arnold Palmer, born in Pennsylvania in 1929, turned pro in 1954 after winning the U.S. Amateur Championship, and within three years captured the events winner title. A year later, in 1958, he won the money title. He would win three money titles in his career, as well as a U.S. Open title, a British Open title and four Masters titles, at the time the most in history. Palmer became the game’s first superstar, attracting a horde of followers at each tournament nicknamed “Arnie’s Army.” He totaled 62 PGA Tour wins in his career, ranking 5th all-time.


  24. 1954

    Gaston Barras, the now president of Crans-sur-Sierre, became a member of the golf club’s committee. From 1954 until today, he has greeted every Champion on the green, including legends Bobby Locke, Bob Charles, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Price, Ian Woosnam, Sir Nick Faldo, José María Olazábal, and Ernie Els.


  25. 1955

    In a four-minute skit on "The Honeymooners," Art Carney as Norton teaches Ralph, a bus driver from Brooklyn played by Jackie Gleason, how to play golf from an instruction book. "What do they mean by 'address the ball?' " Ralph asks, which leads to Norton taking his stance and intoning, "Hello, ball!" The episode premiered in 1955 and remains a cult classic.


  26. 1957

    Nobody thought Great Britain & Ireland would have a chance when Dai Rees’s men entered the singles 3-1 down. The GB&I team had not beaten the US for 24 years and many believed the Cup’s history was pre-determined. Yet inspired by the little Welshman, GB&I won six out of the eight singles, with only Peter Alliss losing. Rees, who beat Ed Furgol 7&6, was crowned BBC Sports Personality that year and many experts believe this shock result gave the Cup the breath of life it needed.


  27. 1958

    The International Golf Federation (IGF) was founded in 1958 and is the international federation recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the world governing body for golf. The headquarters of the IGF is located by the shores of Lake Geneva in Lausanne, Switzerland. 2016 was the first year golf is being played in the Olympics since 1904.


  28. 1959

    Karsten Solheim invents a putter with more weight at the heel and toe of the blade and a thinner, lighter sweet spot. The novel design makes it easier for golfers to hit the ball straight. The putter is called PING because of the sound it makes upon contact with a golf ball. He quits his day job, creates the golf-equipment brand Ping, and makes a fortune


  29. 1960s

    The neighbouring villages of Crans and Montana merge to form the town now known as Crans-Montana. In the 60s Crans-Montana was widely regarded as “the place to be”, a boom in tourism to the area saw the famous faces of the day gracing the valley: Gina Lollobrigida, Gilbert Bécaud, Charles Aznavour and many more.


  30. 1960

    Harold Henning (South Africa) Wins European Masters (270).


  31. 1960

    In 1960 Arnold Palmer became the King. Rarely in golf does a coronation happen with a single shot but, if ever it did, it was when Palmer drove the par-4 first green at Cherry Hills CC. Having already won five times that season, including finishing birdie-birdie at Augusta National for his second Masters title, Palmer was the player to beat in the U.S. Open. Coming from 7 strokes behind he exploded with six birdies in his first seven holes. Shooting a 65 overall to beat then amateur Jack Nicklaus by two strokes. Completing the first two legs of the modern grand slam.


  32. 1960s

    The 1960s is widely regarded as the ‘Mad Men Era’ or the ‘Golden Era of Golf’. Out on the course the legendary names of Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, were busy making history, and it wasn’t just their play that was timeless. The stylish cardigans, classic polo shirts, crisply ironed slacks, leather lace up shoes and lit cigarettes provide a stark contrast to today’s neon-heavy, performance sportswear. Golf also became a great tool for the real mad men of the advertising world. Companies were regularly entertaining their clients with big budget golf trips, featuring tour pros, to seal their business deals.


  33. 1961

    Five years after Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of a bus in Alabama, black golfers were still barred from the pro tour. The PGA of America, which then oversaw the tour, restricted membership and playing privileges to "professional golfers of the Caucasian race." Finally, in 1961, the bylaw was dropped after years of relentless pressure -- and the threat of legal action -- from boxing great Joe Louis and talented black players, including Charlie Sifford, Bill Spiller and Teddy Rhodes. "I think I did as much for the game as Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus," said Sifford (right), who soon joined the tour full time. When Tiger Woods won The Masters in 1997, he praised Sifford and the other pioneers: "They paved the way. If it wasn't for them, I might not have had the chance to play."


  34. 1961

    Kel Nagle (Australia) Wins European Masters (268)by 2 strokes over Dai Rees of Wales.


  35. 1961

    The British Open was approaching irrelevance in 1960. Top American players skipped the now landmark major, known for paltry prize money and unkempt course conditions. It took a king to restore luster to the royal event. Arnold Palmer fell one stroke short of victory at St. Andrews in 1960 but vowed, "I'll keep coming back until I win this championship." He made good in '61 at Royal Birkdale, where in the final round he scythed a 6-iron "as hard as I could" from knee-deep hay off the 15th fairway. (A plaque now marks the spot.) The gallery gasped as the ball soared onto the green, landing 12 feet from the cup. British fans fell in love with the swaggering Yank, who captured his first Claret Jug by one stroke, and restored the tournament to its now legendary status.


  36. 1961

    Gary Player beats Arnold Palmer to become the 1st international player to win the Masters.


  37. 1962

    Jack Nicklaus wins the US Open. His first professional victory, making him one of the few players that can claim this prestigious tournament as their first professional championship.


  38. 1961

    US President John F Kennedy wore his OMEGA Slimline watch during his inauguration on the 20th January 1961.


  39. 1962

    The tournament went to a play-off involving three players for the first time this year and the left- hander from New Zealand, Bob Charles, took the title thanks to an eagle. He then went on to win the British Open in 1963.


  40. 1962

    1962, Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf debuts at Pine Valley The concept was simple: Put great players on great courses and toss in quaint travelogues for non-golfers. It worked to perfection. Every winter weekend for nine years, golf-starved viewers were transported to sun-soaked settings as exotic as analyst Jimmy Demaret's lime-green blazers: Burma, Monaco, New Zealand. In all, the show broadcast 94 matches in 48 countries, featuring the biggest names: Hogan vs. Snead, Palmer vs. Boros. But it wasn't just the star power that hooked fans, says World writer and former GOLF MAGAZINE editor Al Barkow: "You're in Chicago, it's five below zero, you're up to your ass in snow, then you're watching a match from sunny Portugal and you think, 'Life is good'."


  41. 1963

    Dai Rees of Wales wins his third EM title with a score of 278.


  42. 1962

    Nearly two and half years before the watch was certified by NASA for all its manned space flights, astronaut Wally Schirra wore his OMEGA Speedmaster on Mercury Sigma 7 mission in 1962.


  43. 1963

    Bob Charles becomes the first New Zealander to win a major championship at the British Open.


  44. 1963

    New Equipment. The use of rubber grips and casted metal irons reduces the cost of golf clubs and allows more people to play the game.


  45. 1964

    A New Tournament is Born Mark McCormack establishes the Piccadilly World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, which brings together the year's four major winners, and other invited leading players of the year from the British and American tours. The inaugural event is won by Arnold Palmer, who defeats Britain's Neil Coles in the final. Gary Player would come to dominate the event for the following decade with five wins, twice defeating Jack Nicklaus in the final.


  46. 1964

    Harold Henning of South Africa wins his second EM title with a score of 276


  47. 1965

    South African Harold Henning won for the third time in 1965, a record which still stands today but was joined in 1989 by the beloved Severiano Ballesteros.


  48. 1965

    Gary Player wins the U.S. Open championship after a playoff with Australian Kel Nagle, to complete a career "Grand Slam" of the four major professional titles. He becomes only the third player (Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan were the first two) to accomplish the feat.


  49. 1965

    The Longest Hole in One. On October 7, 1965, a 50 mph (80 km/h) wind gust helped golfer Robert Mitera sink history’s longest hole-in-one, a 447-yard (409 m) ace of the 10th hole at Omaha’s Miracle Hill Golf Club.


  50. 1965

    This was the Golden Bear's Secretariat moment, when his golf became clearly bigger and better than any ever seen. Tied after two rounds of the 1965 Masters with fellow Big Three members Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, Nicklaus seemingly miniaturized Augusta National the next day with an awesome display of power. Three of his drives went at least 320 yards. He effectively hit 18 greens -- just missing the 11th in the right fringe -- and three par 5s in two with no more than a 3-iron. He had no bogeys and no 5s. His longest holed putt was 25 feet. After Nicklaus won by nine, Bobby Jones called it a level of golf with which he was unfamiliar. The man himself now calls his 64 at age 25 his finest round in a record major career.


  51. 1966

    Jack Nicklaus wins his first British Open championship, to become the fourth player to complete a career "Grand Slam", just a year after Gary Player became the third. It would be another 34 years before a fifth player (Tiger Woods) accomplished the feat.


  52. 1966

    Alfonso Angelini wins his second EM title with a score of 271


  53. 1967

    Randall Vines of Australia wins his first EM title with a two-stroke victory over Guy Wolstenholme of England. Final score 272


  54. 1967

    Charlie Sifford, by winning the Greater Hartford Open, becomes the first African-American to win a PGA Tour event.


  55. 1968

    Roberto DeVicenzo "ties" Bob Goalby after regulation play in The Masters, but signs an incorrect scorecard (that showed him having scored a 4 on the 17th hole instead of the 3 he actually took) and so loses the event by that stroke without a playoff. The sad decision was announced to incredulous spectators only after officials and tournament advisors including Bobby Jones did everything they could to scour the rulebook for a possible loophole.


  56. 1968

    Roberto Bernardini (ITA) wins his first EM title after a playoff with Allan Henning (South Africa) and Randall Vines (Australia) final score 272


  57. 1969

    Tony Jacklin becomes the first home player to win the British Open for 18 years, with a two-shot victory over Bob Charles at Royal Lytham.


  58. 1969

    Roberto Bernardini (ITA) takes home his second EM title, German Gerhard Koening is runner up.


  59. 1969

    Jack Nicklaus concedes Tony Jacklin's final putt and Britain ties the U.S. in the Ryder Cup Matches, after five consecutive defeats. The gesture is often hailed as "the greatest act of sportsmanship in history."


  60. 1970

    Ben Hogan, The Hawk, was essentially retired by the late 1950s. But he still liked to play every now and then to show he still had game. Hogan, 57, shot 71-75-71-70 to finish ninth in the 1970 Houston Champions International.


  61. 1969

    On July 20th 1969, the OMEGA Speedmaster landed on the moon with the Apollo 11 astronauts who made "one small step".


  62. 1971

    Ambassador post:
    “I wanted to be an astronaut when I was little. If I had been, I would’ve played golf on the moon too”

    Alan Shepard hits the first golf ball on the moon

    Golfers go to great lengths to play, but no man has gone farther than Alan Shepard, who trekked to the moon in 1971. Ten years after he became the first American in space, Shepard stashed a Wilson Staff 6-iron clubhead and two balls in a tube sock he'd hidden in his spacesuit. After Apollo 14 reached the moon, Shepard snapped the head onto a 33-inch aluminum rod used to collect soil samples. (He'd doctored the hosel in advance.) "In my left hand I have a little white pellet familiar to millions of Americans," the astronaut told the world before dropping a ball on the sandy lunar surface. "I'm going to try a little sand-trap shot." Encumbered by his bulky suit, he made three one-handed swipes -- whiff, chunk, shank. Then, with help from a lunar gravitational pull only one-sixth that of Earth's, he striped one 300 yards, with 35 seconds of hang time.


  63. 1971

    Italian Baldovino Dassu didn’t manage to win the 1971 Swiss Open but he impressed everyone by setting the course record with a round of 60, consisting of eleven birdies and seven pars.


  64. 1971

    Lee Trevino tossed a rubber snake to Jack Nicklaus on the first tee of the 1971 U.S. Open playoff in one of the silliest golf moments in history.


  65. 1971

    Lee Trevino enjoys an astonishing summer, winning the U.S. Open, the Canadian Open, and then the British Open Championship, in quick succession. He becomes the first player to win the U.S and British Opens in the same year since Ben Hogan in 1953. His British Open victory comes after a final-round duel with immediate crowd favourite Lu Liang-Huan, from Taiwan - "Mr. Lu" - the first time any Asian golfer had finished in the top three of a major tournament.


  66. 1971

    Jack Nicklaus wins the PGA Championship - unusually played in February in 1971 - but then surprisingly loses the Masters, beaten in the final round by unheralded playing partnerCharles Coody. Nicklaus would then lose a playoff for the U.S. Open to Lee Trevino.


  67. 1972

    "Jack Nicklaus completes the first two legs of the modern Grand Slam winning the Masters and the U.S. Open (at Pebble Beach), but like Arnold Palmer in 1960, falters in the British Open by finishing second (to Lee Trevino). Nicklaus was also the holder of the 1971 PGA Championship, and so would have become the first golfer to hold all four titles at the same time, although not the first to win four consecutive professional majors.

    Trevino's one-shot victory at Muirfield comes after he holes seemingly impossible chip shots from off the green at both the 16th and 18th holes in the third round, and then again at the 17th in the final round - snatching the tournament from under the nose of playing partner and home favourite Tony Jacklin, who is so stunned he proceeds to three-putt the 17th from 15 feet (4.6 m) then bogey the last as well, to miss out on even second place. The young Jacklin would never again challenge seriously in a major championship."


  68. 1973

    "Johnny Miller wins the U.S. Open at Oakmont with a final-round 63

    On Sunday at the 1973 U.S. Open, Arnold Palmer glimpsed the scoreboard as he measured a short birdie putt on Oakmont's 11th green. ""Who the hell is 5-under?"" a stunned Arnie asked. The answer: Johnny Miller, the bold, blond Californian with the plaid pants and awesome iron game. The .26-year-old started the day tied for 13th, six shots back. While galleries followed glamour groups -- Palmer, Player, Nicklaus and Weiskopf were all near the lead -- Miller quietly made history. He birdied the first four holes and never looked back, scorching soggy Oakmont. He missed one fairway, hit every green and knocked 10 approach shots to within 15 feet of the flag on his way to a one-stroke win over John Schlee. Some said the soft course was a pushover, but only four of the 65 players broke 70, and Miller's 8-under 63 remains tied both for the lowest round in U.S. Open history and the lowest final round ever in a major. Was it the best round ever? ""It's the best I've seen,"" Miller said."


  69. 1973

    Tom Weiskopf enjoys his most successful season, with four U.S. tour victories capped by a victory in the British Open.


  70. 1973

    Tommy Aaron, the player whose mistakenly recorded 4 on Roberto DeVicenzo's card in 1968 was not noticed in time to prevent disaster, wins the U.S. Masters. Britain's young player Peter Oosterhuis leads after 3 rounds but finishes third, the closest any British player had come to victory at Augusta at that time.


  71. 1973

    The graphite shaft is invented.


  72. 1973

    Jack Nicklaus wins the PGA Championship and breaks Bobby Jones' record for most major victories with his 14th. Nicklaus wins seven times in total on the U.S. Tour, for the second year in succession, to top the annual U.S. Money List for a sixth time, taking him clear of the record number of five that he had shared with Ben Hogan.


  73. 1974

    "Gary Player, aged 39, enjoys arguably his most successful season, winning both the Masters Championship and the British Open. He became the only player to ever win the British Open in three different decades."


  74. 1974

    On the U.S. tour, Johnny Miller wins eight times, the most by any player in a single season since Arnold Palmer in 1960.


  75. 1974

    Roberto DeVicenzo scores six birdies, an eagle, and three more birdies for a record 11-under par for ten holes, at Valla Allende GC, Argentina.


  76. 1974

    When Bing Crosby was hospitalized during his Crosby pro-am in 1974, his friend Phil Harris, the singer with a penchant for liquor, pinch-hit in the TV booth, with predictable results. After Chris Schenkel observed that Johnny Miller had hit a shot with a smooth touch, Harris replied, "Yeah, as smooth as a man lifting a breast out of an evening gown." Said Crosby: "I was under such heavy sedation that week I hardly remember anything about watching the tournament on TV. But that remark from Phil woke me up."


  77. 1974

    Jack Nicklaus' "Golf My Way" is published and rapidly becomes one of the best-selling sports books of all time.


  78. 1975

    Lee Trevino, Jerry Heard and Bobby Nichols are struck by lightning during the 1975 Western Open. The incident prompts new safety standards in weather preparedness at PGA Tour events, but one spectator is killed when struck by lightning during the 1991 U.S. Open at Hazeltine National, and one at the PGA Championship at Crooked Stick later that summer.


  79. 1975

    "Jack Nicklaus wins his fifth Masters over his two top rivals, Johnny Miller and Tom Weiskopf

    They say The Masters doesn't begin until the back nine on Sunday. The old saw was never truer than in 1975, when golf's power trio tussled for the green jacket. Johnny Miller was the Tour's leading money winner, Tom Weiskopf had just triumphed in Greensboro and Jack Nicklaus was, well, Jack Nicklaus. Playing one group ahead of his rivals, the Golden Bear birdied the 15th but then half-chunked his tee shot on the par-3 16th, leaving a nasty, uphill 40-footer. Weiskopf led Nicklaus by one and his playing partner by two as he and Miller climbed onto the 16th tee, where they watched the Bear face a possible three-putt. Nicklaus gave his ball a rap; it scaled the shelf, broke hard left and dove into the cup. He leaped into the air, thrusting his arm and putter skyward. Weiskopf's shoulders slumped; minutes later he bogeyed 16. At 18, he and Miller missed birdie putts that would have forced a playoff, and Nicklaus had his fifth green jacket."


  80. 1976

    "Royal Birkdale, 1976 Open

    Ballesteros, 19, announced himself by tying for second with Jack Nicklaus. On the final hole of the tournament, he chipped between two bunkers and onto the green."


  81. 1976

    The most charismatic player of all time, Seve Ballesteros, won his first tournament in 1976 and followed that with nine more victories in the 1970s, including the 1979 Open Championship at Royal Lytham with a closing 70, a round in which he famously hit his tee shot into a car park on the 16th hole yet still made a birdie


  82. 1977

    In 1977, the 25th running of the East Africa Safari Rally, universally considered as the most gruelling race in the world, is timed by OMEGA at every stage over its 3500 mile course.


  83. 1977

    In 1977, Seve Ballesteros became the youngest tournament winner at the age of 20 and 99 days. He would triumphantly defend his title the year after before going on to become a real god of golf.


  84. 1977

    La police reçoit par téléphone des menaces à l’encontre de la vie d’Hubert Green, le leader de l’U.S. Open, alors qu’il se prépare à terminer son dernier tour. Green, informé de la menace, décide de terminer le tournoi et le remporte.


  85. 1977

    The "sudden-death" playoff is used for the first time in a major championship, when Lanny Wadkins defeats Gene Littler for the PGA Championship played at Pebble Beach.


  86. 1977

    "Al Geiberger shoots the first 59 on the PGA Tour 

    It was already a memorable week at the 1977 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic: Former President Gerald Ford had made an ace in the pro-am. Two days later Al Geiberger, the 1966 PGA champion, turned Ford's feat into a footnote. Geiberger started well enough on the par-72 Colonial Country Club course -- two-under after five holes. Then he reeled off six birdies and an eagle in seven holes. The gallery chanted, ""Fifty-nine! Fifty-nine!"" On the last hole, the man who'd battled a bleeding stomach brought on by stress coolly knocked a 9-iron to eight feet and drained the birdie putt, posting the first 59 in PGA Tour history. The enormity of his achievement was not lost on ""Mr. 59,"" a nickname that still graces Geiberger's business cards. ""I broke the sound barrier,"" he said days later. ""I pitched the perfect game."" 30. The first Skins Game sets the stage for the modern Silly Season "


  87. 1977

    In what has been described as the most exciting tournament in history, Tom Watson defeats Jack Nicklaus by one stroke in the British Open, at Turnberry. They were tied with each other after two rounds, and played together for the final 36 holes, during which they shot 65–65, and 65–66, respectively. Runner-up Nicklaus finished ten shots clear of third place.


  88. 1977

    Chako Higuchi of Japan wins the LPGA Championship, making her the first Asian-born golfer to win a major championship.


  89. 1978

    Gary Player, aged 43, wins the Masters championship for his ninth major title. As if not to be upstaged, later in the year Jack Nicklaus wins a third British Open title, taking his career total to fifteen.


  90. 1978

    The 1978 Hennessy Cup, a team event between Britain and Continental Europe, at The Belfry

    The situation: Ballesteros is one up in his match against Nick Faldo as the pair arrives at the short par-four 10th. The ­sensible play is a mid-iron short of the water and a sand wedge on to the green.

    The shot: Ballesteros hits his ­Persimmon-headed driver, and carries his soft, wound, balata ball 280 yards over tall trees guarding the right side of the green. He is the first man to reach the target from the tee, the ball finishing 10 feet from the hole from where he makes a simple birdie. Countless golfers have since repeated the feat, most of them from a forward tee and with the help of a titanium-headed driver and modern, multi-layer ball. Seve wins the hole and the match 2&1.


  91. 1978

    Nancy Lopez Was A Breakout Star

    Nancy Lopez dominated the LPGA Tour during the 1978 and 1979 seasons with 17 wins. She won five in a row during one memorable run. Annika Sorenstam tied that mark in 2005, but few LPGA golfers since have had the mainstream exposure of Lopez during the late 70s.


  92. 1979

    The Ryder Cup is reformatted to add European continent players to the British and Irish side, making the event far more competitive. The move is prompted in no small part by the rise of golfers such as Seve Ballesteros. As if to emphasise the need for change, Ballesteros — already known simply as "Sevvy" to an adoring British public — wins the British Open atLytham St Annes, becoming the first Spanish golfer to win a major, and the first from Continental Europe to win a major since Frenchman Arnaud Massy in 1907.


  93. 1979

    At Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Seve Ballesteros hoisted the Claret Jug, assuming his perch as Europe's brightest star. His march to the winner's circle was classic Seve: He missed his final seven fairways -- and played those holes in one-under. Best of all was his recovery on the 16th, where the 22-year-old sprayed his drive into a parking lot. His ball resting next to an Austin Healy sports car, Ballesteros took a drop on the dusty ground, lofted a wedge to 15 feet and sank the putt for birdie. (Championship committee Chairman Colin Maclaine said Seve chose to play not Lytham but a course "of hay fields, car parks, grandstands.") The Ballesteros Era had begun, igniting a European golf boom whose echoes still reverberate.


  94. 1979

    PGA Tour pro Ron Streck looked down at his ball in the rough at the 1979 First NBC New Orleans Open and reached for the new driver he'd gotten from Gary Adams, founder of a tiny Illinois-based company called TaylorMade. Planning to lay up on the par 5, Streck swung and -- thwack! -- the ball soared 280 yards to the green. "I was in shock," he says. "It's like the ball shot out of a cannon." Golf's Metal Age was launched. While Adams didn't invent metalwoods (they'd been around the game's fringes for almost a century), his clubheads were lighter and better balanced. Some called them gimmicky, but Adams was a brilliant salesman who knew how to peddle the metal -- which was cheaper than wood and delivered more stored energy to the ball for longer, straighter shots.


  95. 1980

    Stuart Macgregor: @omegaEUmasters #greatgolftimes walking in the footsteps of my hero and legend Seve, Muirfield 1980


  96. 1980

    The 1980s saw a rapid rise in the popularity of golf, driven by the rising stars and personalities of the game, the original ‘baby boomers’ being in their late 30s and early 40s, and the surge of the sponsorship market. During this decade the winning prize purse for the Swiss Open increased by more that 88%. [image: Bob Charles – New Zealands most successful golfer]


  97. 1981

    In 1981 TPC Sawgrass opened for play. Designed to host championship golf, it led the way for stadium golf design. Its par 3, 17th hole, is one of the most famous holes in golf and probably the most controversial too with players either loving the challenge or constantly dreading it for 16 holes prior. Our campaign ambassador Miguel Angel Jimenez, and record holder for the most aces on the European Tour doesn’t mind it so much – he is one of only seven players to ace the hole during 35 years of the Players Championship!


  98. 1982

    Nicknamed 'Woosie', 'Woosers', or the 'Wee Welshman', Woosnam was one of the "Big Five" generation of European golfers - Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, and Sandy Lyle. Woosnam turned professional in 1976 and first played the European Tour in 1979. He spent his early years on Tour driving around the continent in a camper van, living on a diet of baked beans to save money and after three modest seasons, his career took off in 1982 when he won the Swiss Open and came eighth on the Order of Merit.


  99. 1983

    Tournament news made a splash in the Chicago Tribune. The newspaper reported the nail-biting play-off between two of the great rivalries of the 80s – Sir Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle. Faldo picked up the title when Lyle missed a short putt on the second sudden-death hole after both had birdied the first extra hole.


  100. 1985

    OMEGA is awarded the Grand Prix Triomphe de L'excellence Européenne in 1985 in recognition of the quality, originality and aesthetics of its creations.


  101. 1986

    Two time major champion and Ryder Cup Captain hero, José María Olazábal, kick-started his career as one of Spain’s most successful golfers. Claiming the title at the young age of 20, making him one of only five players under the age of 21 to ever win on the European Tour.


  102. 1986

    The Sony Rankings system, now the Official World Golf Rankings was introduced in 1986, the first formally recognised ranking system for men's golf. The first-ever number one, in April 1986, was 1985 Masters Champion Bernhard Langer.


  103. 1986

    Nicklaus had been the best golfer in the world for nearly two decades, but by 1986 he was almost an afterthought. In 1985, he missed the cut at the U.S. and British Opens, finished 32nd at the PGA Championship and hadn't won a major since 1980. At the 1986 Masters he was a long shot in a yellow shirt and plaid pants that, like his game, had seen better times in the '70s! And then came the most remarkable final round in Masters history. Nicklaus' 18-foot putt on hole 17 capped an eagle-birdie-birdie flourish that gave him a 65 for the round and a 6-under mark on the back nine. After a par on 18th, he won the tournament with a historic one-stroke victory.


  104. 1988

    Jack Nicklaus’ first and only course in Switzerland opens for play. It was in May 1981, the American Champion signed the contract for the construction, it then took a further four years to get the necessary permission before works could start on the 9 holes, but the result was worth it. Since the summer of 1988, golfers have been playing the "Jack Nicklaus " course at Golf-Club Crans-sur-Sierre.


  105. 1991

    Andrew Jenkins: Nabbed Wobbly @91 Masters &gave him Welsh pinbadge. My bit of luck for Woosie's win #GreatGolfTimes


  106. 1991

    In 1990, the Japanese camera giant, Canon, took over title sponsorship of the European Masters Swiss Open. The sponsor helped to drive forward the tournament’s prize fund and importance on the European Tour schedule, boosting the winner take home by more than double by the end of their sponsorship in 2000. [Image: Sven Struver of Germany celebrates winning the extra-hole to gain victory in the 1998 Canon European Masters]


  107. 1991

    After John Daly jumped from ninth to first alternate in the 1991 PGA Championship, the 25-year-old no-name drove all night from Memphis to Crooked Stick in Carmel, Indiana. And when Nick Price withdrew, the PGA Tour rookie got his shot. With ballistic drives and a silky short game, Daly shredded Pete Dye's 7,289-yard design, flying fairway bunkers and cutting corners on doglegs. Fans loved Daly's country-boy persona -- he honed his swing on a 9-holer in Arkansas, using balls fished from a pond -- and his booming tee shots. "I hit it as hard as I can," he said, "and if I find the ball I hit again." In 1991, the legend of Long John Daly was born, and golf had a new, macho mantra: "Grip it and rip it."


  108. 1993

    Three time champion, Seve Ballasteros, cemented his legendary status with one of the greatest scrambling shots in golf history – now known as ‘The Great Escape’ His drive from the 18th came to rest just five feet from an eight-foot high wall standing between his ball, a swimming pool and the green, some 130 yards away, with only the smallest of gaps to be seen between the wall and a string of branches. After a lengthy discussion with caddie Billy Foster, who desperately pleaded with his employer to take his medicine and chip out sideways, Seve stuck to his trademark aggressive guns, laid the face of his sand wedge wide open and fired the ball almost vertically up over the wall, but beneath the tree limbs. He then chips in for a miraculous birdie!


  109. 1995

    The Bond movie Goldeneye opened in 1995 in New York City and an OMEGA Seamaster was on the wrist of the world's favourite spy. 007 has not been seen without one since.


  110. 1995

    On the eve of the 1995 Masters, ceremonial starter Gene Sarazen looked like a better pick than Ben Crenshaw. The 1984 winner hadn't broken 70 in two months, and on the Sunday before the tournament his legendary coach and mentor, Harvey Penick, had died at age 90. The loss devastated Crenshaw -- and inspired him. Shots that should have reached woods or bunkers bounced to safety. Bogeys became birdies. "Another Harvey bounce," Crenshaw's wife, Julie, kept saying. After tapping in for a one-stroke win, Ben cradled his head in his hands and wept. A Masters champion again at 43, he offered one explanation for his win "I had a 15th club in the bag today -- Harvey Penick."


  111. 1995

    Three-time winner Seve Ballesteros was commissioned to carry out changes to the course aimed at making it more challenging for the professionals. However, the improvements made by the Spanish expert were hardly completed when fate intervened to threaten the course. Following the 1997 tournament, there was a rumpus over the greens - it was essential to change them if the European Masters was to continue to be played there.

    So, Ballesteros went back to work.

    By the summer of 1999, Plan-Bramois was ready to offer an entirely new face with the course not only boasting completely new greens with various contours and slopes, but also new tee boxes and obstacles. The transformation received praise from the players and the tournament venue was saved.


  112. 1996

    At the 1996 Masters, Jack Nicklaus predicted that amateur Tiger Woods would win more green jackets than Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer combined. Tom Watson called him "the type of player who comes around once in a millennium." Golf scribes rolled their eyes. A year later, Jack and Tom looked prophetic. Playing in his first major as a pro, Woods made Augusta National beg for mercy. He began Sunday with a nine-shot lead and ended the day with a four-footer for par, a fist pump and a slew of tournament records: youngest champion (21), lowest four-day score (270) and largest margin of victory (12). Woods also became the first minority golfer to win The Masters.


  113. 1997

    OMEGA ambassador and ‘original’ supermodel, Cindy Crawford, stole the limelight at the 1997 Pro-Celeb tournament. She played alongside the 1996 champion, Colin Montgomerie, who that day in particular, was the envy of every male golfer around the world.


  114. 1998

    Kevin Dunne: @omegaEUmasters With my brother & @TheBig_Easy at '98 Irish Open & 17 yrs later @TheOpen, St Andrews #GreatGolfTimes


  115. 1999

    Lee Westwood claimed a hat-trick winning three tournaments from three starts. At the time, the 26-year-old Englishman became the third golfer to ever achieve the hat-trick – following in the illustrious footsteps of Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo – with a 14 under par total of 270. After an epic final round which developed into a match play situation between Westwood and Thomas Bjorn, Westwood added the Canon European Masters title to the TNT Dutch Open and the Smurfit European Open titles which he won before a three week spell in America.


  116. 2000

    Tiger Woods recorded the most dominant season in history by any player. He won 11 of the 25 events he entered worldwide, including three major championships, breaking all-time scoring records at each. His season-long scoring average was 68.11, breaking an all-time record most thought would never be beaten, set by Byron Nelson in 1945 (68.33). It was calculated that his lead in the (24-month) world rankings at the end of 2000 was so great that he could take 2001 off altogether, and still be world number one at the end of that year.


  117. 2000

    Most people might not remember when Billy Andrade shot 28-under to win the 2000 Invensys Classic, but they should as was a defining moment in the modern game. That tournament saw the debut of Titleist’s Pro V1, one of the most revolutionary products in golf equipment history, which increased the average driving distance by six in one season. Four months later it become the best selling golf ball on the market, in 2014/2015 season it was the ball that helped 406 wins on the PGA TOUR and today is used by 2 out of 3 golfers.


  118. 2001

    It was in 1983 that the Swiss Open changed its name to the European Masters but it wasn't until 2001 that OMEGA became the official title sponsor of the tournament. This sponsorship, by a brand with the same rich heritage and Swiss-made quality, saw the perfect pairing of historic names. 6th September 2001 was the official moment the OMEGA European Masters was born. OMEGA continues its commitment to the growth of golf around the world and the brand is now involved in golf on practically every continent


  119. 2002

    Tiger Woods becomes the highest paid sportsman, a title he would hold for 10 years. His caddie, Steve Willams, was also named New Zealands highest paid sportsman. Together they won 13 major championships together before their public split in 2011.


  120. 2003

    Although Jim Furyk would win the trophy at the 2003 US Open, the Thursday belonged to Tom Watson and Bruce Edwards. Five months after the veteran caddie learned he had an aggressive form of the fatal neuromuscular disease ALS, his boss turned back the clock. Throwback Thursday was filled with amazing moments: a holed 6-iron from 171 yards for eagle, a 45-foot birdie bomb that teetered on the lip, then dropped; a nifty up-and-down closing par for 65, Watson's lowest U.S. Open round ever. Galleries cheered and tears flowed as cries of "Bruuuce" echoed throughout Olympia Fields. When it was over, Watson spoke not about birdies but about ALS. "I've got the bully pulpit, and I'm going to use it," he said, calling his friend's affliction an "orphan disease" that demanded attention and research.


  121. 2005

    Omega Amabassador Sergio Garcia, decorates his Crans-Montana mantelpiece with the Omega European Masters trophy. The emotional win was dedicated to his long-time friend Maria Garcia Estrada who had passed from cancer the weekend prior. He joins a long list of players who have claimed victory after loosing a love one. The most recent being Henrik Stenson at this years Open Championship, where he played his best golf to take home his first Major title…..with a little help from his late friend and mentor Mike Gerbich.


  122. 2006

    Omega Ambassador Michelle Wei draws in the crowds and grabs news headlines as she becomes the first women to compete in a European Tour Events. There were mixed feelings from the players but mostly as they were worried about being beaten by the LGPA star. With Dougherty admitting the pressure “Playing with is a privilege in many ways, a burden in others as there is the added pressure of if she beats me I have to shake her hand and say ‘well done, play well at the weekend’.”


  123. 2008

    OMEGA delivered 420 tons of timekeeping equipment to Beijing in 2008 for the summer Olympics. This was used by 450 timekeeping professionals and more than a thousand local volunteers. This marked OMEGA's 23rd Olympic Games as official timekeeper.


  124. 2008

    Mads Vibe-Hastrup’s albatross in the 2008 Omega European Masters was the fifth in the event since The European Tour’s first season in 1972. The tournament jointly holds the record for most albatrosses with five, along with The Open Championship.


  125. 2009

    The Omega European Masters adds to its long list of history making by becoming the first co-sanctioned event with the Asian tour on European soil. In 2014 David Lipsky became the first Asian Tour players to win the tournament.


  126. 2009

    In a return to Turnberry, the site of one of his legendary 1977 Open Championship win, 59-year-old had the golf world sitting on the edge of their seats at the 2009 championship. After a hip replacement and 3 months off the game, Tom led for much of the tournament and gave one of the performances of his life but unfortunately lost in four-hole play-off, finishing one putt short of golf’s greatest win.


  127. 2010

    After 22 consecutive appearances, Miguel Angel Jiménez final takes home the Red Jacket. Also, at 46 years and 243 days, he takes the crown of the oldest player to win the tournament! The celebrations go a little wild, starting with a champagne shower on the 18th green, followed by fellow Spanish players Pablo Larrazabal and Pablo Martin pushing him into the water, continuing off the course later with his trademark cigars and a glass (or four!) of red wine.


  128. 2013

    OMEGA Ambassador, Rory McIlroy signs with Nike in one of the biggest sponsorship deals in sporting history. The deal, which is worth circa $200m, cemented Rory’s status as the leading star of golf. However, it was recently announced that Nike will stop manufacturing golf equipment, which leaves Rory shopping for new clubs.


  129. 2014

    Jim Willshaw: @omegaEUmasters #greatgolftimes Three generations at Pebble Beach. Grandad's first hole in one at 71yrs.


  130. 2015

    #GreatGolfTime Campaign ambassadors Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick battled it out at the 2015 installment, with Danny claiming the victory. The Champion makes tournament history the following year by becoming only winner of the tournament to win the Masters


  131. 2015

    The 22-year-old Jordan Spieth captivated the sports world in 2015, and it all started with a dominant showing at the Masters. He shot 18 under on his way to becoming the second-youngest golfer to win the year’s first major. His incredible year continued when he took home the U.S. Open and fueled conversation about ‘Golfs new era’, headlined by Spieth, Day and McIlroy.


  132. 2016

    OMEGA returns to the summer Olympics in Rio to mark its 27th Olympic Games as official timekeeper


  133. 2016

    Tom Kelly: @omegaEUmasters #greatgolftimes are the yearly reunion rounds with old friends. #nothingchanges



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