Tom Watson has stood the test of time to become one of the most respected and revered players in professional golf. His near-victory in the 2009 British Open at the age of 59 is still on the tongues of sports fans inspired by his performance. As a result of Watson’s showing at the British Open, the age limit of the tournament was officially raised to accommodate the talents of older players like him.
Watson has a stunning record for victory, with 39 PGA wins under his belt. He has been elected PGA Player of the Year six times in his career, and has led the total annual money winnings among golfers five times. Watson continues to dominate in the senior circuit, with a total of 13 wins, five of which in the Majors. He most recently participated in the 2010 Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii and the 2011 Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla. On December 13, 2012, Watson was announced as the captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland.
A Midwesterner in heart and spirit, Watson was born, raised, and still lives in Kansas City, Missouri. At the age of 6, Watson’s father Ray introduced him to golf. Eleven years later, Watson found himself the winner of an amateur state championship. He would go on to represent Stanford University’s varsity golf team, where he graduated with a degree in 1971.
In the same year, Watson managed to win the Western Open—his first PGA Championship Title. However, Watson suffered setbacks in the following years, losing his lead in the U.S. Open in both 1974 and 1975.
It wasn’t until 1977 that Watson finally began to make his mark in the golf world. His legendary “Duel in the Sun” with golfing legend Jack Nicklaus was hailed as the Tournament of the Century. Watson’s game-winning birdie sealed his reputation as one of the world’s greatest golfers.
Since that day, Watson has gone on to win many more major PGA titles. He also competed in multiple Ryder Cup tournaments, captaining the team in 1993 to a narrow victory in the final rounds.
Outside of competing in golf, Watson carries out an assortment of philanthropic efforts. For a quarter century, Watson has been the host of the Children’s Mercy Golf Tournament, raising a total of over $12 million dollars for a local children’s hospital. He has also been active in sponsoring organizations dedicated to bringing golf to the nation’s children, including Clubs for Kids and The First Tee of Kansas City.
After the loss of his stand-by golf caddie Bruce Edwards to ALS, Watson founded the Bruce Edwards Celebrity Classic to raise almost $3 million for ALS research. He is also an active supporter of U.S. troops, providing free golf lessons to troops in Iraq and raising funds for wounded veterans.
Watson’s recent entrepreneurial efforts include Tom Watson Design, wherein he has developed over a dozen golf courses across the world. He also has produced instructional videos and books to help golfers get an edge in their own game.
Watson is a one of the most famous motivational speakers in sports, communicating with audiences across the world on the lessons he has learned from his lifelong pursuit of golf. His insights are a perfect match for organizations looking to share with their employees the values that have brought Tom Watson such incredible and diverse success.
Six-time PGA Player of the Year
USGA Bob Jones Award (1987)
World Golf Hall of Fame Inductee (1988)
PGA Player of the Decade (1990)
Golf Digest Magazine – 10th greatest golfer of all time
By far and away the most professional work I've ever seen on the subject of golf. Mr Watson's insight and approach to dissecting the game is revolutionary.
Reaffirming the basic fundamentals with Tom Watson eliminated uncertainties I had acquired after years of developing bad habits. Hearing Tom explain it has given me back the confidence I have been missing.
His speech is clear, concise, and very easy to follow. He presents everything so well.
Interesting, straight forward sensible lessons. Can't fail to improve ones game with practise and application.