Who's who in golf - Bob Charles


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Name: - Robert James "Bob" Charles
Country: - New Zealand
Born : - Mar 14, 1936 in Carterton, Wellington Region, North Island, New Zealand.
Original Home/Club: - Carterton, NZ
Occupation: - Professional golfer; course designer.
Turned Pro: - 1960

Roll of Honour

Majors (1). Total professional wins (68), of which US PGA Tr (6), Champions Tr (23) and European circuit/Tr (10+). Also winner of five NZ Opens (the first in 1954 as an amateur) and two Snr British Opens. World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted 2008). Appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, OBE (1972); Commander of the Order of the British Empire, CBE (1992); Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (1999), which carries the title "Sir"; Order of New Zealand, ONZ (2011).


Golf course design

Bob Charles has designed a number of courses in New Zealand, including (but not limited to): Formosa Auckland; The Dunes (Matarangi); Clearwater (with John Darby); Millbrook; Royal Wellington (1992, modifications).


Did you know?

Bob Charles is one of golf's most famous left-handed players, although for all other activities he is right-handed. He sensationally won the 1954 New Zealand Open as an amateur, but refrained from turning professional until 1960, preferring to follow an amateur career while continuing to work in a bank. As a professional he quickly ventured overseas onto the European and U.S. circuits where he recorded several wins. In 1963 he became the first "lefty" to win a major championship, beating American Phil Rodgers in a 36-hole playoff for the Open Championship at Royal Lytham. Charles enjoyed great success on the US Senior (now Champions) Tour, and at the age of 71 managed a second-place finish in the 2007 Wentworth Senior Masters on the European Senior Tour. In later years Charles became involved in course design, as well as championing children's causes and promoting junior golf in New Zealand. He eventually retired from competitive golf age 74.


Top tournaments won by Bob Charles

1998Snr AmericaFather/Son ChallengeWindsor Club, FL119 (-25)$150,000
Played as the Office Depot Father/Son Challenge (Dec 5/6; post-season 36-hole scramble event). Second-placed Craig & Kevin Stadler (USA) finished 4 shots behind Bob & David Charles (NZ). [Windsor Club, Orchid Beach, nr Vero Beach, Florida].
1998Snr AmericaGrand Champions Ch'shipDunes G&BC, SC212 (-4)$85,000
Played as the MasterCard Champions Championship (Nov 5-7; unofficial Snr PGA Tour event for 60+ age group; played as part of the season-ending Senior Tour Championship). Second-placed Al Geiberger (USA) finished 2 shots behind Charles (NZ). [Dunes G&BC, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina].
1996Snr AmericaGrand Champions Ch'shipDunes G&BC, SC210 (-6)$85,000
Played as the MasterCard Champions Championship (Nov 8-10; unofficial Snr PGA Tour event for 60+ age group; played as part of the season-ending Senior Tour Championship). Won by Charles (NZ). [Dunes G&BC, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina].
1996Snr AmericaTurtle Bay Ch'shipKaanapali Resort198 (-15)$97,500
Played as the Hyatt Regency Maui Kaanapali Classic (Oct 25-27). Second-placed Hale Irwin (USA) finished 1 shot behind defending champion Charles (NZ), who recorded the last of his 23 Snr PGA Tour victories. [Royal Ka'anapali course, Ka'anapali Resort, Maui, Hawaii; aka the North course].
1995Snr AmericaTurtle Bay Ch'shipKaanapali Resort204 (-9)$90,000
Played as the Hyatt Regency Maui Kaanapali Classic (Oct 27-29). Charles (NZ) beat Dave Stockton (USA) with a birdie at the third playoff hole. [Royal Ka'anapali course, Ka'anapali Resort, Maui, Hawaii; aka the North course].
1993Snr AmericaDoug Sanders ClassicDeerwood Club208 (-8)$75,000
Played as the Doug Sanders Celebrity Classic. Second-placed Jim Ferree (USA) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ). [Deerwood Course, Clubs of Kingswood, Houston, Texas].
1993Snr AmericaInstinet ClassicChester Valley204 (-6)$97,500
Played as the Bell Atlantic Classic. Second-placed Dave Stockton (USA) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ). [Chester Valley GC, Malvern, nr Philadelphia, PA].
1993Snr AwardsLow Stroke Ave - US Snr Tr69.59n/a
Charles (NZ) won his third Byron Nelson Award, recording the season's lowest scoring average on the Senior PGA Tour. Dave Stockton (USA) was second with 69.71; George Archer (USA) was third with 69.86.
1993Snr AmericaPittsburgh Snr ClassicQuicksilver GC207 (-9)$157,500
Played as the inaugural Quicksilver Classic (Sept 3-5). Second-placed Dave Stockton (USA) finished 4 shots behind Charles (NZ). [Quicksilver GC, Midway, nr Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania].
1993Snr EuropeSenior Open ChampionshipRoyal Lytham291 (+7)£36,650
Played as the Senior British Open (7th). Second-placed Tommy Horton (Eng) and Gary Player (RSA) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ). [Royal Lytham & St Annes GC, nr Blackpool, Lancs].
1992Snr AmericaGold Rush ClassicRancho Murieta201 (-15)$75,000
Played as the Raley's Senior Gold Rush. Second-placed Chi Chi Rodriguez (PR/USA) and Gary Player (RSA) finished 7 shots behind Charles (NZ). [Rancho Murieta CC, nr Sacramento, California].
1992Snr AmericaTransamerica Ch'shipSilverado200 (-16)$75,000
Played as the Transamerica Senior Golf Championship (Oct 16-18). Second-placed Dave Stockton (USA) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ). [Silverado Resort, Napa, California].
1991Snr AmericaTampa Bay Pro-AmTPC Tampa Bay210 (-6)$67,500
Played as the GTE Suncoast Classic. Second-placed George Archer (USA) and Lee Trevino (USA) finished 4 shots behind Charles (NZ). [TPC Tampa Bay, Lutz, nr Tampa, FL].
1990Snr AmericaBank of America Ch'shipNashawtuc CC203 (-13)$52,500
Played as the Digital Seniors Classic. Second-placed Lee Trevino (USA) finished 2 shots behind defending champion Charles (NZ). [Nashawtuc CC, Concord, Massachusetts].
1990Snr AsiaGrand Slam (Snrs)Oak Hills CC, Jpn214 (-2)US$72,000
Played as the Fuji Electric Grand Slam (March 23-25; Snr PGA Tour unofficial money event). Second-placed Chi-san Hsu (Taiw) finished shots behind Charles (NZ), who this event for the third straight year. [Oak Hills CC, nr Katori, Chiba, Japan].
1990Snr AmericaTurtle Bay Ch'shipKaanapali Resort206 (-4)$67,500
Played as the GTE Kaanapali Classic. Second-placed George Archer (USA) and Lee Trevino (USA) finished 4 shots behind Charles (NZ). [Royal Ka'anapali course, Ka'anapali Resort, Maui, Hawaii; aka the North course].
1989Snr AmericaBank of America Ch'shipNashawtuc CC200 (-16)$45,000
Played as the Digital Seniors Classic. Second-placed Mike Hill (USA) finished 3 shots behind Charles (NZ). [Nashawtuc CC, Concord, Massachusetts].
1989Snr AmericaCharley Pride Snr ClassicFour Hills CC203 (-13)$45,000
Played as the Sunwest Bank Charley Pride Senior Classic (Aug 25-27). Second-placed Charles Coody (USA) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ), who won this title for the third straight year. [Canyon Club, Albuquerque, New Mexico; at the time known as Four Hills CC].
1989Snr AsiaGrand Slam (Snrs)Oak Hills CC, Jpn207 (-9)US$75,000
Played as the Fuji Electric Grand Slam (March 24-26). Second-placed Don January (USA), Larry Mowry (USA) and Charles Coody (USA) finished 4 shots behind defending champion Charles (NZ). [Oak Hills CC, nr Katori, Chiba, Japan].
1989Snr AwardsLow Stroke Ave - US Snr Tr69.78n/a
Charles (NZ) won his second straight Byron Nelson Award, recording the season's lowest scoring average on the Senior PGA Tour. Al Geiberger (USA) was second with 70.32; Jim Dent (USA) was third with 70.61.
1989Snr AwardsMoney Winner - US Snr Tr$725,887see Score
Charles (NZ) won his second straight Arnold Palmer Award as the Senior PGA Tour 1989 leading money winner, with earnings of $725,887 on the Tour. Orville Moody (USA) was second with $647,985; Al Geiberger (USA) was third with $527,033.
1989Snr AmericaNYNEX CommemorativeSleepy Hollow, NY193 (-17)$45,000
Played as the NYNEX/Golf Digest Commemorative. Second-placed Don Bies (USA) and Bruce Crampton (Aus) finished 5 shots behind defending champion Charles (NZ). [Sleepy Hollow CC, Scarborough, New York].
1989Snr EuropeSenior Open ChampionshipTurnberry269 (-11)£25,000
Played as the Volvo Seniors British Open (3rd). Second-placed Billy Casper (USA) finished 7 shots behind Charles (NZ), who secured the first of his two British Snr Opens. [Ailsa course, Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire].
1989Snr AmericaSuntree Snr ClassicSuntree CC203 (-13)$45,000
Played as the Fairfield Barnett Space Coast Classic. Second-placed Butch Baird (USA) finished 6 shots behind Charles (NZ). [Suntree CC, Melbourne, Florida].
1989Snr AmericaTampa Bay Pro-AmTampa Palms G&CC207 (-9)$45,000
Played as the GTE Suncoast Seniors Classic. Charles (NZ) beat Harold Henning (RSA) with a birdie at the third playoff hole; Jim Ferree (USA) and Dave Hill (USA) were eliminated at the first playoff hole. [Tampa Palms G&CC, Tampa, Florida].
1988Snr AmericaBank One ClassicGriffin Gate200 (-10)$37,500
Played as the Bank One Senior Golf Classic. Second-placed Dick Hendrickson (USA) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ). [Griffin Gate Resort, Lexington, Kentucky].
1988Snr AmericaCharley Pride Snr ClassicFour Hills CC206 (-10)$41,250
Played as the Sunwest Bank Charley Pride Senior Classic (May 27-29). Second-placed Orville Moody (USA) finished 2 shots behind defending champion Charles (NZ). [Canyon Club, Albuquerque, New Mexico; at the time known as Four Hills CC].
1988Snr AmericaGold Rush ClassicRancho Murieta207 (-9)$52,500
Played as the Rancho Murieta Senior Gold Rush. Second-placed Gary Player (RSA) finished 2 shots behind Charles (NZ). [Rancho Murieta CC, nr Sacramento, California].
1988Snr AsiaGrand Slam (Snrs)Oak Hills CC, Jpn136 (-8)US$75,000
Played as the Fuji Electric Grand Slam (March 25-27). Second-placed Larry Mowry (USA) and Billy Casper (USA) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ). Reduced to 36 holes due to rain. [Oak Hills CC, nr Katori, Chiba, Japan].
1988Snr AwardsLow Stroke Ave - US Snr Tr70.05n/a
Charles (NZ) won the Byron Nelson Award, recording the season's lowest scoring average on the Senior PGA Tour. Dave Hill (USA) was second with 70.40; Gary Player (RSA) was third with 70.41.
1988Snr AwardsMoney Winner - US Snr Tr$533,929see Score
Charles (NZ) won the Arnold Palmer Award as the Senior PGA Tour 1988 leading money winner, with earnings of $533,929 on the Tour. He was the first New Zealander to win this award. Gary Player (RSA) was second with $435,914; Dave Hill (USA) was third with $415,594.
1988Snr AmericaNYNEX CommemorativeSleepy Hollow, NY196 (-14)$45,000
Played as the NYNEX/Golf Digest Commemorative. Second-placed Don Massengale (USA) and Harold Henning (RSA) finished 4 shots behind Charles (NZ). [Sleepy Hollow CC, Scarborough, New York].
1988Snr AmericaPepsi Snr ChallengeHorseshoe Bend139 (-5)$45,000
Played as the Pepsi Senior Challenge (Sept 30-Oct 2). Second-placed Dick Hendrickson (USA), Bert Yancey (USA) and Harold Henning (RSA) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ). [Horseshoe Bend CC, Roswell, Atlanta, Georgia].
1987Snr AmericaCharley Pride Snr ClassicFour Hills CC208 (-8)$37,500
Played as the Sunwest Bank Charley Pride Senior Classic (May 1-3). Second-placed Dale Douglass (USA) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ). [Canyon Club, Albuquerque, New Mexico; at the time known as Four Hills CC].
1987Snr AmericaGTE West ClassicWood Ranch CC208 (-8)$41,250
Played as the inaugural GTE Classic. Second-placed Bruce Crampton (Aus) finished 4 shots behind Charles (NZ). [Wood Ranch CC, Simi Valley, California].
1987Snr AmericaVintage Invtl.Vintage Club, CA285 (-3)$40,500
Played as the Vintage Chrysler Invitational. Second-placed Chi Chi Rodriguez (PR/USA), Butch Baird (USA), Dale Douglass (USA), Bobby Nichols (USA), Howie Johnson (USA), Gary Player (RSA) and Bruce Crampton (Aus) finished 4 shots behind first-time US Snr Tr winner Charles (NZ). [Vintage Club, Palm Desert, California].
1986Snr AmericaMazda ChampionsTryall Club193 (-20)$250,000
Played as the Mazda Champions (Dec 18-21; unofficial 54-hole better-ball team event; teams comprised an LPGA Tr and Snr PGA Tr player). Winning team of Amy Alcott (USA) & Bob Charles (NZ) beat Ayako Akamoto (Jpn) & Jim Ferree (USA) and Jan Stephenson (Aus) & Billy Casper (USA) with a 10-foot birdie putt at the first playoff hole. [Tryall Club, Montego Bay, Jamaica].
1983Men AmericaTallahassee OpenKillearn CC282 (-6)$36,000
Played as the Tallahassee Open (April 21-24; unofficial PGA Tour "satellite" event). Charles (NZ) beat Greg Powers (USA) with a 48-foot birdie putt at the first playoff hole. [Killearn CC, Tallahassee, FL].
1980Men Aus/NZNew Zealand PGATauranga GC
Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by defending champion Bob Charles (NZ). [Tauranga GC, Gate Pa, Tauranga, NZ].
1979Men Aus/NZNew Zealand PGATauranga GC
Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by Bob Charles (NZ). [Tauranga GC, Gate Pa, Tauranga, NZ].
1978Men Aus/NZAir New Zealand OpenTitirangi GC273 (-7)
Played as the Air New Zealand Shell Open (Nov 30-Dec 3). Second-placed Graham Marsh (Aus) finished 1 shot behind Charles (Aus). [Titirangi GC, New Lynn, Auckland, NZ].
1974Men EuropeEuropean MastersCrans-sur-Sierre275 (-5)£4,285
Played as the Swiss Open. Second-placed Tony Jacklin (Eng) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ). [GC Crans-sur-Sierre, Crans-Montana, Switzerland].
1974Men AmericaWyndham Ch'shipSedgefield CC270 (-14)$44,066
Played as the Greater Greensboro Open (April 4-7). Second-placed Raymond Floyd (USA) and Lee Trevino (USA) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ), who recorded the last of his six PGA Tour wins. [Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, NC].
1973Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenManawatu GC283 (-5)NZ$3,000
Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 22-25). Second-placed Ian Stanley (Aus) finished 4 shots behind Charles (NZ), who recorded the last of his four wins in this event. [Manawatu GC, Hokowhitu, Palmerston North, NZ].
1973Men EuropeScand Ent'prise OpenRoyal Drottningholm278£2,910
Played as the inaugural Scandanavian Enterprise Open. Won by Bob Charles (NZ). [Royal Drottningholm GC, nr Stockholm; at the time called Drottningholm GC].
1973Men AfricaSouth African OpenDurban CC282x
Played as the South African Open. Vin Baker (RSA), Graham Marsh (Aus) and Bobby Cole (RSA) finished in second place behind Bob Charles (NZ). [Durban CC, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa].
1972Men EuropeBritish MastersNorthumberland GC277 (-11)£1,950
Played as the Dunlop Masters. Second-placed Tony Jacklin (Eng) finished 2 shots behind Charles (NZ). [Northumberland GC, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear].
1972Men EuropeJohn Player ClassicTurnberry285 (+1)£14,625
Played as the John Player Classic (Sept 27-30). Second-placed Gay Brewer (USA) and Peter Oosterhuis (Eng) finished 1 shot behind first-time European Tour winner Charles (NZ). [Ailsa course, Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire].
1970Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenGrange, The (NZ)271 (-13)
Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 26-29). Second-placed Graham Marsh (Aus) finished 1 shot behind Charles (NZ), who recorded the third of his four wins in this event. [The Grange GC, Otahuhu, Auckland. Now part of Royal Auckland & Grange GC].
1969Men EuropeWorld Match PlayWentworth Club37th hole£5,750
Played as the Piccadilly World Match Play Championship. Bob Charles (NZ) beat Gene Littler (USA) at the 37th hole in the final. [West course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey].
1968Men AmericaCanadian OpenSt George's G&CC274 (-10)$25,000
Played as the Canadian Open. Second-placed Jack Nicklaus (USA) finished 2 shots behind Bob Charles (NZ). [St George's G&CC, Etobicoke, Ontario].
1967Men AmericaAtlanta ClassicAtlanta CC282 (-6)$22,000
Played as the Atlanta Classic (Sept 28-Oct 1; last played in 1947 as the Atlanta Open). Second-placed Gardner Dickinson (USA), Tommy Bolt (USA) and Dick Crawford (USA) finished 2 shots behind Charles (NZ). [Atlanta CC, Marietta, Georgia].
1966Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenParaparaumu Beach273 (-19)
Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 17-20). Second-placed Guy Wolstenholme (Eng) finished 13 shots behind Bob Charles (NZ), who recorded his second NZ Open win, and first as a professional. [Paraparaumu Beach GC, Paraparaumu, NZ].
1965Men AmericaTucson OpenTucson Natl.271 (-17)$6,800
Played as the Tucson Open Invitational. Second-placed Al Geiberger (USA) finished 4 shots behind wire-to-wire winner Charles (NZ). [Catalina course, Tucson National Resort, Tucson, AZ].
1963Men AmericaHouston OpenMemorial Park268 (-12)$10,000
Played as the Houston Classic. Second-placed Fred Hawkins (USA) finished 1 shot behind first-time PGA Tour winner Charles (NZ). [Memorial Park GC, Houston, TX].
1963Men MajorsThe OpenRoyal Lytham277 (-7)£1,500
The Open Championship (92nd) (July 10-12). Bob Charles (NZ) beat Phil Rodgers (USA) in a 36-hole playoff: Charles 140 (E), Rodgers 148 (+8). Charles became the first left-hander to win a major championship. [Royal Lytham & St Annes GC, nr Blackpool, Lancs].
1962Men EuropeDaks TournamentWentworth Club278£750
Played as the Daks Tournament. Dai Rees (Wales) and Bob Charles (NZ) finished in a tie for first place. Ken Bousfield (Eng) and defending champion Bernard Hunt (Eng) were 2 shots further back in joint third place. [West course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey].
1962Men EuropeEuropean MastersCrans-sur-Sierre272x
Played as the Swiss Open. Charles (NZ) beat Flory Van Donck (Belg) and John Jacobs (Eng) in a playoff. [GC Crans-sur-Sierre, Crans-Montana, Switzerland].
1961Men EuropeBowmaker TournamentSunningdale, Eng132£350
Played as the Bowmaker £3000 Tournament (a 36-hole pro-am event). Second-placed Denis Hutchinson (S Africa) and Kel Nagle (Aus) finished 2 shots behind Charles (NZ), who became the first left-handed professional to win a top-flight event in Britain. [Old course, Sunningdale GC, Sunningdale, Berks].
1961Men Aus/NZNew Zealand PGANew Plymouth GC
Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Bob Charles (NZ) recorded the last of his three wins in this event. [New Plymouth GC, Ngamotu Links, New Plymouth, NZ].
1954Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenRoyal Wellington280 (-8)amateur
Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 6-8). Second-placed Bruce Crampton (Aus) finished 2 shots behind 18-year-old left-hander Bob Charles (NZ, amateur), who recorded his first win in a national Open Championship. Charles was described in the press as a bank clerk. [Wellington GC, Heretaunga, Upper Hutt, nr Wellington, NZ; from 2004 Royal Wellington GC].

 

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