During his playing career, John Jacobs played in 14 Open Championships, with his best finish in 1955, the year he was called up to the Ryder Cup squad at Palm Springs.
As usual, Europe were soundly beaten, but Jacobs was the only European to emerge from the event unscathed, having beaten three-time major champion Cary Middlecoff.
Jacob’s father, Bob, was professional at Lindrick and his mother was the club’s stewardess, so he was literally born into the game.
During a period of domination by the American team in the Ryder Cup, the Europeans would show up hopeful, but with little expectation of victory.
In 1955, the team were soundly beaten 8-4, with only a single European leaving the tournament with his reputation unblemished – the man who went on to become the founding father of the European Tour.
The seeds of the European Tour were laid in 1954 when Jacobs gathered the signatures of 29 players who were not happy with the way British tournaments were being organised.
During the 1960s Jacobs sat on the PGA committee as tour director. He secured a ‘Continental Swing’, which included the French, German and Spanish Opens.
Television and sponsorship deals were struck and all of a sudden, the players of the day had set their ambitions on Europe and beyond.