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The Greatest Father & Son Combinations in Golf

By: | Fri 19 Jun 2020 | Comments

Golf is a game that has traditionally been passed down generations, most often by fathers to their children. Former world number one Greg Norman is a notable exception, being inspired to play by his club champion mother, but for the vast majority of players on the PGA and European Tours, their introduction to golf came through their dad.

Whether it be Earl and Tiger Woods, Gerry and Rory McIlroy, Charlie and Jack Nicklaus or Deacon and Arnold Palmer, fathers and sons have gone hand in hand into golf. Some, like Justin Thomas, Sam Torrance, Jim Furyk or Davis Love III, had fathers who were teaching professionals, the ideal mentor to progress in the game.

However, in several cases, both the father and son were truly exceptional players, winners at professional level. We take a closer look at just some of the Greatest Father & Son Combinations in Golf.

Old Tom Morris & Young Tom Morris

Unquestionably the greatest father and son duo in golf history, both played a formative role in the development of the game and the origins of the Open Championship. The St Andrews men won the game's oldest major four times each, with Old Tom being influential in creating the layouts at both Prestwick and the Old Course, in addition to numerous other venues. His life was long and successful - dying at the age of 86 in 1908 - but Young Tom - the most gifted player of his era - tragically passed away Christmas Day aged 24 just months after his wife and newborn child had died after a difficult birth.

Willie Park Sr & Willie Park Jr

If Fife had the Morris', East Lothian has the Parks, important figures in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with Sr winning the first Open Championship at Prestwick in 1860, later securing the title on three other occasions, as did his brother Mungo. Jr won Claret Jug twice, and later became an influential writer and course designer, creating the likes of the Old Course at Sunningdale and Olympia Fields near Chicago.

Percy Alliss & Peter Alliss

One of the UK's most renowned golf families, the Alliss family have enjoyed a long association with the game. Percy was a respected professional, who taught across England, Wales and Germany, in addition to enjoying a fine playing career, winning numerous tournaments and recording high finishes in ten Open Championships. He also played on four Ryder Cup teams. Peter was a talented golfer, winning events across Europe and internationally, as well as following his father by playing in the Ryder Cup on eight occasions. However, it's as a broadcaster that he is best known, having been the BBC's 'voice of golf' since the 1960s, in addition to hosting celebrity programmes in both the UK and United States.

Jack Burke Sr & Jack Burke Jr

Now 97, Jack Burke Jr is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, winning both the Masters and PGA Championship in 1956, in addition to being a five-time Ryder Cup player and successful captain in 1973. Burke's father was also a superb golfer, a runner-up in the U.S. Open in 1920 and winner of several professional tournaments, including the Senior PGA Championship in 1941.

Julius Boros & Guy Boros

Not turning professional until he was 29, Julius Boros nonetheless enjoyed a remarkable career, winning the U.S. Open in 1952 and 1963, finally claiming the PGA Championship in 1968, golf's oldest major winner aged 48. His son, Guy, had big shoes to fill, but while he didn't hit the heights of his father, the younger Boros won the PGA Tour's Greater Vancouver Open in 1996, played in several majors, and won three times on the ten Nationwide Tour.

Al Geiberger & Brent Geiberger

Winner of the US PGA Championship 1966, Al is famed as being the first player to shoot 59 on the PGA Tour, and his son Brent developed into a handy golfer in his own right, picking up two victories on the circuit in 1999 and 2004. The Geibergers made history when they both competed in the PGA Championship 22 years ago.

Antonio Garrido & Ignacio Garrido

The second father and son combination to play in the Ryder Cup, Antonio played on the European Tour for more than two decades, and won five titles, including finishing third in the Order of Merit in 1977. Ignacio was part of Seve Ballesteros' team in 1997, in addition to being a two-time winner on the tour, with the standout victory being the PGA at Wentworth in 2003.

Jose Maria Canizares & Alejandro Canizares

Jose Maria was a hugely successful player on the European Tour, winning six times and playing on four Ryder Cup teams for Europe, while his 37-year-old son Alejandro has won twice on the circuit, and is now ranked 523rd in the world.

Claude Harmon & Butch Harmon

Few golf families have achieved more in golf than the Harmons, with Claude having won the Masters Tournament in 1948. His sons followed into the golf industry as coaches, most notably Butch, who has instructed the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Greg Norman, in addition to becoming a popular broadcaster for Sky Sports. Butch's son, Claude III, is continuing that legacy.

Bob Tway & Kevin Tway

Winner of the Safeway Open in 2018, Kevin Tway is following in the footsteps of his major winning father, Bob, who famously holed a bunker shot on the 72nd hole to win the PGA Championship ahead of Greg Norman in 1986, two years before the younger Tway was born. They are one of only ten father-son pairs to have won PGA Tour events.

Craig Stadler & Kevin Stadler

13-time winner on the PGA Tour, Craig survived a back-nine collapse to win the Masters in 1982 via a playoff, becoming a recognisible figure. The Walrus played each year at Augusta National until 2014, when his son Kevin qualified for the first time after winning the Phoenix Open, making history by competing in the same tournament. The younger Stadler has won on both the PGA and European Tours, but injury has hampered him in recent years.

Jay Haas & Bill Haas

Nephew of former Masters champion Bob Goalby, Jay Haas won nine times on the PGA Tour, and recorded nine top five finishes in majors. Playing in three Ryder Cups, he later enjoyed success as a senior golfer, picking up 18 titles on the Champions Tour, including three over-50 majors. Bill is a six-time champion on the PGA Tour and has represented the United States in the Presidents Cup, but is most notable for having dramatically won the FedEx Cup in 2011 - securing the eye-watering $10m bonus prize in the process.

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