Born: July 23, 1958
Birthplace: Danbury, Connecticut
Height: 5 ft, 10 in
College: University of Florida
Turned Pro: 1979
Ken Green was a born rebel who’s continued his iconoclastic ways during three decades as a professional golfer. When his father was re-located to Honduras for a job when Ken was a 12-year old, Green had two choices – soccer or golf. It was an easy choice for the impulsive boy who would end up playing for the University of Florida golf team after a stint in a Florida junior college.
Green played well enough in college to earn second team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) honors in 1979. Green turned pro a year later and began a long-grind towards PGA stardom. Green earned his first PGA win at the 1985 Buick Open. Green would win four more times during the 1980’s. His fifth and final PGA victory would come at the 1989 Greater Greensboro Open.
Green’s resume perhaps never quite matched his talent, although he did make the 1989 Ryder Cup team and he performed well on golf’s biggest stages – the Major championships. Green finished tied for 7th at the 1996 U.S. Open and tied for 11th at the Masters.
Green’s game began to erode in the early 90’s and his behavior on the course became more erratic. Always one willing to challenge authority, Green had his share of run-ins with PGA officials, tournament sponsors and even other players over the years.
He was fined over two dozen times by the PGA Tour during his career for everything from swearing to drinking a beer while playing with Arnold Palmer at the Masters.
Eventually Green’s on course antics became an indicator of deeper problems in his personal life – a messy divorce from his second wife, a gambling problem and severe depression.
Through it all, Green persevered. At age 44, after several years away from the tour, Green qualified for his PGA Tour card at the year-end qualifying school. CBS analyst Peter Kostis called that feat “the all-time greatest comeback in golf.”
Sadly, in 2009, Green was involved in a tragic car accident that claimed the life of his brother and girlfriend. Green was seriously injured and lost his right leg in the crash.