Jimmy Demaret

    Jimmy Demaret

    Born: May 24, 1910

    Died: December 28, 1983

    Height: 5 ft, 1o in

    Birthplace: Houston, TX

    Turned Pro: 1927

    Ben Hogan described Jimmy Demaret as “the most underrated golfer in history.” Born into abject poverty, Demaret quit schooling after grade school to help his disabled father earn enough money to feed eight other siblings.

    Demaret worked as a shoe shine and a caddie in his teens. At age 16, he got a job as assistant professioanl at prestigious River Oaks Country Club in Houston, mentoring under Jack Burke, Sr.

    Demaret moved on to become a head professional at a municipal course in Galveston. It was during this time that Demaret developed the skills that would lead many golfing experts to consider him the greatest wind player of all time. Demaret perfected a low fade. It was said that you could hang laundry on Demaret’s one-iron.

    Eventually Demaret became a touring professional. Despite his incredible resume (three Masters Championships), Demaret was better known for his flamboyant clothing, gift as an entertainer and late night socializing during tournament play.

    Demaret struck up a lifelong and unlikely friendship with the taciturn Hogan. They often partnered together at tournaments as team formats were commonplace in that era.

    While people were fascinated and entertained by Demaret’s gifted singing voice and stand-up ability, his play on the golf course was consistent and at times dominant.

    Demaret won the Masters in 1940, 1947 and 1950. He rallied from four shots down to win his last Masters. In doing so, he became the first three-time Masters Champion. In 1962, as a 51-year old retired touring pro, Demaret tied for 5th place.

    Jimmy also made a serious run at the U.S. Open finishing second in 1948 (to his friend Hogan) and third in 1957.

    Demaret finished with 31 PGA tour wins. He co-founded and owned the Champions Golf Club in Houston and spent his years after the tour managing the course. He passed away of a heart attack at age 73.