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Claude Harmon

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Claude Harmon
Personal information
Full nameEugene Claude Harmon, Sr.
Born(1916-07-14)July 14, 1916
Savannah, Georgia
DiedJuly 23, 1989(1989-07-23) (aged 73)
Houston, Texas
Nationality United States
SpouseAlice Cullen McKee Harmon
Anne Keane Harmon
Children4 sons (including Butch), 2 daughters
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins15
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour2
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentWon: 1948
PGA ChampionshipT3: 1945, 1948, 1953
U.S. OpenT3: 1959
The Open Championship27th: 1948

Eugene Claude Harmon, Sr. (July 14, 1916 – July 23, 1989) was an American professional golfer and golf instructor.[1]

Born in Savannah, Georgia, Harmon spent much of his boyhood in Florida, in the Orlando area. A youthful prodigy, he qualified for the U.S. Amateur at age 15 in 1931. Harmon was a club professional when he won the 1948 Masters Tournament by five shots to earn $2,500.[2] He was a semi-finalist three times in the PGA Championship (1945, 1948, and 1953), competing as a club pro against full-time tour players. Claude Harmon also finished in third place at the 1959 U.S. Open, which was held at his home course at Winged Foot.

From 1945 to 1978, Harmon was the head professional at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, and also served as the winter professional for many years at the Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida.[3] In 1959, he was hired as the head professional at Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, where he served for over a decade,[4][5] and finally took a club job in Texas in the Houston area. In 1959, Harmon played in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot and placed third. He was one of the few close friends of legendary star Ben Hogan, and the two played together frequently and worked together on their games.[6][7]


Harmon died of heart failure following surgery in Houston at the age 73,[8] and is interred at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.[9] He is a member of the World Golf Teachers' Hall of Fame and the PGA of America Hall of Fame.


Harmon's sons Butch, Craig, and Bill all occupy spots in Golf Digest's "top 50 teachers" list. His third eldest son Dick (1947–2006) was also a top golf instructor, as is grandson Claude Harmon III.[1]

Professional wins (15)

PGA Tour wins (2)

Major championship is shown in bold.

Other wins (13)

this list may be incomplete

Major championships

Wins (1)

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1948 Masters Tournament 2 shot lead −9 (70-70-69-70=279) 5 strokes United States Cary Middlecoff

Results timeline

Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
Masters Tournament NT NT NT 18 T26 1 T11
U.S. Open DQ NT NT NT NT T15 T19 CUT T8
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT 27
PGA Championship NT SF R64 R16 SF R32
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament T32 T35 T14 T34 T53 T28 T46 T38 T9 CUT
U.S. Open T38 T54 CUT T15 CUT CUT T3
The Open Championship
PGA Championship R16 R64 SF R32 R16 R32 6 T56 T38
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament T16 CUT CUT WD CUT CUT WD WD WD WD
U.S. Open T27 CUT CUT
The Open Championship
PGA Championship CUT T44
Tournament 1970 1971
Masters Tournament WD
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
  Top 10
  Did not play

NT = no tournament
WD = withdrew
DQ = disqualified
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 1 0 0 1 2 6 25 14
U.S. Open 0 0 1 1 2 5 15 9
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
PGA Championship 0 0 3 3 7 10 16 15
Totals 1 0 4 5 11 21 57 39
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 12 (1948 Open Championship – 1953 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (twice)


  1. ^ a b Brink, Bill (August 10, 1997). "Claude Harmon's teaching legacy". New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  2. ^ "Harmon wins Masters; ties record with 279". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. April 12, 1948. p. 3-part 2.
  3. ^ Snider, Steve (December 22, 1949). "Claude Harmon carries banner for home pros". The News and Courier. Charleston, SC. Associated Press. p. 12A.
  4. ^ "Harmon accepts job at Thunderbird Club". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press. April 6, 1959. p. 3C.
  5. ^ Murray, Jim (February 7, 1966). "Harmon shows 'class' as golf professor". Milwaukee Sentinel. (Los Angeles Times). p. 3-part 2.
  6. ^ Grimsley, Will (April 9, 1978). "Golf announcers talk too much". The Press-Courier. Oxnard, CA. Associated Press. p. 8.
  7. ^ The Pro, by Butch Harmon, 2006.
  8. ^ "Former golf champ Claude Harmon dies". The Telegraph. Nashua, NH. Associated Press. July 25, 1989. p. 8.
  9. ^ Claude Harmon, Sr. at Find a Grave
  • "Claude Harmon", Almanac of Famous People, 8th ed. Gale Group, 2003.
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