While most of us are familiar with the current crop of stars that dominate on the PGA Tour, the concept of an actual professional tour dates back to the early 1930s.
If you go back to 1930, you would see that of the four tournaments we call major championships now, only two of them were considered majors at the dawn of professional tour golf. In fact when Bobby Jones won what was considered the grand slam, two of those four tournaments were amateur championships, the United States Amateur and the British Amateur.
In that year of 1930, Jones won the U.S. Open then added the Open Championship after literally steaming across the Atlantic on a boat.
The PGA Championship started in 1919, but along with college football, the amateur game was considered the better flavor of the two and was more highly regarded.
With the advent of an actual professional tour, that sentiment started to change in the mid-1930s and Bobby Jones’ own creation of the Augusta National Invitational in 1934 gave the professional game a much-needed boost in a championship we today call The Masters.
Here is a look at some of the best players by decade from Gene Sarazen to Rory McIlroy as the game has grown from playing for meal-and-travel money to a tour that pays out over $250 million per season.