Ryder Cup captain and European Tour founding father John Jacobs dies, aged 91

Jacobs led the Ryder Cup teams in 1979 and 1981, which were the first two competitions to feature a combined European side

BY Cian Roche 14:42 Friday 13 January 2017, 14:42 13 Jan 2017

Image: PA PA Archive/PA Images

Two-time Ryder Cup captain and founding father of the European Tour, John Jacobs, has died aged 91.

Jacobs, who was born in Born in Woodsetts, Yorkshire, led the Ryder Cup teams in 1979 and 1981. These were the first two competitions to feature a combined European side.

He is credited for his role in separating Europe's teaching and playing professionals during the early 1970s. In the 1950s he led calls for the modernisation of the game. He pushed to include an increase and better distribution of prize funds.

Having held the role of tournament director general of the PGA executive committee in October 1971 for only a short space of time, he promoted a 'Continental Swing' which later saw the establishment of the European Tour. To do so, he promoted the importance of the Spanish, French and German Opens.

After he left his role in 1975, he focused on player coaching and helped develop the talent of two time major winner  Jose Maria Olazabal. 

"I moved aside because I wanted to get on with my own career but Ken was a natural and I knew the whole business was in safe hands," he recalled in his 2012 interview.

"If you look at where the Tour started when Ken took over and where it was when he left, it is almost unbelievable, and George followed that on by moving things even further forward. Great credit must go to both of them."

"Jacobs revolutionised coaching, teaching golfer the fundamentals of the game through his innovative philosophies based on ball flight, club face alignment and swing path," the European Tour wrote on their website to honour his passing.




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