Kelvin David George “Kel” Nagle is a retired golf professional. He was born in December 21, 1920 in North Sydney, Australia. A prolific and consistent tournament winner, Nagle won at least one title every year from 1949 through 1975.
Nagle is best remembered, however, for his amazing, unexpected win at the 1960 British Open. He surprisingly snatched the title from the American pro Arnold Palmer, who was deemed as the rising star of golf at the time. Nagle was an unlikely winner in the event due to the fact that he was already 39 years old, and he had no recorded top ten finishes under his belt. His triumph was significant because at the time, public interest in golf was revived by the charisma and the amazing play of the American hotshot Arnold Palmer. Although Palmer exhibited brilliant play on the green, it was Nagle who out of nowhere emerged the victor of the competition. In the succeeding year, Palmer beat Nagle from winning the Claret Jug; it was Nagle’s first and last astonishing and successful grab at the title. He came very close several times in the succeeding years, finishing in sixth place in 1961, ranked second in 1962, earning fourth place in 1963, fifth place in 1965 and ranked fourth in 1966.
Nagle boasts of sixty-one (61) Australasian Tour triumphs; two (2) PGA Tour wins which includes the Open Championship in 1960 and the Canadian Open in 1964; twelve (12) other championship titles won in Canada and Scotland; and five (5) PGA Senior Championship victories.
“Kel” was well-liked among his golfing peers and adversaries. Gary Player for one, who beat Nagle in the 1965 U.S. Open, was impressed with the disposition of the Australian pro: “I had the privilege of playing in Australia 31 times and got to know Kel Nagle very well indeed. I can honestly say I never met anybody in my life that didn’t really like Kel Nagle” said Player in one of his interviews.
Nagle was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007.