Although Ken Venturi may not anymore be seen playing rounds on a golf course, his voice can still be heard whenever and wherever a golfing event is to be held for he is now known as one of golf’s greatest broadcasters. Ken Venturi was born on May 15, 1931 in San Francisco, California.

Earlier in his golfing career, Ken was a pupil of the great golfer, Bryan Nelson who was also greatly influenced by another great player, Ben Hogan. His talent, together with proper guidance and instruction, Ken Venturi established himself as a regular winner in his early years on the PGA Tour.

Born 15 May 1931
Nationality United States United States

Ken already gained national attention even while he was just an amateur golfer. He rose to fame when he finished second in the 1956 Master’s. He was the first amateur to do so in the history of any Masters played. At the end of 1956, Ken became a professional golfer. Ken played again twice in the Masters coming close to winning but always edged out by Arnold Palmer in 1958 and 1960.

In 1961, when Ken suffered minor injuries in an automobile accident, his swing was significantly affected and his career began to slide. His career slump lasted until 1964 and then for no reason at all, Venturi was back in shape and his career back on track. His comeback was quite a success especially after winning the US Open held at the Congressional Country Club. He was awarded Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated in the same year. In 1965, Venturi received the opportunity to play on the Ryder Cup team. Years later in 1998, Venturi received the GCSAA’s highest honor, the Old Tom Morris Award.

Ken Venturi was also known to have committed the most famous failure and the most famous success in golfing history. His most famous failure happened when he was just an amateur in 1956. He three-putted six times, shot an 80 and ended up as runner up to Jack Burke Jr. On the other hand, his most famous success occurred when he was a professional in 1964, where he won his only major championship while battling severe dehydration and heat exhaustion ona 36-hold tournament.

Ken faced another disappointment in his career when he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists. Though surgery improved the condition for quite some time, his career essentially ended at the young age of 33. However, Ken is still very much involved in the sport when he joined CBS in 1967 and became the network’s lead golf analyst.

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    Tom Colgan

    Mr. Venturi: I had the opportunity to caddy for you in a foursome at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton back in the day. You were the guest of Tom and George Cisar during Western Open week at Butler. You played the back nine first. You shot 68 (-2). You were most kind to a kid who got to meet a US Open Champion. - I enjoyed seeing your interview on Golf Channel. God Bless - Tom C