Don January (1 USPGA, 2 Ryder Cup's.)


Donald Ray January (born November 20, 1929) is an American retired professional golfer.

Born in Plainview, Texas, January graduated from Sunset High School in Dallas. He was a member of the North Texas State golf team that won four consecutive NCAA Division I titles from 1949-52.

While in college as a sophomore, as part of his scholarship, he helped teach a beginning golf class, where he met his future wife, Patricia "Pat" Rushing. They both graduated in 1953 and eloped to Ardmore, Oklahoma. They lived in San Antonio while Don was in the Air Force, and began their family — two boys and a girl.[1]

January won 10 PGA Tour titles, though never more than one in a year, with his most notable at the 1967 PGA Championship, an 18-hole playoff victory over Don Massengale. January had lost the 1961 PGA Championship in a playoff to Jerry Barber when his 68, the lowest losing score ever in an 18-hole playoff for a major championship, was bested by Barber's 67. He won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average in 1976 at the age of 47. He was a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team in both 1965 and 1977.

January was responsible for a change to the Rules of Golf. During the 1963 Phoenix Open, January had a putt roll up to the lip of the hole and stop. January claimed that the ball was still moving, and waited for seven minutes for the ball to drop (it never did).[2] Rule 16-2 was revised in 1964 to state that players had to tap the ball in within ten seconds or be penalized.[3]

In the period between his last PGA Tour win and the start of the Senior PGA Tour, January devoted most of his professional efforts to a golf course design business, JanMart Enterprises, that he had established with fellow Texan and PGA Tour golfer Billy Martindale.

January is well known for his success on the Senior PGA Tour (now the Champions Tour),[4] winning 22 events including two PGA Seniors' Championships. He won the first official event on the Senior PGA Tour – the 1980 Atlantic City Senior International.[5]

The Don January Golf Classic is a golf tournament played annually in the spring that was established to honor him in 1990 by his alma mater, now known as the University of North Texas.