John Jacobs has passed away at the age of 91, he was a pioneer for our sport in so many ways as a Ryder Cup player, captain, golf coach and master professional. Mike Harris talks about the time he met the man
John Jacobs European Tour Founding Father Passes Away
World Golf Hall of Famer John Jacobs has died at the age of 91. Jacobs was a pioneer for our sport in so many ways as a Ryder Cup player, captain, golf coach and master professional. Golf as we know it would not be the same today if it wasn’t for him. R.I.P.
Golf Monthly Editor Mike Harris met Jacob at his home in the New Forest in 2012 – here is what he wrote about the experience:-
‘This month my usual routine of merely glancing at the instruction pages as I flick from the feature section to the new gear has been blown out of the water. The reason for this is the presence of an ‘instruction’ features that even the most tip-agnostic readers will enjoy.
The feature is with the legendary John Jacobs. A very accomplished player in his day, Jacobs is widely acknowledged as the founding father of the European Tour, but it is his work as a coach – dispensing wisdom to everyone from Nicklaus to Seve – for which he is perhaps best known. What he doesn’t know about the golf swing isn’t worth knowing.
Earlier this year, deputy editor Neil Tappin and I spent an amazing day at his New Forest home. His knowledge and insight were matched only by his humour and warmth – I really can’t believe anyone loves this game of ours more. I suspect when Neil and I are old and grey reflecting on our careers as golf writers, the day we spent with ‘JJ’, as he’s known, will rank among our greatest experiences.
Jacobs says he learns the most about pupils by watching their ball flight, but he didn’t even need to see that to form an opinion of Neil’s swing, and mine, and to offer some very pithy advice.
“I expect you hit it a long way but don’t always keep it straight,” he said to Neil. “Make sure you complete your backswing.” Jacobs then looked me up and down and said, “Your natural shot is a fade, don’t fight it.” Neil and I took one look at each other and smiled. In 60 seconds he’d summarised our games and the things both of us battle with, without so much as seeing us grip a 7-iron. A truly amazing man.’
Tributes have been flooding in on social media after John Jacobs’ passing: