|Stanford Men's Golf Team||2007 NCAA National Champions|
History of Stanford Golf
Stanford's remarkable history has left its mark on the golf world.
The names are legendary: Little, Seaver, Rosburg, Watson & Woods and others.
Numerous All-Americans played at Stanford over the years.
8 national championships have been won, including in 2007.
The Stanford men's golf team has a remarkable history. From its beginnings as a varsity sport in the early 1930s the teams have won 8 national championships (3rd behind Houston & Oklahoma St. since 1930), and its players have won 24 professional major championships (more than any other team) plus 7 US and British Amateur titles.
The names are legendary in American golf: from Charlie Seaver and Lawson Little (photo at left) in the 1930s, to Bud Brownell, Sandy Tatum and Bob Rosburg in the 1940s, and after World War II the Farm has produced Tom Watson, Notah Begay and Tiger Woods. Since 1958 when All-Americans were first recognized there have been 65 All-American seasons by Stanford players (through the 2012-13 season). Dozens of Stanford golfers have played professionally over the years.
But the golf history is only part of the story. There have been 3 USGA Presidents who played on Stanford's golf teams (Sandy Tatum (photo on left), Grant Spaeth and Walter Driver (photo on right)) and numerous notables in the business world. As this story unfolds you are invited to read about more than 240 alums from 1931 to today and contribute updated information.
The program's roots as a varsity sport start with the completion of the highly acclaimed Stanford Golf Course, which first opened for play on January 1, 1930. The course was designed by renowned architects, Captain George C. Thomas and William Bell (center & left with Alistair MacKenzie), the design team behind of many of the West Coast's finest links including Riviera CC, LA CC North and Bel-Air CC. Bell when speaking of Stanford said that compared to other their famed courses "none will be superior to the Stanford links."
The course in its first year attracted national attention with many of the nation's finest players making the trip West to play Stanford. On December 2, 1930, a foursome made up of Horton Smith, E. Dudley, Craig Wood, and Frank Walsh played the University course. They are reported to have said "they considered it the best test of golf on the Pacific coast ..." Also playing the course in 1930 with several leading professionals was Walter Hagen and "the professionals rated the course as the equal of almost any course in the East."
With the Stanford course's high reputation, some of the nation's finest amateurs were attracted to Stanford to compete with the golf team, starting with the trio of Malcolm MacNaughton (of Dole Foods fame), Charlie Seaver and 4-time major champion Lawson Little. Another strong player, Don Edwards, became a US Congressman after his playing days ended. These early 1930s teams blew away the competition although as with many teams they competed only regionally so no national championships were competed in. No doubt these early 1930s teams would have added several national championships if competing.
The superb golfers continued to come to Stanford, now attracted by the fact that Lawson Little and Charlie Seaver were on the team, including future Hall of Famers Warren Berl, Bud Brownell (course record holder with 63 for some 50 years), Sandy Tatum, Bud Finger (later Stanford's golf coach) and Bob Cardinal all competing on one or more of the dominant teams that won the national championship in 1938, 1939, 1941 and 1942. The coach through these early years was Eddie Twiggs (photo on left) who would lead teams to 5 national championships in his coaching stint from 1932 thru 1947.
After World War II with Bob Rosburg (photo on left) and Bob Cardinal, leading the way, Stanford again won the national championship in 1946, a 5th time in 7 seasons (allowing for a break during WWII). Stanford likely would have won again in 1948 except that Bob Rosburg was dismissed from the team for the national championships held at Stanford --- the colorful story behind Rosburg's dismissal is told by Bob Rosburg in his video interview.
In the 1950s Stanford would produce another national championship in 1953, and a number of superb players including Dick McElyea, Fred Brown, Warren Dailey, John Brodie (photo on left), Grant Spaeth (photo on right), Bob Snelling, Art Schroeder and Jack Lamey. These individuals would win four conference championships. John Brodie, an All-American quarterback while at Stanford, went on to a successful senior golf tour career after a long, illustrious SF 49er career. The 1957 team finished 2nd in the national championships by one stroke to Houston. In 1958 and 1959 Stanford teams finished 6th and 3rd in the national championship events.
The 1960s saw more outstanding players coming to Stanford, including All-Americans Kent Winton, Steve Smith, Peter Choate, Jim Rheim, Rich Harris and Sandy Adelman. In 1968 a freshman joined the golf team who went on to become one of the game's legendary figures. During this decade the Cardinal won 3 conference championships and competed strongly in several national championships.
Tom Watson brought a solid game from Kansas City, following his father to Stanford. With powerful driving and unmatched putting he was named an All-American in his 3 varsity years, 1969-71. Tom's success as a professional has produced a Hall of Fame golf career. Sandy Tatum, in his video interview, shares stories about Tom Watson, his friend of 40 years.
During the 1970s there were once again many outstanding individual All-Americans in addition to Tom Watson playing for Stanford: Doug Clarke and Mike Peck (both named to Walker Cup teams), Aly Trompas, Dave Baskins, George Pettinger, Bob Steele and Gary Vanier (photo on right). Several of these players went on to play professionally.
The 1980s standouts included Tim Robinson, Don Walsworth, Jack Skilling, David Games and Carl Wagner. Robinson won All-American honors while Wagner, Games, Walsworth and Robinson were named 1st team all conference. Rich Marik and Scott Erickson won back-to-back US Junior championships.
The 1990s found Stanford golf on the rise nationally with a number of prominent golfers, led by Tiger Woods, playing for the Cardinal. In addition to Tiger, the names of 1990s Stanford golfers who are playing or did play professionally include Christian Cevaer, Will Yanigisawa, Casey Martin (photo on right), Notah Begay (photo on left), Conrad Ray (current head coach), and Joel Kribel (Stanford's only 4-time All American).
Stanford won the national championship in 1994, finished 2nd in 1995 (losing in a playoff) and 4th in 1996. Tiger won the individual NCAA championship in 1996. A number of All-Americans were produced during the decade including Woods, Martin, Begay, Kribel, Burdick, Yanigisawa and Cevaer, as well as numerous other conference accolades. In addition Coach Wally Goodwin garnered national coach of the year honors in 1994.
During the decade since 2000, Stanford has continued to build on its prior successes culminating in winning the 2007 national championship. All-American selections include Zack Miller (photo on left), Matt Savage, Joseph Bramlett, Rob Grube (photo on right), Daniel Lim, Sihwan Kim, Philip Rowe and Alex Aragon. Head coach Conrad Ray was selected national coach of the year by the Coaches Association in 2007. A number of Stanford golfers are competing professionally from the 2000s teams and the future is bright for the Cardinal.
Since 2010 the Cardinal continued to produce outstanding teams and players as the team advanced to postseason NCAA play each season. All-Americans have included Patrick Rodgers, Andrew Yun, Cameron Wilson, David Chung, Sihwan Kim and Steve Ziegler. Of special note has been the play of Patrick Rodgers who in only two seasons on the Farm has played on two Walker Cup teams, been named First Team All-American twice, has the lowest career scoring average of 70.77 (besting Tiger Woods' previous records over two seasons) and with 5 wins is tied for 3rd on Stanford's all-time career collegiate wins list.
Updated 9/1/13 by Stanford golf member, Bob Stevens.
Historical stats before 2007