John Jacobs – European Tour Founding Father Passes Away

Jacobs was instrumental in the formation of the European Tour, with him, today's game would look very different

John Jacobs European Tour Founding Father Passes Away
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

Read the feature - John Jacobs: The Master Professional

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.

when golf monthly met john jacobs

John Jacobs: 14th March 1925 - 13th January 2017

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:

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x