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Lawson Little

Lawson Little isn’t often the first name to roll off the tongues of many modern golf enthusiasts, but for those who delve deeper into the rich history of the sport, they’re bound to stumble upon this legendary figure. Best known for a match play regime that left his competition in the dust and teeing off with a swagger that could rival today’s pros, Lawson Little made a significant mark in the annals of golf history.

Lawson Little Jr. was born on June 24, 1910, in Newport, Rhode Island, into a family that had a natural affinity for golf. His father, a Naval officer, had a penchant for the sport and encouraged his son to pick up the club at a young age. His early exposure to the sport gave him a head start over his counterparts. By the time he reached college age, Little was already an impressive player on the golf course, showcasing a swing that was envied and a competitive edge that was frequently unmatched.

From 1934 till 1935, Lawson was considered virtually unbeatable in match play. The winning streak he managed to clock up in these two years is quite unparalleled in golf history. He was the first player to win both the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur Championships in the same calendar year. The golf world dubbed this the “Little Slam,” a nod towards his last name and overwhelming success.

Little truly made a name for himself when he won the 1934 and 1935 U.S Amateur Championships, and the prestigious British Amateur Championships in 1935. Remarkably, he won five consecutive national championships in amateur golf, a record to this day. His extraordinary performances earned him the James E. Sullivan Award as the outstanding amateur athlete in America in 1935.

Having dominated the amateur circuit, he began his professional career in 1936 and it was as illustrious as his earlier escapades. He went on to win the U.S Open in 1940. Despite adverse weather conditions and a challenging course, Little held uncontested command of the tournament, winning by two strokes over Gene Sarazen. It was an impressive triumph, and one that etched his name further into golf’s hall of fame.

Less known but just as impressive is his service record. Little joined the U.S Coast Guard during World War II, halting his promising golf career. His dedicated service to his country demonstrated his character off the golf course, rounding him off as not just a formidable golfer, but also a patriot.

The golfing style of Little was unique and displayed a tenacity unparalleled. He was known for his aggressive approach and steadfast spirit. His swing reflected his personality – acute, powerful, and precise. It was this fiery approach that made him an intimidating opponent in the match play format.

Hallmarked by determination, discipline, and an innate talent, Lawson Little stands tall in the annals of golf history. While his contribution to the sport was striking, it was his love and devotion to the sport that left an indelible impression on fans and fellow golfers alike.

He passed away in 1968, leaving a legacy that went beyond his spectacular feats. In his 57 years, Little made contributions to golf that have stood the test of time. His ‘Little Slam,’ the aggressive yet silky smooth swing, and the dedication to the sport speak volumes about the man he was.

As golf enthusiasts, it’s imperative that we remember and cherish individuals like Lawson Little. Champions who not only excelled in the sport but also represented the passion, dedication, and resilience that golf reflects. Individuals who, through their grit, strategic prowess, and unwavering spirit, changed the course of the game, one swing at a time.

In the fast-paced world of contemporary golf where tournaments are won and lost on the turn of a dime, the story of Lawson Little Jr., a man who dominated an era, serves as a reminder of the rich history of golf and the formidable champions it has produced over time.

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