Aug. 25, 2022

John Mahaffey - Part 3 (The 1978 PGA Championship)

John Mahaffey - Part 3 (The 1978 PGA Championship)

John Mahaffey begins this segment with a look back to his win at the 1978 PGA Championship at Oakmont CC in a playoff with Tom Watson and Jerry Pate. He talks about his Ryder Cup experiences and his two wins at the 1978 and 1979 World Cups. John reflects briefly on his Senior Tour career and the transition to broadcasting and becoming an author. Hear him tell about how he got his "Hogan's Boy" nickname from Sam Snead and where he would take two career mulligans. John Mahaffey wraps up his life story, "FORE the Good of the Game."

Mahaffey, John Profile Photo

Mahaffey, John

Golf Professional and Broadcaster

An outstanding basketball player at Kerrville High School, John Drayton Mahaffey, Jr. might have pursued that sport in college except that he weight only 117 pounds. As it turned out, Mahaffey chose golf and was at the right place at the right time when he was runner-up in the Texas State Junior Championship during the summer of 1966. Mahaffey caught the eye of University of Houston Coach Dave Williams who felt that, “John Mahaffey’s not little. He’s just not big.”

Mahaffey played big for the Cougars, leading the team to the 1970 NCAA Championship by winning the individual title by a stroke over Lanny Wadkins of Wake Forest. John also led the Cougars to a team title in 1969. After college, John went to work as an assistant at Champions Golf Club in Houston. When Ben Hogan came early to practice for the 1971 Houston Champions International, he invited Mahaffey to join him for nine holes. Mahaffey shot a 31, Hogan, 32. Mr. Hogan was so impressed that he used his influence to get Mahaffey into the Colonial National Invitation Tournament, giving Mahaffey a taste of the career he has pursued ever since. Mahaffey played on the 1979 Ryder Cup team

Despite several injuries, Mahaffey, was recognized as an exceptional striker of the ball. He won the PGA Championship and Players Championship among his 10 tour victories. He also became involved in a golf course architecture and design business. He now work as an announcer on the Golf Channel telecasts of the Champions Tour.