Sir Bob Charles has the dual distinction of being the first left-handed golfer to win a major championship and the first player to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame from New Zealand.
A natural righty, he does everything right handed except, as he says, “….play games requiring two hands.” As such, Charles was the first southpaw to reach the very highest levels of competitive golf. And in doing so, he led the way for such left-handed major tournament winners as Phil Mickelson and Mike Weir.
As an 18-year-old bank teller, Charles burst onto the golf scene in 1954 when he won the New Zealand Open at Heretaunga with a record score for an amateur of 280 against a strong international field composed of many leading professionals. He continued working in banking for six years, but honed his golf skills before turning professional.