Jimmy Demaret won 31 PGA Tour events in his long career. Jack Burke Jr. won 16 PGA Tour events. A bronze monument honoring them both will be installed in Houston, Texas at the club they founded together in 1957.
Champions Golf Club
Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas is an iconic golf course with a rich history. Jack Burke Jr. and Jimmy Demaret opened Champions in 1957 a year after Demaret’s 1956 Masters victory in Augusta, Georgia.
Its world–class golf courses have made The Champions Golf Club renowned. It has a well earned reputation for hosting events such as the Ryder Cup, the US Open, the US Amateur, The Women’s Mid-Amateur, the TOUR Championship and the US Women’s Open.
Jack Burke Jr.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Burke started playing golf at the age of seven. He graduated from St. Thomas High School in Houston in 1940 and attended Rice University in 1941. He qualified for the 1941 US Open, the first to be held in Texas, even though he was still an amateur. In 1942, the Marine Corps stationed him at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, CA, during his time of service. Here he taught combat skills to Marines headed overseas during World War II.
Burke resumed his interest in golf teaching upon the end of the war, taking a position at Hollywood Golf Club in New Jersey. His experience there eventually led him to become mentored by 1948 Masters Champion Claude Harmon.
Burke’s career as a pro golfer took off in the early 1950s and by 1963 he had 16 PGA Tour wins in the era of Ben Hogan.
On January 29, 2023 Jack Burke Jr. turned 100 years old and is the only major golf champion to see the centenary of his birth. Burke stated that he wished to be remembered “as someone who upheld the amateur game, since amateurs are the backbone of the sport. And someone who followed the rules.”
Born in Houston, Texas, Jimmy Demaret’s start in golf came at a young age. He was caddying at the age of eight and winning his first competitive tournament at age eleven. In his professional career he became the first golfer to win the Masters tournament three times; 1940, 1947, and 1950.
Mr. Demaret played on three Ryder Cup teams against British teams and was unbeaten in six matches. In 1983, they named him to the PGA Hall of Fame. He proudly donned an apricot sweater with white knickers, argyle socks, and orange and black golf shoes. One of Demaret’s finest seasons on the professional circuit was in 1940 when he won seven events, including the U.S. Masters and the Western Open.
Demaret’s bright-colored clothing, which he had specially made for tournaments, enhanced his flamboyant personality. His fan–favorite status earned him the nickname of “The Wardrobe”. He had a very good baritone voice and talent as a comedian; he frequently entertained at nightclubs at Tour stops. He is famously known for saying at a banquet in 1965 “Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at it”. Mr. Demaret passed away December 28, 1983 in Houston, Texas.
We will permanently install the life–sized bronze sculptures of Jack Burke Jr. and Jimmy Demaret in the Fall of 2023. Champions golf club commissioned the sculpture.