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Ken Venturi Passes at Age 82

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Golf legend and 2013 Hall of Fame inductee Ken Venturi passed away today. He was not only a 35-year broadcaster, but 1964 U.S. Open champion, winning one of the most dramatic events of all time.

Less than two weeks after being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, former major champion and noted broadcaster Ken Venturi has died, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report. No initial cause of death was available for Venturi, who had turned 82 on Wednesday.

Golf Channel later confirmed the report with Venturi's family.

A native of San Francisco, Venturi won the California State Amateur in 1951 and again in 1956. In the latter year, he nearly won the Masters as an amateur, leading after three rounds before ultimately finishing second, one shot behind winner Jack Burke, Jr.

The highlight of Venturi's playing career came in 1964, when he conquered challenging conditions and oppressive heat to claim the U.S. Open title in a 36-hole finish at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. It was his lone career major, and served as the 11th of 14 career PGA Tour titles.

After his playing days were over, Venturi went on to spend 35 years in the broadcast booth for CBS Sports, retiring in 2002.

Battling a variety of health issues, Venturi was unable to attend the Hall of Fame ceremony last week in St. Augustine, Fla., where he was inducted as part of the Lifetime Achievement category. Instead, his longtime broadcast partner, Jim Nantz, who was slated to introduce Venturi at the ceremony, accepted the honor on his behalf.
post #2 of 13


post #3 of 13

Such a sad day. I always like Ken. His book, The Venturi System was the first book I read on the swing. Helped me out a ton. His 1964 US Open win will always be remembered as one of the great moments in the history of the game. He will be sorely missed. 

post #4 of 13

Wow; I can't believe that. The guy seemed ageless to me.


He was a great golfer, announcer and had so much wisdom on and off the course.


Ken, you will be missed.

post #5 of 13

"Oh my God. I won the Open."


post #6 of 13

He'll be missed.

post #7 of 13
post #8 of 13

It's very sad. But what a life. I'll miss him.

post #9 of 13

Ken Venturi Passed Away Today

I did not see any thread on this, so I decided to post. I read that Ken Venture died today at the age of 82. He is best remembered as the 1964 US Open Champion when it was played at Congressional. After this Open, his game suffered and he retired from competitive golf and began a stellar career as a golf announcer at CBS.


I also remember him as an outstanding amateur golfer and almost won the Masters a couple of times. I remember his very simple but effective tips on various golf shots, played during golf telecasts. His simple approach always seemed to help my game. He had the right voice and never interfered with the action by talking too much. he always let the golf do the talking.


A true gentleman of the game. Oh, and one more thing. He was most proud of the fact that Ben Hogan always sought him out to play golf with. He always felt honored by this.

post #10 of 13

When I was writing my novel last summer (Off The Fairway, available on Amazon), I had an ending in mind for it but I was having trouble 'setting the stage' correctly. The main character, who has battled all types of adversity, wins again on the PGA Tour...but writing that scene was difficult for me.


Enter Mr. Venturi & his 1964 US Open win. Specifically this pic -



Here's how I wrote the scene -


Billy dropped his putter to the ground, raised both hands in the air, closed his eyes and leaned his head back.

"Oh my God I won the Bridgestone."

The applause washed over him. He put his right head over his forehead, eyes still shut as the gallery played on.

post #11 of 13

I met Ken Venturi in Palm Desert at the College of the Desert golf range and practice area. He was most generous with this time...a real gentleman. He taught me how to chip from thick greenside grass. I still use the shot today. Thanks for the memories Ken.

post #12 of 13

To listen to John Cook talk about Mr. Venturi is all anyone needs to do to understand the impact he had on others as a player and mentor.  The information coming out about how he had to overcome a severe stammer as a young man and then goes on to be a top broadcaster is truly amazing.  He was a "less is more" announcer when it came to his analyst role...something the Gary McCords of the world could learn from for sure.  Well done Ken Venturi well done.

post #13 of 13

The book, "The Match" was written in large, from his perspective I believe.  A great read and my favorite golf book of all time.

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