1969 : Walter Hagen, Golf’s First Millionaire, Dies at his Traverse City Estate

October 6, 2018 all-day

Photo of Walter Hagen

Walter Hagen was the first athlete to become a millionaire playing a sport. He created legends every time he raised his club–or his glass. He was the first to grab the check and the last to leave the party.

Hagen won the U.S. Open in 1914 and again in 1919 and then went on to win four British Opens in 1922, 1924, 1928 and 1929. He traveled the world and played in more than 2,000 tournaments, but he chose to live in Michigan at the Detroit Athletic Club and the Book Cadillac Hotel. In 1954 he moved to a 20-acre estate near Traverse City overlooking East Long Lake.

For more information, see The Walter Hagen Story, by The Haig, himself, as told to Margaret Seaton Heck.

Click here for a Detroit News photo collection.

Source : Vivian M. Baulch, “He made golf his life, Michigan his home”, Detroit News, February 4, 2000.

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