arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

San Diego's Golf Legends

Casper, Littler, Mickelson, Rodgers and Simpson

The San Diego region has cultivated many world-famous, award-winning athletes in a variety of different sports including baseball and golf is no exception.

World-famous, award-winning San Diego athletes in a variety of different sports include baseball star Ted Williams, football's Marcus Allen, track and field star Gail Devers, and basketball phenomenon Bill Walton.

Golf is no exception. Amid PGA's exciting golf scene in the 1960s, Billy Casper, Gene Littler and Phil Rodgers were known as the 1-2-3 punch from San Diego. Scott Simpson, also a San Diego native, grew up watching these three golf greats, just as local Phil Mickelson grew up admiring Simpson's game. Mickelson, on his way to surpassing the foursome, is challenging Casper's status as San Diego's most successful player with his collection of wins.

Following is a highlight of San Diego's most successful professional golfers:

Billy Casper

Billy Casper is the first San Diegan to win 3 majors. A two-time PGA player of the year (1966, 1970), he also has two U.S. Open wins (1959, 1966), one Masters win (1970), and one U.S. Senior Open win (1983). Casper was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1978 with 51 PGA Tour wins and nine Senior Tour wins.

Gene Littler

Gene Littler, credited as one of the new breed of college-educated golfers to turn professional in the 1950s, is known for his smooth, rhythmical swing. A San Diego State University alumnus, Littler won the U.S. Open in 1961 and had acquired five PGA Tour wins and eight Senior Tour wins by the time he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson, recent winner of the 2010 Masters, is one of San Diego's most famous golfers. A local high school golf star, Mickelson continued his career at Arizona State University, winning three NCAA championships. He then moved into the PGA where he currently has 40 PGA Tour victories, including three Masters wins (2004, 2006, 2010) and one PGA Championship (2005). Mickelson and his family still reside in San Diego County.

Phil Rodgers

Phil Rodgers, one of the game's finest amateurs of his time and the 1958 NCAA champion, was named on the Top 100 Teachers List for 2005-2006 by Golf Magazine. Rodgers became a premier short game instructor after his time on the PGA Tour, having been credited with helping Jack Nicklaus end his "slump" by winning the 1980 U.S. Open.

Scott Simpson

Scott Simpson, a professional on the PGA Tour since 1979, won his first and only U.S. Open title in 1987, dueling Tom Watson in the final round. Simpson, with seven other PGA Tour wins, finished 2nd place twice on the PGA Champions Tour in 2006.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Venues

Free Video + Photo for Kids!

iFLY San Diego
Valid: Sep 25 - Oct 31, 2019

All kids age 14 and under will receive (1) free video and (1) free photo for each flight package they fly in the month of October. Please print this offer or mention it to iFly San Diego Mission...

Accommodation

Love at the Cove

La Valencia Hotel
Valid: Jan 9 - ongoing

Indulge in dark chocolate truffles with pink champagne on arrival, plus a $100 dining credit at THE MED Ocean View Restaurant.

Trains

Kids Ride 50% Off

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner
Valid: Jan 3 - ongoing

Take the scenic route to San Diego.  Spend quality time with family on the Pacific Surfliner  and explore more of Southern California.  On board, kids will enjoy gazing out...

Events to check out

Event

USA Ultimate National Championships

Oct 24 - Oct 27, 2019

The USA Ultimate National Championships represent the pinnacle of elite ultimate in North America and crowns champions in three divisions: men’s, mixed and women’s. 

Event

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Dec 27, 2019

Don't miss America's Finest Bowl Experience! This signature San Diego event annually showcases a thrilling game between some of college football’s most competitive conferences, the Big Ten and...

Event

Fleet Week San Diego 2019

Nov 4 - Nov 12, 2019

Fleet Week San Diego honors and celebrates the men and women of the military through events that entertain and alliances that thank and support these heroes.

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish