Forrest Fezler

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Forrest Fezler
Personal information
Full nameForrest Oliver Fezler
Born(1949-09-23)September 23, 1949
Hayward, California
DiedDecember 21, 2018(2018-12-21) (aged 69)
Tallahassee, Florida
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)
Nationality United States
CollegeSan Jose City College
Turned professional1969
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins2
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour1
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT30: 1975
PGA ChampionshipT32: 1974
U.S. Open2nd: 1974
The Open ChampionshipWD: 1974

Forrest Oliver Fezler (September 23, 1949 – December 21, 2018) was an American golf course design consultant and PGA Tour professional golfer. His most prosperous year as a professional came in 1974, when he won the Southern Open and finished in second place to Hale Irwin at the U.S. Open, his best finish at a major.

Early years[edit]

Fezler was born in Hayward, California. He first showed an interest in the game of golf as a 7-year-old boy growing up in San Jose, California by drawing golf holes. As a youth, he would sneak onto the course at the San Jose Country Club to practice. He attended James Lick High School and was a member of the golf team; and a teammate of future fellow PGA Tour player Roger Maltbie. Fezler attended San Jose City College from 1968–1969. Fezler won the California State Amateur, Santa Clara County Championship and the California State Community College Championship in 1969.

PGA Tour[edit]

Fezler played on the PGA Tour from 1972 to 1983, and won one event. He had 30 top-10 finishes including eight runner-up finishes. He won the PGA Rookie of the Year award in 1973. His career year was 1974 when he won the Southern Open and finished in 2nd place to Hale Irwin at the U.S. Open. This was his best finish in a major championship. In 1976, Fezler tore the tendons in his left wrist and was forced to make major adjustments in his game – both in the number of tournaments he played and in his swing. He would limit his full-time professional play in 1983, and in 1984 took the head club pro job at Blackhawk Country Club in the East Bay region of California. He earned $527,000 in career winnings.[1]

Dress code protest[edit]

Fezler was unhappy with the PGA Tour's dress code that required players to wear slacks. At the 1983 U.S. Open, which is run by the USGA, Fezler was goaded by a reporter to wear shorts in protest the next day during the tournament. Before playing the last hole of the last round, he stepped into a portable toilet and changed into shorts, then left the course to avoid possible admonishment by the USGA.[1]

Golf course design[edit]

In 1994, Fezler changed careers and got into the golf course design and construction business as a partner with South Carolina-based Mike Strantz, an award-winning former associate of Tom Fazio. He developed his own golf course, which he called Golden Eagle, in Tallahassee, Florida.[citation needed]


Fezler died on December 21, 2018 at age 69. According to his son, Jordan, he had been battling brain cancer.[2]

Amateur wins (3)[edit]

Professional wins (2)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (1)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 Sep 8, 1974 Southern Open −9 (70-68-68-65=271) 1 stroke Australia Bruce Crampton, United States J. C. Snead

PGA Tour playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponents Result
1 1974 American Golf Classic United States Gay Brewer, United States Jim Colbert,
United States Raymond Floyd
Colbert won with par on second extra hole
Brewer and Fezler eliminated with par on first extra hole

Other wins (1)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983
Masters Tournament T30
U.S. Open CUT CUT T45 2 T24 CUT T47 T37 T50
The Open Championship WD
PGA Championship CUT T32 T50 T65 CUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
WD = withdrew
"T" = tied


  1. ^ a b "People in the Game: Fezler". Golf Today. October 2002.
  2. ^ Strege, John (December 21, 2018). "Forrest Fezler, remembered for protesting USGA by playing 18th hole of 1983 U.S. Open wearing shorts, has died". Golf Digest. Retrieved December 21, 2018.

External links[edit]