It was, as coincidences go, as happy as it was fortuitous. In 1914 the Thomas E Wilson Company was formed. In the same year a charismatic, well dressed young pro called Walter Hagen achieved his major breakthrough with a victory at the US Open.
Golf had found the personality that would drive the expansion of the game throughout America and the world. And Thomas E Wilson had found the perfect market for his sporting goods company. Wilson would go on to build its reputation around golf equipment.
The Haig would go on to occupy an honorary position with Wilson until his death in 1969 and over the years would be just one in a list of some of the game's most famous luminaries to choose Wilson golf equipment.
One of the most fruitful, certainly the most enduring, of these relationships was with Gene Sarazen who joined Wilson as a member of the Advisory Staff in 1922 and would retain his links with Wilson Sporting Goods until his death in 1999.
Wilson Golf Clubs Win Majors
Just a decade into that 77-year relationship Sarazen struck on an invention that made golf a whole lot easier and almost certainly won him the 1932 Open Championship. Gene Sarazen's idea for a sand wedge was taken up by Wilson: 50,000 of the R-90 Wilson wedges were sold in the first year of production.
It was Sarazen who kick started one of the most enviable records in world golf. His wins at the 1922 US Open and at the US PGA the same year were Wilson's first majors. By the time the dust had settled on Padraig Harrington's double major glory in 2008, Wilson could boast that they had powered 61 major champions to victory.
It was with a Wilson fairway wood that Gene Sarazen hit the 'shot heard around the world' to win the 1934 Masters and it was Wilson golf clubs that Arnold Palmer used during his maiden win at Augusta in 1958. Two stand out moments in a story that has delivered Wilson major champions in each of the last nine decades.
Wilson Golf: Consistent Excellence
Today, thanks to Harrington, Wilson stands as triumphant as it did in the 1920's and 1930's when Hagen, Sarazen and Sam Snead were in their pomp. For his 2008 major wins Padraig carried a Wilson Driver, Wilson Fairway Wood, Wilson utility club, Wilson Irons and two Wilson Wedges. A lot has changed since Walter Hagen beat Chick Evans by a stroke to win the 1914 US Open. In golf, however, Wilson has remained a benchmark for consistency and excellence.