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Deane Beman
2nd Commissioner of the PGA Tour
In office
January 1, 1974 – January 1, 1994
Preceded by Joseph Dey
Succeeded by Tim Finchem
Deane Beman
Personal information
Full name Deane R. Beman
Born (1938-04-22) April 22, 1938 (age 85)
Washington, D.C.
Height 5 ft 7.5 in (1.71 m)
Weight 150 lb (68 kg; 11 st)
Nationality  United States
College University of Maryland
Turned professional 1967
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins 6
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 4
Other 2
Best results in Major Championships
The Masters Tournament T19: 1969
U.S. Open T2: 1969
The Open Championship T13: 1967
PGA Championship T36: 1972
U.S. Amateur Won: 1960, 1963
British Amateur Won: 1959
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 2000
PGA Tour Lifetime
Achievement Award

Deane R. Beman (born April 22, 1938) is an American professional golfer, golf administrator, golf writer, and golf course architect. He was the second commissioner of the PGA Tour, serving from 1974 to 1994.

Early years

Born in Washington, D.C., Beman attended the University of Maryland in nearby College Park, where he was a two-time All-American on the Terrapins golf team.

Following graduation, Beman had a career in the insurance field. During his playing career, he qualified for the U.S. Open at age 17 in 1955. He qualified for the Masters Tournament fourteen times, won the U.S. Amateur twice (1960, 1963), and the British Amateur (1959). He also lost a playoff to Gary Cowan for the 1966 U.S. Amateur.

Pro career

Beman turned professional in 1967 at age 29 and won four times on the PGA Tour between 1969 and 1973. He led for two rounds at the 1969 U.S. Open and finished one shot out of a playoff. Beman was a short hitter by top-class standards, with an outstanding short game, and was renowned as one of the best putters in the world. Injuries curtailed his playing career. He retired as a player and closed his business practice to become PGA Tour Commissioner because he believed he could contribute more to the sport as a commissioner than he ever could as a player.

PGA Tour commissioner

Beman was the second commissioner of the PGA Tour, succeeding Joe Dey in 1974, and served for twenty years. He introduced The Players Championship concept during this time, and developed the Tournament Players Club network of courses around the United States, along with Tour-branded clothing, expanding the Tour's financial clout. Beman converted the Tour into a 501-c6 organization, one of several moves that would transform the Tour's financial fortunes and introduced pension plans for Tour players.

Under his watch, the Tour's board passed a policy requiring all tournaments to support a charitable initiative. Tour charitable contributions grew from less than $1 million a year in 1974 to more than $30 million in 1994. He is the architect of the Tour's successful television model, which still exists today.

He formed the Senior PGA Tour, now the PGA Tour Champions, for players 50 and older in 1980 and the Ben Hogan Tour (now Tour) as golf's developmental circuit in 1990. In 1983, the Tour expanded the number of exempt players from the top-60 on the season money list to the top-125.

At a meeting on February 28, 1994, the tour's board approved the capstone of his legacy, The Presidents Cup, an international competition. Beman also announced his plan to retire; it was the twentieth anniversary of his appointment as Tour commissioner. During his tenure, the PGA Tour's assets grew from $400,000 in 1974 to a reported $260 million in 1994. He was succeeded as commissioner by Tim Finchem, who served for over 22 years.

Later years

After stepping down as tour commissioner in June 1994, Beman resumed his playing career, and competed in 69 senior events through the Constellation Energy Classic in 2005. He co-designed Cannon Ridge Golf Club, which opened in 2003, with architect Bobby Weed. He still plays regularly, as he likes to say, "only once a day."


Beman was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000 and was awarded the seventh PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

A book chronicling his 20-year tenure as Commissioner was published in 2011, entitled "Deane Beman: Golf's Driving Force," by Adam Schupak.

Amateur wins

  • 1959 British Amateur
  • 1960 U.S. Amateur, Eastern Amateur, Trans-Mississippi Amateur
  • 1961 Eastern Amateur
  • 1963 U.S. Amateur, Eastern Amateur
  • 1964 Eastern Amateur, Porter Cup

Professional wins (6)

PGA Tour wins (4)

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
1 May 11, 1969 Texas Open Invitational 70-69-70-65=274 −10 Playoff United States Jack McGowan
2 Jul 12, 1970 Greater Milwaukee Open 68-71-68-69=276 −12 3 strokes United States Don Massengale
3 Oct 1, 1972 Quad Cities Open 72-69-71-67=279 −15 1 stroke United States Tom Watson
4 Jul 15, 1973 Shrine-Robinson Open Golf Classic 69-68-67-67=271 −13 1 stroke United States Bob Dickson, United States Bunky Henry

PGA Tour playoff record (1–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 1968 Bob Hope Desert Classic United States Arnold Palmer Lost to par on second extra hole
2 1969 Texas Open Invitational United States Jack McGowan Won with birdie on first extra hole

Other wins (2)

  • 1966 Maryland Open (as an amateur)
  • 1971 Quad Cities Open (not an official PGA Tour event)

Major championships

Amateur wins (3)

Year Championship Winning score Runner-up
1959 The Amateur Championship 3 & 2 United States Bill Hyndman
1960 U.S. Amateur 6 & 4 United States Robert W. Gardner
1963 U.S. Amateur 2 & 1 United States R. H. Sikes

U.S. national team appearances


  • Walker Cup: 1959 (winners), 1961 (winners), 1963 (winners), 1965 (tied, cup retained)
  • Eisenhower Trophy: 1960 (winners), 1962 (winners), 1964, 1966
  • Americas Cup: 1960 (winners), 1961 (winners), 1963 (winners)
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