Julius Boros: Get to Know the Golf Hall of Famer

Portrait of golfer Julius Boros
Julius Boros was a 3-time major championship winner. Bettmann/Getty Images

Julius Boros was a 3-time major championship winner in golf, known as one of the best "old" golfers given that his PGA Tour career really blossomed in his 40s. In fact, he holds the record in men's golf as the oldest major championship winner.

Date of birth: March 3, 1920
Place of birth: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Died: May 28, 1994
Nicknames: "Jay" to some, "Moose" to others.

Boros' Wins

PGA Tour: 18 (wins are listed below after Boros' bio)

Major Championships: 3

  • 1952 U.S. Open
  • 1963 U.S. Open
  • 1968 PGA Championship

Awards and Honors for Julius Boros

Quote, Unquote

  • Julius Boros: "Swing easy, hit it hard."
  • Julius Boros: "If I tried to muscle the ball like Palmer and Nicklaus do, I'd be home for most of the year."
  • Julius Boros: "By the time you get to your ball, if you don't know what to do with it, try another sport."
  • On losing confidence in his game: "It's a little like sex. One bad performance and you begin to wonder."
  • Julius Boros, when asked about retirement: "Retire from what? All I do is play golf and fish."

Julius Boros Trivia

  • Julius Boros' son, Guy Boros, won the 1996 PGA Tour Greater Vancouver Open.
  • Boros holds the record as oldest major championship winner. He was 48 when he won the 1968 PGA Championship.

Biography of Julius Boros

Julius Boros was born to Hungarian immigrants in 1920. He was an accountant by trade, not taking up golf until his 20s, yet he went on to a long, great career. While Tour players thriving in their 40s is no big deal today, it was unusual in Boros' time, and he earned a reputation as one of the best "old" (over 40) pro golfers ever.

Boros' game took off when he moved south to the Carolinas, where he worked as an accountant at a golf club and worked on his game year-round. He turned pro in 1949, at the age of 29. Three years later he had his first professional victory - the 1952 U.S. Open.

Boros won again at the 1963 U.S. Open, at the age of 43, defeating Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer in an 18-hole playoff. Between 1951 and 1965, Boros finished in the Top 5 at the U.S. Open nine times. At age 53, he was tied for the lead at the U.S. Open with 10 holes to play before finishing 7th.

When Boros won the 1968 PGA Championship, at age 48, he became the oldest winner of a major - a record he still owns.

Boros was a quiet person with a quiet swing that generated plenty of power. "Swing easy, hit it hard" was his slogan, and it was personified in his seemingly effortless swing. He was a terrific iron player, and one of the best with a sand wedge from the rough. (In fact, Boros, some golf historians argue, was the first golfer to regularly and successfully play the flop shot.) Boros was known for never taking a practice swing and for being very quick to play once over a ball, especially on the greens.

Boros remained competitive well into his 50s. He won the 1971 and 1977 Senior PGA Championship. On the "regular" tour, he lost a playoff to Gene Littler at the 1975 Westchester Classic at age 55. He made the cut in the same event at age 59.

Boros is also remembered for helping launch the PGA Tour's senior circuit. He sank the winning putt on the sixth hole of a sudden-death playoff at the 1979 Legends of Golf that gave him and teammate Roberto De Vicenzo the win over Tommy Bolt and Art Wall. That tournament is credited by many as the starting point of the Senior Tour, later known as the Champions Tour.

Julius Boros was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1982. He died on a golf course: Club members at Coral Ridge Country Club in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., found Boros in his golf cart, dead of a heart attack, in 1994.

Boros' Instructional Books

Boros authored or co-authored multiple instructional books over his long career and life. Several of the better-known ones are:

  • Swing Easy, Hit Hard: Tips from a Master of the Classic Golf Swing, published in the 1980s.
  • How to Play Par Golf, published in 1953, after Boros' U.S. Open win.
  • How to Win at Weekend Golf, published in 1964.

List of Boros' Tournament Wins

Here are the 18 PGA Tour titles won by Boros:

  • 1952 U.S. Open
  • 1952 World Championship of Golf
  • 1954 Ardmore Open
  • 1954 Carling Open
  • 1955 World Championship of Golf
  • 1958 Arlington Hotel Open
  • 1958 Carling Open Invitational
  • 1959 Dallas Open Invitational
  • 1960 Colonial National Invitation
  • 1963 Colonial National Invitation
  • 1963 Buick Open Invitational
  • 1963 U.S. Open 
  • 1964 Greater Greensboro Open
  • 1967 Phoenix Open Invitational
  • 1967 Florida Citrus Open Invitational
  • 1967 Buick Open Invitational
  • 1968 PGA Championship
  • 1968 Westchester Classic

In addition, Boros won the Senior PGA Championship in 1971 and 1977. He also teamed with Roberto DeVicenzo in 1979 to win the Legends of Golf, one year before that event helped launch the Champions Tour.