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William Earl Mehlhorn (December 2, 1898 – April 5, 1989) was an American professional golfer who played on the PGA Tour in its early days, and was at his best in the 1920s.

Bill Mehlhorn
Personal information
Full nameWilliam Earl Mehlhorn
NicknameWild Bill
Born(1898-12-02)December 2, 1898
Elgin, Illinois
DiedApril 5, 1989(1989-04-05) (aged 90)
Miami, Florida
Nationality United States
SpouseVelva Ivo (aka Virginia Raye)
ChildrenCarol, Janet, Katherine, Patricia
Turned professional1920
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins22
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour20
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT33: 1937
PGA Championship2nd: 1925
U.S. Open3rd/T3: 1924, 1926
The Open ChampionshipT8: 1926

Mehlhorn was born in Elgin, Illinois[1] and lived a majority of his life in Seaford, New York when not traveling. He often wore cowboy hats on the course and was nicknamed "Wild Bill." He won 20 times on the PGA Tour, but did not win a major championship. Only a handful of golfers have won more often on the PGA Tour without claiming a major. He finished 14 times in the top-10 at majors. His best finish was runner-up to Walter Hagen at the PGA Championship in 1925. Mehlhorn competed on the first Ryder Cup team in 1927 as well as the inaugural Masters Tournament in 1934. He was a gallery favorite because of his uncanny accuracy from tee to green, but his game was undermined by problems with putting: the yips.

Mehlhorn also designed and plotted several golf courses across the country, including Pensacola, Florida's Osceola Golf Course.

Mehlhorn retired and moved to Miami, Florida with his family, where he coached golf at Florida International University with Bob Shave during his later years. Mehlhorn and Shave wrote the book, Golf Secrets Exposed, in the early 1980s to summarize Mehlhorn's golf secrets and insight. Two versions of the book have been published since Mehlhorn's death.


Professional winsEdit

PGA Tour wins (20)Edit


Other winsEdit

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
U.S. Open WD T27 4 T8 3 T15 T3 5 T49 T55
The Open Championship NT T16 T8 CUT 9 T36
PGA Championship R32 R16 R32 2 R32 R32 R16
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937
Masters Tournament NYF NYF NYF NYF WD T35 T33
U.S. Open T9 T4 T35 T37 T50
The Open Championship
PGA Championship R32 R16 R32 SF R64
  Top 10
  Did not play

NYF = tournament not yet founded
NT = no tournament
WD = withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2
U.S. Open 0 0 2 5 7 8 15 14
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 2 3 5 4
PGA Championship 0 1 1 2 5 11 12 12
Totals 0 1 3 7 14 22 35 32
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 13 (1919 PGA – 1927 U.S. Open)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 4 (1925 PGA – 1927 U.S. Open)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Elgin Sports Hall of Fame profile". Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  2. ^ Barkow, Al (November 1989). The History of the PGA TOUR. Doubleday. p. 279. ISBN 0-385-26145-4.

External linksEdit