18 March 2012
Born in Carterton in the Wairarapa, Bob’s incredible golfing talent was first noted in 1954 when, at the age of 18, he beat a top international field to win the New Zealand Open at Heretaunga.
Deciding to develop his skills as an amateur, he remained employed as a bank teller for a further six years before turning professional. In the following year he won the New Zealand PGA Championship and soon after travelled overseas to the North American and European circuits.
In 1963, Bob became the first left-handed golfer to win the PGA Tour in the United States. In his career Bob has won roughly 80 international tournaments.
Bob’s philanthropy has included the development of young golfing talent and assisting various underprivileged children’s causes.
In 1972 he was made a Member of the British Empire, and became Sir Bob Charles in 1999 when made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Charles is married to Verity and they have two grown children.