Harry Vardon

Full Name
Henry William Vardon
Year of Birth
1870
Year of Death
1937 (aged 66)
Place Born
Grouville, Jersey, Channel Islands
Place Died
Whetstone, London, England

World Golf Hall of Fame – Class of 1974: "Harry Vardon was possessed with a talent and method so singular he was considered a shotmaking machine in the era of hickory and gutta percha. He won The Open a record six times and was golf’s first superstar. Vardon was a true original. On his own, he developed the Vardon Grip, the grip used by 90 percent of golfers today."

Vardon was born in Jersey, the son of an English gardener (Philip George Vardon) and a French mother (Elizabeth Augustine Bouchard), into a family of six boys and two girls. Both he and his younger brother Tom spent most of their summer holidays caddying on the local links.

Along with Ted Ray and a few others, the Vardons were part of a group that become known as the 'Jersey School' which emanated from the Caddies Competitions run by Royal Jersey Golf Club, allowing youngsters to learn to play the game on the course without a membership.

Tom Vardon turned professional first and headed off to England in search of golfing fame and fortune (he would later emigrate to the United States where he worked for twenty-five years until he died in 1938) with Harry following him across the Channel in 1890.

His first appointment in England was as the professional/greenkeeper at Studley Royal Golf Club in Ripon then he moved on to Bury Golf Club for a short time before taking up a plum position at Ganton in 1896.

That year, after the County match between Hampshire and Yorkshire played at Ganton, club members raised money for a challenge match between Vardon and J.H. Taylor, the 1894 and 1895 Open Champion.

Vardon won this match then went on a month later to win the Open at Muirfield, after a play-off against Taylor. He also won another two Opens whilst at Ganton (Prestwick in 1898 and Royal St George’s in 1899) then finished runner-up the following three years.

There were many big money, winner-takes-all challenge matches arranged in those days, with Vardon playing against others such as Ben Sayers and Willie Park Jr. His 1899 match play tu...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Harry Vardon

Abersoch

14th North Wales - Best in Area 39th Wales Ranking

What many visitors to this part of the Gwynedd region might not appreciate is that Abersoch Golf Club boasts a terrific little golf course that dates all the way back to 1908, when the great Harry Vardon pegged out the original holes.

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Aberystwyth

7th West Wales - Best in Area 50th Wales Ranking

Aberystwyth Golf Club was formed in 1911 and the first committee made the wise decision to engage Harry Vardon to design the 18-hole layout.

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Balmore

6th Dunbartonshire - Best in Area

Harry Vardon is credited with laying out the course at Balmore Golf Club back in 1907 and his crossover fairway design for the par threes at holes 15 and 16 endures to the present day.

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Brocton Hall

9th Staffordshire - Best in Area

Designed by Harry Vardon, the parkland course at Brocton Hall Golf Club sits close to Cannock Chase. With fairways winding past stands of mature trees and attractive water features, golfers are always assured of an engaging game when they tee it up here.

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Bundoran

Gem Ireland - Best in Area

Bundoran Golf Club is set delightfully on the shores of Donegal Bay. The club dates back to 1894 and it's inextricably linked with Christy O'Connor.

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Bush Hill Park

Gem England - Best in Area

Bush Hill Park Golf Club was founded in 1895 and the modern day layout only extends to a modest 5,776 yards from the back tees, but length isn’t the course's most potent protector of par...

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Church Stretton

6th Shropshire - Best in Area

Church Stretton Golf Club is the oldest 18-hole layout in the county of Shropshire and is also the third highest golf course in the UK. The course here offers golfers fantastic views across Stretton valley to the east and there's some testing golf too.

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Copt Heath

5th Warwickshire - Best in Area

Founded in 1907, Copt Heath Golf Club is a mixture of park and heathland with holes lined by mature and grand trees waiting to catch the wayward drive.

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Dunfanaghy

10th Donegal - Best in Area

Harry Vardon designed the “True Links” layout at Dunfanaghy Golf Club in 1905 close to the western shoreline of Sheephaven Bay on Ireland’s stunning northwest coast.

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Ganton

1st Yorkshire - Best in Area 8th England Ranking 25th Britain & Ireland Ranking 77th World Ranking

This sandy, gently undulating site was once a North Sea inlet. Consequently, Ganton Golf Club has all the characteristics of a links and a heathland course.

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