- Full Name
- John Henry Taylor
- Year of Birth
- Year of Death
- 1963 (aged 91)
- Place Born
- Northam, Devon, England
- Place Died
- Northam, Devon, England
It was through his inter-war partnership with Fred G. Hawtree that Taylor involved himself in a greater number of design commissions. Although Hawtree did the bulk of the design work, they both were involved in the layout and detailed design work. At Hartsborne Golf Club, for instance, they shared the detailed design responsibilities by taking nine holes each. EIGCA.
John Henry Taylor is rightly regarded as a golfing pioneer. He was one of the best golfers of his era then played a significant role in shaping the way that the game is now played. Born into an ordinary, working class family in Devon, his father passed away when he was only eleven years of age, forcing him to leave school in favour of paid employment.
He worked as a mason’s labourer and as a gardening assistant to Horace Hutchinson, who won a couple of Amateur Championships and was one of the earliest writers on golf architecture and golf instruction. He also caddied at nearby Westward Ho! which was where he learned to play the game.
Taylor turned professional in 1890 and served a number of clubs – Burnham & Berrow, Royal Winchester and Royal Wimbledon – over the following decade before moving to Royal Mid-Surrey in Richmond, where he served the club for almost half a century, from 1899 until he retired in 1946.
He became the first Englishman to win the Open at Royal St George’s in 1894 and he would go on to become the Champion Golfer at this event another four times. He also triumphed in the French Open a couple of times (1908 and 1909) and the German Open in 1912.
Taylor travelled to the United States with Harry Vardon in 1900 to compete in the US Open at Chicago Golf Club, playing a series of exhibition matches around the country before the competition got under way. Vardon then sailed back to Britain with the winner’s cheque in his pocket after winning the event by two strokes from Taylor.
The following year, he co-founded the British Professional Golfers’ Association, becoming its first chairman. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Artisan Golfers’ Association through his membership of Northam, which is still one of more than sixty clubs affiliated to that national organization.
Further biography details to follow…
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