Horace Hutchinson

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Horace Hutchinson
Hutchinson, c. 1898
Personal information
Full nameHoratio Gordon Hutchinson
Born(1859-05-16)16 May 1859
London, England
Died27 July 1932(1932-07-27) (aged 73)
Chelsea, London, England
Height5 ft 11.5 in (182 cm)
Weight175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)
Sporting nationality England
SpouseDorothy Margaret Chapman
CollegeCorpus Christi College
Oxford University
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenDNP
The Open Championship6th: 1890
British AmateurWon: 1886; 1887

Horatio Gordon "Horace" Hutchinson (16 May 1859 – 27 July 1932)[1][2] was an English amateur golfer who played in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Hutchinson won the 1886 and 1887 Amateur Championships. He had three top-10 finishes in the Open Championship, his best result being sixth in the 1890 Open Championship.[3]

He was also a prolific writer of books on the subject of golf and other sporting themes.[4][5] Hutchinson was the second English captain of the St Andrews Golf Club, Scotland.[6] He suffered from grave illness in the latter portion of his life and committed suicide in Chelsea, London, England, on 27 July 1932.[7] ( Onesiphorus Tyndall Bruce was the first Englishman to Captain R&A in 1838).

Early life[edit]

Hutchinson, born 16 May 1859 in London, England, was the third son of General William Nelson Hutchinson (1803–1895) and Mary Hutchinson (née Russell).[1][8] He began his golfing career at an early age playing at the Royal North Devon Golf Club—also known as Westward Ho!—a course founded in 1864 and designed by Old Tom Morris.[9] By the age of 16, he won the club medal championship. He attended the University of Oxford's Corpus Christi College from 1878 to 1881, where he was a cricket player,[10][11] and where he made an immediate impression by playing number one on the Oxford University golf team, and led them to victory over arch-rival Cambridge in the University Golf Match.

During his Oxford years he would spend vacations at home playing the Royal North Devon course accompanied by a young orphaned caddie who was employed by the Hutchinson family as a houseboy. The young lad went by the name of John Henry Taylor. Taylor's future exploits in golf—which included winning five Open Championships—would become legendary.[12]

Hutchinson was a keen billiards player and enjoyed rowing, shooting and angling. He graduated from Oxford BA with third-class honours in literae humaniores (1881) and entered the Inner Temple with a view to reading for the bar, but his health, always frail, temporarily broke down.[7] In 1890 he considered becoming a sculptor and studied briefly under G. F. Watts.[5] In 1893 he married Dorothy Margaret Chapman, daughter of Major Frederick Barclay Chapman of the 14th Hussars.[5][7][13]

The Amateur Championship[edit]

Hutchinson's major accomplishments in golf were his two victories in the 1886 and 1887 Amateur Championships. He became the first player to successfully defend the title by defeating the great John Ball on Ball's home course at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake.

Hutchinson was an avid student—and later teacher—of the mechanics of the golf swing, so he decided to put forth in writing his suggestions on methods of play. He said, among other things, "The great secret of all strokes played for the most part is to make the club travel as long as possible in the direction in which you want the ball to go".[12]

In 1896, showing his humorous side on the subject of golf etiquette, Hutchinson remarked:

If your adversary is badly bunkered, there is no rule against your standing over him counting his strokes aloud, with increasing gusto as their number mounts up, but it will be a wise precaution to arm yourself with the niblick before doing so, so as to meet him on equal terms.[14]

Business ventures[edit]

From 1910 a local director to their West End branch and later its chairman,[15] Hutchinson was elected to the court of Directors of Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation in May 1919.[16] Following Hutchinson's death in 1932 the chairman of Royal Exchange began his address to their 213th Annual General Court by telling of his deepest regret. "He had the interests of the Corporation always very much at heart and the charm of his personality endeared him to his colleagues and to all those with whom he came in contact. He is very much missed by us all".[15]

In 1905, with his golfing friend H.C.B. Underdown, he became one of the two first directors of Commercial Cars Limited (Commer) which the pair of them set up to make Commer commercial vehicles. Their venture was intended to capitalize on a promising preselector gearbox invented for heavy vehicles. He remained on that board until his death.


Although he lived to be 73 years old, Hutchinson suffered with poor health most of his life, and was for the last eighteen years of life incapacitated by grave illness.[5] Before 1920 he left his Sussex home, Shepherds Gate, Coleman's Hatch across Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club from Forest Row and moved to 29 Lennox Gardens, Chelsea, London. Eighteen years after he could no longer play golf, he committed suicide there on 27 July 1932. He was survived by his wife.[7] According to his 1932 probate, his wealth at death was £26,337 (£1.95 million today).[17]


Caricature of Hutchinson (1890) by Leslie Ward, from Vanity Fair magazine

American golf teaching professional Mike Stevens said of Hutchinson, "In my mind, there is no question that Horace Hutchinson was a teacher extraordinaire and is clearly the father of golf instruction".[12]

Walter Travis, in 1904—shortly after his victories in the 1903 U.S. Amateur and 1904 British Amateur—said of Hutchinson:

All things considered, the golfer whom I most admired as a player was Horace Hutchinson. Over here we have read so many of his books and spoken of him so long as a veteran that one is surprised to find he is only forty-seven years old. He plays every shot for what it is worth and in perfect style, as free as any supple youth, and, all told, I pronounce him, to my mind, the ideal golfer.[4]

Tournament wins (25)[edit]

Note: This list may be incomplete.
  • 1875 Royal North Devon Golf Club Boy's Bronze Scratch Medal,[18] Royal North Devon Golf Club Autumn Scratch Medal[19]
  • 1878 Crookham Cup[20]
  • 1879 Crookham Cup,[21] Royal Liverpool Autumn Dowie Silver Cup Medal[22]
  • 1880 Crookham Cup[20]
  • 1884 St. Andrews Autumn Gold Medal,[23] St. Andrews George Glennie Medal[24]
  • 1885 Royal Liverpool Spring Connaught Challenge Star Medal[25]
  • 1886 The Amateur Championship, Royal North Devon Golf Club Spring Prince of Wales Gold Challenge Medal[26]
  • 1887 The Amateur Championship, St. Andrews Autumn Gold Medal,[27] St. Andrews Spring Silver Cross Medal,[28] Royal North Devon Golf Club Spring Prince of Wales Gold Challenge Medal[26]
  • 1889 Royal Eastbourne Fall Hartington Gold Medal,[29] St. Andrews Autumn Gold Medal[30]
  • 1892 Royal Eastbourne Spring Club Gold Medal,[31] Royal Eastbourne Fall Hartington Gold Medal[31]
  • 1894 Royal Liverpool Spring Medal,[32] Royal Liverpool Fall Medal[32]
  • 1895 Royal Liverpool Fall Medal[32]
  • 1896 Royal Liverpool Fall Medal[32]

Major championships[edit]

Amateur wins (2)[edit]

Year Championship Winning Score Runner-up
1886 The Amateur Championship 7 & 6 England Henry Lamb
1887 The Amateur Championship 1 up England John Ball

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1885 1886 1887 1888[33] 1889[34]
The Open Championship T11 LA T16 T10
The Amateur Championship 2 1 1 R16 R32
Tournament 1890[35] 1891 1892[36] 1893 1894[37] 1895 1896[38] 1897 1898[39] 1899
The Open Championship 6 T24 10 WD CUT
The Amateur Championship QF QF R32 SF R16
Tournament 1900[40] 1901[41] 1902[42] 1903 1904[43] 1905[44] 1906[45] 1907[46] 1908[47] 1909[48]
The Open Championship
The Amateur Championship R64 SF R64 2 SF R128 R16 R64 R256 R64
Tournament 1910[49] 1911[50] 1912[51]
The Open Championship
The Amateur Championship R32 R64 R256

Note: Hutchinson played in only The Open Championship and The Amateur Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

LA = low amateur
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place
R256, R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = round in which player lost in match play

Team appearances[edit]

Books written by Hutchinson[edit]

Note: This list may be incomplete.
  • Hints on the Game of Golf (1886)[5]
  • The Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes – Golf (1890)[52]
  • The Golf Pilgrim on Many Links (1897)[53]
  • The Book of Golf and Golfers (1899)[54]
  • A Friend of Nelson (1902)[5]
  • Bert Edward, The Golf Caddie (1903)[5]
  • The New Book of Golf (1912) – with contributions by May Hezlet, et al.[55]
  • Life of Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury (1914)[56]
  • The Eight of Diamonds: the Story of Week-End (1914)[5]
  • Fifty Years of Golf (1919)[6]


  1. ^ a b "Mr H G Hutchinson". The Times. 29 July 1932. p. 14.
  2. ^ "Mr. Horace Hutchinson". Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  3. ^ Brenner, Morgan G. (2009). The Majors of Golf: Complete Results of the Open, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters, 1860–2008. Vol. 1. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3360-5.
  4. ^ a b Travis, Walter (30 July 1904). "Views of Travis – Says Hutchinson, the Noted Britisher, Is an Ideal Golfer". Rock Island Argus. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Oxford Index – Horace G. Hutchinson (1859–1932), golfer and writer". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b Hutchinson, Horace G. (1919). "Fifty Years of Golf". Country Life. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d "Oxford Dictionary of National Biographies – Horatio Gordon Hutchinson". Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  8. ^ Paul @ Golfing Herald (10 February 2020). "Legends : Horace Hutchinson". Golfing Herald. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  9. ^ Old Tom Morris Golf Course Architecture, 1 July 2006, accessed 30 January 2012.
  10. ^ "Horatio Gordon Hutchinson". cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Players of Golf". The Evening Star. Washington, D.C. 4 May 1895. p. 13. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  12. ^ a b c Stevens, Mike. "The Father of Golf Instruction". usgtf.com. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  13. ^ William, Arthur; Pollock, Alsager (1870). "The Army Gazette, War Office, Pall Mall". The United Service Magazine.
  14. ^ Hutchinson, Horace. "Hole 4 – Golf Etiquette". Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  15. ^ a b Royal Exchange Assurance. The Times, Thursday, 27 April 1933; pg. 21; Issue 46429
  16. ^ City News in Brief. The Times, Friday, 9 May 1919; pg. 19; Issue 42095
  17. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  18. ^ Fifty Years of Golf, pp. 29–34
  19. ^ Fifty Years of Golf, pp. 41–46.
  20. ^ a b Fifty Years of Golf, pp. 47–52.
  21. ^ Fifty Years of Golf, pp. 59–64.
  22. ^ Bauchope, C. Robertson, ed. (1888). The Golfing Annual, 1887–88. London: Horace Cox. p. 179.
  23. ^ Fifty Years of Golf, pp. 71–76.
  24. ^ The Golfing Annual, 1887–88, p. 211.
  25. ^ The Golfing Annual, 1887–88, p. 178.
  26. ^ a b The Golfing Annual, 1887–88, p. 218.
  27. ^ The Golfing Annual, 1887–88, p. 206.
  28. ^ The Golfing Annual, 1887–88, p. 221.
  29. ^ Duncan, David Scott, ed. (1890). The Golfing Annual, 1889–90. London: Horace Cox. p. 155.
  30. ^ The Golfing Annual, 1889–90, p. 243.
  31. ^ a b Duncan, David Scott, ed. (1893). The Golfing Annual, 1892–93. London: Horace Cox. p. 170.
  32. ^ a b c d Fifty Years of Golf, pp. 150–155
  33. ^ The Glasgow Herald, May 10, 1888, p. 11. Google News
  34. ^ The Glasgow Herald, May 8, 1889, p. 10. Google News
  35. ^ The Glasgow Herald, May 2, 1890, p. 8. Google News
  36. ^ The Glasgow Herald, May 13, 1892, p. 9. Google News
  37. ^ The Glasgow Herald, April 26, 1894, p. 11. Google News
  38. ^ The Glasgow Herald, May 22, 1896, p. 10. Google News
  39. ^ The Glasgow Herald, May 26, 1898, p. 11. Google News
  40. ^ Golf, July, 1900, p. 20 Archived 5 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. United States Golf Association Museum
  41. ^ Golf, June, 1901, p. 414 Archived 5 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. United States Golf Association Museum
  42. ^ The Glasgow Herald, April 30, 1902, p. 10. Google News
  43. ^ Golf, July, 1904, p. 9 Archived 5 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. United States Golf Association Museum
  44. ^ Golf, June, 1905, p. 340 Archived 5 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. United States Golf Association Museum
  45. ^ The Glasgow Herald, May 24, 1906, p. 8. Google News
  46. ^ The Glasgow Herald, May 29, 1907, p. 12. Google News
  47. ^ The Glasgow Herald, May 26, 1908, p. 13. Google News
  48. ^ The Glasgow Herald, May 26, 1909, p. 14. Google News
  49. ^ The Glasgow Herald, June 2, 1910, p. 8. Google News
  50. ^ The Glasgow Herald, May 31, 1911, p. 10. Google News
  51. ^ The American Golfer, July, 1912, p. 197. la84foundation.org
  52. ^ Victorian Entertainments: We Are Amused An Exhibit Illustrating Victorian Entertainment at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois (Item 31: Golf in 1890, Item 32: Skating in 1892, Item 33: Cricket in 1888, Item 34: Cycling in 1887) online at library.uiuc.edu. Retrieved 18 April 2015
  53. ^ "Hutchinson, Horatio Gordon ('Horace'). The Golfing Pilgrim on Many Links". christies.com. Longmans. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  54. ^ Hutchinson, Horace G. (1899). The Book of Golf and Golfers (1st ed.). London; New York; Bombay: Longmans Green and Co. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  55. ^ Hutchinson, Horace G. (1912). The New Book of Golf. London, England: Longmans, Green & Co. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  56. ^ Hutchinson, Horace G. (28 May 1914). Life of Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury. Macmillan (London). Retrieved 18 April 2015.

External links[edit]