Horace Rawlins

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Horace Rawlins
Personal information
Full nameHorace Thomas Rawlins
Born(1874-08-05)5 August 1874
Shanklin, England
Died22 January 1935(1935-01-22) (aged 60)
Reading, Berkshire, England
Nationality England
Professional wins1
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentDNP
U.S. OpenWon: 1895
The Open ChampionshipDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNP

Horace Thomas Rawlins (5 August 1874 – 22 January 1935) was an English professional golfer who won the first U.S. Open Championship in 1895.

Early life[edit]

Rawlins was born at Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, England, the son of Thomas Horatio and Sarah Maria Rawlins.[1] Thomas Horatio Rawlins had married Sarah Maria Brown in Bombay in 1871.[2]

Rawlins had an older sister and two younger brothers; all of whom were born in India. Sarah was widowed by the time of the 1891 census and returned to the Isle of Wight, living in Brading. In 1891 Horace and his younger brother Harry are described as golf caddies.[3][4] The Royal Isle of Wight Golf Club was situated nearby.

Golf career[edit]

Rawlins was one of a number of near-contemporaries who learnt their golf at the now-defunct Royal Isle of Wight Golf Club and went on to become successful professional golfers. The group included Rowland Jones, the cousins Alfred and Walter Toogood, as well as his brother, Harry Rawlins.

Rawlins became the club professional at the Mid-Herts Golf Club when it opened in 1893.[5] He played in a professional event at Stanmore Golf Club in June 1894 but finished well out of the prizes.[6] Rawlins later moved to Raynes Park.[5]

In early 1895 Rawlins travelled to the United States to take up a position at Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. The club hosted the inaugural U.S. Open on 4 October 1895, and he was one of 11 players to participate. Playing in just his third tournament, Rawlins shocked the more established Willie Dunn, winning the title by two strokes over 36 holes. The first U.S. Open was a one-day event played immediately after the three-day U.S. Amateur, which received much more attention at the time. Rawlins won $150 plus a $50 gold medal and the Open Championship Cup, which went to his club.

Rawlins returned to England in late 1895 and took a position at Crowborough Beacon under the professional Arthur Jackson for the winter.[5] A match was arranged between Rawlins and James Braid on 7 March 1896 at Crowborough, Braid winning 5&3.[7] Rawlins returned to America soon afterwards, moving to Sadaquada Golf Club near Utica, New York. Rawlins finished second in the 1896 U.S. Open, played on 18 July at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.[8]

Rawlins was also involved in golf course design, having in 1910 done some work on The Springhaven Club course in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, which was originally laid out by Ida Dixon in 1904.[9]

After settling permanently in England in 1913 Rawlins seems to have played little golf. His only known appearance was as an unattached professional in the 1919 "Victory" tournament of the Southern Section of the PGA. Played at Walton Heath on 14 May, Rawlins scored 88 and 89 and finished well down the field.[10]

Private life[edit]

Rawlins married Cicely Margaret Wright at St Saviour, Shanklin in early 1911. Cicely had been born in Great Chesterford, Essex in 1878. Horace and Cicely travelled to the United States in April 1911 and April 1912 and spent the summer there. Their first child, Robert Cecil, was born in England in 1913, followed by Clifford Horace in 1916 and there is no indication that Rawlins returned to the United States after 1912.

Rawlins' mother, Sarah Maria, died in Wealdstone on 7 June 1914 aged 73 at which time Rawlins was described as a "draper".[11]

Rawlins died on 22 January 1935 in a nursing home in Reading, Berkshire.[12] He had been living in Barkham near Wokingham and was buried there at the parish church of St. James. His gravestone reads "In ever loving memory of Horace Thomas Rawlins who passed peacefully away January 22nd 1935 aged 60 years Thy will be done".[13] Cicely died in early 1964 in Parkstone, Dorset, aged 85.[14]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 18 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1895 U.S. Open 2 shot deficit 91-82=173 2 strokes Scotland Willie Dunn

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912
U.S. Open 1 2 T8 T19 T13 T30 T17 T16 12 14 T37 T25 60 CUT

Note: Rawlins only played in the U.S. Open.

  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place


  1. ^ https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N2R8-W9Z
  2. ^ https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FGNF-XWV
  3. ^ https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q27D-46CP
  4. ^ https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:4Q8B-12M
  5. ^ a b c http://www.mid-hertsgolfclub.co.uk/125_years/who_was_horace_rawlins/
  6. ^ "Golf – Professional competition at Stanmore". The Glasgow Herald. 7 June 1894. p. 9.
  7. ^ "Professional Match". The Times. 9 March 1896. p. 11.
  8. ^ "Great Golf By Foulis". The New York Sun. Library of Congress. 18 July 1896. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Golfing at The Springhaven Club". TheSpringhavenClub.com. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Victory of Braid at Walton Heath". The Times. 15 May 1919. p. 5.
  11. ^ https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/Calendar?surname=rawlins&yearOfDeath=1914&page=1#calendar
  12. ^ https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/Calendar?surname=rawlins&yearOfDeath=1935&page=2#calendar
  13. ^ http://www.gravestonephotos.com/public/gravedetails.php?grave=427756
  14. ^ https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/Calendar?surname=rawlins&yearOfDeath=1964&page=2#calendar

External links[edit]