James Bradbeer

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James Bradbeer
James Bradbeer, golf pro, c. 1916.PNG
Bradbeer in his workshop, c. 1920
Personal information
Full nameCuthbert James Hunt Bradbeer
Berrow, Somerset, England
Died18 August 1937 (aged 56)
Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, England
Sporting nationality England
Professional wins3
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenDNP
The Open ChampionshipT7: 1913

Cuthbert James Hunt Bradbeer (1880 – 18 August 1937) was an English professional golfer who played in the early 20th century. His best finish in a major championship was a tie for seventh in the 1913 Open Championship held on 23–24 June at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England. He made his own gutta-percha golf balls and was also a club maker. Bradbeer was a frequent competitor in the Open Championship—having made at least 15 starts—and made his final appearance in 1935 at age 54.

Early life[edit]

Bradbeer, 1915

Bradbeer was born in Berrow, Somerset, England, in 1880,[1] the second child of George Bradbeer and Helena (née Hunt). He was one of nine brothers, most of whom became golf professionals. At the 1928 Open Championship James and his three youngest brothers, Bob (1894–1938), Ernest (1899–1969) and Fred (1904–1988), all qualified.[2] Of the four only Bob made the cut, finishing tied for 23rd place.

As a young man he learned how to make his own gutta-percha golf balls and also apprenticed as a club maker.[3] One of his golf ball designs from circa 1904 was a bramble-patterned golf ball he called "The Finch".[4]

Bradbeer was a professional at Finchley Golf Club in north London from about 1901.[5] He played in the first Tooting Bec Cup in October 1901, a tournament organised by the London and Counties Professional Golfers' Association, the forerunner of the Professional Golfers' Association which was founded later the same year.[6] In about 1905 he became the professional at Porters Park Golf Club in Radlett, England, where he stayed for over 30 years.[7]

During World War I, Bradbeer served in the Sportsmen's Battalion, part of what were called the Pals Battalions which were specially constituted battalions of the British Army composed of men who had enlisted together in local recruiting drives, with the promise that they would be able to serve alongside their friends, neighbors and colleagues ("pals"), rather than being arbitrarily allocated to battalions.[8] Bradbeer was able to serve his country alongside several of his golfing acquaintances who also joined the battalion.

Golf career[edit]

Sphere and Tatler Foursomes Tournament[edit]

In 1911, Bradbeer was paired with Sandy Herd and together they won the 1911 Sphere and Tatler Foursomes Tournament from Walter Hambleton and J.H. Taylor by the convincing score of 8 and 7.[9] Bradbeer had been runner-up in the Southern Professional Foursomes Tournament in 1909 and 1910.

1913 Open Championship[edit]

Bradbeer finished tied for seventh place in the 1913 Open Championship.[10]

Details of play[edit]

The 1913 Open Championship was held 23–24 June at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England. J.H. Taylor won the Championship for the fifth time, eight strokes ahead of runner-up Ted Ray.

Qualifying took place on 19, 20 and 21 June. The top 20 and ties qualified on each of the three days. Ray led after the first day on 147, with Taylor on 148, Irishman Michael Moran on 150 and Thomas Renouf on 153. Gale force winds on the second day led to some high scoring. Bradbeer, however, was able to cope with the heavy winds and posted consistent rounds of 78-79-81-79=317. He tied for seventh place with three other competitors. Each of the seventh place finishers won £2 10s.[10]

Ryder Cup[edit]

Bradbeer was one of the PGA selection committee's choices to play in the 1935 and 1937 Ryder Cup matches.[11][12]


Bradbeer died on 18 August 1937 in the War Memorial Hospital, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, England.[13] Bradbeer had travelled from his home in Radlett, Hertfordshire to Burnham for a holiday. On arrival he called a doctor and went into hospital for a major operation.[7] He was still playing at a high level. In April that year he had won a local PGA event, the Porters Park Bowl, playing off a handicap of +2.[14]

Tournament wins (3)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
The Open Championship CUT CUT T21 T51 CUT T52 T7 T14 NT NT NT NT NT
Tournament 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935
The Open Championship T50 T45 CUT T39 CUT CUT CUT

Note: Bradbeer only played in The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

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

Team appearances[edit]


  1. ^ https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2XJS-HT3[bare URL]
  2. ^ "Fine Golf | Burnham and Berrow".
  3. ^ "Circa 1905 James Bradbeer Wood Headed Patent Putter". greenjacketauctions.com. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Lot 228 -- A James Bradbeer Finch bramble patterned gutty golf ball circa 1900". bonhams.com. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  5. ^ https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X96M-Y6V[bare URL]
  6. ^ "London and Counties Professional Golfers' Association". The Times. 16 October 1901. p. 9.
  7. ^ a b "Death of James Bradbeer". The Times. 20 August 1937. p. 4.
  8. ^ Robinson, Bruce. "The Pals Battalions in World War One". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Professional foursome tournament – Victory of Herd and Bradbeer". The Glasgow Herald. 19 May 1911. p. 14.
  10. ^ a b 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.
  11. ^ "The Ryder Cup Match". The Times. 19 February 1935. p. 5.
  12. ^ "Ryder Cup selection committee". The Times. 14 April 1937. p. 6.
  13. ^ "Find a will | GOV.UK".
  14. ^ "Porters Park Bowl replay". The Times. 26 April 1937. p. 6.