John Henry Taylor

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J.H. Taylor
JH Taylor 1908-08-01cr.jpg
Taylor in 1908
Personal information
Full nameJohn Henry Taylor
Born(1871-03-19)19 March 1871
Northam, Devon, England
Died10 February 1963(1963-02-10) (aged 91)
Northam, Devon, England
Sporting nationality England
Turned professional1890
Professional wins19
Best results in major championships
(wins: 5)
U.S. Open2nd: 1900
The Open ChampionshipWon: 1894, 1895, 1900, 1909, 1913
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame1975 (member page)

John Henry "J.H." Taylor (19 March 1871 – 10 February 1963) was an English professional golfer and one of the pioneers of the modern game of golf. Taylor is considered to be one of the best golfers of all time. He was a significant golf course architect. Taylor helped to found the British PGA, the world's first, and became respected for his administrative work. He also wrote two notable golf books.


Taylor was born in Northam, Devon. He was a member of the fabled Great Triumvirate of the sport in his day, along with Harry Vardon and James Braid, and he won The Open Championship five times.[1] Born into a working-class family, and orphaned as a boy, he began work as a caddie and labourer at the Royal North Devon Golf Club (also known as Westward Ho!) at the age of eleven. He was employed as a caddie and houseboy by the Hutchinson family and was tasked to carry the bag of Horace Hutchinson.[2] He became a professional golfer at 19, and was employed by Burnham & Berrow Golf Club, the Winchester (later Royal Winchester) Golf Club – while there winning in successive years the first two of his Open Championships – then the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club, before eventually moving to the Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club from 1899 until his retirement in 1946.

In 1901, Taylor was a co-founder and the first chairman of the British Professional Golfers' Association. This was the first association for professional golfers in the world. Bernard Darwin wrote that Taylor "had turned a feckless company into a self-respecting and respected body of men".

Taylor was a factor in the Open Championship from age 22 in 1893, until age 55, when he tied for 11th place in 1926. His five Open victories all took place before the First World War.

Open Championship wins:

Taylor captained the 1933 Great Britain Ryder Cup team to a win over the United States, and remains the only captain on either side never to have played in any of the matches.

Taylor was also involved in designing courses across England including York Golf Club in 1903, Hindhead Golf Club in 1904, Andover Golf Club in 1907, Frilford Heath's Red Course in 1908, Hainault Golf Club's Upper Course in 1909,[3] Heaton Park Golf Club (Manchester) in 1912, Hainault Golf Club's Lower Course in 1923,[3] Bigbury Golf Club in South Devon in 1926, Pinner Hill Golf Club (Middlesex) 1927,[4] Axe Cliff Golf Club (Seaton, Devon) in 1920s[5] and Batchwood Hall Golf Club (St Albans) in 1935. He is attributed with being the inventor of the 'dogleg',[5] although holes of that form had existed on many courses before Taylor began golf course design (for example No. 7 at Old Course at St Andrews and No. 4 at Prestwick Golf Club). He was made an honorary member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in 1949, and was president of Royal Birkdale, whose course he had designed, in 1957.

A housing development in his hometown of Northam was named in his honour (JH Taylor Drive).

Tournament wins[edit]

Taylor c. 1895
Taylor c. 1900
Taylor in 1912

Note: This list may be incomplete

Major championships are shown in bold.

Major championships[edit]

Wins (5)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner(s)-up
1894 The Open Championship 3 shot lead 84-80-81-81=326 5 strokes Scotland Douglas Rolland
1895 The Open Championship (2) 3 shot deficit 86-78-80-78=322 4 strokes Scotland Sandy Herd
1900 The Open Championship (3) 6 shot lead 79-77-78-75=309 8 strokes Jersey Harry Vardon
1909 The Open Championship (4) 4 shot lead 74-73-74-74=295 6 strokes England Tom Ball, Scotland James Braid
1913 The Open Championship (5) 3 shot lead 73-75-77-79=304 8 strokes Jersey Ted Ray

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
The Open Championship T10 1 1 2 T10 4 4
Tournament 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
U.S. Open 2
The Open Championship 1 3 T6 T9 T2 T2 2 2 T7 1
Tournament 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
U.S. Open T30 NT NT
The Open Championship T14 T5 T11 1 2 NT NT NT NT NT
Tournament 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
U.S. Open
The Open Championship 12 T26 6 T44 5 T6 T11 49 CUT

Note: Taylor only played in The Open Championship and the U.S. Open.

  Top 10
  Did not play

NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Team appearances[edit]


  • Taylor on Golf: Impressions, Comments and Hints, by J.H. Taylor, London, Hutchinson & Co., 1902.
  • Golf: My Life's Work, by J.H. Taylor, London, 1953.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1894 J.H. Taylor". The Open. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  2. ^ Stevens, Mike. "The Father of Golf Instruction". Archived from the original on 21 November 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b Hainault Golf Club Archived 27 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Pinner Hill Golf Club – The Course Archived 20 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b From Wall Plaque at Axe Cliff Golf Club, Seaton, Devon

External links[edit]