Harry Vardon

Harry Vardon was the Tiger Woods of the late 19th, early 20th centuries. He took the sporting world by storm when he continued to bag the majors of golf with unprecedented ease and he arguably became the very first celebrity of the game when he opted to take his awesome talent to the United States in 1900.

He will be Remembered

The name Vardon will never disappear into the mists of time – he has a golf grip named after him, the Vardon Grip, that endures to this day and is used by well over 90% of modern golfers, and one of the principle trophies of the PGA Tour awarded annually to the player with the lowest adjusted scoring average, is named the Vardon Trophy in his honour.

Vardon turned pro at the tender age of 20 and there are many tales of the talented young man striding forth in his famed knickerbockers and stifling jacket, winning title after title. What makes his performance record so very admirable is that golfers of that era were forced to drive, chip and putt whilst wearing tightly fitting apparel, something the golfers of today would baulk at!

Record Six Open Championship Crowns

He fired his first shots for the crown of the Open Championship in 1896 and these shots proved to be straight and true as he went on to claim the first of a record six victories at a tournament that was and still is the most elite on British soil! No-one, not even the greatest golfer of all time, the incomparable Tiger, has matched his half a dozen wins at the Open.

What is remarkable is Vardon was still mounting the winner’s podium at the Open eighteen years on, a feat that will surely remain in the annals of history for time immemorial!

Harry Conquers America

Once he had captured his first three wins at the Open, he opted to take his enormous talent to the United States where he clearly wanted to be in contention for another of the celebrated golf majors, the notoriously challenging US Open. He arrived on American shores in 1900 and promptly toured the States playing over 80 exhibition matches en route and when you consider the current PGA Tour is made up of fewer than 50 tournaments each year, including the majors, then his achievements are even more significant!

He went on to win his maiden attempt at the US Open and returned twice in an effort to better his record but he never quite reached his potential across the Atlantic, losing to a rank amateur in 1913 and finished runner-up in 1920 at the impressive age of 50!

Vardon’s Victories

  • Open Championship – 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, 1914
  • US Open – 1900
  • German Open – 1911
  • News of the World Match Play – 1912