John Henry Taylor, commonly known as J.H. Taylor, was one-third of the "Great Triumvirate," that trio of British golfers who dominated the sport in the late 19th/early 20th century.
Date of birth: March 19, 1871
Place of birth: Devon, England
Date of death: February 10, 1963
• British Open: 1894, 1895, 1900, 1909, 1913
Awards and Honors:
• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• Captain, Great Britain Ryder Cup team, 1933
J.H. Taylor Biography:
John Henry Taylor formed Britain's "Great Triumvirate" of golfers along with Harry Vardon and James Braid. The trio dominated the British Open, with Taylor and Braid winning five times each and Vardon six times.
J.H. Taylor did not come from wealth, and his father died while he was just an infant. Taylor began working at a young age to help his family. One of his jobs was as a caddie at Westward Ho golf course near his home.
He gradually moved up the ranks at Westward Ho, joining the greenskeeping staff and learning about course layout and maintenance. He also honed his golf game during these years, and by age 19 was ready to turn pro.
Taylor's first Open Championship victory followed four years later, in 1894, and he won again the following year. Three more victories came after the turn of the century. His final British Open win was in 1913, 19 years after his first.
As late as 1924, at the age of 53, Taylor finished fourth at the Open. During his heyday, he also posted six runner-up finishes in the Open. Other big tournaments Taylor won included the French Open, German Open and British Professional Match Play. He also finished second to Harry Vardon at the 1900 U.S. Open (one of only two times Taylor played the U.S. Open).
The World Golf Hall of Fame described accuracy as the hallmark of Taylor's game: "Taylor's accuracy was legendary. At Sandwich, where he won his first Open by five strokes in 1894, he would have the directional posts removed from the blind holes out of fear that his drives would hit them and carom into bunkers."
While Taylor spent many of his years following his playing career designing and remodeling golf courses around Britain, his biggest contribution came as a driving force behind the formation of the Professional Golfers Association in Britain. Taylor's public speaking helped raised the profile of the organization and of pro golfers in general.
Taylor authored a book on his career in golf entitled Golf, My Life's Work.