Place of birth: Devon, England
Date of death: February 10, 1963
British Open: 1894, 1895, 1900, 1909, 1913
Awards and Honors:
Captain, Great Britain Ryder Cup team, 1933
J.H. Taylor Biography:
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 4th at the Open. During his heydey, he also posted six runner-up finishes. 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.
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."