Vardon, Harry (1870-1937)

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Vardon, Harry (1870-1937)

Golf's first international celebrity, Harry Vardon may be best remembered for something he popularized but did not invent: the overlap golf grip that bears his name. Vardon's name, however, was well-known long before he became famous for the grip. Not only was he the first Englishman to win the British Open, he claimed the title six times, winning in 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, and 1914. In 1900 Vardon added the United States Open to his list of major championships, and was arguably the most famous golfer in the world at the time. Although a bout with tuberculosis in 1903 affected his health, his game was still strong enough to earn him second place in the 1920 United States Open. Vardon's legacy is tied to the Vardon Trophy, emblematic of the lowest scoring average each year on the Professional Golfers' Association tour.

—Lloyd Chiasson,Jr.

Further Reading:

Atha, Anthony. World of Golf: The History, the Classic Players, the Major Tournaments. New York, Smithmark, 1997.

Browning, Robert. History of Golf. Norwalk, Connecticut, Classics of Golf, 1985.

Concannon, Dale. Golf: The Early Days. New York, Smithmark, 1995.

Gibson, Nevin H. The Encyclopedia of Golf. New York, A. S.Barnes, 1958.

Grimsley, Will. Golf: Its History, People and Events. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, 1966.