When Harry Vardon holed his final putt of the 1914 Open at Prestwick Golf Club, collecting his 6th and last Open Championship, it was the last major of a glittering career.
In an exceptionally consistent and prolific career spanning two decades, the name of Henry William Vardon, better known as “Harry”, was etched on the trophies of 7 professional majors, and 41 further championships.
Harry Vardon was the first true golfing superstar. He was a pioneer of a more upright golf swing and use of “The Vardon Grip”, as it is now known. Although he did not invent the grip, he was the first to use it successfully. To this day it is the grip used by the vast majority of players.
Harry Vardon was born in Jersey on May 9th, 1870. Forever associated with the island of his birth, his legacy continues today through the influence he left on the game and through our Trust, which aims to inspire and support those who seek to follow in his footsteps.
Born alongside the Grouville Links, home of the Royal Jersey Golf Club on 9th May 1870, Harry Vardon was undoubtedly the greatest golfer of his generation – some say of all time.
Vardon won his first Open Championship in a playoff against John Henry Taylor of England at Muirfield, Scotland. Harry began the final round 4 shots behind the leader.
Vardon won his 2nd Open Championship at Prestwick Golf Club, Scotland by 1 stroke. Prestwick is famous as the originator and sponsor of the first Open Championship held here in 1860.
Vardon won his 3rd Open Championship at Royal St George's, England by 5 strokes building on his 3 shot lead after 54 holes.
Vardon won his only U.S. Open by 2 strokes at the Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Illinois.
Vardon won his 4th Open Championship once again at Prestwick Golf Club, Scotland. He finished 6 strokes ahead of his younger brother Tom Vardon.
Vardon won his 5th Open Championship in a playoff against Arnaud Massy of France at Royal St George's, England.
American amateur Francis Ouimet, age 20, won the U.S. Open title in an 18-hole playoff, over Vardon and fellow Jerseyman Ted Ray. This amazing sporting upset helped popularise golf in the US in the early twentieth century, and was the subject of the 2005 Disney film "The Greatest Game Ever Played".
Vardon won his sixth and final Open Championship at Prestwick Golf Club, Scotland. His record of six victories stands to this day. Vardon recovered from a 2 shot deficit to win by 3 strokes.
At the age of 50, Vardon contended to win a second US Open. Holding a 5 shot lead with 5 holes to play, the effects of a sudden squall caused him to drop shots and he lost out to fellow Jerseyman Ted Ray by a single stroke.
Vardon was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. This induction recognised and honoured Vardons contribution to golf, as well as celebrating and preserving his legacy.
Vardon’s swing was considered a thing of beauty and was noticeably more upright than the swings of his contemporaries
Although he did not invent the grip he popularised its use and it is known as the Vardon Grip to this day
This statue stands at the entrance to the Royal Jersey Golf Club. It was erected in 2001 and funded entirely by donations from the public
Erected in 1966, the stone stands close to the spot alongside the 12th fairway where the cottage in which Vardon was born once stood
This stone marks the opening of the eighth hole at the Royal Jersey Golf Club on 15th July 1984 during an exhibition match between Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin of the United States and Tommy Horton and Brian Barnes of Great Britain. The match took place to raise the initial funds for the Vardon Trust
The Harry Vardon Trust is a Jersey registered charity with no paid employees. We rely on donations to enable us to carry on our work.
If you’re interested in supporting Jersey’s young golfers, we’d love to hear from you.