Biography of Golfer and Athlete Harry Vardon

About the biography of the famous golfer and athlete Harry Vardon, history and information.

Harry Vardon

Harry Vardon achieved greatness on the golf courses of both England and the U.S. and his form was widely copied by many players.

Vardon, who was born in Grouville, Isle of Jersey, England, in 1870, is generally credited with inventing the overlapping grip, now commonly referred to as the "Vardon grip." He began employing the grip in the 1890s, although J.H. Taylor, another famous English player of the same era, reportedly had started using the grip even earlier. Vardon evolved his own version of the overlapping grip and it became universally adopted by golfers in his day. It has been in use ever since, with some slight modifications or exceptions, and is still considered the best way to hold a club.

He won 6 British Opens (a record), finished runner-up 4 times and in the top 5 on 6 other occasions. He was in the top 5 16 times in a span of 21 years. He won the British PGA in 1912. He toured the U.S. on several occasions, winning the U.S. Open in 1900. He tied for 1st and lost the play-off in 1913 and tied for 2nd in 1920 when he was 50 years old.

He was noted for his great fairway wood play and his graceful and smooth swing with all clubs. He was able to achieve distance without undue exertion of power, and employed lighter clubs than were commonly used with the gutta-percha ball of the 1890s, and later with the rubber ball, neither of which came close to attaining the distance of today's balls. His perfect timing inspired many players to copy his form.

Vardon used a big pivot in his swing, much more than other players did then. At the top of his swing, only the toes of his left foot remained in contact with the ground. He had a wide arc and maintained full control of the plane of the swing, sweeping through the ball very cleanly as he hit off the sand tees used in those days.

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