Thomas Alfred Vardon (11 October 1874 – 13 October 1938)[1] was a professional golfer from Jersey, Channel Islands, and the brother of golfing icon Harry Vardon. Tom was a superb player in his own right, often beating his legendary brother. From 1892 to 1909 he played in 18 Open Championships, finishing in the top-10 nine times. His best was a second-place finish to brother Harry in 1903 at Prestwick, and other notable placings were 1897 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake – 8th, 1902 at Hoylake – 5th, 1904 at Royal St George's Golf Club, Sandwich, Kent – 4th, 1907 at Hoylake – T3.[2]

Tom Vardon
Tom Vardon.JPG
Vardon hitting a shot, c. 1913
Personal information
Full nameThomas Alfred Vardon
Born(1874-10-11)11 October 1874
Grouville, Jersey, Channel Islands
Died13 October 1938(1938-10-13) (aged 64)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Nationality Jersey
SpouseMinnie Stevenson
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenT9: 1916
The Open Championship2nd: 1903
Achievements and awards
Minnesota PGA Golf
Hall of Fame

Vardon tied for ninth place in the 1916 U.S. Open held June 29–30 at Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[3] He continued playing professional golf for four decades and became the oldest competitor at the 1930 U.S. Open at Interlachen Country Club.[4]

Early lifeEdit

Vardon was born at Grouville, Jersey, Channel Islands, to Philip George Vardon (1829–1914) and Elizabeth Augustine Bouchard (1837–1920). In 1894 he married Minnie Stevenson. They had two children, Stella F. Vardon and Leonard Harry Vardon.[1] Vardon was the head professional at a number of golf clubs including Ilkley Golf Club from 1893 to 1900 and Royal St George's Golf Club.[5]

In 1909 Vardon emigrated to the United States, departing Southampton, England, aboard the SS Majestic[6] on 16 June 1909 and arrived on 24 June 1909 in New York City. He had been given four months leave from Royal St George's to work at the Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. This was part of a deal that allowed Vardon to enter that year's U.S. Open held at Englewood Golf Club, New Jersey.[7] He finished his career at White Bear Yacht Club, located at White Bear Lake in Minnesota, arriving in 1913 and remaining there until his death in 1938, although he retired on pension one year before his death.[8]

Golf course architectureEdit

Vardon was involved in golf course architecture, designing or helping with the design of 40 courses. Pamphlets that survived the clubhouse fire at White Bear Yacht Club in 1937 record that although the original golf course design was by William Watson, there was further development by Vardon and Donald Ross.[9] Along with Robert W. Diehl, Vardon also wrote a how-to manual on golf, the Diehl-Vardon Golf Manual which was published in 1927 by the Western Golf Publishing Company.[10]

Vardon designed coursesEdit

A group photo of the 1903 English golf team prior to their international match against Scotland. Vardon is seated in the front row, third from the right.


Vardon died on 13 October 1938 in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Vardon was posthumously inducted into the Minnesota PGA Golf Hall of Fame in 2012.[4]

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
The Open Championship T10 12 T28 19 T9 10 T7 WD
Tournament 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910
The Open Championship T10 WD 5 2 4 WD T12 T3 T13 T19 WD

Note: Vardon only played in The Open Championship and the U.S. Open.

  Top 10
  Did not play

WD = Withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Team appearancesEdit


  1. ^ a b Vardon, Thomas Alfred. "Vardon Ancestry". Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  2. ^ Saywell 1990, p.268
  3. ^ Brenner, Morgan G. (2009). The Majors of Golf: Complete Results of the Open, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters, 1860-2008. 1. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3360-5.
  4. ^ a b "Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame Announces 2012 Inductees" (PDF). Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  5. ^ Saywell 1990, p.262
  6. ^ "SS Majestic -- Passenger Manifest". 16 June 1909. Retrieved 22 April 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "Boston Evening Transcript - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Tom Vardon obituary" (PDF). The Greenkeeper's Reporter: 34. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  9. ^ "LINKS Golf Magazine | The Best Source on Golf Courses, Travel and Lifestyle: White Bear Yacht Club". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  10. ^ Diehl, R.W.; Vardon, T. (1927). Diehl-Vardon golf manual. Western Golf Pub. Co. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Coventry Golf Club: Golf course in Coventry". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Meadow Lark Course is Being Arranged by St. Paul Golfer". Great Falls Daily Tribune. Library of Congress. 9 April 1920. Retrieved 24 April 2015.

Further readingEdit

Saywell, J. (1990) A History of the Ilkley Golf Club 1890–1990, Otley, Smith Settle