John Henry Taylor was one of British golf’s ‘Great Triumvirate’, along with James Braid and Harry Vardon, winning a total of 34 Major championships between them.
Taylor trained as a gardener. He served as assistant greenkeeper at Westward Ho! and later as greenkeeper and professional at Burnham, Winchester, Wimbledon and Royal mid-Surrey. He laid out several golf courses before World War I and after the war went into partnership with F G Hawtree.
Taylor on Golf was written at the start of his career and covers every topic possible, including lengthening of courses, the acceptance of risks and the upkeep of golf links. Much of the book is concerned with play and working as a professional, but he also includes an account of Braid’s success in The Open at Muirfield in 1901, and speculates on which other course might hold such championships.
Until now, this book has been locked away, as it is too valuable, although anyone may come to the EIGCA headquarters in Bramley to look at it. We have now acquired a facsimile copy, which is available for loan, should any of you wish to read the great man’s words for yourself.
Much later, in 1942, he wrote his autobiography, Golf, My Life’s Work, but we don’t yet have a copy of this. If anyone sees a copy in a second hand book shop for a reasonable price, I would be delighted to receive it.