John Henry Taylor was known as “JH” throughout his life. He grew up in Devon and learned to play on the Royal North Devon Links at Westward Ho.
At 18 he became professional at Burnham and Berrow, while he would eventually spend 47 years in residence at Royal Mid-Surrey.
He first played in The Open in 1893 and finished tenth. He would not finish outside the top-ten until 1910 and was no worse than 14th until 1921. He was sixth at the age of 54 in 1925.
Along with Harry Vardon and James Braid, he was part of the Great Triumvirate which dominated The Open with 16 victories over two decades. Taylor was the first off the mark with a win in 1894 at Royal St George’s.
This was the first Open played outside Scotland and he was the first English professional to win the Claret Jug. He defended his title the following year at St Andrews but was denied a hat-trick by Vardon in 1896 though only after a play-off.
He won again at St Andrews in 1900, by no less than eight strokes from Vardon and by 13 from Braid. He had to wait until 1909 at Deal for a fourth title and his fifth came again by eight strokes at Hoylake in 1913. A year later he was second as Vardon won a record sixth Open.
When Taylor was at his best, no one could live with him. None of his Open wins came by less than four strokes. He was a small man with a flat, low swing which was ideal for punching the ball through the wind.
He was grimly determined when conditions were tough and he was a fine putter in all conditions. He was admired by all his peers and was a pioneering figure in starting the Professional Golfers’ Association.