The Loop

Impact: Harry Vardon did pretty much everything in golf, including set fashion trends

May 09, 2014



*"To play well you must feel tranquil and at peace. I have never been troubled by nerves in golf because I felt I had nothing to lose and everything to gain."

-- Harry Vardon*

Henry William (Harry) Vardon was born May 9, 1870 on the British Balliwick of Jersey in the Channel Islands. His influence on the game was vast: He still holds the record for most British Open titles (six) and is the namesake for the overlapping grip employed by millions of golfers today.

His impact also stretched into golf fashion. Vardon was among the early golfers to ditch the traditional Englishman's dress and play in short trousers that fell a few inches below his knees. The Knickerbockers, referred to in the U.S. as plus fours, became wildly popular at the turn of the 20th century and quickly became the unofficial uniform of the early American sportsman.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images (1907)