Who's who: Bobby Locke

  • Photo of Bobby Locke
  • south-africa.png
  • Photo of Bobby Locke
  • south-africa.png

Who's who: Bobby Locke

  • Name:

    Arthur D'Arcy "Bobby" Locke
  • Also known as:

    Muffin Face
  • Country:

    South Africa
  • Lived:

    [1917-1987]. Born on Nov 20, 1917 in Germiston, nr Johannesburg, S Africa. Died on March 9, 1987 in Jonhannesburg (aged 69).
  • Original/Home Club:

  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer
  • Turned Pro:

    1938

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (4): The Open (1949, '50, '52, '57). South African Amateur champion (1935, '37). Total professional wins (72), including Sunshine Tour (30), PGA Tour (15) and European circuit/Tour (23). World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted in 1977).

Did you know?

Sometimes referred to as "Muffin Face" because of his changeless expression, Locke was the son of Northern Irish emigrants to South Africa. Having developed a prodigious talent for the game, he embarked on a highly successful career, winning the first of nine South African Opens as an amateur, aged 17.

With many wins on the Southern Africa Tour, then US PGA and European tours, he became the first internationally successful South African professional golfer. His dominance of the PGA Tour in 1947/48, was followed by a ban in 1949/50. Although the ban was ostensibly for breaking various tour committments, one player remarked "Locke was simply too good. They had to ban him." Thereafter Locke played mainly in Europe and South Africa. His four majors all came in The Open Championship.

Top tournaments won by Bobby Locke

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

132

Prize money

£350

Title sponsor

Bowmaker

Played as the Bowmaker Tournament (a 36-hole pro-am event). Second-placed Angel Miguel (Esp) finished 1 shot behind Locke (S Africa). [Old course, Sunningdale GC, Sunningdale, Berks].

1957
Majors
279 (-9)
£1,000
R&A

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

279 (-9)

Prize money

£1,000

Title sponsor

R&A

The Open Championship (86th) (July 3-5). Second-placed Peter Thomson (Aus) finished 3 shots behind Locke (RSA). This was the last of Locke's four Open Championship wins. [The Old Course, St Andrews, Fife].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

282

Prize money

£600

Title sponsor

Daks

Played as the Daks Tournament. Second-placed Bernard Hunt (Eng) and Eric Brown (Scot) finished 3 shots behind Locke (S Africa). [West course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

135

Prize money

£400

Title sponsor

Bowmaker

Played as the Bowmaker Invitation Tournament (a 36-hole pro-am event). Frank Jowle (Eng) and Bobby Locke (S Africa) finished in a tie for first place. Peter Alliss (Eng) and G.W. Low (Scot) finished 1 shot further back in joint third place. [Red course, The Berkshire GC, Ascot, Berkshire].

1955
Aus/NZ
Gailes, Aus
290
x

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Gailes, Aus

Score

290

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Australian Open (May 26-28). Second-placed Norman Von Nida (Aus) and Kel Nagle (Aus) finished 1 shot behind Locke (RSA). [Gailes GC, Brisbane, Aus].

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

283

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the South African Open. Second-placed Reg Taylor (S Africa, amateur) finished 1 shot behind Locke (S Africa). This was the last of nine South African Open wins for Locke. [Zwartkop CC, Centurion, nr Pretoria, RSA].

1955
Africa
7 & 6
SA Golf Union

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

7 & 6

Prize money

Title sponsor

SA Golf Union

Played as the South African Professional Match Play Ch'ship. Locke (S Africa) beat Brian Ellmore (S Africa) 7 and 6 in the 36-hole final. [Zwartkop CC, Centurion, nr Pretoria, RSA].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

361

Prize money

£350

Title sponsor

Dunlop

Played as the Dunlop 2000 Guineas Tournament (played over 90 holes). Second-placed Antonio Cerda (Arg) finished 1 shot behind Locke (S Africa). [Southport & Ainsdale GC, Southport, Merseyside].

1954
Europe
291
£500
Dunlop

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

291

Prize money

£500

Title sponsor

Dunlop

Played as the Dunlop Masters (Oct 5-7). Second-placed and defending champion Harry Bradshaw (Ire) finished 3 shots behind Locke (S Africa). [Prince's GC, Sandwich, Kent].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

276

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Swiss Open. Won by Bobby Locke (S Africa). [GC Crans-sur-Sierre, Crans-Montana, Switzerland].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

279

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the German Open. Locke (RSA) beat Dai Rees (Wales) in a 9-hole playoff (Locke 37; Rees 38), which followed the two players remaining tied at 69 each after an 18-hole playoff. [Krefelder GC, Krefeld, nr Dusseldorf].

1954
Europe
Oakdale GC
276
£250
Swallow

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Oakdale GC

Score

276

Prize money

£250

Title sponsor

Swallow

Played as the Swallow-Harrogate Stroke Play Tournament. Second-placed Bill Shankland (Aus) finished 4 shots behind Locke (S Africa). [Oakdale GC, Harrogate, North Yorkshire].

1954
Awards
71.00
British PGA

Category

Awards

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Score

71.00

Prize money

Title sponsor

British PGA

Locke (RSA) won his third Harry Vardon Trophy as the British PGA Tour 1954 Order of Merit winner. Award based on lowest scoring average in the season's top professional events. Locke's 71.00 was based on 25 rounds played.

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

276

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Open de France. Second-placed Max Faulkner (Eng) finished 2 shots behind defending champion Locke (S Africa). [Vallée course, Racing Club de France (RCF), La Boulie GC, Versailles, nr Paris].

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

287 (-1)

Prize money

£300

Title sponsor

R&A

The Open Championship (81st) (July 9-11). Second-placed Peter Thomson (Aus) finished 1 shot behind Locke (RSA). This was the third of Locke's four Open Championship wins. [Royal Lytham & St Annes GC, nr Blackpool, Lancs].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

266

Prize money

£350

Title sponsor

Lotus

Played as the Lotus £1,500 Tournament (Aug 12-15; discontinued after this event). Second-placed Harry Bradshaw finished 8 shots behind Bobby Locke (S Africa), who equalled the British 72-hole professional tournament record score of 266. [High course, Moor Park GC, Rickmansworth, Herts].

1952
America
Mexicali CC
276
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Mexicali CC

Score

276

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Mexican Open (Abierto Mexicano de Golf). Jimmy Demaret (USA) and defending champion Roberto De Vicenzo (Arg) finished in second place behind Locke (S Africa). [CC de Mexicali, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

268

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Open de France (July 12-15). Second-placed Antonio Cerdá (Arg) finished 8 shots behind Locke (S Africa). [Saint Germain GC, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, nr Paris].

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

277

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the South African Open. Second-placed Jimmy Boyd (S Africa, amateur) and Harry Bradshaw (Ire) finished 9 shots behind defending champion Locke (S Africa). This was the eighth of nine South African Open wins for Locke. [Houghton GC, Johannesburg, RSA].

1951
Africa
4 & 3
SA Golf Union

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

4 & 3

Prize money

Title sponsor

SA Golf Union

Played as the South African Professional Match Play Ch'ship. Defending champion Bobby Locke (S Africa) beat Harry Bradshaw (Ire) 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final. [Houghton GC, Johannesburg, RSA].

1950
Majors
279 (-9)
£300
R&A

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

279 (-9)

Prize money

£300

Title sponsor

R&A

The Open Championship (79th) (July 5-7). Second-placed Roberto De Vicenzo (Arg) finished 2 shots behind defending champion Locke (RSA). This was the second of Locke's four Open Championship wins. [Old Course, Royal Troon GC, Troon, Ayrshire].

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

280

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the South African Open. Second-placed A.R. "Sandy" Guthrie (S Africa) finished 11 shots behind Locke (S Africa). This was the seventh of nine South African Open wins for Locke. [Durban CC, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa].

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

9 & 8

Prize money

Title sponsor

SA Golf Union

Played as the South African Professional Match Play Ch'ship. Locke (S Africa) beat M.S. Hart 9 and 8 in the 36-hole final. [Durban CC, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Pannal

Score

348

Prize money

£500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the North British-Harrogate 2000 Guineas Tournament (over 90 holes). Second-placed Ken Bousfield (Eng) finished 2 shots behind Locke (S Africa). [Pannal GC, Pannal, nr Harrogate, N Yorks].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

353

Prize money

£350

Title sponsor

Dunlop

Played as the Dunlop 2000 Guineas Tournament (played over 90 holes). Second-placed Charlie Ward (Eng) finished 2 shots behind Locke (S Africa). [West course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey].

1950
Awards
70.03
British PGA

Category

Awards

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Score

70.03

Prize money

Title sponsor

British PGA

Locke (RSA) won his second Harry Vardon Trophy as the British PGA Tour 1950 Order of Merit winner. Award based on lowest scoring average in the season's top professional events. Locke's 70.03 was based on 30 rounds played.

1950
Europe
Worthing GC
267
£300
Spalding

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Worthing GC

Score

267

Prize money

£300

Title sponsor

Spalding

Played as the Spalding £1,350 Tournament (May 31-June 2). Second-placed Dai Rees (Wales) finished 2 shots behind Bobby Locke (S Africa). [Lower course, Worthing GC, West Sussex].

1950
America
Tam O'Shanter
282 (-6)
$2,500
George S. May

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Tam O'Shanter

Score

282 (-6)

Prize money

$2,500

Title sponsor

George S. May

Played as the All American Open (Aug 5-9; aka the Tam O'Shanter). Bobby Locke (S Africa) beat defending champion Lloyd Mangrum (USA) in an 18-hole Wednesday playoff (Locke 69, Mangrum 73). Mangrum was denied his third straight win in this event, which was played directly in front of the World Championship of Golf on the same course. [Tam O'Shanter CC, Niles, nr Chicago, IL; now the municipal Tam O'Shanter Golf Course].

1949
Majors
283 (-5)
£300
R&A

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

283 (-5)

Prize money

£300

Title sponsor

R&A

The Open Championship (78th) (July 6-8). Bobby Locke (RSA) beat Harry Bradshaw (Ire) in a 36-hole playoff: Locke 135 (-9), Bradshaw 147 (+3). This was the first of Locke's four Open Championship wins. [Royal St George's GC, Sandwich, Kent].

1948
America
Midlothian CC
266 (-18)
$2,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Midlothian CC

Score

266 (-18)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Chicago Victory National Open (June 17-20; next played in 1958). Second-placed Ellsworth Vines (USA) finished 16 shots behind Bobby Locke (S Africa), whose winning margin on the tough Midlothian course was one of the highest recorded on the PGA Tour in the 1940s. [Midlothian CC, Midlothian, nr Chicago, IL].

1948
America
Phoenix CC, AZ
268 (-16)
$2,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Phoenix CC, AZ

Score

268 (-16)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Phoenix Open (Jan 22-25). Second-placed Jimmy Demaret (USA) finished 1 shot behind Locke (RSA). [Phoenix CC, Phoenix, AZ].

1947
America
Tam O'Shanter
276 (-12)
$7,000
George S. May

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Tam O'Shanter

Score

276 (-12)

Prize money

$7,000

Title sponsor

George S. May

Played as the All American Open (July 3-8; aka the Tam O'Shanter). Bobby Locke (S Africa) beat Ed "Porky" Oliver (USA) in a 36-hole Mon/Tues playoff (Locke 140, Oliver 146). A PGA Tour "rookie" in 1947, this was Locke's fourth win in nine starts on the Tour, much to the growing annoyance of the American professionals. [Tam O'Shanter CC, Niles, nr Chicago, IL; now the municipal Tam O'Shanter Golf Course].

1947
America
Cedarbrook CC
277 (-7)
$2,500
Philadelphia Inquirer

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Cedarbrook CC

Score

277 (-7)

Prize money

$2,500

Title sponsor

Philadelphia Inquirer

Played as the Philadelphia Inquirer Open (May 23-25). Second-placed Lloyd Mangrum (USA) and Matt Kowal (USA) finished 4 shots behind Bobby Locke (S Africa), who recorded his second PGA Tour win in as many weeks. [Cedarbrook CC, Blue Bell, nr Philadelphia, PA].

1947
America
277 (-11)
$2,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

277 (-11)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Houston Open (May 8-11). Second-placed Ellsworth Vines (USA) and Johnny Palmer (USA) finished 5 shots behind Bobby Locke (S Africa). [Memorial Park GC, Houston, TX].

1947
America
Columbus CC
274 (-14)
$2,000
Zooligans

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Columbus CC

Score

274 (-14)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

Zooligans

Played as the Columbus $10,000 Invitational (July 24-27). Second-placed Jimmy Demaret (USA) finished 5 shots behind Locke (S Africa). [Columbus CC, Columbus, Ohio].

1947
America
268 (-16)
$2,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

268 (-16)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Canadian Open (July 17-19). Second-placed Ed "Porky" Oliver (USA) finished 2 shots behind Bobby Locke (RSA), who recorded his fifth PGA Tour win. [Scarboro G&CC, Toronto, Ont.].

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

285

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the South African Open. Second-placed Steve Boshoff (S Africa, amateur) finished 14 shots behind Locke (S Africa). This was the sixth of nine South African Open wins for Locke, and fifth straight win in the event. [Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC, Jo'burg, RSA].

1946
Awards
73.00
British PGA

Category

Awards

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

Score

73.00

Prize money

Title sponsor

British PGA

Locke (RSA) won the Harry Vardon Trophy as the British PGA Tour 1946 Order of Merit winner. Award based on lowest scoring average in the season's top professional events. Locke's 73.00 was based on 40 rounds played.

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

10 & 9

Prize money

Title sponsor

SA Golf Union

Played as the South African Professional Match Play Ch'ship (not played 1941-45). Locke (S Africa) beat Sid Brews (S Africa) 10 and 9 in the 36-hole final. Locke continued where he left off before WW2, winning the event for the fourth straight time. [Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC, Jo'burg, RSA].

1946
Europe
283
£200
Yorkshire Eve. News

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

283

Prize money

£200

Title sponsor

Yorkshire Eve. News

Played as the Yorkshire Evening News 1000 Guineas Tournament (May 23-25). Second-placed A.G. Matthews (Eng) and Dai Rees (Wales) finished 7 shots behind Bobby Locke (S Africa). [Moortown GC, nr Leeds, W Yorks, England].

1946
Europe
286
£300
Dunlop

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

286

Prize money

£300

Title sponsor

Dunlop

Played as the inaugural Dunlop Masters (Oct 8-10). Locke (S Africa) tied with James "Jimmy" Adams (Scot) to share the Dunlop Masters trophy. [Stoneham GC, Southampton, Hampshire].

1946
Europe
North Manchester
287
£500
R.A. Brand

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Venue

North Manchester

Score

287

Prize money

£500

Title sponsor

R.A. Brand

Played as the inaugural Brand-Lochryn £1,500 Tournament (June 20-22). Second-placed Dai Rees (Wales) and Charlie Ward (Eng) finished 2 shots behind Bobby Locke (S Africa). [North Manchester GC, Middleton, nr Manchester].

1940
Africa
11 & 9
SA Golf Union

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

11 & 9

Prize money

Title sponsor

SA Golf Union

Played as the South African Professional Match Play Ch'ship. Locke (S Africa) won this event for the third straight year beating Bertie Elkin (S Africa) 11 and 9 in the 36-hole final. [Humewood GC, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, RSA].

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

293

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the South African Open. Second-placed Steve Boshoff (S Africa, amateur) finished 10 shots behind Locke (S Africa). This was the fifth of nine South African Open wins for Locke, and fourth straight win in the event. [Humewood GC, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, RSA].

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

279

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the South African Open. Second-placed Bobby Bodmer (amateur) and Clarence Olander (S Africa, amateur) finished 8 shots behind Locke (S Africa). This was the fourth of nine South African Open wins for Locke, and third straight win in the event. [Durban CC, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa].

1939
Africa
12 & 11
SA Golf Union

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

12 & 11

Prize money

Title sponsor

SA Golf Union

Played as the South African Professional Match Play Ch'ship. Defending champion Locke (S Africa) beat M. Goldsmith 12 and 11 in the 36-hole final. [Durban CC, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa].

1939
Europe
281
fl.500
x

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

281

Prize money

fl.500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Dutch Open (June 17/18). Second-placed Cecil Denny (Eng) finished 6 shots behind Locke (S Africa). [Kennemer G&CC, Zandvoort, Netherlands].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

288 (-4)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand Open (November). Second-placed Andrew "Andy" Shaw (Scot/NZ) and Basil J. Smith Jr (NZ) finished 3 shots behind 20-year-old Locke (S Africa). [Otago GC, Balmacewen, Dunedin, NZ].

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

4 & 3

Prize money

Title sponsor

SA Golf Union

Played as the South African Professional Match Play Ch'ship. Locke (S Africa) beat Sid Brews (S Africa) 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final. [Maccauvlei GC, Vereeniging, Free State, RSA].

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

279

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the South African Open. Second-placed Sid Brews (S Africa) finished 5 shots behind defending champion Locke (S Africa), who had turned professional earlier in 1938. This was the third of nine South African Open wins for Locke. [Maccauvlei Golf Club, Vereeniging, Free State, RSA].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

292

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Irish Open. Second-placed Henry Cotton (Eng) finished 2 shots behind Locke (RSA), who recorded his first win in Europe. [Portmarnock GC, nr Dublin, Ireland].

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

288

Prize money

amateur

Title sponsor

x

Played as the South African Open. Defending champion and second-placed Clarence Olander (S Africa, amateur) finished 11 shots behind 19-year-old Locke (S Africa, amateur). This was the second of nine South African Open wins for Locke, who also won the South African Amateur title in 1937, beating Olander in the 36-hole final. [East London GC, Eastern Cape, RSA].

Category

Africa

Winner (holder)

Locke, Bobby

Score

296

Prize money

amateur

Title sponsor

x

Played as the South African Open. Second-placed Jock Verwey (S Africa, amateur) finished 3 shots behind 17-year-old Locke (S Africa, amateur), who became the youngest South African Open champion. This was the first of nine South African Open wins for Locke, who also won the South African Amateur title in 1935. [Parkview GC, Johannesburg, RSA].

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