Who's who: John Ball Jr

  • Torrey Pines - South course, host of the Farmers Insurance Open
  • Prince's GC, England
  • Torrey Pines - South course, host of the Farmers Insurance Open
  • Terras da Comporta, Dunas
  • Monte Rei G&CC
  • Marco Simone GC (Italy); host of the Ryder Cup 2023
  • Pebble Beach host of the US Open; US Women's Open; Pebble Beach Pro-Am
  • Marco Simone GC

Who's who: John Ball Jr

  • Name:

    John Ball Jr
  • Country:

    England
  • Lived:

    [1861-1940]. Born on Dec 24, 1861 in Hoylake, nr Liverpool. Died on Dec 2, 1940 in Holywell, Wales (just across the River Dee estuary from Hoylake) (age 78).
  • Original/Home Club:

    Royal Liverpool GC, Hoylake.
  • Occupation:

    Amateur golfer and farmer.
  • Turned Pro:

    n/a

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (1): The Open (1890). British Amateur champion (1888, '90, '92, '94, '99, 1907, '10, 12). First of only two players (Bobby Jones was the other) to have won the Amateur Championship and Open Championship in the same year (1890). World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted in 1977).

Did you know?

Ball was without doubt the outstanding amateur golfer of his era. In a 24-year period from 1888 until 1912 he won the Amateur Championship eight times, although never two years in succession. In 1890 at Prestwick, he became the first Englishman (and first amateur) to break the 30-year monopoly of Scottish professionals winning the coveted Open Championship, something they had done since the championship's inception in 1860. Ball's win at Prestwick launched an era in which golfers from 'south of the border' dominated the Open Championship. From 1891, Messrs Hilton, Vardon and Taylor won eight of the next ten Opens.

As a youngster Ball would have seen the establishment in 1869 of the Liverpool Golf Club (known as 'Hoylake'), and the granting of its Royal status in 1871. With his father the prosperous owner of the nearby Royal Hotel, it was here at Hoylake that Ball honed his game as a youth. On many occasions Ball would have played with (and against) a younger club member, Harold Hilton, who became another of the great amateurs of the day. When the Open Championship came to Royal Liverpool in 1897 (only its second journey outside of Scotland), it was 28-year-old Hilton, rather than 35-year-old Ball who scooped the Claret Jug on his home course.

Top tournaments won by John Ball Jr

Category

Amateur

Winner (holder)

Ball, John Jr

Score

38th hole

Prize money

n/a

Title sponsor

R&A

The Amateur Championship (28th). Ball (Eng) beat Abe Mitchell (Eng) at the 38th hole in the final. This was the last of Ball's eight Amateur Championship titles. [Royal North Devon GC, Westward Ho!, Bideford, Devon].

Category

Amateur

Winner (holder)

Ball, John Jr

Score

10 & 9

Prize money

n/a

Title sponsor

R&A

The Amateur Championship (26th). Ball (Eng) beat C.C. Aylmer (Eng) 10 and 9 in the final. This was the seventh of Ball's eight Amateur Championship titles. [Royal Liverpool GC, Hoylake, Wirral, Merseyside].

Category

Amateur

Winner (holder)

Ball, John Jr

Score

6 & 4

Prize money

n/a

Title sponsor

R&A

The Amateur Championship (23rd). Ball (Eng) beat C.A. Palmer (Eng) 6 and 4 in the final. This was the sixth of Ball's eight Amateur Championship titles. [The Old Course, St Andrews, Fife].

1899
Amateur
37th hole
n/a
R&A

Category

Amateur

Winner (holder)

Ball, John Jr

Score

37th hole

Prize money

n/a

Title sponsor

R&A

The Amateur Championship (15th). Ball (Eng) beat Freddie Tait (Scot) at the 37th hole in the final. This was the fifth of Ball's eight Amateur Championship titles. [Prestwick GC, Ayrshire, Scotland].

Category

Amateur

Winner (holder)

Ball, John Jr

Score

1 hole

Prize money

n/a

Title sponsor

R&A

The Amateur Championship (10th). Ball (Eng) beat Samuel Mure Fergusson (Scot) by 1 hole in the final. This was the fourth of Ball's eight wins in the Amateur Championship. [Royal Liverpool GC, Hoylake, Wirral, Merseyside].

Category

Amateur

Winner (holder)

Ball, John Jr

Score

3 & 1

Prize money

n/a

Title sponsor

R&A

The Amateur Championship (8th). Ball (Eng) beat Harold Hilton (Eng) 3 and 1 in the final. This was the third of Ball's eight Amateur Championship titles. [Royal St George's GC, Sandwich, Kent].

1890
Majors
164
amateur
R&A

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Ball, John Jr

Score

164

Prize money

amateur

Title sponsor

R&A

The Open Championship (30th) (Sept 11). Second-placed Willie Fernie (Scot) and Archie Simpson (Scot) finished 3 shots behind John Ball Jr (Eng, amateur). Ball was the first player from outside Scotland to win The Open, and the first amateur winner. [Prestwick GC, Ayrshire, Scotland].

Category

Amateur

Winner (holder)

Ball, John Jr

Score

4 & 3

Prize money

n/a

Title sponsor

R&A

The Amateur Championship (6th). Ball (Eng) beat Johnny Laidlay (Scot) 4 and 3 in the final. This was the second of Ball's eight Amateur Championship titles, coming at his home club, and in the year in which he also won the Open Championship. [Royal Liverpool GC, Hoylake, Wirral, Merseyside].

Category

Amateur

Winner (holder)

Ball, John Jr

Score

5 & 4

Prize money

n/a

Title sponsor

R&A

The Amateur Championship (4th). Ball (Eng) beat Johnny Laidlay (Scot) 5 and 4 in the final. This was the first of Ball's eight Amateur Championship titles. [Prestwick GC, Ayrshire, Scotland].

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