Max Faulkner

Max Faulkner (1 Open, 5 Ryder Cup's.)

1916 - 2005

Herbert Gustavus Max FaulknerOBE (29 July 1916 – 26 February 2005) was an English professional golfer who won The Open Championship in 1951[1] and was renowned for his colourful dress sense.[2]

Faulkner was born in Bexhill-on-Sea, the son of a club professional who had once been assistant to James Braid. During World War II he served in the RAF as a Physical Training (PT) instructor.[3] He hardly played any golf during this time, but took up boxing instead, becoming services champion.[4]

Faulkner's tournament career began in 1946, shortly after the war. He won 16 regular tournaments in Europe, including three Spanish Opens, with his last being the 1968 Portuguese Open at the age of 52. He also won the PGA Seniors Championship on two occasions. His greatest achievement was his victory in the 1951 Open Championship at Royal Portrush. With a round still to be played he had a 6-stroke lead and is reported to have signed autographs with the postscript "1951 Open Champion".[5] Helped by what he called a "mystery guiding light",[6] he went on to finish with a score of 3 under par, two ahead of Antonio Cerdá, and said later "It was all I ever wanted. The Open meant everything to me."[2][7]

Faulkner played in the Ryder Cup Matches on five occasions, including the historic 1957 contest at Lindrick when the Great Britain team won for the only time between 1933 and 1985 (Europe).[2]

Faulkner was believed to have over 300 putters, always searching for the perfect one. He very rarely used a conventional set of clubs, sometimes having several of the same club with a variety of shaft lengths and flexes. He was known for his shotmaking ability, being able to make the ball curve in the air even on short lofted shots.[6]

In 2001, on the 50th anniversary of the Open triumph, Faulkner was honoured with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to golf.[5] He died in 2005 at the age of 88.