- Ben Sayers
Bernard "Ben" Sayers (
23 June 1856in Leith, Edinburgh– 9 March 1924at North Berwick, East Lothian) was one of the most successful early professional golfers. He became a distinguished golf teacher, golf course designerand manufacturer of golf clubs & equipment.
After moving to
Haddingtonwith his family at the age of 12, Sayers began to play golf after being given a club by his uncle. He was short at 5ft 3in but strong and on the verge of becoming a professional acrobat when he began to take golf seriously. He moved to North Berwick and after enjoying success in competitions at Dunbar, Hoylakeand other courses he took up ballmaking, and also began to enter The Open Championship. He came second in The Open on two occasions, but although he won 24 top level tournaments he never lifted the "Old Claret Jug".
Sayers was a golf instructor to royalty, nobility and fellow professionals. In his day he taught Her Majesty Queen Alexandra, the Prince of Wales, Princess Victoria, Duchess of Connaught and Princess Patricia of Connaught. He also instructed US Ladies Champion Dorothy Campbell and Frenchman Arnaud Massy who became the first overseas player to win the British Open.
His course designing credits include Moffat, Rothesay, Craigielaw Links, Adare Manor, West Monmouthshire and the Spey Bay Golf Club in Banffshire.
Ben Sayers & Son
The Ben Sayers & Son factory has been responsible for creating several revolutionary pieces of golfing equipment, from gutta-percha balls and the "Benny" putter (the first to have a square-edged handgrip) to, in later years, the first set of carbon-shafted clubs and a specially commissioned putter for
Jack Nicklaus. Ben Sayers jnr. also designed the first "oversized" driver. After operating from the Ben Sayers factory in North Berwick for 126 years production was moved to China in 2003.
* [http://www.north-berwick.co.uk/famGolf_sayers.asp Ben Sayers career profile] at north-berwick.co.uk
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