Tom Haliburton

Tom Haliburton
Personal information
Full name Thomas Bruce Haliburton
Born (1915-06-05)5 June 1915
Rhu, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Died 25 October 1975(1975-10-25) (aged 60)
Virginia Water, Surrey, England
Nationality  Scotland
Status Professional
Professional wins 6
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament CUT: 1962
U.S. Open DNP
The Open Championship T5: 1957
PGA Championship DNP

Thomas Bruce Haliburton (5 June 1915 – 25 October 1975) was a Scottish golfer. He finished tied for 5th in the 1957 Open Championship and played in the 1961 and 1963 Ryder Cups. He died, playing golf, at Wentworth where he had been the professional for over 20 years.

Early life

Haliburton was born in a cottage in Rhu, then in Dunbartonshire but now in Argyll and Bute, but after a few years his parents moved to Shandon, a few miles away. It was there that he had his first contact with golf at Shandon Golf Club. He went to the Hermitage School in Helensburgh until he was 15 years old.

During World War II, Haliburton was in the Royal Air Force. He married in 1941 and became a corporal in the same year.

Golf career

Haliburton was initially an assistant for four years at Haggs Castle Golf Club in Glasgow before moving to Prestwick St Nicholas Golf Club. In 1939 he became first assistant to Henry Cotton at Ashridge Golf Club.[1] After a series of moves, he became the professional at the Wentworth Club in 1952 where he remained until his death in 1975.

In 1952 he set a world record score by scoring 126 for the first two rounds of the Spalding Tournament, although he eventually finished fourth.

He was in the British 1961 and 1963 Ryder Cup teams.

In the 1963 Open Championship at Royal Lytham, he scored 29 for the first nine holes of the opening round, an Open record, equalled by Peter Thomson later on the same day. Tony Jacklin equalled the record in 1970 and Denis Durnian beat it, scoring 28, in 1983.[2]

In 1969 he became chairman of the British PGA.[3] He was the non-playing British captain in the first PGA Cup at Pinehurst, North Carolina in 1973.[3] His last tournament was a Pro-Am at Helensburgh Golf Club in 1974.


Drawing up plan for his retirement, he had recommended Bernard Gallacher as his successor at Wentworth. Haliburton and Gallacher had just started a practice round when, on the first green, Haliburton collapsed and died. He had been a professional golfer for 42 years.[3]

Tournament wins

Results in major championships

Tournament 1936 1937 1938 1939
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship CUT DNP 35 DNP
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT T30 CUT T23 DNP
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
The Open Championship WD CUT T37 T29 CUT T32 CUT T5 CUT T29
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
Masters Tournament DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP
The Open Championship T32 T41 CUT T30 CUT

Note: Haliburton only played in The Open Championship and the Masters Tournament.
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

Team appearances


  1. "Golf". The Times. 6 February 1939. p. 7.
  2. "The Open Championship - Tournament Records".
  3. 1 2 3 "Obituary – Mr Tom Haliburton – Distinguished golf career". The Times. 27 October 1975. p. 14.
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