H. J. Whigham

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H. J. Whigham
— Golfer —
Whigham, c. 1897
Personal information
Full name Henry James Whigham
Born (1869-12-24)24 December 1869
Tarbolton, Scotland
Died 17 March 1954(1954-03-17) (aged 84)
Southampton, New York
Nationality  Scotland
Status Amateur
Best results in major championships
(wins: 2)
U.S. Open T6: 1896
The Open Championship 49th: 1893
U.S. Amateur Won: 1896, 1897

Henry James Whigham (24 December 1869 – 17 March 1954) was a Scottish writer and amateur golfer. He won the U.S. Amateur in 1896[1] and 1897.[2] Following his first win in the U.S. Amateur, he wrote a golf instruction book. In 1896 he finished sixth in the U.S. Open held at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, New York.[3]

Early life

Whigham was born in Tarbolton, Scotland, one of six brothers and four sisters. He went to America in 1893 for the Chicago World's Fair to demonstrate golf. This was arranged by Charles B. Macdonald, who was acquainted with Whigham's father, David Dundas, while they were students at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Whigham would go on to become Macdonald's son-in-law, marrying his daughter Frances. They had a daughter, Sybil.

Whigham learned the game of golf studying under Willie Campbell and Joe Lloyd.[4]


Whigham returned to Chicago as an instructor at Lake Forest College in English and also as a lecturer at other universities in the midwest. Later he went on to become a drama critic for the Chicago Tribune, until leaving to work as a war correspondent.

Whigham became editor-in-chief of Town & Country magazine in 1910, a position he held until 1935. Whigham was the author of How to Play Golf, a self-help book designed to teach the reader the basic rules of the game. A second edition of the book was republished and released in March 2011 by Library Tales Publishing.[5]


Whigham died in Southampton, New York, at the age of 84.

Major championships

File:H. J. Whigham, golfer (in follow through).PNG
Whigham in the golf swing follow through, c. 1897

Amateur wins (2)

Year Championship Winning Score Runner-up
1896 U.S. Amateur 8 & 7 United States Joseph G. Thorp
1897 U.S. Amateur 8 & 6 United States W. Rossiter Betts

Results timeline

Note: Whigham played in only U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur and The Open Championship.

Tournament 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898
U.S. Amateur DNP DNP DNP 1 M 1 DNQ
The Open Championship 49 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

M = Medalist
LA = Low amateur
DNP = Did not play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
DNQ = Did not qualify for match play portion
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10

Source for U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur: USGA Championship Database

Source for British Open: www.opengolf.com



  1. 1896 U.S. Amateur
  2. 1897 U.S. Amateur
  3. "Great Golf By Foulis". The New York Sun. 18 July 1896. Retrieved 10 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Golf — United States Golf Association". books.Google.com. Retrieved 20 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Library Tales Publishing will be releasing the 2011 edition of How To Play Golf written by Henry James (sic) in 1897

External links