Max Faulkner 1916 – 2005

Max Faulker largeMax Faulkner. born 1916. British Golfer. Max Faulkner was born in Bexhill on the 29th July 1916. His father, also a golfer, taught his son the game at the old Bexhill Golf Course which extended from De La Warr Road to the East Parade to Galley Hill and had been built on the De La Warr Estate in 1880. The club closed early in World War II, during which Faulkner served in the RAF, and did not re-open afterwards.

 His career spanned the 1930s to the 1950s and he achieved 16 wins in European tournaments, winning the British Open title in 1951, and he made 5 Ryder Cup appearances. He was unusual in that unlike other professional golfers he was never attached to a club as its professional. He was, however, assistant to Henry Cotton, another famous British golfer, just as his father had been assistant to James Braid who had played an exhibition match over the Bexhill course in 1906. He may thus be thought of as one of the first of the Tour professionals as we know them today.

The outfits he wore were noted for their garishness. He sported bright plus-twos and, accompanied by his scruffily dressed caddy, ‘Mad Max’, they presented an interesting sartorial picture. He was renowned for his eccentric range of clubs, most of them made by himself.

When he won the British open Championship in 1951 – a feat not repeated by a British player until Tony Jacklin won in 1969 – he played with a very thin and light putter which he had probably made himself. The most famous story told about Faulkner concerned his 1951 British Open win. During his final round a spectator asked Faulkner to autograph a ball for his son. This he readily did, rather far-sightedly, or courageously, signing it ‘1951 Open Champion’.

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