Tom Halliburton

Tom Haliburton

Personal information
Full name Thomas Bruce Haliburton
Born 5 June 1915
Rhu, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Died 25 October 1975 (aged 60)
Virginia Water, Surrey, England
Nationality Scotland


Status Professional
Professional wins 6

The Open Championship T5: 1957

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. 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.

In 1969 he became chairman of the British PGA. He was the non-playing British captain in the first PGA Cup at Pinehurst, North Carolina in 1973. 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.

Tournament wins

1938 Northern Open, West of Scotland Championship
1946 West of England Professional Championship
1949 Daily Mail Tournament
1959 Gleneagles Hotel Foursomes Tournament (with Bill Igoe)
1963 Yorkshire Evening News Tournament