Bio of Golfer Guy Wolstenholme

Guy Wolstenholme was a British golfer who later became associated with Australia. Following a strong amateur career that began in the 1950s, Wolstenholme won pro golf tournaments around the world from the 1960s into the 1980s.

Full name: Guy Bertram Wolstenholme

Date of birth: March 8, 1931

Place of birth: Leicester, England

Date and place of death: October 9, 1984 in Nottingham, England

In the Majors

Guy Wolstenholme never played in The Masters, the U.S. Open or the PGA Championship. He played in the British Open 19 times, first in 1954 and last in 1979.

His best finish was a tie for sixth in the 1960 Open Championship, when he earned low amateur honors. His score that year, 283, was a tournament record for an amateur that stood until 1993. As a pro, Wolstenholme had four Top 20 finishes in the Open, with a best of 11th in the 1969 British Open.

Wolstenholme's Biggest Pro Tournament Wins

Wolstenholme won tournaments around the world. In Europe, all of his wins came prior to the formation of the European Tour (which launched in 1972):
  • 1961 Southern Professional Championship
  • 1963 Jeyes Tournament
  • 1966 British PGA Championship
  • 1967 Denmark Open
  • 1969 Dutch Open
He won a couple times in Japan: And once in Africa:
  • 1967 Kenya Open
And multiple times in Australia and New Zealand:
  • 1968 Sax Altman Tournament
  • 1969 West End Tournament
  • 1970 Endeavour Masters
  • 1971 South Australian Open
  • 1971 Victorian Open
  • 1971 City of Auckland Open
  • 1975 Victorian PGA Championship
  • 1976 Victorian Open
  • 1978 Victorian Open
  • 1980 Victorian Open
On world senior tours, Wolstenholme had one victory:
  • 1981 Australian Seniors Championship

More About Guy Wolstenholme

The 1975 Encyclopedia of Golf referred to Wolstenholme having "a flair for attack and an inspired putting touch" on the golf course.

Off the course, his son Gary Wolstenholme, a 2-time winner of the British Amateur and a 6-time member of the GB&I Walker Cup team, wrote in his 2010 autobriography, The Long and Short of It (affiliate link), that Guy's "ability on the piano was legendary and he was a naturally entertaining man, so wherever he went, he was often the center of attention. He made people laugh just by being himself."

Guy Wolstenholme was a member of England Boys Internationals squad from 1946-48, and the full England International squad from 1953-60, during which time he played for Team GB&I in the 1957 Walker Cup and 1959 Walker Cup.

Wolstenholme won the English Amateur twice (1956, 1959) and the England Stroke Play Championship (aka, the Brabazon Trophy) in 1960 after having been runner-up in that event twice before. In the championship match of the 1959 English Am, Wolstenholme was 1-down to Michael Bonallack with two holes to play, then won the 17th and 18th holes to take the trophy.

But he never won the biggest amateur championship for Europeans, and especially British: The Open Amateur Championship. His best showing was in the 1959 British Amateur, where Wolstenholme fell to eventual champion Deane Beman in the semifinals.

Other wins during his amateur career included the German Amateur in 1956, and the prestigious Berkshire Trophy three times in England.

Wolstenholme turned pro in 1960 at age 29. In his rookie year of 1961 he finished 16th on the British/European circuit's Order of Merit.

His first win as a pro was the 1961 Southern Professional Championship, but his first win in a significant pro tour event was the 1963 Jeyes Tournament in Ireland, and he won it by 12 strokes.

Wolstenholme finished in the Top 25 on that Order of Merit nine out of 10 years from 1961 through 1970. His best showing was ninth in 1967, during which he posted wins in two national opens: the Kenya Open and Denmark Open.

He eventually moved to Australia and began winning there, plus in New Zealand and Japan. The biggest wins during that phase of Wolstenholme's career were four titles in the Victorian Open. Two of those came via playoffs: In the 1976 Vic, Wolstenholme beat Graham Marsh with a birdie on the third extra hole; and in 1978, he beat Arnold Palmer with a par on the third extra hole. Palmer was 48 and five years past his final PGA Tour win at the time.

When Wolstenholme turned 50 in 1981, he made a big debut as a senior golfer by winning the Australian Seniors Championship. in 1982, he lost in a playoff to Christy O'Connor Sr. at the PGA Seniors Championship, one of the biggest senior tournaments in Europe.

Wolstenholme also played on the Champions Tour in the United States. He played five U.S. Senior Tour tournaments in 1982, 15 in 1983. In those 20 starts, he finished in the top 10 in 10 of them and was runner-up twice. He finished eighth on the money list in 1983.

With that success, he made the decision to move his family to the United States to concentrate on the Champions Tour, but after selling his house in Australia Wolstenholme was diagnosed with cancer. He went home to England for treatment, but died the following year at the age of 53.

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