Thomas Dickson Armour (September 24, 1894 – September 11, 1968) was a
The Silver Scot.
Armour was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and educated at Fettes College and the University of Edinburgh.
During his service in World War I, Armour rose from a private to Staff Major in the Tank Corps. His conduct earned him an audience with George V. However, he lost his sight to a mustard gas explosion and surgeons had to add a metal plate to his head and left arm. During his convalescence, he regained the sight of his right eye and took to golfing.
Armour won the French Amateur tournament in 1920. He moved to the United States and met Walter Hagen, who gave him a job as secretary of the Westchester-Biltmore Club. He became a U.S. citizen at this time. In 1924 Armour became a professional golfer.
Armour won the 1927 U.S. Open, 1930 PGA Championship, and the 1931 British Open. His 1930 campaign was overshadowed by Bobby Jones' Grand Slam, and Armour seems to have been overlooked.
At the Shawnee Open in 1927, Armour shot the first ever "Archaeopteryx" (15 or more over par) when he shot a 23 on a par 5, for 18-over par. This still stands as the highest score on one hole in PGA history. This historic performance happened just one week after winning the U.S. Open.
Armour retired from professional golf after the 1935 season and taught at the Boca Raton Club in Florida, for $50 a lesson. His pupils included Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Lawson Little.
During World War II, Armour played in exhibitions for USO and Red Cross.
Armour co wrote a book How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time (1953) with Herb Graffis. It became a best seller and for many years was the biggest-selling book ever authored on golf. A series of 8mm films based on the book were released by Castle Films including Short Game parts I and II, Long Hitting Clubs, Grip and Stance.
Armour died in Larchmont, New York, and was cremated at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, but is not interred there. Some modern golf equipment is still marketed in his name.
Armour is succeeded by his grandson, Tommy Armour III, who is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour and currently holds the record for the lowest total score on 72 holes (254), which he set in his second PGA Tour victory at the Valero Texas Open.
Armour was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1976.
- 1920 (1) Pinehurst Fall Pro-Am Bestball (as an amateur, with Leo Diegel)
- 1925 (1) Florida West Coast Open
- 1926 (1) Winter Pro Golf Championship
- 1927 (5) Long Beach California Open, El Paso Open, , Canadian Open, Oregon Open
- 1928 (4) Metropolitan Open, Philadelphia Open Championship, Pennsylvania Open Championship, Sacramento Open
- 1929 (1) Western Open
- 1930 (3) Canadian Open, , St. Louis Open
- 1931 (1)
- 1932 (3) Miami International Four-Ball (with Ed Dudley), Mid-South Bestball (with Al Watrous), Miami Open
- 1934 (2) Canadian Open, Pinehurst Fall Pro-Pro (with Bobby Cruickshank)
- 1935 (1) Miami Open
- 1936 (1) Walter Olson Golf Tournament (tie with Willie Macfarlane)
- 1938 (1) Mid-South Open
- 1920 French Amateur
- 1927 Miami International Four-Ball (with Bobby Cruickshank)
- 1927 U.S. Open
- 1930 PGA Championship
- 1931 The Open Championship