In his book on the Pau Golf Club (PGC), Yves Caillé provides a significant place to Joe Lloyd, the first golf professional in France. We are giving here, a paper Yves sent us to share with our readers.     
    "Pau Golf Club - Le St Andrews du Continent", by Yves Caillé edited by "J & D Editions", 1990.



This book is still available. Please contact the author:

    Joe Lloyd Par Yves Caillé.

In l880, players wintering in Pau, hired an English professional: Joseph Lloyd. Born in 1864, he started to play golf with Jack Morris in Hoylake at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Joe was a friend of Morris’s family – one of greatest names in the world golf. He also played with Old and Young Tom Morris, Jack’s uncle and cousin. He had a great sense of humour in spite of the pictures showing him with a severe expression.

In Pau, he opened a store which he used also as a workshop to manufacture and repair the clubs. This was more a cabin, still up until the end of the 60’s. It was the very first pro-shop in France.

An article in "The Field" magazine (January 1891) describes him as having a fluid style, distinguished, smooth and gracious. His prize list is eloquent.

The first document about Joe Lloyd relates to his victory in the "caddies medal" match at Hoylake (1881). At that time, when he was only 17, he was better known as "General". Why? This is a mystery, but he kept this nickname all his life. This should have been well known as in the list of winners of the "medal" we read "1881 Joe Lloyd, The General". Possibly, J Cumming Macdonald and Sir Victor Brooke, both members of the Royal Liverpool as well as the Pau GC, gave him this significant title. These two prominent figures also organized several exhibition matches between Lloyd and Pascal, the green keeper of Pau (“The Field”, 1883) and they finally convinced our champion to settle at the PGC in March 1883. This is confirmed by a paper, in the US "Daily Inter Ocean", adding that Joe Lloyd warmly accepted. He definitely moved to Pau in 1884.

He became well know for his victorious matches and his challenges. "In April 1897, Lord Dudley, with a full set of clubs played against Lloyd who only used his putter. Lloyd won 6 up, scoring 84".

During his vacations, he played three times in the British Open, finishing each time in top positions. Is name is recorded in Prestwick, 1893, Sandwich, 1894 and Hoylake, 1897.

Then, he was sharing his time between the Essex Country Club in Manchester (Massachusetts) in summer and the Pau Golf Club in winter. In 1897, he won the US Open – played for the last time on 36 holes – at Wheaton close to Chicago. The first day "the General" played regularly, but without brightness, and finishes in 83, four strokes behind the leader, Willie Anderson, a young pro from Watch Hill Golf Club.

In the last round, he improved his game and tied Anderson’s record of 79. He won the US Open one stroke ahead, after a fantastic eagle three, on the last hole, measuring more than 450 yards. After driving a guttie ball his brassie shot reached the green 8 feet to the hole. He had a putt to win. Joe Lloyd was 33 years old. The "Daily Inter Ocean" reports that the champion was offered $200 for price money but $50 were deducted to pay its medal … which was sold in 1990 more than $21000.

In September 1990, Pat Seeling wrote an article in a specialized newspaper on this forgotten champion – even in his native club. The title is: “The US forgotten Open Champion”. Here is an extract:

“In fact, other than USGA record books, his name almost dropped from sight until April when Kevin McGrath, an Andover, Massachusetts, golf memorabilia auctioneer, obtained Lloyd's gold medal from a New York antique dealer and sold it as part of a large auction. The unnamed bidder paid $21.000, plus a 10% auction premium. The medal was typical of the time, a bright ribbon holding a quarter-sized medal with a golfer embossed in the center, surrounded by the words "United States Golf Association Open Championship." A gold chain held the two together with three small rectangular, plates, reading, in order, "Champion," "1897," and, in small letters, "Won by Joseph Lloyd." The medal is in far better condition than anyone's memory of the player; Lloyd has fallen off the map of golf history. "I tried to find something about him," said McGrath, "and it is almost as if he didn't exist". Indeed, it seems so. If you look up Lloyd in any number of record books, you will see his name listed as the winner of the 1897 Open, and that's it. Further research will reveal that he finished seventh the previous year, at Shinnecock Hills, with a 78-82, eight shots behind James Foulis, and shot 87-80-86-86 (339) to finish fourth in defense of his Championship, at Myopia Hun Club, in 1898. Whatever became of this former Open Champion; No one seems to know.

He retired from the PGC in 1925. He was the very first professional at Pau Billere and from the French Golf History.     
 Great golfers at Pau in 1896 (cf see below)
 With kind authorisation of Yves Caillé

     We found some additional information in Peter Lewiss's book: "Dawn of Professional Golf". Here are two short extracts from the book.     
    "Dawn of Professional Golf", par Peter N. Lewis. Editeurs : Hobbs & Mc Ewan, New Ridley, Northumberland & Glengarden, Ballater ; Oast Books, Turnbridge, Wells.



ISBN 1-898594-22-8

    Vardon versus Taylor (page 76)

Taylor, who had not been feeling well since his arrival in America, had a less strenuous tour than Vardon. In September, after resting at Ashbury Park, New Jersey, he played over the Deal golf course - perhaps the name made him feel more at home - and lost a best ball match to the local professionals. On September 15th he played at the Myopia Hunt Club, near Boston, before taking on Joe Lloyd and John Dingwell at the Essex County Club on September 19th. The next day he played at the Brookline Country Club, against the best ball of the local professionals in the morning, and that of two amateurs in the afternoon.     European tours (page 80)

In the winter of 1896, Vardon, Taylor, Herd, Archie Simpson and Willie Auchterlonie were invited to play a series of exhibitions at Pau, along with the local professional, Joe Lloyd, to celebrate the club's 50th anniversary. Vardon, being from Jersey, spoke some French, and was put in charge of the financial matters of the party. Unfortunately he didn't actually speak much French, and became easily confused when dealing with ticket collectors and other minor matters. Fortunately they were met at Bordeaux by Lloyd, who took over the translating duties. They proceeded to play one event on February 24th and 25th, and then a 72-hole tournament on March 1st and 2nd. The matches on the 24th and 25th were "an American style tournament", which was a round robin where all the players played one another. Taylor, Auchterlonie, Simpson and Vardon won three matches each, and split the first prize.     

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