J. B. Carr at Sutton Golf Club
J.B. Carr bestrides the history of Sutton Golf Club. He won 40 important championships during a glittering career which included; 157 appearances for Ireland; 11 Walker Cups; and of course the jewels in the crown – 3 Open Amateur Championships. As an acknowledgement of his remarkable contribution to the game he became the first Irishman to be honoured as Captain of the R&A in 1991. Some 30 years earlier he had been honoured in America as the first non-American citizen to receive the coveted Bobby Jones Award for distinguished sportsmanship in golf. In 2007 was inducted to golf’s Hall of Fame.
JB fell in love with the game of golf at an early age and, with time and opportunity to play at Portmarnock, he showed great promise. It was not possible for young Joe to play as a member of Portmarnock so, in 1932, sponsored by some men who were members of Portmarnock and Sutton he joined Sutton which was to be his golfing home for his entire career. In later years, he made his family home at Suncroft house which overlooks the 2nd green, where he lived up until 1984. His first club handicap at Sutton was a plus six which did not prevent him from winning the Juvenile competition of the day and by the age of 15 he was already competing in the British Boys championship at Bruntsfield in Scotland. He was a beaten semi-finalist in the 1939 Championship at Carnoustie at the age of 17.
His first Senior Championship was the East of Ireland title in 1941 and he went on to win this title 12 times the last being in 1969. He also won the West of Ireland Championship 12 times between 1946 and 1966 and the South of Ireland Championship 3 times between 1948 and 1969. His first National Championship win was the Irish Amateur Open Championship of 1946 which he won again in 1951, 1954 and 1956 and he had 6 wins in the Irish Amateur Close championship in 1954, 1957, 1963, 1964 and 1965. In 1953 at Holylake he won the first of his 3 British Amateur Championships, the others being at St. Andrews in 1958 and at Royal Portrush in 1960. Within this period he also competed with the World’s top Professionals of the day and was the leading Amateur in the British Open Championship of 1956 and 1958 and had a high finish of 8th place in 1960 at St. Andrews. He was also runner up in the Dunlop Masters Championship to Christy O’Connor at Portmarnock in 1958.
Joe led the Sutton team to 6 Senior Cup victories in 1945, 1949, 1950, 1956, 1958 and 1963 and to 3 wins in the Barton Shield in 1946, 1949 and 1950. At International level he was a member of the Irish team playing continuously from 1947 to 1969 in the Home Internationals within which period he also played in the European team Championships, the Eisenhower Trophy and the St. Andrews Trophy teams. The Walker Cup is probably where Joe had his greatest achievement. He was a member of the team on 11 occasions and went on to be non-playing captain in 1965 and 1967.
These are just the highlights of a career which spanned over 60 years and included a host of other important victories, 18 course records and a whole host of awards commemorating his contribution to golf. He also played in the Masters Championship at Augusta 3 times partnering Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus in the first round making the cut on 2 occasions. JB was recognised as being the greatest Amateur golfer of his era and was rewarded by being the first Irishman to be invited to be Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in 1991. JB died on the first of June 2004 . In 2007 became the first Irish golfer to be inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Dr. J.B. Carr 1922 – 2004
Outstanding golfing achievements
- The Amateur Championship Winner – Three Wins. 1953,1958,1960
- The Irish Amateur Winner – Four Wins
- The Irish Close Championship – Six Wins
- The East of Ireland Championship – Twelve Wins
- The West of Ireland Championship – Twelve Wins
- The South of Ireland Championship – Three Wins
- Semi Finalist – US Amateur at Pebble Beach
- The Open Championship – Leading Amateur twice
- Irish International 1949 – 1969
- Eisenhower Trophy Competitor – 4 Occasions
- Walker Cup – 11 Appearances (Captain twice)
- Senior Cup for Sutton – 6 Pennants
- Barton Shield for Sutton – 3 Pennants
- Inducted into The World Golf Hall of Fame 2007
- First Irishman to compete in The Masters
- The Bobby Jones Award 1961
- Captain The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews 1991 -1992
- Caltex Trophy to Irish Sports Stars 1960