Henry Longhurst
Henry Carpenter Longhurst (18 March 1909 – 21 July 1978) was a renowned British golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

 writer and commentator. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Longhurst was also a Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) for Acton
Acton (UK Parliament constituency)
- Elections in the 1940s :- Elections in the 1960s :-References:...

 in west London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England.


Longhurst was born in Bedford
Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. It is a large town and the administrative centre for the wider Borough of Bedford. According to the former Bedfordshire County Council's estimates, the town had a population of 79,190 in mid 2005, with 19,720 in the adjacent town...

, the son of Harry Longhurst who established the firm of Longhurst & Skinner, a house-furnishing business at Bedford. He was educated at St Cyprian's School
St Cyprian's School
St Cyprian's School was an English preparatory school for boys, which operated in the early 20th century in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Like other preparatory schools, its purpose was to train pupils to do well enough in the examinations to gain admission to leading public schools, and to provide an...

, Eastbourne
Eastbourne is a large town and borough in East Sussex, on the south coast of England between Brighton and Hastings. The town is situated at the eastern end of the chalk South Downs alongside the high cliff at Beachy Head...

, close to the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club, where he records "gazing at them - the caddies, not the golfers - with deepest envy as I peered surreptitiously up from the Greek unseen." He was "hooked for life" during a family holiday in 1920 at Yelverton
Yelverton, Devon
Yelverton is a large village on the south-western edge of Dartmoor, Devon, in England.When the village's railway station opened in the 19th century, the village became a popular residence for Plymouth commuters...

 in Devon, where he started playing golf on a home-made three-hole course on a common. Here Longhurst was encouraged by the local professional. He won a scholarship to Charterhouse School
Charterhouse School
Charterhouse School, originally The Hospital of King James and Thomas Sutton in Charterhouse, or more simply Charterhouse or House, is an English collegiate independent boarding school situated at Godalming in Surrey.Founded by Thomas Sutton in London in 1611 on the site of the old Carthusian...

 and in 1928 went to Clare College, Cambridge
Clare College, Cambridge
Clare College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1326, making it the second-oldest surviving college of the University after Peterhouse. Clare is famous for its chapel choir and for its gardens on "the Backs"...

, where he later became Captain of the Cambridge University Golf Club
Cambridge University Golf Club
The Cambridge University Golf Club is the golf club for the University of Cambridge, England. It comprises the Blues team, the second-team Stymies, and the Ladies team. The club was founded in 1875, and the first University Golf Match was played against Oxford in 1878...


After starting work in the family business he found a post selling advertising space for the Hardware Trade Journal. He had been attracted by the politics of the proprietor, Sir Ernest Benn
Ernest Benn
Sir Ernest John Pickstone Benn, 2nd Baronet was a British publisher, writer and political publicist. His father, John Benn, was a politician, who had been made a baronet in 1914. He was an uncle of the Labour politician Tony Benn.-Biography:Benn was born in Oxted, Surrey...

, and had become a member of the Individualist Society, which Benn founded. Longhurst started writing for a monthly golf magazine called Tee Topics and came to the attention of the editor of the Sunday Times (UK) who invited him to contribute to the sporting page. Thus he became the golf correspondent of the Sunday Times, and retained that position for 40 years. He was also a regular contributor to Golf Illustrated. From the late 1950s to the end of his life he was BBC Television's
BBC Television
BBC Television is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The corporation, which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927, has produced television programmes from its own studios since 1932, although the start of its regular service of television...

 senior golf commentator. Longhurst featured on US Golf telecasts working for both CBS and ABC. CBS golf producer Frank Chirkinian
Frank Chirkinian
Frank Chirkinian was an Armenian-American CBS Sports producer and director. He is most notable for his work on golf coverage, though he also directed coverage of the Winter Olympics, the United States Open Tennis Championships, college and professional American football, auto racing and the Triple...

 hired Longhurst to work selected broadcasts starting with the Carling Tournament in 1965. He is best remembered by American audiences for his calls at the 16th hole of the US Masters Tournament including Jack Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus
Jack William Nicklaus , nicknamed "The Golden Bear", is an American professional golfer. He won 18 career major championships on the PGA Tour over a span of 25 years and is widely regarded as one of the greatest professional golfers of all time. In addition to his 18 Majors, he was runner-up a...

' 40 foot birdie putt that led to victory in 1975. Longhurst's call of the putt ("My my.... in all my life I have never seen a putt quite like that.") is a regular feature in Masters broadcasts. He had many lifelong friends including the cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 writer and commentator E.W. Swanton, and Alistair Cooke
Alistair Cooke
Alfred Alistair Cooke KBE was a British/American journalist, television personality and broadcaster. Outside his journalistic output, which included Letter from America and Alistair Cooke's America, he was well known in the United States as the host of PBS Masterpiece Theater from 1971 to 1992...

. Cooke referred to his writing as "the prose style, which was as effortless as falling out of bed."

In 1943 Longhurst was elected at a by-election
A by-election is an election held to fill a political office that has become vacant between regularly scheduled elections....

 as MP for Acton in West London, but lost the seat at the 1945 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1945
The United Kingdom general election of 1945 was a general election held on 5 July 1945, with polls in some constituencies delayed until 12 July and in Nelson and Colne until 19 July, due to local wakes weeks. The results were counted and declared on 26 July, due in part to the time it took to...


In 1953 Longhurst acquired the Clayton Windmills
Clayton Windmills
The Clayton Windmills, known locally as Jack and Jill, stand on the South Downs above the village of Clayton, West Sussex, England. They comprise a post mill and a tower mill, and the roundhouse of a former post mill. All three are Grade II* listed buildings....

 (Jack and Jill) near Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

 in Sussex. He lived for a number of years at "Jack", first in the mill itself and then in a modern house next to it built for him in 1963 by the architect Peter Farley who also designed Brighton Marina. "Jill" was derelict but with a grant from East Sussex County Council it was restored and opened for visitors. He died in Cuckfield
Cuckfield is a large village and civil parish in the Mid Sussex District of West Sussex, England, on the southern slopes of the Weald. It lies south of London, north of Brighton, and east northeast of the county town of Chichester. Nearby towns include Haywards Heath to the southeast and Burgess...

aged 69.



  • "My Life and Soft Times", Cassell 1971.
  • "Golf", Dent
  • "It was Good while it Lasted", Dent
  • "You never know till you get there", Dent
  • "I wouldn't have missed it", Dent
  • "Golf Mixture", Laurie
  • "Round in Sixty-Eight", Laurie
  • "The Borneo Story", Newman Neame
  • "Adventure in Oil", Sidgwick & Jackson
  • "Spice of Life", Cassell
  • "Only on Sundays", Cassell
  • "Never on Weekdays", Cassell


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography -E. W. Swanton, Longhurst, Henry Carpenter (1909–1978), rev., first published Sept 2004
  • Mark Wilson And Ken Bowden (eds) The Best of Henry Longhurst on Golf and Life Collins 1979

External links

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