The Harry Vardon Trophy remains one of golf’s most prestigious prizes and one with a history to match. First competed for in 1937, the trophy bears the names of some of the most famous golfers in history, including Seve Ballesteros, Colin Montgomerie, Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy.
Here at Thomas Lyte, we’re proud of our association with the PGA European Golf Tour and for being commissioned by our partners to design and make the latest edition of the trophy. The thrill of seeing it leave our London workshop remains one the highlights of our always busy sporting calendar.
Thomas Lyte, a Royal Warrant holder, as the silversmiths and goldsmiths to Her Majesty the Queen, have designed and made some of world sport’s most instantly recognisable trophies since we were formed in 2007. All are uniquely individual and special and some, like the Harry Vardon Trophy, bring with them a certain mystique.
The figure of Jersey-born Vardon – who won the Open Championship six times between 1896 and 1914 – sits proudly on the top of this magnificent trophy, overseeing just how rapidly the sport has matured into a global giant – a transformation he could never have imagined during his own playing career. Thomas Lyte’s design ensures that golf’s rich traditions are maintained even though the sport’s amateur roots have long since disappeared.
“Thomas Lyte has enjoyed a long and close friendship and partnership with the European Tour,” says Thomas Lyte director, Andrew Jones. “The annual Harry Vardon Trophy exemplifies that relationship. We’re continually proud to make this award for some of the biggest names in world golf.”
Designed hand-in-hand with the European Tour, the Harry Vardon Trophy is kept by the winner, with Thomas Lyte making a new version of this golfing institution every year. Spun from a single sheet of sterling silver by our specialist team of silversmiths and goldsmiths in our London workshop, the Harry Vardon Trophy features a figure of the man himself, mounted on a mahogany plinth. The names of every previous winner, meanwhile, are engraved at the foot of the trophy.
The Harry Vardon Trophy has been presented to many of the modern golfing greats, but its roots date back far beyond the Race for Dubai, which currently doubles up as the event which decides who it is awarded to. Vardon himself, was one of the finest golfers of his day, dominating the Open Championship and also winning the first US Open of the 21st century. Born in Jersey, Vardon would become known the world over before his death in 1937.
A trophy was created in his honour and awarded first to the player with the lowest average score in Europe’s major stroke play events. It has had many incarnations since, recognising the leader of the Order of Merit, the top earner over the course of the European season and, since 2009, the Race to Dubai leader.
Since Charles Whitcombe became its first recipient all those years ago, the prize has been handed to some of world golf’s most famous names. Montgomerie has won the trophy more than any other player, lifting it eight times. That tally is two ahead of Spanish great Ballesteros. Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy have been awarded the trophy three times.
Thomas Lyte has deep golfing associations through its long-standing partnership with the European Tour. In addition to the Harry Vardon Trophy, we have designed and made a host of the sport’s most high-profile trophies, including the Seve Ballesteros Award and the Farmfoods European Senior Masters Trophy. We are also the official restorers of the Ryder Cup and the European Open Golf Trophy.