Fred Daly

1911 to 1990

fred daly dalyplace daly plaque

Fred Daly was born on 11 October 1911 in Portrush, Co Antrim and learnt to play golf from an early age on the famous links. His greatest achievement was winning the Open in 1947, the first Irishman to do so. (It was to be 60 years before another, Padraig Harrington, repeated the feat.) In 1948 as defending champion he finished second behind Henry Cotton, tied for second in 1950, was fourth in 1951 and third in 1953.Daly was at the time the professional at Balmoral Golf Club in Belfast; a club he was associated with for over 35 years.

He was a member of the Ryder Cup team in 1947, 1949, 1951 and 1953, then competed for by the USA and a team from Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In 1947 GB&NI suffered one of its heaviest defeats (11 to 1), but in 1953 Daly won both of his singles, including one by 9 and 7, one of the highest winning margins ever.

He was three times British Matchplay Champion, and in the twentieth century one of only two men to win it and the Open in the same year.

Daly won numerous local titles including the Ulster Professional title on eight occasions and the Irish Professional Championship three times. In all he won 21 professional titles.

The great American golfer Sam Snead said of him that he was ‘one of the finest long iron players in the game, he could knock your hat off with a one iron at 220 yards.’

Fred Daly died of a heart attack in Belfast on 18 November 1990.

Location of plaque: Causeway Street, Portrush