JB Carr

JB Carr 

Joseph Benedict Carr, born 18th February 1922, grew up at the home of his adoptive parents at Portmarnock Golf Club where his father was a steward.

Young Joe 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 Golf Club 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, from a career total of 40 Championships, 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 on 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 say 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.

JB Carr

The Walker Cups 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, including the Walter Hagan award, the Bobby Jones award, the Legends of Golf Award and many more. 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.

Joe Carr 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.

Joe passed away on 1st June 2004 ironically on the same night that Prince Andrew held his dinner as Captain of the Royal and Ancient, it was Joe who as Captain in 1991 had invited the Price onto the R & A.  When informed of his passing the attendance observed a minutes silence in Joe's memory.JB Carr room 

In 2007 Joe, posthumously, became the first Irish golfer to be inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame.  The commendation given in St. Augustine Florida which included Joe's second wife Mary, sons Roddy, Marty, Gerry, Jody and John and daughter Sibeal and friends from Sutton Golf Club was delivered by the legendary Jack Nicklaus.

Full details of Joe's Career together with a large collection of memorabilia can be seen in the Dr. Joe Carr room here in the club. His biography, written by Dermot Gilleese "Breaking 80" was published in 2002.