James Tabor was the first golf professional at Beverley. Sadly he only lasted a few months in his job and left on 31st December 1889 to be later replaced by George Sayers. Tabor established the first course record, a gross 39 over the nine hole course as it was then.
Initially I thought James was a James Tabor born to a well-off family in Great Baddow, Essex. His father, also named James, played once for Essex at Cricket but died in 1880. James would have inherited the Rochford Hall estate when his grandfather died in 1888, so this might explain his short stay at Beverley. All the more so, since the Rochford Hundred Golf Club was in the process of being constructed at this time. James Tabor III was to be presidemt of the golf club for 43 year to his death. But I think we have to rule him out as Beverley’s professional in spite of these apparent coincidences since it is most unlikely that a well-off young man would have taken paid employment as a golf pro.
The other James Tabor, “our” James Tabor, was born in Cherry Hinton, Cambridge, in 1869. In 1901, the census for Scotland shows a James Tabor working as a golf club and ball maker in St Andrews and I think it is this that confirms the likelihood that he was Beverley’s 1st professional. His father was a farm labourer. James married a lady called Christina and they had a daughter of the same name born in about 1899. This is also confirmed in an article by Douglas MacKenzie about James Tabor, clubmaker. Follow the link to Douglas’ article to find out about the fascinating story of this globe-trotting golfer.