He was christened Arthur D’Arcy Locke but his father called him “Bobby” after his hero, Bobby Jones. Thin and short off the tee, Locke turned a natural fade into a booming hook to gain more length yet remained incredibly accurate.
It was on the greens that he was devastating, one of the greatest putters of all time. He hooked his putts using a closed stance and was deadly even on the worst of surfaces. On the best surfaces he would be tipping his cap before a long putt had got halfway to the hole.
He liked the greens at Troon for The Open in 1950 so much that he sent a Christmas card every year to the club stating they were best in the world. He returned from flying bombing missions in WWII a portly 14 stones and finished runner-up to Sam Snead at the 1946 Open. He then tried his luck in America, winning 11 times, and finishing runner-up ten times, in a two-and-a-half year spell.
The locals did not overly appreciate his success and found a way to ban him on a technicality. His greatest successes came in Britain as he won The Open four times in eight years. He beat Harry Bradshaw easily in a 36-hole play-off in 1949, set a new record score of 279 at Troon in 1950 and beat Peter Thomson by a stroke at Lytham in 1952.
But Thomson was to prove his biggest rival and it was not until 1957 at St Andrews that Locke claimed his fourth title. There was a controversial ending as he beat Thomson by three strokes but forgot to replace his ball correctly on the final green after moving it out of the way of a playing partner. The R&A later decided that the result should stand.