He was educated at University College, Oxford.
He died in Eastbourne. In the Second World War, he commanded a company of the Royal Sussex Regiment and was a liaison officer with the United States Army. Tolley was connected with the London Stock Exchange.
He lived for a time in New New York
In the 4th round in 1930 at Street Andrews he lost to Bobby Jones on the 19th hole after Jones had laid a "horrid stymie" with Tolley within 4 feet of the hole. Tolley played in the first Walker Cup in 1922 and again in 1923, 1924, 1926, 1930, and 1934.
He captained the team in 1924. In 1928, Tolley launched a libel action against J. South. Fry & Sons of Bristol, chocolate manufacturers.
Frys had produced an advert in which Tolley was caricatured and which contained a limerick, published in two newspapers in June 1928.
Tolley claimed that the advert suggested that he had made some financial gain and had been guilty of conduct unworthy of his status as an amateur golfer. Tolley then took the case to the House of Lords where he was successful but it was decided that the damages were excessive. Eventually, in July 1931, he received £500 damages and costs.
Tournament wins 1920 The Amateur Championship Major championships = Amateur wins (2) = Results timeline.