The SCGA Amateur is one of the nation’s
continuously contested amateur golf
The first SCGA Amateur was held less
than one year after the Southern California
Association was formed on July 29, 1899. Only
the Utah Amateur, begun in 1899, has a longer
consecutive string (the U.S. Open and U.S.
Amateur both predate the SCGA Amateur, but
both USGA events were suspended during war
A match play format was used for the first 58
years of the tournament. In 1957, the format
changed to 72 holes of stroke play. In 1973,
increasing interest and the number of entries
resulted in regional qualifying with a 36-hole
finale. The 72-hole stroke play format was
in 1974. In addition to the championship
itself, for many years the tournament also had
net competition in flights. However, due to the
increasing popularity of this portion of the
a separate SCGA Amateur Net
Championship was created in 1993.
The list of SCGA Amateur champions
includes many of the legendary names of golf.
Charles E. Orr, who won the first title with a 6
4 win over SCGA President Peter Maud, was
described as a “crack player from the
Country Club.” Another Pasadena resident, Dr.
Paul Hunter, won a record five SCGA Amateur
titles from 1912 to 1929. In 1925, George Von
Elm became the only player ever to win the
SCGA Amateur, Northern California GA
Amateur and California Amateur in the same
year (a year later, he became the first
Californian to win the U.S. Amateur).
The ‘40s were a golden age of golf in
Southern California, with the likes of Johnny
Dawson, Bobby Gardner and Bruce McCormick
— all eventual Walker Cuppers — captured
SCGA Amateur titles.
Notable winners in the 1950s included Al
Geiberger (in 1956 and 1959) and car dealer
Fletcher Jones, while future PGA Tour members
Barry Jaeckel, John Jacobs, Mark Pfeil, Tony
Jeff Hart, Greg Twiggs, Dave Sheff, David
Paul Stankowski and Todd Demsey have won in
subsequent decades. Among those who have
tried to win the SCGA Amateur and failed are
Craig Stadler, Scott Simpson, Corey Pavin,
O’Meara and Phil Mickelson.
In recent years, Craig Steinberg has won four
SCGA Amateur titles (1987, 1991, 1992, 1997),
the third person to accomplish that feat,
Dawson, who won four times, and Hunter who
won five titles.
In 1994, Tiger Woods, the most celebrated
golfer of the current generation, won the SCGA
Amateur at Hacienda GC, setting a four-round
scoring record of 270 helped in large measure
a single-round record 62 in the third round.