The Dixie Amateur originated in 1924 and
was played at the old Miami Country Club.
South Florida was the “first” great golf
destination and the South Florida golf scene
has always been rich in talent. The Dixie
Amateur always attracted great amateur
Early winners of the Dixie Amateur included:
Frank Stafaci, Earl Christianson, Frank
Perpich, Frank Strananhan, Al Besselink, and
With the closing of the Miami Country Club in
1953 the Dixie was discontinued until 1962.
The tournament has been played
since 1962 at various courses around Miami
including The Links of Key Biscayne and The
Golf Club of Miami. During this period many
Champions won the Dixie Amateur before
finding success on the PGA Tour. These
players include: Andy Bean, Bruce Fleisher,
Nolan Henke, Len Mattice, Jesper Parnevik,
Sutton and Lanny Wadkins.
From 1990 through 1997 the Dixie Amateur
Championship was hosted at the
Resort & Country Club in Fort Lauderdale.
During this period, the tournament was held
December over the Christmas break. This
allowed a greater number of collegiate
to participate. The Dixie Amateur began
attracting a very strong field at a time of
when there were no other amateur events.
Golfweek magazine began awarding points
towards Amateur National Rankings and a
wave of talent emerged including Tiger
in 1992 and Sergio Garcia in 1997.
In 1997 the Dixie Amateur created a Senior
Division for players 50 years and older. This
attracted a larger audience, increased
exposure and an even stronger field
Steve Earsley of Stuart, Florida won the
inaugural event at Bonaventure Country Club
and successfully defended his title again in
In 1998 the Dixie Amateur moved to Palm-
Country Club in Pompano Beach, Florida
utilizing the two challenging course layouts
designed by George and Tom Fazio.
The Oaks and Cypress courses have hosted
several Florida Opens and in 1999, the PGA
NIKE Tour’s South Florida Classic. From 1998
the present, the Dixie Amateur has continued
to grow and develop into one of the premier
amateur golf tournaments.
Hunter Haas was our 2000 Dixie Amateur
Champion. At that time, he was the number
one ranked amateur golfer in the United
States, had won the USGA Public Links
Championship and was invited and played in
the 2000 Masters. That year 57 colleges and
universities were represented in the
In December of 2002, the Dixie Amateur
petitioned Golfweek magazine to award
towards National ranking for the Senior
Division. To comply with the ranking criteria,
the age for the Senior Division was changed
age 55 and older. Seniors will receive
ranking points beginning in December of
The tournament committee added a new
Ladies Division in January of 2003. The
inaugural event attracted 5 of the top 20
nationally ranked Lady Amateurs. The first
"Lady Dixie" Amateur Champion, Meaghan
Francella, defeated Paula Creamer in the
match. Paula Creamer was the number one
ranked Junior Girl in the United States.
In January of 2003 the Dixie Amateur
257 golfers from as far away as the Peoples
Republic of China, Australia, New Zealand
Scotland. There were students from 75
colleges and universities along with students
from 26 different high schools, as far away
Los Angeles, California.
The Dixie Amateur is unique because of its
history and because it is held at a time when
the rest of the country is freezing cold. The
“golfing world” takes a holiday break, there
no other amateur golf events to compete
no collegiate tournaments and no PGA Tour
events to steal the spotlight.
The Dixie Amateur continues as one of the
oldest amateur golf championships in the
country, rich in history and tradition.