History front and center at U.S. Amateur
09 Aug 2013
by Benjamin Larsen of amateurgolf.com

see also: U.S. Amateur Golf Championship, Riviera Country Club

(USGA Museum Photo)
(USGA Museum Photo)
It’s no coincidence that the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship will take place on the course the Francis Oiumet infamously won the U.S. Open as an amateur. It’s also no coincidence that the national championship is heading back to The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. exactly 100 years after the amazing feat.

Indeed, the centennial celebration of Ouimet’s improbable victory continues next week at the site it all happened. A fitting tribute, no doubt, as the world’s top amateur golfers take aim at one of the game’s most coveted titles.

History will be a large portion of the itinerary, according to Mike Trostel, curator and historian with the USGA.

“Part of the reason we’re going back to The Country Club is to celebrate arguably the biggest event in American golf history,” Trostel said.

The USGA will have on hand some of the clubs and balls Ouimet used to defeat Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in the playoff. According to Trostel, the USGA will have a Cleek (2-iron), Mashie (5-iron) and a Mashie Niblick (7-iron). The Mashie helped Ouimet make a late birdie in the playoff.

“It will be a pretty neat thing,” Trostel said. “We hope they players realize the gravity of the moment when they hear about Francis Ouimet beating the top two players of the time.”

The Country Club, of course, is one of the USGA’s five founding clubs. Along with Saint Andrews in New York, Newport Country Club, Chicago Golf Club and Shinnecock Hills, The Country Club holds some of the game’s loftiest history as the oldest in the U.S.

The Country Club will be hosting its 16th USGA Championship and it will be the sixth U.S. Amateur at the course, which has hosted pretty much every other USGA national championship. The Country Club has hosted 10 Massachusetts Amateur Championships, three Walker Cups, three U.S. Women’s Amateurs, the Junior Amateur and Junior Girls Amateur.

Not bad for a country club founded in 1882 and was developed for outdoor activities not including golf. Horse racing was a big past time at The Country Club before golf came around in 1893. In fact, on Nos. 1, 15 and 18, you can still see the horse tracks.

ABOUT THE U.S. Amateur

The U.S. Amateur, the oldest USGA championship, was first played in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. The event, which has no age restriction, is open to those with a Handicap Index of 2.4 or lower. It is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. It is the pre-eminent amateur competition in the world. Applications are typically placed online, starting the third week in April at www.usga.org.

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