Willie Park Jr.

Full Name
William Park
Year of Birth
1864
Year of Death
1925 aged 61
Place Born
Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland
Place Died
Edinburgh, Scotland

World Golf Hall of Fame – Class of 2013: Willie Park Jr. was one of golf’s first true Renaissance men – two-time Open champion, golf equipment maker, golf writer and one of the world’s best golf course architects… “A man who can putt is a match for anyone.”

Willie Park Jr. was born in 1864 in Musselburgh, the second of four sons belonging to (Old) Willie Park, the four-time Open Champion. Young Willie would win the Open twice himself, becoming one of five Musselburgh golfers to do so. In fact, of the first twenty-nine Opens played, eleven were won by men from the Honest Toun.

When he turned sixteen, Willie served under his uncle Mungo Park (the 1874 Open Champion) at Tyneside Golf Club in Northumberland, acting as assistant greenkeeper and club professional. His father, Willie Park Senior, was asked to design a course at Innerleithen in the Borders in 1886 but was unable to do so, allowing his son Willie Junior to step in and do the work on his behalf. He took over as greenkeeper from Mungo when he moved to Alnmouth in 1892 but he returned to his father and the family business in Musselburgh soon after.

From now on, his career followed three different paths simultaneously.

His playing career blossomed to the extent that he would win the Open twice in three years (1887 at Prestwick and 1889 at Musselburgh) and his golf course design business also flourished, with Willie Jr. laying out new 9-hole courses or revising and lengthening others.

Back in Musselburgh, Willie transformed his father’s club and ball making business into a thriving small factory, employing forty people in the workshop and twenty in retail branches in Edinburgh, Manchester and London.

He invented a number of new clubs, such as a lofter, a mashie cleek and a bulger. He also patented a diamond design for the cover of a gutta percha ball in 1894 and “The Royal” ball that he sold had a unique cover of small hexagonal facets.

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Willie Park Jr.

Aldeburgh (Championship)

2nd Suffolk - Best in Area 50th England Ranking

Founded in 1884, Aldeburgh Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in Suffolk and is separated from the tidal Alde estuary by an unusual strip of coastal heathland.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Atlantic City

15th New Jersey - Best in Area

This venerable course has hosted national championships on several occasions over the years and Atlantic City Country Club claim to have coined the golfing term “birdie”.

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Baberton

29th Lothians - Best in Area

Interestingly, for golf historians, Baberton Golf Club claims to be the birthplace of steel shafted clubs and the original equipment and patents can be viewed in the clubhouse.

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Battle Creek

21st Michigan - Best in Area

Battle Creek Country Club is a Willie Park Jr. layout from 1919. Bruce Hepner from Renaissance Golf Design has recently consulted here, maintaining a delicate arboreal balance to preserve the course’s architectural integrity.

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TaylorMade

Burhill (Old)

26th Surrey - Best in Area

Burhill Golf Club, set in rolling Surrey parkland, was once the home of the Duchess of Wellington and has been restored to its former Georgian splendour.

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Calgary

3rd Alberta - Best in Area 23rd Canada Ranking

Calgary Golf & Country Club was formed way back in 1897, moving to its present location in 1908 when it enlisted Tom Bendelow to lay out the original course.

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TaylorMade

Chislehurst

28th Kent - Best in Area

Featuring back-to-back par threes on both nines, the small but perfectly formed layout at Chislehurst Golf Club is an old-fashioned Tom Dunn design that dates back to 1894.

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City of Derry (Prehen)

6th Londonderry - Best in Area

Now a 27-hole complex, the City of Derry Golf Club dates back to 1911 when Willie Park Junior laid out a 9-hole course on an undulating, wooded site where the River Foyle provides a pretty backdrop.

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TaylorMade

Congress Lake

39th Ohio - Best in Area

The original 18-hole course at Congress Lake Club was set out by Willie Park Junior in 1923 but, within a decade, it was extensively redesigned by Donald Ross when he replaced more than half the holes on the layout.