U.S. Senior Amateur

Senior golf in the United States isn’t a new phenomenon. The American Seniors Golf Association was formed back in 1935, organizing a series of annual winter tournaments for senior amateur players at Kenilworth Lodge in Sebring, Florida. Twenty years later, the USGA decided to hold a nationwide contest for amateurs aged 55 and over with a maximum handicap of 10.

U.S. Senior Amateur championship - Frederick L. Dold trophy

An art-deco trophy, produced by Rogers Brothers and featuring a gold-plated stem with blue enamel and a distinctive hand-hammered bowl, was donated by Frederick L. Dold, a USGA Executive Committee member, and put up for competition at the inaugural U.S. Senior Amateur in Belle Meade Country Club in Nashville, Tennessee from 26th September to 1st October 1955.

The first edition of this new golfing event drew 370 entries from thirty states and after an 18-hole round of stroke play to separate the golfing wheat from the chaff, match play knock-out ties resulted in J. Wood Platt, the seven-time Philadelphia Amateur champion, defeating George Studinger from San Francisco 5&4 in the final.

Apart from 1963, which was an exclusively match play affair, the championship has begun with a stroke play element (18 holes from 1958 to 1962 then 36 holes from 1964 onwards) where a medal is awarded to the player(s) with the lowest aggregate score. The tournament then advances to the match play stages, where the top 64 competitors compete against each other in knock-out ties.

Lewis Oehmig’s distinguished amateur career spanned five decades. An eight-time winner of the Tennessee State Amateur, the man from Lookout Mountain became the oldest USGA champion in history when he won the 1985 Senior Amateur aged 69. That victory was Oehmig..

U.S. Senior Amateur host courses

Atlantic

28th New York - Best in Area

The Atlantic Golf Club is a private members club and Rees Jones laid out the course in 1992 on land that was originally earmarked for housing.

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Bel-Air

11th California - Best in Area

Bel-Air Country Club is a throwback to The Roaring Twenties and the course here is one of the finest layouts that came from the remarkable George C. Thomas design stable. Tom Doak reckons Bel-Air may well be the most spectacular routing ever conceived.

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Belle Meade

28th Tennessee - Best in Area

Richland Creek comes into play at seven holes on the Belle Meade Country Club golf course. It's a Donald Ross design from 1921 that has been significantly modified down the years, most notably by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in the early 1950s and Gary Roger Baird in 1981.

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Beverly Country Club

7th Illinois - Best in Area

Beverly Country Club is bounded on all sides by Windy City suburbs and is routed in two rectangular parcels, with the front nine holes lying to the north of 87th Street and the back nine laid out on the other side...

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Birmingham Country Club

26th Michigan - Best in Area

Host venue for the PGA Championship in 1953 and the US Women’s Amateur in 1968, the course at Birmingham Country Club was laid out by the prolific Tom Bendelow in 1920, four years after the club’s formation.

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Champions (Cypress Creek)

14th Texas - Best in Area

Former Ryder Cup course at Champions Golf Club, Cypress Creek, is a storied layout. The water in front of the 12th green is known as Bob Hope’s Lake, as he was the first person to lose a ball in it!

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Charlotte

5th North Carolina - Best in Area

Host to the US Women’s Amateur Championship in 2010, the course at Charlotte Country Club is a lovely old Donald Ross design that was recently renovated by Ron Pritchard.

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Cherry Hills

4th Colorado - Best in Area

William Flynn designed Cherry Hills in 1922 and if you do get the chance to play this famous course your driving distances will flatter to deceive. Denver is not called the Mile High city for nothing and Cherry Hills is certainly golf with altitude.

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U.S. Senior Amateur Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Paul Rudovsky Courses Played 56
2 James VanArsdall Courses Played 47
= Joseph Andriole Courses Played 47
4 Bob McCoy Courses Played 46
5 Fergal O'Leary Courses Played 42
6 Mark White Courses Played 39
= James Gold Courses Played 39
8 Joshua Asher Courses Played 37
9 David Harak Courses Played 34
10 Jon Gillman Courses Played 33