The U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship has been an unqualified success since its inception in 1922, giving exposure to many public-course players who otherwise might not have an opportunity to compete in a national championship.

The championship's prime mover was James D. Standish Jr., of Detroit, who convinced his colleagues on the 1922 USGA Executive Committee that the time was right for such a grass-roots competition. Standish pointed to the public-course golfer, whose ranks were swelling following World War I, and to the growing number of municipal and daily-fee courses in America.

The first championship was conducted at the Ottawa Park Course in Toledo, Ohio. The USGA had no way of knowing how many players to expect, but a satisfying 140 entries were received. Less than half that number wore golf shoes. The first champion was Eddie Held of St. Louis, who joined a private club soon after his victory and thus became ineligible to defend his title in 1923.

In 1923, the first team championship was conducted at the same time as the individual competition. East Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., was selected as the site, causing a great deal of excitement in the nation's capital. President Warren G. Harding, a golf enthusiast, donated the team trophy. Harding wanted to enter the championship himself, but time didn't permit, and besides, he was a member of at least one private club, which would preclude his entry.

That those earliest championships drew upward of 18 teams representing cities from coast to coast, was a tribute to the spread of public-course golf in America. From the initial entry of 140 players, today's annual entry has surged to a massive 6,000 competitors or more.

The historic invitation to the Masters Tournament for the champion of the Amateur Public Links began in 1989. Ralph Howe, who won in 1988, was the first Public Links winner to play in the Masters on that invitation. Thanks to the graciousness of Augusta National Golf Club that historical invitation has continued to be issued.

The championship had previously attracted bus drivers, bartenders, firemen, waiters, riveters, engineers, and college professors. Not as many participate as in years passed but the opportunity for a field with mixed occupations still exists. It has also been a springboard for the likes of U.S. Open champions Ed Furgol, Tommy Bolt, and Ken Venturi; British Open champion Tony Lema; PGA champions Dave Marr and Bobby Nichols; and Masters winner George Archer. In 1959, it produced the first African-American winner of a USGA championship in William A. Wright, who later became a golf instructor.
Partner Links
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The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

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Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

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IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

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Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

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American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

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