History

The U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship marks the beginning of women’s competitive golf in this country. Along with the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open, the Women’s Amateur was one of the USGA’s first three championships.

The first Women’s Amateur Championship was arranged on short notice one month after the 1895 Amateur and Open Championships.

The following small item appeared in the social column of a New York newspaper shortly after the completion of play: “Thirteen ladies played 18 holes of golf at the Meadow Brook Club, in Hempstead, recently. Mrs. Charles S. Brown, whose husband plays at the Shinnecock Hills Club, in Southampton, L.I., made the best score and thus won the United States championship for lady golfers.”

Very few early golf clubs encouraged women to play. There were exceptions, of course, most notably Shinnecock Hills, whose private property the Women’s Amateur title would become for the first four years. When Lucy Barnes elected not to defend in 1896, Shinnecock came up with a replacement in Beatrix Hoyt, who would become its best-known player. Miss Hoyt was the granddaughter of Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase. She won the next three championships.

Although a stroke-play format was selected for the first championship, the Women’s Amateur became a match-play competition in 1896, and has remained so ever since.

The most noteworthy champion is the late Glenna Collett Vare, a lifelong amateur who won the Cox Cup a record six times. In the 1920s and 1930s, Vare was the darling of the sports world, much as Bob Jones was during that era.

Second only to Vare is JoAnne Gunderson Carner, who won five Women’s Amateur Championships. Combined with her two wins in the U.S. Women’s Open and a single win in the U.S. Girls’ Junior, Carner’s record of eight USGA titles is eclipsed only by Jones and Tiger Woods, who have each won nine.

Women’s Amateur champions seem to have a remarkable facility to repeat. Hoyt, Alexa Stirling, Vare, Virginia Van Wie and Juli Simpson Inkster have all won the Women’s Amateur three times consecutively. A noteworthy six champions — Genevieve Hecker, Dorothy Campbell, Margaret Curtis, Betty Jameson, Kay Cockerill and Kelli Kuehne — have won twice in succession.

The Women’s Amateur has long identified some of golf’s greatest women players, many of whom have gone on to successful professional careers. Along with the champions listed above, Patty Berg, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Louise Suggs, Marlene Stewart Streit, Anne Quast Sander, Barbara McIntire, Catherine Lacoste, Carol Semple Thompson and Beth Daniel have all secured a place in women’s golf history. 

Partner Links
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Chevron
   

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
   

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
   

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
   

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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