USGA History: 1894 - 1910

  • In September, William G. Lawrence wins a "national amateur championship" at Newport (R.I.) Golf Club. In October, Laurence B. Stoddard wins a "national amateur championship" at St. Andrew's Golf Club.
  • C.B. Macdonald, runner-up in both events, calls for the formation of a governing body to run a universally recognized national championship.
  • The Amateur Golf Association of the United States - soon to be called the United States Golf Association - is formed on Dec. 22. Charter members are Newport Golf Club, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, The Country Club (Brookline, Mass.), St. Andrew's Golf Club (Yonkers, N.Y.), and Chicago Golf Club.
  • America's first golf magazine, The Golfer , is published in New York, N.Y.

  • Charles B. Macdonald wins the first official U.S. Amateur championship at Newport Golf Club. The first U.S. Open is held the next day at the same club, almost as an afterthought to the Amateur. Horace Rawlins wins the $150 first prize over a field of 11.
  • Mrs. Charles S. Brown (Lucy Barnes) wins the first U.S. Women's Amateur championship at the Meadow Brook Club in Hempstead, N.Y.
  • Golf in America: A Practical Manual , by James Lee, is the first golf book written in the U.S.

  • James Foulis wins the second official U.S. Open, held at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.
  • John Shippen, an African-American professional, and his friend Oscar Bonn, a Shinnecock Indian, compete in the U.S. Open despite a threatened boycott by the other contestants. Shippen finished fifth.

  • Yale wins the first collegiate golf championship.
  • Joe Lloyd is victorious in the third U.S. Open, held at Chicago Golf Club.
  • H.J. Whigham wins his second U.S. Amateur

  • Beatrix Hoyt wins her third straight U.S. Women's Amateur at Ardsley Club in New York. Two years later, she retires at the age of 20.
  • Coburn Haskell and Bertram Work design and patent a wound-rubber golf ball, which flies farther than the gutta-percha ball.
  • The United States Open expands to 72 holes from 36 and is held for the first time at a separate course from the Amateur.
  • The term "birdie" is coined at Atlantic City Country Club in New Jersey when Ab Smith says a fellow member hit a "bird of a shot" and suggests a double payoff for scoring one under par on a hole.

  • British star Harry Vardon shows Americans how to play the game. In the country for an exhibition tour, he wins the U.S. Open over fellow Englishman J.H. Taylor. Vardon becomes the first sports figure in history to endorse a product, using his "Vardon Flyer" ball througout the tour.
  • Americans Charles Sands and Margaret Abbott win gold medals in golf in the Olympic Games in Paris.
  • Walter J. Travis, who took up golf in 1896 at age 35, wins the U.S. Amateur.

  • Walter Travis wins his second straight U.S. Amateur Championship and publishes an instruction book, Practical Golf . He's the first to win a major championship playing a Haskell wound-rubber ball.
  • Willie Anderson ties Alex Smith with a record-high 331 in the U.S. Open and takes the playoff with an 85.
  • Pinehurst resort in North Carolina opens the first nine holes of its No.2 course.

  • Willie Anderson wins the Western Open with a 299 total; the first time 300 is broken for 72 holes in an American event.

  • Walter Travis, known as "The Old Man," wins his third U.S. Amateur at age 41.
  • Oakmont Country Club opens near Pittsburgh, Pa., quickly gaining a reputation as one of the nation's toughest tests because of its penal style of architecture.
  • Willie Anderson sets a U.S. Open record with a 72 in the final round and a 303 total.
  • Americans claim Australian-born Walter Travis as the first of their own to win the British Amateur. He uses the center-shafted Schenectady putter.

  • Twenty-five-year-old Willie Anderson wins his third consecutive U.S. Open and fourth in five years. It is also his last Open victory; he dies in 1910.
  • Harry Vardon publishes The Complete Golfer , which explains, among other things, the Vardon grip.

  • Three-time runner-up Alex Smith finally wins the U.S. Open, becoming the first to break 300 for the 72-hole championship. His brother, Willie, is second.
  • In Great Britain, William Taylor applies for a patent on a dimple design for golf ball covers.

  • Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina adds the back nine holes to its No.2 course. It is the seminal work of Donald Ross, who goes on to design hundreds of courses in the United States.
  • Margaret Curtis beats her sister Harriot in an all-in-the-family final of the U.S. Women's Amateur.

  • Jerry Travers wins his second consecutive U.S. Amateur.
  • Three-time U.S. Amateur champion Walter Travis shows he's jack-of-all-trades by founding American Golfer magazine and serving as its first editor. He's also a golf course designer.

  • Robert Gardner becomes the youngest U.S. Amateur champion at age 19.
  • New U.S. President William Howard Taft is the first golf-loving occupant of the White House.
  • The USGA rules that caddies, caddie-masters and greenkeepers past the age of 16 are professionals. The age would be raised to 18 in 1930, 21 in 1945, until the ruling was rescinded in 1963.

  • Arthur F. Knight obtains a patent for a seamed, tubular, steel golf shaft. Steel shafts, however, are still illegal.
  • The R&A bans the center-shafted putter, while the USGA keeps it legal, marking the first time that the USGA diverges from an R&A equipment ruling.
  • Alex Smith wins his second U.S. Open by beating his other brother, Macdonald.


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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,, 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.

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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.

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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.

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