Philadelphia (Pa.) Cricket Club, which was scheduled to host the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the event, has been chosen as the host site for the 9th U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. The dates of the competition are May 25-29, 2024. Match play and stroke play will be contested at the club’s Wissahickon Course, while the club’s Militia Hill Course will serve as the stroke-play co-host course.
Philadelphia Cricket Club is hosting its third USGA championship and its first since the 1910 U.S. Open.
“The USGA’s return to Philadelphia Cricket Club after more than a century is noteworthy due to its deep roots in American golf history and as one of the founding member clubs of the Golf Association of Philadelphia,” said Bill McCarthy, director of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship for the USGA. “We are the grateful to the club for their continued commitment to amateur golf and their efforts during this challenging period. The club’s restoration work is outstanding, presenting a challenge to a player’s entire game. Philly Cricket will provide an amazing championship experience.”
The Wissahickon Course was designed by A.W. Tillinghast, who was a club member, and opened for play in 1922. The course was restored by Keith Foster in 2013-2014 to highlight the strategic bunkering, contoured greens and narrow fairways of Tillinghast’s original design. The Militia Hill Course, named for the area’s connection to the Revolutionary War, was designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry and opened in 2002.
Wissahickon hosted the 2016 Senior Players Championship, won by Bernhard Langer, and the 2015 PGA Professional National Championship, won by Matt Dobyns. The course also was the site of the 2016 Philadelphia PGA Section Championship and 2017 Philadelphia Amateur. Militia Hill hosted the 2003 and 2004 Philadelphia PGA Section and the 2004 Philadelphia Amateur.
“Philadelphia Cricket Club, the oldest country club in the U.S., is excited to welcome the 2024 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship,” said F. John White, club president. “Our Wissahickon Course, designed and played by ‘Tilly’ in 1922, promises challenges a century later. The combination of Wissahickon and our Militia Hill Course will present the players with a venue that represents both classic and contemporary design.”
Philadelphia Cricket Club also features the St. Martins Course (now nine holes), which was built by Willie Tucker in 1895 and was the site of the 1907 and 1910 U.S. Open Championships. In 1907, Alex Ross, brother of legendary architect Donald Ross, won by two strokes over Gilbert Nicholls. In 1910, Alex Smith prevailed in an 18-hole playoff over Macdonald Smith and Philadelphia’s own John J. McDermott, who went on to win the next two U.S. Opens. The club’s professional, Willie Anderson, a four-time U.S. Open champion, finished 11th in 1910, while Tillinghast finished 25th.
The club was founded in 1854 by a group of English-born cricket players who attended the University of Pennsylvania and is one of the oldest clubs dedicated to sports in the U.S. The club was also a founding member of the American Lawn Tennis Association and hosted the National Women’s Tennis Championship from 1887 to 1921, when it moved to Forest Hills, N.Y.
The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball was first played in 2015. The championship is open to amateur golfers, with no age restrictions. Partners comprising teams or sides are not required to be from the same club, state or country. Entry is limited to individuals with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 5.4 and the field will consist of 128 sides (256 players). Four past champions have competed as members of the USA Walker Cup Team – Nathan Smith, Todd White, Cole Hammer and Scott Harvey – and three in that group have played in the U.S. Open.
Chambers Bay, in University Place, Wash., and stroke-play co-host The Home Course, in DuPont, Wash., will host the 6th U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, May 22-26, 2021. The 2022 Amateur Four-Ball will be contested on the West and East Courses at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.). Kiawah Island (S.C.) Club (Cassique and River Courses) will host the 2023 championship.