Lambton Golf and Country Club
The club in May 2014
|Formation||1902, 116 years ago|
|Type||Private Golf Club|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Affiliations||Golf Canada and United States Golf Association|
Lambton hosted the Ontario Men's Mid Amateur Championship from June 20 to 23, 2016.
The seeds of the golf club were planted by Toronto Businessman James Austin. He rebuilt Spadina House (which is now a museum) in 1866 to house his family. He died after several months of illness at the age of eighty-four in 1897. At his death he had a fortune of some $300,000 which was divided between his son and daughter. His business interests and his home passed on to his son Albert William Austin.
Albert Austin had laid out a few holes of golf in vacant farmlands in the area where Casa Loma now stands. This was strictly for the pleasure of his family and a few friends but grew into the Spadina Golf Club, which had a layout through farmers' fields north over St. Clair Avenue, through Forest Hill Village to just south of Eglinton. The clubhouse was a rented farmhouse at the northeast corner of St. Clair and Spadina Road. In early 1902, the Spadina members recognized that the farmers were likely to sell for development the land on which the nine-hole course lay.
As plans for the new course took shape, the estimated cost of $30,000 to develop the property at Lambton Mills, on which an option had been obtained, caused Mr. Austin to solicit support from a wider group of golfing enthusiasts, including members of Rosedale, High Park and Highlands Golf Clubs as well as Spadina.
The response to the solicitation was such that a committee, chaired by Mr. Austin and including George S. Lyon, proceeded with the project, and the official opening took place in driving rain on June 13, 1903. Membership was close to 400, and it was estimated 1,000 persons attended the opening ceremonies.
Lambton had some noteworthy features for that day and age. The nine-hole Valley Course for Ladies was an innovation. The club had a telephone. An ice house was built adjoining the clubhouse, which, before opening day, already contained 100 tons of Lake Simcoe ice. Most of the original members traveled to play the course by train, disembarking at a small station near the club. A plaque now on the 18th tee commemorates this fact.
Lambton's traditions owe much to the founding members, including the club's official red jacket, which is a modified form of that worn by Mr. Austin in his portrait, which hangs in the clubhouse. Another tradition, the singing of "My Wild Irish Rose" at certain club dinners is a continuation of the practice introduced by George S. Lyon.
The original Clubhouse was constructed over the winter of 1902-03 and was ready for the Club’s official opening on June 13, 1903. Today, Lambton Golf and Country Club occupies 171 acres of rolling terrain defined by the Humber River and Black Creek.
Lambton’s first golf captain, the great George Lyon, oversaw the completion of the championship 18-hole course with assistance from American golf course architect Tom Bendelow. The nine-hole Valley course, completed in 1904, may well have been the first course designed for lady golfers. It is also noteworthy that tennis has been played at the Club almost continuously since 1904. Lyon, who was born in 1858, remained Lambton’s captain for 23 years. He was an eight-time Canadian Amateur Champion (1898, 1900, 1903, 1905-06-07, 1912 and 1914), won the golf Gold Medal at the 1904 Olympics at The Glen Echo Golf Club in St. Louis at the age of 46. He was also runner-up at the 1910 Canadian Open held at Lambton. He was inducted into the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1955 and Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1971.
In 1913, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray put on an exhibition at Lambton on their way back to England from the U.S. Open Championship. After 72 holes of Open play finished in a three-way tie, Ouimet, Vardon, and Ray went on to an 18-hole playoff the next day in rainy conditions, won by Ouimet. His victory was widely hailed as a stunning upset over the strongly-favored British, who were regarded as the top two golfers in the world. Francis Ouimet was immortalized in film as the "Greatest Game Ever Played".
Over the last Century, a number of noted golf course architects contributed some of their genius to the old course design including: A. W. Tillinghast, Harry Colt, Donald Ross, Stanley Thompson, Robbie Robinson, Graham Cooke, and Rees Jones in 2010.
Hurricane Hazel struck southern Ontario on October 15, 1954.
In the 1960s, a new Clubhouse was built to include curling. In 2001, a brand new Clubhouse was completed in time for the Club to celebrate its 100th anniversary. As of 2016, the Championship Course has five tee decks per hole and yardage ranging from 5300 to 7100 yards.
In 1903, Lambton appointed its first Head Professional, who came from Great Britain. Percy Barrett, 23 years old at the time, had tutelage under Harry Vardon. In 1907, he won the Canadian Open which was held at Lambton where he remained the Head Professional until 1914.
In 1934, Willie Lamb became the new Head Professional, a position he retained for the next 30 years, retiring in 1964. Lamb won may Canadian Championships including five CPGA Championships. Ted Devenish became Lambton's fourth Head Professional and held the position for 12 years.
In 1977, Alan Ogilvie and his team (Dudley Jones, Charles Lorimer) came from Summerlea Golf Club in Montreal. Although Alan remained for only three years (moved on to be Director of Golf at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville) his head assistant, Dudley Jones became the Head Professional holding the position for 23 years.
In 2003, Matthew Yustin and his team (Chris Vasey, Daryl Pan, and Steve Manock) moved in and is the current Head Professional.
Over the years, Lambton has hosted numerous provincial and national championships, including four Canadian Opens, four Canadian Amateurs, the Canadian Ladies’ Amateur Championship, the Canadian PGA Championship, the second Canadian Seniors Golf Association Championship (1919), the Canadian Women’s Senior Golf Association Championship and others. The Club also hosted The Four Nations Team Championship as Canada defeated squads from Australia, New Zealand and Japan in 2001. Alena Sharp won the 2004 Canadian PGA Women’s Championship.
Lambton has awarded two honorary lifetime memberships. The first was awarded to Marlene Stewart Streit in 1953 after her victory at the British Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl in South Wales. Marlene went on to win the Australian, Canadian and U.S. Amateur Championships, the only female amateur to win all four. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1971. The second recipient was Gary Cowan of Kitchener, a two-time U.S. Amateur Champion. Gary was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1972.
In 2014, the redesigned Lambton hosted the Toronto Star Amateur featuring the top amateurs in Ontario. Ryan Tsang of Cedar Brae G&CC was the overall Champion shooting 71-66-73-68 to win the tournament by 7 shots.
In 2015, Lambton co-hosted the Golf Canada Men's Golf Championship qualifying rounds. Four  record 66's were shot on the 7008 Yard Championship Par 71 Golf Course. Ben Eccles, Australia, August 10 Gavin Hall, Pittsford, New York, August 10 Addison Coll, Arlington, Virginia, August 11 Matthew Teasdale, Maple Glen, Pennsylvania, August 11.
On September 24, 2015 Lambton celebrated George Lyon's 111th Anniversary of his Olympic gold medal victory.
Lambton has hosted four Canadian Opens.
- * 1907. won by Percy Barrett
- * 1910, won by Daniel Kenny
- * 1925, won by Leo Diegel
- * 1941, won by Sam Snead
Lambton has hosted four Canadian Amateurs
- * 1907, won by George S. Lyon
- * 1910, won by Fritz Martin
- * 1919. won by W. McLuckie
- * 1932, won by Gordon B. Taylor
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
- Inside The Museum, Spadina House by John Goddard June 11, 2014 published by Dundurn
- File:Picture of A. W. Austin.jpg
- "George Seymour Lyon". Golf Canada. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- "The story of George Lyon's 1904 Olympic gold medal victory". Golf Canada. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Here is a list of the competitors.
- "Harry Vardon". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Miceli, Alex (18 August 2013). "Ted Ray deserves his spot in golf's Hall of Fame". Golfweek. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- "Edward VIII (Jan-Dec 1936)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- "Golf Courses Completely Remodeled By Rees Jones". Rees Jones, Inc. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Canadian PGA Championship
- "William (Willie) Lamb". Canadian Professional Golfers' Association. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Canadian Open (golf)#Champions
- The Lambton Golf and Country Club 1902-2002 A Retrospective