Westchester Country Club
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View towards sportshouse
|Location||Harrison, New York,
at 99 Biltmore Avenue,
Rye, New York, U.S.
|Tournaments hosted||Thunderbird Classic (1963–65)
Westchester Classic (later Buick Classic, and now The Barclays) (1967–2007)
Senior Players Championship (2011)
Women's PGA Championship (2015)
|Website||Westchester Country Club|
|Designed by||Walter Travis|
|Designed by||Walter Travis|
The Westchester Country Club (or Westchester Biltmore Country Club) was founded by John McEntee Bowman, who hired Walter Travis to design two golf courses in the Town of Harrison, New York, as a luxury resort hotel.
The West Course was designed for championship play and has hosted PGA tournaments since 1963. The South Course was originally designed for women and higher handicap golfers. Around 1997, the South Course was reconstructed with longer tees, new sand and grass bunkers, water hazards, and some new greens. The South Course is now more competitive with the West Course to accommodate low handicap golfers.
Westchester Country Club hosted its first PGA tournament in 1963 with the Thunderbird Classic. The Thunderbird was also held in 1964 and 1965. There was no PGA tournament at Westchester Country Club in 1966, and starting in 1967 the West Course has annually hosted the Westchester Classic stop on the PGA Tour. (The tournament name has changed several times since then due to sponsorship switches, and is now called The Northern Trust.)
On January 14, 2008, an article in the Journal News announced the PGA Tour's desire to terminate its affiliation with Westchester Country Club. The decision was made primarily because of Tiger Woods' refusal to play in the tournament in 2007 and the tournament's subsequent low TV ratings and low attendance. On Saturday, January 26, 2008, a compromise agreement was made between the club and the PGA Tour at a town hall meeting at the club. The PGA paid WCC $1.1 million to move the tournament from Harrison to Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, NJ, for the 2008 event. In a second compromise agreement, the PGA Tour recently awarded Westchester Country Club a major tournament on the Champions Tour.
The 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship was played on the renovated West Course. This is one of the biggest stops on the Senior Tour.
In 2015, Westchester hosted its first LPGA major, the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
Notable members past and present
- Ernie Anastos, WNYW TV anchorman
- Ralph Branca, professional baseball player. Threw the pitch of the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" in 1951 playoff game between Dodgers and Giants
- Carol Burnett, actress and comedian
- Johnny Carson, television personality
- Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, on Board of Directors of IBM
- Kenneth Cole, fashion designer
- John Daly, moderator on TV show What's My Line?
- Robert Diamond, former CEO, Barclays Capital
- Mario Gabelli, founder and CEO of the eponymous Gabelli Asset Management
- Jackie Gleason, actor and comedian, star of The Honeymooners
- Earl G. Graves, CEO of Black Enterprise magazine
- David Hartman, American television personality
- Howard Hughes, Legendary eccentric multi-millionaire, aviator, business tycoon
- John Mara, New York Giants co-owner
- Robert Merrill, baritone at Metropolitan Opera House, sang national anthem at Yankee Stadium
- John N. Mitchell, Attorney General during Nixon Administration
- James A. Nicholas, orthopedic surgeon who operated on Joe Namath
- Ezio Pinza, opera singer
- Generoso Pope, Sr., publisher, owner of Colonial Sand & Stone, and the first person of Italian descent to become a self-made millionaire in the United States
- Richie Powers, Eyewitness News sportscaster, NBA referee
- Jimmy Roberts, NBC Sportscaster
- Scott Shannon, radio disc jockey and the official voice of the Sean Hannity Show
- Franklin Simon, owner of Franklin Simon & Co., a department store in Manhattan
- Mark Simone, radio/TV personality
- Ed Sullivan, television host and newspaper columnist
- Gene Tunney, heavyweight boxing champion
- [Mike Gilchrist], brother on LIFE cereal commercial, "Mikey Likes It"
Ernie Els and Club Caddie Trevor Spencer during the 2006 Buick Classic