Wilfrid Reid

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Wilfrid Reid
Wilfrid Reid.jpg
Reid, c. 1926
Personal information
Full nameWilfrid Ewart Reid
Born(1884-11-03)3 November 1884
Bulwell, Nottingham, England
Died24 November 1973(1973-11-24) (aged 89)
West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.
Nationality England
 United States
SpouseStella Toft
Turned professionalc. 1901
Professional wins2
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipT9: 1919
U.S. OpenT4: 1916
The Open ChampionshipT16: 1911
Achievements and awards
Michigan Golf Hall of Fame1985

Wilfrid Ewart "Wilfie" Reid (3 November 1884 – 24 November 1973) was an English professional golfer and golf course designer. Reid was born in Bulwell, Nottingham, England, and died in West Palm Beach, Florida, United States. He posted three top-10 finishes in major championship tournaments.

Early life[edit]

Reid, the son of Arthur Reid and his wife Elizabeth Reid née Potter, studied club and ball making under Tommy Armour's father, Willie, in Edinburgh, Scotland. A scratch golfer at 15, Reid turned professional at 17 and was a protégé of Harry Vardon who helped him get a club professional job at La Boulie Golf Club, Versailles, France, in 1901. In 1905 he became the professional at Banstead Downs Golf Club in Sutton, London, England, for roughly nine years and was a successful tournament player. Reid – who was never short on confidence – was a fine competitive golfer despite being small of stature, and he beat his mentor, Vardon, on several occasions.[1]

In March 1906, Reid married Stella Toft at Nottinghamshire, England. The couple would have four children.

1913 U.S. Open[edit]

On 7 August 1913 Reid set sail from Liverpool aboard the RMS Celtic[2] and visited America with Vardon and Ted Ray where they played in a number of tournaments including the famous 1913 U.S. Open in which he tied for 16th.[3] Reid tied Vardon for the 2nd round lead and played with Francis Ouimet in the 3rd round. In 1915 he tied 10th.[3] His best finish, a tie for fourth, came in the 1916 U.S. Open held at the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[4][3]

Emigration to America[edit]

Reid, c. 1904

In February 1915 Reid emigrated to America at the invitation of Clarence H. Geist to be the golf professional at Seaview Golf Club[5][6] in Galloway, New Jersey, after the outbreak of World War I. He later, at the suggestion of the DuPont family, became the golf professional at the Wilmington Country Club, Wilmington, Delaware. He became a member of the PGA of America in 1917 and was appointed to the national PGA Executive Committee as a vice-president at large, a position he held for two years.[1]

In August 1920 he was elected vice-president of the PGA of America[1] and he was re-elected in 1921. In 1920 and 1921 he also held the office of secretary of the Southeastern Section PGA. In 1921 Reid obtained U.S. citizenship and in December of that year attended the founding meeting of the Philadelphia Section PGA and was a member of the organising committee. Later in 1929 he was the president of the Michigan Section PGA for three years.

Golf career[edit]

Reid served as a professional at several of America's top clubs, including Country Club of Detroit, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, Beverly Country Club, Chicago, Illinois, Broadmoor Golf Club, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Seminole Golf Club, North Palm Beach, Florida, and Atlantic City Country Club, Northfield, New Jersey.[1] He won the 1926 Michigan PGA Championship and had 26 holes-in-one in his long playing career.

The border of his stationery – that he used to send customers' golf club orders to club-makers such as George Izett of Bailey & Izett Inc. – listed so many of his accomplishments as a golfer and course designer that there was very little room left for him to write his message.

Golf course designer[edit]

Reid was also a golf course designer. Reid began designing golf courses at an early age and laid out courses in Europe and Britain before settling in the United States. He once estimated that he had designed 58 courses and remodelled some 43 others during his design career. While based in Michigan during the 1920s, he partnered with another club professional, William Connellan.[1] The firm of Reid and Connellan designed some 20 courses in Michigan alone.

Reid retired to Florida in the early 1950s and consistently improved his game in both social and competitive rounds. Even into old age he continued to "beat his age" in score on his birthday.

Death and legacy[edit]

Reid died on 24 November 1973 at West Palm Beach, Florida. He was posthumously inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 1985,[7] and the Michigan Section PGA of America Golf Hall of Fame in 2015.[8]

Tournament wins[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
The Open Championship T53 CUT T37 CUT T37 T35 T21
Tournament 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP T16 DNP T10 T4 NT NT T21
The Open Championship T24 T16 T20 26 T41 NT NT NT NT NT
Tournament 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939

Note: Reid never played in the Masters Tournament, founded in 1934.

NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

Team appearances[edit]

Delaware designs[edit]

Michigan designs[edit]

Other designs[edit]

  • Olympic Club – original Lakeside Golf Club course, San Francisco, 1917
  • La Boulie Golf Club – France
  • La Vallee course – Belgium

Photo gallery[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Zmistowski, Bill. "Wilfrid Ewart Reid – Golf Professional". Zmistowski.com. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  2. ^ File:Alien Passenger Manifest dated August 7, 1913 - SS Celtic.jpg#Summary
  3. ^ a b c Brenner, Morgan G. (2009). The Majors of Golf: Complete Results of the Open, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters, 1860–2008. 1. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3360-5.
  4. ^ "Golf Major Championships – Wilfrid Reid". golfmajorchampionships.com. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  5. ^ Kelly, Bill. "Kelly's Golf History". kellysgolfhistory.blogspot.com. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Golfer Reid Arrives: British Pro Comes to Take Charge at Seaview Club". The New York Times. 27 February 1915. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  7. ^ Reid, Wilfrid. "Michigan Golf Hall of Fame". michigan-golf-foundation.com. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Michigan Section PGA of America Golf Hall Of Fame". michiganpgagolf.com. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Courses Built -- Wilfrid Reid". worldgolf.com. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  10. ^ Aldridge, Stan. "IWGCC History & Tradition". iwgcc.org. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Bald Mountain Championship Course – Wilfred Reid – 1929". baldmountaingolfcom. Archived from the original on 5 August 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.


His first name is often misspelled as "Wilfred", such as in the movie and book The Greatest Game Ever Played. Occasionally, his middle initial is incorrectly documented "A." as well.

See also[edit]

  • Olympic Club Golf Club section
  • The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf by Mark Frost
  • A Chronicle of the Philadelphia Section PGA and its Members by Peter C. Trenham, The Leaders and The Legends 1916 to 1921
  • A Chronicle of the Philadelphia Section PGA and its Members by Peter C. Trenham, The Southeastern Section of the PGA 1916 to 1921

External Photos[edit]