Worcester Country Club
|Designed by||Donald Ross (1913)|
Worcester Country Club is a private country club and golf course in Worcester, Massachusetts. The course hosted the first Ryder Cup in 1927, and was the site of the 1925 U.S. Open, which was won by Willie Macfarlane. It was the first, and currently only one of two golf courses in the United States to host all three events: the men's and women's U.S. Open Championships and the Ryder Cup.
Worcester Country Club was founded in 1900. In 1913 the club called on golf architect Donald Ross to build an 18-hole golf course on a new site in Worcester and in 1914 President William Howard Taft dedicated the new club. In 1925 the club hosted its first and only major championship the U.S. Open. The event was won by Scottish golfer Willie Macfarlane in a second 18-hole playoff over Bobby Jones.
After his arrival in the U.S. from his native Scotland, Willie Ogg – who served as one of the early head professionals at the club – was instrumental in arranging for the first Ryder Cup matches to be held at his home course in 1927. Ogg also laid out the Green Hill Golf Club in Worcester, and the course opened up for play on April 1, 1929. Ogg served as vice president of the PGA of America.
This was the championship in which Jones famously called a penalty on himself when his ball moved slightly in the rough after he touched the grass with his club on the 11th hole of the first round. The penalty cost him the title. When praised by the press for his sportsmenship Jones said "You may as well praise me for not robbing a bank. There is only one way to play the game."
Walter Hagen had his first hole-in-one during a practice round of the 1925 U.S. Open. In 1939 Byron Nelson won the Massachusetts Open held at Worcester. In 1927 Worcester Country Club hosted the inaugural Ryder Cup. The United States team led by captain Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen defeated captain Ted Ray and the British team by a score of 9.5 to 2.5. Donald Ross came back to the club in 1929 with plan for changes, including new tees and some work that he had been unable to carry out in 1913.
In 1960 Betsy Rawls won her fourth U.S. Women's Open with a score of 292. Hosting the Women’s Open marked Worcester CC as the first club in the United States to entertain both Open Championships. Judy Torluemke (Judy Rankin), then 15 years old, was the youngest player in history to win low amateur honors, with 326. Mickey Wright, the leader going into the final day and seeking her third consecutive Open championship, shot eighty-one to lose to Betsy Rawls. The prize money was $7,200. Rawls won $1,800.
- 1921 Massachusetts Amateur won by Jesse P. Guilford
- 1925 U.S. Open won by Willie Macfarlane
- 1927 Ryder Cup won by the United States over Great Britain 9½-2½
- 1933 Massachusetts Amateur won by Joseph P. Lynch
- 1939 Massachusetts Open won by Byron Nelson
- 1948 Massachusetts Amateur won by Edward Martin
- 1960 U.S. Women's Open won by Betsy Rawls
- 1964 Massachusetts Amateur won by William Foley
- 1989 Massachusetts Amateur won by Jim McDermott
- 2000 Massachusetts Amateur won by Jim Salinetti
- 2006 Massachusetts Amateur won by Ben Spitz