Who's who: Willie Dunn Sr

  • Torrey Pines - South course, host of the Farmers Insurance Open
  • Prince's GC, England
  • Torrey Pines - South course, host of the Farmers Insurance Open
  • Terras da Comporta, Dunas
  • Monte Rei G&CC
  • Marco Simone GC (Italy); host of the Ryder Cup 2023
  • Pebble Beach host of the US Open; US Women's Open; Pebble Beach Pro-Am
  • Marco Simone GC

Who's who: Willie Dunn Sr

  • Name:

    William "Willie" Dunn Sr
  • Country:

  • Lived:

    [1821-1878]. Born on Aug 19, 1821 in Musselburgh, East lothian. Died on Feb 14, 1878 at Millhill, Inveresk, nr Musselburgh (aged 56).
  • Original/Home Club:

    Musselburgh Links (Old course)
  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer, greenkeeper, club & ball maker, golf instructor.
  • Turned Pro:

  • Website:


Roll of Honour

Played in many challenge matches between 1840 and 1865. Came seventh in the second Open Championship in 1861.

Did you know?

Willie Dunn (Sr) is best remembered as a leading golf professional, greenkeeper, club and ball maker, and most notably, head of a famous golfing family. After serving an apprenticeship to John Gourlay, ball maker of Musselburgh in East Lothian, Willie Dunn and his twin brother James ("Jamie") played in many challenge matches between 1840 and 1860. The Dunns (and Parks) from Musselburgh, frequently pitted their skills against the might of St Andrews, most notably the Morris's and Allan Robertson. In 1843, Willie Dunn and Allan Robertson played a 20-round Grand Challenge match over 10 days, to establish who was the top golfer of that time; Robertson came out the winner.

Willie Dunn became the greenkeeper, club maker and professional at Royal Blackheath GC in London from 1851 until 1864 when he returned to the Thistle GC at Leith Links, nr Edinburgh. His club and ball-making business was located in his house, Primrose Cottage, Lochend, Leith. Willie Dunn Snr remained at Leith Links for ten years before returning to North Berwick.

The Dunn golfing dynasty continued on with Willie Dunn's two sons: Tom learned his trade as a club maker as an apprentice to his father, while Willie Jr trained under his brother Tom (who was 15 years older than Willie Jr). Tom's children included Seymour Dunn, John Duncan Dunn and Isabella May Gourlay Dunn ("Queenie"), all of whom had distinguished careers in golf course design, club making and golf instruction. Willie Jr's son, Norman, was also an accomplished golfer.

Find a course



124th US Open: the No.2 Course at Pinehurst once again plays host to this most illustrious championship (June 13-16). Wyndham Clark defends his title, having won at Los Angeles CC in 2023.

79th Women’s US Open: the second women’s major championship of the season gets underway at Lancaster CC in Pennsylvania. It’s the second time the championship has been held here.
(May 30-June 2).

Who's Who

Nelly Korda: won the Mizuho Americas Open (May 16-19) at Liberty National GC, continuing her extraordinary form in LPGA events. This was her sixth win in seven starts in 2024.

Xander Schauffele: recorded his first major championship win, and second record-equalling low score of 62 in a major. Only he, Branden Grace, Rickie Fowler and Shane Lowry have achieved this feat in a men’s major championship.

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club: With a clubhouse that might befit a Roman Emperor, and a golf course to match, you can be sure of a memorable outing at Rome's most talked about golf facility.

Jim Fazio's original layout was much changed to create a modern Ryder Cup course ... now one of the Eternal City's (and Italy's) most revered.

Prince's Golf Club, Kent (UK)

Here at Prince’s Golf Club you'll find 27 excellent holes of links golf. Just over the fence and sharing similar terrain is Royal St George’s; but Prince’s is far from overshadowed by its venerable neighbour. The three nine-hole loops at Prince's, laid out over gently undulating terrain, are sure to bring a smile of satisfaction to all lovers of links golf.

Stay&Play at Prince's: excellent onsite Lodge accommodation available

Popular videos

You can subscribe to the Where2Golf channel on YT if you like to see more video content. You'll find a "Subscribe" button on any of our YouTube videos. Or if you want a quick and direct access subscribe here. Once done, any new published videos will show up in your Subscriptions feed.

Hamburger GC - Falkenstein, Germany

WINSTONgolf - Links course

Littlestone Golf Club (Kent, UK)