Who's who: Willie Park Jr

  • 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 Park Jr

  • Name:

    Willie Park Jr.
  • Country:

    Scotland
  • Lived:

    [1864-1925]. Born on Feb 4, 1864 in Musselburgh, East Lothian. Died on May 22, 1925 in Craighouse, nr Edinburgh, Scotland (age 61).
  • Original/Home Club:

    Musselburgh Links (Old course)
  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer, course designer, golf writer, instructor, golf equipment maker and businessman.
  • Turned Pro:

    1880 (aged 16)

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (2): Open Championship (1887, '89). Winner of numerous professional tournaments and challenge matches from 1880 into the early 1900s. World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted in 2013).

Golf course design

By his middle-20s Park was already established in golf course design, with a reputation that quickly grew. During his lifetime he designed an impressive portfolio of courses in Britain, Europe, the USA and Canada. His best known designs include, but are not limited to:

BRITAIN & EUROPE:
Aldeburgh
(1907, modifications) / Bruntsfield (1898) / Burhill (1907; Old course) / Formby (1912) / Gullane No.2 (1898) / Huntercombe (1901) / Kilspindie (1898) / Monte Carlo, Mont Agel, France (1911) / Montrose (1903) / Notts Hollinwell (1900) / Portstewart (1920s, redesign of Strand course) / Royal Antwerp, Belgium (1910) / Silloth on Solway (1890s, redesign) / Southerndown (1913, modifications) / Stoneham (1909) / Sunningdale (1901; Old course) / Temple (1910).

NORTH AMERICA:
Atlantic City CC
, NJ (1915, remodelling) / Maidstone Club, Long Island NY (1922) / Mount Bruno, Quebec (1918) / Olympia Fields, nr Chicago (1916; North course) / Weston G&CC, Toronto (1909).

Did you know?

Willie Park Jr was born into a golfing family that was based in and around Musselburgh in East Lothian, a few miles downstream along the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh. His father, Willie Park Sr won the Open Championship four times, including the inaugural Open in 1860, and then again in 1863, 1866 and 1875. Willie Jr's uncle, Mungo Park (younger brother of Willie Park Sr), won The Open in 1874. Willie Park Jr would weigh-in with two Open Championship wins himself, in 1887 and 1889.

Among Willie Park Jr's many contributions to golf were his books, starting with the title "The Game of Golf", first published in 1896. It was one of the first golf instruction books written by a golf professional. He was also a much sought after course designer, and has an excellent portfolio of layouts to his name, which are located in Britain, Europe and the United States.

Although he spent much of his later life in the USA, Park returned home to his native Scotland when he knew he was terminally ill. Park's daughter Dorothy carried on the family's competitive tradition, reaching the final of the 1937 British Ladies Amateur Championship, where she lost out to Jessie Valentine.

Top tournaments won by Willie Park Jr

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Park, Willie Jr

Score

155

Prize money

£8

Title sponsor

R&A

The Open Championship (29th) (Nov 8). Park (Scot) beat Andrew Kirkaldy (Scot) in a 36-hole playoff: Park 158, Kirkcaldy 163. [The Old Course, Musselburgh Links, nr Edinburgh].

1887
Majors
161
£8
R&A

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Park, Willie Jr

Score

161

Prize money

£8

Title sponsor

R&A

The Open Championship (27th) (Sept 16). Second-placed Bob Martin (Scot) finished 11 shots behind Willie Park Jr (Scot). [Prestwick GC, Ayrshire, Scotland].

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Tournaments

Ryder Cup: Rome plays host to the first ever Ryder Cup to be staged in Italy, with the USA defending golf’s greatest team trophy at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club (Sept 29-Oct 1).

Solheim Cup: also in September, also in southern Europe, the 18th Solheim Cup will be contested at Finca Cortesin on the Costa del Sol, with Europe defending after their surprise win in Toledo, Inverness Club (Ohio) in 2021 (Sept 22-24). 

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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.

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