Who's who: Willie Smith

  • Photo of Willie Smith
  • scotland.png
  • Photo of Willie Smith
  • scotland.png

Who's who: Willie Smith

  • Name:

    Willie Smith
  • Country:

    Scotland
  • Lived:

    [1876-1916]. Born on Oct 8, 1876 in Dundee, Scotland. Died on Dec 26, 1916 in Mexico City, Mexico (aged 40).
  • Original/Home Club:

    Carnoustie
  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer and club pro; golf course designer.
  • Turned Pro:

    c.1894

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (1): US Open (1899)

Golf course design

Willie started the design of Chapultepec GC in Mexico. Following his untimely death in 1916 from pneumonia, his brother Alex finished the project.

Did you know?

Willie Smith (b.1876) and his five brothers, were part of a large golfing family from Barry, a small village next to Carnoustie. Willie, his older brother Alex (b.1874) and younger brother "Mac" (b.1890) all migrated to the USA as young men, eager to pursue the more lucrative golfing opportunities that lay "across the pond".

Willie's travels eventually took him to Mexico, where he became the professional at Mexico City GC. He narrowly escaped losing his life during the prolonged Mexican Revolution, after which time he commenced the design of the now famous Chapultec GC. Before the task could be completed, Willie died of pneumonia. His brother Alex came down from the USA to finish his late brother's work.

Willie won the US Open in 1899, while brother Alex claimed that title in 1906 and 1910. Younger brothers John, George, Jim and Macdonald "Mac" Smith were also excellent golfers. The youngest of the "clan", "Mac" Smith, missed out on major championship honours, but he eventually recorded many more American professional circuit wins than his brothers.

Top tournaments won by Willie Smith

1899
Majors
315
$200
USGA

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Smith, Willie

Score

315

Prize money

$200

Title sponsor

USGA

The US Open (5th) (Sept 14/15). Second-placed George Low (Scot), Val Fitzjohn and W.H. "Bertie" Way finished 11 shots behind Smith (Scot). [Roland Park course, Baltimore CC, Lutherville, Maryland. This course closed in 1962].

1899
America
Glen View Club
156
$150
WGA

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Smith, Willie

Venue

Glen View Club

Score

156

Prize money

$150

Title sponsor

WGA

Played as the inaugural Western Open (Sept 6/7; 36-hole event). Following a tie for first place after 36-holes, Willie Smith (Scot) beat Laurie Auchterlonie (Scot) in an 18-hole playoff. Playoff scores: Smith 74, Auchterlonie 84. [Glen View Club, Golf, nr Chicago, IL].

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