Who's who in golf - Willie Park Jr

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Name: - Willie Park Jr.
Country: - Scotland
Lived : - [1864-1925]. Born Feb 4, 1864 in Musselburgh, East Lothian / died May 22, 1925 in Craighouse, nr Edinburgh, Scotland (age 61).
Original Home/Club: - Musselburgh, Scotland
Occupation: - Professional golfer, course designer, golf writer, instructor, golf equipment maker and businessman.
Turned Pro: - 1880 (age 16).

Roll of Honour

Majors (2). 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, Old course (1907); Formby (1912); Gullane No.2 (1898), Huntercombe (1901), Kilspindie (1898), Monte Carlo, Mont Agel (1911); Montrose (1903); Notts Hollinwell (1900); Portstewart, Strand course (1920s, redesign); Royal Antwerp (1910); Silloth on Solway (1890s, redesign); Southerndown (1913, modifications); Stoneham (1909); Sunningdale, Old course (1901); Temple (1910).

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

1889Men MajorsThe OpenMusselburgh Links155£8
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].
1887Men MajorsThe OpenPrestwick161£8
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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