“DID YOU KNOW”
A Philadelphia PGA founder won the first Irish Professional Championship at Royal Portrush!
James Dunlop “Jim” Edmundson was born in Portrush, Ireland in 1886 and learned golf as a caddy at the Royal Portrush Golf Club. By 1905 he was the professional at the club. In 1907 the first Irish Open was contested. Royal Portrush was the host club, and it will also host this year’s British Open in July.
Edmundson won the First Irish Professional Championship, and in 1908 he was the winner again. Along with that, he finished second in 1909, 1910 and 1911.
He played in The Open four times, with his best showing being a tie for 11th in 1908.
After six years at Royal Portrush, Edmundson moved across the Irish Sea to England as the professional at the Bromborough Golf Club. At Bromborough he instructed Gladys Ravenscroft, who would win the 1912 British Ladies Championship and the 1913 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
With the onset of World War I, Edmundson volunteered for the British Army’s artillery division, seeing action in France for two years. When the war was over he could not find another head professional position. In early 1921, his brother John, who was the professional at the Llanerch Country Club, wrote to him saying that he should visit the states. John’s letter mentioned that there were clubs with well-to-do members near Llanerch looking for experienced golf professionals.
Jim Edmundson set sail for America, and soon after arriving he was hired as the professional at the North Hills Country Club, just north of Philadelphia. Later that year on December 2, the Philadelphia Section PGA was formed. Having been a member of the British PGA, he became a founder of the Philadelphia PGA, with much to contribute. He was an officer for two years and was elected Section president in 1930.
In 1923 at the age of 39 he won the Pennsylvania Open, and finished second in the Philadelphia Open. He also had a second place finish in the Philadelphia Section Championship in 1926.
After North Hills, Edmundson was the head professional at the Hi-Top Country in Drexel Hill, which had been Aronimink Country Club before moving to Newtown Square.