A Chronicle of the
Philadelphia Section PGA and its Members
by Peter C. Trenham
The Southeastern Section of the PGA 1916 to 1921
1916 The PGA of America was founded and Whitemarsh Valley’s Jim Barnes won the first PGA Championship.
1917 Eddie Loos won the Shawnee Open and Jim Barnes won the Western and Philadelphia Opens.
1918 Jim Barnes left Whitemarsh Valley to be the professional at a new golf course, the Broadmoor Golf Club.
1919 Emmett French won the Philadelphia Open and Charlie Hoffner won the Pennsylvania Open.
1920 Clarence Hackney finished second in the Western Open and beat Jim Barnes in the PGA Championship.
1921 Jim Barnes won the Main Line Open that was put on by the Philadelphia pros at the Tredyffrin C.C.
On Monday January 17, a group of 75 golf professionals and lading amateurs met at the Taplow Club in New York for a luncheon hosted by Rodman Wanamaker. Rodman was the son of John Wanamaker, founder of the Wanamaker’s Department Store. Some of the amateurs present that day were Francis Quimet, A.W. Tillinghast and John G. Anderson. Wanamaker’s imported golf equipment from Great Britain and sold it at retail to the public in their stores and wholesale to the golf professionals. The Wanamaker family thought that if they could help organize the golf professionals it would aid the growth of golf in America and create more customers for their company. Rodman Wanamaker offered to provide a trophy for a PGA Championship and $2,500 towards the purse. Several of the golf professionals expressed grave concerns as to the success of a national organization. Even Robert White, who would end up being the first president of the PGA, thought that it was an unworkable idea. Golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast and several of the other amateurs offered the opinion that the professionals would gain respect if they had their own association rather than depending on the USGA. Up to that time the USGA had been a clearing house for golf professional and green keeper openings. An amateur named W.W. Harris suggested dividing the country into several regions where the local professionals would control the local affairs which would take some of the burden of management off the national officers. A committee of seven professionals was formed to draw up tentative by-laws. The chairman was James P. Hepburn who had held the office of secretary in the British PGA. Gil Nicholls, the professional at the Wilmington Country Club, who had been one of the prime movers for a PGA organization, was on the committee. There were two other pros with Philadelphia connections on the committee, Jack Hobens and White. White had been the pro-green superintendent at the Shawnee Country Club & Buckwood Inn just two years before in 1914 and Hobens would be the professional at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club in 1921 when the Philadelphia Section was formed. The other three members of the committee were Jack Mackie, Herbert Strong and James Maiden. The professionals in the U.S. had been talking about forming a national organization since the late 1890s, but now it was finally done. The professionals in some of the large metropolitan areas had formed associations but that hadn’t been what was needed.
On the fourth Saturday of February three golf professionals; Herbert Strong, Jack Mackie and Jack Hobens met at the Martinique Hotel with amateur adviser Jason Rogers to draw up a constitution for the proposed national organization of golf professionals. The constitution would state the purpose of the association and describe the various classifications of membership. One had to be 18 years old to be a member. At that meeting it was decided to call themselves The Professional Golfers’ Association of America. A copy of the constitution was to be sent to every golf professional in the United States and Canada, who was eligible for membership. A membership committee was to decide on the qualifications of those who apply.
Early that year three pros made a big switch. James Fraser moved to the Seaview Country Club from the Great Neck Golf Club on Long Island. Wilfrid Reid left Seaview for the Wilmington Country Club and Gil Nicholls went from Wilmington to Great Neck. Nicholls had been hired to remodel and improve the Great Neck course. He also constructed a nine-hole course there for the exclusive use of the women members.
Whitemarsh Valley Country Club professional Jim Barnes won the North & South Open on the last Friday of March. The 36-hole tournament was held on Pinehurst Country Club’s #2 Course. Barnes put together rounds of 71 and 73 (144) to win the $100 first prize by one stroke. Atlantic City Country Club professional Alex Hackney (145) and Tom Kerrigan (145) tied for second. Alex Ross (146) and Mike Brady (146) tied for fourth. Hackney won an extra $25 for having the low round of the tournament, a 70 in his second round.
On April 10th the PGA of America was founded. There were 78 original members and most of the geographical area that would later make up the Philadelphia Section PGA was a part of the Southeastern Section PGA. The Southeastern Section included West Virginia, Pennsylvania and the eastern seaboard states south of New Jersey through Georgia. The Southeastern was one of seven PGA Sections. The other six Sections were the Metropolitan, Middle States, New England, Central, Northwestern and the Pacific. There were over 500 golf professionals in the United States at that time. Each Section was required to elect representatives for the PGA’s executive committee, which totaled 24. The number of representatives that a Section had on the executive committee was based upon the number of PGA members in that Section. The executive committee then selected a vice president to represent each Section. A motion was passed to contact George A. Crump regarding the condition of John J. McDermott. The meeting was held at the Hotel Martinique in New York City.
The Southeastern Section had three members on the PGA Executive committee. They were James R. Thomson, professional at the Philadelphia Country Club, Wilfrid Reid and Bill Byrne professional at the St. Davids Golf Club. During the first year of the PGA of America Thomson served as a vice president representing the Southeastern Section PGA. Also on this PGA Executive Committee were Robert White, Gil Nicholls and Jack Hobens from the Metropolitan Section and three other professionals with ties to Philadelphia. Walter G. Fovargue, who had been the professional at the Philadelphia Country Club in 1902 and 1903, and George L. Fotheringham, who had been the professional at the Williamsport Country Club in 1914, represented the Middle States Section. William V. “Willie” Hoare, the professional at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in 1896 and 1897, represented the Central Section. Fotheringham and Hoare were vice presidents representing their Sections. There were four classes of PGA members; Class “A”–head professionals, Class “B”—unattached professionals, Class “C”—pro-golf salesmen, and Class “D—assistant professionals. Also there was Class “E—greenkeepers, and Class “F—honorary members who were associated with the PGA. To become a member a professional had to serve five years as a head pro or assistant to a head pro at a recognized golf course. There were 78 charter members. By June 5th there were 217 Class “A” dues paying members.
In early 1916 the USGA had defined an amateur golfer and had put in print six violations of the amateur code. The violations were:
(1.) Playing or teaching the game of golf for pay. This includes playing for a money prize and accepting traveling or living expenses for playing over a course or for participating in a golf tournament, contest or exhibition.
(2.) Personally making or repairing golf clubs, golf balls, or other golf articles for pay.(3.) Serving after reaching the age of 16 as caddie, caddie master, or greenkeeper for hire.
(4.) Lending one’s name or likeness for the advertisement or sale of anything except as a dealer, manufacturer, or inventor in the usual course of business.
(5.) Permitting one’s name to be advertised or published for pay as the author of books or articles on golf of which one is not actually the author.
(6.) Accepting or holding any position as agent or employee that includes as part of its duties the handling of golf supplies; or engaging in any business wherein one’s usefulness or profits arise because of skill or prominence in the game of golf.
The U.S. Open was played at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the last two days of June. There were 94 entries and on site qualifying was held. Everyone had to qualify except the defending champion. Qualifying was held on Tuesday and Wednesday and each day half the field played for 32 places in the starting field. Wilfrid Reid qualified with 74-77 for 151 and Clarence Hackney made it with 79-75 for 154. For the second straight year an amateur won as Chick Evans finished two strokes in front with a score of 286. His rounds of 70, 69, 74 and 73 edged out Jock Hutchison, the professional at the Allegheny Country Club in Pittsburgh and a Southeastern Section member, who came in at 288. Hutchison took home the top money prize of $300. Jim Barnes finished third at 290 and Reid tied for fourth at 293 with the pro he had replaced at Wilmington Country Club, Gil Nicholls. Hackney tied for 43rd. Barnes won $150 and Reid won $83.33. The purse had been increased to $1,200 and ten pros won money.
At the conclusion of the U.S. Open the PGA Executive Committee met in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Radisson Hotel. The Executive Committee elected officers. Robert White now at the North Shore Country Club on Long Island was elected president. White had had considerable experience in the British PGA before moving to America. The secretary-treasurer was Herbert Strong. George Fotheringham and James Maiden were vice presidents. James R. Thomson was still a regional vice president. Other regional vice presidents were Mike Brady, Willie Hoare, George Sargent and Charles Adams.
The Garden City Golf Club hosted the Met Open in mid July. Jim Barnes and Philmont Country Club’s professional Charlie Hoffner were tied with Walter Hagen at the end of regulation play with 15 over-par 307 totals. Barnes shot a 72 in the final round that tied the course record and allowed him to catch Hagen. The next day Hagen turned in a 74 to defeat Barnes (75) by one and Hoffner (77) by three in an 18-hole playoff. Hagen’s rounds were 77, 79, 78 and 73. Bob MacDonald was next at 309. Country Club of York professional Emmett French, driving with an iron on every hole, finished fifth with a 312 total.
Four days after the Met Open the first official tournament of the newly formed PGA, the New York Newspaper Open, was held at the Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course. Jim Barnes won in record fashion with a 72-hole score of 67, 69, 67 and 73 for a 276. It was thought to be the lowest 72-hole score in any tournament up to that time. Barnes’ first prize was $300 and it was paid in gold. He also received a silver cup for the win. Elmer Loving and Jack Dowling tied for second with 279s. Bob MacDonald finished fourth at 290. Pat Doyle and Walter Hagen tied for fifth with 291st. The total purse was just under $1,000.
In the second week of August the fifth annual Shawnee Open was played. Walter Hagen took home the $250 first prize with rounds of 75, 75, 75 and 73 for a total score of 298. Hagen won by a comfortable margin of four strokes over Bob MacDonald (302). Jim Barnes finished third in the 56-man field at 304. Emmett French and Gil Nicholls tied for fourth with 306 totals. Also finishing in the money was Eagles Mere Country Club professional Lawrence Loeffler who tied for seventh, as there were eight prizes. The host professional was Albert Elphick.
A week later at the Western Open near Milwaukee, Wisconsin Jim Barnes tied for fourth. He finished two strokes off Walter Hagen’s winning score of 286. Hagen’s four rounds at the Blue Mound Country Club were 70, 74, 72 and 70. Jock Hutchison and George Sargent tied for second at 287. Barnes and George O. Simpson of Chicago, who had a record 66 in the third round, were close behind at 288 and divided up the last two money places.
Jim Barnes picked up another victory by winning the Connecticut Open on the last day of August. Barnes toured the Shennecossett Country Club in 74 strokes in the morning round, which left him five strokes behind the leader Macdonald Smith. Barnes came back in the afternoon with a 72 to capture the title by one stroke. His 146 total edged out Alex Smith (147) and Mike Brady (147). MacDonald Smith finished fourth at 148. Albert Elphick (151) finished fifth and Wilfrid Reid (152) tied for sixth.
The Southeastern PGA and the other six PGA Sections held sectional qualifying for their first national championship in September. Places were allotted based on the number of members in each Section. The allotted spots were: Metropolitan 12, Middle States 7, Southeastern 5, New England 3, Central 2, Northwestern 2 and Pacific 1.
The Southeastern Section, which was allotted five places in the starting field of 32, held theirs on the second Wednesday at the Wilmington Country Club. The pros played for $375 that day which was the largest purse in the Section that year. There were ten money spots along with $20 for the low round in morning and low round in the afternoon. 25 were entered from five states and the District of Columbia. Play began at 10 a.m. for the first round and 2:15 p.m. for the second round. Jim Barnes and Jock Hutchison tied for the medal with 147 totals. Barnes’ rounds were 72-75 and Hutchison’s were 73-74. The host professional, Wilfrid Reid and Emmett French picked up the next two spots with 149s and each won $45. James R. Thomson and Charlie Hoffner tied for the last spot at 151, which necessitated an 18-hole playoff to determine the survivor. Thomson won the playoff and $25 the next day with a 75 against a 76 for Hoffner and Hutchison (38) beat Barnes (39) in a nine-hole playoff for the medalist prize which was $75 and a gold medal. Barnes picked up a $20 gold coin for his first round 72 and $60 for finishing second. Baltimore’s Tom Skipper won a $20 gold coin for the low afternoon round.
The first championship of the PGA of America was at the Siwanoy Country Club on Long Island in mid October. There were 31 contestants representing the seven PGA Sections as one of the sectional qualifiers didn’t show up for the championship. In the finals it was the British born Jim Barnes versus Scottish born Jock Hutchison. Barnes and Hutchison who had tied for the medal at the Section qualifying tournament opposed each other again. It was just as close this time as they came to the last hole all even. Both players were short of the green with their second shots and they both chipped to within five feet of the hole. A measurement was needed to determine who was away and Barnes was one-inch closer. Hutchison missed his putt and Barnes holed his to become the first PGA of America champion. All the matches were scheduled for 36 holes. Barnes took home $500 from the $2,580 purse and a diamond medal. His name was engraved on the Wanamaker Trophy that had been donated by the Wanamaker’s Department Store. There was also a gold medal for the runner up and two silver medals for the losers in the semifinals. Wilfrid Reid and James R. Thomson lost in the first round. Reid lost to J.J. O’Brien one-down and Thomson was beaten 7&6 by Walter Hagen. Emmett French won his first round match by defeating Eddie Towns 3&1. French then lost in the second round to Jack Dowling on the 37th hole. Reid and Thomson each won $50. French picked up a $60 check for making it to the second round. In Barnes’ march to the finals he put together an impressive list of victories by beating George Fotheringham 8&7, Alex Smith 8&7, Tom Kerrigan 2&1 and Willie Macfarlane 6&5. Each contestant received a medal as well as the money. More than 10,000 spectators witnessed the week’s matches. At the conclusion of the tournament the host club put on a dinner for all of the contestants and the PGA officers. The Wanamakers paid the travel expenses for all of the entrants that qualified for the tournament.
Three days after the PGA the Pennsylvania Open was held at the Allegheny Country Club in Pittsburgh. Forty professionals from all over the country were entered. Jock Hutchison, the host professional got a little revenge over Jim Barnes by winning the title and the$150 first prize check with rounds of 73 and 75 for 148. Amateur J.B. Crookston finished second at 149 and Bob MacDonald was next with a 150. Barnes led after the a.m. round with a 72 but faded in the afternoon round to finish in a four-way tie for fourth with Charles Rowe, Jock Burgess and J.J. O’Brien. They split up $125.
Two days after the Pennsylvania Open James Fraser won the Philadelphia Open at the Philmont Country Club. At that time Philmont had only one 18-hole course, which was later called the South Course. Fraser was playing in his first tournament since moving to Seaview from Long Island. He was the father of Leo Fraser, future president of the Philadelphia Section PGA and the PGA of America. The first round was rained out and the two-day tournament was shortened to 54 holes. His sixteen over par 75, 75 and 76 for 226 finished one stroke ahead of three other pros. Tied for second were the host pro Charlie Hoffner (227) Peter O’Hara from the Pittsburgh Field Club (227) and James Starr (227). Starr was the professional at the Haddon Country Club, which later became the Tavistock Country Club at a site nearby. Jim Barnes tied for fifth at 229. First prize was $160 as six professionals received checks. The purse totaled $400.
On the fifth Monday of November the PGA picked Whitemarsh Valley Country Club as their choice for the site of the 1917 U.S. Open. At that time the USGA asked the PGA to select the U.S. Open course and they usually adhered to that unless something unusual came up at their annual meeting in January. The USGA did say that the tournament should be in the east since it had been held in Minnesota that year. The vote was taken during a meeting of the PGA Executive Committee that was held at the Hotel Martinique in New York. The PGA President, Robert White, and eight other members were in attendance. Three of those; Bill Byrne, Wilfrid Reid and James R. Thomson, were members of the Southeastern PGA and employed in the Philadelphia area. Even though there were nine members present the vote was 4 to 1 in favor of Whitemarsh Valley.
If the PGA had had a player of the year award Jim Barnes would have won it. His scoring average of 74.08 led all the tournament players. In the 12 tournaments that he entered he won five, finished second twice, third three times and fourth twice.
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At the USGA annual meeting in January the delegates decided against the PGA’s recommendation to hold the U.S. Open at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. Because the U.S. Amateur was being played at Oakmont Country Club and the Women’s Amateur was at the Shawnee Country Club the delegates felt like the USGA’s three most important tournaments should not all be played in same state in any one year. Boston’s Brae Burn Country Club, which had been the second choice of the pros, was selected.
Due to World War I many tournaments were canceled during 1917 and 1918 including the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open and the Pennsylvania Open. The golfers devoted their competitive efforts to playing exhibitions for charities like the Red Cross. Three professionals, Jim Barnes, Gil Nicholls and Wilfrid Reid, all of who had been born in the British Isles, were among the most active fund-raisers.
At a meeting of the PGA Executive Committee on the second Monday in April a permanent constitution was adopted. It was based on the by-laws of the British PGA. The PGA had taken over from the USGA the work of finding professionals for the clubs and clubs for professionals. The officers were all reelected for a second term. Robert White was elected president and Herbert Strong was reelected secretary-treasurer. The vice presidents were George Fotheringham and James Maiden. There were now almost 400 members. The meeting was held at the Hotel Martinique in New York City.
Now that the country was at war the USGA officers and the officials of several other sports organizations met at the Racquet and Tennis Club in New York on April 19 to discuss the future of their championships. A possible draft of the American youth was a distinct possibility. That evening the newspapers reported that the USGA was canceling its championships for the year.
With the cancellation of the U.S. Open, which was scheduled for Boston’s Brae Burn Country Club, the USGA decided to sponsor a substitute tournament. On May 21 Howard W. Perrin, the president of the USGA and a member of several golf clubs in Philadelphia, announced that a substitute for the U.S. Open which was to be called the Patriotic Open would be held at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in June.
The Patriotic Open was played at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in the third week of June. The USGA decided that the pros would pay an entry fee of $5 as usual but play for pride and patriotism instead of prize money. The $5,000 purse was donated to the Red Cross. The golfers in New England were not happy about losing the championship but could not complain lest they might sound unpatriotic. For the first time spectators were charged an admission fee, which raised the $5,000 and this also established the practice of paying to see a golf tournament. Many thought that the pros would not show up to play only for pride, but it was the leading amateurs who did not enter. The press mentioned that some amateurs were conspicuous by their absence. The tournament drew an entry of nearly 100 pros and a few amateurs. All but three of the country’s leading professionals entered. One of the three who weren’t in the field was Walter Hagen who was a day late for his starting time and asked to be allowed to play 36-holes on the second day to make up for missing the first day. The USGA was going to let Hagen start a day late but the pros protested. In the first round the scorer for the host professional Jim Barnes had put Barnes down for one more stroke than he had scored on the fifth hole. After Barnes had completed his round he realized the error but the USGA wouldn’t change the score, as it was then two hours after he had finished. The pros said that if the committee was going to hold to the strict letter of the rules in regards to Barnes then it should be the same for Hagen. Hagen did not play. Thirty-five professionals from the Philadelphia area were entered. Jock Hutchison finished first seven strokes in front of Tom McNamara (299) with rounds of 76, 73, 71 and 72 for a four-over-par 292. The Philadelphia Cricket Club’s professional Eddie Loos finished third with a 303 total and West Virginia’s Alex Cunningham was next at 304. In spite of his earlier problems Barnes finished fifth with a 307 total. Clarence Hackney tied for sixth with Elmer Loving at 308. The top ten, which would have received money prizes, were given framed certificates and Hutchison also received a gold medal from the Red Cross and a medal from the USGA similar to what a winner of the US Open would receive. James R. Thomson, Charlie Hoffner, Emmett French, Wilfrid Reid, Old York Road Country Club professional Jack Campbell, The Springhaven Golf Club professional Andy Campbell, Bucks County professional Frank Marasco, Bon Air Country Club professional Donald Morrison, Lansdowne Country Club professional John Edmundson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club professional Dave Cuthbert, Whitemarsh Valley assistant Guy Martin, Stenton Country Club professional Joseph Seka, Overbrook Golf Club professional Jimmy Dougherty, Riverton Country Club professional Duncan Cuthbert, Sunnybrook Golf Club professional James Gullane, Woodbury Country Club professional Harry Jervis and Lancaster Country Club professional Jack Jones made the cut and played the 72 holes.
The PGA of America held its first annual meeting at the Englewood Golf Club in Englewood, New Jersey on the fourth Monday of July. Robert White was reelected president and Herbert Strong was reelected secretary-treasurer. Jack Mackie was elected vice president. Wilfrid Reid, Jack Hobens and George Simpson were regional vice presidents. George Fotheringham and Jack Jolly were selected to rent an office for the PGA in New York City and hire a suitable person to take charge of the office under the guidance of the secretary. The office rent and the person’s salary were not to exceed $1,800. An office was rented at 366 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY.
In late July the leading tournament players in the country came to the New York area for a four-day benefit for the PGA’s War Relief Fund. Most of the leading pros like Jim Barnes, Gil Nicholls, Walter Hagen, Jock Hutchison, and some of the best amateurs including Bobby Jones were there. Barnes, Wilfrid Reid, Emmett French, Charlie Hoffner, and Eddie Loos were there from the Philadelphia area. Also on the homebred team was Jack Burke, Sr. The first day they played a 36-hole individual stroke play event at the Englewood Golf Club. The next three days were devoted to team matches at the Baltusrol Golf Club, the Siwanoy Country Club and the Garden City Golf Club. There were four 12-man teams made up of amateurs, homebred pros, Scotland born pros, and pros that had been born in England. The teams took turns playing each other at Baltusrol, Sivanoy, and Garden City. The homebred pros won by a large margin and the PGA raised $4,000 for the Red Cross.
Eddie Loos won the Shawnee Open in the second week of August. Loos opened up with a 69 and tacked on a 74 in the afternoon of the first day. The next day Loos shot a 75 and a 72 for a two-over-par 290 that gave him a seven-stroke victory over Emmett French (297). Walter Hagen finished third at 298, one stroke in front of Willie Macfarlane (299). The win earned Loos a check for $250 plus $25 for the tournament’s low round and a gold medal. The total purse came to $625. French took home a silver medal and $150. Jim Barnes finished fifth at 300. Gil Nicholls (303) won last money as eight places were paid. Charlie Hoffner (306) finished ninth and Wilfrid Reid (307) finished tenth. The host professional was Albert Elphick.
A one-day 36-hole tournament was held at the Westmoreland Country Club near Chicago the day before the Western Open began in mid September. Eddie Loos posted a 74 and a 72 for a 146 to edge out a field comprised of most of the players that were entered in the Western Open by one stroke. Next was Bob MacDonald with a 147. Leo Diegel and Jock Hutchison tied for third with 148s. First prize was $125 and twelve players won checks.
When the Western Open began at Westmoreland it was Jim Barnes winning another major with a record five-under-par 283. He opened the tournament with a record 67 and added rounds of 71-74-71 as he nosed out Walter Hagen (285) by two strokes. Jock Hutchison finished third at 286 and Emmett French was next with a 292 as five pros received checks. First prize was $300 and French won $75. Something new was done for the first time in a major tournament. Only one round was played on the first and second day instead of playing 36-holes each day.
Late in September Jim Barnes picked up another title as he won the Philadelphia Open on the Merion Cricket Club’s East Course. His two-day, 72-hole 26-over-par 306 score, won by five strokes and he received a check for $160. Barnes’ rounds were 79, 76, 76 and 75. Charlie Hoffner (311) finished second two strokes ahead of Wilfrid Reid (313) who won third money. Tom McNamara finished fourth at 317. The total prize money came to $400 and there were six money prizes.
On the third Sunday of October four of Philadelphia’s leading golf professionals played a 36-hole exhibition at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club for the Soldiers’ Tobacco Fund. They teed off at 10 a.m. for the first 18. After lunch the second round began at 2 p.m. Jim Barnes and the host professional Dave Cuthbert took on Charlie Hoffner and Eddie Loos. Cuthbert got his team off to a fast start by making pars on the first four holes to take a 4-up lead. After that start Barnes did the rest. They led by four holes at the end of 18 and were never challenged winning by 5&3.
The professional at the Wyoming Valley Country Club, James Milligan, had come to the U.S. from Scotland in 1909. Sometime during 1916 Milligan learned that his two brothers had been killed in the war and he decided to return home to be with his mother. The next thing they heard at Wyoming Valley was that Milligan had joined the Royal Scots army and been killed in the war.
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World War I canceled two more golf tournaments, the Shawnee Open and the Western Open. The United States government’s Fuel Administrator H.A. Garfield notified the USGA that all golf clubs should stop using coal to heat their clubhouses. Unless they could stay open without burning coal they should close their doors completely until spring.
Emmett French won the Georgia Open on the third Friday of February. His rounds for the one-day event at the Augusta Country Club were 72 and 81 for 153. French’s 72 was a course record. Pat Doyle, George Fotheringham and Cyril Walker tied for second with 154s.
In the first week of March Jim Barnes won the Florida Open in Deland. Barnes (283) led from wire to wire to win by eight strokes over Eddie Loos (291). Barnes’ four rounds were 70, 71, 69 and 73. Three of his 18-hole scores were low for that round and it was said that this was the strongest field in the history of the tournament. Jock Hutchison was next at 294. Jack Croke and Fred Miley tied for fourth with 300 totals.
Jim Barnes won the Florida East Coast Open at the Ponce De Leon Golf Club, St. Augustine in mid March. He nipped Walter Hagen (301) by one stroke with two-day totals of 146 and 153 for 300. The second day was played in heavy wind and rain. Pat Doyle finished third at 307. The golf course had recently been redesigned by Donald Ross. Eddie Loos tied for fourth with Jock Hutchison at 308.
Right after the Florida East Coast Open Jim Barnes announced that he was leaving the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. He was moving to Colorado to be the professional at a new golf course, the Broadmoor Golf Club that had been designed by Donald Ross. At that time he was thought to be the finest professional player in the United States. Barnes stated that the Broadmoor position would pay him twice what he was making at Whitemarsh so he accepted the offer without asking the officers of Whitemarsh Valley if they would like to make a counter offer. The Atlanta Constitution reported that the Broadmoor contract was for $15,000 a year. At that time Barnes also held the head professional position at the Palma Ceia Golf Club in Tampa, Florida in the winter. At first the members of Whitemarsh Valley were offended that he had left so abruptly because they felt that their club members had treated him very well. They soon decided that they might be better off if they had a professional who would confine his time and efforts to club making, club repairing and teaching. On April 1st Morrie Talman left the Plymouth Country Club and succeeded Barnes at Whitemarsh Valley. Talman held the job for 41 years.
With the cancellation of many golf tournaments due to World War I, the golfers and especially the golf professionals turned to raising money for war time charities. On the third Friday of July a 36-hole golf event was played at the Inwood Country Club on Long Island to raise money for the Red Cross. Four eight-man teams were assembled for the fund raiser. The teams represented golf professionals born in Scotland, United States and a team called the Allied which was made up of professionals born in other countries, along with and a team of amateurs. The competition was decided by the total strokes a team took for the two rounds. The allied team, led by Wilfrid Reid, was the winner with a total of 1,279 strokes. The homebred team finished sixteen strokes back in second place with 1,295 strokes. Reid was the low man for the day with rounds of 74 and 76. His 150 score was three shots better than homebred Tom McNamara (153), who broke the course record in the morning round with a 71. Reid was given a Red Cross medals for his accomplishment. For breaking the course record, McNamara was also awarded a Red Cross medal and $100. Gil Nicholls (154) and Tom Kerrigan (154) tied for the third best scores. George Fotheringham, Jack Hobens and Clarence Hackney were on the Scotch team. Other professionals who were not on a team, also played that day. The committee auctioned off everything they could think of, like the player’s scorecards and golf balls, to raise money for the Red Cross. Through an auction various amateurs paid money to caddy for their favorite professionals. Someone bid $1,200 for the privilege of caddying for the host professional, Jack Mackie. $15,000 was raised for the Red Cross that day.
The Huntingdon Valley Country Club at Noble hosted 47 professionals and amateurs for the Philadelphia Open in late August. The Golf Association of Philadelphia canceled out the first day of the two-day event even though all the players completed the morning round and some finished the afternoon round before rain made the course unplayable. The tournament was rescheduled for Friday and Saturday but the pros protested saying that they needed to be at their clubs on Saturday. The committee put it to a vote and the event was shortened to 36 holes. Pat Doyle from Deal, New Jersey and Arthur Reid, Wilfrid Reid’s brother from New York, tied for the title with 150 totals. Doyle’s rounds were a pair of 75s and Reid’s were 76 and 74. They were declared co-champions, each receiving $130. Doyle was later the professional at the Linwood Country Club. Clarence Hackney finished third and the former U.S. Open champion, Washington D.C.’s Fred McLeod, won the fourth money. Emmett French tied for fifth. Wilfrid Reid received a $50 consolation check from the GAP for having the lowest score of those professionals that completed the full 72-holes. Other than Wilfrid Reid’s check the purse totaled $390.
The second annual meeting of the PGA of America was held at the Martinique Hotel in New York City on the first Monday of November. President Robert White and Secretary-Treasurer Herbert Strong were reelected. Jack Mackie and George Sargent were elected as vice presidents. Wilfrid Reid, Jack Hobens and James Maiden were regional vice presidents.
In mid November Atlantic City Country Club and Clarence Hackney hosted a 36-hole exhibition for the War-Fund. Twelve pros and one amateur played for a gold medal. $1,500 was raised for the war effort. Alex Campbell, who was the professional at the Country Club of Baltimore, and a brother of Jack and Andy Campbell won the medal.
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The PGA of America held its third annual meeting on the second Monday of June. The meeting was held at the Copley Square Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, which was near where the U.S. Open was being played that week. Jack Mackie was elected president and Alex Pirie was elected secretary-treasurer. Jack Hobens and George Sargent were elected vice presidents. Wilfrid Reid, Isaac Mackie and Charles Burgess were elected regional vice presidents.
Walter Hagen won the first U.S. Open after a two-year cancellation due to World War I but he had to win an 18-hole playoff to earn the victory. The tournament was held in the second week of June at the Brae Burn Country Club near Boston, Massachusetts. The Open had been scheduled for Brae Burn in 1917, but it had been canceled due to World War I. Hagen tied with Mike Brady at 301 and won the playoff with a 77 against Brady’s 78. Hagen’s rounds were 78, 73, 75, 75 and Brady’s were 74, 74, 73 and 80. First prize was now $500. Jock Hutchison and Tom McNamara tied for third at 306. There were 142 entries and qualifying was dispensed with to welcome the contestants back to the tournament. There was a cut after 36 holes. Twenty-two year old Charlie Hoffner led the first round with a 72 and stayed in close contention for three rounds but a last round 89 cost him an opportunity to finish high up in the money. Hoffner (316) ended up tied for 13th with Clarence Hackney (316), fifteen strokes off the winning score. Wilfrid Reid (320) tied for 21st, Bill Robinson (324), now the head professional at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, tied for 32nd, and Emmett French (325) tied for 34th. Tredyffrin Country Club assistant James Sheppard, Jr. and Morrie Talman missed the cut.
The Met Open was at the North Shore Country Club on Long Island in the second week of July. Charlie Hoffner held a one-stroke lead over Emmett French at the end of the first day with a 145. Walter Hagen came back the second day to finish at 294 and win his second straight Met Open. Hagen’s rounds were 76, 75, 72 and 71 as he finished three strokes ahead of French (297) and five in front of Hoffner (299). Willie Macfarlane finished fourth at 302. Hagen won $250, French $125, and Hoffner $100. Clarence Hackney (304), Pat Doyle (304), Wilfrid Reid (306) and George Fotheringham (306) were also in the top nine and the money. Hagen won $250 and a gold medal.
The Section’s qualifying site for the PGA Championship was in Maryland at the Columbia Country Club. Qualifying was held in early July. Again each of the country’s seven Section’s allotted representation in the 32-man starting field was based on the number of members in the Section. The pros outside New York didn’t like the system since the Metropolitan Section, which had quite a few members who were caddy-masters and club makers and not players, had 12 spots. The Southeastern Section had three places. Everyone had to qualify including Jim Barnes the defending champion, now employed in St. Louis. The host pro Fred McLeod led the qualifying with a 70 and a 71 for 141, one stroke in front of Emmett French (142). Atlanta’s J. Douglas Edgar posted a 150 and edged out Wilfrid Reid (151) and Richmond’s Harry Hampton (151) for the third spot by one stroke. As it turned out, Wilfrid Reid and Harry Hampton got into the PGA Championship as alternates, because the Pacific Section that had two places didn’t send any players. As the medalist, McLeod was awarded a bronze medal.
After an interruption of one year for World War I Jim Barnes won a second straight Western Open. The tournament was held near Cleveland in mid July at the 6,260 yard Mayfield Country Club. Barnes opened up with a course record 69 the first day and came back with a 70 the second day to lead by four strokes. The field was cut to the low 65 players and ties after 36 holes. On the third day Barnes turned in a 73 and a 71 for 283 and a three shot win over 20-year-old Leo Diegel (286). Jock Hutchison was next with a 287 and Fred McLeod tied Otto Hackbarth for fourth at 288. First prize was $350.
One week after the Western Open Jim Barnes returned to the Philadelphia region to win the seventh annual Shawnee Open as he outclassed another strong field. He began with a pair of 72s the first day, went around in 74 the next morning and finished up with a final round of six-under-par 67. The 67 set a new course record and was only the third score ever shot below 70 at Shawnee in a tournament. Barnes’ seven-under-par 285 total was eight strokes ahead of second place Mike Brady (293). Barnes collected $350 and a gold medal for his win. Others at the top of the money list were Emmett French (3rd at 298); Gil Nicholls (4th at 301), Charlie Hoffner (5th at 304) and Wilfrid Reid (305) tied for 6th. The host professional was Willie Norton.
The Philadelphia Open was at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in late August. Emmett French, who had made a habit of finishing second or third in big tournaments, came through with a win in the two-day event. His 22-over-par total of 306 won by six strokes, as the host club’s professional Morrie Talman (312) finished second. French’s rounds were 78, 72, 78 and 78. The co-champion from the previous year, Pat Doyle, was next at 313 and Tom McNamara finished two shots higher in fourth place with a 315. First prize was $160 and a gold medal. The last two checks went to Llanerch Country Club professional John Edmundson, who tied for fifth with amateur Norman Maxwell at 316 and Charlie Hoffner (317) who finished seventh. The total purse was $475.
In mid September the tournament players were back at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club for the Pennsylvania Open and Charlie Hoffner won with 77-75 for a ten-over-par 152. He finished six strokes ahead of amateur John Beadle (158) winning the $100 first prize. The Pennsylvania State Golf Association questioned Beadle’s amateur status. They had been told that Beadle, now 19 had caddied in 1916 after his 16th birthday. At that time the USGA rule was that anyone who caddied after his 16th birthday was a professional. The State Golf Association had thought he was now 21. Beadle provided them with a letter proving that his last caddying job was before his 16th birthday. This was important to Beadle since the state amateur championship was starting the next day at Whitemarsh Valley. Beadle became the head professional at the Paxon Hollow Golf Club several years after that. Another amateur, Max Marston, finished third at 160 and amateur Norman Maxwell was next at 161. James R. Thomson and Bill Leach, professional at the Merchantville Country Club, tied at 162 and split the second and third money, winning $40 apiece.
At the same time the Pennsylvania Open was being played the PGA Championship was renewed at the brand new Engineers Country Club on Long Island after a two-year break for the war. The construction of the course had just been completed the previous fall. The big news was that Walter Hagen, the U.S. Open champion, wasn’t in the field since he had failed to appear for his Section’s qualifying rounds in Chicago. Just like 1916 a Scot opposed an Englishman in the final match. Jim Barnes the tallest man in the field and born in England opposed Fred McLeod the shortest man in the field who had been born in Scotland. Barnes won the 36-hole final 6 & 5 to retain the title he had won in 1916. Barnes won $500 and a diamond medal. There was also a gold medal for the runner -up and two silver medals for the losers in the semifinal. The total prize money was the same as 1916, $2,580. All 32 pros that started in the championship won money with the first round losers receiving $50 each. Wilfrid Reid won one match defeating Pat Doyle one-down and he then lost his next match to James West 2&1. Emmett French defeated Clarence Hackney, who was a member of the Metropolitan Section, 7&6 in the first round and Tom Kerrigan by 2-down in the second round match to reach the quarter-final. French then lost to Barnes by 3&2. Reid won $60 for reaching the second round and French earned $75 for getting to the quarter-final. In the semifinal Barnes eliminated Bob MacDonald by the count of 5&4 and McLeod defeated George McLean 3&2. J. Douglas Edgar had a bye in the first round and defeated Harry Hampton in his second round match. He then lost to McLeod in quarter-final. All five rounds of matches were 36 holes.
At the end of the year Walter Hagen was ranked #1 on the PGA Tour and Emmett French was in the top ten with an eighth place ranking. French had won the Philadelphia Open, finished second at the Met Open, third at Shawnee, and reached the quarterfinals in the PGA. Charlie Hoffner was ranked eleventh.
The first issue of “The Professional Golfer of America” magazine was published in May. The magazine contained pertinent information for the golf professional and sent monthly to the PGA members. In 1977 the magazine was renamed “PGA Magazine”.
In May “The American Golfer” reported that were 1,777,400 golfers in the world playing on 5,258 courses in 80 countries. Only 200,000 of them played on public courses. The United States was the leader in clubs with 2,700 and memberships with 525,000.
The title and most of the prize money left the Philadelphia area as Frank McNamara from Long Island, New York won the Philadelphia Open. Played at the Atlantic City Country Club in the second week on June, the tournament was again 72 holes over two days. Frank McNamara’s six-over-par 75, 75, 72 and 72 for 294 finished five strokes ahead of Staten Island, New York’s George Fotheringham (299) who had won the South African Open five times. Frank McNamara’s brother Tom, a two-time winner of the tournament, tied Irish Open champion Pat O’Hara for third at 300. The host professional Clarence Hackney (303) led the Philadelphia area pros with a fifth place finish and Fred McLeod (304) finished sixth and won last money. Charlie Hoffner won $25 for shooting the low round the second day, a 71. He finished seventh.
The Pennsylvania Open was played on the last day of June at the Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh. Oakmont’s head professional and green superintendent Emil “Dutch’ Loeffler, won by ten strokes with a two-over-par score of 150. Loeffler put together rounds of 77 and 73 for his first tournament victory. There was a three-way tie for second. Charles Rowe, the professional at Oakmont, Fred Brand, the professional at the Allegheny Country Club and S. Davidson Harrison the national amateur champion were all at 160. Eastern Pennsylvania was not well represented and no professional from the east finished in the top ten.
The British Open was on again after being shut down for five years due to World War I. The tournament was held at the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in Deal, England on the last day of June and the first day of July. The first day George Duncan shot a pair of 80s and trailed the leader by 13 strokes. The next day Duncan turned in a 71 and a 72, which was seven strokes better than anyone else could put together that day. Duncan’s 303 total won the title by two strokes. Sandy Herd finished second at 305. Ted Ray (306) and Abe Mitchell (307) finished third and fourth. Jim Barnes (309) finished sixth. Duncan was the brother of Alex Duncan, who was the professional at the Philadelphia Cricket Club from 1911 to 1916 and 1925 to 1946. Alex Duncan was president of the Philadelphia Section in 1931 and 1932.
In mid July qualifying for the PGA Championship was held at the Philmont Country Club. At that time Philmont had only one course, which was later called the South Course. The time and location was because the tournament players were in the area for the Shawnee Open. The professionals had begun to question the number and the arraignment of the Sections. Many members found that it did not make sense to take part in their championship qualifying rounds because of the long distances they had to travel. As an example it took 24 hours to drive from Atlanta to Philadelphia. Based on the number of PGA members in the Section there were four spots to qualify for. The Southeastern Section had 43 members and 14 had entered. Atlanta’s J. Douglas Edgar, who had won the Canadian Open championship in 1919, led the scoring with 73 and a 74 for 147. Edgar went on to win the Canadian Open again in late August that year. The other three spots went to Richmond’s Harry Hampton with a 150, the host professional Charlie Hoffner at 151 and Merion Cricket Club professional George Sayers who posted a 153. There was a downpour in the morning, which caused a two-hour stoppage of play. There was prize money. Edgar picked up a check for $100 and the other three qualifiers each received $75. Seven others who failed to qualify won money as well. One of those was Fred McLeod, who had lost to Jim Barnes in the finals the previous year.
The next week in July Jim Barnes, just back from a sixth place finish in the British Open, won his second straight Shawnee Open. He won out over a very strong field by six strokes taking away $500. Barnes had two 72’s the first day and a 71 and a 72 the second day for a five-under-par 287 total. England’s Ted Ray finished second with a 293. Harry Vardon had to skip the tournament due to a swollen thumb, which he injured during a pillow fight during the transatlantic voyage. Vardon and Ray were scheduled for 200 exhibition rounds during their time in the states that summer. The tournament purse was $1,000 with extra bonuses for Vardon and Ray. Harry Hampton and Pat O’Hara tied for third with 297s. The low Philadelphia area player was Bill Leach. Leach finished eleven strokes behind the leader with a 298 and for finishing fifth he won one of the seven cash prizes. Wilfrid Reid, Clarence Hackney and Jimmy Dougherty tied for 12th with 304 totals. The host professional was Willie Norton.
Walter Hagen won the Met Open at the end of July by beating Jim Barnes in an 18-hole playoff at the Greenwich Country Club in Connecticut. The two pros had deadlocked with 292s. In the playoff Hagen was around in 70 strokes versus a 74 for Barnes. Hagen’s tournament rounds were 71, 77, 69 and 75 for 292. J. Douglas Edgar finished third at 296 and Willie Macfarlane was next at 297. Charlie Hoffner tied for fifth with a score of 300, eight strokes off the winning pace. Wilfrid Reid (302) and Emmett French, who was now the professional in Ohio at the Youngstown Country Club (302), tied for eighth and last money.
In the first week of August the Western Open was held at the Olympia Fields Country Club near Chicago with 100 starters. Clarence Hackney finished second one stroke behind the winner Jock Hutchison. Hutchison’s rounds were 72, 73, 71 and 80 for 286. On the 72nd hole Hackney had to play backwards out of a gopher hole in the fairway but he still got his par 4. He tied with Jim Barnes, who three-putted the last green from 18-feet, and Harry Hampton with 297 totals. Eddie Loos, now in Chicago, finished sixth.
The PGA of America’s fourth annual meeting was held in Toledo, Ohio at the Secor Hotel on the second Monday of August. Three days later the U.S. Open was being played in Toledo. Jack Mackie was elected president and Alex Pirie was reelected secretary-treasurer. Wilfrid Reid and George McLean were elected vice presidents. Jack Hobens, George Fotheringham, Jack Mackie, Willie Ogg and Herbert Strong were regional vice presidents. It was decided to exempt PGA champion from having to qualify for future PGA Championships. Also for the 1921 PGA Championship the top 31 PGA members in the 1921 U.S. Open would be the qualifiers for the PGA Championship. The dues were raised to $25.
The U.S. Open was played in mid August at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. The tournament had a record number of entries, 265. 254 players showed up to qualify for 64 places and were sent off in twos at four-minute intervals. The first players started at 6:56 AM and the last ones putted out at 8:50 PM. A number of players dropped out before the second day of qualifying. At the end of day two a score of 157 had qualified as the low 64 and ties made it into the starting field. From the eleven Philadelphia area professionals who were entered only Wilfrid Reid with 78-72 for 150 and Clarence Hackney with 79-74 for 154 had passed the test. Jack Burke, Sr., who had grown up caddying at the Philadelphia Country Club, finished tied for second. He was now working in St. Paul, Minnesota. Burke (296) tied with future Section member Leo Diegel (296), Harry Vardon (296) and Jock Hutchison (296) just one stroke behind the winner Ted Ray’s 295 score. Ray put together rounds of 74, 73, 73 and 75. First prize was $500. Hackney (316) finished twelfth winning $65 and Reid (321) tied for 56th.
The PGA Championship was held the week after the U.S. Open at the Flossmoor Country Club in Chicago. Clarence Hackney ended Jim Barnes hopes of winning a third straight PGA Championship as he defeated him in the second round by 5 & 4. Hackney then lost in the next round, the quarterfinals, to Harry Hampton, who would be his assistant in 1927, by 4&3. Hackney had qualified for the championship as a member of the Metropolitan Section. Most of the pros in New Jersey were in the Metropolitan PGA Section at that time. Jock Hutchison, now the pro at the Glen View Golf Club in Chicago won the title. He defeated J. Douglas Edgar, who had been the medalist at Philmont in July, one-down in the finals. In the semifinals Hutchison defeated Hampton 4&3 and Edgar eliminated George McLean by 8&7. George Sayers lost in the first round to McLean 6&5 and Charlie Hoffner lost in the first round to Laurie Ayton on the 39th hole. Sayers and Hoffner received checks for $50.
On September 1st the USGA came out with some changes to their rules. These changes concerned the amateur status, lost ball penalty, standardized ball, and the stymie. Anyone who had been a professional for five years could not be reinstated as an amateur. The lost ball penalty would be stroke and distance like it was for out of bounds and unplayable lies and they clarified the stymie rule. The ball could not be greater than 1.62 ounces and not less than 1.62 inches in diameter. The USGA stated that it would take whatever steps it considered necessary to limit the ball in regard to distance.
The first of many East Falls Opens was held on the Philadelphia Country Club’s course at Bala on the second Monday in September. The idea of the tournament was to put on a competition for golfers who had gotten their start as caddies at the Philadelphia Country Club and were from the East Falls section of Philadelphia. Bill Leach, a graduate of those caddy ranks, won that first tournament with rounds of 80-79 for 159. Another graduate of “the falls” and the professional at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club, Jack Sawyer (160) finished second. After that first year the committee began inviting other pros that had worked at the Country Club as caddies or pros and other good players. Leach would go on to win three more East Falls Opens and Charlie Hoffner, who won the second one, would win three times. The tournament continued on through the 1930s with pros and amateurs competing. After that it became a tournament for amateurs and it reverted to inviting players who did or had lived in East Falls. It was still being contested even after the turn of the century in the early 2000s.
In mid December the Executive Committee of the PGA met in New York. The committee consisted of the president, the secretary and five vice presidents. A vice president at large from the Southeastern Section was Jack Hobens the new professional at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club. The committee put together a list of 30 professionals from which a team of twelve would be selected to travel to Scotland to play a team match against the British professionals that next June.
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Jock Hutchison won the North and South Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina in early April. The contestants played 36 holes each day of the two-day tournament. Hutchison put together rounds of 75, 69, 71 and 76. His 291 total won by four strokes over George Fotheringham (295) and Fred McLeod (295). Hutchison and Fotheringham were tied at the end of the first day and were paired together the second day. Hutchison picked up a stroke on Fotheringham in the morning round. They both faltered in the afternoon round but no one was able to challenge them. Peter O’Hara finished fourth at 296. Joe Kirkwood, Sr., who was visiting the United States for the first time, played in the tournament. It was there that he met Walter Hagen for the first time as they were paired together all four rounds. During the tournament Kirkwood put on his trick shot show and Hagen realized that they would make a great team.
A forerunner to the Ryder Cup was played on the Kings Course of Gleneagles Golf Club in Perthshire, Scotland on the first Monday of June. A team of twelve professionals from the United States opposed a team of professionals from Great Britain. The professional had to be born in the United States or be a naturalized citizen to play on the team. Five members of the U.S. team, Charlie Hoffner, Wilfrid Reid, Clarence Hackney, Jim Barnes and Emmett French were from the Philadelphia area or had been employed there. Jock Hutchison, J. Douglas Edgar and Fred McLeod, who were also members of the Southeastern PGA Section, were on the team. Reid, Hackney, Barnes, Hutchison and McLeod were returning to their homeland as they had been born in the British Isles. French was the captain of the team. The other members of the American team were Walter Hagen, Bill Mehlhorn, George McLean and Tom Kerrigan. Eddie Loos and Harry Hampton had been selected for the team but they were not able to make the trip. As it turned out Edgar didn’t play because he wasn’t yet a naturalized American citizen like Barnes, Reid, McLeod and Hutchison. Then Barnes didn’t play due to neuritis so it was ten against ten. The British team was composed of Harry Vardon, Ted Ray, J. H. Taylor, James Braid, A. G. Havers, Abe Mitchell, James McKenden, Josh Taylor, J. G. Sherlock and captain, George Duncan. Playing before a gallery of about 2,000 the home team won 10-1/2 to 4-1/2. The Americans won their only points in the singles matches as they lost all of the foursomes (alternate stroke) matches. Hackney, Reid and French won 2-1/2 of the points.
In the June edition of The Professional Golfer of America magazine PGA President George Sargent informed the PGA members that a motion to rearrange the PGA Sections was going to be on the agenda at the national meeting in July. The motion, if passed, was going to change the PGA into state bodies rather than Sections, as the PGA was presently constructed.
In the fourth week of June the British Open was held at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, St. Andrews, Scotland. All of the entrants had to pass a 36-hole qualifying test on the Old and Eden courses. In the first round Charlie Hoffner teed off in a stiff northeast wind on the Old course and posted the low round of the day on that course, a 73. His score was low by two strokes as Harry Vardon was next at 75. The next day Hoffner shot an 81 for a total of 154 and a tie for 13th in the qualifying. It was reported that Hoffner was in several bunkers and lost a number of strokes on the greens. Jock Hutchison was low at 146 and Jim Barnes was next at 148. Barnes shot a 70 on the Old course, which broke the course record by one stroke. Hutchison set a new record for the Eden course with a 69. Clarence Hackney made it through the qualifying with a 158. Wilfrid Reid failed to qualify by two strokes.
When the British Open got under way one member of the American team helped make up for the team’s loss to the British earlier in June as Jock Hutchison (296), a transplanted Scot, won the British Open. In a one-day 36-hole playoff Hutchison defeated amateur Roger Wethered (296) by putting together a 74 and a 76 for 150 against Wethered’s 77-82 for 159. Hutchison’s tournament rounds were 72, 75, 79 and 70 for 296. Tom Kerrigan finished third at 298 and Arthur Havers was fourth with a 299. Barnes and Joe Kirkwood, Sr. tied with Walter Hagen and four other professionals for sixth with 302 totals. Hackney (308) tied for 23rd and Charlie Hoffner (318) tied for 54th.
The week before the U.S. Open in early July, many of the leading golf pros were at the Shawnee Country Club & Buckwood Inn for the Shawnee Open. Willie Ogg from Worcester, Massachusetts won the $550 first prize finishing three strokes ahead of three other pros with rounds of 71, 74, 77 and 76 for a six-over-par 298 total. Tying for second 301s were Australia’s Joe Kirkwood, Sr., England’s Abe Mitchell and Ireland’s Peter O’Hara who was now working in New Jersey. Gene Sarazen finished fifth at 302, two strokes in front of Walter Hagen. There were ten money places and the low pro from the Philadelphia region, Charlie Hoffner (310), finished out of the money tying for 13th.host professional was now Willie Norton.
The PGA of America held its fifth annual meeting at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. on the fourth Friday of July. The U.S. Open had just concluded that day in nearby Chevy Chase, Maryland. George Sargent was elected president and Ernest R. Anderson was elected secretary-treasurer. Wilfrid Reid and George McLean were reelected vice presidents. Alex Pirie made a motion, which was seconded by Joe Nicol, stating that “The size of the Sections be reduced to make more workable bodies”. The motion carried. The PGA officers could see that having only seven PGA Sections for the whole country was unwieldy. Some PGA members in the same Section were more than 1,000 miles apart. A motion to change the present seven PGA Sections into state organizations did not pass but the delegates did agree that smaller Sections were needed. A committee was formed to study the proposal and Jack Hobens was a member of the committee. Hobens, Willie Ogg and Alex Pirie were regional vice presidents.
The next week in July at the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland Jim Barnes added the U.S. Open title to his two PGA victories. Qualifying for the tournament was held on site over two days. There were 258 entries and each day one-half of the field played an 18-hole qualifying round. The low 40 and ties each day qualified. Eighteen pros from the Philadelphia area tried to qualify and seven made it. The ones who made it were Clarence Hackney (71), Bill Leach (76), Bob Barnett (77), Tony Natale (77), Frank Coltart (78), George Sayers (78) and Johnny Rowe (78). Barnes put together rounds of 69, 75, 73 and 72 for a 289 that brought him home nine strokes in front of the second place duo of Walter Hagen (298) and Fred McLeod (298). Amateur Chick Evans finished fourth at 302. Clarence Hackney (305) led the Philadelphia area pros tying for eighth. Tredyffrin Country Club professional Barnett (319) tied for 35th and Leach (320) finished 37th. Coltart, the professional at the Philadelphia Country Club and Country Club of Lansdowne professional Natale also completed the 72 holes. Sayers made the cut but withdrew after the third round and Rowe withdrew during the first round. First prize was $500 and Hackney won $72.50.
One week later in July Bob MacDonald won the Met Open at the Sivanoy Country Club. His 73, 73, 76 and 72 for a 294 total was four ahead of second place Pat O’Hara (298). Johnny Farrell, Cyril Walker and Fred Canausa tied for third with 301s. The winner picked up $250 and a gold medal.
The Philadelphia Open returned to the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in early August. New York’s Willie Macfarlane, who would go on to win the U.S. Open in 1925, won the championship. His two-day 72-hole (73-75-75-71) score of 294, won by 13 strokes. Whitemarsh Valley member Woody Platt (307) finished second behind Macfarlane’s ten-over-par total. Jack Campbell (312), a three-time winner of the tournament, finished third. Two strokes further back and tied for fourth were Joseph Seka (314), who was now the professional at the Cedarbrook Country Club and Matt Duffy (314), who was then serving as the green superintendent at the Llanerch Country Club. The tournament drew a record 90 entries. Six players won money.
Walter Hagen won the Western Open in the fourth week of August at the Oakwood Country Club near Cleveland. Hagen put together rounds of 71, 72, 73 and 71 for a three over par 287. Jock Hutchison finished second at 292, two strokes in front of Emmett French (294). Joe Kirkwood, Sr. and amateur Bobby Jones tied for fourth at 295. There were 170 entries.
On the last day of August the Pennsylvania Open was held at the Merion Cricket Club. Cyril Walker, who would win the U.S. Open in 1924, won by two strokes over three other players with a ten-over-par 150. Walker’s rounds for the one-day tournament were 73 and 77. Tying for second at 152 were the brothers, Charlie Hoffner and Bala Golf Club member George Hoffner, along with the defending champion Emil “Dutch” Loeffler. Merion assistant Peter Conti and Joseph Seka tied for fifth with 153 totals.
Jim Barnes missed a chance to win a third PGA Championship in late September at the Inwood Country Club in New York. Barnes lost to Walter Hagen in the finals by 3 & 2. Hagen was the first American born to win the PGA. Barnes had defeated Emmett French in the semifinals 5&4 and Hagen had beaten Cyril Walker 5&4 to reach the finals. First prize was still $500 and Hagen also received a diamond medal. There was a gold medal for the runner up and the losers in the semifinals were given silver medals. As there was no Sectional qualifying the four losers in the quarter-finals received bronze medals. The field for the championship was selected on a basis of the low 31 professionals from the U.S. Open that year that were eligible and wished to enter. The PGA members didn’t like that method of selecting the field for their championship and they let the officers know it. The defending champion Jock Hutchison was exempt. The starters from the Philadelphia area were Bill Leach, Bob Barnett and Clarence Hackney who was still a member of the Met Section. They all lost in the first round. Leach lost to Jack Gordon 8&7, Johnny Golden sent Barnett home by the count of 5&3 and Hackney lost to Barnes 3&2. The purse was still $2,580 and all the matches were scheduled for 36 holes. The first round losers each won $50.
On the first Monday of November the pros in the Philadelphia area put on the Main Line Open at the Tredyffrin Country Club. In later years this was considered to be the equivalent of a tour event due to the quality of the field. Stanley Hern, a pro golf salesman who managed the St. Mungo Mfg. Company office in Philadelphia, and the host professional Bob Barnett were responsible for the success of the tournament that day. Hern’s company manufactured the Colonel Golf Ball. Jim Barnes, the holder of the U.S. Open title and now the pro at the Pelham Country Club in New York, had arrived in Philadelphia for the one day 36-hole tournament the night before, but due to some misinformation he missed the morning train to Paoli. In those days missing a train to Paoli was a big problem. When he finally arrived at the golf course it was almost noon. Barnes quickly changed into his golf shoes, grabbed Hern, as a playing partner and scorer. Running part of the way while playing through several threesomes, the two players completed the round in one hour and forty-five minutes. The gallery had to cut across from hole to hole in order to keep pace with Barnes and Hern. Even though he failed to par either of the last two holes Barnes was around in 72 strokes, which broke the course record of 73. The score was even more impressive as the course measured 6,300 yards and there was a stiff icy wind. That year the club had been offering a prize to anyone who could break the course record in certain stipulated events. Many nationally know players, including Barnes, had tried and failed. In his second round Barnes took 77 strokes as he and Hern played the course in two hours and ten minutes. Barnes (149) finished five strokes in front of Charlie Hoffner’s 154. With the help of a last nine 33 Hoffner shot a 74, which was the low round of the afternoon. Five pros finished in the money and divided up the $515 in prize money. Bobby Cruickshank (155) finished third one stroke behind Hoffner, one stroke in front of John Edmundson (156) and Pat Doyle (156) who tied for fourth. Barnes’ victory was worth $200 plus $25 for the low round in the morning.
In reply to the members’ concerns about the size of the PGA Sections, a committee had been formed to address the problem. Jack Hobens and the committee had been meeting. The rearrangement of the Sections took quite a bit of time and deliberation. There was a strong move to have a PGA Section in each state, but the PGA leaders knew that there were not enough golf professionals in some states for a successful Section to exist. The decision was made by the committee to divide the country into 24 Sections rather than the seven that had existed up to then. One of the proposed new Sections would be comprised of eastern Pennsylvania and the state of Delaware. At the Main Line Open in November there had been lots of talk about the possibilities of forming a Philadelphia PGA Section.
On November 22 the Illinois PGA Section was formed and Joe Roseman who was the professional at the Westmoreland Country Club was elected its first president. Roseman had grown up in the East Falls section of Philadelphia and was introduced to golf as a caddy at the Philadelphia Country Club. He was an assistant at the Philadelphia CC for eight years before moving to Iowa with Jack Burke, Sr. Along with being a golf professional Roseman was designing golf courses.
In November and December the Philadelphia pros were getting organized and the formulation of the Philadelphia PGA was taking place. Stanley Hern, Bob Barnett and Vin O’Donnell, a professional golf salesman for the Holmac Golf Company, were instrumental in founding the Section.