St. Louis Country Club was formed in 1892 with polo as the primary sport. Within three years, the Club moved to a new location, where they established the area’s first course. Designed by James Foulis, the 1896 U.S. Open Champion, the original nine holes would be extended through the years to 27 holes; sufficient to have a course devoted exclusively for the club’s ladies to play. In 1913, the club moved further west – to its present site in Ladue – and began construction on the golf course.
The golf committee was headed by George Herbert Walker, founder of the Walker Cup – the men’s version of the Curtis Cup – who worked with the colorful “father” of golf course architecture in the United States, Charles Blair Macdonald, as he built the “new course” for the club, which opened in 1914.
The club’s timeless and revered Macdonald course is a treasure. The course features a number of the classic holes from Great Britain, Scotland and Europe, a trait Macdonald used frequently as he created many of the game’s greatest layouts. As a young man studying at St. Andrews University in Scotland, he was exposed to some of the game’s greatest courses. He took from these courses the holes he considered among the very best: Eden, Redan, Road, Alps, Short, Punch Bowl, Biarritz, and Cape, to name just a few
In addition to Macdonald, one of his young protégés, Seth Raynor, who would go on to design some of the game’s greatest courses on his own during the classic years of golf architecture, performed the engineering on the course. The combination of these two giants in golf architecture leave little doubt why the St. Louis course is considered one of the best in golf.
The club began its tradition of hosting USGA events in 1921 and 1925, when it became the first club west of the Mississippi River to host the U.S. Amateur Championship and U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, respectively.
In the 1921 National Amateur, Francis Ouimet was medalist, while Jesse Guilford claimed the champion’s trophy with his match play victory. A young Bobby Jones was also a participant in the 1921 event, losing in the quarterfinals. So impressed was he by the competition that he devoted a full chapter to it in his classic book, “Down The Fairway.” Glenna Collett (Vare), one of the most decorated players in the history of the women’s game and an ardent supporter of the Curtis Cup Match, emerged victorious from the 1925 U.S. Women’s Amateur as she defeated Alexis Sterling in their final match. Deane Beman won the 1960 U.S. Amateur, despite strong competition from players such as Jack Nicklaus. In the 1947 U.S. Open Championship, Sam Snead, in another of his missed opportunities to claim a U.S. Open victory, narrowly lost in a playoff to Lew Worsham. In 1972, Mary Budke won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at St. Louis Country Club. Two years later, she played on the victorious 1974 Curtis Cup Team at San Francisco Golf Club, and then went on to captain the 2002 Curtis Cup Team.
The Club is excited to be hosting one of golf's premier international amateur events. We believe that today's players will find the course as exciting and challenging as it has been for nearly 100 years.