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Chay Burgess, Francis Ouimet and the Bringing of Golf to America, Revised Edition

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About the Book

 This book tells the story of the Scottish golf professionals who came to America in 1888 and struggled to earn a living and the respect of the wealthy amateur golf establishment and the United States Golf Association who controlled the sport. Charles “Chay” Burgess—founder of the New England PGA, teacher of three American national champions, and the savior of the Ryder cup—learned the game on ancient seaside links and competed against British greats. His arrival in the U.S. dramatically influenced the growth of golf and the reconciliation of differences between amateurs and professionals.
In 1913, the American Francis Ouimet—a working-class unknown under Burgess’ tutelage—won the U.S. Open against British celebrities Ted Ray and Harry Vardon. His triumph brought the game to mainstream America.

About the Author(s)

Charles D. Burgess has been a teacher, administrator and educational consultant in Greater Boston for forty years. His sports and entertainment writings have appeared in both the U.S. and Great Britain. He lives in Norwood, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Charles D. Burgess
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 80 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6736-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2736-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments x

Preface to the Revised Edition 1

1. Golf’s Beginning—1903 3

Historic Links  3

Montrose  4

Tom Morris and Bob Dow, “Grand Old Men” of Golf  6

Scottish Independence  7

Growing up Linkside  8

Montrose Tournament of 1888  11

Fieldstone’s, Football and Golf  13

Playing for Pay  17

Life in English Professional Football  18

2. 1903–1905 24

Golf’s Infancy in America  24

Alex Findlay, American Golf Pioneer  25

Willie Campbell, Donald Ross, George Wright

  and Golf’s Roots in Boston  26

Becoming a Scottish Golf Professional  29

A New “Merky” Clubhouse  35

Election to The PGA  36

3. 1905–1908 38

The International Links of Montrose  38

“The Great Triumvirate”: Taylor, Vardon and Braid  40

Charlie’s First Open  41

News of the World  42

Coronation Tankard  43

Links Championship  44

Vardon, Burgess and Braid  45

Becoming a Teacher  47

Surprising Setback  49

4. 1908–1909 53

Alex Findlay Returns  53

America Beckons  55

The Crossing and Arrival  58

5. 1909–1913 63

American Professionals and the USGA  63

Setting Up Shop  66

Finding Francis  68

Francis Ouimet  70

Lessons from Charlie  73

Back to School  74

Up in Flames  76

A Championship at Harvard  78

6. 1913 85

Ouimet’s Prelude to Prominence  85

A ­Star-Studded Field Gathers for the 1913 U.S. Open  88

The Match that Changed Golf Forever: The 1913 U.S. Open  92

7. 1913–1914 110

A Tribute to Francis  110

Pinehurst Privileges  115

Another Championship  116

Success and Celebrity  118

Most Pros Still Languish  119

Walter Hagen, the “Haig”  120

Charlie Burgess and the “Bambino”  122

Challenging Charlie  123

8. 1914–1919 125

The 1914 U.S. Amateur and Jesse Guilford  125

Francis Banned  127

The PGA of America  129

The Great War  130

Young Charlie  131

Opposition to Golf  133

9. 1920–1921 136

The Twenties Begin  136

Jock Blair’s Misfortune  137

A Return to Scotland  138

Two Kinds of American Pros  141

Chay’s Second National Champion  143

Professional Team Play  145

A Rebellion in the PGA  146

New England Professionals Prosper  149

The Tragedy of Tellier  153

10. 1921–1929 154

An Anniversary Back in Scotland  154

The Golf Center Shifts to America  156

The PGA Reforms  158

Jesse, Francis and the Walker Cup  160

Golf Grows in the Twenties  162

Guilford and Burgess Win New England Crown  164

The PGA, the USGA and the U.S. Open  167

America’s Forgotten Champion  168

Saving the Ryder Cup  169

A Tribute from Francis  174

The End of the Decade  176

11. 1930–1934 178

Ouimet and Guilford Challenge Von Elm and Burke  178

Ouimet’s Great Comeback  181

A Hero’s Return  185

The Nicoll Brothers  186

A Champion in Defeat  190

The Deepening Depression  191

12. 1935–1960 196

Ruth Returns  196

Bing Crosby  200

Big League Sluggers  202

A Special Order  204

Slighted by Snead  206

The Other Babe  207

Ted Bishop  208

Retirement  209

Back to Duty, World War II  212

A Third National Champion  214

Final Rounds  216

Chapter Notes 223

Bibliography 231

Index 235

Book Reviews & Awards

“I have very much enjoyed reading about ‘Chay’ Burgess. The account of his exploits in coming to America while golf was in its infancy in the United States is fascinating. The story of how he nurtured the talents of young Francis Ouimet, Jessie Guilford, and Ted Bishop is a testament to his teaching ability. But it is also a great insight as to what life was like just after the turn of the century in New England and in the East, where golfers in this country owe a great debt of gratitude. How lucky was Boston to have Charlie Burgess, Willie Campbell and the Ross brothers, Alex and Donald?”—Ben Crenshaw, Two-time Masters Champion, Member of the US World Cup Team, Member and Captain of the United States Ryder Cup Team; “Whatever progress I have made in golf I owe directly to Charlie Burgess. He always had the faculty of putting me in the proper frame of mind when entering an important match and I repeat he taught me whatever I know about the game.”—Francis Ouimet, US Open Champion, Two-time United States Amateur Champion, Member and Captain of the United States Walker Cup Team, First American elect as Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, Original inductee to the PGA Hall of Fame and the World Golf Hall of Fame.