The History of Alexander H. Findlay

Alexander H. Findlay, a Scottish immigrant to the United States in early 1887, became the first man on record - April 4, 1887 - to construct a golf course and play a round of golf, with his partner Edward Millar, over the six-hole layout. This first authenticated golf course was located on the Merchiston Ranch in Nance County, Nebraska, some 130 miles west of Omaha. This is the official site on the history of Alexander H. Findlay. Here you will find articles related to his advancing golf in America.

The Official Site of Alexander H. Findlay

A little history concerning this site and who is preparing the information. It is a joint effort of both myself Richard B. Findlay and my recently deceased older brother Ronald A. Findlay, grandsons of Alexander H. Findlay by his 3rd son Norman E.J. Findlay, Sr. Growing up in Philadelphia, PA we had a house full of one of the most extensive private golf collections of antiquity in existence. We knew that our grandfather was famous for golf but not actually sure of his legacy. You see he died before I was born and when Ron was only 7 years of age. Our father would tell us of his father’s accomplishments in early American golf. He would even indicate that Alex was "The Father of American Golf".

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Frederick Augustus McPherson Findlay by Steve Doorey and Dr. Michael Sheret

Frederick Augustus McPherson Findlay learned his golf at his home town of Montrose, which has a very old and classic links about 35 km to the north of Carnoustie. He migrated to Australia in December 1909. He became the professional at the Metropolitan Golf Club, Melbourne, from 1910 to 1922. Fred left Australia and arrived in America in 1923. He was joined in America by his only surviving child, his daughter Ruth, who had married American Raymond “Ben” Franklin Loving in Melbourne 1924. Ruth went to America with Ben in 1925 to live with him in Virginia. In America Fred had a very successful career as a golf course architect.

 

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Who Really is the Father of American Golf?

Who really is the Father of American Golf?

Is it David Deas, C.B. MacDonald, John Reid, Joseph Oil Fox, Donald Ross, Francis Ouimet, Robert Lockhart. Indeed there many standing in line for the title, but who really qualifies? 

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Golf….In the Beginning in the United States

We hear of many places claiming priority in the game of Golf. The first recognized Golf Club was at St. Andrews-on-the-Hudson, New York, fathered by Robert Lockhart and John Reid, two sturdy Scots late in the year 1888. Mr. Reid was a staunch friend of mine; he has passed on to the Elysian Heights. Many times and oft we have discussed the theme of Golf; he was proud to know of my game in Nebraska very early in the spring of 1887. To know him was to love him; he has left two worthy sons in John and Archie to carry on the good work. May the green sod rest lightly over his brow, as lightly, at least, as he dealt with it. He was a man.

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The Year is 1886

In 1886 there were only 38 states in the union. There were no golf courses to be found. The oldest state was only 99 years of age, Delaware. Colorado was formed as a state to the union in 1876. It would be two years before North and South Dakota would be admitted. Nebraska was only admitted as a state in 1867. 19 years previously. But it was here that the first Golf Course in the United States was laid out and played on. 

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