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".
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.
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?
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.
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.
When Alexander H. Findlay arrived in the United States in 1887 he immediately traveled to Nebraska with his golf clubs. Upon arriving at his destination a little west of Omaha he settled down in his new line of work, cowboy! It was a most amazing transition from world class golfer to 2nd hand hired hand cowboy. It's not that Alex did not take to riding a horse; he didn't totally understand anything about horses, cows or ranches. But a new start is a new start. It wasn't long before the urgings for a round of golf enveloped him. He heard there was a course in Denver, off he went in search of that course only to find out it was polo they were playing. He did this throughout the west and in the end he would start a new career, designing and building of golf courses.
I thought it would be good to publish what others say regarding Alexander H. Findlay being "the Father of American Golf". I invite you to examine these sites yourself. If you find others please let me know and I will include them on this page.
Willie Anderson's golf ball lay between Findlay's ball and the hole. Findlay was stymied, which meant in those days before balls were marked to give opponents a clear line to the cup while putting, he had to play around Anderson's ball. What did Findlay do? Read the entire article and be amazed.
Starting July 16 thru July 29 I will be traveling north to visit as many of Alexander H. Findlay's golf courses as possible. I hope to play a number of them and to photograph the unique inuendos of each course. I will endeavor to keep you posted on a day to day basis. I would also appreciate any input you may have or any direction you would like me to pursue.
2013 GOLF ROAD TRIP - 5,025 miles! What a great trip this summer. Starting of on Monday from Manassas, Virginia to Pittsburgh, PA, not a long drive, but a most breathtaking trip. Our first stop was to visit PITTSBURGH FIELD CLUB almost across the river from OAKMONT Country Club. David Martin the head PGA club pro made arrangements for my wife and I to play on Tuesday, but heavy rains made that not possible at that time. Nevertheless, the design of the course is a great test of golf and quite an eye to the beholder. Built in 1915, just before the Great War it has stood the test of time. Magnificent in it's upkeep and surrounding beauty. It is built on the top of a small mountain and flows down into it's own valley, once the host to the 1937 PGA tournament and since then many tournaments have played at the Field Club.