All amateur golfers dream of competing in the US Amateur to get their hands on one of golf’s most coveted trophies – the Havemeyer Trophy. In honor of the USGA’s first president Theodore A. Havemeyer, the golf trophy given to the U.S. Amateur’s champion is named after him.
The United States Amateur Championship, or simply the U.S. Amateur, is the oldest golf competition being facilitated by the United States Golf Association (USGA) being established in 1895. It is revered among many national championships in the United States because it embodies the USGA’s foundation. The US Amateur is competitive golf’s purest form having no big money purses, endorsements or huge egos. Competitors play because of their love of the game. In the United States, the US Amateur is no doubt the leading competition for amateur golfers. It is annually held and organized by the United States Golf Association in the last week of August and this golf tournament lasts 7 days. In the history of golf, many of the sport’s most popular leading figures have won the US Amateur which includes five-time champion Bobby Jones, two-time winner Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods won 3 consecutive US Amateur Championship.
In 1894 before the existence of the United States Golf Association, there were 2 golf competitions called the “National Amateur Championship”. The first one was held at the Newport Country Club where William Lawrence emerged as the champion. Laurence Stottard won the other one that was held at St Andrews Golf Club. The Amateur Golf Association of the United States was then created as the need for a national governing body to authorize and officiate an official national championship. It was later renamed as the United States Golf Association and on 1895 organized 2 of the world’s most sought after golf events, the US Open and the US Amateur.
The USGA’s first president, Theodore A. Havemeyer volunteered to sponsor the creation of the association’s most important championship. On March 28, 1985, Havemeyer, a Wall Street sugar baron, stipulated in the Executive Committee’s meeting that the US Amateur’s golf trophy will be held for a particular year from which the winner enters the golf competition. Out of the many companies that submitted proposals, it was J.E. Caldwell and Company from Philadelphia that was deemed to have given the best design for the prestigious golf trophy. The company was commissioned to do the task and earned $1000 for the project. The original Havemeyer Trophy was ornate silver and was first won by Charles Blair Macdonald when the inaugural US Amateur was held at Newport Golf Club on October 3, 1895.
Among famous golf trophies, the Havemeyer Trophy has gone through a story of tragedy and triumph. On a devastating fire that devoured the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 22, 1925, the Havemeyer Trophy was lost. This was after Bob Jones was able to bring the golf trophy back to the United States from Hoylake, England. The fallen clubhouse was to be rebuilt bigger and better right away even while tiny flames flickered in its embers. The Havemeyer Trophy however was not granted the same fate. The USGA ultimately decided that another design with more space to incorporate the engraving of the names of future winners will be created.
With much the same spirit as that of Theodore Havemeyer, the USGA’s then retiring treasurer Edwin Moore generously donated funds for the creation of the new golf trophy. Retaining its previous title, the new Havemeyer Trophy was designed by the well known silversmith Ernest M. Currier. The new Havemeyer Trophy is inspired by classical Renaissance with its high standing urn design. It is entirely made of 18-carat gold.
As Kelly Kraft prevailed as 2011’s US Amateur champion, the Havemeyer golf trophy is once again raised to heights that this fine work of art deserves. Truly, it displays elegance and history that have made its mark in golfing history.