The 37th Curtis Cup Match â€“ Nairn 2012
The Ladiesâ€™ Golf Union hopes that you will be able to join in the celebrations at Nairn in 2012. It is a wonderful location with legendary hospitality and the club is very much looking forward to a memorable match and welcoming you to this fantastic part of Scotland. Should you wish further information about the 2012 Match, please do not hesitate to contact the organisers at the address below. The Ladiesâ€™ Golf Union The Scores St Andrews Fife Scotland KY16 9AT firstname.lastname@example.org www.lgu.org
An Invitation from The Nairn Golf Club As Chairman of The Nairn Golf Club Curtis Cup Committee, I consider it an honour and a great privilege that the Ladies’ Golf Union Executive Council chose The Nairn Golf Club as the venue for the 2012 Curtis Cup Match. Our course is a natural links set on the shores of the Moray Firth with red fescue and bent grasses, wonderful banks of deep purple heather, and in Spring, vivid dashes of beguiling yellow gorse. Standing on the first tee at The Nairn Golf Club there are uninterrupted views for 70 miles to the mountains on the West Coast and more than 60 miles to the North beyond Dornoch. This is the setting that our visitors enjoy as they relax in our modern Clubhouse and wonder at the beauty of their surroundings. The mystique of the Highlands attracted Auchterlonie, Varden, Locke and Cotton, all passed this way and admired the work of the three men who can justly claim to be the course architects; Archie Simpson, Old Tom Morris and James Braid. The course, albeit lengthened for the modern game, still has all the character that Braid unlocked from the natural links almost a century ago. The Nairn Golf Club has hosted many Championships for both Ladies and Gentlemen; the first national amateur championship held at the Club was the Scottish Ladies’ Amateur in 1910. Therefore we are delighted that 102 years after our first national Ladies’ tournament and 125 years after our Club was founded we have the opportunity to host the prestigious Curtis Cup. For those travelling, the North of Scotland offers a vast choice of courses and is fortunate to offer a number of Championship Courses for visitors to enjoy. As well as golf the stunning scenery of the Highlands also offers much in the way of culture from music and theatre to galleries and fine dining. Distilleries are also in abundance all producing the whisky which is exported around the globe. On behalf of all the members of The Nairn Golf Club we hope that you will make the journey to Nairn to be part of the 2012 Curtis Cup, we eagerly await this wonderful competition and I can assure you we will offer a very warm Highland welcome to you all. George Asher The Nairn Golf Club Seabank Rd, Nairn. Tel 01667 453208 www.nairngolfclub.co.uk 3
Message from Catriona Matthew mbe, Ricoh Womenâ€™s British Open Champion 2009 and Former Curtis Cup Player Playing Curtis Cup is the ultimate goal for an amateur lady golfer, and I was fortunate to make the team on 3 occasions before finally turning professional fifteen years ago. I played with and against some great players over some excellent courses, but I never got to play Curtis Cup in my home country, Scotland, the Home of Golf. That would have been the icing on the cake! I am therefore somewhat envious of the current crop of top amateurs from both sides of the Atlantic who will have the opportunity to play in the 37th Curtis Cup match at The Nairn Golf Club in the north of Scotland in 2012. The Nairn Golf Club itself has hosted many prestigious matches and championships in the past, and is an excellent test of golf. The original idea for the Curtis Cup was to stimulate friendly rivalry among players and strengthen the ties of goodwill between the nations. Scotland is renowned for its friendliness, hospitality and of course its world class golf courses. The Curtis Cup and Scotland are therefore a great fit and Iâ€™m sure the 37th match will be a first class experience for players and supporters alike. I wish the LGU and The Nairn Golf Club every success in staging the 2012 Curtis Cup match and would encourage all supporters to make the journey to Scotland and enjoy the golf, the scenery and the hospitality, of which all Scots are justifiably proud.
Historical Background The Nairn Golf Club was established in 1887, when our first President Viscount Finlay had the foresight to create a golf club on these links, ‘The Apple Tree Gang’ still had a year to wait before they turned their orchard into ‘Yonkers’, the oldest golf club in America. No trace remains of Andrew Simpson’s modest layout in 1887 and the course which satisfied Mr. James Braid after his last visit in 1926, measuring 6127yards, is generally what is played today. With little alteration apart from length, the course now measures 6722 yards, it ensures that Mr James Braid’s final statement to The Nairn Golf Club Committee in 1926 holds true today as it did all those years ago :“The putting greens were always the outstanding feature of the course and still fully maintain their excellence. The texture of the turf and character of the greens are unrivalled and I consider the course will maintain its pre-eminence in the front rank of really first class links and meet all modern requirements both in regards to length and a thorough test of skill in the game “. James Braid, 1926 For well over a century The Nairn Golf Club has taken pride in hosting the best Ladie’s and Gentlemen’s Amateur Tournaments. In 1910 Miss JB Watson travelled north to Nairn and won the Scottish Ladies’ Amateur Tournament, since then ‘Nairn’ has hosted this event on 6 further occasions with worthy winners such as Mrs Jessie Valentine in 1951. In 1979 Nairn played host to The Ladies’ British Amateur and after an enthralling final Miss M Madill took the title. More recently Nairn has been privileged to host Ladies’ events on an International scale. In 1991 GB & I triumphed over Europe in The Vagliano Trophy. In 1996 it was the turn of the European Junior Ladies Teams to test their skills on the Nairn Links with a very talented Spanish team emerging victorious. After a break of nine years The LGU returned with The Ladies’ British Amateur Strokeplay in 2005, Scot Heather Macrae won at the first extra hole of a sudden death playoff. The Nairn Golf Club has also had the honour of hosting many male events including, amongst others, The Scottish Amateur, four times since 1954, notable winners being Ronnie Shade in 1964 and Colin Montgomerie in 1987, The Amateur Championship in 1994 was won by Lee James and of course, the 1999 Walker Cup which was won by Great Britain and Ireland.
The Curtis Cup “To stimulate friendly rivalry among the women golfers of many lands”
US & GB & I team pictured on the Swilcan Bridge, St Andrews during 2008 Match
The trophy itself is called the “Curtis Cup”. It is a silver bowl of Paul Revere design, and was donated by Harriot Curtis (who had won the United States Women’s Amateur Golf Championship in 1906) and her sister Margaret (who had won it in 1907, 1911, and 1912). It is a contest between the USA and a team from Great Britain & Ireland.
The match was last played in Great Britain & Ireland over the Old Course, St Andrews in 2008.
When the match is played in Great Britain & Ireland it is organised by the Ladies’ Golf Union. When the match is held in the USA it is organised by the United States Golf Association.
Each team consists of 8 of the very best amateur golfers and it is the pinnacle of an amateur golfer’s achievements. Many past Curtis Cup team members have gone on to become stars of women’s professional golf. The Curtis Cup is the best known team trophy for women amateur golfers, and is awarded in the biennial Curtis Cup Match played in even years.
The Curtis sisters had competed in the 1905 British Ladies’ Amateur Golf Championship, where an informal match had occurred between teams of American and British golfers, and they wanted to promote the international friendships in the world of women’s golf. The cup is inscribed, “To stimulate friendly rivalry among the women golfers of many lands.” The first Curtis Cup match was played at Wentworth Golf in 1932.
The 2010 match will be played at the home of the Curtis Sisters, namely, The Essex County Club, MA, USA
The 2012 match will be played at The Nairn Golf Club, Scotland
The Ladies’ Golf Union is currently seeking a venue for the 2016 Match and if your club is interested please contact us on email@example.com for further information.
An identical copy of the Curtis Cup trophy is kept on display at the British Golf Museum in St Andrews for all to see should you visit the “home of golf” CELEBRATING 20 YEARS
Royal Dornoch Golf Club
Ceud mile failte! ~ Gaelic for “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes” Royal Dornoch, rated 15th in the World is a “must” experience for all golfers. Both the Championship and the Struie Courses offer first class “links”golf
Golf Road, Dornoch IV25 3LW, Sutherland, Scotland
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Things to see and do When in the Highlands… The Nairn Golf Club hopes to welcome many overseas visitors from the USA plus a large gathering from Great Britain and Ireland for the Curtis Cup in 2012. Nairn is 15 miles East of Inverness in the North of Scotland and a great base for visitors to explore the Highlands from. To the West, Inverness the Capital of the Highlands has shopping, bars and restaurants as one would expect from the UK’s most northerly city. Nairn, itself, is a smaller coastal town with 2 championship golf courses and a vast sandy beach. For the nature lover, Scotland’s natural resources are on our doorstep, with the Highlands being one of the few remaining unspoiled areas of Europe and an opportunity to see some of Scotland’s rarest wildlife species in their natural habitats. No trip to the Highlands would be deemed complete without passing along the shores of Loch Ness, trying to catch a glimpse of ‘Nessie’ while journeying on your way to the Isle of Skye. Skye is famed for its legendary beauty and some of the wildest mountain and coastal scenery imaginable. There are many castles within an hour of Nairn, perhaps the most romantic being the 14th century Cawdor Castle, which has been made famous by Shakespeare’s “MacBeth”. Close by is Culloden Battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite solders were defeated by the Duke of Cumberland in what was the last battle fought on British soil. For over 500 years the Highlands have kept Scotland in fine spirits and Scotland’s second gift to the world is whisky. In the heart of this nearby countryside you can visit such famous names as Glenfiddich, Macallan, Benromach and Glenmorangie and learn why no other country has been able to reproduce the distinctive flavour of Scotch Whisky. If whisky is the second gift Scotland has given to the world, then arguably our first gift would be golf. The Highlands are home to some hidden gems and some classic golf courses renowned the world over. Hidden gems include Boat of Garten, Brora, Fortrose, Moray and Nairn Dunbar to name but a few. The better known include Royal Dornoch, Nairn and the new Castle Stuart Golf links. Most of these courses welcome visitors at very reasonable rates.
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The Perfect Stage Scotland, the Home of Golf, looks forward to welcoming the Curtis Cup to the magnificent Nairn Golf Club in 2012. EventScotland is proud to be supporting another great addition to our world-class calendar of golf events. For more information on EventScotland and our role please visit www.EventScotland.org/golf
How to get here… The importance of The Curtis Cup requires that it is held at a venue which, in addition to providing a golf course of Championship quality, is acceptable in terms of access to the participants and spectators travelling from abroad and from within Great Britain & Ireland. Travelling to The Highlands:By Air… Inverness Airport is the closest airport, located 7 miles from The Nairn Golf Club. Direct flights currently operate to most major UK airports including Gatwick (x3 daily), Luton, Belfast Bristol, Southampton, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and The Scottish Islands. By Rail… Nairn is linked by rail to Inverness and Aberdeen and therefore to The South, with frequent services. By Road… Nairn is situated on the A96, some 15 miles East of Inverness and 88 miles West of Aberdeen. The A9 is the main arterial route South with trunk roads and regular bus services. Edinburgh & Glasgow are a picturesque 3 hour drive from Nairn. Websites for more information… www.visitscotland.com www.visitnairn.com www.nairngolfclub.co.uk
Nairn Golf Club Inverness Aberdeen
The Nairn Golf Club David J Whyte Golf Travel Writer & Photographer
Star quality in the Scottish Highlands Star quality is something the Highlands of Scotland has in abundance. Its quality courses are loved and adored the world over, and a regular feature in record books. Golf’s elite players have had to form an orderly queue to pay compliment to the Highlands on the standard and quality of its golf courses - giving the region something to brag about. Having won his Scottish Amateur title at Nairn Golf Club in 1987, Colin Montgomerie has continually heaped praise on the course. And no wonder, it is the ideal hideaway for the holiday golfer to enjoy golf in a unique but fascinating setting - and the perfect stage for the 2012 Curtis Cup. Montgomerie is not the only voice from golf’s highest echelons to show his love for the region. Tom Watson has also afforded praise to the magnificent links of Royal Dornoch. “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course,” he said of the sensational lay-out, long considered the star of the Highlands, with its glorious isolation and mystique proving why it is regularly amongst the world’s top-rated. Meantime, lying inconspicuously along the North Sea is Brora Golf Club, a course which has, for more than 100 years, maintained everything that is intrinsically links-like and traditional about golf in this part of Scotland. The much-anticipated Castle Stuart Links course, designed by Mark Parsinen, is a fine - and modern - addition to Scottish golf. Situated between Inverness and Nairn, the course enjoys the ethereal backdrop of the Moray Firth. Another modern marvel is the magnificent Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Course, which opened in 2006. The course is known as the jewel in the crown of modern Highland golf, adding to the already proud tournament history, as home of the Scottish Challenge. For more information on golf in Scotland: www.VisitScotland.com/golf
A wee dr am of whisky and a round of great golf are best enjoyed side by side Many believe a round of golf lasts 18 holes to reflect the number of shots in the average bottle of Scotch whisky. Of course, this isn’t the real reason for the 18-hole rule, but it is easy to see why the two are often paired together. Golf and whisky are two of the country’s defining creations, making Scotland famous. Separately, they can be enjoyed anywhere, but together; there is only one place their true quality can be savoured side by side. The Highland region is whisky country, housing the bulk of its distilleries and host to the world’s only Malt Whisky and Golf Trail. The trail takes in eight distilleries and there is an abundance of golf on offer. Not far from the Malt Whisky Trail and at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, Boat of Garten Golf Club is a true gem on any golfer’s list, with the River Spey flowing east and views of the Cairngorms. If the dizzy heights of golf are what you wish to sample, Kingussie Golf Club is right up your street, with the course rising 1,000ft above sea level. Come back to earth at nearby Newtonmore, a comparatively flatter and easywalking course. Glenlivet distillery is located in one of the most secluded parts of the Highlands, but is well worth a visit. Why? The nearby cluster of golf courses is more than reason enough. Granton-on-Spey Golf Club is famed for its scintillating scenery and, located in the Cairngorms National Park; it is no surprise so many visit there. The nearby Carrbridge, Abernethy and Craggan Golf Clubs are all delightful Speyside offerings and, having sampled the fine whisky at Glenlivet, spend the rest of your day sampling majestic Highland scenery and a round of golf. The most golf-concentrated stop on the whisky tour has to be Glen Moray distillery. The area is overflowing with fantastic golf courses, with a round to be enjoyed at the likes of the magnificent Dufftown, Forres, Keith and Elgin Golf Clubs to name a few. Nairn Dunbar is near Benromach distillery, meaning a trip to this small section of the region will reward you with one of the country’s best links, displaying all true attributes of typical Highland golf. Whiskies from this region are rounded and firm in character - much like the golf on offer and Golspie, Tarbat, Tain and Helmsdale more than fit the bill. Both golf and whisky have been lauded for their medicinal qualities during their illustrious histories, and, with the Highlands offering the best of both side by side, you can be sure that a visit to this corner of the country is enough to cure you forever. For more information on golf in Scotland: www.VisitScotland.com/golf
Harris Golf Club David J Whyte Golf Travel Writer & Photographer 18
Island golf is a unique experience that is best enjoyed in the Scottish Highlands Nestling out in the watery Highlands of Scotland lie a crop of golf courses just waiting to be discovered. Picture the most raw, rugged golf you have ever played - and imagine it even more natural. That is island golf. You would be forgiven for thinking that golf in Scotland ends at the top of the mainland - however, you might never forgive yourself if you fail to experience the dramatic nature of golf on the courses of Scotland’s islands. The Shetlands boast three excellent golf courses, each holding their own golfing appeal. Whalsay not only offers a magnificent moorland challenge with spectacular clifftop scenery, but also the unique attribute of being the UK’s most northerly golf course. Asta Golf Club, meantime, is a course you must keep a keen eye on - as wildlife runs freely across the course, much like it did during golf’s humble beginnings and a round here is best for the avid golf fan looking to experience the game exactly how nature intended. Sharing its name with its host island, Shetland is another moorland offering where you can delight in the sight of passing wildlife. Orkney is home to three courses on the mainland; Stromness, Kirkwall and South Ronaldsay, all offering a mix of links, parkland, ditches, quarries and wartime bunkers. Both the courses in Kirkwall and Stromness are 18-holes, while South Ronaldsay offers a nine-hole challenge. Stromness has unrivalled views over Hoy Sound with the 1,000ft cliffs of the Kame of Hoy the backdrop to the shore-side course where Midnight golf on mid-summer’s day is a longestablished tradition. The Orkney Golf Club is situated on the hill above Kirkwall town and harbour, with stunning views to the North Isles and is a short walk from the town centre while South Ronaldsay is a new layout in the village of St Margaret’s Hope. Other islands, too, provide the unique experience of golf in the wilderness, all of which are likely to provide a few stories for the grandkids. Sconser on the Isle of Skye offers an invigorating nine-hole round while Benbecula is naturally flat but boasts incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean, not a bad way to enjoy a round of golf! Also not to be missed is one of the world’s greatest golfing discoveries on South Uist - Askernish, an Old Tom Morris original. Recently restored, it is a course of true Open Championship standard, beginning and ending in understated style - with the key battles of the course to be had from seven to 17. Askernish has thrust the Scottish islands to the forefront of golf lovers the world over - and the region is more than up to the challenge that brings. For more information on golf in Scotland: www.VisitScotland.com/golf
The First Four Matches before the Second World War by Gillian Kirkwood
Harriot and Margaret Curtis were sisters from the Essex Country club, Massachusetts, who between them won the US Women’s Amateur Championship four times before the First World War. As young women, and in the company of some of their contemporaries, they made the adventurous trip to England to play in the British Ladies’ Championship at Cromer in 1905.
said later of the invitation “We were just eight friends, but in a gay and hopeless mood we took them on”.
Golf in those days was a leisurely business. Boats, trains and carriages were the means of transport; taking tea, house parties and entertaining were an important part of the proceedings. The girls arrived with time to spare, and were invited to make up a team for a friendly match Great Britain v the “Colonies” in the days before the Championship began. Margaret Curtis
Over the next 27 years the two sisters did their best to put the match on a more official footing, making numerous representations to both the USGA and LGU, purchasing a trophy and even offering to underwrite the match
Miss Margaret Curtis playing in the British Ladies’ Championship at Cromer 1905
British Team in the first Curtis Cup match 1932 L to R: Charlotte Watson, Enid Wilson, Doris Park, Wanda Morgan, Diana Fishwick, Joyce Wethered, Molly Gourlay (front), Elsie Corlett
They played a select group of the crack golfers of the day, and although their side was beaten, the Curtis sisters and their team-mates thoroughly enjoyed the encounter, and made some firm friendships with their British opponents.
American Team in the first Curtis Cup match Sitting L to r: Mrs Glenna Collett Vare, Miss Marion Hollins (Captain), Miss Maureen Orcutt. Standing L to R: Mrs Leona Cheney, Mrs Opal Hill, Mrs Harley Higbie (Reserve) Miss Vifginia Van Wie, Miss Helen Hicks
expenses of the first 10 encounters. Their efforts were thwarted until 1932, when the two organisations finally put aside their objections and the first official match took place at Wentworth between a British team led by the legendary Joyce Wethered and an American team headed by the equally legendary Glenna Collett Vare. That first match took place on one day, with foursomes in the morning and singles in the afternoon. The British team started very poorly and were 3-0 down at lunch-time. In very wet conditions the home team won the first three matches in the afternoon, but their positive run was short-lived, and they could only get a halved match out of the last three games on the course. As Joyce Wethered said in her book Golfing Memories and Methods “The rain was now falling in a deluge and the two matches still left to be decided were not fated to relieve the general gloom of an irretrievable position.” The Americans won by 5 games to 3. Joyce Wethered added “If it was not our good
1934 British Curtis Cup team at Euston Station, London, prior to their departure for the US. L to R: Molly Gourlay, Diana Fishwick, Doris Chambers, Diana Plumpton, Pamela Barton and Wanda Morgan.
1936 British Curtis Cup Team Back Row: L to R: Phyllis Wade (reserve), Pamela Barton, Helen Holm, Betty Newell (reserve), Charlotte Walker, Jessie Anderson Front Row L to R: Maureen Garon, Doris Chambers (Captain) Wanda Morgan
1936 American Curtis cup team Standing L to R: Marion Miley (reserve), Patty Berg, Leona Cheney, Maureen Orcutt Crews, Mrs Goldthwaite (reserve) Sitting L to R: Opal Hill, Glenna Collett Vare, Charlotte Glutting
fortune to win at Wentworth, there is still the future to look forward to.” Little did she know….
Always going out to beat their last score and shooting birdies and eagles seems to be what they aim for.”
The second match at Chevy Chase, Maryland in September 1934, was also dogged by bad weather. The British Team had gone over early to tour and play Canada, and their match against the Americans was organised for the end of their visit. The format of the matches had lengthened to 36 holes on each of two days… three foursomes on the first day and six singles matches on the second.
In 1936 the match was played at Gleneagles, in a fine Scotch mist for which Scotland is renowned.
carried the ridge, down onto the flat part of the fairway.” Mrs Vare put it on the green and “Miss Berg surveyed the situation from every angle, and then the ball hit the back of the hole with a resounding thump for a three!” The British pair also had their share of birdies, and, although a holed approach was needed to keep them in the game at the 35th, they played a cast-iron final hole and halved the match. America won the second foursomes and the Scottish pair of Helen Holm and Jessie Anderson kept the two sides even at lunch-time with a 3&2 win over Opal Hill and Charlotte Glutting.
This time the foursomes were halved, but the American’s proved too strong for the British side on the second day, winning five out of the six singles and they retained the Cup by 6 games to 2. Doris Chambers, the Captain-Manager of the British side said in her report “The success of the American Team lay more in their determination to win, and their ability to eliminate all outside agencies from their matches by wonderful concentration, rather than perhaps by their superiority in stroke play. They concentrate on card and pencil play.
Reports describe a film of moisture covering the course like enormous cobwebs, with a penetrating cold making everyone shiver. Doris Chambers and Glenna Collett Vare were again Captains, and the match reverted to the format of the first encounter, with three 18 hole foursomes followed by six 18 hole singles. The first foursome set the scene for the whole match. Wanda Morgan and Marjorie Garon played a needle game against Glenna Collett Vare and Patty Berg. The report in Fairway and Hazard describes the play of Miss Patty Berg at the 7th… “Little Miss Berg crouched five yards behind the ball on the tee, pondering on the line, advanced upon it almost at a run, wrapped the club in a vice-like grip, and put every ounce into the shot. She
“The mist was coming down thicker than ever as the crowd streamed out on to the course for the last lap. The only gleam of light came from the cars packed like sardines in the car park. Visibility was reduced to a hundred and in some cases 40 yards, and the golf became an eerie business, with crowds appearing and disappearing in the mist.” First blood went to America, with Mrs Vare seeing off British Champion Wanda Morgan by 3&2, but honours were even again when Helen Holm
Mr Norman Boase presenting the Curtis Cup to the two Captains, Miss Doris Chambers and Mrs Glenna Collett Vare. Mr J.M.L. Barclay, the Gleneagles Secretary is on the right.
The historic match between Jessie Anderson and Leona Cheney. Mrs Cheney is on the left in her overcoat which she wore between shots. Miss Anderson has played her approach.
disposed of Patty Berg by 4&3. Pamela Barton was three down with five to play against Miss Glutting, but at that moment Marjorie Garon was walking in, having won her match by 7&5 against Mrs Hill. Spirits lifted, Miss Barton fought back, but an unfortunate gorse bush at the 18th put paid to her recovery and she lost by one hole. The match was all square again, and only two games left. Mrs Walker was one down to Mrs Crews (Maureen Orcutt) playing the last; she went for the putt and missed the return. America was one up with one match to come.
“Here was Mrs Cheney, strolling down the fairway, looking as if she had just come out of the clubhouse instead of 18 gruelling holes in unspeakable weather; little Miss Anderson, be-trousered and game to the last; and they were on the green in three apiece. A huge silent ring of spectators surrounded them, breathless with the intensity of their excitement. Could Mrs Cheney take three putts? Mrs Cheney laid her eightyard putt dead, and a little gasp went up from the crowd. Now then! There was one small Scots girl and a seven-yard putt to turn defeat into a halved match. She couldn’t do it! COULD she do it? Very calmly Miss Anderson looked at the line, without very much ado she struck the ball. Smoothly it slipped over the green, “It’s half-way! …. ‘deed it is NOT…. it’s there….. she’s got it…. For goodness’ sake! ….. it’s – IN!” And as the ball disappeared into the hole a shout rent the mist and fog that has surely never been heard on a golf course before. And the 18th green was submerged under a cheering, shouting, clapping crowd, their pent-up emotion let loose in wild exultation which carried Miss Anderson shoulder high from the green.”
Only wee Jessie Anderson could save the day… and she was down. Fairway and Hazard reported “The crowd dripped, silently despondent; then were suddenly galvanised into action.” Wee Jessie had played a marvellous explosion shot to win the 16th, had halved the 17th and was coming down the last all square “oh, come on!” “On top of the ridge appeared misty figures, and the sound of a cavalry charge as the crowd thundered after them down to the 18th green, which had already buried two British hopes.”
In September 1938 the Americans played host at the home of the Curtis sisters, at the Essex Country Club, Massachusetts. The match was held over two days, with 18 hole foursomes on the first day, followed by 18 hole singles matches in the second. The GB&I team totally surprised themselves by coming down to breakfast on the second morning 2_ matches to _ up, but their euphoria was short lived as they could only gain one point in the singles; Clarrie Tiernan from Baltray was the only winner in a match which in everyone’s opinion, except the Americans playing against them, GB&I should have won. Once again the Fairway and Hazard correspondent, Enid Wilson, commented “When the big moment comes the Americans play very, very well indeed. They have a sense of drama, and they are inspired by it to have an intense concentration.” Thoughts turned to the next match, due to be played in Britain, but the war years intervened and it was not until 1948 at Royal Birkdale that the Curtis Cup matches resumed. Article courtesy of Gillian Kirkwood.
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How USA won first Curtis Cup Match By Joyce Wethered, Playing captain ofthe Great Britain & Ireland team in the first Curtis Cup match (1932) All-British team of1932. Left to right: C Watson. E Wilson. D Park. W Morgan. D Fishwick. J Wethered. M Gourlay (front). ECorlett.
In 1932 came the news that America was sending over a team to play us at Wentworth in the spring. At last we were to face our most redoubtable opponents in an official match. Although the general public appeared to be confident of our success, those of us who knew something of the form of the American ladies were not so sure. The results of the morning foursomes (3-0 for the Americans) were certainly disappointing. In two respects we proved inferior to the American ladies that day â€“ in temperament and characteristically in the putting. Two of the foursomes matches, coming all square to the last hole, were lost to the undistinguished figure of 6. Wanda Morgan and I were the first to set this regrettable example against Glenna
Collett Vare and Mrs Hill. We were two up most of the way out until I missed a short putt at the eighth. Unfortunately, we frittered away our chances and, standing all square, we came to the last and most disastrous hole of all. Two good drives were followed by a poor second from Mrs Hill and a topped brassie shot from Wanda. Then I hit my approach into a righthand bunker; Wanda just got out; my run-up lay a good two yards from the hole, and the putt for a half in 6 was missed. Very Fine Play The match behind, in which Enid Wilson and Mrs Watson played against Virginia van Wie and Helen Hicks, produced some very fine golf and the Americans eventually won by 2 and 1 after standing level4s for the 17 holes played.
The last foursome between Molly Gourlay and Doris Park and Maureen Orcutt and Mrs Cheney, nearly turned out to be a splendid recovery for our side after we had stood two down with four to go. But, coming all square to the 18th, the hole again seemed to exercise a fatal obsession. Without going into further details, Great Britain lost another foursome by the margin of one stroke. This was, therefore, far from being a pleasant position at lunch-time, but, as a matter of fact all of the British team except one made a good start in the afternoon singles. By the fifth hole I was standing three up on Glenna; Enid Wilson was holding Helen Hicks after a brilliant beginning on both sides; Wanda Morgan was two up on Virginia van Wie; Diana Fishwick was as much as four up on Maureen
United States: Left to right: V Van Wie. H Hicks. M Orcutt. GCVare. reserve Harley Higbie (front left). O Hill. M Hollins (with ﬂag). LP Cheney (front right).
Orcutt, and Molly Gourlay was known to be leading against Mrs Hill. So it seemed that there was still a chance. With Glenna not playing as well as in the morning, my own match came to an end on the 14th green. I turned back to learn the fate of the others. With the exception of Diana Fishwick and Enid Wilson, we were slowly but steadily losing ground against the Americans’ relentless pressure. But first of all we had the satisfaction of seeing Diana maintain her triumphant form to the end. Giving Maureen Orcutt no chance of recovering from an indifferent start, she won by 4 and 3. Then we followed the match between Enid Wilson and Helen Hicks. The golf wasexcellent on both sides, each player taking infinite pains to leave nothing to chance. Even when the torrent of rain increased and made the conditions
still more wretched, the same dour thoroughness continued right up to the 17th hole, where the match ended. Here Enid struck a splendid three-yard putt firmly and decisively into the hole to win by 2 and 1. We now stood three up in the singles, but our rising hopes were short-lived. Any thought of a successful recovery vanished when we heard that Elsie Corlett was several holes down and that Wanda’s early lead was slowly fading away. I was only able to see the last hole of this match. Virginia van Wie had, by this time, gained the lead and stood one up with two to play. A glorious iron shot and a perfectly struck putt ended the match -a perfect 2.
The rain was now falling in a deluge and the two matches still left to be decided were not fated to relieve the general gloom of an irretrievable position. So the match ended 5-3 in favour of Americans and the fight was over; a fight that had produced many patches of fine play, with the issue hung in the balance for least the first half of the afternoon. If it was not our good fortune to win at Wentworth, there is still the future to look forward to. ‘Abridged from “Golfing Memories and Methods,” written by Joyce Wethered in 1933.
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