The Country Club of Detroit, in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., the site where Arnold Palmer announced his presence to the world, will once again make history in 2020. The course designed by British golf architects Harry Colt and Charles Hugh Alison has been chosen to host the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, Aug. 29-Sept. 3.
The club, which was founded in 1897, was where an up-and-coming Palmer claimed the 1954 U.S. Amateur Championship, a title he often cited as the “turning point of my career.”
“The Country Club of Detroit and state of Michigan have always been supportive of amateur golf and the USGA is appreciative of this steadfast relationship,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “We are confident that a course where two U.S. Amateurs have been contested will provide a comprehensive examination as we identify the best senior amateur player.”
While Colt and Alison designed the current layout that opened for play in 1927, Robert Trent Jones Sr. supervised a redesign in 1952, and Robert Trent Jones Jr. followed with another redesign 44 years later. In 2011, Michigan native Tom Doak restored the course, comprised of bluegrass fairways and bentgrass greens, to its original Colt/Alison design.
The club, a 212-acre venue 12 miles north of Detroit, also features a recently renovated Tudor Revival-style clubhouse.
“The Country Club of Detroit has had a long and storied tradition in amateur golf, and it is a great honor to have been awarded the 2020 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship,” said Dainforth B. French Jr., club president. “We are excited and proud to showcase our wonderful club, which was founded more than a century ago, and a championship golf course, now restored to its original design, to a national audience.”
The U.S. Amateur was first contested at the Country Club of Detroit in 1915 with Robert A. Gardner registering the second of his two championships. He defeated John G. Anderson, 5 and 4, in the final. Gardner was also a U.S. Amateur runner-up in 1916 and 1921.
Palmer defeated Robert Sweeny, 1 up, in 1954. The 24-year-old Palmer birdied the 32nd and 33rd holes to go ahead for good in the match. Palmer, who died last September, went on to win seven major professional titles, including the 1960 U.S. Open, and was the 1981 U.S. Senior Open champion.
On May 15, the Country Club of Detroit will host U.S. Open local qualifying for the third time in the last six years. Additionally, the club will host the 2018 Michigan State Amateur, the sixth time it has been contested on the course. The Michigan State Women’s Amateur has also been held there five times.
The 2020 U.S. Senior Amateur will be the 33rd USGA championship hosted in Michigan, and the third Senior Amateur. In 1984, Robert Rawlins was the champion at Birmingham Country Club, and in 1991, Bill Bosshard won at Crystal Downs Country Club, in Frankfort.
The U.S. Senior Amateur was first played in 1955. The championship for golfers age 55 and older is open to any amateur with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. This year’s U.S. Senior Amateur will be played at The Minikahda Club, in Minneapolis, Minn., from Aug. 26-31. The 2018 championship is scheduled for Aug. 25-30 at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club. In 2019, Old Chatham Golf Club, in Durham, N.C., will host from Aug. 24-29.
The USGA has also announced The Honors Course, in Ooltewah, Tenn., and The Kittansett Club, in Marion, Mass., as the host sites for the 2021 and 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur Championships, respectively. The 2021 Senior Amateur will be contested Aug. 28-Sept. 2, while the 2022 Senior Amateur will be held Aug. 27-Sept. 1.