Headline: Charles River Country Club Continues Its Winning Club Culture With Its Hosting of the 109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship

For Immediate Release: July 11, 2017

Click the image above to read a special feature story on the winning club culture at Charles River Country Club

Newton, MA — Dating back nearly 100 years, Charles River Country Club has a long history rich in tradition and heritage.

Originally opened in 1921 with members such as Francis Ouimet and Eddie Lowery, the famous golfer/caddie duo who was a heavy underdog no less against the British stars of Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in the 1913 U.S. Open, the “River” as it is known to the locals has seen its share of championship-caliber golfers.

"What really sets us apart I think is the number of players who compete in USGA events," said Paul Murphy in 2013 as Charles River Country Club was serving a second time as the companion course for the U.S. Amateur. "

Murphy, a longtime member who currently serves as the resident archivist, said that the River's culture of nurturing national champion-caliber members can be traced to its inaugural season.

On the new club's opening day of play, Francis Ouimet carded a 79 to establish the first course record. Ouimet would go on to become Charles River's first honorary member in 1928.

Fast forward to 2017 and Charles River Country Club will continue its rich tradition of hosting marquee events when the 109th Massachusetts Amateur Champion is crowned following the conclusion of match play on Friday. It will mark the 14th MGA Champion to be crowned here in Newton.

In addition to MGA Championships, Charles River Country Club has been a hot spot for golf tournaments of a bigger stage and served as a destination for top area golfers dating back to as far back as one can remember.

Not only has it served as the Championship Proper site for two New England Amateur Championships, but it has also received much attention on the national stage for both the 2003 USGA Men’s State Team Championship and for the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship, when it served as the stroke play site for the neighboring The Country Club – where the match play portion of the tournament was held.

“For anyone that has ever set foot on Charles River Country Club, it is obvious why it has become a special place to play golf,” said Jesse Menachem, the MGA's Executive Director. “The entire staff and membership goes above and beyond to make sure that everyone involved in the event from our officials to the competitors and spectators have a tremendous experience.”

In addition to the serving as host site for several top events, the makeup of the course and its culture around the clubhouse continue to bring back people who’ve called CRCC home at one point in their lifetime.

For example, the NEGA’s longtime Executive Secretary/Treasurer Harry McCracken, Jr. has been a member at the club since he was 11 years old, back in 1936. In addition to serving on the club’s Board of Directors for more than a decade, a tournament that brings together some of the top-competitors in the New England Region travel to Newton for a tournament named in his honor.

Just this week, it was announced that McCracken would be the namesake of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship Stroke Play Medalist Award, which is awarded to the individual (or individuals) who post the lowest cumulative score following the 36-hole stroke-play portion of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship.

Click here to read that story.

On Monday another lontime member - James Driscoll who is a two-time former Massachusetts Amateur Champion - returned to his home course between Web.Com events to kick off the tournament as the honorary starter. He was the first ever past champion to participate in the ceremonial tee shot.

Click here for highlights from that historic first drive.

Here are just a few historical highlights as excerpted from the club's web site:

  • Francis Ouimet was a bond-holding member from 1922 through 1927. He was also the clubs first honorary member, remaining an active member until his death in 1967.
  • Eddie Lowrey became a bond-holding member at Charles River twenty years after the photo was taken. Lowrey was an accomplished amateur golfer who won the 1927 Massachusetts Amateur Championship, held at Charles River. Lowrey was twice club champion, 1933 and 1936.
  • In 2006, the Massachusetts Open was held at Charles River. Only one player broke par for the tournament and it was winner Geoff Sisk at 1 under.
  • In 2013, Charles River served as a host of the stroke-play qualifying rounds for the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship.

Here is a summary of major local and regional events contested at Charles River Country Club.

Massachusetts Amateur Championship
1927 – Edward E. Lowery
1936 – Clark Hodder
1946 – Ted Bishop
1966 – Warren Tibbetts
1994 – Douglas Preston

Massachusetts Open Championship
1925 – Tom Lally
1952 – Everett Stuart
1975 – Dick Hanscom
2006 – Geoff Sisk

Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship
1951 – John Tosca, Jr.
1960 – Robert O’Connor

Massachusetts Senior Amateur Championship
1962 – Bruce Coffin
1965 - Max Hoffman

New England Golf Association Amateur Championship
1996 – John Curley
2008 – Matt Broome

USGA Men’s State Team Championship
2003 – Danny Green, Tim Jackson, Brant Snedeker - Team Tennessee

USGA Amateur (Stroke Play)
2013 - Neil Raymond, Brady Watt

While each may remember Charles River CC for a different reason, there is no disputing that the course remains as one of the top venues in the area. This week, it’ll become memorable for at least one more person.