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There’s no shortage of legendary players who have competed in and won the Massachusetts Amateur Championship at Winchester Country Club. Among past champions are hall of famers Francis Ouimet and Fred Wright all the way to current professional golfers Rob Oppenheim and Fran Quinn, Jr.
And now the signature Mass Golf championship is returning to Winchester as the club has confirmed it will host the 118th Mass Amateur Championship in the second week of July in 2026. This will be eighth time Winchester has hosted, only trailing Brae Burn Country Club and The Country Club (11 each).
“The club has been fortunate to be in and around all the activity of Mass Golf over the years, and we’ve been lucky to be part of hosting championships and having many members play in them over the years,” said Alan Macdonald, President of Mass Golf and a longtime Winchester member.
Located north of downtown Boston, much of the present-day course is essentially built into the side of a hill close to Upper Mystic Lake. The current layout at Winchester debuted in 1902 as a 9-hole course designed by Alexander Findlay. Donald Ross was retained in 1909 to add bunkers, and two years later the club gained more land for Ross to redesign the original 9-holes. In 1916, more land was purchased to allow for an 18-hole course.
In the 1990s Stephen Kay oversaw a restoration using aerial photos from the 1930s. More recently, Ron Forse, an accomplished Ross restorative architect, worked with superintendent Dennis Houle to complete a bunker renovation across all eighty-one sand hazards in 2012. Total area of putting surfaces was also expanded.
“It’s not a long course compared to what you build today, but the architecture still makes this place a challenge,” Macdonald said. “Getting the ball in the hole is still a challenge.”
Winchester members had a strong showing in the 1986 Mass Amateur as six of the seven players in the field advanced to match play. Among them were brothers Bill Martin and Paul Martin who advanced to the semifinals, with Bill advancing to play Fran Quinn in the 36-final final match. The match pitted two men whose fathers — Ed Martin and Fran Quinn Sr. respectively — had played in a state amateur final, with the eldest Martin winning in 1948 and 1951. In the 1986 final, the match was tied through 18, but Quinn never trailed and clinched the championship with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole.
Past Mass Amateur Results At Winchester CC
In addition to hosting seven Mass Amateurs, Winchester also hosted the Mass Open in 1965 and 1996 and the New England Amateur in 2014. Earlier this year, the club hosted 36-hole qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Championship, with Mass Golf Player of the Year Matt Parziale earning medalist honors with a score of 74-66-140 (-2). He was one of only six players to break par over 18 holes and the only player to finish in the red through 36 holes.
Winchester also holds claim to one of the longest-running Father-Son Tournaments in the country. Earlier this year, Bill Locke, at age 100, played with his son Tim.
Jim Salinetti, now in his 12th year as Winchester Country Club’s head golf professional, is certainly familiar with the Mass Amateur Championship, having won the title in 1997, 1999, and 2000. While he’s on the other side of the golf business now, Salinetti said he’s looking forward to the championship taking place at his club.
“I’m always excited to host events, especially something that is close to my heart as a state amateur,” Salinetti said. “It’s a golf course where you have to earn the results.
“We also have a great crop of amateur golfers, young and old,” Salinetti added. “My hope is a good handful of them will qualify and have success. My goal will be to help some of my members prepare leading up to the event.”
Mass Amateur Future Sites
Mass Golf is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to advancing golf in Massachusetts by building an engaged community around the sport.
With a community made up of over 110,000 golf enthusiasts and over 340 member clubs, Mass Golf is one of the largest state golf associations in the country. Members enjoy the benefits of handicapping, engaging golf content, course rating and scoring services along with the opportunity to compete in an array of events for golfers of all ages and abilities.
At the forefront of junior development, Mass Golf is proud to offer programming to youth in the state through First Tee Massachusetts and subsidized rounds of golf by way of Youth on Course.
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