X – ‘Old’ London Hunt Club 1885-1960

X – ‘Old’ London Hunt Club 1885-1960

The only recognition that there was ever a golf course on the property of the University of Western Ontario is a simple sign attached to a bench on the old first tee. The old first hole was not a very long par 4 but with the Medway Creek flowing all along the left side and out of bounds all along the right side, it was not an easy hole to start on. Most of this hole is virtually untouched and you can walk it today. Someday surely the University will erect a proper plaque on this site delineating its history. Until then we will have to settle for the bench.

"Old" London Hunt Club – Interesting Facts and Figures


361 Windermere Road, London, ON


Private; membership owned

Year Built

1904 nine holes;
1917 eighteen holes


Original nine 1904-unknown

George Cumming from the Toronto Golf Club designed the second nine in 1917 and remodelled the existing nine at the same time.

Golf Professionals

Kearney Marsh
Walter Cunningham

Greens Superintendents

George Darou
Morley Findlay

Assistant Superintendent, Ernie Andrews

Significant Tournaments

Canadian Amateurs:  1930 [ Sandy Somerville, Canada def. J. Wood Platt, 11&10]
1938 [Ted Adams, USA def. Sandy Somerville one up in 37 holes]
1954 [E. Harvey Ward, USA def. Bill Campbell, USA, 5&4]

Ontario Amateurs:  1929 [Sandy Somerville, champion], 1946 [Jack Nash, champion]
1951 [Gerry Kesselring, champion]

America’s Cup: 1954 USA def. Canada and Mexico.

Signature Hole

#11 – The “Stadium Hole”
A wayward tee shot could end up on the playing field of  J. W. Little Stadium

Underrated Hole

This hole required a layup short of the Medway Creek and then an approach shot over it. A slice off the tee could hit the clubhouse.

Best Players

Sandy Somerville
Jack Nash
Emerson Creed
Gil Walker
Tom Woodall

Five Best Features  

Beautiful layout
Great tournaments
The river holes

Interesting Fact

At the “Old” Hunt Club the clubhouse was in play on #18 but not out of bounds. During the 1954 America’s Cup a Mexican golfer sliced his tee shot onto the flat roof of the clubhouse, climbed out of a second floor window onto the roof………and played his next shot from there.

About the”Old” London Hunt Club

If you look at the scorecard for the Old London Hunt Club you might wonder how it was a suitable venue for numerous provincial, national and international championships. There were nine par fours on the property that played in the 320-340 yard range for members and the total yardage just barely nosed past the 6,000 yard mark. In its day however the Hunt Club provided a stern test of golf with the Medway Creek and Thames River in play on many holes and the chance of hitting out of bounds on many others. You must remember that for approximately half of the Hunt Club’s life at U.W.O., the steel shaft had not yet been invented, let alone becoming available to the members for regular play. American hickory, first imported to England for axe handles proved to be the “state of the art” material for golf shafts and combined lightness with minimal torque. It proved to be much better than native hardwoods in Britain for golf shafts. The first professional victory with steel shafts did not happen until 1931. The sand wedge was another step forward in golf club design but again Gene Sarazen did not invent it until the second half of the Hunt Club’s tenure at Western. Wooden shafts and deep bunkers without sand wedges insured that the “Old Hunt” would be a challenge for all golfers.

The course had its quirks…..for example the eleventh hole doglegged around the J. W. Little football stadium which wasn’t out of bounds so theoretically you could find your ball on the playing field and hit it again from there. The first tee was located adjacent to the trapshooting range so there was always a possibility of gunfire going off during your backswing for the initial drive of the day. If the wind was from the right direction there was the possibility of being hit by trap fragments on #2 green and the strong smell of gunpowder often filled the air. The horse stables were located just to the right of the first fairway as were the dog kennels and both added their own matrix of sounds and smells. The seventh and eighth holes both ran their entire length tight against Western Road which was, of course, out of bounds. Imagine that situation today given the traffic on that busy thoroughfare. The fifth hole actually doglegged around the Science Building and naturally some golfers would attempt to “cut the corner” and hit the tee shot over the building with varying rates of success. The 17th hole looked like an easy, short par 4 on the card but unfortunately the university didn’t own the land to the right of the fairway so anything that leaked right at all ended up out of bounds. Although 15 of the holes are covered now with massive buildings, there are three holes on the property which remain reasonably intact. They hold the secret of why the Old Hunt was so tough. They are all short par fours but the Medway creek is in play on them all and some menacing boundaries meant that length was a limited advantage. Straightness was a necessity.

The beauty of the old Hunt Club must have been a sight to behold. There were only a few buildings on the campus but they were the elegant and stately original ones constructed of quarried limestone. Only a few thousand students attended classes in those days at the sprawling campus which had enough room for a golf course meandering around the perimeter. The tenth hole in particular must have been fun to play. The tee was close to the beautiful Observatory building and the hole ran along the wooded ridge just to the west of the football stadium. Anything hit to the left would have been severely punished. There was so much room in those days that the golfers and the students could live in harmony.

The routing of the holes at the Old London Hunt Club underwent one major change. The layout used for the 1930 Canadian Amateur Championship was par 70, but it had only one par 5 [hole #6] and eleven of the last 12 holes were par 4’s. A bit boring. In the 1950’s, perhaps in preparation for the 1954 Canadian Amateur and America’s Cup matches, a few changes were made. The “Stadium Hole” was extended to become a par 5 and the old 15th and 16th holes were combined in order to make a “super” par 5 along the river which played to 560 yards, a true monster back in the day. Looking at that hole I cannot help but think of the similarities that it has to the present #10 hole at the “New” Hunt Club on Oxford street. It was a long par 5 for its day with a gentle turn to the left with the Thames River menacing all along the right side for the entire length of the hole. I always wondered if Robert Trent Jones was made aware of this hole or perhaps even visited the Old Hunt Club site before designing the most iconic golf hole in London, #10 at the New London Hunt Club. A short par three was added to make up for the deficit caused by turning two holes into one. These changes added length to the course and added more variety and excitement, especially near the end of the round.

The original clubhouse was called “Glenmore” and it had entrances off both Richmond Street and Windermere Road. After the Hunt Club vacated the campus for its new digs at the end of Oxford Street, Glenmore was used as a nurse’s residence for many years. A few years ago it was torn down. As the University grew, the fate of the Old Hunt Club was sealed as many of the holes had to be shortened because buildings were getting in the way. By 1959 the course was down to little more than 5,000 yards. The only recognition now that there was ever a golf course on campus, is a simple plaque on a bench on the old first tee. It is a beautiful tranquil spot. The first hole however was no easy starter. The Medway creek ran all the way along the left side and the out of bounds on the right side that is Windermere Road was totally in play. Often golfers would tee off on the tight 320 yard hole with a five or six iron and take their chances with another five or six iron to the green. When you are sitting on that bench it is hard to not think of some of the greats that played there, Billy Joe Patton, Bill Campbell, Harvie Ward, Jack Nicklaus’ great amateur rival Charlie Coe and of course our hometown legends Sandy Somerville and Jack Nash.

“Old” London Hunt Club – Famous Moe Norman Story

 Excerpt from the book “Moe & Me”


There are many versions of what Moe Norman famously said when he awoke from surgery at London’s University Hospital. This is one account; an excerpt from Lorne Rubenstein’s excellent book “Moe and Me” published in 2012. One thing is for certain. Moe was most familiar with the Hunt Club layout that he played in the 1954 Canadian Amateur and the 1954 America’s Cup in which he represented Canada as an amateur before turning professional in 1957. You can hang your hat on the fact that he said the third hole because if you look at the diagram….that is exactly where he was. Our version goes like this: “Moe was asked by Dr. Bill Wall when Moe awoke from bypass surgery ‘Where are you’. Moe immediately responded ‘third hole, 490 yards, London Hunt Club’. ” We like our version the best.






“Old” London Hunt Club – Diagrams of Both Major Layouts


This is the layout of the Old London Hunt Club that was in play during the 1930’s and 1940’s. This rotation of holes matches the scorecard of Sandy Somerville when he was victorious in the 1930 Canadian Amateur.





Here is a simple diagram but it coincides with the diagram above and is accurate regarding the layout of the Old London Hunt Club during the 1930’s and 1940’s.



Scorecard of Sandy Somerville on the original layout of the London Hunt Club during his victory in the 1930 Canadian Amateur.




This is the layout of the course as it was played in the 1950’s and specifically for the 1954 Canadian Amateur and America’s Cup matches. At this point both #11 and #13 have become par 5’s. Note that short par 3, #4. Doesn’t look like much but the construction of that hole allowed for the 13th hole, directly below it to become a monster par 5. Holes #7 and #8 play adjacent to Western Road. The three holes that can still be walked today [#1, #17 and #18] are also the three that never changed their number or design during the lifespan of the course at the university. Note the position of the third hole. Moe Norman represented Canada in the 1954 America’s Cup and played in the 1954 Canadian Amateur, both contested at the Old London Hunt Club.

Layout of Old Hunt Club, 1954.




Here is how the course as it was played in the 1950’s would look today…..could be one of the most difficult courses ever. Note the arrow for the third hole splitting the two words “University” and “Hospital”. I call #3 the “Moe Norman hole”.

“Old” London Hunt Club – Photos


This photograph taken during renovations to the Old Hunt Club clubhouse show how it was possible for the Mexican golfer to play his second shot on #18 from the roof of the clubhouse during the 1954 America’s cup. The 18th hole runs close along the left side of this photo and very close to the clubhouse. A sliced drive for a righthander could easily end up on that flat roof and apparently the contestant did just that. He ascended the inside stairway, got up to the second floor and climbed out of one of those windows to not only retrieve his ball but play it from there!


One of the coolest photos of the Old Hunt Club with University College in the background. This is the site of tennis courts and an outdoor hockey rink today. On the original design this was #14 but it later became #12 in the 1950's.




To people nowadays, having the Duke of Windsor play your golf course would be news but really no big deal. In 1919 just after the carnage of World War I was over, to have the Duke of Windsor out playing was a very big deal; front page news in fact. The significance of the Duke would increase when he ascended to the throne as King Edward the VIII in 1936 but within a year abdicated in order to marry the woman he loved, Wallace Warfield Simpson, an American divorcee. Individuals in the photo include the Hunt Club Professional, Kearney Marsh, Lieutenant Colonel Trotter from the armed forces and the Duke of Windsor.

  Of course the Duke of Windsor didn't come to London in 1919 just for a round of golf. He was here to inspect the troops and generally to thank Canadians for their valor and sacrafice during World War One. Here he is in downtown London on October 19, 1919. Photo at the Old Hunt Club was probably taken the next day.

The Prince of Wales inspects the troops in downtown London, October 22, 1919. He probably didn't get to play golf until the following day.

“Old” London Hunt Club, #!, #17 and #18. The Only Holes You Can Still Walk Today.




Although there were two major routings of the holes at the Old London Hunt Club, three holes always stayed the same and with the same numbers. They are the holes that, even now, remain largely untouched by Western University expansion.They were #1, #17 and #18. If you look at this diagram and the following series of photos, you can understand why the Old Hunt Club could defend itself even though length was not one of its weapons.




#1 was a 320 yard par 4 but the Medway creek ran along the entire left side and tight on the right was Windermere road……. OB. The fairway sloped naturally and severely toward the creek. You can stand on the greensite today and get claustrophobia just thinking of how little room there was between the creek and the road. If the University owned the land to the right of #17, then the hole would have been easier but, alas, that was not the case and OB again tight to the right. Length was of no value on the short par 4 eighteenth either as the Medway creek ran in front of the green.  All three holes could have easily survived today’s technology and you can still walk them all yourself today and make up your own mind.



A tree now grows on the back tee of what was #1. Medway creek runs all the way along the left and the perfect tee shot would land on the sidewalk.

#1 fairway, feb 10, 2019.





This is the old first fairway. Photo is taken from the site of the plaque on the old first tee. Pretty much the same today if you ignore those fast growing weeping willows, the landscape rocks, and the building. The camera tends to flatten things out but you can still get an idea of the strong slope toward the Medway creek.



The view of the old first fairway from the bridge to University Hospital looking back east toward the tee which was located on the mound just in front of the building. Arrow is centered on the elevated first tee.



The greensite for #1. Not much room between the creek on the left and Windermere Road on the right. The green was about pin high to the white truck on the right and, of course the truck is out of bounds.



The approach to #17 green. The stately tower of Mount St. Joseph’s is pretty much centered on the green. Uphill second shot with OB tight to the right.

#17 green, Feb 10, 2019.

#17 green, Mount St. Joeseph's in background.



The view from #18 tee. Heading straight toward University Hospital over a baseball diamond. Unfortunately a long drive was of little value on this short par 4 because the Medway creek runs in front of the green. Clubhouse was close on the right so a drive hit anywhere to the right of the first base light standard would likely land on the patio or roof.




Photograph taken from the 18th green looking back toward the fairway and tee. You can just see the fairway as a swath of green in the center of the photo. Note how substantial the Medway creek is in this location as it is just about to empty into the Thames river. Tough finish for a 316 yard par 4.

Site of #18 green, Feb 10, 2019.

From #18 green looking back to #18 tee.

1954 Americas Cup Contested at the Old London Hunt Club

During a short span of 10 days in August 1954 the Old London Hunt Club hosted four amazing golf events featuring some of the greatest and most legendary amateur golfers of all time. The signature event was the Canadian Amateur, the ancillary event was the Willingdon Cup, the sideshow attraction was the Canadian Junior but by far the most memorable event was the America's Cup. Canada had some fantastic amateurs in 1954 who were at the London Hunt Club to compete both for themselves and for our country as a team. The United States also had many great amateurs and they arrived in London "en masse" and they would form a formidable foe both as individuals for the Canadian Amateur and as a team to battle for the Americas Cup.

The Americas Cup was first contested in the United States at the Seattle Country Club in 1952. It was always a three country event pitting the best amateur golfers of Mexico, Canada and the U.S.A against each other. The first Americas Cup had been won by the USA in 1952 but Canada made a surprisingly strong showing at the inaugural event. The final tally that year was USA - 12, Canada - 10 and Mexico - 5. That narrow loss by a whisker and the return of three key players for Canada gave plenty of hope for Canadian fans that the Canucks could pull an upset of the powerful American team at the Old London Hunt Club in 1954. The Americas Cup venue rotated among the participants and accordingly the next Americas Cup match in 1956 was scheduled for Club Campestre de la Cludad de Mexico.

The layout of the Old Hunt Club for the 1954 Americas Cup was printed in the London Free Press.

Layout of Old Hunt Club, 1954.

The format for the event was unique to say the least and had never been tried before and certainly has never been put in action since. The format was an important part of the outcome. The Americas Cup at the Old Hunt Club was held over 2 days [August 12-13, 1954]. The first day was devoted to three, 36 hole "sixsome" matches with each match being worth one point. Two players from each of the three counties made up the sixsome and they played alternate strokes and competed simultaneously against the other two sides. Every match had to be played to conclusion with extra holes as necessary. Nine total points were available to be won on the first day among the three sixsome matches.

The second day's program consisted of six, 36 hole three ball matches. Essentially a threesome went out with a representative from each country. Each player played a 36 hole individual match against each of the players from the other two countries. All six of these matches were required to be played to conclusion also, with extra holes to determine the winner. A total of 18 total points were available on the second day so the total number of points available was 27. The team with the most points over the two days would win the 1954 Americas Cup.

The defending champion Americans arrived in London with a team that featured some of the best and most exprienced amateur golfers of all time. It was flat out just a great team. Ken Venturi was a fine golfer with a stellar record but he only managed to be named third alternate on the 1954  Americas Cup Team. The American organizers considered 42 players, 26 of them seriously. The choices were difficult.

Canada's team was no slouch either. Three of the team members were returnees from the near-miss in Seattle, Nick Weslock, Phil Farley and Walter McElroy. The four other players had great amateur records and among them was rising star Moe Norman, 24 years old from Kitchener.

The official opening ceremonies were filled with appropriate pagentry for an event of this stature.

Here is a classic photo taken on opening day of golfers and spectators walking across a shakey bridge spanning the Medway Creek. The bridge led from the first green to the second tee. No handrails on this one. Lucky that the golf cart had not been invented yet.

As far as the scoring went for the tournament, it simplifies things to say that the Mexican team never recorded a single point in any of the matches. Generally their team was young and inexperienced. Of the twenty seven points available they scored zero. The two teams that they were competing against were just too strong. The Mexican team however conducted themselves very well, never gave up and won the admiration and respect of the fans.

The Mexican team did provide one of the memorable moments in the 1954 Americas Cup. A Mexican golfer sliced his drive onto the roof of the clubhouse. He ascended to the second floor using an interior staircase, climbed out of a second floor window and played his next shot from the flat roof with a putter.

Belmont was the name of the Mexican golfer who showed a lot of spirit by playing his second shot on #18 from the roof of the Old Clubhouse.

The Canadian team opened the tournament with high hopes. It was obvious that if anyone was going to dethrone the Americans it was going to be Canada.

The London Free Press pumped the host's chances.


The early results looked promising for Canada. The London Free Press published both a morning and an evening edition in those days so the paper was able to closely follow the outcome of the Americas Cup.

Canada had the early lead in two of the three first round matches


Alas, the Americans emerged from the first day's play with a 5-4 lead over the Canadians.

The Americans lead 5-4 after the first round.

Here is what happened in the first round of sixsomes competition. The United States sent out two of its strongest players  in the first group, veteran Bill Campbell and Billy Joe Patton who as an amateur had missed a playoff by only a single shot in the 1953 Masters. He would have been in a playoff with Sam Snead and Ben Hogan, two decent golfers. Canada's captain Jack Nash was not intimidated and called on two of his best players who were Nick Weslock and Walter McElroy. Weslock and McElroy got off to a fast 3up lead and were able to close out the Americans in the 36 hole match, 4&3.  The second US pairing was also formidable with Don Cherry [the defending Canadian Amateur Champion, not the former coach and hockey commentator] and Dale Morey. Canada countered with veteran Phil Farley and long hitting westerner Doug Silverberg. After a hard fought battle the Americans triumphed 1up. In the third match of the day Harvey Ward and Joe Conrad defeated the Canadian team of Don Doe and Bob Fleming 5&4. The final results of the first day's play was USA - 5, Canada -4, Mexico - 0.

Noticeable by his absence on day one was one of Canada's best amateurs, Moe Norman. The day before the opening day matches had been designated as a "Press Day" and all the participants were expected to be available for interviews from the considerable amout of media assembled to cover the event. Interacting with the press was not an interest or a particularly strong point for Moe so instead he headed up to St. Marys Golf Club to play in their Men's Invitational instead. He shot a 74 for two rounds around the nine hole track and apparently it was good enough to win. The captain of the Canadian squad had no choice but to sit Moe out for the opening day and the impact of him not playing in such a close competition will always be up for debate. Moe was very popular with the fans and his somewhat eccentic lifestyle caught the attention of everyone. Moe camped out in the J. W. Little football stadium for the duration of the 1954 Americas Cup and Canadian Amateur.

Day #2 of the competition began and with the Mexicans not being a factor, the outcome boiled down to the results from these six individual 36 hole matches. In order of tee off they were with Canada first:

#1 Nick Weslock vs Don Cherry

#2 Walter McElroy vs Billy Joe Patton

#3 Don Doe vs Dale Morey

#4 Moe Norman vs Bill Campbell

#5 Phil Farley vs Charlie Coe

#6 Doug Silverberg vs Harvey Ward

The final results of the last day's play were as follows:  Nick Weslock lost the opening match to Don Cherry on the 38th hole in a match that featured two difficult rulings on the 18th hole, one in the morning round and one on the same hole in the afternoon;  Billy Joe Patton defeated Walter McElroy 2&1;  Don Doe squeaked out a 1up victory over Dale Morey;  Moe Norman scored a 1 up come from behind victory over Bill Campbell with aid of a hole in one on the 33rd hole. Moe won in a playoff on the 37th;  Charlie Coe managed to beat Phil Farley 1up in a come from behind victory;  Doug Silverberg beat Harvey Ward 1up on the 36th hole.

When all was said and done the Americans and the Canadians had split the deciding matches 3-3 and that was enough for the USA to win the second Americas Cup by a score of 14 - 13 - 0. If you look closely at the final results from the last day it is incredible how close all of the matches were and how close the final tally was. Five of the six 36 hole matches were decided by a single hole and the "blowout" was 2&1. Amazing.

Canada loses a heartbreaker, 14 - 13.

Bill Campbell showed a lot of class as he heaped praises on Moe Norman after Moe had defeated him 1up on the 37th hole.

Moe was easily Canada's most popular player, especially after winning his match against Bill Campbell on the 37th hole.

The second Americas Cup was presented to Jack Westland.

Jack Westland, American Captain, is presented with the 1954 Americas Cup.


The Americas Cup was contested every second year from 1952 until 1967. It was scheduled to be played in even numbered years to avoid conflict with the Walker Cup matches between the United States and Great Britain and Ireland. The Walker Cup was played then and now in odd numbered years. The event that eventually led to the demise of the Americas Cup was the establishment of the Eisenhauer Cup in 1958. The popular American President started this amateur golf event in 1958 and it eventually eclipsed the Americas Cup. The Eisenhauer Cup was staged at prime venues [ the inaugural tournament was staged at the Old Course at St. Andrews] and it included amateur teams from many countries across the globe rather than just the three countries that vied for the Americas Cup. Another problem was that the outcome of the Americas Cup was quite predictable because it was tough to beat the strong American side. The Mexicans never really were a factor in any of the nine Cups staged. The Canadians managed one victory in the 1965 edition played at the St. Charles Country Club in Winnipeg. The strong Canadian team that year featured Keith Alexander, Gary Cowan, John Johnston, Bill Pidlaski, Doug Silverberg, Bert Ticehurst and Nick Weslock and they were able to claim Canada's only victory. The USA won all the rest.

The Americas Cup was played in 1960 as scheduled but was played again in 1961 to avoid the Eisenhauer Cup. It continued in the odd numbered years until 1967 when the tournament was discontinued. The Americas Cup has a great history and never was the competition as keen as it was for the second event staged at the Old London Hunt Club. Jack Nicklaus represented the United States in 1960 and 1961. Almost all of Canada's best amateur golfers from the 1950's and 1960's represented their country in the tournament. Here is a complete list of all Canadian participants and the years that they played.

1954 Willingdon Cup Matches and Canadian Junior at the Hunt Club

On Thursday August 12 and Friday August 13, 1954 the Old London Hunt Club hosted the second annual  Americas Cup matches. Once that exciting tournament was over on Friday, the Hunt Club scrambled to get ready for the weekend's agenda which was the Willingdon Cup matches and the Canadian Junior.

Ontario had a powerful squad and were defending champions. As play got underway on Saturday things were looking great for the host Province as their best and most popular player, Moe Norman carded a 69 on the tough Hunt Club layout.

Moe's 69 on the tricky layout was a good start for Ontario.

The trophies were made ready in a steady rain.

In the end it was the British Columbia team that was victorious.

Here are the final scores with British Columbia first, Quebec second and Ontario third.


On the same weekend the Canadian Junior was also staged at the Old London Hunt Club. The Hunt Club had hosted the first ever Canadian Junior in 1938. The competition in 1954 was a two day stroke play event.

The winner was Grant Dearnaley from Quebec who shot a modest  74-79, 153 to capture the title. His 13 over par in rain soaked conditions was enough for a one stroke victory over George Knudsen and Wilf Homenuik who shot 154. Knudsen and Homeniuk then had a playoff and Homeniuk's 76 was one better than Knudsen's 77.  Dearnaley's 74 was the best score of the tournament and even in rainy conditions, the difficulty of the Old Hunt Club carried the day.


Here are the top three players. From the left Knudsen, Dearnaley and Homeniuk.

1954 Canadian Amateur at the Old Hunt Club

The exciting 1954 Americas Cup matches had been held at the Old London Hunt Club on Thursday and Friday August 12-13. The Provincial Willingdon Cup competition and the Canadian Junior were staged the next two days, August 14-15. Somewhat amazingly the biggest event of them all, the Canadian Amateur, teed off the next Monday, August 16, 1954. The members must have wondered when they were going to get a chance to play their course but undoubtably Sunningdale and Highland stepped up and awarded playing priviledges to the displaced Hunt Club members.

The benefit of having all of these events so close together was that it guaranteed a super strong field featuring all of the best amateurs from across North America. The United States Amateur was being played the following week in Detroit which made it extra easy for all of the good players to congregate in this part of the country in mid August, 1954.

In those days the Canadian Amateur was a match play event but there was one stroke play qualifier on Monday August 16 which gave deserving golfers one last chance to qualify to play in the match play main event. The qualifier and the first two days of 18 hole match play pared the unwieldy field of 172 down to 32. The semi-finals and final were contested over 36 holes.

As often happens at important golf tournaments there was a surprise face and name at the top of the qualifying leaderboard. A 15 year old from Winnipeg led the way.

A surprise leading qualifier.

The match play started on Tuesday August 17.


One of the most popular players who played in both the Americas Cup and the Canadian Amateur was American Don Cherry [the golfer not the hockey coach and commentator]. He hailed from Witchita, Kansas. He could golf as evidenced by the fact that he was the defending champion of the Canadian Amateur and he also could sing as he regularily did every night at the iconic "Campbell's" on Dundas Street. He apparently was a fine entertainer.

The headline "Crooner Set to Defend Title" says it all for Don Cherry.

Here is a photo of Don Cherry.

The popular Don Cherry.


Walter Cunningham, the long time London Hunt Club Professional watched and acted as starter as golfers teed off on #1.

I can't help but notice how similar this photo is to a previous photo taken recently of the site of the old first tee at the Old London Hunt Club.

In both photos you can clearly see the shape of the tee and the Medway Creek below and to the left. Someone must have figured that the flat area with a beautiful view would be a great place to plant a tree.

Here is a photo taken on February 10, 2019 from as close as possible to the same location of the photograph taken of Walter Cunningham on the first tee.

#1 tee, London Hunt Club, February 10, 2019.

Here are some of the second round matchups.

Some of the best golfers happened to meet early on in the 18 hole matches.

Third round draw.

Fifth round draw. At the top of the fifth round draw you can see Lyle Crawford vs Hobart Manley and Moe Norman playing against John Kraft. Victories by the two Canadians led to Crawford vs Norman in the quarter finals.

Moe Norman took the early lead.

Crawford came back to win on the 23rd hole.

Crawford was the lone Canadian in the final four along with three Americans. The final two rounds were 36 hole match play affairs. Harvey Ward had an easy time defeating Lyle Crawford 9&7.

Harvey Ward beats Lyle Crawford 9&7.


The final featured Harvey Ward against long time veteran Bill Campbell. Campbell took the early lead.

Harvey Ward came back to take the lead by the time the London Free Press Evening edition came out.

Harvey Ward takes the final going away, 5&4.

Harvey Ward on the left recieves congratulations from Bill Campbell after winning the Championship match at the 1954 Canadian Amateur at the Old London Hunt Club.

This match ended 9 full days of amateur golf at the highest level at the Old Hunt. It started with the Americas Cup, then proceeded on to the Willingdon Cup and Canadian Junior and ended up with the Canadian Amateur. The greatest golf ever played at the Old London Hunt Club.







“Old” London Hunt Club – Published Material

Reprinted from an article by Paul Mayne about events and
individuals from the time that the London Hunt Club shared
property with the University of Western Ontario




“Old” London Hunt Club – The 19th Hole


By far the most romantic story of a golf course on our website belongs to the Old London Hunt Club. Many thousands of people every day work, study, heal, recreate, park, teach, philosophize, research, socialize, theoreticize and create great ideas to benefit mankind at Western University but very few have a clue about the origins of this property. When Western University was built in 1922 the site was criticized as being too far away from downtown and out in the country. Hence it got the “Country Club” moniker. The fact that a golf course shared the acreage didn’t help that cause. Some of the parts of the course are so built up now that it is impossible to recognize any natural feature that would identify that a golf course ever existed on this site.

When you walk today on the few parts of the course where grass and trees still grow rather than asphalt and concrete it is hard not to reminisce about simpler times and how the beauty of the scene then would contrast with the hustle, bustle and landscape changes that exist now. The golf history of the site is amazing. The Old London Hunt Club was so well respected as a golf course that it was easy to choose as a venue for some of the most important amateur golf events staged in North America. It wasn’t a long course but it was a tough course that featured deep bunkers [in an era before the invention of the sand wedge], close OB boundaries, plenty of water hazards and difficult green complexes that yielded few pars from poorly hit approach shots. The Old Hunt was much more than a member’s course and perhaps it is fitting that it will always be associated with an institution of higher learning. It was a thinking man’s golf course.