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 Inverness History

Although established in 1903, Inverness Club began to build its reputation and place in American golf during the 1920 U.S. Open.

It was during the 1920 U.S. Open that for the first time anywhere, Inverness Club members opened the clubhouse doors to the golf professionals. As a remembrance of this gesture, the players of the 1920 U.S. Open took up a collection and presented the Club with a cathedral chime clock on the final day of the tournament. The clock is still here today, the inscription bearing witness to the beginning of a new era of golf. It reads:

God measures men by what they are
Not by what they in wealth possess
This vibrant message chimes afar
The voice of Inverness

The 1920 U.S. Open began a love affair between major championship golf and the Inverness Club. It was the first of four Opens to be played on the storied course, which has also hosted two PGA Championships, a United States Amateur Championship and the 2003 U.S. Senior Open.

Exciting firsts continued even after 1920, as host of the 1931 U.S. Open, Inverness Club provided the stage for an event that would go down in history as the closest and longest tournament ever contested in professional golf. At the end of the regulation 72 holes, Billy Burke and George Von Elm were tied at 292, requiring a 36-hole playoff. They tied again and were forced to battle it out over an additional 36 holes. When the grueling contest finally came to an end after 144 holes of play, Billy Burke had earned the title by a single stroke.

The eyes of the world have always viewed Inverness through its many major championships. Each of them has a special niche in golf history, spanning from Bobby Jones’ first U.S. Open to two of the most dramatic finishes in PGA Championship history; but hosting national championships, both professional and amateur, is but a small slice of Inverness’ rich history.  Inverness Club is, without question, the city’s and region’s most prestigious address for golf.