The U.S. Amateur Championship is the oldest USGA championship and it was created in 1895 because of a controversy. In 1894, two clubs — Newport (R.I.) Golf Club and New York’s St. Andrew’s Golf Club — had conducted invitational tournaments to attract the nation’s top amateur players.
Both clubs proclaimed their winners as the national champion, while Charles Blair Macdonald, a prominent player and course architect, was the runner-up in both.
Before the final day of the St. Andrew’s tournament, it was announced that an association composed of all the clubs in the United States would be formed in the ensuing months. This new national governing body would oversee a universally recognized championship and create a written set of rules.
With that, representatives from Newport Golf Club, St. Andrew’s Golf Club, The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., and Chicago Golf Club founded the USGA on Dec. 22, 1894, and the inaugural U.S. Amateur Championship was conducted the following year, along with the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Amateur.
The Amateur and Open Championships were conducted at Newport Golf Club during the same week of October and Macdonald became the first U.S. Amateur champion.
Since the inaugural event, the U.S. Amateur has enjoyed an illustrious history of great champions, including Bob Jones, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods. In 1930, Jones completed his Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Woods, in 1996, became the first to win three consecutive Amateur titles.