The remarkable growth of senior golf prompted the USGA to establish the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship in 1955 for players 55 and older. Many senior golf associations had come into being on the local, state, and regional level, proving that the competitive instinct among golfers was not diminished by age.
The inaugural Senior Amateur, at Belle Meade Country Club, in Nashville, Tenn., drew 370 entries from 30 states and the District of Columbia, with J. Wood Platt, 56, the eight-time Philadelphia Amateur champion, beating George Studinger, 5 and 4, in the final.
Former USGA President William C. Campbell and Marvin “Vinny” Giles are the only players to have won a U.S. Amateur and U.S. Senior Amateur title. John (1987) and Kemp Richardson (2001 and 2003) are the lone father-son tandem to have claimed a USGA championship.
In 2013, Type 1 diabetic Douglas Hanzel won the championship a year removed from making history by qualifying for match play in the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur and U.S. Senior Amateur as well as being the low amateur at the U.S. Senior Open.