GROSSE POINTE FARMS – The global pandemic and a Tennessee tornado in April oddly enough mean the 66th U.S. Senior Amateur will be played at the Country Club of Detroit a year later than originally planned.
The Grosse Pointe Farms classic golf course and original Golf Association of Michigan member was slated to host the Senior Amateur starting later this month, but the 2020 championship was canceled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disappointment in Detroit was soon quelled, however, when the previously announced 2021 site for the championship – The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. – suffered significant tornado damage in April and notified the United States Golf Association that it would not be fully recovered in time to host a national championship by next fall.
The USGA stepped in and made changes: The 2021 championship will be at Country Club of Detroit Aug. 28 – Sept. 2, 2021, and The Honors Course will host the 2024 championship, which will be the 69th edition of the championship.
“The Country Club of Detroit is excited to continue our long tradition of supporting amateur golf by proudly hosting the 2021 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship,” said George J. Baer III, club president in the USGA press release announcing the change.
“As the location where Arnold Palmer launched his historic career by winning the 1954 U.S. Amateur, the Country Club of Detroit holds a unique place in golf history, and we look forward to continuing this great tradition.”
Country Club of Detroit, which hosted the 2018 Michigan Amateur Championship won by Beau Breault, was founded in 1897 and is located 14 miles northeast of downtown Detroit. It was designed by British golf architects Harry Colt and Charles Hugh Alison and most recently restored by Michigan-based architect Tom Doak in 2011.
In addition to Palmer’s victory, which propelled him to a storied career that included seven major professional titles, the U.S. Amateur was also contested there in 1915, when Robert A. Gardner claimed the second of his two championships.
“The Honors Course is grateful to the Country Club of Detroit for taking on the 2021 championship while our course attempts to recover from the recent tornado,” said Joe Richardson, chairman of The Honors Course in the USGA release.
The U.S. Senior Amateur was first played in 1955. The championship for golfers age 55 and older is open to any amateur with a USGA/GAM Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. Several Michigan senior golfers and GAM members are expected to try and qualify for the championship.
Greg Reynolds of Flint, and Tom Draper of Royal Oak, two members of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, are among the past champions of the U.S. Senior Amateur.
The Kittansett Club, in Marion, Mass., will be the host site in 2022 and the 2023 championship will be conducted at Martis Camp Club, in Truckee, Calif.