Remarkable effort by Denver Country Club Members saves tournament from disaster.
The American Golfer August 1912

  Never before in the history of the Western Golf Association have the players been compelled to face such unpleasant conditions as they had at Denver this year. The qualifying round was delayed a day because of floods caused there on Sunday, and little Cherry Creek, which forms the water hazards for the Denver course, washed away several entire putting greens and wrought havoc with the greater part of the fair green. Practically half of the course was buried under mud and sand when the water receded, making it unfit for play and it was finally decided to make the best possible shift on a nine-hole course, something very unusual for a western championship. Even then it was necessary to install three temporary putting greens which were not, of course, in the best condition.

However, the Denver members did remarkable work under the existing conditions and the course was as near fit for play as could be expected. The accident to the course was as lamentable as it was unforeseen. The members of the Denver club had been planning for years to take care of this tournament and had things in excellent condition until the flood came the night before the date of starting. The greens had been given every possible attention and nursed carefully all season and were fine, but it took a very short time for the water to undo months of hard work. 

However, the hospitality of the club was not impaired and aside from some trouble with the course, the golfers who made the long trip west expressed themselves as very well pleased. The Denver members demonstrated their ability as entertainers and they took good care of their visitors all the time they were there. Possibly it was the treatment they got the first two days that led the visiting golfers to refuse an invitation to go on to the Pacific coast and play the tournament there, the offer having been made by Mr. Vincent Whitney of San Francisco on behalf of the Del Monte club, who accompanied his invitation with an offer to pay all expenses of the trip. The offer of the course of the Colorado Springs Golf Club also was declined because of the newness of the course, which made it no better than the nine holes used at the Denver Country Club. The damage to the Denver club was estimated at $20,000, and portions of the course, it is said, never can be reclaimed 

The main effect of the flood was to reduce the qualifying round from thirty-six to eighteen holes, and the time of playing it, from a day and a half to one day. It also had the effect of reducing the original field by about thirty. The second round, which usually was played at thirty-six holes, was reduced to eighteen, in order that it and the first round might be disposed of on Wednesday, thereby leaving three days for the last three rounds that they might each consist of thirty-six holes.

Charles Evans, Jr., of the Edgewater Golf Club, won the Western amateur championship at the Denver Country Club by defeating Warren K. Wood of Homewood Country Club, in one of the hardest final matches ever played for this title. With the exception of the first nine holes of the morning play, neither player at any time had a lead which could be considered safe in any way, and it was not until the last putt was holed on the last green that the winner was determined. It was the winning of the seventeenth hole of the afternoon play and the subsequent halving of the eighteenth that gave Mr. Evans the match. Over 500 enthusiasts trailed the players around the course (in absolutely dismal conditions), and the match was pronounced by those who had seen many Western championships, to be "the best match ever played for the title."

A vintage photo of golfing great Chick Evans 1912 Western Amateur Champion
Chick Evans


What do you think would happen today if the same thing occurred ? Do you think your club members would have been able to rally and pull this thing off ? How about today's big name golfers, would they have been willing ( and able ) to play a big time tournament on a make shift 9 hole course ? 

These were different times folks, and different people. The members of the Denver Country Club and the Western Golf Association made a big contribution to golf that rainy July. Everyone that plays golf today should give them a tip of the hat.


To learn more about the colorful history of the Western Amateur Golfing Championship, continue your search here....

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