Southward Ho Country Club is a private country club located in Bay Shore, New York. Our Club features an 18 hole championship golf course designed by renowned designer A.W. Tillinghast, clay and hard court tennis facilities, platform tennis, swimming, fine dining and event catering.
The Club was founded in 1923 upon the purchase of 140 acres of land and buildings, from the Bossert estate, by the Southward Ho Land Corporation. The property was formerly part of the James Hazen Hyde estate which extended from the Great South Bay north to the Long Island Railroad tracks in Bay Shore, NY.
After the land was acquired, a golf course, designed by A.W. Tillinghast (designer of five courses in Golf Digest's Top 50 including: Winged Foot, Baltusrol, Quaker Ridge, San Francisco G.C. and Five Farms in Baltimore) was constructed. In addition to golf, the club featured a swimming pool, lawn tennis, squash, and bridle paths. Located on the property, not far from the clubhouse, was a working windmill, which has become the centerpiece of the club's logo. The first meeting of members was held in September 1924.
The club was reorganized under the name South Bay Golf club in 1934 as a result of effects from the great depression. Member and benefactor Horace Havemeyer then secured the future of the club in 1945 by purchasing and restructuring all club indebtedness which was fully repaid in 1954. On November 20, 1953 the club name was changed back to Southward Ho Country Club.
To honor Mr. Havemeyer’s generosity and dedication to Southward Ho, an amateur golf tournament was created in his name. In each year since 1951, the “Havemeyer Invitational” has attracted top metropolitan region amateur golfers to compete at Southward Ho in the three day event. Currently the tournament is held annually in May.
Southward Ho continues to this day as a treasured place of recreation for its members and families.
HAVEMEYER INVITATIONAL HISTORY
By Robert Oliver
With that understanding, and out of respect and appreciation, Bob Baxter and his brother Jerry among others with the help of then president of the Club, Bill Mattimore, and our Club's long time Golf Professional, Alex Ferguson, conceived the Havemeyer Invitational Golf Tournament as a lasting tribute to our benefactor. In fact, it was Jerry, Bill and Alex who went to Mr. Havemeyer's home to request, and obtain, his permission to hold the tournament.
Therefore, on September 14, 1951 The South Bay Golf Club staged the first Havemeyer Tournament. From its very inception, the criteria for invitation to compete were only two:
1) One must be a gentleman and
2) He must possess an excellent golf game.
That first tournament, and for many years thereafter, consisted of three flights of 16 players competing at scratch. There was no senior flight. On the night of qualifying all competitors were our guests at a dinner and there was a Calcutta Pool. Two rounds of match play were contested on Saturday and two rounds on Sunday. A buffet dinner was held Sunday evening after the Championship match was completed.
The first final was a splendid match between two of our members, both of whom were to become Club Champions, Mike Ryan and Emil Roy. The match was all even on the 18th tee and it turned on a bit of bad luck for Mike. His tee shot came to rest in the center of the fairway in a deep, unreplaced divot. Mike's second shot was thus spoiled and Emil won the tournament with a par. Oddly, though both competitors continued to play excellent golf at the Club, and many other courses, for many years thereafter, neither ever came close to winning the title again.
In 1955, Jack Sabine of Rockville Links, one of the Metropolitan area's leading amateurs, won the trophy and repeated the following year. He is the only winner in the history of the tournament to successfully defend his title.
Although Bobby and Jerry were each, in their own right, superb golfers, and each a Club Champion, neither ever won the tournament they originated. In fact, it was not until 1961 that a Southward Ho member was able to bring the Championship trophy back home. Modesty forbids naming that winner, but, if you care, you can find my name on the Championship Board in the Trophy Room.
Many Champions of yesteryear are now, unfortunately, mostly forgotten. Names such as Mattwell, Silverstone, Tuthill, and Edwards grace the Championship Board. Through the years, many other golfers, though equally gifted, competed but were unable to win the tournament. Each year, the field comprised the class of the local amateur scene.
The names of Champions of more recent vintage are more familiar, such as: Jonny Doppelt, Malcom Smith, P.J. Cowan, George Zahringer, Jeff Thomas, Joe Sommers, and Ken MacDonald.
One name deserves special mention: Chris Estelle. A Club member and Club Champion, he is the only four time Havemeyer Champion. In fact, Chris won the qualifying medal so often; we named the medalist trophy in his honor.
In the last fifty years, the cast of players has continually changed. Many of our old friends have ceased to play competitive golf. New golfers, younger and stronger, have taken their places. Moreover, in these past fifty years, the Havemeyer has become on of the oldest and most esteemed tournaments in the Metropolitan area.
We hope that Mr. Havemeyer looks down upon us from his celestial palace and is pleased that this tournament exists to commemorate, if only in a small way, his wonderful gift to us.