History of Aronimink
The corner of 52nd Street and Chester Avenue was the birthplace of the Belmont Golf Association, an outgrowth of Belmont Cricket Club. In December of 1896, this patch of southwest Philadelphia was little more than a pale green meadow. A handful of cricketers led by Harrison Townsend laid out a few rudimentary golf holes here.
In 1900, the Belmont golfers incorporated themselves as the Aronimink Golf Club. Its first professional, James Campbell, was succeeded by John Shippen, an African-American who was arguably the first American born golf professional.
In 1902, the Aronimink golfers moved less than a mile down the road to 54th Street and Whitby Avenue. Out of the caddie yard came 19 year old John Joseph McDermott, who in 1911, at Chicago Golf Club, became the first golfer born and bred in America to win the U. S. Open. And he won it again, the following year, at the Country Club of Buffalo.
In 1913, the Club moved to Drexel Hill, where it remained for 13 years. Then Aronimink acquired 300 acres in Newtown Square in 1926 and commissioned Donald Ross to lay out 18 holes there. The club moved into the current clubhouse on Memorial Day of 1928. Joe Capello
A major professional championship, the PGA, came to the Club in 1962. Gary Player won with a total of 278.
The U. S. Amateur was held at Aronimink in 1977. Oregon's John Fought won the crown, Aronimink member Jay Sigel lost to Fought in the semifinals.
At the official opening of the Club's Centennial Year, 1996, a rededication of the course took place, together with the unveiling of the plaque behind the 1st tee:
"I INTENDED TO MAKE THIS MY MASTERPIECE, BUT NOT UNTIL
TODAY DID I REALIZE THAT I BUILT BETTER THAN I KNEW."
– Donald J. Ross
In July of 1997 Aronimink hosted the U. S. Junior Amateur Championship. Trevor Immelman defeated Sean O'Hair in the semifinals, 5 and 4. But the young Immelman bowed to Jason Allred, of Ashland, Oregon, by a hole in the final match.
The 2003 Senior PGA Championship was hosted by Aronimink. The field included 22 players who had won 73 major championships. Among the champions were Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer, Raymond Floyd and Hale Irwin. Out of the blue came California's burly John Jacobs, 58 years old, with rounds of 68, 69, 71 and 68 to finish 4 under par and take the crown.
Aronimink's 2005 Master Plan called for renovation and upgrade of many of the Club's Facilities. Among the Plan's 12 key components were construction of a new ballroom, a new women's locker room, and a multi-purpose Activity Center. The $15 million project was completed in October of 2006.
On October 15, 2008, the Club voted to bring the AT&T National, a PGA TOUR event, to Aronimink in 2010 and 2011. The tournament's principal beneficiaries were the Tiger Woods Foundation, joined by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. With its length and its challenges, Aronimink was an outstanding venue.
Aronimink Golf Club Named 2020-2021 Platinum Club of the World & 2019-2020 Platinum Club of America
Platinum Club of the World 2020-2021 Aronimink is ranked #36 of the Top 100 Platinum Golf & Country Clubs of the World. Aronimink was evaluated on Professional Service Levels and Overall Experience, Excellence in Amenities and Facilities, Quality of Membership, Respect and Compliance with the Governing Bodies of the Game, Governance and Management, and Universal Recognition. This ranking represents the standard of Excellence for the finest Private Golf and Country Clubs around the globe.
Platinum Club of America 2019-2020
Aronimink Golf Club is rated #9 in the top 50 Golf Clubs in America. The 295 clubs were evaluated on universal recognition, excellence in amenities and facilities, caliber of staff and professional service levels, quality of membership, governance and prudent fiscal management, adapting to changing times, and overall experience. Platinum Clubs of America represents the very finest private clubs throughout the United States.