1953 – The Kittansett Club

USA 9 – 3 GB&I 

September 4-5, 1953
The Kittansett Club, Marion, Massachusetts
6,545 yards / Par 70

Captains: Charles Yates (USA) and Tony Duncan (GB&I)

Day 1 Foursomes (USA players first) 
Sam Urzetta / Ken Venturi beat Joe Carr / Ronnie White 6&4
Harvie Ward Jr / Jack Westland beat John Langley / Arthur Perowne 9&8
James Jackson / Gene Littler beat James Wilson / Roy MacGregor 3&2
William Campbell / Charles Coe lost to Gerald Micklem / John Morgan 4&3
USA 3 – GB&I 1

Day 2 Singles
Harvie Ward Jr beat Joe Carr 4&3
Richard Chapman lost to Ronnie White 1 hole
Gene Littler beat Gerald Micklem 5&3
Jack Westland beat Roy MacGregor 7&5
Don Cherry beat Norman Drew 9&7
Ken Venturi beat James Wilson 9&8
Charles Coe lost to John Morgan 3&2
Sam Urzetta beat John Langley 3&2
USA 6 – GB&I 2

Match Result: USA 9 – GB&I 3

Series Results: USA 13 – GB&I 1 (after Match 14)


Match Notes

The host club’s name Kittansett comes from the Wampanoag (American) Indian words ‘Kittan-sett’ which mean ‘near the sea’. The course sits on a narrow peninsula leading out into Buzzard’s Bay in the south of Massachusetts.

GB&I captain Tony Duncan chose not to play himself despite being selected for the team.

In 1953 players had the option of using the smaller British ball or the larger American one on each hole. With conditions calm both teams tended to play the ball they were most used to.

On Day 1 Jimmy Jackson, paired with Gene Littler in the Foursomes, noticed on the 3rd tee that he had 16 clubs in his bag. Under the Rules of Golf applying at that time the USA pair were disqualified. However, GB&I Captain Tony Duncan intervened and under the ‘exceptional individual cases’ caveat contained in the Rules the match continued with the American’s incurring a two hole penalty. Jackson and Littler, already 1 Down, therefore started the 4th hole 3 Down. As can be seen above the American pair eventually ran out 3&2 winners. The following day the local paper carried the headline ‘Britannia Waives The Rules’.

Jimmy Jackson was dropped by Captain Yates for the Day 2 Singles series.

John Morgan won both his foursomes and singles games for Great Britain.

Ronnie White confirmed his status as Great Britain’s leading player with a strong finish in his singles game against Kittansett member Richard Chapman. Chapman led 3Up with six holes to play but White won four of them with three birdies and three pars to secure a notable 1 Hole victory.

Norman Drew, who died in his home town of Belfast aged 91 in August 2023, became the first player from either side to compete in the Walker Cup (Kittansett Club, 1953), the Ryder Cup (Eldorado C.C., 1959) and the World Cup (Portmarnock G.C., 1960).

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