USGA Golf House
Rolled up in the Far Hills countryside, the USGA
Museum is home to the world's premier collection of golf artifacts
and memorabilia. The USGA, the governing body for the game in the United
States and Mexico, has since 1972 made its home on a magnificent property
that was for many years one of the premier estates of Somerset County.
The association completed a major renovation and expansion
project that filled the better part of three years. On June 3,
2008, the USGA opened of its new facility - the Arnold
Palmer Center for Golf History - and the nation's oldest sports museum
has become New Jersey's newest nugget.
The museum grounds at the USGA headquarters in Far Hills.
Founded in January 1936, about a year before the National Baseball
Hall of Fame was established in Cooperstown, N.Y., the USGA Museum
was the first museum in the country dedicated solely to sports. In
the 72 years since the creation of the museum, the collections have
grown to comprise more than 42,000 artifacts, a library of more than
20,000 volumes, more than half a million photographic images, and several
thousands hours of historic film, video, and audio recordings. Together,
the museum's collections present a comprehensive history of the game's
development in the United States over the course of nearly 250 years.
They are also the finest collection of golf memorabilia in the world.
Arnold Palmer celebrates at the 1960 US Open.
Below: Palmer at the 1954 US Amateur. Photos courtesy USGA.
collection forms the heart of the visitor experience in the USGA's
new Palmer Center. More than 2,000 artifacts are on display, many
for the first time. Among notable treasures, visitors can see the golf
clubs, golf ball, and scorecard used by Francis Ouimet during his stunning
victory in the 1913 U.S. Open, a remarkable moment in American sports
history recently immortalized in the Disney film, "The
Greatest Game Ever Played." The galleries document the life and
career of Babe Didrikson Zaharias, the Olympic gold medalist turned
semi-professional baseball player turned professional golfer who might
well be considered the greatest athlete in American history, male or
female. In 1954, Zaharias came back from her battle with colon cancer
to win the U.S Women's Open in one of the most courageous efforts in
the history of sports. , as Visitors will learn that all but two American
Presidents of the 20th century were avid golfers as evidenced by clubs
and balls used by several chief executives throughout the exhibitions
But the exhibits in the new USGA Museum offer much more than vintage
golf clubs and golf balls artfully displayed behind glass. The museum
staff dug deep into the vast
and extensive archives at its disposal. As a result, the new exhibits
feature hundreds of historic photographs, as well as numerous multi-media,
audio-visual presentations. Visitors also have an opportunity
to learn about the game through entertaining interactive displays located
through the exhibition galleries.
When they finish their visit inside
the museum's walls, visitors can experience a bit of the game's past
on the museum's new putting course. Here, visitors will select from
a variety of replica golf balls and putters representing various eras
in the game's history, and play with them on a newly-constructed, 15,000-square-foot
putting green. Armed with the same equipment and technology that the
great champions of the past may have used, players are able to
understand a bit of the game as it was played in the late 19th or early
The focal point of the USGA Museum
- in many ways its heart and soul - is the new Hall of Champions, a
magnificent space that is the architectural highlight of the Palmer
Center. The names of every USGA national champion are inscribed on
bronze panels that encircle the walls of the clerestory-lit, oval rotunda.
Displayed in three artifact cases that stand at the center of the room
are the 13 original USGA national championship trophies, including,
most prominently, the United States Open Championship Trophy, representing
the game's most prestigious title. Although the USGA Museum is not
a hall of fame in the traditional sense, it has created this distinctive
way to recognize the more than 500 individuals who have been crowned
as our nation's most talented golfers.
Another space making its debut is a gallery celebrating the life
and career of Arnold Palmer, the first American golfer who truly became
a national icon. The Palmer Room showcases more than 100 artifacts
from the personal collection of Arnold Palmer, a three-time USGA national
champion. The exhibits in the room explore Palmer's career on the course,
as well as the more personal aspects of his life, including his childhood
years in Latrobe, Pa., and his love for flying.
At the center of the
Palmer Room is a remarkable portrait of "The
King" that was created by James David Chase, a college professor
and artist from California. Over the course of 14 years, Chase meticulously
laid out thousands of quotes comprising more than 22,000 words to create
an image of Palmer that must been seen to be truly appreciated. The
portrait is a testament to the special relationship that has existed
for decades between Arnold and the hundreds of thousands of fans who
call themselves "Arnie's Army." An interactive kiosk
enables visitors to explore the portrait in great detail, allowing
them to zoom in and out of a digitized version of the image, as well
as listen to interviews with the artist describing how the work was
Among the artifacts on display in the new Arnold Palmer Center
for Golf History is this photograph of some early members of the
Morris County Golf Club in Convent Station, the first golf club
in the United States founded exclusively for women.
The exhibits are not just about the great players of the past,
however, for the museum's staff is equally committed to collecting
history as it happens today. Artifacts from the most popular players
of today - Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam, to name just two - are
also featured within the exhibitions. To support this effort, the museum
has stepped up its efforts to collect artifacts quite literally from
the hands of recent national champions. Argentina's Angel Cabrera,
the winner of the last year U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club outside
Pittsburgh, donated the driver that he used to hit an astonishing 390-yard
drive during the final round. Ben Crenshaw, for many years one of the
most popular players on the PGA Tour and now a standout on the Champions
Tour, presented the hat that he wore in the final round of last year's
U.S. Senior Open. And Hawaii's teenage sensation Michelle Wie offered
the museum the golf ball she used in 2006 when she attempted to become
the first female to qualify to play in the U.S. Open.
The USGA museum
has long been a Mecca for those who are passionate about the game.
From the early 1990s until the museum closed to prepare for construction
in 2005, some 20,000 avid golfers made the pilgrimage to Far Hills
each year to visit the museum.But the new USGA Museum is certain to
provide an experience that is fun and educational for everyone, even
for visitors who may never before have had the opportunity to hold
a golf club in their hands. Whether you are an avid golfer, a scholar
of the game's history, a casual sports fan, or simply someone interested
in the history of American culture, the USGA Museum aims to provide
a unique and memorable experience.
Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Monday and major holidays.
Adults – $7,
USGA Members – $5,
Group Rate (10 and over) – $5,
Children (13-17 years) – $3.50,
Children under 12 – Free.
You can expect to spend 2 hours when visiting the museum.
For more information
check the USGA website or
06 Mar 2014, 10:44
I have the 7 iron owned by Perry Como when he used to hit golf balls off of
his property years ago The present owner gave me the club because I am such
a Como fan.I no longer play and wonder if anyone would like to purchase it
17 Nov 2012, 11:49
Ever notice the glaring hole in the various golf histories and museums?
Some of the sites show club design then used in the Ouimet Era up to about
'52 and rookie Palmer...and then it stops. Club design, that is. It stops.
From the early 50's and through the 60's and 70's were a whirlwind of
changes in club design, starting with the biggest change going from wood to
metal.\r\n Yet there isn't any history of these. The abrupt and
successful emergence in the 60's/70's on the big three (W/S, MacGregor &
_____), by Ping and a then-radical, hollow-backed design. The difference
between persimmon or other solid head vs laminated hard maple or other
hardwood; aluminum vs steel shafts; muscle-backed vs cavity-backed irons;
leather-wrapped vs composition grips...decade by decade from the 50's
forward. The PGA allowing only Ping clubs already manufactured that had the
now-forbidden 'square-groove' design said to give an unfair advantage to
conventional 45-degree grooves since the sharp edge of the square-groove
design provides a superior 'bite' on the ball, greater backspin, and thus
giving greater stopping power on the green. (They were 'grandfatherd'
in.)\r\n I happen to have three such items...2 sets of clubs and a bag
(yes, a bag...a MacGregor May, 1962 full-page ad announced a Special
Edition Golf Bag made entirely of kangaroo leather. I have the bag in
9.2/10, an as yet unidentified set of pro clubs B$ Nicklaus. May be touring
pro set...registered but no name, just MacGregor icon...9.85(SW)-9.925
(woods, low-irons)/10, includes four woods plus the 1-SW irons,
leather-wrapped grips with gold thread highlights, matched registration
#'s...no model #'s. It's an admirable and perhaps very rare set, and a set
such as this would perfectly match the bag...all in a museum somewhere
strapped to a Bag Boy Master golf cart in a museum somewhere. It's far to
valuable for anything less. I have a second, unique set of Pings...they're
last set of Ping clubs using woods. These were easily the most beautiful
golf club woods ever made. The sole plates were joined professionally in
sloping, streamlined over-sized club heads of layered hard rock maple,
painted a gloss black with crimson face plates. In this case, the matching
irons also have the grandfathered square grooves, #1-PW. Entire set
9.9+/10.\r\n These should be in a museum somewhere. So should ball design
of the times, other notable changes.\r\n The players are highlighted, the
tournaments and locales, very early club design up to the early 50's...and
then zip!\r\n Are the players better or is it club design? i.e., is using
a titanium driver designed with a face that cedes enough to recoil against
the face of the crushed ball, adding velocity and thus yardage.\r\n
Pretty large subject to be so limited...eh? A few show cases here and
there. What do I do with my items?
18 May 2012, 14:38
I just spent some time at the museum as I wanted to see the Hogan
collection and room. It was beautiful. I do have to say I was shocked that
there was not one item on Jack Nicklaus on display and other than his
pictures and mention of his wins there was nothing on display. He was only
voted the greatest golfer of the 20th century, Whats a guy got to do to get
03 Mar 2012, 09:16
In the movie "The Greatest Game Ever Played" Harry Vardon stymies his
opponents ball on the putting green, Quimet attempts to chip over Vardon's
ball. During the telecast of the tournament from Riveria CC on the wknd. of
2/24 clips were show from the era of Ben Hogan that also showed golfers
chipping over their opponents ball. So the Quest. is when did marking your
ball on the putting green become allowed, mandatory and why? Thankyou
02 Nov 2011, 07:28
i have an old jack white imported model putter with an imitation wood
shaft. also on the back of the putter it has 10 sit-rite trade mark with
the number 4250 on the back side. the front of the putter has dimples and
no lines on the face. it has a leather grip with holes in the leather.
can someone help determine its value?
18 Aug 2011, 08:12
Would you be interested in the golf bag Al Geiberger used when he shot a 59
in 1977?\r\n\r\nPeter Quirk\r\n(413) 532-6515\r\email@example.com
27 Jun 2011, 15:32
I have the first copy of Bobby Jones' putter, Calamity Jane. The prototype
was handed down to me by my grandfather, HR Stephens. It has the complete
set of dyes used on the original, first copy (the one I have), and second
copy (the one Bobby Jones won the Grand Slam with) of the Calamity Jane. I
am curious about it. If there is an expert there that I could speak with
(and I can send pictures also), I would really appreciate
Pamela Hawkins Poisson
19 Feb 2011, 12:08
Originally visited after seeing the dedication of the WWII National
Memorial in DC with my Dad (has had 14 aces lifetime... so far). Back for
another visit after renovations, Very Nice changes and great that it is all
on one floor. Grounds are great and even saw deer along the winding
driveway. Dad now 91, still plays in Summer 2-4 times a week and shoots
well under his age. Looking for number 15, perhaps another trip someday
back to the Museum.
27 Jan 2011, 16:40
I wanted to send you that little note so as to say thanks yet again for
your unique opinions you've shown on this website. It was so shockingly
generous of people like you giving without restraint what exactly many
individuals would have offered for sale as an electronic book in order to
make some cash for themselves, most importantly considering that you might
well have tried it if you ever considered necessary. The strategies also
served as the easy way to understand that some people have similar fervor
similar to my own to understand a lot more related to this issue. I believe
there are numerous more enjoyable situations in the future for those who
find out your website.
11 Jan 2011, 18:57
My wife and I will be visiting Golf House for the first time in late March,
2011. Any suggestions on where to stay, eat in the area? Tips on spending
time at Golf House and it's different attractions. Any reccommendations
appreciated. \r\n\r\nBubba T
22 Apr 2010, 23:54
As repungent as that players personal life might be to a lot of people, its
still between him and his wife, who among us shall caste the first stone,
you?, me? . . . I wasn't invited to his wedding, he never promised to be
faithful to me, lets move on and stop finger pointing.
31 Jan 2010, 10:49
HOW HYPOCRITCAL TO BE FOCUSED ON SQUARE GROOVES AS AN INTEGRITY ISSUE WHEN
THE WORLD IS STUNNED BY THE ENORMITY OF THE IMMORALITY AND OBSCENE BEHAVIOR
OF THE REIGNING GOLF CHAMPION WHO HAS POSED FOR YEARS AS THE PILLAR OF
INTEGRITY AND MODEL OF GOLF'S LIFE VALUES WITHOUT ONE UTTERANCE OF CENSURE
FROM THE USGA. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!
26 Oct 2009, 19:02
We all know Alan Shepard used a six-iron on the moon. Could you please tell
me the make/brand of the club and the balls he
30 Sep 2009, 04:28
I hope to be the first individual to rate this museum on Trip advisor after
the brisk hike to it- new jersey transit goes pretty close acording to
Google public map- americans betters get hip to walking and bussing or face
the consequence and live a shorter life-
30 Sep 2009, 04:24
this is a museum for all golfers-unlike the golf hall of fame in saint
augustine which is a bitch to get to -no public transit-this museum is a
nice hike-public transit will leave you about 2 and half miles away- so rev
up your cardio and take the 70 minute walk- there are very few attractions
i would walk 70 minutes for-this and the BillyGraham museum in charlotte-
with obesity pandemic mamy be we should create the hiker's guide to top
american attractions lol Navigating america without wheels
19 Sep 2009, 03:34
I am currently researching the life of Ben Hogan,I am struggling to find
the actual address where he lived in Fort Worth, so far I have managed to
find Westover Hills,this sounds like a district.I would like to know the
house name/number and postal address for my research ,can any one
help??\r\n\r\nThanks,\r\nPaul Johnson \r\nYorkshire UK
16 Jun 2009, 08:06
I am very interested in being able to help golfers with the "psychology" of
the game, course management, attitude, etc. I do not wish to step on the
rules and regulations governing club and teaching pros and am not the least
bit interested in swing mecanics.\r\nCan you tell me if there are policies
and procedures governing making money from this kind of instruction, are
there courses and training that must be completed to function as a "sport
psychologist"? I do have a masters degree in psychology and have played
the game for 48 years. \r\nAny help you can provide would be
appreciated.\r\nCameron Love\r\nHopkinsville, Ky. \r\n270-348-3639
14 Jun 2009, 05:17
columbus has jackie n. and arnold palmer was supposed to h ave amuseum near
pittsburgh but you beat them to puch . i am travel editor of navigating
america without wheels. question what bus or train goes to themuseums from
nyc you should put it on your website-
28 Apr 2009, 12:41
In the above description of the museum, you state that the museum is open
seven days a week, year round,10AM - 5PM,except Thanksgiving, Christmas and
New Years. Unforunately, we believed you and made the trip from
Brewer,Maine arriving on February 23, a Monday. Guess what, you were
closed. Obviously, were extremely disappointed and vowed never to go again.
We had hotel reservations nearby so we were stuck. If you are going to put
out information try to make sure it is correct.
07 Feb 2009, 07:57
I have a Harry Vardon one piece wood stamped with Harry Vardon #6392 and
cannot find any information on it. Its in excellent condition and still
has its original grip. Can you tell me where I can get more information on
it and its value.
11 Nov 2008, 06:32
I have a matching set of irons by Hendry and Bishop marked made in
Edinburgh. These are metal shafts with leather grips. This is a l iron to
8 iron. The faces are dimples instead of grooves.\r\nDo these have any
value? They are in fair condition, but I don't have any other
information.\r\nCan you tell me whom I can contact to get me more
13 Oct 2008, 13:07
Can I get a catalog that has mens golf house merchandise that is for sale?
USGA catalog very seldom has anything in it
08 Oct 2008, 12:22
I have a golf club dated 1861 made by the lang brothers in scotland for t.
morris sr. it's a limited edition #179, it's a putter. I can't find any
info on it or the value. Please contact me if you have any information.
Thank you very much
Joel N. Peabody
05 Aug 2008, 06:37
I have found an old golf club and would like to know if it is of value. It
is a John Bernardi wood shaft iron I believe a #1 with a Reg.# of 2900.
Made out of mild english steel. It says pro flight and shows some type of
bird on it. It is in quite bad shape because of age etc., and poor upkeep.
Any ideas would be greatly accepted. Thankyou in advance. Joel Peabody
17 Jul 2008, 07:12
Enjoy the museum.\r\n\r\nDad
07 Jul 2008, 15:16
I am looking for a 75 year old club and/or ball as a gift. They should be
in original condition and not restored. \r\n\r\nWould you have any
suggestions as to how I might locate these?\r\n\r\nThank you
14 Jun 2008, 14:29
I would like to add my personal observations of Arnold Palmer. He used to
frequent a restaurant where I was the bartender in Indian Wells,
California. I have many fond memories but one sticks out. One night there
was a group of 12 men on a golf outing from back east. Arnold walked in
with his friends who went to their table. Arnold could see these men
looking at him and whispering that it was Arnold Palmer standing there.
Arnold took the time to come over and introduce himself to each man and
chatted for a few minutes. It was a simple but generous gesture that each
of those men will always remember. It was typical of The King. I never saw
anyone with his class and presence.
13 Jun 2008, 05:01
hi i am the senior travel editor of the internantional guidebook with 12
other travel writers of navigating america without wheels the gold museum
in st augustine unfortunately will not bein the guidebook. the nichlaus
museumin columbus will be in it. it is near ohio state. i ned apress kit
for your attractions and i need a transit schedule. i am crossing my
fingers that the train or bus goes within a mile of your facility. our
internantional guidebook will be seen by 3,000,00 people in 9 languages. we
thought pennsylavania would get the arnold palmer museum but it seems like
you have a version of it. it is all about the transit from nyc. how long do
they spend at the museum if they are into golf and do you have a theatre or
movies. the peole who put the top 50 attractions in new jersey do not list
you so google them in and see that you get listed at least honorable
mention but you should bein the top 50. i wantto write about yourmuseums
for the guidebook when i hot nyc for a months thanks-ira gruber friends
tours 301 mt. rose street #20 reno, nevada 89509
10 Jun 2008, 09:57
Who is responsible for the design of this handsome structure?
25 May 2008, 17:30
Will Arnold Palmer be attending the opening on June 3?
30 Apr 2008, 13:56
The opening June 3 is open to the general public.
30 Apr 2008, 05:14
is the grand opening available to the general public
02 Apr 2008, 20:57
I am curious if people from the general public will be able to be a part of
the June 3 event at the USGA Golf House honoring Arnold Palmer. Any
information would be greatly appreciated. I would love to attend the
ceremony with my Father and Father in Law. Thank you!
26 Mar 2008, 10:47
I AM THE ASST.CURATOR AT SPACE CAMP AND A CAMP PERSON ASKED ME WHAT CLUB
DID SHEPARD USE ON THE MOON AND WHAT BALL.HIS 12 YEAR OLD CAMPER ASKED
HIM.DO YOU KNOW WHAT HE USED?\r\nTHANKS JAMES
30 Jan 2008, 12:57
Will the museum be open by April 13th, 2008. I expect my brother, an avid
golfer, to be visiting then from California & would love to bring him
there. Also can you give directions from Lyons Hospital on Valley Road to
08 Jan 2008, 15:32
When will the rennovations be completed?
07 Jan 2008, 16:39
When is the expected re opening? My wife and I would like to plan a trip
to Golf House this Fall. Do you have info on golf courses in the area?