History at Sewickley Heights Golf Club runs deep. Known as the Foundation of Sewickley Heights Golf Club, five visionaries Harton “Bud” Semple, William George, David, John and Henry Oliver, all of whom had a passion for the game of golf, came together to found Sewickley Heights Golf Club in 1961. The land on which Sewickley Heights Golf Club now resides was once considered as a site for a new airport in the late 50’s, but the Founders had other ideas for the land. Semple, an accomplished player in his own right, stood with many local residents who did not want the addition of a noisy airport in the neighborhood. Bud Semple and his group got together and hired golf course architect Jim Harrison in 1960 and a year later in 1961 Sewickley Heights Golf Club opened for play.
Bud Semple’s legacy at Sewickley Heights Golf Club has made its mark. His goal in collaboration with Jim Harrison was to create a golf course that was challenging and fun to play. To all concerned they succeeded. Semple went on to become an ambassador for amateur golf earning the prestigious honor of being the president of the United States Golf Association from 1971-1974. He was instrumental in Sewickley Heights Golf Club hosting the United States Women’s Amateur in 1966, just five years after opening to golfers. JoAnne “Big Mama” Gunderson-Carner went on to win the event and it still stands as the longest final round match in US Women’s Amateur history, lasting 41 holes. Of course we are fortunate to still have a Semple on the membership rolls of our Club today, in the name of Carol Semple-Thompson, Bud’s daughter. Ms Semple-Thompson’s accomplishments in and contributions to Women’s Amateur Golf are legend, including her recent selection to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Since it’s inception in 1961 some of the games greatest golfers such as Palmer, Player, Floyd and Trevino have graced the grounds of Sewickley Heights Golf Club. Throughout those years the Club has provided a wonderful venue for hosting many amateur and professional golf tournaments on a national, regional and local level for all to enjoy.