Heritage

Hosting major events, producing high profile tournament champions, and setting the standard for golf excellence in Louisville has long been the Audubon Country Club tradition.


Learn more about the club’s rich history in the highlights below.

  • 1920s
    • 1920 – Audubon’s first golf professional, Bobby Craigs, won the inaugural Kentucky Open Championship. He was also a runner-up four other times for the Kentucky Open and represented the state in the National PGA Championship on several occasions. Craigs’s tenure at Audubon lasted 41 years.

      1921 – Audubon held the second ever Kentucky Open Championship.

      1922 – Audubon member, Mrs. E.D. Mason (subsequently known as Mrs. McCraw), along with several women golfers in the state, founded Women’s Kentucky Golf Association. Mrs. Mason was elected as the association’s first secretary.

      1923 – Audubon hosted the first Women’s Kentucky State Golf Association Tournament. Audubon member, Mrs. Mason, won the championship. She later won the 1924 and 1926 championships in addition to four club championships and multiple women’s Fall Cities and Kentucky golf titles.

      1925 – Audubon held another Kentucky Open Championship in addition to the Kentucky Amateur Championship.

      1928 – Audubon member, Miss Emma Peffer, won the Women’s Kentucky State Golf Association Tournament. She later won a record 26 club championships.

  • 1930s
    • 1932 – Audubon member and park resident, Hugh “Spike” Clines won the Kentucky Amateur Championship and the club championship during this time. Prior to these victories he won one other club championship and three club championships in the years to follow.

      1934 – Audubon member, Hugh “Spike” Clines won his second Kentucky Amateur Championship.

      1935 – Audubon hosted the second Louisville Open Golf Tournament, which is one of a sequence of professional tournaments that evolved into the formation of the PGA Tour.

      1939 – Audubon member, Hugh “Spike” Clines, won his third Kentucky Amateur Championship.

  • 1940s
    • 1940 – Audubon member and park resident, Walter Cisco, won the Kentucky Amateur Championship.

      1941 – Audubon golf professional, Bobby Craigs, was elected honorary life president of the Kentucky Section of the Professional Golfers Association of America. Craigs served as the Kentucky group’s first president and was an active leader up until a few years prior.

      1942 – Audubon played host to an Army-Navy Relief Golf Tournament headlined by Bing Crosby. Audubon’s golf professional, Bobby Craigs, and Bing Crosby competed against Louisville Country Club’s golf professional, Jack Ryan, and U.S. Senator A.B. “Happy” Chandler, and were respectfully defeated. The event raised almost $2,500 for relief funds, a substantial amount for this time period.

      1947 – Audubon held a prestigious match play event, the 41st Championship of the Southern Amateur Golf Association.

      1948 – Audubon member, Walter Cisco, won his second Kentucky Amateur Championship.

  • 1950s
    • 1950 – Audubon hosted another Women’s Kentucky State Golf Association Tournament.

      1952 – Audubon member, Colonel Lee S. Read, who was considered the father of Junior Golf in Kentucky, was elected as president of the Southern Golf Association. He was a member of the first USGA Junior Golf Committee, as well as a starter for the USGA Junior Amateur and the U.S. Open, and founded the Tri-State Junior Championship.

  • 1960s
    • 1962 – Audubon installed a complete irrigation system, watering fairways as well as greens and tees. This was the first system of its type in the state.

      1964- Former Audubon caddie, Bobby Nichols, a student of Bobby Craigs, won the PGA Championship. He earned 12 victories on the PGA Tour and two on the Senior PGA Tour.

      1965 – Audubon member and Baseball Hall of Famer, Pee Wee Reese, won his first club championship. In the years to follow, Reese won two other club championships and four senior club championships. Reese was inducted to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984.

  • 1970s
    • 1970s – Audubon created two championships, the LadyBird Classic for women and the Audubon Golf Classic for men. The LadyBird Classic was noted as the best invitational women’s golf tournament in Louisville and the Audubon Golf Classic was said to have a Masters-like feel.

      1972 – Audubon golf course superintendent, Tom Sams, brought an innovative modernization on the fairways by alternating zoysia and Bermuda plugs. The result: Mostly Bermuda grass fairways.

  • 1980s
    • 1984 – Kentucky established its Golf Hall of Fame and Audubon’s former golf professional, Bobby Craigs, was posthumously inducted as one of two charter members. (Craigs passed in 1970.)

      1985 – Audubon member, Bill Kaiser, also known as “Mr. PowerBilt” for his long career promoting PowerBilt golf clubs, was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame. He played professionally around the time of the 1934 Louisville Open and won three Kentucky Open titles in the 1930s.

      1986 – Audubon created the Bobby Craigs Memorial Tournament to honor the club’s longest reigning golf professional. His influence upon golf in the state of Kentucky helped to establish Audubon Country Club as the premier golf facility.

  • 1990s
    • 1997 – Audubon member, Fred Allen, was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame. Allen was the founder and five-time president of the Kentucky Senior Golf Association and a director for the Kentucky Golf Association and KGA-PGA, Inc. He also played in the first two U.S. Junior Amateur Championships in 1948 and 1949, and qualified multiple times for the Kentucky Amateur Championship and twice for the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. During the 1980s and 1990s, Allen won numerous senior club championships. The Fred Allen Cup, Audubon’s club championship, is named in his honor.

      1999 – Audubon member, Dwight Gahm, was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame. Gahm is the founder of Valhalla Golf Club, which has hosted multiple PGA Championships and Ryder Cup Matches.

  • 2000s
    • 2006 – Audubon member, Susan Mercke Stewart, won her 16th club championship, exactly 10 championships away from catching up to Miss Emma Peffer’s club record of 26.

      2007 – Audubon member, Leah Wigger, competed in the U.S. Women’s Open. During high school, Wigger won a state tournament, and from 2004 to 2007, she achieved 20 top-ten finishes at University of Virginia, where she played on a golf scholarship. Wigger was also a four-time NCAA Academic All-American.

      2008 – Audubon hosted the 89th Kentucky Open. During the same year, Audubon member, Leah Wigger, competed at her second U.S. Women’s Open and qualified for three LPGA events.

  • 2010s
    • 2014 – Audubon hosted the Kentucky Mid-Amateur Championship.