Since 1915, the Southwestern Amateur has been played annually (except for a three-year hiatus from 1943-45 due to World War II) at various sites throughout Arizona, California, Texas, Nevada and New Mexico. On four occasions, it was even staged in Mexico.
Starting in 2013, it appears this long-running national tournament will have a place to call its own home sweet home — at least through 2016.
The Southwestern Golf Association (SWGA) will be bringing its premier event to Desert Mountain Club, Inc., in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The SWGA and Desert Mountain announced a one-year agreement calling for the club to host the 2013 event. Terms also include three automatic renewals, meaning one of Desert Mountain’s six Jack Nicklaus-designed courses will host the tournament on a rotating basis through 2016.
Prior to the initiation of the agreement with Desert Mountain, the 2012 Southwestern Amateur will take place June 11-15 at the Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain — another Nicklaus design — in Marana, Ariz., and site of the PGA Tour’s WGC Accenture Match Play Championship.
Bill Lich, president of the SWGA, said the agreement with Desert Mountain “provides the Southwestern Amateur with a future home that should help the tournament retain its status as one of the top national amateur events.”
“We are looking forward to working closely with the management team at Desert Mountain to maintain our position as one of the top amateur events in the entire country,” Lich said.
Desert Mountain has hosted a number of high-profile tournaments, and in 2012 will stage the Champions Tour’s season-ending Charles Schwab Cup, to be played Oct. 29-Nov. 4.
Jim Linyard, executive director of the SWGA, felt the new permanent home “will allow us to target top international players, Walker Cup and Palmer Cup participants, as well as leading collegiate stars who all are aware of the outstanding golf courses available at Desert Mountain.
“We are truly excited about this new partnership,” added Linyard. “It will allow us to celebrate Desert Mountain’s 25th anniversary in 2013 and the SWGA’s centennial in 2015.”
Among the past Southwestern Amateur champions are PGA Tour stars Craig Stadler (1975), Jay Haas (1976), Mark O’Meara (1980), Corey Pavin (1981), Tom Pernice Jr. (1982), Ryan Palmer (1999) and Nick Watney (2002).
Bob Goldwater won the championship three times (1927, 1942, and 1951) and noted Tucson amateur Dr. Ed Updegraff captured four titles in 1954-55, 1961 and 1969.
Scott Frisch, currently the head professional at Desert Mountain’s Renegade Course, won the championship in three consecutive years from 1987-1989.