History of the Curtis Cup Match

The Curtis Cup Match dates to an informal match played in 1905. Frances Griscom, the 1900 U.S. Women's Amateur Champion, suggested that it would be fun for a group to play in the British Ladies Open Amateur.  Eight Americans made the trip overseas to play, including Griscom, Georgianna Bishop (the 1904 U.S. Women's Amateur Champion at Merion), and Harriot and Margaret Curtis. 

An informal match developed between the Americans and a team from Britain. Although the U.S. team was soundly beaten, the exhilaration and goodwill established by their visit always stayed with the competitors.  In 1931, the British Ladies' Golf Union agreed to regular matches with the United States. The USGA then decided to finance the American team and administer the competition.  The Curtis Cup was accepted the same year as the official trophy. The Cup is enscribed, "to stimulate the friendly rivalry among the women golfers of many lands."

  
L: Members of the U.S. and Great Britain teams in the 1954 Curtis Cup hosted at Merion; R: The U.S. team huddles together in the 2018 Curtis Cup Match at Quaker Ridge Golf Club (photo courtesy of the USGA).

The series began the following year at Wentworth Golf Club in England, with the U.S. team opposing Great Britain. In 1954, Merion Golf Club hosted the 8th Cutis Cup Match on the East Course.  The U.S. Team won 6-3 that year.

Although the Americans own a 28-8-3 lead in the biennial competition, the true meaning of the Curtis Cup Match has never been overshadowed by the results, and the Match has always been regarded as a vehicle of international friendship and understanding.

The Curtis Cup Match has proven to be a launching ground for young women into future professional stardom. Competitors have included Paula Creamer, Austin Ernst, Jessica Korda, Stacy Lewis, Nancy Lopez, Mariah Stackhouse, Lexi Thompson, and Michelle Wie. 

  
L: Michelle Wie in the 2004 Curtis Cup; R: Lexi Thompson and Jessica Korda in the 2010 Curtis Cup (photos courtesy of the USGA)