Photo: Associated Press
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The Fairfield Museum and History Center is opening a new exhibition, Fairfield Fairways: 120 Years of Golf on June 11 - October 4. In light of this new exhibit, take a look at how golf evolved from its The Fairfield Museum and History Center is opening a new exhibition, Fairfield Fairways: 120 Years of Golf on June 11 - October 4. In light of this new exhibit, take a look at how golf evolved from its beginnings to today across all of Fairfield County.

Visit Fairfiled Museum & History Center for more information.

(Pictured: Gene Sarazen of Bridgeport, right, putts out on the last green and defeats Craig Wood, looking on at left, in a playoff during the Masters Championship at the Augusta National Golf Club, Ga., on April 8, 1935.)
Photo: Leemage, Contributed
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Golf Comes to America, 1880s-1900

"Golf has deep roots in history, going back at least to 1457 in Scotland. But the modern game took hold in the United States in the 1880s, thanks to the efforts of a few

Golf Comes to America, 1880s-1900

"Golf has deep roots in history, going back at least to 1457 in Scotland. But the modern game took hold in the United States in the 1880s, thanks to the efforts of a few English and Scottish immigrants who taught the game to Americans. " - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

(Pictured: Golf in Saint Andrews, Scotland)

Photo: B.K. Angeletti
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Brooklawn Country Club, Fairfield (1895)

Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, originally called just "the country club," was the fist golf club in Connecticut to join the United States Golf Association. Founded

Brooklawn Country Club, Fairfield (1895)

Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, originally called just "the country club," was the fist golf club in Connecticut to join the United States Golf Association. Founded in 1895 by leading businessmen from Bridgeport, "Brooklawn provided a social and recreational home for the city’s industrial leaders and their families...Aiming to serve 'the best social element in Bridgeport,' the club became known as the rendezvous place for the city’s 'society folk.'

Golf at Brooklawn began with a 9-hole course and an annual budget of $100, but soon expanded...Brooklawn was among the first clubs in the country to join the United States Golf Association (USGA) in 1896, only a year after the organization had been founded to promote the sport of golf and organize championships.

The club was also a leader in championing golf in Connecticut, hosting the first club championship and helping to organize statewide and regional golf associations." - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

Photo: Brooke, Contributed
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Women in golf

"By contrast with many other sports, golf was open to women from the beginning, and American women developed a keen interest in the game. Golf’s relaxed pace, individual play, and pleasant

Women in golf

"By contrast with many other sports, golf was open to women from the beginning, and American women developed a keen interest in the game. Golf’s relaxed pace, individual play, and pleasant surroundings seemed to make it particularly fitting for upper-class women, who were generally discouraged from more strenuous athletic pursuits. " - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

(Pictured: 14th September 1925: Five golfers on the course in practice for the Girls' Golf Championship at Stoke Poges (left to right) Barbara Strohmenger, Enid Wilson, Dorothy Pearson, Barbara Lyon and Phyllis Strohmenger. (Photo by Brooke))

Photo: Contributed Photo
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Georgianna Bishop(1878-1971)

"Winning the USGA Women’s Amateur title in 1904 made Brooklawn’s Georgianna Bishop the first national champion of either gender from Connecticut.

From a prominent

Georgianna Bishop(1878-1971)

"Winning the USGA Women’s Amateur title in 1904 made Brooklawn’s Georgianna Bishop the first national champion of either gender from Connecticut.

From a prominent Bridgeport family, she played at Brooklawn Country Club and was later made an honorary member. Over the next 25 years, Bishop compiled an amateur record approached by few golfers anywhere, playing in seventeen U.S. Amateur Championships and travelling to England with the first U.S. Women’s team to play the British. A four-time winner of the Connecticut amateur championship in the 1920s, Bishop was among the first inductees in the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame." - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

Photo: Keelin Daly, GT
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Greenwich Country Club(1895)

Greenwich Country Club was, along with Brooklawn Country Club, one of the first golf courses in the state. It was organized as the Fairfield County Golf Club in 1895 and started out

Greenwich Country Club(1895)

Greenwich Country Club was, along with Brooklawn Country Club, one of the first golf courses in the state. It was organized as the Fairfield County Golf Club in 1895 and started out with nine holes.

"One of the club's early members, Findlay Douglas, a native of St. Andrews, Scotland, won the U.S. Amateur in 1898 and was runner-up the next two years. The most influential benefactor in the early years was Edmund Converse, a banker and industrialist and first president of J.P. Morgan's U.S. Steel. With his backing, the course was expanded to 18 holes in 1908 and the club was renamed the Greenwich Country Club in 1909." - Connecticut State Golf Association

Photo: Contributed Photo
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Wee Burn Golf Club in Darien(1896)

Another early Connecticut golf club is Darien's Wee Burn golf club, which was opened in the late 1800s. The name is said to have come from the Scottish term for "little

Wee Burn Golf Club in Darien(1896)

Another early Connecticut golf club is Darien's Wee Burn golf club, which was opened in the late 1800s. The name is said to have come from the Scottish term for "little stream."

"According to his diary, John D. Crimmins was riding in his surrey one Sunday afternoon in 1893 when he spotted two men playing golf in a Noroton field where they had laid out two holes...It would be four years before the Wee Burn Country Club was formally established in Crimmins' office, but the Sunday pastime was probably the beginning of the organization.

By 1895, a small band of golfers played on a crude course, wearing red jackets to symbolize membership in the group. Crimmins, though not an avid golfer himself, called a meeting at his house in April of 1896 to discuss the organization of a golf club...Wee Burn was surely in existence in 1896, a year before its official founding." - Connecticut State Golf Association


Photo: Contributed Photo
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Connecticut State Golf Association (1899)

"Twelve charter clubs were drawn together in 1899 to form the League of Connecticut Golf Clubs (later to become the CSGA), the nation's oldest state golf association.

Connecticut State Golf Association (1899)

"Twelve charter clubs were drawn together in 1899 to form the League of Connecticut Golf Clubs (later to become the CSGA), the nation's oldest state golf association. The official founding most likely occurred in July of 1899 when the first state golf championship, the forerunner to the Connecticut Amateur, was held at Brooklawn Country Club." - Connecticut State Golf Association

The twelve founding members were:

Brooklawn Country Club, Hartford Golf Club, Litchfield Country Club, Wallingford Country Club, Country Club of Farmington, Indian Hill Country Club, New Haven Country Club, Country Club of Waterbury, Greenwich Country Club, Innis Arden Golf Club, Shennecossett Golf Club, Wee Burn Country Club

Photo: Charlie Riedel, AP
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Golf’s Golden Age, 1910-1930

"The 1910s and 1920s were a time of rapid growth for golf, as economic prosperity and increased leisure time spurred the growth of country clubs and golf courses. Over

Golf’s Golden Age, 1910-1930

"The 1910s and 1920s were a time of rapid growth for golf, as economic prosperity and increased leisure time spurred the growth of country clubs and golf courses. Over a million Americans were playing golf on public and private links, and the sport was becoming Americanized as golf professionals increasingly took center stage, starting with the first Professional Golfers Association (PGA) tournament in 1916." -  Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

Photo: Contributed
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Country Club of Fairfield (1921)

"As golf rapidly increased in popularity, Brooklawn - the only golf course in the area - started to feel crowded to some members. Fairfield’s 'leading citizen,' financier

Country Club of Fairfield (1921)

"As golf rapidly increased in popularity, Brooklawn - the only golf course in the area - started to feel crowded to some members. Fairfield’s 'leading citizen,' financier Oliver Gould Jennings, was an avid golfer who was sometimes frustrated waiting for tee times.

He organized a group of influential friends to create a smaller club, known as the Country Club of Fairfield, in 1914. Its goal was 'to promote outdoor and indoor sports, mental and physical recreation, and social intercourse by its members, their families, associates, and guests.' The Country Club was officially opened on July 2, 1921." - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

Photo: Getty Images
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Tough Times: 1931-1945

"The Great Depression put a halt to the growth of golf clubs, forcing the closure of many and spurring others to take drastic steps to economize. The collapse in the economy that began

Tough Times: 1931-1945

"The Great Depression put a halt to the growth of golf clubs, forcing the closure of many and spurring others to take drastic steps to economize. The collapse in the economy that began with the stock market crash of 1929 caused country club members to resign in droves, creating a 78% reduction in total membership nationally." - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

(Pictured: 1930: An old woman receives her Thanksgiving ration of food in New York, during the Great Depression. Tons of food were distributed nationwide to the starving populace.)

Photo: Ned Gerard
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D. Fairchild Wheeler, Bridgeport (1932)

"The Depression also gave rise to the area’s first public golf course, D. Fairchild Wheeler, which was created by the city of Bridgeport as part of its work relief

D. Fairchild Wheeler, Bridgeport (1932)

"The Depression also gave rise to the area’s first public golf course, D. Fairchild Wheeler, which was created by the city of Bridgeport as part of its work relief efforts in 1932. Like leaders of other cities around the country, Bridgeport’s mayor, Edward Buckingham, believed a public golf course would benefit the entire community.

Bridgeport’s new public golf course was the first municipal course in New England to offer a full 36 holes, divided into four 9-hole courses that could accommodate as many as a thousand players on a busy weekend. ...With the constantly growing interest in golf, a local newspaper noted in 1941, the sport was no longer seen as 'a rich man’s pastime.'" - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

Photo: Contributed Photo
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Gene Sarazen (1902-1999)

"[As a teenager] he spent much of his time at the golf course in Bridgeport’s Beardsley Park, and the golf pro there, Al Ciuci, introduced him at Brooklawn Country Club.

In 1922,

Gene Sarazen (1902-1999)

"[As a teenager] he spent much of his time at the golf course in Bridgeport’s Beardsley Park, and the golf pro there, Al Ciuci, introduced him at Brooklawn Country Club.

In 1922, at the age of 20, he won both the U.S. Open, defeating golf greats Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, and the PGA Championship. He became the first golfer to win all four modern “Grand Slam” events: the U.S. Open, the British Open, the PGA Championship, and the Masters. His double eagle shot (scoring three strokes under par) at the 1935 Masters Tournament is known as “the shot heard ‘round the world,” and may be the most famous single shot of golf in the game’s history. He dominated golf during the 1930s, and served as the game’s global ambassador, playing exhibitions in South America and Asia." - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

Photo: The Associated Press
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Prescott Bush (1895-1972)

Prescott Bush, father of President George H.W. Bush and grandfather of President George W. Bush, represented Connecticut as a senator until 1962.

Bush was a member of the United States

Prescott Bush (1895-1972)

Prescott Bush, father of President George H.W. Bush and grandfather of President George W. Bush, represented Connecticut as a senator until 1962.

Bush was a member of the United States Golf Association, serving successively as secretary, vice-president and president, 1928–1935. He was a golf champion of the Round Hill Club in Greenwich. Read more.

Photo: Aladdin Color Inc/Getty Images
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The Expansion of Golf (1945-present)

The end of Word War II "brought about another golden age for golf, as the rising standard of living and mass suburbanization opened up the game to a wider segment of the

The Expansion of Golf (1945-present)

The end of Word War II "brought about another golden age for golf, as the rising standard of living and mass suburbanization opened up the game to a wider segment of the American population. During this era, many country clubs expanded their courses and clubhouses, as well as creating programs for children and teenagers that would encourage families to spend their time at the club. Public and daily-fee courses also grew during this time." - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

Photo: Popperfoto/Getty Images
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"President Eisenhower shared his love of golf, and the business world continued to value it as a way of promoting networking and making deals with clients." - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & "President Eisenhower shared his love of golf, and the business world continued to value it as a way of promoting networking and making deals with clients." - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

(Pictured: 1968, Washington Celebrity Golf Tournament, General Dwight D, Eisenhower appears to pray for good luck as he prepares an unusual shot to drive the ball off the nose of comedian Eddie Arnold, while Admiral Nimitz watches.)

Photo: Associated Press
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Julius Boros (1920-1994)

"Born to Hungarian immigrant parents in Fairfield, he began caddying at the Greenfield Hill Country Club at the age of 11. At the age of 30, he turned professional and devoted himself

Julius Boros (1920-1994)

"Born to Hungarian immigrant parents in Fairfield, he began caddying at the Greenfield Hill Country Club at the age of 11. At the age of 30, he turned professional and devoted himself to golf full-time in 1950.

Boros quickly established himself as one of the game’s most powerful contestants, winning the title in 1952 during his first appearance at the U.S. Open. He continued to play at the highest level into his fifties, and became the oldest winner of a major when he won the National PGA Championship in 1968. He won the U.S. Open again in 1963 and the PGA Seniors title in 1971 and 1977, and played on four Ryder Cup teams from 1959 to 1967.

Boros was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1982." - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

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The American Ryder Cup team in Scotland, 6th October 1965. From right to left, they are team captain Byron Nelson, Tommy Jacobs, Billy Casper, Don January, Johnny Pott, Tony Lema, Ken Venturi, Dave Marr, Gene The American Ryder Cup team in Scotland, 6th October 1965. From right to left, they are team captain Byron Nelson, Tommy Jacobs, Billy Casper, Don January, Johnny Pott, Tony Lema, Ken Venturi, Dave Marr, Gene Littler, Julius Boros and Arnold Palmer.
Photo: Keith Beaty/Toronto Star Via Getty Images
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Dick Siderowf

for 40 years, the Westport resident was one of the greatest amateur golfers in the country. He won the British Amateur twice, played on four winning Walker Cup teams and captained the squad to

Dick Siderowf

for 40 years, the Westport resident was one of the greatest amateur golfers in the country. He won the British Amateur twice, played on four winning Walker Cup teams and captained the squad to victory in 1979. He won three Connecticut Opens, five Connecticut Amateur titles and five Metropolitan Amateur crowns.

He played on two Eisenhower Trophy teams. He played in eight Masters and three U.S. Opens, and he was elected to the Connecticut State Golf Association Hall of Fame in 1974.

In 2009, Siderowf was inducted into the Fairfield County Sports Commission Hall of Fame during its annual "Sports Night" dinner at the Greenwich Hyatt. Seventy two-year-old at the time, Siderowf was still golfing.

Between 1955 and 1996, Siderowf competed in amateur championships. Two of his biggest wins were the 1973 and 1976 British Amateur titles, especially the second, which he won on the legendary St. Andrews course, defeating J.C. Davies in 37 holes. Read more.


Photo: Tyler Sizemore
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Golf in Connecticut today

Today, Connecticut is home to countless public and private golf courses like Great River Golf Course in Milford, Oxford Greens, Richter Park in Danbury and Longshore Club Park in

Golf in Connecticut today

Today, Connecticut is home to countless public and private golf courses like Great River Golf Course in Milford, Oxford Greens, Richter Park in Danbury and Longshore Club Park in Westport, which were all named on Golfweek Magazine's 2015 list of best courses in Connecticut.

Get to know a few of today's Connecticut golf pros...

Photo: Getty Images
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 J.J. Henry

"Born in Fairfield in 1975, Henry was exposed to high-level golf by his father, who played in numerous British and U.S. Amateurs, and won six men’s championship at the Patterson Club. He

 J.J. Henry

"Born in Fairfield in 1975, Henry was exposed to high-level golf by his father, who played in numerous British and U.S. Amateurs, and won six men’s championship at the Patterson Club. He grew up hearing about how his grandfather, who caddied at the Country Club of Fairfield, had played on the Fairfield High School team with Julius Boros.

Henry was a three-time Connecticut State Amateur champion and turned pro in 1998. He won two PGA Tour victories (2006 and 2012) and was the first Connecticut golfer to win the Buick Championship. He also played on the Ryder Cup team in 2006. He is one of only three American-born PGA Tour players to finish inside the Top-125 (earning Tour status) since 2001.

Off the course, Henry founded the Henry House Foundation to fund projects that promote health care and well-being of children in Fort Worth, Texas and southern New England. He has helped support programs for Bridgeport-area youth at the Fairchild Wheeler golf course with First Tee-Metropolitan New York." -  Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images
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Heather Daly-Donofrio

"Daly-Donofrio took up golf for the first time at Roger Ludlowe High School, looking for a sport she could play when she was not busy with the swim team. No one in her family was a golfer;

Heather Daly-Donofrio

"Daly-Donofrio took up golf for the first time at Roger Ludlowe High School, looking for a sport she could play when she was not busy with the swim team. No one in her family was a golfer; she taught herself by reading instruction books and playing with a set of clubs that her uncle bought at a tag sale. In order to learn more about golf, she got a job working in the bag room at Patterson Country Club, where she was one of the only girls.

Recruited to Yale for both swimming and golf, she spent much of her time outside the classroom on the golf course. After graduation, she turned pro, and accumulated victories on the LPGA SymetraTour while also coaching the women’s golf team at Yale to the Ivy League Championship in 1998.

That same year, she qualified for the LPGA. She won her first LPGA event in 2001, and her second LPGA event in 2004. She served as the Tour president, and was on the tour until 2009. She became the only Yale graduate to win a professional golf tournament on a major U.S. golf tour. She is now the LPGA’s Chief Tour Operations Officer." - Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfiled Museum & History Center

Photo: Keelin Daly
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Ken Green

Champion Danbury golfer, Ken Green, has a tragic story. In 2009, a car accident in Missisippi killed Green's girlfriend, brother and dog. It also cost Green his leg. Before the accident, Green had one

Ken Green

Champion Danbury golfer, Ken Green, has a tragic story. In 2009, a car accident in Missisippi killed Green's girlfriend, brother and dog. It also cost Green his leg. Before the accident, Green had one five PGA tournaments and was a member of the 1989 U.S. Ryder Cup team. In 2010, tragedy struck again when Green's son was found dead in his college dorm.

Today, Green has overcome pain and depression and, with the help of a prosthetic leg, continues golfing. Read more. 

Photo: AP Photo/Douglas Healey
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Jerry Courville, Sr. & Jr.

"Jerry Courville Sr., an amateur golfer whose championship career spanned nearly three decades, died [in 1996] at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford. He was 62. The cause was

Jerry Courville, Sr. & Jr.

"Jerry Courville Sr., an amateur golfer whose championship career spanned nearly three decades, died [in 1996] at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford. He was 62. The cause was cancer, his family said.

Courville, who played out of the Shorehaven Country Club in East Norwalk, Conn., was known for decades as one of the best amateur golfers in the Northeast, beginning with his 1961 victory in the Ike Tournament in New York. He won the Westchester Amateur tournament, the Quaker Ridge Invitational four times and the New York Metropolitan Amateur title six times.

He also won the Metropolitan New York Open championship, becoming the first golfer to win both open and amateur titles and only the fifth amateur to win the open.

Other victories included the New England Amateur tournament in 1970 and the Travis Memorial Invitational in 1979. He was also a finalist in the United States Amateur Championship in 1974." - New York Times

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His son, Jerry Courville Jr., is also an accomplished golfer. He "won his first tournament, the CT Junior, at age 16. This would be the start of a string of wins as an amateur, including the CT Amateur, 3 wins in the Met Amateur and IKE, and top finishes in the U.S. Amateur.

Courville won the U.S. Mid Amateur in 1995 and made trips to the 1995 U.S. Open and The Masters in 1996. He is also a two time Walker Cup player, in 1995 as Tiger Woods' teammate and in 1997 with a record 4-2 finish. Jerry holds the USGA record for most match play wins in U.S. Mid Amateur history and consecutive years qualifying for match play in the U.S. Amateur along with two local course records." - jerrycourville.com

(Pi

Photo: Associated Press
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The golfing legacy of Fairfield native Julius Boros, with his trophy after winning the U.S. Open in 1963, will be showcased in the ìFairfieldís Fairways: 120 Years of Golfî exhibit at the Fairfield Museum The golfing legacy of Fairfield native Julius Boros, with his trophy after winning the U.S. Open in 1963, will be showcased in the ìFairfieldís Fairways: 120 Years of Golfî exhibit at the Fairfield Museum and History Center.
Photo: Contributed Photo
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Masters golfing champion Gene Sarazen, who once was the pro at Brooklawn Country Club, is among the local golf legends featured in a new exhibit at the Fairfield Museum and History Center.
Photo: Contributed Photo
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Brooklawn Country Clubís Georgianna Bishop, who won USGA Womenís Amateur title in 1904, will be among the golf legends featured in a new exhibit at the Fairfield Museum and History Center.

"Fairfield's Fairways: 120 Years of Golf" is the theme of a new exhibit opening June 11 at the Fairfield Museum and History Center.

The exhibit, which runs through Oct. 4, offers a historical perspective on the game, highlighting Fairfield's golf courses, their founders and designers, the tournaments they've hosted, and the great players to emerge from the local links, according to publicity for the event.

Over the years, Fairfield's fairways have produced numerous golfing golfers, including internationally known players Julius Boros and Gene Sarazen, Brooklawn Country Club's Georgianna Bishop who won USGA Women's Amateur title in 1904, and current PGA Tour player J.J. Henry and former LPGA champion Heather Daly-Donofrio.

The opening cocktail reception, set from 6 to 8 p.m. June 11, will also include the presentation of the Fairfield Cup, awarded to the winning team of club champions from Brooklawn Country Club, the Country Club of Fairfield, the Patterson Club, H. Smith Richardson or Fairchild Wheeler, who will play a 27-hole competition earlier in the day (nine holes at each of the three private clubs).

The Fairfield Cup Teams include:

Brooklawn Country Club -- Jim Fatsi, head golf professional; Mike Hooper, men's champion runner-up; Ellen Delucia, women's champion, and Peter Donnelly, men's senior champion.

Country Club of Fairfield -- Dave Renzulli, head golf professional; Owen Foote, men's champion; Erin Russell, women's champion, and Peter Murphy, men's senior champion.

Patterson Club -- Chris Kenney, head golf professional; Brad Pratt, men's champion runner-up; Jayne Hynes, women's champion runner-up, and Roger Tarika, senior men's Champion.

H. Smith Richardson -- Jim Alexander, head golf professional; Frank Geiger, men's champion runner-up; Jo Rasmussen, women's champion, and Tim Dailey, men's senior champion.

Fairchild Wheeler -- Stephen Roach, head golf professional; Craig Amaral, men's champion; Lisa Fern-Boros, women's champion, and Bob Feinstein, senior men's champion.

Tickets to the opening reception are $65 each and available at https://fairfieldcup.eventbrite.com.

"Golf has deep roots in Fairfield, going back to the 1890s, when the sport was just becoming a national obsession," Elizabeth Rose, the Fairfield Museum's library director, said in publicity for the event.

The Fairfield Museum and History Center is at 370 Beach Road. For more information call 203-259-1598 or visit www.fairfieldhistory.org.

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