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William (Willie) Dunn (Junior)


1865 - 1952

Innovative golfer and golf-course designer, who is said to have had a profound effect on the development of the sport in the USA. Born into a notable golfing family in Musselburgh, Dunn worked as a club-maker with his father, another Willie (1821-78) and brother, Thomas, first in Musselburgh and then North Berwick. He went to Biarritz (France) where he met the Vanderbilt family who suggested he come to the USA. He arrived there in 1891 and set about designing a course at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island. This course and club became a model for many others across the USA.

Dunn set up a successful club manufacturing business, with a shop in New York, and worked as a club designer for several other companies. He is said to have been an early experimenter with steel-shafted clubs and was also the first to use golf tees. In the 1920s, Dunn moved to San Jose in California and continued to lay out courses and design clubs until a remarkable age.


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