Richard Tufts’ Creed of The Amateur

Statues of Donald Ross and Richard Tufts at Pinehurst Resort. His Creed of the Amateur is on the plaque behind him.

Richard Tufts’ Creed of The Amateur

The legendary Pinehurst Resort was founded in 1895 by a Boston soda fountain magnate named James Walker Tufts. That year, he bought 5,500 acres of land in North Carolina’s sand hills and opened the Holly Inn. His vision was a health resort for middle class Americans who — thanks to the railroads — could travel significant distances relatively quickly and inexpensively.

The first golf course was laid out in 1898 (Pinehurst No. 1). Donald Ross was hired in 1900 to direct the resort’s golf operations. Pinehurst No. 2 opened in 1907.

Tufts’ grandson, Richard (1896 – 1980) guided Pinehurst Resort through much of its growth in the 20th century. In doing so, he became an important figure in American amateur golf, at one point serving as USGA President and non playing Captain of a Walker Cup Team. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992.

A statue of Richard stands outside the main clubhouse at Pinehurst, next to one of Donald Ross and just a few yards away from the Payne Stewart monument.

On a plaque behind the bronze is Tufts’ “Creed of the Amateur,” which reflected his belief in, and love of, amateur golf:

The work that I have done has been done for amateur
sport, and I hope that you won’t mind if I leave you with my
creed on amateurism.

Amateurism, after all, must be the backbone of all sport, golf
or otherwise. In my mind an amateur is one who competes
in a sport for the joy of playing, for the companionship it
affords, for health-giving exercise, and for relaxation from
more serious matters. As a part of this light-hearted
approach to the game, he accepts cheerfully all adverse
breaks, is considerate of his opponent, plays the game fairly
and squarely in accordance with its rules, maintains self-
control, and strives to do his best, not in order to win, but
rather as a test of his own skill and ability. These are his
only interests, and, in them, material considerations have no
part. The returns which amateur sport will bring to those
who play it is this spirit are greater than those any money
can possibly buy.

Richard S. Tufts

Joy. Companionship. Exercise. Relaxation. Self Control. Fairness. Consideration. Personal challenge.

Richard Tufts’ Creed of the Amateur are words everyone would do well to remember on their next round of golf. These days I see too many people playing angrily, buzzing around on carts while drinking copious amounts of alcohol, backing up the course with their slow play, not fixing divots and ball marks and just generally behaving badly. It is as though the golf course is the place where they do the things their spouses won’t let them do at home.

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