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The History of our Championship Golf Course

History at Sewickley Heights Golf Club runs deep. Known as the Foundation of Sewickley Heights Golf Club, five visionaries, Harton “Bud” Semple, William George, David, John, and Henry Oliver, all of whom had a passion for the game of golf, came together to found Sewickley Heights Golf Club in 1961. The land that Sewickley Heights Golf Club resides on was tagged for an airport in the late 50s, but the founders had other ideas for the land. Semple, and accomplished player in his own right, stood with many residents who did not want the addition of a noisy airport in the neighborhood. Bud Semple and his group got together and hired golf course architect Jim Harrison in 1960, and a year later, in 1961, Sewickley Heights Golf Club opened for play.

Bud Semple’s legacy at Sewickley Heights Golf Club has made its mark. His goal, in collaboration with Jim Harrison, was to create a golf course that was challenging and fun to play. To all concerned, they succeeded. Semple went on to become an ambassador for amateur golf, earning the prestigious honor of being the president of the United States Golf Association from 1971-1974. He was instrumental to Sewickley Heights Golf Club, hosting the United States Women’s Amateur in 1966, just five years after opening to golfers. JoAnne “Big Mama”; Gunderson-Carner went on to win the event, and it still stands as the longest final round match in US Women’s Amateur history, lasting 41 holes. The club was also honored in 1998 with the opportunity to host the Champion’s Pittsburgh Senior Classic.

Since its inception in 1961, some of the game’s greatest golfers, such as Palmer, Player, Irwin, Floyd, and Trevino, have graced the grounds of Sewickley Heights Golf Club. A local golf hero, Carol Semple Thompson, has had a very special relationship with Sewickley Heights Golf Club. With her father Bud having been one of the core founders of the club, Carol’s impressive achievements at the game of golf, including at least 12 Amateur tournament wins and 19 national team appearances, have always reflected proudly on the tradition of greatness which is representative of Sewickley Heights. Throughout those years, the club has provided a wonderful venue for hosting many amateur and professional golf tournaments on a local, regional, and national level, for all to enjoy.


Sewickley Heights Golf Club is a member in good standing with the United States Golf Association, organized 1894; the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association; Western Golf Association and the Women’s Golf Association of Western Pennsylvania.


The Sewickley Heights Golf Club is incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is owned and operated by the bond holding Active members who appear in this roster.