Golf great Walter Hagen's birthplace preserved.
Historic home is where Hagen's love of golf began.
You could hit a few balls where "The Haig" first played!
...All on beautiful Allens Creek, only minutes from Oak Hill Country Club, where the 2003 PGA Championship was played
Walter Hagen dominated the game of golf for more than 25 years, demanding -- and receiving -- respect for golf professionals the world over. The record books show Hagen holds a long list of firsts, including being the first athlete to earn $1 million playing a sport, the first American to win the British Open, and the first sportsman named to the list of Best Dressed Americans.
"The Haig" created legends every time he raised his club -- or his glass. He was the first to grab the check and the last to leave the party, according to sports writer Vivian M. Baulch.
The son of a blacksmith, Hagen was born December 21, 1892 in the family home, a picturesque farmhouse on the banks of Allens Creek in Rochester, New York. Three-year-old Walter hit his first shots at the family home with a sawed-off five-iron given to him by a Scottish friend. By age five, he was playing golf in the family's cow pasture. Walter maintained a putting green by making a hole in the soil and herding the cows close around it, so they would eat the grass short to create a close putting surface.
Hagen's birthplace is just minutes from Oak Hill Country Club, site of the 2003 PGA Championship, and Country Club of Rochester, where Hagen first caddied and was later golf pro.
Walter Hagen's parents, William and Louise, built the home between 1880 and 1884, raised young Walter and his sisters there, then sold it to the Beers family in 1926. The home is now owned by one of the Beers granddaughters, whose family has worked to preserve the historic charm and unique character of the home. With more exciting improvements underway, the Walter Hagen Family Home Foundation (a National Heritage Foundation) oversees and supports preservation of this important landmark in the history of golf.
The Foundation also works to support select charitable causes.
Contributions to the Walter Hagen Family Home Foundation are tax-deductible.
Contribution details here.
PGA Championship celebrates the Haig
Golf fans at the 2003 Championship, and around the world, took note of Walter Hagen's Rochester legacy. Tournament attendees saw lifesize banners picturing the Haig adorning Hagen Village, where hospitality chalets were sponsored by world-class organizations like Kodak, Xerox, Bausch & Lomb, and University of Rochester. And television viewers enjoyed lengthy vignettes celebrating the Haig's influence and character with pieces on CBS Sports, The Golf Channel, and WOKR TV-10 (Rochester).
About the Hagen family home
The birthplace of Walter Hagen is a private, peaceful creekside retreat in the beautiful Allens Creek Valley. This 1,800-square-foot farmhouse rests on six wooded acres; oak, black walnut, and hawthorn trees surround the home. The creek flows past the house, becoming the focal point of the beautiful view. Visitors hear the peaceful sound of the creek's running water from within the house. Watching the numerous birds and other wildlife from this comfortable home, one can easily forget that it is less than ten minutes away from downtown Rochester, and just minutes from some of the country's finest courses.
On the first floor, original maple flooring covers the foyer and kitchen. Cooks love the smartly laid-out kitchen, which has a gas stove, oven, dishwasher, open peninsula counter, and natural maple cabinetry. Above the sink, a picture window overlooks Allens Creek and the surrounding woodland. The kitchen is open to a family room/dining area which includes oak floors, a round dining table (seats six), and panoramic views of the creek and woods to the north and west. The first floor also includes a half bath, laundry, and a living room with stone fireplace, creek views, and narrow oak flooring.
Upstairs, original douglas fir flooring is used in the hallway and the three bedrooms. In the largest of the three -- possibly the room in which Walter Hagen was born -- the distinctive, original finish has been maintained, with painted wooden boards covering the walls and ceiling. The second story also features a carpeted computer room, nested in a renovated sleeping porch with southern exposure and nine windows. The full bath has new tile, fixtures, and custom cabinetry. Views of Allens Creek can be enjoyed upstairs from the bath and two of the bedrooms.
Wired and wireless high-speed Internet access, 3-line phone and intercom system, fax machine, gas fireplace, central air conditioning, and cable TV are some of the modern comforts installed in the home. The stone driveway parks 4 cars or (one 8-passenger limousine and two cars).
The rear patio offers an expansive view of Allens Creek, a cool and beautiful spot for summer wading. Stone steps lead down to the clear water of this spring-fed stream. Three scenic waterfalls lie just downstream, and the lower creek is home to salmon, trout, and other game fish; this is where young Walter Hagen developed his love of fishing. Wildlife is plentiful -- deer, fox, mink, coyote, muskrats, and dozens of bird species can be seen, including great blue heron, wild turkey, mallard & wood ducks, and many others.
The home is one of only a few on the small street leading to Corbett's Glen, an 18-acre nature park with waterfalls, woods, marshes and fields. This unique area was the site of Seneca Indian camps, a powder mill, and later, a three-hole golf course built by Walter Hagen when he was a boy. The one-lane road to the park passes through a historic stone tunnel and over a wooden bridge built by the New York Central Railroad in 1882. The railroad borders the Walter Hagen Family Home property; over the tunnel, well above the house, trains go by as the creek flows through below.
The adjacent expressway optimizes quick, convenient access to virtually any Rochester area location, including the area's 80 golf courses. The Rochester airport (ROC) is 15 minutes away. Downtown Rochester can be reached in 6 to 7 minutes. By car, Toronto is 3 1/2 hours away, New York City is 6 hours, and the Buffalo airport (BUF) approximately 60 to 70 minutes.
Contribution details here.
More on Walter Hagen
Read more on Walter Hagen in Vivian M. Baulch's excellent tribute, published online by the Detroit News; also a series of 18 photographs from the newspaper's archives.
Sir Walter and Mr. Jones: Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, and the rise of American golf by Stephen R. Lowe. This is a meticulously researched cradle-to-grave biography.
A short biography
A European perspective on Hagen's life.
Excerpts from personal letters to Walter congratulating him on his accomplishments and thanking him for the joy and excitement he brought to world of golf.
Original signatures of Walter Hagen & his chief competitor,
Mr. Bobby Jones.
Original letter from Walter Hagen Jr. to his father.
A short online film about Walter Hagen.