The Golf Museum

The Golf Museum at James River Country Club is a must see attraction.

The Golf Museum and the Club have had a symbiotic relationship since the Club was opened on July 2, 1932. The museum was founded by Archer M. Huntington, the principal owner of the Newport News shipyard in the first part of the 20th century. Huntington built the world-renown Mariners' Museum for the people of the Tidewater area, so he agreed to fund a museum of golf for the members of James River Country Club. The two museums are less than a half-mile apart, just minutes off Interstate 64 at the J. Clyde Morris Boulevard exit.

The museum is not only the oldest golf museum in the world but is home to some of the oldest artifacts that date back to the 1700s. The mission of the Golf Museum is to display artifacts depicting the ancient and honorable history of the game. As you enter the 1,800 square foot, newly renovated Golf Museum, the room is lit up by history and heritage, creating speechless reactions. A large, eight- by twelve-foot, high-definition projection screen drops down from the ceiling, making it accessible to any event. With such an impressive backdrop, it's no wonder that the Golf Museum is a popular room to host an event.
  • Click here to view or print Golf Museum Brochure.
  • Click here to view or print the 75th Anniversary, page 64. 
  • Click here to view or print the 75th Anniversary, page 65.

Artifacts in the Collection

  • Over 500 historic golf clubs
  • The oldest identifiable golf club in the world, 1790, Simon Cossar.
  • The oldest book in the world with reference to golf, 1566. We have 1000 volumes.
  • The oldest golf ball in the world, 1790. We have 150 balls dating from 1790 to 1932.
  • The largest collection of old, long-nosed wooden clubs in the world, 85.
  • Two of the six oldest golf medals, 1826 and 1838.
  • Harry Vardon's complete set of clubs plus his golf bag.
  • The putter used by Horace Rawlins when he won his first U.S. Open in 1895.
  • Three clubs used by Bobby Jones in his championship years, including grand slam, 1930.
  • Clubs donated by Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, and many others.
  • One hundred lithographs and oils, plus many photographs throughout the building.
  • An 1836 map of St. Andrews' old golf course.
  • Two Kolven clubs plus a ball, about 500 years old, are displayed in the museum
There is no cost to tour the museum, but the museum curator suggests calling ahead to ensure it is open. The country club hosts events in the room, so occasionally it will be closed to the public.