A Championship Legacy
The history of Firestone stretches back over a half century to August 10, 1929 when Harvey Firestone drove the first ball down the fairway to open the new South Course designed by the late Bert Way. Throughout the years, the legends of the game have left their permanent footprints on the fairways at Firestone. The epic contests held on these grounds have become an important part of the game's history, and have made Firestone Country Club famous throughout the world.
The tournaments at Firestone Country Club began in 1954 with the Rubber City Open and continued through 1959. Firestone was chosen as the site of the1960 PGA Championship and during that memorable championship, Arnold Palmer triple-bogeyed the 625-yard, par five 16th hole, calling it a "Monster." The nickname proved popular, and in time, the entire course became known as "The Monster."
The American Golf Classic, initiated in 1961, began a new era of golf at Firestone. In 1962 The World Series of Golf began under its original format, and in succeeding years the course played host to many other competitions, including the CBS Golf Classic and Big Three Golf, the forerunner of The World Series of Golf.
In 1973, Firestone Country Club was the only course in the world on which three televised golf events- The American Golf Classic, The World Series of Golf and The CBS Golf Classic- were conducted in one calendar year. In 1969, the North Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones was opened. This scenic challenge was to become the site of the 1976 American Golf Classic and 1994 NEC World Series of Golf.
The PGA Championship returned to the South Course in 1966, and again in 1975, making Firestone the first club to host this prestigious championship three times.
In the fall of 1985, Golforce, a Jack Nicklaus company, redesigned the South Course, starting a new era of golf at the club. In 1976, the World Series of Golf was restructured into an international championship and in 1984 became the NEC World Series of Golf that ended in 1998. In 2002, the Tom Fazio designed West Course was added.
In June of 2002, Firestone hosted the Senior PGA Championship. The event marked the first time Firestone held a professional senior event. Many of the great names that have appeared at Firestone over the years returned to compete again on the South Course.
In 2003, the World Golf Championships returned and will be here through 2010. A historical change occurred in 2005 with the announcement of the change of sponsorship from NEC who had sponsored the tournament for 21 years, to Bridgestone.