Who Is the Walker Cup Named For?

George Herbert Walker is the namesake of the Walker Cup
The namesake of the Walker Cup is George Herbert Walker. And the Walker Cup is just the third-most-famous thing named after him: His grandson and great-grandson were both named for him, and were both Presidents of the United States.

The Walker Cup is the every-other-year, match-play team competition played by top amateur male golfers. One team represents Great Britain & Ireland, the other team represents the United States. Each team consists of 10 men, and being named to one of the Walker Cup teams is one of the highest achievements for any amateur golfer.

The seeds of the idea for the Walker Cup tournament were planted in 1919 and 1920. The president of the United States Golf Association at the time was George Herbert Walker. And Walker became enamored with the idea of an international team competition for amateurs. He came up with a plan for such a tournament, and pledged to donate a trophy for it.

That trophy, or cup, was typically referred to by newspaper reporters of the day as Walker's cup, or simply the Walker cup. But soon, that name for the trophy started being used for the tournament itself. And the Walker Cup Match was born. It was first played between Team GB&I and Team USA in 1922.

And who was George Herbert Walker? Walker, whose friends called him Bert, was an American businessman, banker and sportsman. He had his own bank and investment firm, and also served as president of the very large and influential W.A. Harriman & Co. investment firm.

Walker was an avid golfer, and as already noted served as president of the USGA in 1920. He was a member at several golf clubs, including National Golf Links of America (on Long Island) where the 1922 Walker Cup took place.

Walker had three children, including Dorothy Wear Walker. Dorothy married another banker/businessman, Prescott Bush. Among their children was George Herbert Walker Bush, President of the United States from 1989-93. And one of George H.W. Bush's children was George Walker Bush, who was President of the U.S. from 2001-09.

George Herbert Walked lived until 1953, by which time the Walker Cup had been played 13 times. He died a few month prior to the 1953 Walker Cup, the 14th edition.

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