Former Knollwood Country Club member, Willie Turnesa was recently inducted posthumously into the New York State Golf Association Hall of Fame. Turnesa, a Westchester County native, won the 1938 and 1948 U.S. Amateur, the 1947 British Amateur, the 1938 State Amateur and was a member of multiple Walker Cup teams. Turnesa passed away in June of 2001 at his home in Sleepy Hollow.
In addition to Turnesa, the New York State Golf Association’s Hall of Fame Class of 2018 also includes LPGA professional and broadcaster, Dottie Pepper from Saratoga Springs; 11-time major champion Walter Hagen, born and raised in Rochester; and seven-time major winner Gene Sarazen, who was born in Harrison.
Willie Turnesa is a member of the legendary golfing family from Elmsford that includes seven brothers and multiple grandchildren. Between them, the Turnesa brothers have won dozens of professional tour events, competed in the finals of major tournaments, made Walker and Ryder Cup teams and went head-to-head against all of golf’s early legends, including Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan. Mike Turnesa served as Knollwood’s head professional for 44 years (1942-86) and also played in the inaugural Masters Tournament, along with his brother Joe, in 1934. Mike’s sons, Mike Jr. and Jimmy, both were assistant pros at Knollwood under their father. Today, Marc Turnesa, grandson of Mike, competes professionally, having won the 2008 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the PGA TOUR.
Members of the Turnesa family are still active members of the 124 year-old Knollwood Country Club.
About Knollwood Country Club
Knollwood Country Club is located in renowned Westchester County. The 18-hole golf course was completed in 1894, making it the oldest private club still in its original location in the United States. Knollwood was also one of the first 15 clubs to join the USGA and iconic golfers frequented the club, including Francis Ouimet and Bobby Jones. The original golf course was designed by Lawrence Van Etten. In 1924, the club hired A.W. Tillinghast to expand the golf course. At Tillinghast’s direction, the club purchased an additional 50 acres of adjacent land which was ultimately redesigned by Seth Raynor to add approximately 1,000 yards in length. Raynor passed away before the course was completed, so Charles Banks finished the project. The present-day course will play 6,552 yards from the championship tees. Knollwood’s 18th hole has been named to Met Golfer’s “Dream 18” as one of the finest holes in the greater New York area. The current 9th green remains from Van Etten’s earliest course.
Knollwood Country Club is a Troon Privé-managed club. Members of Troon Privé-managed clubs have exclusive access to extraordinary golf and lifestyle benefits around the world. All members can choose to receive Troon Privé Connect, Troon’s digital magazine developed specifically for the private clubs, as well as access to experience packages through Privileged Connections and premium tickets to sporting and concert events at the best price. Qualified members receive reciprocal access to other private clubs in the portfolio at a preferred Privé Privilege rate, and up to 50% off at Troon Golf-managed resort and daily fee facilities around the world through the Troon Advantage program.