The US Open’s return to Winged Foot Golf Club New York this week marks the 40th anniversary of Rolex becoming the Championship’s Official Timekeeper.
The oldest of the United States’ three Majors, the US Open was first held in 1895 at the Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. Since then, the tournament has been staged at some of the most iconic courses in the country. In 1980, Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey was the venue and it was there that Rolex’s relationship with this tournament began. That year the Swiss watchmaker also became the Official Timekeeper of the United States Golf Association, a role it retains to this day.
For more than 50 years, the bond between Rolex and golf has evolved and strengthened. The partnership was founded with a pioneering agreement in 1967 when Arnold Palmer, joined by his great friends and rivals Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player – The Big Three – became the brand’s first golfing Testimonees. In the ensuing decades, Rolex has become part of the very fabric of the game through pivotal alliances not only with the USGA, but also with The R&A, its partner in governing the sport worldwide.