William F. Brooks

In the early days of Minnesota golf, it would be hard to find anyone as impactful or accomplished as William F. “Bill” Brooks. His golf administrative résumé includes serving as president of the MGA, in 1906-1907, of the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association, in 1916, of the Western Golf Association, in 1920, and as a committee member of the USGA’s Green Section,  from 1922-1927. Brooks had a hand in bringing several major golf tournaments to Minneapolis and The Minikahda Club: the 1910 Western Amateur and an important early success; the 1916 U.S. Open Championship, played west of Illinois for the first time and won by Chick Evans; and  the 1927 U.S. Amateur Championship, where the likes of Bobby Jones and Evans competed, and the former triumphed.

In addition to his administrative acumen and influence, Brooks, a mechanical engineer by trade, was responsible for innovations that pushed the game into the future. He invented an early tractor-mounted mower which was more efficient and cost-effective than horse-powered mowers, and in collaboration with Minikahda’s head greens keeper, Charles Erickson (also posthumously a member of the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame), experimented on a variety of grasses and aerification methods and invented a new fairway sprinkler system affectionately called the “Sea Serpent.”  

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