Merion’s Wicker Baskets Provide a Challenge

June 11, 2013 in Alumni, events

Among the many charming qualities of the magical, intimate Merion Golf Club are the bright red wicker baskets that rest atop the flag sticks and are the official symbol of the club on Ardmore, Pa.

They will be equal parts challenging as well for the players in this week’s U.S. Open, providing a different look, and feel, to the tournament.

The origin of the baskets remains a mystery, but one story involves Hugh Wilson, the designer of the East Course in Ardmore, Pa. Wilson, a fine player, had never designed a course so he took a seven-month trip to Scotland and England. One day, he came upon sheep herders and their flocks and noticed the staffs the herders held all had wicker baskets at one end. Further investigation revealed that the herders kept their lunch in the wicker baskets as a convenience – and to keep their food away from animals.

Wilson liked the idea for the top of his flag sticks at the course he had yet to build. The look is unique, the maker of the baskets unknown (the club tightly guards that secret) and the impact will be measured on windy days.

Read the full story from USA Today