History & Museum

Tam O'Shanter Country Club

Not many people realize the significant role that George S. May and his Tam O'Shanter Country Club played in popularizing the sport of golf in America.  May was able to draw some of the most competitive fields of the era by offering tournament prize purses that were 5-10 times more than other professional tour stops.  His World Championship of Golf tournament in 1953 was the first to ever be televised nationally.  Viewers across the country were treated to a thrilling finish, as Lew Worsham holed out from 104 yards on the final hole of competition to win by a single stroke!  

Lew Worsham         Lew Worsham Victory

Lew Worsham publicity postcard (left) and victory photo with wedge used on winning shot (right).

Video below includes news footage of the incredible finish to the 1953 tournament.

Other famous golfers to tee it up at Tam O'Shanter include:

• Sam Snead • Ben Hogan • Patty Berg • Babe Zaharias • Byron Nelson 

• Chi Chi Rodriguez • Billy Casper • Jack Nicklaus • Arnold Palmer • 



Check out a more detailed history of the course HERE.


Tam O'Shanter Golf History Museum

7680 Caldwell Ave. Niles, IL

Hours:  By Appointment

On the main level of the Tam Golf Learning Center you can browse through over a hundred pieces of golf memorabilia from the historic Tam O'Shanter Country Club.  We're honored to be able to show off authentic photos and one of a kind items from the 1940's and 50's All-American and World Championship of Golf Tournaments hosted here by George S. May. 

 Publicity Shot for 1945            Byron Nelson Lt Col Walter Jeffrey

George S. May promoting 1945 tournaments (left) and with Byron Nelson (right).


Display pieces include large photo collages commemorating specific tournaments, old country club items owned and donated by former members, original clubhouse chairs, and even awards presented to George S. May from professional players and golf organizations.


Certificates from the Western Golf Association and a silver plate from the Japan Golf Association presented to George S. May.


Many of these items came directly from the May family to keep the rich history of Tam O'Shanter alive for generations to come. 


Check out the movie below, produced by George S. May, chronicling the club history and 1956 World Championship of Golf tournament!



Take a trip back in time and browse through some historical publications from the old club!

1941 - 1956 Tournament Scoring Highlights

1941 Promotional Brochure

 1945 All American Tournament Entry Form

1945 New Year's Eve Invitation 

 1947 Dinner Menu 

Tuesday August 9th, 1949 Tournament Program

1953 TV Guide Listing for World Championship of Golf (1st National Golf Tournament Broadcast)

1955 18-Hole Layout

1955 Promotional Brochure & Membership Application

1957 Tournament Promotional Brochure

Interview with George Peternel - Caddie for 1964 Western Open Winner Chi Chi Rodriguez

1968 Tam O'Shanter Map

Tam O'Shanter Golf Course | 6700 Howard St. | Niles, IL 60714 | (847) 965-2344

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