Golfing Before The Arch
Jim Portrait-2019.jpg

About The Author:

Jim Healey


Jim Healey has been referred to as the Golf Historian of St. Louis. His accomplishments would tend to bear that out.

Growing up he played mostly team sports, focusing on the traditional soccer, basketball and baseball. Healey attended CBC High School, then Rockhurst College on a basketball scholarship and played on the golf team for two years. Achieving All-American status for three-seasons, a knee injury forced him to miss his senior season. Despite this, he was drafted by the Denver Rockets of the ABA, and the New York Knicks in the NBA. After signing with Denver, he reinjured his knee in September during the preseason and was forced to retire. Nevertheless, he spent time in Europe playing first for a US squad in Italy, followed by a short sting in the European League before returning to St. Louis. He returned to CBC as a teacher and coach for 4 years before beginning a career in business.

In 1989, while traveling on business in mid-Missouri he was looking for a place to play. In the years before the Internet, only the local yellow pages could help an out-of-town player find a course in the middle of Missouri. He took a chance and placed a $500 ad in the Post-Dispatch, offering a book on area golf courses. Within a few days, checks started arriving in the mail. He quickly completed his research and in 1989 published “The Golf Directory” the areas first listing of all public and private courses. He continued this through 1998, publishing a total of five Directories, until the Internet made books such as this a non-factor.

As part of his research he met KansasCitian, Ken Krakauer, who had published “When Golf Came To Kansas City,” a terrific book on the history of Kansas City golf. This fascinated the former history teacher. Healey approached long-time St. Louis District Executive Secretary Larry Etzkorn as to whether there had ever been a history of St. Louis golf published. Learning there had not; he began the long trek to research the true story of area golf – and in the process separate myth from fact. After 4 years, he published “Golfing Before The Arch: A History of St. Louis Golf “ in 1996. Across the area, golf enthusiasts quickly acquired almost all of the 3,000 copies within the next 12 months.

From 1997-2000, he was a frequent contributor to Fairways and Greens Magazine, writing numerous articles on area golf history, courses and players.

In 2000, he was approached by Glen Echo to assist them with their Centennial book, which was completed in May 2001. He completed books for Algonquin and Norwood Hills in 2003. In 2005, he completed the 50 year history of Old Warson, then in 2008, he worked with Westwood CC on their Centennial Book and Bellerive CC on the history of golf at that great championship course. He recently completed a book on the history of sports at St. Louis Country Club and in 2010 he will complete a history of Sunset Country Club for their Centennial Celebration.

His collection of area golfing memorabilia, from photos, to newspaper articles, to clubs, balls, trophies and scorecards enables him to continue to build upon his first book and shed further light on the great history of area golf.

He has given presentations to a number of groups who have an interest in learning more about the wonderful history of golf throughout the area. In addition, he has contributed to several national golf publications and historical works.

What began as merely a research project to find a golf course has turned into a passion for Healey as he continues to share his love of golf and its great history with other enthusiasts.

You can also find information on Healey’s material as well as detailed information on area golf, championships and courses at:


  • Golfing Before The Arch: A History of St. Louis Golf (1996)
  • Glen Echo Country Club. A Century of Families (2001)
  • Algonquin Golf Club. The First 100 Years (2003)
  • Norwood Hills Country Club: A Family Affair (2003)
  • Old Warson Country Club 50-Year History (2005)
  • Westwood Country Club Centennial (2008)
  • Bellerive Country Club (2009) Golf History
  • St. Louis Country Club Sports History (2009)
  • Sunset Country Club Centennial (2010)
  • Bogey Hills Country Club: 50-year Anniversary (2012)
  • St. Louis District Golf Association Centennial (2015)
  • Boys in the Park: African American Golf History in St. Louis (2016)
  • Marketing and Media consultant – Lakewood Country Club (MD) 2015-2018
  • 150th Anniversary of Congregation Shaare Emeth (2017)
  • Golfing Before The Arch: 2018 Update
  • PGA Championship (2018) Member’s Commemorative book
  • A pictorial history of the 1947 U.S. Open at St. Louis Country Club
  • History of the Bogey Club and Golf Course (2020)
  • The Golf Professionals at St. Louis Country Club
  • An abbreviated history of Meadowbrook Country Club (2019)
  • Golfing Before The Arch: 2020 Final Edition

The Golf Directories:

  • The Golf Directory Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois (1989)
  • The Golf Directory of Missouri and Southern Illinois (1990)
  • The Golf Directory of St. Louis (1992)
  • The Golf Directory of St. Louis (1995)
  • The Golf Directory (1998)


  • Cadillac Man (Chester O’Brien)
  • A Swing for the Ages (Bob Cochran)
  • The Gentleman Golfer (Jim Jackson)
  • Ladies on the Links (Audrey Faust Wallace and Virginia Pepp)
  • Founding Fathers of Midwest Golf (Foulis Brothers)
  • Algonquin Bag Rats (Caddies)
  • The Course at St. Louis CC
  • Lost Courses of St. Louis
  • Thirty Years Since Augusta: Bob Goalby’s 1968 victory
  • The Humor of Hogan (written upon his death in 1997)
  • Oldest Golf Courses West of the Mississippi
  • Walters Golf Management: Denny Walters
  • Ron Whitten: Master of the Ratings
  • Sphere of Influence: The Golf Ball
  • Steve Spray Profile
  • Hale Irwin Profile
  • Dutch Harrison Profile
  • Ellen Port Profile
  • Gary Player Profile

His works have also appeared in Golf World, Golfweek and LINKS magazine.

Golf Related Activities:

  • Editor of The Metropolitan: Newsletter for the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association (2014-2020)
  • Media & PR Co-Chair – 2014 Curtis Cup Match – St. Louis Country Club
  • Created and designed all programs, visuals, and displays for event

Photographic Activities: (On course photography)

  • 2001 U.S. Senior Amateur - Norwood Hills Country Club
  • 2004 U.S. Senior Open – Bellerive Country Club
  • 2008 BMW Championship - Bellerive Country Club
  • 2009 U.S. Women's Amateur - Old Warson Country Club
  • 2012 Senior PGA Championship - Bellerive Country Club
  • 2014 Curtis Cup Match – St. Louis Country Club
  • 2016 U.S. Senior Amateur – Old Warson Country Club
  • 2018 PGA Championship – Bellerive Country Club

Contact Information:

Jim Healey

Copyright © 2011-2021 James F. Healey

All Rights Reserved

Golfing Before The Arch