Nathaniel Crosby to Serve as 2019 USA Walker Cup Captain December 13, 2017 | FAR HILLS, N.J. By Brian DePasquale, USGA
Nathaniel Crosby played on the victorious 1983 USA Walker Cup Team, two years after he won the U.S. Amateur. (USGA/Simon Dale)
Nathaniel Crosby, of Jupiter, Fla., will captain the USA Team for the 2019 Walker Cup Match at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.
Crosby, 56, won the 1981 U.S. Amateur Championship and was the low amateur in the 1982 U.S. Open Championship. He was also a member of victorious USA teams in both the 1983 Walker Cup Match and the 1982 World Amateur Team Championship.
“I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup Team,” said Crosby. “It will again be a privilege to be a part of the Walker Cup competition that I was so fortunate to be a part of back in 1983. My experiences with the USGA, the Walker Cup Match and the World Amateur Team Championship have proved to be the most memorable weeks of my life, as I am sure it will be for the members of the 2019 Team. Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities.”
Born in Hillsborough, Calif., Crosby is the son of the late legendary American singer and entertainer Bing Crosby, who introduced him to golf. Nathaniel’s godfather is World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Burke Jr., the 1956 Masters and PGA champion who served as captain of two USA Ryder Cup teams.
“Nathaniel Crosby has proven experience as an amateur player at the highest levels in both individual and team competition, and this will lend itself well to providing leadership for the USA Walker Cup Team in 2019,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “His father earned the USGA’s highest honor, the Bob Jones Award, and I know Nathaniel possesses similar traits, including sportsmanship, patriotism and a competitive spirit, that will assist him as captain.”
The Walker Cup Match is a 10-man amateur team competition between the USA and a team composed of players from Great Britain and Ireland. The 47th Match will be contested Sept. 7-8, 2019. Royal Liverpool hosted the 1983 Walker Cup Match, which was won by the USA, 13½-10½. The 1983 USA Team included future Walker Cup captains Jim Holtgrieve and Bob Lewis Jr.
The USA defeated GB&I, 19-7, in the 2017 Walker Cup Match at The Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course.
Crosby, 19 years old at the time, won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, defeating Brian Lindley in 37 holes despite being 4 down with 10 holes to play. Crosby’s 20-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole decided the longest final in 31 years. He was chosen that year’s Florida Sportswriters Amateur Athlete of the Year.
He followed that victory with a win in the 1982 Porter Cup and was the low amateur in the 1982 U.S. Open, finishing 59th at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links.
In the USA’s 1983 victory at Hoylake, Crosby compiled a 1-1 record, losing a singles match to A. Philip Parkin, 6 and 4, and winning a foursomes match with 1982 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion William Hoffer.
In 1982, Crosby represented the winning USA Team in the World Amateur Team Championship at Lausanne (Switzerland) Golf Club with Holtgrieve, Lewis and five-time USGA champion Jay Sigel, another future Walker Cup captain. Crosby’s final-round 68 helped the USA post a seven-stroke victory over Japan and Sweden. The USA Team was captained by the late Frank “Sandy” Tatum, a past USGA president.
Crosby, who played professionally in the U.S. and Europe, regained his amateur status in 1994. He has competed in seven USGA championships, including four U.S. Amateurs.
In his business life, Crosby serves as chairman of AppleTree Golf Society, a network of small travel societies that are tied to rank-worthy golf clubs in vacation and second-home destinations. He has also been a partner and key executive of three golf equipment companies – Toney Penna, The Nicklaus Equipment Company and Orlimar Golf – all of which experienced significant growth under his direction.
Crosby, who graduated from the University of Miami in 1984 with a degree in politics and public administration, was inducted into the school’s sports hall of fame in 2005.
He is married to Sheila (Biggs) and is the father of sons Nathaniel Jr., 27; Brendan, 25; daughters Bridget, 23; Claire, 21; and stepdaughters Turner, 26; and Courtney, 24.