East Lake Golf Club is best known as the home course of legendary golfer Bobby Jones, but the 13-time major championship winner isn’t the only golfing great to have prowled its links. Frequently referred to as the Club of Champions, East Lake also was home to one of the greatest women’s golfers of all time in Alexa Stirling.
Born in Atlanta in 1897, Stirling grew up at East Lake and cut her teeth against other golfers like Jones. In fact, Jones once noted the first tournament he ever won as a child came at the expense of Stirling, who he argued actually prevailed that day.
Now known as the Stirling House, the house she grew up was located across from East Lake’s 10th tee. Today, the family of Tom Cousins, the founder of the East Lake Foundation, uses the house during tournament week to entertain guests and share the work of the foundation.
Stirling captured three consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, along three Southern Women’s Amateur titles and two Canadian Women’s Amateur crowns. During World War I she joined Jones, Elaine Rosenthal and Perry Adair to form the “Dixie Kids,” a group of young Southern golfers who toured the U.S. to raise money for the Red Cross through golf exhibitions.
Stirling, who passed away in 1978, is a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.