Dexter Cummings
1925 team captain

When Dexter Cummings (Class of 1925) won his second consecutive individual inteDexter Cummingsrcollegiate golf championship in 1924, the New York Times identified him as “a member of America’s greatest golfing family.” Dexter and his sister Edith learned to play golf from their parents at the Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest Illinois, a venerable course laid out in 1895 and site of the 1906 US Open. Both his mother and father had been club champions.

Cummings won his first individual intercollegiate championship in 1923 at Simonoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York. He defeated the Princeton captain and one of the leading amateurs of that time, Rudy Knepper. In 1924, at Greenwich Country Club, the Yale team won the national championship, and Cummings was again the individual champion, beating W. H. Taft of Dartmouth.

Sister Edith Cummings was getting even more recognition at this time. She won both the US and British Women’s Amateur championships in 1923. In 1924 she played an extensive schedule, coast to coast. In August she teamed with Marion Hollis, the 1921 amateur champion, to defeat Glenna Collett and her partner in an exhibition at the Seth Raynor-designed Country Club of Fairfield. Two days later she appeared on the cover of Timemagazine.

Dexter Cummings was captain of the 1925 team that again won the national championship, and he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Back home in Lake Forest that summer, he was the medalist in the Western Amateur by seven strokes over his old rival, Rudy Knepper. He returned to Yale in June 1926, scheduled to play an exhibition match that would honor the new course, partnering with Jess Sweetser against Francis Ouimet and Jesse Guilford. Only Cummings was able to play that day, scoring a 76.

Except for service as a US Naval officer during World War ii, Cummings remained in Lake Forest. He married, had three children, eleven grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. He became chairman of the Adwell Corporation, a corporate farm in Illinois with more than fourteen thousand tillable acres. All this left no time for competitive golf, other than at the Onwentsia Club. Cummings’s sister Edith, too, after winning the Western Amateur in 1924, moved on to other pursuits — big game in the Yukon, riding, painting, and traveling throughout Europe and Canada. In 1934 she married Curtis Munson, Yale Class of 1916.

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