Portsmouth’s challenging Bide-A-Wee Golf Course was a vision conceived by PGA Professional and Virginia Sports Hall of Famer, Chandler Harper in the early 1950’s.
After playing in the Ryder Cup matches of 1955, Mr. Harper retired from competitive golf and hired Fred Findlay to build the new Portsmouth course.
The name originated from a conversation Mr. Harper and Findlay had about potential names for the new course. Mr. Findlay said “when I was a boy in Scotland, I started to run away from home. My Mother advised “you had better bide-a-wee.” To a Scot, that meant “stay a little longer or linger awhile.”
Portsmouth native and Virginia Sports Hall of Famer, Ace Parker, joined Harper, Dizzy Dean and Tommy Bolt for the Opening Day Exhibition at Bide-A-Wee Golf Course in the Spring of 1956.
During the next 37 years, the course was managed by Chandler Harper and was four times the site of the Virginia State Open and six times the site of the World Senior Championships.
Virginia State Open Champions include Tom Strange, the late father of Curtis Strange. Senior Champion players featured Sam Snead, Max Faulkner, Kel Nagle, Julius Boros and Christy O’Conner.
Bide-A-Wee also hosted an annual Portsmouth City Amateur Tournament, believed to be the oldest city amateur golf event in the United States.
After 37 years of managing Bide-A-Wee, Chandler Harper retired in the early 1990’s and the City of Portsmouth decided to fully renovate the facility. On April 6, 1999 we witnessed the Grand Opening of the new Bide-A-Wee Golf Course.
The original course routing has been preserved and the narrow greens that were the signature of the former course were integrated into the new design. Bide-A-Wee also features a 3500 sq. ft. Pavilion, new entrance, Clubhouse, restaurant, cart storage and maintenance facility.