Type to search

Alexa Stirling’s childhood home added to the East Lake Tour of Homes

Kirkwood and East Lake Metro ATL Trending

Alexa Stirling’s childhood home added to the East Lake Tour of Homes

Alexa Stirling. Photo provided by the East Lake Golf Club.

Atlanta, GA — On June 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., East Lake Neighborhood Community Association (ELNCA) is hosting the annual East Lake Tour of Homes. But this year, they’ve got a special addition to the roster: Alexa Stirling’s childhood home.

According to the Georgia State Golf Association, Stirling was Bobby Jones’ childhood golfing partner and was known as “The First Lady of East Lake” and “The Empress of Golf.”

“Quiet and competitive, she won her first title at East Lake at the young age of 12,” the Georgia State Golf Association’s website says. “In 1916, three days before her 19th birthday, she won the first of her three U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships.  When the Championship resumed after World War I, she successfully defended her crown in 1919 and ‘20, and placed second in that same tournament in 1921, ‘23 and ‘25.  In 1920 and ‘34 she won the Canadian Women’s Open, and she finished second in 1922 and ‘25.  Throughout her life she maintained her interest in golf and was as an honorary member of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club.  She returned to Atlanta for the 1976 U.S. Open shortly before her death.  She died in Canada on April 15, 1977.”

Alexa Stirling’s childhood home at 2594 Alston Drive. Photo by Lisa Walker

For Lisa Walker, chair of the social and fundraising committee for ELNCA, the Stirling House is a long-awaited addition.

“Every year we’ve had a tour, I’ve asked to have that house. I almost passed out when I got the yes,” Walker said. “I thought, ‘What? Did they make a mistake?’ The Stirling House is a 1903 original…and there weren’t that many at that time.”

Situated right across the street from East Lake Golf Club (ELGC), Stirling’s home is now owned by the club – an important piece of its history.

During the early 1900s, Stirling discovered her love for golf at East Lake. And it was here that she crossed paths with another rising star of the sport, Bobby Jones, learning and playing alongside him.

In fact, Stuart Maiden, a club professional from Carnoustie in Scotland, is often credited with coaching and inspiring both Stirling and Jones.

However, Stirling’s family didn’t love that she played with Jones. It’s rumored that her father banned her from playing with him after a while due to his colorful language on the greens.

Caroline McGill, Director of Marketing & Special Initiatives for East Lake Golf Club, said that “Bobby Jones had a bit of a temper,” so he would curse on the course.

Despite her father’s wishes, Stirling and Jones’ joint golf journey didn’t stop. When World War I disrupted competitive golf, they organized Red Cross exhibition matches to raise funds for war relief efforts.

Stirling went on to achieve remarkable success, winning the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1916, 1919, and 1920.  In 1925, she got married and moved to Canada, where she continued to play golf and won two Canadian Women’s Amateur titles.

While her story may not be as well-known as Jones’, she played a pivotal role in putting East Lake on the map and shaping the history of golf in Atlanta.

Linton Hopkins, a retired neurosurgeon and member of East Lake Golf Club, wrote a book called “East Lake — Where Bobby Learned to Play,” after conducting research on Stirling. 

“She was a violin prodigy before she started golf, but eight years after she first played golf, she won the first of her three consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships,” Hopkins wrote. 

In addition, Hopkins made this video a few years ago about her life.

Alexa Stirling’s childhood home at 2594 Alston Drive. Photo by Lisa Walker

McGill, with the East Lake Golf Club, said the Stirling home is a beloved relic of the neighborhood, making it the ideal addition to the East Lake Tour of Homes.

Walker, with the East Lake Neighborhood Community Association, said the Tour of Homes is intended to reflect community.

“Most people in the area live in bungalows from the 30s or 40s, and some even in earlier homes from the early 1900s,” Walker said. “We make sure to include enough houses that appeal to a broad variety of people and reflect what the community looks like. We don’t want it to be one-sided or focused only on large new constructions.”

To learn more about the East Lake Tour of Homes, as well as the other homes, featured in this year’s tour, click here.

If you appreciate our work on this story, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $6 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here

Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here

Decaturish is now on Mastodon. To follow us, visit: https://newsie.social/@Decaturish/.

Decaturish is now on Post. To follow us, visit: https://post.news/@/decaturish

Decaturish is now on Flipboard. To follow us, visit: https://flipboard.com/@Decaturish.