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Famous North Berwick Golfers
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Dorothy Iona Campbell
Amateur Golfer
Born: 24th March 1883, Edinburgh
Died: 20th March 1945, Yemassee, S.C.

[Dorothy Campbell]
Dorothy Campbell
© American Annual Golf Guide

[13th on East
Course]
13th East Course, North Berwick
© Digitalsport UK

[Canty
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Canty Bay, North Berwick
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Tournament Record
Scottish Ladies': 1905,1906,1908
British Ladies Amateur :1909,1911
U. S. Women's Amateur :1909,1910,1924
Women's Canadian Amateur:1910,1911,1912
Western Pennsylvania 1914, 1915, 1916
North & South Womens 1918, 1920, 1921
Boston District Championship 1922
Florida West Coast Championship 1923, 1925
Philadelphia 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 31, 34
Bermuda Ladies Championship 1931. 1934
Pennsylvania State Championship 1934
U. S. Women's Senior Championship: 1938
Great Britain Team v. USA : 1905, 1909
Scottish Internationalist : 1909, 11, 28, 1930.

Campbell wins Amateur Double
By Douglas Seaton
North Berwick Factfile

DOROTHY CAMPBELL was born at 1 Carlton Terrace, Edinburgh in 1883. She was originally named 'Gladys' but this was altered to Dorothy two months after the birth. Her parents were William Campbell and Emily Mary Tipper. Her father was a partner in the family business Thomas B. Campbell & Co. metal merchants and lead pipe manufacturers at 61 Constitution Street, Leith where they employed 33 men and 14 boys.

Dorothy's uncle Thomas B Campbell built Inchgarry House as his summer residence in North Berwick, one of the first properties to be constructed on the West Bay. Inchgarry is situated on Links Road overlooking the 18th tee and the house was shared with William Campbell and his family. Dorothy had six sisters and two brothers, and her father died when she was sixteen years old.

The famous West Links at North Berwick where her grandfather Thomas Campbell and her uncles Robert and Tom played golf was the perfect playground for the young Dorothy while living in Inchgarry House during the summer months. She took her first swing when she was 18 months old, and her first club was a six-penny club lacking the bone and the lead then commonly used, purchased in a toy shop in the High Street in North Berwick.

Dorothy was a pupil of Ben Sayers and learned to play the game over the West Links, at a time when an hour's lesson cost 3/6d and a day's golf on the links was a shilling. Dorothy Campbell played golf on the children's course with the Duke of Montrose's daughters, Lady Victoria and Lady Isabel Kerr and young Cameron of Lochiel. Dorothy said it was Lord Denman (later Governor-General of Australia) who encouraged her to use a full swing and she also credits May Hezlet's instruction book which inspired her to concentrate. In 1894, her older sister Madeline Campbell with a handicap of two, won the North Berwick Ladies Handicap competition after a play-off over the Ladies Links. Madeline and Edith Orr were the leading golfers in the North Berwick Ladies Golf Club.

Dorothy Campbell wrote; When I was 12 years old I joined the North Berwick Ladies Golf Club and won my first prize at the September competition on the ladies links, but it was not until eight years later that I entered for any big event. This was 1903 when the first Scottish championship was held at St Andrews and as I only possessed four clubs at the time, and had no experience of match play, no one was more surprised than myself when I reached the semi-final at which stage I was beaten by Miss Glover.

The next year I entered for the open championship at Troon and although my people were extremely doubtful of my doing any good in such a large field, I did my best and to this end purchased a driver and niblick to add to my other clubs. I was given a place in the international team.

Campbell was first to win the British and U.S Amateur back to back.

Her potential was first commented on in 1901 in a magazine, The Irish Golfer when she defeated American Lady Champion Frances Griscom at North Berwick in August that year. In June 1903, Dorothy played in the inaugural Scottish Ladies Championship at St Andrews when she reached the semi-finals.

In 1905, Dorothy Campbell played for the British team that beat a U.S. squad led by the Curtis sisters, six matches to one.

In 1904 Campbell joined County Down Golf Club and had three months play on the links at Newcastle. Dorothy said, "Neither at Newcastle nor Portrush is there any opportunity of playing the running-up approach so dear to the heart of the Scottish golfer and it was after many visits to the bunkers guarding the greens on both courses that I understood how it was that the Misses Hezlet could pitch their balls dead by the side of the hole every time." In 1905, she entered the Ladies' British Amateur Championship at Cromer, and again she reached the semi-finals. Two weeks later Campbell entered the Scottish Ladies' Championship over her home course in front of a crowd estimated at 4,000. The tournament was in its third year and had previously been held at St Andrews and Prestwick, but this was the first event to be organised by the Scottish Ladies' Golfing Association, formed the previous year.

The ladies arrived in North Berwick on Wednesday 13th June, when thirty-two played in a putting competition at the Royal Hotel, on ground now occupied by Craigleith View. On Saturday there was a stroke play tournament over the nine-hole Ladies Course and a competition on Monday over the West Links for prizes donated by the Town Council.

The Championship started on Tuesday with 43 competitors, when the first and second rounds were completed in stormy conditions. In the semi-finals, Dorothy Campbell beat J. Rusack from Hilltarvit by one hole and faced the holder Miss Molly Graham from Nairn in the final. The game was all square after 18 holes and Campbell snatched victory on the nineteenth green.

Dorothy Campbell retained her Scottish title at Cruden Bay in 1906, beating the formidable Miss Alex Glover in the final. Again the following year Dorothy reached the final, this time at Troon but was defeated on the 21st hole by another North Berwick golfer Frances Teacher (Mrs. Mather). During the final one of the stewards evidently thinking Dorothy was a person whose anxiety to have a good view of the proceedings outran discretion, seized her by the arm and said angrily 'Keep behind the players!' He was very apologetic when she meekly suggested the advisability of my having a front place. Dorothy won again in 1908, beating Miss M Cairns 7 and 6 at Gullane and was runner-up in 1909.

For the first time the British Ladies Championship of 1908 was held at St. Andrews. Dorothy entered from Musselburgh and faced Maud Titterton, also from Musselburgh in the final, when the entire town came out to watch, including Old Tom Morris. The final didn't start until three o'clock because the semi-final between Maud Titterton and the sensation of the event, seventeen year-old Cecil Leitch went twenty-two holes and by that time the Old course was covered in fog.

Estimates for the crowd around the first hole was 9,000 people and by the 11th, a terrible storm blew in hitting the two contestants with hail, rain and wind. Many of the greens were completely covered in water. Titterton's ball bounded through the Swilcan burn on the final hole allowing her to square the match. At the first extra hole, Titterton beat Campbell with a par-4 to her bogey-5. On the 27th May, two days after the final Old Tom Morris died. It is interesting to note that the Ladies were not given the freedom of the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse during the championship.

In 1905 at Cromer she played for Britain in an International match against seven representatives of the United States and seven British players - two English, two Irish and three Scottish. The British team, won by six matches to one. Dorothy said, "There was quite a patriotic air about the teams as they walked to the tee, both wearing their countries colours - and the Americans humming 'Yankee Doodle'. The American team was composed of the Misses Harriot and Margaret Curtis, Miss Frances Griscom, the two Phelps sisters, Miss Georgianna Bishop and a Mrs. Martin."

"The Misses Curtis and Miss Bishop were supposed to be our most dangerous foes and certainly they drove tremendous balls. They told us that on the other side the short game was not as much studied as it is over here and the great ambition was to hit 'Cracker Jacks' off the tee. In fact long driving is considered of so much importance that some courses have chalk lines drawn across the fairway to show how many yards the shots have travelled. There is no doubt that it is very satisfactory to see the ball sailing away off a clean hit drive, but after all it does not help one much if it is followed by an indifferent approach and perhaps three putts."

At Royal Birkdale in 1909, Campbell again entered the British Championship from Musselburgh. This was the first major event to be held at Brikdale and Dorothy defeated Ireland's Miss Florence Hezlet 4 and 3 in the final. She then took up an invitation to play in the American Championship of that year at Merion Cricket Club. Dorothy faced Mrs. Nonna Barlow from Ireland in the final. Barlow a member of the host club went out in 45 to Campbell's 46 and was one up. Barlow however missed a short putt on the ninth which would have given her a two shot advantage. Campbell won the eleventh and the thirteenth to take the lead, then won the fifteenth and sixteenth to win the match 3 and 2, to become the first foreign-born U.S. Champion and the first woman to hold both the British and U.S. Amateur titles. It was a feat that neither Glenna Collett nor Joyce Wethered who later dominated the game, accomplished.

Also invited to play in the USGA Women's Championship at Merion (PA) were her golfing colleges Frances Teacher, (North Berwick), Stella Temple (Westward Ho!), Joyce Spurling (Barnehurst), and Mrs C.T.Gray (Barnehurst). They also played in a one-day special invitation tournament over the Salisbury links at Garden City and at Baltusrol Golf Club, Oakley Country Club, The Country Club of Boston, Myopia Hunt Country Club, Apawamis Golf Club at Rye. The party also had time to visit the Niagara Falls on the Canadian border, before returning to Liverpool on the Lusitania on 23rd November 1909.

The only tournament Campbell failed to win that year was the Scottish Amateur Championship played at Machrihanish when she was defeated in the final by E. Kyle. In 1910, Campbell moved to Hamilton, Ontario and won the first of her three in a row Canadian Amateur titles.

The USGA Woman's Amateur Championship trophy was donated in 1896 by Robert Cox of Gorgie, Edinburgh. He was Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South and had developed his love of the game at Musselburgh while a pupil at Loretto School. The Robert Cox Trophy, encrusted with Scottish thistles, and panels bearing scenes of St Andrews, is the only US Golf Association trophy of non-US provenance.

At the 1910 US Amateur Championship at Homewood C.C. Flossmoor, Illinois, Campbell scored a match-play 78 when she defeated Mary Fownes in the second round. It was the lowest score by a woman over a course of more than 6,000 yards, and it was reported in the American Golfer that the critics watching the championship described it as the most wonderful golf ever displayed by a female golfer in this hemisphere. Campbell at the top of her game, sailed through the early matches never going further than the fifteenth green in any of her victories. In the final Dorothy Campbell successfully defended her title by beating Mrs G. M. Martin of Devonshire, England 2 and 1. She returned to the UK briefly in 1911 to win her second British amateur title at Portrush this time defeating Violet, the youngest of the three Hezlet sisters from Ireland. Dorothy coming from 3 down after eight, to win 3 and 2.

Miss Campbell played with a shut club face, square to square and an unorthodox grip, with the thumb of the right hand under the shaft. Her best shot was a run-up shot that she used from distances of up to 50 feet. In the final of the North and South Championship, she beat her opponent by twice holing this shot from 40 yards out. She used her goose-neck mashie with a small face which she named "Thomas" for the shot, closing the club-face and hitting the ball on the downswing. In 1926 she had set a record for the lowest number of putts in a round, taking only 19 over Augusta Country Club with her trusty putter since 1909, which she nicknamed 'Stella', beating the record held by triple American Amateur champion Walter Travis by two strokes.

" Campbell was the first woman to win the national championship of five countries, USA, Great Britain, Scotland, Canada and Bermuda"

Dorothy Campbell represented Scotland in the Home Internationals in 1905-06-08-09-11-28-30. This was a golden period for the North Berwick golfers as Campbell was joined in the Scottish team by Frances Teacher and Elsie Grant-Suttie in 1908 and 1911, both were members of the North Berwick Ladies Club. Frances Teacher was Scottish Ladies Champion in 1907 and Elsie Grant-Suttie won the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship in 1910 at Royal North Devon G.C. Grant-Suttie also won the Scottish Ladies Championship at St Andrews in 1911 after defeating Dorothy Campbell in the first round. Campbell in turn beat Grant-Suttie in the fifth round of the Ladies' British Championship in 1911.

In 1913, she married steel magnate Jack Hurd of Pittsburgh, who was a member of the famous nearby Oakmont Country Club where Tom Anderson Jr from North Berwick was the pro. The couple had a son and Mrs. Hurd went into semi-retirement from the sport until they divorced in 1923. She returned to tournament golf in the twenties, after recognising that her old sweeping style, with the club held in the palms and the wrists stiff, was obsolete. She took lessons from George Sayers, who she knew from North Berwick, then the head professional at Merion in Pennsylvania.

Dorothy said "George was born and brought up in my home town, and I have known him since he was a boy. He told me he could help me to change my swing, but that it would entail inordinate practice. I was fearful of the consequences, if I did not at least try, so, with some misgivings, I decided to have a go at it." Throughout the month of November, 1923 she haunted the practice tee at Merion and underwent a painful golfing metamorphosis. After two days a joint of her left hand's index finger was reduced to a raw wound by constant friction with fingers of her right hand due to the Vardon or overlapping grip, which she was using for the first time.

At forty-one she entered the 1924 U.S. Women's Amateur hosted by Rhode Island Country Club, home course to the tournament favourite Glenna Collett, but she unexpectedly lost in the semi-finals to Mary K. Browne of Los Angeles. In the final, Browne could easily outdrive Hurd on every hole, but "Stella" was on-fire. Dorothy Hurd defeated Mary Browne, the national lawn tennis champion of 1912 and 1913, 7 and 6 to win the title. This victory brought two more records that still stand; the number of years between titles, and the oldest player to win the event.

According to the ladies magazine 'Fairway and Hazard' Dorothy return to Scotland in 1928 and 1930 and was selected for the Scottish Team in the Home Internationals, despite her lack of competitive play. In 1928 she won all her three matches including a remarkable victory over the dominant figure in British golf, Cecil Leitch at the twentieth hole. In the 1930 Home Internationals she won two out of her three matches.

Dorothy maintained her scratch-handicap for 34 consecutive years

In July 1934 Dorothy Campbell Hurd took permanent possession of the Griswold Trophy – her third victory in the Shenecossett Country Club annual invitational at New London Connecticut. Then in September she won the classic Berthellyn Cup and created an all time record of four triumphs in the series of invitational events conducted by the Huntingdon Valley Country Club, Abington PA. Dorothy continued to play through the 1930s winning the 1938 U.S. Senior Women's Championship at the age of 55.

In 1937, she married again this time to Edward Howe, chairman of the Princeton New Jersey Bank and Trust Company but that ended in divorce in 1943. Two years later Dorothy Campbell Hurd Howe was visiting friends in Beaufort (SC) when she was killed while changing trains at Yemussee for the New York bound express. She was en-route to the home of her daughter-in-law Mrs Sigourney Hurd of Pleasantville (NY) whose husband was a staff sergeant with the army in the Philippines. Dorothy was 61 years old when she died and remains the finest amateur golfer ever to emerge from North Berwick. The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) was founded in 1950 and Dorothy Campbell Hurd Howe was elected to the Women's Golf Hall of Fame as a charter honouree at Augusta Country Club.

Copyright © Douglas Seaton 2017, All Rights Reserved.