North Berwick's Golfing Pioneers |
JACK HOBENS Factfile
JOHN HEGGIE (1892-1916) North Berwick
John Heggie born 3rd February 1892, North Berwick son of John Heggie and
his wife Georgina Walker. John attended North Berwick High School and learned the craft of club making with Ben Sayers & Son. During
World War One in October 1914 John enlisted with the 8th Bn. Royal Scots. He was transferred to the 9th Battalion in 1916 and was
killed-in-action in France while leading a patrol reconnoitring the village of Waipsee, south of Amiens. Corporal John Heggie was buried
in St Andrews Church graveyard, Kirkports, North Berwick.
JOHN HOGG (1871-1922) Northwood Golf Club
John Hogg, born 21st August 1871 in Kirklandhill, Whitekirk, son of Thomas Hogg
and his wife Jessie Hogg. John was appointed professional and greenkeeper at the nine-hole course at Northwood Golf Club (1894-98) situated 16
miles from London. In 1901 he assisted Tom Dunn to layout the course for Shanklin & Sandown G.C (1901-1906) on the Isle of Wight and was appointed
their first professional. In 1908 he moved to Thames Ditton & Esher G.C (1908-1914) on the banks of the river Thames. John Hogg enlisted in
the army during WW1 and following the conflict he returned to Thames Ditton & Esher G.C where he died in 1922.
PETER HORSBURGH (1884-1954) Perth Golf Club,
Peter Milligan Horsburgh, born 27th September 1884, 11 Dalry
Park Terrace, Edinburgh, son of James Horsburgh, Foreman Stevedore (docker) and his wife Lillias Cranston. Peter lived with his parents at
5, Easter Road and on leaving school he joined the GPO as a postman. He learned to play golf on the old links at Leith and caddied at North
In 1908, Peter was appointed assistant pro to Henry Hunter at Royal Cinque Ports at Deal and in July 1910 he emigrated to Australia. Peter
Horsburgh and J. Bermingham were the first golf professionals to work in Western Australia. In September 1910 Horsburgh was appointed professional
at Northam Golf Club north of Perth, and in February the following year he moved to the Eastern States where he joined Beverlay Golf Club at Avondale.
In May 1911, Horsburgh returned to Western Australia and was appointed professional at Perth Golf Club, when the members were informed that their new
pro could be contacted at the Hotel Metropole to arrange for lessons. The Perth Clubhouse was erected in 1912 and Horsburgh assisted in laying out six
extra greens to complete the full eighteen holes which were ready for play in the winter of 1912. At that time the members were playing with balls
painted red to show up against the desert like fairways of white sand.
In 1912, Perth Golf Club could not support a professional during the summer months and Horsburgh took up employment with William Sandover & Co.
Ltd, a sports equipment store in Perth. Sandover constructed a room in Hay Street, where Horsburgh could give tuition. The walls were painted
to represent the open countryside of a golf course and in the centre of the floor was a mat with a net hanging at the other end. The facility was
popular with the city golfers able to practice their skills under professional supervision. In 1913, to publicies the business Horsburgh presented
the Collesloe-Peppermint Grove Ladies Golf Club with a trophy in the shape of a silver spoon for the women's competition. In 1913 Horsburgh moved
to Busselton Golf Club playing over the Causeway course in South West Australia and in March 1914 he left the coast and moved inland as professional
at the Kalgoolie Golf Club in the goldfields of Western Australia.
At the outbreak of WW1 Horsburgh returned to Britain on 12th September 1914 and enlisted in the 11th Battalion of the Royal
Scots in the Lothian Regiment and sent to France. Following the conflict Horsburgh married Isabella Watson in 1920 and that
year he was appointed pro at Teeside Golf Club (1920-22) and they lived at 14 Harewood Road, Thornaby-on-Tees, Cleveland.
In 1922, they returned to Australia and worked freelance coaching the members at Barmera Golf Club while professional at Loveday a small town
three hours drive from Adelaide. In 1928 after five weeks of giving tuition to the members of Rialto Golf Club in the Renmark Institute, Horsburgh
returned to Barmera where he was residing. That year Peter was conferred an Honorary Life Member of Barmera Golf Club. In 1929 he attended a meeting
in the Waikerie Soldiers Memorial Hall to give the members of Waikerie Golf Club advice on the proposed extension of their course. Following WW2
the family returned to 354, Easter Road, Edinburgh where Peter at the age of 63 was employed in a factory as a time-keeper. He died 23rd December
1954. Peter Horsburgh has the distinction of being listed among the earliest golf professionals in Australia.
H.A.HOWDEN (1876-1922) and J.D.HOWDEN (1878-1921)
Australian Amateur Champions
Henry Anderson Howden born 31st May 1876 at
Highfield Farm, two miles south of North Berwick, son of Charles Howden, farmer and his wife Cecilia Anderson. Henry had seven brothers and five
sisters and they lived with their parents and four servants in the farmhouse at Highfield. Harry and the other children attended the Parochial
School in Westgate North Berwick close to the West Links golf course. Harry began playing golf from the age of five pitching balls into an up-turned
At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Howden family worked the land at Ormiston Mains in East Lothian. Francis Howden moved to Falkland
Palace where he was the factor in 1839. His son Charles Howden returned to East Lothian and was tenant farmer at Highfield in 1872. When Charles
died on 26th January 1895 his widow Cecilia returned to her birthplace of Victoria, Australia accompanied by her three sons. Harry, Jim and Cecil
Left: Jim Howden Images of Harry A. Howden
In 1895, Harry joined the Royal Melbourne Golf Club who organised an annual event known as the
Victorian Golf Cup which Harry Howden won three consecutive years from 1896. Two years later the tournament became known as the amateur championship
of Australia and the winner of the Victorian Golf Cup was officially recognized as the Australian amateur champion. Harry was amateur Champion of
Australia in 1896, 1897, 1898 and 1901. He won the Royal Melbourne Cup over the Caulfield links in 1897, 1899, 1902 and the Essendon Club
Championship in 1898 (now Northern Golf Club). At this time the Melbourne Golf Club did not have a clubhouse and held their meetings in the
Vienna Cafe. Howden played with Mararie shafted clubs, a timber grown in the Northern Territories.
In 1900, Harry Howden won the Surrey Hills Gentlemen's Championship Gold Medal (later called the Riverside Cup), played at the Surrey Hills Golf
Club on the Mont Albert course in Melbourne. In an article in the Sydney Mail in December 1903, James L. Hutchison son of the North Berwick
clubmaker and pro in Sydney said he could remember Harry Howden as a boy at North Berwick where he won a great many school prizes and showed
great promise. I have heard my father say after a tight match with him that the youngster was gie' hard to bate. Harry worked for the London
Bank while living in the Leura district of the Blue Mountains, 30 miles from Sydney. He died six months after his brother Jim, also of
tuberculosis at Pennant Hills on 23rd May 1922 and was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery at Rookwood in Sydney.
James Dalrymple Howden born 1st February 1878 at Highfield Farm was also a fine golfer. He joined Royal Melbourne Golf Club where the professional
was Alex McLaren from North Berwick. Jim Howden won the Amateur Championship of Australia in 1904 and 1911 and was runner up to his brother in 1898.
He won the Victorian Amateur Championship in 1899 and 1900 and was NSW Champion in 1914.
Jim Howden had a very short, fast back swing, and although not a long driver, he was remarkably accurate. His iron play was very powerful, while
his putting was always sound. In 1910 he was Captain of Stawell Golf Club, situated in the Wimmera region of Victoria and that year playing off
a handicap of plus-two he was Ballart Golf Club Champion.
After several years on a station (homestead) in Victoria, Jim moved to New South Wales in 1912 and was appointed Secretary of the Australian Golf
Club. (laid out in 1904 by Jim Hutchison (below) from North Berwick). Howden was also Secretary of Leura Golf Club and in 1916 he enlisted in WW1
and joined the Australian Light Horse Brigade. He was posted to France in December 1916 and after spending months in hospital in England he was
diagnosed with tuberculosis and discharged to Australia. Jim remained single and died of TB on 11th December 1921 and was buried in Katoomba
Cemetery in Sydney. Their brother Cecil Howden was station manager at Murchison Downs Station, Western Australia and he served in Egypt during
North Berwick Golfing Pioneers take the game to New Zealand.
Charles R. Howden and David B. Howden
Charles R. Howden and David B. Howden, cousins of Jim and Harry (above) emigrated to New Zealand. Their father owned a Wine Merchant's business
Peter Howden & Co. at 19 Meuse Lane, Edinburgh and the family lived at 6 Brandon Street. The brothers were educated at Edinburgh Academy and learned
to play golf at Leven in Fife where the family had a summer cottage.
Charles emigrated to Dunedin and in 1871 he founded the first golf club in New Zealand. He laid out the nine hole course in the Mornington
district which they named Dunedin Golf Club (later Otago). Charles known as the 'Father of New Zealand Golf', was elected the first Captain and
the original medal competition was named after Bruntisfield Links where the Howden brothers golfed in Edinburgh. In 1874 his brother David followed
him to Dunedin where he remained for six years before moving to Christchurch playing his golf on Hagley Park links. In 1881 David moved to Eastbourne,
Wellington where he founded the Hutt Golf Club at Waiwhetu in 1892. He also founded the Wellington Golf Club at Heretaunga in 1895. David and Charles
were instrumental in establishing the New Zealand Golf Association in 1910.
Charles started a Wine Merchant's business in Dunedin and established the New Zealand Distillery Company before he got interested in sheep farming
in South Canterbury. He returned to Great Britain for several years and sailed back to New Zealand in 1886 when he started the Royal Exchange Assurance
Company. David worked for the Colonial Bank, then the Bank of NSW in Christchurch before he established the Wellington Biscuit Company with his
brother. David died in 1927 and Charles followed him to the grave a year later.
Their grandfather was first to bring to Edinburgh the news of the Battle of Waterloo. A small sailing vessel arrived off the coast with the news
and Howden mounted a horse and galloped to the city to spread the glad tidings.
DAVID HUISH North Berwick New
David Huish born 23rd April 1944 in Edinburgh was best known for leading
the Open Championship at the half-way stage at Carnoustie in 1975. Having qualified via a tense seven-way play-off he shot rounds of 67 and
69 to lead by two shots ahead of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer. David won his first golf competition at the age of twelve when
he won the Peel Cup at Gullane. On leaving school he was an assistant to Hugh Watt at Gullane G.C and in 1965 he won the Scottish Assistants'
Championship. At the age of twenty David was professional at Hamilton G.C before being appointed to North Berwick New Club in March 1967.
David was a former British PGA Captain and since 1987 a member of the Ryder Cup committee. In 2002, he was appointed a director of Ryder Cup
Limited. Huish played on the European Senior Tour with wins at the Collingtree Seniors Classic (1996); PGA Scottish Seniors Championship (1998);
Lawrence Batley Seniors (2000) and Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open in Switzerland (2000), which he successfully defended in 2001. Gregor 'Josh'
Jamieson served his apprenticeship with David Huish at North Berwick in 1973. Jamieson is currently in Orlando coaching former US Open champion
David Huish retired in April 2009 after forty years at North Berwick and was succeeded by his son Martyn Huish who heads up the club's
teaching programme. Martyn has worked for his father as assistant since 1989.
CHARLES J. HUTCHISON (1890-1917) Stoke Poges
Golf Club, Surrey. UK
Charles John Hutchison born 20th March 1890 at 26 High Street, North Berwick,
son of Alexander C. Hutchison, a house painter and his wife Jessie Sanderson Denholm. Charlie Hutchison trained as a golf club maker in North
Berwick and moved to Woking, Surrey where he was the principal club maker at Stoke Poges Golf Club. He joined the PGA in 1910 and was
registered as assistant to James G Sherlock the Stoke Poges Club professional. In the 1911 census Hutchison is listed as a visitor to the
Cox family at 12 Elleen Street, Woking. Charlie enlisted in World War One and was killed in action on 17th June 1917 and is buried in Lapugnoy
Military Cemetery, Calais, France. His name is engraved in the North Berwick War Memorial and in the Community Centre.
His father Alex C. Hutchison was also a photographer with a shop and studio at 95 High Street, North Berwick. In 1903 his parents resided at
Cairnforth, 42 Forth Street with his stables and shed at 45, Melbourne Place.
JAMES L. HUTCHISON (1879-1944)
Philadelphia Country Club, USA
James Lyon Hutchison, born
13 January 1879 at 23,Hercus Loan, Musselburgh, son of James H. Hutchison, golf clubmaker and his wife Alison Bisset. His sister Ann
Hutchison married Peter McEwan from the famous Musselburgh clubmaking dynasty. His father James H. Hutchison was for seventeen years the
manager at the McEwan's premises in Millhill, Musselburgh where he learned his trade. James grew up in the Golf House next to
Bruntsfield Club House on Musselburgh links. James H. Hutchison played in the Open Championship in 1866 at Prestwick and finished
in the top twelve. His family moved to the West Links, North Berwick in 1889. A gutta-percha ball marked 'Hutchison' is in Mungo
In 1896 James H. Hutchison purchased eight houses in Melbourne Place, North Berwick and offered them for rent. He owned 40 and
42 Quality Street, 3 Victoria Road and resided with his family in The Hollies, 5 St Andrew Street. In 1895 he moved to a new
property at Argyle Lodge, 7, Marmion Road.
James L. Hutchison sailed to New York in 1900 to take up employment as head pro at the nine-hole course at Philadelphia Country Club
situated off City Avenue in Philadelphia. In the US immigration records, Hutchison lists Willie Anderson as his contact in
America. When Hutchison first arrived he resided in a hostel with staff from the golf club including, coachmen, grooms and
stablemen. In 1900 he was joined by his nephew Stewart McEwan from Musselburgh as his assistant. McEwan was later appointed
golf instructor at Harrisburg Park Golf Club. Stewart McEwan died on 18th December 1917 at 2157 Atlas Street, Harrisburg aged
In 1901 Hutchison worked for Bridgeport Gun Implement Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was superintendent in the factory which turned out
120 golf clubs per day. The early success of the company was credited to Willie Dunn and his nephew J. D. Dunn who Hutchison was acquainted with
from his days in North Berwick.
Hutchison returned to visit Scotland in 1902 and entered the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake in June. He sailed
back to the USA the following year with Fred McLeod, William Hobens, and George Thomson. On 30th May 1903 James L. Hutchison arrived in
San Francisco to spent a few days with Robert Johnstone from North Berwick and instructor at Presidio links. James L. Hutchison, Robert
Johnstone, David Stephenson and Alex Bell were all apprentice club makers with James H Hutchison Snr. at North Berwick. The San Francisco
Call reported that James L. Hutchison was on his way to Australia where golf had obtained a strong hold. He intended to play in several
exhibition matches on the principal courses and would become a resident professional if the inducements prove sufficient. Hutchison was
described as a strong player having halved a match with Harry Vardon and in another encounter he lost only one down to James Braid.
Before leaving Hutchison and Johnstone played a thirty-six hole match on the San Francisco Golf Club course at Presidio when Johnstone
defeated the visitor 2 and 1.
Hutchison sailed on the SS Sonoma from San Francisco to Auckland New Zealand. On 3 June 1903 the Auckland Star reported that " Mr. J. L.
Hutchison of North Berwick, a professional player was on his way to Sydney in search of an engagement. He had a high testimonial from Harry
Vardon, the celebrated player."
Jim Hutchison played in the first Australian Open Championship and the first
professional golf tournament in New Zealand (1904).
When Jim Hutchison arrived in Australia he was employed as professional to the Canada Cycle and Motor Company whose products were available
through the Massey-Harris Company at 357 George Street, Sydney. He was befriended by Carnegie Clark originally from Carnoustie who was the leading
golfer in New South Wales. Carnegie was employed by McMillan Deery & Co. a sports store located at 252 George Street, Sydney. Clark toured
the northern territories, playing exhibition matches, giving tuition and obtaining orders for the company. When Clark left McMillan Deery,
he was replaced by Jim Hutchison.
Australasian Newspaper (Melbourne) Saturday 5th September 1903
Hutchison the Sydney professional has been playing at Sandringham during the last week and attracting great crowds. Most of the club cracks
have had matches with him, with varying success. He has a nice easy style and can drive a long ball when he gets it. He has a thorough
knowledge of his business and made himself well liked by all who met him. In one match he played a four-ball foursome partnered with Mr
Murray against Messers Brookes and Riddell. Hutchison and his partner won by a hole after being five up and seven to play. The best ball
of the four came out at 68.
Jim Hutchison regularily partnered Edward J. B. Macarthur, Attorney General of New South Wales and captain of the Australian Golf Club. In
January 1904, Macarthur invited Carnegie Clark, Jim Hutchison and the local pro Gilbert L. Martin to look over the new ground at Kensington
(Rosebery) and submit plans for their new course. To show impartiality the three plans were handed over by a third party and a prize was
offered to the wining author.
In an article in the 'Leader' (Melbourne) 'Notes and News by Niblick' on 29th April 1905 the President of the Australian Golf Club, Senator
J.T.Walker thanked those who attended the opening of their new course at Kensington. He also mentioned that the 18-hole course (6020 yards)
for men and the 9-hole course (1976 yards) for ladies were laid out by Hutchison the famous North Berwick professional who spent last winter
with the club.
Hutchison interviewed in The Sydney Mail on the best players in the world in 1903.
The Open Championship of Australia was played for the first time on Hutchison's Kensington course in August 1908, and the competitors were
favourably impress with the layout. Heavy rain fell during the first round but the sandy nature of the ground allowed the water to soak away.
A week later the championship meeting of the Ladies Union of New South Wales was decided over the 9-hole ladies course at Kensington.
In April 1904 Hutchison travelled to Melbourne for six weeks and spent several days at Cootamundra, Yass, Wagga and Albury giving lessons.
In September the inaugural Open Championship of Australia was played at the Australian Golf Club on their Botany links which is now part of
Sydney's international airport. At the same meeting the Amateur Championship of Australia was contested. The winner of the first Australian
Open was Hon. Michael Scott, Royal Melbourne, who was defeated the following day in the final of the Amateur Championship by J. D. Howden
from North Berwick. In the professional prize Jim Hutchison (North Berwick) was beaten by F. G. Hood (Musselburgh) and Jock McLaren (North
Berwick) was beaten in the final by Carnegie Clark (Royal Sydney Golf Club) who lifted the professional purse.
In October 1904 Hutchison toured Queensland and gave lessons to the newly formed Toowoomba GC and the members at Yeerongpilly GC. In
December 1904, Hutchison took part in the first professional golf tournament in New Zealand. Played over the nine-hole course at New
Plymouth during a Carnival and Exhibition week in the town. The tournament was held on the Nigamotu links which is now Rugby Park and
the field included Jim Hutchison, Alex McLaren, (Royal Melbourne GC) Gilbert Martin, (Wellington GC), and Fred Hood (Auckland GC). At the
same tournament a professional foursome match was contested over 36 holes between Hutchison and Hood against Martin and McLaren with the
latter pair dividing the £10 purse.
Fred Hood originally from Millhill, Musselburgh was professional at Malahide Golf Club near Dublin in 1898 before he emigrated to New Zealand.
His brother Tom Hood, professional at Royal Dublin, joined him as his assistant at Auckland Golf Club in 1902. Fred's older brother David
Hood sailed for New Zealand in 1906 and was employed by Jock McLaren (below) as a clubmaker at Otago GC, Dunedin. Tom Hood returned to Ireland
in 1904 and entered the Open Championship at St George's Golf Club, Sandwich, Kent in June that year.
Access New Zealand Golf Poster - 1904
Richmond Whytt from Edinburgh was the first paid secretary of Royal Sydney Golf Club. He worked for a Life Insurance Society and was a member
of Leven G.C and North Berwick G.C before emigrating to Australia in1896. During WW1 he enlisted in the Australian Infantry and fought in
Gallipoli where he died on a hospital ship in 1915.
In an article in the Taranaki Herald (NZ) on 18th April 1905, it was quoted that Hutchison had previously said the New Plymouth golf course
was the best nine-holes in New Zealand. In a letter to the Editor, Cecil Wright, a Barrister and Solicitor in New Plymouth wrote to support
Hutchison's comments, saying he should know what he is talking about as 'Hutchison accompanied Harry Vardon, the English Champion on a golf
tour of the United States for eight months'. Vardon, Hutchison and Spalding's tour manager Charlie Cox, pro at Fairfield Country Club
CT, travelled from one end of the country to the other using boats, trains and horse-drawn wagons. In the middle of Vardon's ten month programme
he returned to Britain to defend his title as Open Champion and sailed back to America in June 1900. Hutchison and Vardon played in the US Open
at the Chicago Golf Club, Illinois in October which Vardon won. The field also included Willie Anderson and Harry Gullane from North Berwick.
Hutchison returned to Scotland permanently in 1905 and was a licensed pro on the West Links, North Berwick. That year he registered with the PGA
and played in the Open Championship at St. Andrews. In 1908, Hutchison was attached to York (Strensall) Golf Club and then to Keighley Golf Club
before joining Headingley Golf Club, in April 1910 where he employed a number of club makers. For many years Hutchison exchanged letters with his
fellow professionals in Australia including J.Victor East (Royal Sydney GC) and Gil Martin (Australian GC).
Headingley Golf Club
In 1909, Bob Dickson from North Berwick was appointed head greenkeeper at Headingley Golf Club. His reference for the position was Jack
White from North Berwick, the pro at Sunningdale and Hugh Hamilton the custodian of St Andrews links who Dickson worked with at North
Berwick. Completing the Sunningdale connection, Harry S. Colt was re-designing the bunkers at Headingley when Dickson arrived. The
following year Jim Hutchison was appointed head professional which must be more than just a coincidence. In 1910 Jim Hutchison
married local girl Edith Creaser and his best-man at the wedding was Walter Toogood the golf pro at Ilkley Golf Club.
Jim Hutchison was described as a dour Scot, who always wore plus fours. He was remembered at Headingley for his vigorous opposition to
Sunday golf during his 27 years with the club. Tom Stewart of St Andrews supplied Hutchison with hand forged club heads which he fitted
with a hickory shaft for sale to the members. The heads were stamped with 'Special', J.L.Hutchison, Headingley, Leeds and carried the pipe
motif of Tom Stewart. The clubs continue to be popular with collectors and a J.L.Hutchison putter was actioned in 2017.
In May 1923, Hutchison hosted the Yorkshire Evening News tournament, one of the biggest professional events held at Headingley. Many of the
top American players took part including Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen who were in the country for the Open Championship at Troon. James
L. Hutchison retired in July 1937 and was conferred an Honorary Life Member of Headingley Golf Club. He died 9 June 1944 at Avondale Park
View in the north west suburbs of Leeds.
DAVID F. HUTCHISON
David Fancourt Hutchison born 26th March 1897, 7 Marmion Road, North Berwick son of James H. Hutchison golf clubmaker and his wife Alison
Bisset. David was educated at North Berwick Public School and became a banker. He joined the Territorial Force in 1914 and enlisted during
World War One in the 8th Bn. Royal Scots from November 914 to May 1915. Comissioned 'Captain' in 1916 in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light
Infantry and Mentioned In Dispatches in 1918. Captain David Hutchison was killed-in-action in France on 29th August 1918, aged 21 years.
GEORGE M. IZETT (1906-1980)
The Izett Golf Company, Haverford, Philadelphia. USA
George Miller Izett, born 27 June 1906 at Kinghorn Place, Edinburgh, son of George Izett a Marine Engineer and his wife Bessie Miller from
Forres. George's father died in 1905, aged 31 years and the family moved to Gullane living in Carrick Villa, 2 East Links Road, (now
Inverdruie) overlooking the children's golf course. George cycled the five miles to North Berwick everyday during his five year
apprenticeship as a clubmaker with Ben Sayers Ltd in their workshop beside the first tee on the West Links, North Berwick (present pros
shop). At the age of 22 years Izett emigrated to the USA and arrived in New York on 1st January 1928. He was employed as a clubmaker with
Ben Sayers son George Sayers the professional at Merion Cricket Club. Izett resided at 230 Linwood Avenue, Ardmore, Philadelphia.
During the National Amateur Championship at Merion in September 1930 Bobby Jones chipped a piece of wood from the face of his driver during
the qualifying round. He came to Izett with the damaged club and asked George what could be done with it as he needed it the next day for
his first 18-hole match. George returned the driver the next morning before Bobby teed-off with a new in laid ram's horn face exactly
duplicating the original face of the driver. Sam Snead was given an Izett driver from Henry Picard which had a stiffer shaft and extra
weight. The Izett driver helped to cure Snead's tendency to hook and Sam would go on to use the club for much of his career.
(Left) George M. Izett © The Izett Golf Company
What they did not realise was the original driver was made by Jack White from North Berwick. Bobby Jones picked up the driver in the pros shop at
Sunningdale where Jack White was the professional while qualifying for the 1926 Open. The driver seemed to inspire Jones into winning the
Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes and he never used any other driver in competition, winning 10 Majors with it. Jack White
the nephew of Ben Sayers returned to East Lothian in 1926 and opened a golf equipment shop in Gullane where George Izett would have been
a frequent visitor. The driver made by Jack White is on display in the Trophy Room at Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia USA.
In 1933, George Izett was appointed head pro on the Bay Course at Seaview Golf Club, Atlantic City. He also gave lessons at the Main Line
Golf Practice Fairway in Philadelphia. Two years later he opened Izett Hand Made Golf Clubs on Harverford Road, Philadelphia. George made
clubs for Presidents Kennedy and Eisenhower, Sam Snead and Dorothy Campbell from North Berwick. In 1941, George teamed up with Wilfred
Bailey, the manager of Wanamaker's sporting goods department and formed Bailey & Izett, making clubs for the wholesale market in their
factory at 2538 Haverford Road. The Izett Golf Company continues to produce custom made clubs on this site.
ARTHUR J. JACKSON (1893-1981)
Lincoln Park Golf Course, Oklahoma, USA
Arthur James Jackson, born 8th August 1893 in Edinburgh son of Donald Jackson solicitor and his wife Jane Wishart. The family lived at 1
West End Place, North Berwick, a five iron from the first tee on the famous West Links. His father was a talented golfer and scratch
medalist of Bass Rock Golf Club and for many years secretary of Tantallon Golf Club. Arthur Jackson learned to play golf on the Children's
course at North Berwick and apprenticed as a clubmaker with Donald Mackay. Arthur's mother died when he was eight years old, and in 1903 his
father married divorcee Margaret Brownlee. Arthur and his step-brother Leslie Brownlee moved with their parents to Edinburgh. Leslie
emigrated to America in 1905 and Arthur aged 16 years followed in October 1909. He joined Leslie at Lakeview Country Club, the forerunner
to Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club where Brownlee designed the course in 1907. According to the 1910 US Census, Arthur and Leslie
shared lodgings on NW 6th St. Oklahoma City and were listed as students.
In 1912, Art Jackson was appointed assistant pro to Donald Mackay at Tulsa Golf and Country Club. Dan Mackay was a clubmaker with James
Watt in North Berwick before emigrating in 1909. Bill Nichols also from North Berwick laid out the nine-hole course at Tulsa Country Club
in 1908. Bill Nichols was pro at Muskogee Country Club, Oklahoma (1908-1915).
Jackson laid out the original nine-hole course at McAlester Country Club in 1911. His WW1 Draft Registration Card complied in 1917 lists
him as a Ground Superintendent, employed by E. W. Marland, a benevolent oil baron and Jackson's address was listed as 919 East Grand Avenue,
Ponca City. Art laid out the original nine-holes at Ponac City Country Club and was later listed as the club professional.
He was appointed manager of Lincoln Park West Golf Club, a public course in Oklahoma City which Jackson laid out in 1921. His assistant was
a young Perry Maxwell who would later become a respected Golf Course Architect. Jackson designed a second public course at East Lincoln Park
in 1933 and became known as the 'Father of Public Golf in Oklahoma' because of his construction work and unique caddie programme at Lincoln
Park. In 1958 Jackson laid out the public course at Trosper Park Golf Club, Oklahoma City. Arthur J. Jackson died 7th February 1981, aged 87
years and is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, plot section 19, Oklahoma City.
The golfing pioneers from North Berwick, Scotland who taught the cowboys how to play golf included Leslie Brownlee (Lakeview) Willie Nichols
(Muskogee), Dan MacKay (Tulsa), Art Jackson (Lincoln Park), Tom Dickson (Muskogee) and Jimmy Gullane (Bartesville). They are all listed on
DONALD M. JACKSON (1862-1927)
Bass Rock Golf Club (Amateur)
Donald McLean Jackson born 1862, 7 Shore Street, (now Victoria Road) North Berwick son of James Jackson, Master Mariner. Donald Jackson was one
of the first 'locals' from a humble background to attended Edinburgh University to study Law. In 1890, Jackson joined the artisan Bass Rock Golf
Club in North Berwick and represented the club in four wining Wemyss Country Club teams.
In 1895 playing off scratch he won a competition at Luffness open to all golfers in East Lothian. The first prize was a set of clubs made by Tom
Morris. He was also a member of Stockbridge Golf Club in Edinburgh who played their competitions on various courses from North Berwick to Carnoustie.
In 1891 Jackson won the third annual Braid Hills Tournament. He was in the 1892 George Club team who won the Edinburgh Dispatch Trophy. At the
opening of the new course at North Berwick in 1895 Jackson finished second. His name can also be found on the Edinburgh University Club Gold Medal.
In 1893 he was appointed Secretary of the Bass Rock Golf Club, and at the Open Championship at Muirfield in 1896, Jackson finished fourth among the
When he qualified as a solicitor he had to relinquish his artisan membership and he joined Tantallon Golf Club in North Berwick. Jackson started a
successful legal practice in the town and was elected to the North Berwick Town Council. In 1901 he was appointed Secretary and Treasurer of Tantallon
In 1901 Jackson was selected to represent his new club Tantallon in the Wemyss County Cup with his partner Robert Maxwell. The format for the Wemyss
County Cup was a straight draw made on the day of the competition, hole and hole knock-out over the double foursomes decided the winners. The Wemyss
County Cup (or East Lothian County Cup) is the oldest double foursomes competition in the world, first played in 1868. Jackson played in five County
Cup wining teams more than any other golfer which stands as a record to this day.
Due to irregularities in the club balance sheet Donald Jackson was asked to resign in 1904. He moved to Largo in Fife where he was a Managing Clerk
in a legal office. Jackson joined Kirkcaldy Golf Club and won the first Club Championship in 1919 after an 18-hole play-off and his name is engraved
on the W.L.Macindoe Challenge Shield. He was appointed Match Secretary 1919-1920 and died in Kirkcaldy in November 1927.
Donald M Jackson's son Arthur L Jackson (above) may have been a member of Kirkcaldy Golf Club. He joined the professional ranks and emigrated to
America where he was head pro at Lincoln Park Golf Course, Oklahoma, USA.
GEORGE JOHNSTONE (1894-1948)
West Links, North Berwick
Gavin George Johnstone born 27th October 1894 at 11 Waddell Place, Leith son of John Johnstone, stone mason and army pensioner and his
wife Elizabeth Mark. George's family moved to North Berwick in 1893 and resided at 21 Melbourne Place. On leaving North Berwick Public
School George was a golf caddie before obtaining a license as a golf professional on the West Links.
George married Minnie Thorburn in 1927 and their son John Daniel Mark Johnstone was born in 1929. John or Jackie Johnstone worked with
the Royal Mail as a postman until he retired in 1996. Jackie joined Tantallon Golf Club and was Club Champion in 1967. He was elected
Match Secretary in 1960 and held that position for 32 years. His son Gavin Johnstone served his apprenticeship as a greenkeeper on the
West Links, North Berwick, before joining the staff at Muirfield. In May 1998 he was appointed to the nine-hole course at Traigh Golf
Club near Arisaig in the West Highlands.
His grandfather Gavin 'George' Johnstone died in 1948 and was the last freelance golf professional on the West Links along with Jimmy
Black and Tommy Hobens who worked out of James Watt’s clubmakers shop at 1, Station Hill, North Berwick.
Port Elizabeth Golf Club, South Africa
Johnstone, born 21st July 1872 at Harbour Terrace, North Berwick, son of Robert Johnstone, fisherman and his wife Janet Sked (formerly Lauder).
Jack Johnstone was the brother of Robert and George listed below and they lived with their parents at 11 Heriot Place (Lower Quay). Their
father was a full time greenkeeper by the time Jack was granted a professional license (No.65) at North Berwick on 5th June 1893.
In 1895, Johnstone emigrated to South Africa with his wife Louisa (born St Leonards-on-Sea), sailing from Southhampton to Durban (Port
Natal). He was appointed pro to the Port Elizabeth Golf Club on a two year engagement. On his arrival the local newspaper the Eastern
Province Herald suggested he had brought a surplus of golf clubs with him and a machine for re-making balls. As the city expanded the club
had to find an alternative location and Johnstone was asked to designed their new golf course. At the official opening in November 1902, the Mayor
struck the first shot using a special club made by Johnstone for the occasion. The club and original ball are now on display in the Port
Elizabeth clubhouse and many of the fairways have the same routing today as they did a hundred years ago.
According to the records of the South African Golf Association the first professional golfers in South Africa were Walter Day (Cape GC)
(from Musselburgh) appointed in March 1893 and a short while later Jack Johnstone (Port Elizabeth GC). When the SA Amateur Tournament
was played in Port Elizabeth in 1893 it appears that Day accompanied the Cape GC contingent and as part of the week’s activities, he
played an exhibition match, very likely a challenge match against Johnstone. Johnstone won the first encounter by 2 holes after the two
had both scored 78 in the first round. The following year they played another exhibition match during the Amateur Championship. This
developed into an annual competition between the professionals which became a feature at the Amateur and as the number of professionals
increased the event slowly evolved into the SA Open Championship. It was in the Cape Colony where his children were born, Dorothy C. Johnstone
(1897), Verna G. Johnstone (1900) and Robert L Johnstone (1903).
In 1903 a 36 hole stroke-play championship was organised at Port Elizabeth with four professionals in a field of ten. The winner was Laurie
Waters (163), with Jack Johnstone (168) in third place. There is an early photograph of the Port Elizabeth golf course in the British Golf
Jack Johnstone returned to North Berwick and entered the 1905 Open Championship at St Andrews when he finished in the top-20. He also
entered the Championship the following year at Muirfield. At North Berwick in September 1905 Jack Johnstone partnered the Right Hon. Arthur
Balfour, Prime Minister (1902-05) in a fourball match against Ben Sayers Snr. and Sir Henry Meysey-Thompson, Liberal Member of Parliament and
private secretary to William Gladstone. Johnstone and Balfour won 3&2, while the Prime Minister's armed bodyguard wandered among the sand dunes.
In 1905, Johnstone and Henry Gullane played an exhibition match over the West Links. Looking to attract the crowds, Johnstone played with Urquhart
Adjustable head irons and Gullane played with a full set of orthedox iron clubs, being barred from using wooden clubs. Gullane won by four strokes.
A collection bucket was passed round the large crowd.
Johnstone was appointed pro to Hythe Golf Club on the Kent coast in 1908 and remained with the club until 1917 when the course was commandeered
during WW1. The Prime Minister H.H.Asquith regularly played golf and in 1909 he required six policemen to protect him from suffragettes
campaigning for votes for women when he played Hythie. Johnstone lived with his family at 4 Victoria Cottages, Seabrook Road, Hythe, Kent. In
1920 he moved to Halifax Golf Club until 1923.
Jack's brother George Johnstone was caddie master on the West Links in the 1930s. Their father Robert Johnstone Snr (1849-1922) known as 'Speeder'
was a master of all trades, primarily a greenkeeper, sometimes a professional and caddie. His claim to fame was during the Open Championship at
Muirfield in 1906, he had a hole-in-one at the 14th. He played with only one club throughout the championship, an Urquhart Adjustable head iron,
the same set as mentioned above.
ROBERT JOHNSTONE (1874-1937)
Seattle Golf Club, USA
Robert 'Bob' Johnstone, born 15th November
1874 in the Harbour Terrace, North Berwick, brother of John (above) and George Johnstone. Bob played golf from the age of ten and on leaving school he
served an apprenticeship as a clubmaker in the shop of James Hutchison. In later years Bob Johnstone recalled how the badly made clubs were
thrown into a box at the end of the bench. That box was known as 'The American Box' and its contents were exported to America because
in those days the Americans were not supposed to know a good club from a bad one.
The three brothers were caddies before they were granted a professional licensed on the West Links, North Berwick. Bob was awarded his licensed
in July 1894, John (1893) and George (1919). After serving a five-year apprenticeship Bob Johnstone was assistant to Ben Sayers and in
1900 he emigrated to America. Bob made the four-day rail trip from New York to San Francisco and arrived on 21st May 1900 and laid out
the courses at Ingleside and Presidio Golf Clubs. Johnstone was recommended by David Stephenson (listed below) from North Berwick who
was pro at San Francisco Golf Club playing on a course inside Presidio Military Reservation. Johnstone often had to deal with the
course being badly cut up by the hoof's of the artillery horse's which exercised over the links.
Johnstone was the first winner of the California Open in 1901
Shortly after Johnstone arrived in California his style was described in the San Francisco Examiner as different from many other professional
players out there. He used shorter clubs than most of the players and has them made with as much spring to the shaft as possible. He also
brings with him a few wrinkles in regard to producing an improved golf ball. On the whole it might be said that Johnstone's new play is more
Vardon variety, showing great care and study tending more to accuracy than to the spectacular long drives. Although the opinion of most of
those who have seen him at play is that David Stevenson would probably defeat him in contest. It is by no means certain. Johnstone has
already signified his desire to meet some of the best professionals of the neighboring clubs. In August 1900, Robert Johnstone was asked to
visit Redwood City to select a ground suitable for a new golf course including land at Selby race track near Fair Oaks.
Open Championship of California
In 1901 Johnstone played in the Del Monte Open Championship and defeated amateur Cyril E. Maud (Riverside G.C) in the final. The field included
Jim Melville from Earlsferry, Scotland, Willie Bradley the former assistant of David Stephenson (below). Johnstone remained at the
beautifully situated nine-hole Presidio course as club maker and golf instructor for five years. In 1901, he was joined by Alex Bell from
North Berwick as his assistant. Alex Bell described as a good golfer and clubmaker was engaged as coach at San Rafael Golf Club on 18 May
1901. He remained at the Happy Valley links during the summer and in the winter he assisted Bob Johnstone at Presidio links. That year
Johnstone entered the Southern California Open Championship played at the Los Angeles Country Club. The newspaper report
at the time suggested this was the 'Greatest Field of Golfers Ever to Play in California'. They included Willie Smith and David Bell of
Carnoustie, and Midlothian, Chicago; Alex Smith, of Coronado and Washington Park; Gilbert Nicholls of Boston; Chester Horton, of Glenview:
Willie Robertson, of Carnoustie and Santa Barbara; Willie Watson, of St. Andrews and Pasadena; and Harry Grindlay, of St. Andrews and Los
In April 1901 Johnstone prepared the Presidio course for the first Pacific Coast Amateur Championship hosted by San Francisco Golf Club.
That year Johnstone won the first Open Championship of California, played over 36 holes on the Del Monte course, and he received $100
prize money. Johnstone won the title again in 1903. The first California championship to be officially recognised was played in 1919.
Johnstone instructed Miss Alice Hager and often accompanied her to Burlingame before a ladies tournament and he regularily partnered L. O. Kellogg.
In 1902, Bob Johnstone joined the president of San Francisco Golf Club J.W.Byrne to look over the ground between the present course
and the Marine Hospital with a view to laying out nine additional holes. At the same time Johnstone altered the layout of the Presidio
links when the fourth hole was redesigned and the eighth green and tee were abandoned. The fifth hole became the sixth, the sixth was
the seventh, the seventh, the eighth and the player will now drive off from the eighth tee to the home green. The bunker protecting the
third hole has been lengthened so as to penalized a slice.
In March, Bob Johnstone attended a meeting in the Grand Hotel organised by the San Francisco Golf Club for those interested in laying
out a public golf links in the Golden Gate Park. Johnstone was asked to prepare a plan showing the position of each of the nine holes
between the Prayer Book Cross and the new Buffalo Paddock.
Pacific Coast Golf Championship
Johnstone won the Pacific Coast Golf Tournament in 1901, 1903, 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1910. In 1902 F.J. Reilly was champion and in order
to settle the question of supremacy between those two players it was decided to hold a contest over seventy-two holes, match play,
thirty-six on the Presido links and thirty-six over the Burlingame course. The members each being willing to back their own representative, a purse of $120 was
made up by the Burlingame Country Club and the San Francisco Golf Club. The first half of the contest took place on the Presido links.
At the thirty-second hole Robert Johnstone was 4 up and 4 to play, but F.J. Reilly took the next three holes and the last hole being
halved. Johnstone was 1 up on the first day’s play. The following day Johnstone was in excellent form playing the best golf seen on the
Burlingame course and he won the whole tournament 8 and 7 to play.
In 1904 San Francisco Golf Club decided to move their course to a new location at Ingleside near Lake Merced. On 23 April members of San
Francisco Golf Club visited the proposed site where Bob Johnstone had roughly laid out an eighteen hole course for the committee's approval.
In July 1904 the course was six months from completion due to the lack of rain.
Seattle Golf Club
While playing in the 1905 Northwest Open at Waverley Country Club Johnstone was approached by members of Seattle Golf Club and persuaded to
move north. On 8th July 1905, Robert Johnstone secured the position of instructor at Seattle Golf Club and he laid out the course with
When Bob Johnstone arrived in Seattle he was charged with organising the first Pacific Northwest Golf Association Tournament to be played
at Seattle Golf and Country Club in June 1909 and the following week the first Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Golf Tournament was held to celebrate
the Klondyke Gold Rush and the development of the Northwest. In September that year Seattle hosted the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition,
'World Fair' attended by US President William Howard Taft who played golf on the Seattle links with Robert Johnstone before returning to
Bob returned briefly to San Francisco in 1910 and designed the extension of the course at Presidio Golf Club to eighteen holes. In 1909,
Alex Bell moved to Oahu Country Club in Hawaii. It has been suggested that Willie McEwan assisted Johnstone to extend the Presido course
in 1910 but that year McEwan was in New Zealand. He did collaborated with Alex Bell to layout the course at Maui Country Club, Hawaii in
1927 when McEwan was pro at San Francisco.
In 1910, Johnstone was joined in the northwest by George Turnbull a school friend from North Berwick. That year Turnbull was appointed the
first pro at Waverley Country Club in Portland, Oregon. Johnstone went on to win the Pacific Northwest Open a record eight times. In July
each year Seattle hosted the Golden Potlatch Festival with a parade of floats and sporting events throughout a week of festivities.
In 1912, Jim Barnes (Tacoma Country and Golf Club 1909-15) won the Open Championship at the Potlatch Tournament played at Seattle Golf Club,
Turnbull was second and Johnstone third. In 1918 the Pacific Northwest Championship finished in a tie between Turnbull and Johnstone and
following an 18 hole play-off they could not be separated, both scoring 74. The next day another head to head was arranged, this time
Turnbull won and Johnstone had to settle for beating Turnbull in the final of the North and South tournament.In 1913 Johnstone won the
Northern Links 'Potlach' tournament, Jim Barnes was second and George Turnbull third.
Johnstone played many exhibition matches with 21 year-old Jim Barnes in Washington State and British Columbia. Barnes was born in the
village of Lelant in west Cornwell before moving with his parents to 10 Trescoe Terrace, Long Rock. He apprenticed as a club
maker under Fred Whiting at West Cornwell Golf Club. Jim emigrated to America in November 1906 and boarded the railroad to Oakland,
San Francisco. In 1910 he moved north to Washington State and signed with Tacoma Country and Golf Club. Johnstone must have been
delighted when 'Long Jim' Barnes won the US PGA Championship in 1916 and 1919, US Open 1921, and Open Championship 1925.
In an article in American Golfer in 1918, Robert Johnstone stated he never wears knickerbockers. He was the first golfer on the coast to
appear in 'knee panties' but now he wears them not. 'Aye, I wore them' said Bob' Wayback in 1900, I wore them. It was our Scottish custom,
and I defied anybody to make me take 'em off. In those days I was professional at Presidio Club of San Francisco. We then had lots of
trouble with caddies. 'One time we had a strike, and the caddies made life a misery to us all. One day a bunch of them stood at a safe
distance and shouted vile things at us until I could stand it no longer, so, armed with a golf club, I chased them away. 'The next day a
cartoonist drew a picture of me in the paper. He drew me in half kilts and half knicks, with bristling hair on my nobbly knees, chasing
the caddies with a war club. The next day I put on long trousers, and never went back to knickerbockers.'
Harry Givan, six-times Northwest Amateur Champion and Walker Cup player was a member of Seattle Golf Club and learned to play watching Bob
Johnstone. During the American tour of Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in 1913 they played five matches in the Northwest Pacific territories. The match
at Seattle against Jim Barnes and Bob Johnstone was a tight game with Vardon beating Johnstone at the 35th hole and Ray holding Barnes to a
half on the 36th. In another match Johnstone crossed the Canadian border to partner Willie Moffat at Oak Bay Golf Club in Victoria which Vardon
and Ray won 5 and 4. A banquet was held for the Englishmen at Seattle Golf Club and before leaving the Pacific Northwest Vardon announced to the
world that he would retire from the game on Christmas Day 1913.
Robert Johnstone popularised the game in the North West Territories where he
played exhibition matches with Jim Barnes of Tacoma and George Turnbull of North Berwick.
In 1915 Bob received an order from Lewiston, Idaho, calling for a brassie and driver, Irish style. The only clue to the kind of club desired
was contained in the sentence: "I weigh 205 pounds." Nothing about weight, length or anything like that concerning the clubs. "What'll I do
about this?" asked 'Choc' Marshall, assistant clubmaker as he went about selecting head and shaft for the driver? "Ah, leave alot of
thickness in the neck," replied Johnstone.
In July 1916 Johnstone won the Potlatch golf tournament at the Tacoma Golf and Country Club after a nine hole playoff with Phil Jefferson,
professional to the Everett Country Club. Bob had two holes-in-one in his career, one in 1918 at Seattle with his jigger tee shot at the
eleventh hole. The first was in 1901 at Presidio when he holed his tee shot at the old fourth hole, then about 150 yards. Johnstone said
"That holed tee shot was done with an old gutta percha ball and a driver, both made by Spalding. The single-shooter at Seattle was made also
with a Spalding ball, but he used a jigger and a rubber-cored ball."
Laying out the Jefferson Park Public Golf Course.
Left to Right: E.L Fuller, R. Johnstone, N.E.McGillis (City Engineer),
J.W.Thompson (Park Superintendant), Copyright © Seattle Daily Times - 1913
Johnstone laid out the course for the County Club of Seattle on Bainbridge Island in 1900. The club moved to Laurehurst, where
Johnstone laid out a nine-hole course with grass greens. In 1907 the Seattle Golf Club moved to its present location off
Richmond Beach Road where an eighteen hole course was designed by A.Vernon Macan and Robert Johnstone. He was involved in a
major work in cutting golf links out of virgin acreage for the municipal links at Spokane. He had done a similar service for
the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners when he laid out the municipal links at Jefferson Park the first public course west
of Chicago, opened on 12th May 1915. He laid out a nine-hole course on Mercer Island in 1917 which at that time was only the
sixth course in the Seattle area. Johnstone laid out the course for Everett Golf and Country Club and in 1919 he designed a
nine-hole course at Rainier Golf and Country Club. Johnstone recommended Robert P. Collins to carry out the construction work
and was appointed their first professional. As youngsters Johnstone and Collins attended North Berwick public school in 1889
before the Collins family moved to Tyneside Golf Club, Ryton, Durham, England.
In Seattle, Bob Collins established the 'Collins Golf Studio' in the basement of the Cobb Building on the north-west corner
of Fourth Avenue and University Street. In December 1922 Bob Collins hooked up with Chet Horton of the Chester Horton Golf
Schools in Chicago, who gave lessons in the Collins Golf Studio. Bob Collins was one of the first to teach golf on the
new medium of wireless radio. His weekly broadcast on Seattle's KJR AM (860) was very popular.
Jefferson Park Municipal Course
In 1903 a nine-hour course was laid out on the property known as Jefferson Park. In 1912 the Park Commissioners engaged Robert
Johnstone the professional at the Seattle Golf Club and Country Club to layout their new 18-hole course in Jefferson Park on the
east side of Beacon Avenue.
In December 1914 Bob Johnstone escorted his fellow pro Jim Barnes (Tacoma) on a tour of the course before Barnes moved east to
his appointment at Whitemarsh Golf Club, Philadelphia. In April 1915 the Park Board appointed Joe Jefferson as professional and
approved the formation of the Jefferson Park Municipal Golf Club following the same set-up as the Jefferson Park Golf Club in
The Jefferson Park Municipal golf course was officially opened on Wednesday 12th May 1915. The crowd followed the foursome match
between Robert Johnstone and this amateur parent Jack Ballinger which they won 1 up. The sixth hole with the ravine was described
as one of the best holes on the course and the latter two holes were inspired by the 18th hole of the Seattle G.C.
Pacific Northwest Section PGA
Bob Johnstone became an American citizen on 4th October 1920 in the District Court of Seattle and he resided with his wife Sarah Gilbert from
Edinburgh and daughters Ethel and Florence in King Township, Foy County, Washington State. He remained with Seattle Golf Club for over
thirty-two years. In 1922, he was instrumental in establishing the Pacific Northwest Section PGA and served as its first president for four
years. In 1955 the Western Washington Branch of the Pacific N.W. Section PGA recommended to the N.W. Section that the name of the Pacific
N.W. Trophy be changed to the Bob Johnstone Memorial Trophy but the proposal was turned down. Johnstone was inducted in the PGA Pacific
Northwest Section in 1982.
In June 1926 Bob celebrated twenty-five years with the club and as a reward the Seattle members sent him and his wife Sarah on a trip to watch
the British Open and Walker Cup matches and to visit their family and friends in Scotland. Bob watched the American's win the Walker Cup at St Andrews
with Bobby Jones in the team. He then followed the British Amateur at Muirfield before travelling to Royal Lytham to watch Bobby Jones
win the British Open. The Walker Cup was played over Johnstone's course at Seattle in 1961, something he would have been very proud.
Robert Finlay (Seattle Greenkeeper)
In 1923 Robert 'Bob' Finlay was appointed superintendent of greens at Seattle Golf Club, working with Bob Johnstone the club professional
for over 30 years. Bob Finlay born July 1886 in the village of Newmains, 18 miles south-east of Glasgow. He emigrated to America sailing
from Glasgow on the S.S.Furnessia he arrived in New York on 27th August 1907 and travelled to Chular, California where his brother John
Finlay was based. In 1913, Bob used his Masonic connections to move north to Canada working as a Teamster (Coachman) while residing in
Burquitlam,Vancouver. In 1916, Bob Finlay served in the Canadian army in the First World War. Bob became an American citizen at the
District Court of Washington on 2nd. November 1928 witnessed by Henry L. Hees, the Caddie Master at Seattle Golf Club.
Bob Finlay wrote articles for the USGA Journal and Turf Management and was a life member of the Northwest Greenkeepers Association and
regularly played in their annual golf championship. Finlay was awarded a Citation of Merit by the Golf Course Superintendents Association
in 1952 for the excellent condition of the course during the USGA Amateur Championship at Seattle. Bob Finlay retired in 1954 and
continued to reside on the property. He died in hospital on 14th August 1960, aged 74 years and was buried in Acacia Memorial Park,
Seattle. In attendance were members of the Occidental Masonic Lodge.
JAMES KELLY Bramhall Golf Club
James Kelly, first cousin of Richard Kelly (listed below), was born 24th October 1874 in Hislop's Close,
Westgate, North Berwick, son of Robert Kelly, fisherman and his wife Mary Livingston. James was six feet three inches tall and worked
with his father fishing out of Canty Bay. He was granted a professional license on the West Links in October 1894. It was renewed in 1899
and again in 1903 when he lived at 5 Russell Square. He was appointed professional at Penmaenmawr Golf Club, Gwynedd in 1912 and then moved
to Bramhall Golf Club, Stockport, Manchester (1917- 1919).
RICHARD S. KELLY (1871-1948)
Royal Norwich Golf Club, UK
Richard Sanderson Kelly born 18th February 1871 at 7
Heriot Place, son of George Kelly, fisherman and his wife Mary Thomson. Richard was a licensed caddie on the West Links (No.71) in 1891 and
was appointed pro at Royal Norwich Golf Club in 1893 after being recommended for the position by Ben Sayers. Richard entered the Open Championship
in 1894 at St George G.C, Sandwich and also the following year at St Andrews. In May 1894 he played an exhibition match against Jack White from
North Berwick and in 1895 he played against J. H. Taylor. In 1900 he played an exhibition match with James Braid and held his own against all
three champions. Richard Kelly was succeeded as professional at Royal Norwich by James Kinnell from Leven who was a licensed pro at North Berwick
during the 1890s.
In 1898, Richard married Catherine Truman and in 1902 they moved to the nine-hole course at Mundesley Golf Club in Norfolk. In 1903 he became
a member of the PGA and in 1912 he was appointed to Eaton Golf Club near Norwich. In 1921, George Duncan, the Open Champion beat Ted Ray in
a medal round over the Eaton course. In the afternoon Duncan and Ray played Roy Donald (Royal Norwich) and Richard Kelly, in a four-ball
match which the visitors won easily seven up and six to play. In 1924 Richard had a year at Mid-Norfolk Golf Club, Attleborough before
returning to Eaton until he retired in 1946.
Four of his sons joined the professional ranks, Russell Kelly (Kensington Club, London), George Kelly (Eaton GC), Frederick Kelly (Eaton GC) and
Bert Kelly who was joint pro with his father until 1939 and then appointed head-pro at Eaton GC in 1946. Bert Kelly was a founder member of
Norfolk Professional Golfers Association and elected their first captain in April 1970.
ARTHUR KENDALL Fort Smith Country Club,
Arthur Innes Kendall born 23rd May 1880 at 8, Quality Street, North
Berwick, the son of James Kendall a master plumber and his wife Mary Rutherford. Arthur was a Law student and played off scratch as a member of
Bass Rock G.C and Rhodes G.C before emigrating to America in 1909. He joined Leslie Brownlee at Fort Smith Country Club, Arkansas. Originally
Kendall lived with his parents at 46 High Street and Brownlee lived at 40a High Street, North Berwick. In 1909, Arthur Kendall laid out the course at
Shreveport Country Club, Louisiana. In October that year they were joined at Fort Smith by Donald Mackay a club maker from North Berwick.
Arthur 'Al' Kendall return to Scotland in 1912 to marry Helen Smith and they set up home at 82, Waldron Road, Fort Smith. Kendall became an
American citizen at the US District Court in Fort Smith on 6th December 1912. The following year Helen returned to Scotland with their
new born daughter Margaret and in March 1914 mother and daughter sailed back to America in style on the RMS Lusitania.
Arthur's father had a plumber's business with a shop in Quality Street, North Berwick. His older brother James fought in the Boer War and
along with Walter Gilholm they were given a heroes welcome on their safe return to North Berwick in August 1902. The two gallant troopers of
the Scottish Horse were greeted at the railway station by a huge crowd and the pipe band headed a procession through the streets.
Another former Bass Rock G.C member was Fred McLeod who was pro at Midlothian C.C in Illinois. He wintered at San Antonio C.C in Texas and
played in exhibition matches. In 1907, McLeod invited the 'new kid' in town, Leslie Brownlee to make up a fourball match in Dallas. Fred had
not seen Brownlee or Kendall for over five years. Al Kendall was also affiliated to Hotel Goldman and remained at Fort Smith for several
seasons. In 1921 Al Kendall was appointed professional at Wichita Falls Golf and Country Club and his family resided at 1627 Britain Street,
Wichita Falls, Texas. His wife Helen was a Registered Nurse at Wichita Falls Clinic Hospital. They separated and Helen married James Hannay
and they continued to reside in Wichita Falls. Kendal moved to Denison Country Club, TX before joining the US Army and reached the rank of
Captain, 314th Battalion, Quarter Master Corps. He died 11th April 1927 and is buried in Fairview Cemetery, Denison, Texas. Helen died in
Wichita Falls in 1950 and was also buried in Fairview Cemetery, Denison.
"APAWAMIS SIGNS THOMSON"
Philadelphia Star to be New Golf
New York Times, January 20th 1922 (James R
DAN KENNY (1882-1967) Park and Country
Club at Buffalo, New York, USA
Daniel F. Kenny, born 11th March 1882 at Canty
Bay, North Berwick son Daniel Kenny boatman at Canty Bay and his wife Marion McPherson. Dan Kenny was a self employed general labourer and
at the age of 18 he was granted a licensed as a golf professional on the West Links, North Berwick on 10th February 1896. He lived with his
parents at 8, Quality Street and was described as 5 feet 9 inches tall with a dark complexion, black hair, blue eyes and a tattoo 'D K' on
his right arm. At the turn of the century the 19 year old Kenny enlisted in the British Army and was stationed at Milton Barracks, Gravesend.
The following year Kenny sailed with the 2nd Battalion to South Africa and in 1903 the regiment retuned to Milton Barracks.
In 1905, Kenny was appointed greenkeeper and professional at the hillside course of Kirkcudbright G.C with a wage of 20 shillings per week
after being recommended for the position by Ben Sayers. He resided at 15 Union Street, Kirkcudbright and on 18th October he was dismissed
by the club, no reason was minuted. The following year he was appointed to the newly formed Stranraer G.C. He entered the 1906 Open at
Muirfield and finished 24th in a field which included Braid, Taylor and Vardon.
In 1907, Kenny emigrated to the USA, sailing from Glasgow on the S.S. Caledonia he arrived in New York on 19th March. His contact in America
was Bill Stewart from the Park and Country Club at Buffalo in New York State where Dan was appointed golf pro. Kenny played in the Canadian
Open that year and in 1909 he was pro at the Meadow Club which used the public park in Buffalo. Kenny won the Canadian Open in 1910 at
Lambton Golf and Country Club, Toronto with a winning score of 303. George S Lyon was second on 307 and Perry Barrett was third with 309.
Dan Kenny was appointed professional at Hamilton Golf Club (1911-15) and resided at 173 Glen Grove, York South in the Township of Toronto. In
1911 he was joined in Toronto by Alex Robertson from North Berwick described as a golf green contractor. Kenny played in five Canadian
Open's and defended his title at Royal Ottawa in 1911. That year Dan Kenny and twenty-four other professionals attended a meeting in the
Royal Ottawa Golf Club to form the Professional Golf Association of Canada. In 1912, Kenny moved to Lake Rousseau (Monteith House) in the
Muskoka Lakes district, north of Toronto, where he was the first professional.
He played in the US Open in 1912, (which he lead after the first round), again in 1914 and 1915, when he entered from Hamilton Golf and
Country Club, Ltd., Ontario. In 1915 Kenny was appointed pro at Olean Country Club, New York State (1915-21). At the 1915 US Open Dan was
reunited with his North Berwick class mate Fred McLeod and the field also included Ben Sayers and his son George Sayers.
In 1919 and 1920 Dan Kenny wintered at Baton Rouge Country Club in Louisiana. The State Times reported that Daniel Kenny and Scotty Robson
who laid out the course in 1916 were playing Baton Rouge and that Daniel Kenny would be giving golf lessons at the club until March.
In 1921 he played in the Canadian Open and the North and South tournament at Pinehurst. That year Dan won the tournament of the Western New
York Professional Golfers Association at Rochester. The Times Herald reported on Kenny's long drives which amazed the gallery the previous
week at Delaware Park Meadow and compared them to the great long driver Bob MacDonald. Kenny and MacDonald from Dornoch were clubmakers at
North Berwick before they emigrated in 1907. Dan invited the association to hold its next competition at Olean Country Club and it was
reported that he had raised a purse of $1,000 to be distributed among the winners. In 1921, Dan played in the first championship of the
Western New York Professional Golfers Association played over the Orchard Park and Country Club. Kenny finished runner-up behind the
winner Jack Gordon professional at the Country Club of Buffalo. In 1922, Kenny was based at Sylvania Golf Club PA and from there he
qualified for the USPGA championship at Oakmont.
Kenny played in the first Monterey Peninsula golf championship,
newly opened Pebble Beach Links in 1926.
In 1923, Dan Kenny was based at Willowbrook Golf Club, Tyler in Texas where they organised a match between Dan Kenny and Tom Lally, pro at
San Antonio Country Club for a stake of $ 1,000 dollars. The club pooled together sufficient cash resources to fill the purse and
fortunately Kenny won the dual in the sun. That year he also lifted the side bets by playing 216 holes of golf in the one day at the
Glenbrooke Country Club with the local pro. In 1924 Kenny was pro at the seaside course at Galveston and in 1928 he returned to Scotland
permanently and was living with his wife Francis and daughter at 37, Millburn Street, Kirkcudbright. Kenny died 3rd March 1967 ages 84 years.
Daniel Kenny Photo
WILLIAM KEPPIE (1905-1978) Rungsted
Golfklub, Copenhagen, DEN
William 'Billy' Tait Keppie, born 16th February 1905 in North Berwick, the son of John
Keppie, railway porter and his wife Ina Manson. Billy had two brothers, Roderick and John and the family lived at 85 High Street. Roderick
served an apprenticeship as a club maker with Ben Sayers and John Keppie was a licensed golf professional at North Berwick in 1920 when the
family lived at 98 High Street.
Billy Keppie was a caddie on the West Links before moving to Denmark in 1924, aged 19 years. He worked as a golf instructor on the newly
established golf training centres in Denmark, travelling from place to place giving lessons in the Jutland area. He also played in
competitions with fellow Scot James Ross, pro at Copenhagen G.C.
In the summer months Keppie worked at the nine-hole course on Fano Island which he extended to eighteen holes in 1930. Fano Golf Links is
the oldest course in Denmark, and the only links course in the country. A photo of Fano golf course in 1901 is featured in the British Golf
Museum. Billy Keppie was also affiliated to Odense Golfklub (birthplace of author and poet Hans Christian Andersen). It was at Odense on the
Island of Funen where Billy met his wife Edel Esbensen and they had two daughters.
In the late 1930s he was appointed golf pro at Rungsted Golfklub, an area of exclusive homes built along the shore, 24km north of Copenhagen.
The Danish Queen Alexandrine was a member of that club and Billy had to be available to play with her and her lady-in-waiting. In the winter
months he worked in a large department store in Copenhagen demonstrating the latest golf equipment and giving lessons. During WW2, as
resistance to the German occupation intensified it was not safe to be British in Denmark and Billy went into hiding. The local resistance
movement sent him to a hospital in Copenhagen where one of the consultant doctors was hiding a number people among his patients.
Keppie was also given a false identity card with the name Borge Knudsen. Billy became a Danish citizen in 1944 and learned to
speak the language fluently. He remained at Rungsted Golfklub until 1948 and then managed the sports department in Magasin du Nord,
Copenhagen. He retired to Horsholm near Rungsted where he died in 1978. His remarkable story is featured in an exhibition in the Danmark
Golf Museum at Vejle which includes his old golf clubs and photographs.
Billy's brother John Keppie attended the Public School and in 1909 he appeared before the headmaster for annoying a girl, and as he was over
13 years he was given 5 stripes with the birch. On 14th September 1923, John Keppie sailed for the Philippines on S.S. Caledonia where he was
appointed golf instructor at Manila Golf Club, Caloocan City. On 9th October 1931 he moved to Morocco and was appointed golf pro and groundsman
at the Royal Country Golf Club, Tangier.
RODERICK M. KEPPIE
Roderick Manson Keppie born 13th August 1894, 75 High Street, North Berwick. He attended the North Berwick Public School before serving an
apprenticeship as a golf club maker. During World War One on 6th August 1914 he enlisted in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. He was
wounded at Ypres and invalided home. On his return he was transferred to the Black Watch and served in Mesopotamia where he contracted
malaria. He died of his wounds and malaria in Auxiliary Hospital in Liverpool. He was buried in North Berwick Cemetery and the bearer
party and firing party lead the mourners to the cemetery where three volleys were fired over the grave and a bugler sounded 'The Last
Post' Unusually his mother was buried in the same regimental grave.
JAMES H. KERR Gezira Sporting Club, Cairo,
James Hepburn Kerr, born 1895 in East Linton, son of James C. Kerr, stonemason and his wife
Jemima Hepburn. James moved with his parents to 3 Eastfield, Gullane where his brother John G Kerr was born in 1906. On leaving school, James
and John cycled from Gullane to North Berwick everyday to serve their apprenticeship as clubmakers with James Watt at 1 Station Hill. John G.
Kerr was a member of Dirleton Castle Golf Club, won the Patron's Medal in 1925 and played in the Open Championship at Carnoustie in 1937.
Their father James C. Kerr was also a member of Dirleton Castle winning the Watson Cup (1906) and Wotherspoon Medal (1907). The highlight of
his golfing career was being selected to represent Dirleton Castle in the Wemyss County Club, a four-man team event which they won three
consecutive years, 1906, 1907 and 1908. The Wemyss County Cup is recognised as the oldest foursome tournament in the world.
James H. Kerr was appointed pro at Gezira Sporting Club in Cairo (1919-1949) and became a renowned teacher of the game. His contact in Egypt
was his cousin James L. Hastie, a native of Dunbar who apprenticed as a club maker with Tommy Currie and Robert Auld from North Berwick (listed
above). Hastie played left-handed and was a member of Dunbar Castle Golf Club. He was pro at Dunbar in 1901 before joining the Khedive Sporting
Club in Cairo (1902-1925). Later the name was altered to Gezira Sporting Club which included Cairo Golf Club.
The young Hastie was described as a prodigy of Sir Francis Reginald Wingate governor-general of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan who retired to Dunbar
and was a keen golfer. It was Wingate who encouraged Hastie to take up the position in Egypt. In 1906 Hastie returned home to visit his family
and entered the Open Championship at Muirfield. In 1925 John G Kerr joined his brother in Egypt and was appointed assistant-pro at Gezira,
where he won the Egyptian Open Championship in 1926. The Kerr brothers played golf with the Prince Of Wales during his visit in 1928 and taught
King Fuad of Egypt to play the game.
The Gezira Sporting Club was as famous as Royal Bombay or Oahu Golf Club in Hawaii and was located on Government property on Gezira Island in
the River Nile near downtown Cairo. The Sporting Club had two golf courses in the shadow of the pyramids, a racetrack, polo fields, tennis
courts and a football pitch. The course was laid out with sand greens and the golfer had to wear flat-soled shoes. During James H Kerr 30 years
with the club he converted the greens to grass and introduced irrigation.
In the 1930s, Cairo became the central hub for Imperial Airways as a stop-over for British tourists flying to Nairobi, Johannesburg, Delhi and
Singapore. The Sunderland flying boats created a spectacular and graceful sight as they landed on the Nile. The visitors stayed in the worlds
most exclusive hotels in Cairo and partied in the most fashionable night clubs and casinos. In April 1932 the first commercial flights from London
to South Africa commenced and during the two day stop-over in Cairo the high flyers would play golf and other sports in facilities created to
feel like 'Little England'.
James L. Hastie died in Egypt in 1930, aged 48 years. In 1932. John G Kerr moved to Germany and was appointed pro at Hamburger Golf-Club
and that year he won the German Close Golf Championship. In 1934 he returned to Britain and was appointed pro at Blackburn Golf Club where he remained
In 1934, James H. Kerr was joined by another James Watt apprentice from North Berwick, James Wynne (listed below) who was his assistant until
1945. Jock Kerr and Jimmy Wynne made their own clubs. The heads were sent out from William Gibson & Co., Kinghorn, Fife, and they made
up the woods in their workshop at Gezira. The two remained in Cairo throughout WW2 and during that period they welcomed many people to play at
Gezira including Douglas Bader and Welsh golfer Dai Rees who was a driver with the British Army based in Cairo. He would chauffeur the officers
around and on his afternoon's off he would play golf with Jock and Jimmy, which Rees fondly recalled in his autobiography.
In 1952, John G. Kerr was pro at Rhyl Golf Club where he remained until his retirement in 1955. James H Kerr returned to Scotland in 1949, when
John Jacobs took over as pro at Gezira. James and his family settled in Gullane and for a short period in the 1950s he was giving lesson,
organised from Ben Sayers shop beside the first tee at North Berwick. James died in Edinburgh in 1960. For many years their parents lived at
2 Maul Terrace, Gullane and are buried in Dirleton Cemetery. Clubs stamped with a five point star and J. Hastie Cairo (Egypt) are very
rare and highly collectable.
BENJAMIN KERR Purley Downs Golf
Club. Surrey UK
Ben Kerr born 1898, Marchmont House, 16 Kirkports, North Berwick
son of Charles Kerr, a mason's labourer and his wife Emily Kerr. The family moved to Dunbar in 1905. During WW1 Ben Kerr enlisted in the Kings
Own Scottish Borderers and saw active service in France.
In 1926 Ben emigrated to Canada, sailing from Greenock to St John's New Brunswick. He was appointed professional at Riverview Country Club,
(now Galt Country Club) in Ontario. The following year he moved to Cataraqui Golf and Country Club in Kingston and then to Oxford Golf and
Country Club, Woodstock, Ontario. In 1932 he won the Nova Scotia Professional Golf Championship at Ken-wo Golf Club and that year he was
appointed to Yarmouth Links Golf and Country Club. He moved to Ridgewood Golf Club, St Johns and then to Riverside Golf Club in New Brunswick
where he was runner-up in the Maritime Provence's Open Championship. In 1962 he was invited by Glengarry Golf and Country Club, Ontario to
oversee the construction of their new course and give lessons.
JAMES KINNELL (1876-1918) Purley Downs Golf
Club. Surrey UK
James Kinnell was born at 7 Scoonieburn Cottage, Leven, Fife in
1876, son of James Kinnell, a joiner to trade and his wife Janet. He served an apprenticeship as a clubmaker at Leven and was a licensed golf
professional at North Berwick in 1894. In 1901 he followed Richard Kelly from North Berwick as pro at Royal Norwich and in the three years
he was with the Club his finishes in the Open Championship were 7th equal, 6th equal and 15th equal. He was appointed pro at Purley Downs
Golf Club in Surrey (1904-1915). Kinnell was selected seven times to represent Scotland against England. The first International match for
professionals was played in 1903 when Kinnell beat Ted Ray 2&1 and in the afternoon foursomes with his partner Jack White they beat Tom Vardon
and Ted Ray. Along with his brother David Kinnell, the pro at Leven Links (1898-1902), they established the clubmaking business J & D. Kinnell
at Prestwick where James and David where attached to the St Nicholas course. A Club in Pennsylvania offered James Kinnell a large sum of money
to be their Club pro but he declined the offer and instead he joined the British Army. James enlisted with The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent
Regiment) and was killed in action in Flanders on 22 April 1918, aged 42 years.
CHARLES D. LAWRIE (1923-1976) Captain, Walker Cup
Team, 1961 and 1963
Charles Dundas Lawrie, born 8th February 1923, Rothesay Terrace, Edinburgh,
son of Alfred Lawrie, stockbroker and his wife Jean Cook. Charlie and his parents moved to North Berwick where they lived at Quarry Court on
Abbotsford Road, opposite the sixth tee on the West Links. Charlie Lawrie learned to play golf on the children's course at North Berwick and won the
Elco Medal in 1937 for children under the age of fifteen. He became a member of North Berwick New Golf Club and the Honourable Company of Edinburgh
Golfers at Muirfield. His regular caddie was Alec Watt the nephew of James Watt, clubmaker at 1 Station Hill, North Berwick.
Designed the Duke's course at Woburn in 1976.
Charlie Lawrie was captain of the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Team in 1961 and 1963 when the team included Michael Bonallack, Joe Carr,
Guy Wolstenholme, Ronnie Shade and David Blair also a North Berwick member. Lawrie was captain of the British Team for the Eisenhower Trophy in
1960 and 1962. He was also a member of the British Amateur Selection Committee from 1959 and Chairman of the Championship Committee of
the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, 1971-72.
Lawrie trained as a golf course architect and was a partner in the firm of Cotton & Pennick, who were commissioned to design the Duke's
(1976), Duchess (1979) and Marquess (1999) courses at Woburn. The company also laid out the courses at Vilamoura (Portugal) and Noordwijk
(Holland). Lawrie was responsible for the work carried out at Winter Hill G.C., Hankley Common G.C, Keerbergen G.C (Belgium) and Southwick
Park G.C. He died in hospital in Edinburgh in 1976 aged 53 years, and his permanent residence was at Plas Gwyn Pentraeth, Anglesey.
PETER W. LEES (1868-1923) Long Island, New
Peter Whitecross Lees born 2nd November 1868 at West Fenton near
Gullane, son of Thomas Lees a farm worker and his wife Elizabeth Whitecross. Peter apprenticed as a greenkeeper on Archerfield Golf Course
and was a member of Dirleton Castle Golf Club wining the Captain's Prize in 1892 in the Wotherspoon Medal competition. In 1899 he was
appointed head greenkeeper at the newly opened Braid Hills Golf Club. The first public golf course in Edinburgh, laid out by Peter McEwan
and Bob Ferguson. In 1892 Peter moved to Mortonhall Golf Club and was living at 6, Belhaven Terrace, Edinburgh. In 1894 he was appointed the
first head greenkeeper to the Royal Burgess Golfing Society at Barnton where he laid out the new course designed by Tom Morris and Willie
In 1900 Peter Lees played an exhibition match with Ben Sayers at the Lothian Golf Club which became Turnhouse Golf Club in 1905. Sayers
was in good form wining the match by 11 and 10. At Barnton Peter was paid two guineas per week and had a staff of four. He remained with
the Edinburgh club for nine years and left in 1903 when he was persuaded to join Mid-Surrey Golf Club in Richmond.
The pro at Mid-Surrey was former Open Champion J.H.Taylor and when Peter Lees arrived at the club they introduced several grass bunkers
to break up the flat appearance of the course. This was so successful that the grass bunkers were enlarged to create the 'humps and
hollows' which looked so natural. Lees supervised over a hundred labourers, employed through the night using flare lights while they
moved the soil. This was the making of Peter Lees's reputation and they came from courses all over the country to see how the work was
carried out. Henry Leach the golf writer and editor of Golf Illustrated coined the term Alpinization or mound building invented by
Peter Lees and J. H. Taylor.
In 1906, Lees wrote a chapter in the book 'Golf Greens and Green Keeping' entitled 'Treatment Of An Inland Green on Medium Soil'. The
book edited by Horace G. Hutchinson included a series of articles written by among others James Braid and Harold Hilton. The book continues
to be used by golf course superintendents and has become a collectors item.
In 1907, Peter Lees assisted James Braid to layout the nine hole course at Verulam Golf Club, St Albans, Hertfordshire where Samuel Ryder
was Club Captain. In 1912, the Duke of Saxe Coburg invited Lees to layout the Oberhof Golf Course in the Thuringen Forest, Germany and to
advise them on seeding and planting turf. In 1914, Peter emigrated to America on the instigation of course architect Charles B. Macdonald
who was laying out a new course at Lido on Long Island. He employed Lees to oversee the seeding and the early development of the course.
The following year Peter returned to Britain to escort his wife Isabella Peacock, (originally from Dirleton), and their four daughters to
their new home at Lynbrook on Long Island.
Early in the career of course architect Alister MacKenzie, he won a competition organised by Country Life magazine in 1914 to design an
ideal two-shot hole. Charles Blair Macdonald agreed to use the design on the 18th hole on the Lido course and Lees laid it out to MacKenzie's
At the same time Lees worked on the course for Suffolk County Country Club, East Islip, Long Island. The Lido course completed in 1916 was
such a complex project being built on swamp land, that its success ushered in a new era in course construction and enhanced Lees standing
even further. He wrote articles in Golf Illustrated and The American Golfer, and wrote the book 'Care Of The Green' published in 1918. The
Lido continued to be listed among the great golf courses in America long after it closed in 1942. The course survived for 28 years before
the Military commandeered the land during WW2 which was later sold piece by piece. Nothing remains of Lees engineering marvel at Lido.
Peter Lees supervised the extension of the course at Jamaica Country Club on Long Island to eighteen holes during the winter of 1918. At
that time the club was looking forward to the return of their pro Jimmy Lindsay after his service with the Canadian Forces in WW1. Lindsay
(below) and Lees grew up in Gullane. In 1916 he was contracted by course architect A.W. Tillinghast to carry out the work at the Hermitage
Country Club in Richmond which was completed in 1917. Two years later Peter Lees was involved in the layout at St Albans Country Club (LI)
where Babe Ruth was a member. The US Military commandeered the golf course during WW2 and constructed a Naval Hospital on the land.
Peter laid out the course at Hermitage Country Club (Hilliard Road), Richmond VA in 1917. He revised courses at Green Meadow, NY (1917),
Ives Hill CC at Watertown, NY, Garden City, Somerset Hills, Belleclair NY, Glen Ridge, NJ, Mountain Ridge, NJ, Suffolk Country Club LI and
extended the nine-hole course at The Homestead, Hot Springs, VA in 1919. He laid out four putting greens at Apawamis Club in 1920 and
in 1923 he completed the Hempstead course near his home on Long Island. Peter Lees was better known as a constructer of courses for such
architects as Charles B. Macdonald, Albert Tillinghast (Quaker Ridge,NY) and surveyor Seth Rayner.
It was while he was visiting the Asheville course in Buncombe, North Carolina that he suddenly collapsed and died on 11th May 1923, aged 54
years. Peter W. Lees is buried in Rockville Cemetery in Lynbrook, Long Island, NY. Golf Illustrated wrote in 1923 ' Peter Lees was
recognised as one of the greatest experts on green building in the country'.
JIMMY LINDSAY Oak Park Country Club,
James Lindsay born 27th November 1885 at West Barns, Dunbar, East Lothian, son of Joseph Lindsay a railway signalman at Drem Station
and his wife Pauline Richardson. Jimmy moved with his parents to 6, Hopetoun Terrace, Gullane where he apprenticed as a plumber. In
1913, he emigrated to America where his contact was James and Maggie Craig at 2857 N 28th Street, Philadelphia. Lindsay was appointed
the first pro at the nine-hole course at Oneonta Country Club, Rye (NY) while boarding at 41 Locast Avenue. He was also an
outstanding groundsman and assisted the former British and American Amateur champion Walter J. Travis to layout the course for
Westchester Country Club (West Course), Rye, (NY).
In November 1914, Jimmy Lindsay's contract with the Oneonta Country Club was renewed for the following season and he was able to return
to Scotland for the winter months to visit his parents living at The Cairn, Aberlady, East Lothian. The following year they moved to
Broxmouth Estate, West Barns, Dunbar. In February 1915 he returned from Glasgow, sailing on the S.S.Cameronia he arrived in New York on
2nd March. According to the ship's manifest, his contact in America was Thomas Lyons, Tuxedo Park Golf Club. Lindsay was accompanied on
the voyage by Adam Gullen a clubmaker from Dunbar in Scotland.
Jimmy was appointed pro at Keokuk Country Club, Iowa and in 1914 he moved to Audubon Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky. He returned
to Scotland during the winter of 1914 and sailed back to America arriving in March 1915 on the ill-fated RMS Lusitania which was torpedoed by a
German U-boat and sunk off Ireland on 7th May 1915. As a teenager Jimmy was a member of the 7th Royal Scots Volunteer Corps the local
regiment in East Lothian. During World War One he continued to resided at the Jamaica Country Club and was described as a Mason &
Woodworker. Jimmy enlisted in the Royal Engineers on 12th November 1917 in Westchester, New York.
He joined his regiment in France on 28th September 1918 and was demobbed at Putzchen, Germany on 12 May 1919. His British War Medal and
Victory Medal (inscribed '342108 SPR J. LINDSAY R.E.') were later sent to his address at the time, 222 Pleasant Street, Oak Park, Illinois.
Following the Great War Jimmy returned to Scotland in 1920 and sailed back to New York on the S.S.Aqitania arriving in February 1921.
He shared the journey to New York with fellow professionals Willie Park and Willie Kidd.
Jimmy returned to his post as pro at the Jamaica Country Club on Long Island. In March 1920, Lindsay moved with his wife Jean Lorimmer
and son Joseph to Illinois where he was appointed golf instructor at Oak Park Country Club of Addison. Jean Lorimer's father was George
Lorimer, a relatively well known club maker in St Andrews who worked for Tom Morris, Auchterlonies and on his own. In 1921, he carried
out several alterations to the Oak Park course, including the laying out of a new seventh green and raising the back of the twelfth green
which became one of the featured holes on the course. Lindsay also constructed a new putting green. In 1921 he was joined by Tom Dickson
from North Berwick as his assistant and the following year Tom's brother Alex Dickson joined them. In 1923 Dave Cairns arrived from
Dunbar and was later appointed head pro at the neighbouring Brookwood Golf Club in Oak Park in the western suburbs of Chicago. Lindsay
remained at Oak Park Country Club until 1928 and returned to Scotland permanently in July 1931. He was a licensed professional at St
Andrews and resided with his family at 108 North Street. Jimmy Lindsay died 20th February 1950 aged 64 years.
Adam Gullen born 1885, 50 Dawell Brae, Dunbar son of Adam Gullen Sr. a fisherman and his wife Alison Nisbet. Adam Gullen Jr.
apprenticed as a clubmaker with Robert Auld the professional at Dunbar Golf Club and he moved with his parents to Woodbush House,
Dunbar. The documentation on Adam's arrival in New York, stated his final destination was Oneonta Country Club. According to the PGA
Gullen was appointed professional to the National Golf Links of America, Southampton, Long Island NY. Adam Gullen was probably
recommended for the position of head professional by Peter W. Lees from East Lothian who carried out the landscape work to C.B.
Macdonald's design at the National Golf Links. It was reported that Adam Gullen died suddenly on 24th April 1915 at Southampton, (NY).
JAMES LITSTER La Crosse Golf Club, Wisconsin,
James Litster born 17th September 1871 in the village of Gullane, son of Alexander
Litster, a gardener and his wife Alison Cunningham. The family lived in Mayday cottage situated beyond the present professionals shop. Jack was
a greenkeeper on the West Links at North Berwick and assisted head greenkeeper Tom Anderson (Montclair NJ) to layout the extended course in 1895.
The Green Committee gave Anderson £5 and Litster £1 in recognition of the way the work was carried out. A month later Litster's wages were
increased to 25/- per week.
Jack and his brothers Charlie and Alex were members of Dirleton Castle Golf Club and Jack and Charlie represented the club in the four-man Wemyss
County Cup team in 1894. Alex Litster was the beaten finalist in the first two Haldane Cup competitions and was appointed head greenkeeper at Gullane
Jack Litster emigrated to America in 1895 and was described as a golf teacher at the Cotton States International Exposition in Piedmont Park,
Peachtree, Atlanta. The following year he was appointed head greenkeeper at Philadelphia Cricket Club (1896-1899) In 1899 Jack was invited to
return to Atlanta to be greenkeeper at the newly established Piedmont Golf Club. The seven-hole course laid out by James Litster was described
as being of a somewhat temporary nature on land owned by Piedmont Driving Club opened in October 1899.
Jack was listed in the 1900 US census as living with his Irish wife Mary in house No. 51 on the land of the Piedmont Driving Club (line 30
to 32). In 1901 Jack was offered a position as head greenkeeper at Overbrook Golf Club at Wynnewood PA (1901-04). He then moved to La Crosse
Golf Club, WI and resided at 917, Tyler Street for the next thirty years. During the years 1909-1910 the Exposition grounds were purchased by
the City of Atlanta and converted into the present Piedmont Park. The Peachtree Golf Club was laid out in 1947 on the land of Piedmont and
Ashford Park's in the Brookhaven district of Atlanta.
Within months of his arrival in America Jack Litster joined the largest gathering of North Berwick former caddies at an Open Tournament at Lakewood,
New Jersey in December 1897. The event was played over the nine-hole course at Ocean County Hunt and Country Club which became Lakewood Country Club
in 1900. Val Fitzjohn, also a Gullane lad won the professional tournament while Jack Litster finished fourth equal and shared the $150 prize money.
The field included Robert M. Thomson, Harry Gullane, Willie Anderson, Jamie Campbell, Tom Harley, Ed Fitzjohn and Harry Reddie. This was the first
time they had been together for two years and the Hogmanay party at the Lakewood Hotel in 1898 would have been a very Scottish affair.
The tournament also included John Shippen (Shinnecock) the first black African American golfer. In those days racism was a very significant issue
within all levels of American sporting events and golf was no exception. Despite Shippen's talent for the game, many American golf clubs continued
to refused him access, but he played regularly with the Scottish golfers.
When Jack was at Philadelphia Cricket Club he regularly played Bernard Nicholls, pro at Philadelphia Country Club in a home and home exhibition match.
In 1901, Litster played in the Hollywood Open Tournament in New Jersey and partnered Jamie Campbell from North Berwick in the fourball competition.
During the last nine-holes of the round they equaled the course record 38 strokes and shared the $50 third prize money. Jack qualified for the final
round of the main event which was won by Willie Smith. Also playing from North Berwick were George Thomson, Jack Hobens and Willie Dunn. Litster
laid out the course at Ridley Park Golf Club in Philadelphia.
In 1909, Litster travelled north to play in the Western Open at Skokie Golf Club, Illinois. The day before the tournament started a team led by Willie
Anderson defeated Fred McLeod's team for prize money put up by the host club. Willie Anderson won the Western Open title that year for the fourth
time. In 1910, Jack Litster was appointed head pro at La Crosse Country Club, Wisconsin and at the age of 65 years Litster was still teaching golf
at La Crosse, and living in Tyler Street with his wife Mary Dunn.
GEORGE LIVINGSTONE (1880-1968)
Belle Meade Country Club, Nashville, USA
George Alexander Wylie
Livingstone, born 14th December 1880 at 4 Market Place in North Berwick, son of James Livingstone, line fisherman and his wife Mary Taylor from
Buckhaven. On leaving school George served an apprenticeship as a joiner and at the age of 18 years he joined the Bass Rock Golf Club, winning
the scratch medal in 1907 and 1909. In 1902 he enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was posted to South Africa for two years.
On his return he joined the Rhodes Golf Club playing over the Glen Course at North Berwick and was the first winner of the Haldane Cup in 1907.
George married Catherine Clarkson and they lived in her hometown of Douglas in Lanarkshire where their daughters Grace, Mary and Isabella were born.
They moved to Clifford Road, North Berwick in 1910 where Jane Livingstone was born but she died three months later and is buried in the cemetery in
George emigrated to America to follow his trade as a joiner. He sailed from Glasgow to New York on 9th March 1912, and stayed with his brother-in-law
Andrew Clarkson at Driftwood Drive, Mamaroneck, New York State. Livingstone moved to Englewood Golf Club where Jack Hobens from North
Berwick was the pro. Hobens was in the same class as Livingstone at North Berwick Public School and in 1912 they had not met for over thirteen years.
In those days all the golf professionals in the New York area went to the city each Monday to buy their week's supplies. According to Livingstone,
every Monday he went into the city with Jack Hobens and they often gathered at Spalding's golf equipment store in the morning, and then socialised
and shot pool in the afternoon.
On Monday 6th May while Livingstone was at Spalding's, the store manager Matt Kiern, received a telegram from their salesman in the South saying
that the professional at Nashville Golf and Country Club, Sam Aiken had died suddenly and the club was looking for a new pro. Kiern immediately
wired Nashville, recommending Livingstone for the job.
Bradley Walker the secretary at Nashville Golf and Country Club contacted his friend Grantland Rice, a young sports writer on the New York
Evening Mail to ask if he would check out George Livingstone at Englewood Golf Club and report back. Subsequently, Bradley Walker recommended
to the members that they should hire the young Scot and Livingstone was offered the job on 25th May. George arrived at Nashville Golf and
Country Club three days later and devoted the next thirty-five years to the club.
In 1914, Livingstone, returned to North Berwick to escort his wife and three daughters to their new home on Highland Avenue,
Nashville where their son James Taylor Livingstone was born in 1916. Due to the uncertainty and hardship of WW1 most families
in Scotland were struggling to make ends meet and in January 1915 George's father James Livingstone wrote to the North Berwick
Town Council to appeal against his Assessment (tax) on the grounds of poverty. It was reduced to 16/3d and with George
Livingstone now in employment in America he was able to send home money to his family.
In 1915, Nashville Country Club acquired new ground on the Belle Meade Stud Farm and Livingstone supervised the construction of the course. The
club was renamed Belle Meade Country Club and the following year Livingstone and his amateur partner Chick Evans beat Bobby Jones and Perry Adair
in a benefit match for the Red Cross, played over the Belle Meade course. In 1920, Livingstone defeated Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in an exhibition
match at Belle Meade. Vardon and Ray said they both liked the Belle Meade course at Nashville. " I don't like the Bermuda greens," said Ray, " but
this course was very good and I will say it had the best Bermuda greens we saw."
Livingstone was a respected figure in Nashville and laid out a number of courses including Shelby (1924), Old Hickory (1926) and Warner Park (1937).
In 1920, he was joined by his younger brother Henry Livingstone (1889-1978) who was appointed pro at Inglewood G.C, Nashville (1924-28) and then
head pro at Clarksville Golf Club. Their father, James Livingstone continued to reside at 15 Forth Street, North Berwick.
In September 1922 at the Southern Open Championship played at Belle Meade, Livingstone was joined in the tournament by four North Berwick
lads, Bob MacDonald (Chicago), Jimmy Gullane (Colorado) George Thomson (Philadelphia) and Dan Kenny (Buffalo). It must have been an enjoyable meeting.
In 1926, George entered the Southeastern Professional Championship played over Belle Meade and according to Golf Illustrated, George caused a great
furor when he smashed Bobby Jones's world record of 134 for thirty-six holes, in the first round of the championship. He had two rounds of 67 and 66,
which established a new competitive course record. Bobby Jones's record of 134 was made in the Open at Sunningdale. Harry Hampton, (from Montrose),
the Memphis pro played steadier over the 72 holes and won the event.
In 1926 the Livingstone Brothers joined the National
Association of Greenkeepers in
Looking back over his career, George Livingstone, pointed to the British Amateur Championship at Muirfield in 1909 as a highlight. He was drawn
against the tournament favourite, Capt Guy Campbell in the first round and on the morning of the match he remembers cycling the three-and-a-half
miles from North Berwick to Muirfield with eight clubs slung over his shoulder, accompanied by his brother Henry who was his caddie for the day.
George said 'I one-putted seven greens that day and beat Capt. Campbell, 5 and 3. It was a thrill I would never forget, and I didn't brood much
over being eliminated myself in the quarter-finals, 1 up'. That year the Amateur Championship was won by another North Berwick amateur Robert Maxwell.
George was elected District Vice President of the National Association of Green Keepers of America 1931. He was a teetotaler all his life, was
professional at Belle Meade for 35 years and was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame on February 20, 1970. The George Livingstone trophy
(1954) continues to be played for at Belle Meade Country Club. George Livingstone who spoke like a Tennesseean native died December 1968 in Nashville
and members of the Livingstone family continue to reside in Houston, Texas.
JAMES LIVINGSTONE (1883-1978)
Ingleside, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
James Livingstone born 22nd
November 1883, attended North Berwick Public school and was awarded his first-class caddie badge No.25 on 20th September 1896 at the age of
12 years. Jimmy was in the same class as Ben Sayers Jnr. and they played most of their early golf together. Ben followed his father into the
famous golf club manufacturing company in North Berwick.
Jimmy brother of George Livingstone listed above, played in the Open Championship in 1901. He was a member of Bass Rock Golf Club, winning the Summer
Scratch Medal in 1911. Jimmy was also a member of the Rhodes Golf Club and like his brother he won the predigious Haldane Cup in 1919 on the Glen Golf
Course. Jimmy was a journeyman stonemason and lived with his family at 16 Melbourne Place, North Berwick. Following service in the Royal Engineers
during WW1, he was elected to the Rhodes Golf Club committee and in 1921, he emigrated to the USA, aged 37 years. He was accompanied on the journey
by Alan Brodie from North Berwick and they sailed from Glasgow on the steamer S.S. Algeria, arriving in New York on 19th December.
Jimmy 'Sandy' Livingstone arranged to stay with his boyhood friend David Ferguson, a pro in Greenville, South Carolina. Ferguson recommended
Livingstone to the Country Club in Anderson (SC) but after six months Livingstone moved on to the nine-hole course at Ingleside Country Club
at Avondale, Atlanta, Georgia. The membership was Jewish and Livingstone remained with the club for 23 years.
Jimmy's wife Marjory Winton and five children sailed to America in 1923, arriving in Portland, Maine before taking the long journey south to Georgia.
They lived in Austin Place in Atlanta and later the local authority in the Avondale district renamed the street 'Livingstone Place'
reflecting Jim's standing in the community.
By the 1930s the Ingleside Country Club had less than a 150 members and during WW2 with many in military service the revenues dropped and
the Club was liquidated. A number of the members moved to the Standard Club at Brookhaven GA where Jim's son Johnny Livingstone was
appointed the first golf professional, and where Fred Perry was the tennis pro. When Ingleside was sold to the American Legion Golf Club,
a nine hole course at LaGrange, part of the Avondale Estate, Jimmy Livingstone decided to stay and remained with the club for 25 years.
In 1968 the membership presented Jim and Marjory with tickets to sail to Great Britain on the liner Queen Elizabeth. This was the first time they had
returned to Scotland for many years. Jim died September 1978, aged 95 years and is buried in Decatur Cemetery. His sons James (b.1912) and
William (b.1909), both born in North Berwick, became golf pros at Forrest Hill Golf Club, a public course in Atlanta. In 1947 Johnny
Livingstone helped to develop the course at the Standard Club where he was head pro for 19 years.
The family in America erected a headstone over the grave of James and Mary Livingstone in the St Andrews Parish Church graveyard in Kirkports,
North Berwick. The inscription reads. James Livingstone born 1845, died June 1928 also his wife Mary Taylor Livingstone born 1846, died June 1941.
ALEXANDER LUMSDEN (1871-1895) Bristol and Clifton Golf
Alexander Lumsden born 17th August 1871, at 11 Shore Street, North Berwick
son of John Lumsden, a master slater and his wife Jane Corstorphine. Alex lived with his parents, three sisters and four brothers and was a Cab
Driver before being granted a license as a golf professional on the West Links on 12th May 1891. He was appointed the first pro at Bristol and
Clifton Golf Club (1891-95) and extended the course to eighteen holes. In 1893 he entered the Open Championship at Prestwick from North Berwick
and the following year he played in the Open Championship at St George's, Sandwich in Kent. Alex's younger brother James Lumsden was elected the
first Captain of the Rhodes Golf Club in 1906-10 and in turn James's son Lawrie Lumsden was Captain of Tantallon Golf Club, 1974-76. Alexander
Lumsden died in 1895 while pro at Clifton Golf Club.
ALEXANDER C. MARR (1874-1902) Wearside
Golf Club, UK
Alex Marr born 23rd July 1874, Prospect Cottage, Back Street,
North Berwick, son of Robert Marr, fisherman and his wife Isabella Thomson. In the 1880s the family lived at 6 Russell Square. Alex was
a joiner to trade and a licensed caddie and professional during the season. He was appointed pro at Wearside (1895-1901); then Frome G.C
Sumerset (1901-1902);before moving to Pallion Golf Club, Sunderland in 1902. Marr played in the 1899 (Sandwich) and 1901 (St Andrews) Open
Marr returned to North Berwick in 1902 and was working as a joiner when he was drowned in a tragic accident. Alex and two friends Ralf Carse, a
butler and James Ramsay, a coachman rowed out to a yacht anchored in the West Bay named 'Sweetheart' where they met up with Robert Thomson a
member of the yacht's crew. They remained on board until midnight when Marr and Thomson rowed the small boat back to the harbour. It was then
that one of the other men wanted to lend a hand at the oar and was changing seats with Marr when the boat capsized.
Thomson although exhausted, managed to swim back to the yacht but the others were drowned. The next day Captain Henderson, Lloyds Agent found
the upturned boat near the Leithies. Three weeks later, their bodies were washed up on the broadsands east of the Eil Burn but were
so unrecognisable they could only be identified by their clothing. The yacht, owned by Mr McWharrie from London who was on holiday in North
Berwick and did not give his permission to use the boat.
Alex had an older brother Robert (b.1861) who became golf professionals. In 1906 Robert Marr assisted Ben Sayers Snr. to layout a golf course
for the Spey Bay Golf Club part of the Richmond and Gordon Hotel in Fochabers, Banffshire. On Sayers recommendation Robert Marr became head
greenkeeper to look after the new course. During that period Robert Marr was the professional at Cowal Golf Club (1905-09). His cousin William
Marr (b.1869) son of James Marr, the Harbour Master was appointed professional at Ballater Golf Club in 1908.
CHARLES MARR (1892-1957) Spencer Golf and
Country Club, Iowa, USA
Charles Marr born 28th June 1892 in North Berwick, son
of Charles Marr Snr., a fisherman and his wife Margaret Thomson. Charles Jnr. and his brother Alfred apprenticed as club makers while living
with their parents in Heriot Place (Lower Quay) and later at 32, Quality Street, North Berwick. Their father was granted a license as a
harbour pilot by the Town Council and in October 1895 he was listed as a caddie on the West Links with badge number 85.
Charlie Marr emigrated to America, sailing from Glasgow on S.S Cameronia, he arrived at Ellis Island, 19th May 1912. Charlie was described as
5' 7' with fair hair and blue eyes, and was employed by Robert G. MacDonald as his assistant at Hyde Park Golf and Country Club, Cincinnati,
Ohio. MacDonald came from Dornoch and moved to North Berwick in 1908. In 1913, Charlie Marr moved with Bob MacDonald to Buffalo Country Club
in New York State and then to Indian Hill Country Club, Winnetka, Illinois. In August 1917, Marr enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary
Force but WW1 ended before he was called to arms. During this period Charlie was living in Ridge Avenue, Gross Point, Evanston IL where he
continued his clubmaking and looking after the pro shop while MacDonald entered the tournaments. In 1919 the New York Times listed Robert G.
MacDonald as the fourth best tour pro in the USA.
In 1921, Charlie Marr branched out on his own and was appointed head pro at Council Bluffs Country Club in Iowa. The following year he moved
to the nine-hole-course at Spencer Golf and Country Club, Iowa and in 1924, he was based at Mankato Golf Club (Municipal) Minnesota.
Charlie married Catherine Russell from Edinburgh and his family remained in Scotland until he returned permanently in 1929. They lived in
James Place, Leith where their son Charles was born and where Charlie Snr. died in 1957 aged 65 years. Alfie Marr gave up the clubmaking and
joined his father at the fishing. His son Fred Marr continued the family fishing tradition in North Berwick.
George Dalziel negotiated the lease for Kilspindie to layout a course
at Craigielaw in 1898 and was elected their first captain. He did the same at North Berwick (East) and was elected the first captain of Glen
ARNAUD MASSY Factfile
CATRIONA MATTHEW MBE Factfile
PETER MERRILEES (1890-1959) Manly Golf Club, Sydney, AUS.
Peter Gullane Merrilees born 2nd June 1890 at 6 Market Place, North
Berwick, son of William Merrilees, shoemaker and his wife Jane Gullane. Peter and his older brother Willie were caddies on the West Links, North
Berwick. The 'misdemeanour book' records that twelve year old Willie Merrilees was caught carrying clubs during school hours by the greenkeeper
who demanded to see his license. Merrilees said his mother burnt it. The following day the greenkeeper found him again carrying clubs and put
him off the links. Merrilees was suspended by the caddie master from the 16th-30th July 1892.
Peter emigrated to Australia, sailing from Liverpool to Darwin in 1909. He was employed in the club maker's workshop of Jack Donald golf pro at
Manly Golf Club. Merrilees was appointed golf pro at Drummoyne Golf Club, Sydney and when Jack Donald returned to England as pro at Western Super
Mare, Merrilees took over at Manly Golf Club. In 1910 he was employed by Goulburn Golf Club to supervise the course improvements and to give the
members instruction in the game. Merrilees played in the Australian Professional Championship, when only sixteen pros entered the competition,
including F. Popplewell, C. Clark and D. Soutar. On several occasions Peter was listed among the field in the Royal Sydney Cup at Rose Bay. He
represented New South Wales in many Interstate competitions and in 1923 set a new course record 64 at Moore Park which included a hole-in-one at
Left: Peter Merrilees 1925 Copyright © The Leon Old Golf Collection
In 1924, he entered the New South Wales 'Sun' newspaper £500 Golf Tournament. It was often written that Merrilees spent most
of his time making clubs and teaching and if he had the opportunity for practice, he played very well.
Professionals normally played off scratch, but in Australia as they played most of their games against amateurs, they were given a handicap by the
NSW Golf Association. In 1939, Peter Merrilees played off a handicap of minus-six.
Recently a 1920s birch wood putter stamped Merrilees, Sydney, MDE Scotland was offered on Ebay. In an interview in an Australian magazine Peter
Merrilees listed Willie Watt and his brother David Watt from Dirleton, (below) as the finest golfers of his generation in Scotland.
In 1925 Merrilees laid out a nine-hole course at Bundanoon NSW situated between Exeter and Bundanoon, north of the Sydney/Melbourne railway line,
at the north-eastern end of Erith Street. The course measured 3255 yards and opened for play in September 1925. The property was sold in 1950 when
the course closed.
Merrilees was pro at Lismore Workers Golf Club, NSW and in 1932 he played in a tournament at Manly Golf Club to celebrate the opening of the Sydney
Harbour Bridge. His partner that day was Duncan Denholm from North Berwick, a pro in Sydney, who was two years younger and they both attended the
Public School in North Berwick. Peter played in many exhibition matches partnering the teenager J. H. Kirkwood whose parents came from Inverness,
Scotland. In 1920 Joe Kirkwood won the Australian and New Zealand Open Championships and was known as a golf trick-shot-artist. Peter Merrilees
would eventually be his Manager and organise Kirkwood's trips round the world.
Peter played in the 1931 PGA Championship at New South Wales Golf Club, La Perouse and in 1933 he attended a meeting of the Catholic Club to give
the members advice on their proposed new course at Eastlakes. In 1939 Peter and his Australian wife Sarah visited North Carolina in America. At
this time he was affiliated to the municipal course at Woollahra Golf Club in Sydney and was one of the few pros in Australia to have a range of
golf clubs stamped with their own name. The department store of A.G. Robertson Ltd. in Keen Street, Lismore held the exclusive agency for P.G.
Merrilees clubs and regularily advertised in the Sydney Morning Hearld. In 1936 he was living in Herbert Street, Warringah, Manly and was employed
as a salesman. He later moved to an apartment he called 'Craigleith' (named after an island off North Berwick) at 8 St Neots Avenue, Potts Point
in Sydney and today Peter Merrilees is listed among the earliest golf professionals in Australia.
Peter left Australia in August 1939 and joined his brother Andrew G. Merrilees in America. Peter sailed from Sydney to San Pedro, Los Angeles before
taking the railroad to North Carolina where his brother was a golf pro.
ANDREW MERRILEES (1892-1951) High Point, North Carolina, USA
Andrew Gullane Merrilees served a five year apprenticeship as a club-maker with Ben Sayers & Son Ltd, North Berwick. His school friend Jack Forrester
(above) emigrated to America in 1920 and was head pro at Hollywood Golf Club, New Jersey. Andrew followed and arrived in New York on 1st December
1925. On Jack Forrester's recommendation Andy was appointed pro at Linville Golf and Country Club in High Point, North Carolina. The eighteen-hole
course was designed by Donald Ross and laid out the previous year.
In 1927, A.G. Spalding supplied the Kro-Flite Sweetspot clubs with hickory shaft and mild steel head stamped with Andrew Merrilees's autograph.
The clubs were popular with the members at Linville and are highly collectable today. In 1930, Andy moved to Emerywood Country Club in High Point,
and was described as having the finest Caledonian accent or burrrr in North Carolina. For many years Andy held the course record 33+33=66 and
assisted in organizing the Carolinas Open Championship played at Emerywood each year. The neighbouring club Willow Creek merged with Emerywood
and adopted the name High Point Country Club.
Peter Merrilees joined his brother at Emerywood in 1939 and that year he became an American Citizen at Greensboro Courthouse, NC. Peter secured
employment in California as head pro at Santa Rosa Golf & Country Club where he remained until his retirement. Andy Merrilees lived with his wife and
daughter at 309 Otteray Drive in High Point and he died 24 February 1951 in Durham County, North Carolina. Peter Merrilees followed his brother to
the grave on 22 December 1959 in Sonoma County, California. The Eseeola Lodge at Linville remains from that early period.
ROBERT MILLAR (1898-1968) Kalamazoo,
Robert Millar, born 12th June 1898 at 3 Forth Street Lane, North Berwick,
son of John B. Millar fisherman and his wife Jessie Rosie from Wick. Robert lived with his parents at 10 Victoria Road and was a member of
Bass Rock Golf Club before he emigrated to the USA at the age of 23 years. He sailed from Liverpool on the S.S. Albania and arrived in New
York on 26th March 1922. According to the ship's manifest, Millar intended to stay for one year and remained in America for the rest of his
life. His initial contact in the USA was his aunt Barbara Rosie who was a domestic servant to Otto C. Butz a German lawyer living at 627
Sheridan Road, Winnetka, Illinois. In 1920s she moved to the district of Highland Park on the shore of Lake Michigan to be closer to her
cousin Frank Rosie and his family.
Like many soldiers who fought in WW1, Bob Millar suffered from nightmares as a result of his experiences in the trenches of northern France.
Millar turned to alcohol to ease the pain and was saved by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1924, Millar was appointed golf instructor at the
newly opened nine-hole Gateway Municipal course in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The following year he became the first pro and greenkeeper at
Milham Park Municipal Golf Course in Kalamazoo. Bob Millar extended the course to 18 holes in 1936.
Frank Rosie, a painter and handyman resided with his family at Burton Avenue, Highland Park, Lake Michigan, Illinois. His son George Millar
Rosie born in 1923 was a talented golfer and amateur softball player in the North Shore area of Chicago. George came to Kalamazoo in 1945 to
be assistant pro to his cousin Bob Millar at Milham Park Golf Club. George later operated the Red Arrow golf course until about 1952. George
eventually gave up his professional status to play in local tournaments and was employment as a supervisor at the Kalamazoo Vegitable
Parchment Paper Co.
In the days of racial segregation the Milham Park course was for 'White's Only' but Bob Millar was 'colour-blind' and allowed Jesse Owens
the famous black Olympic athlete to play the course. Owens speed gained him a place at Ohio University, but there was no scholarship for
black students, no matter how fast they were. Owens was made captain of the track and field team but had to live off campus, shower
separately and eat away form his white team-mates. But in 1935 the world took notice at the 'Big Ten Championship' at the University of
Michigan he set three world records and equaled a fourth, all in the space of forty-five minutes.
That summer he represented his country at the Olympic Games in Berlin when Owens won the 100 meters, set a new world record for the long
jump, won the 200 meters and 400 meters reply. He returned to the States to a ticker-tape parade through the streets of New York city and
a reception at the Waldorf Astoria in his honour but when Jessie and his wife entered the hotel they were told not to use the front door
because of the colour of their skin. Four times Olympic gold medalist.
Following an exhibition match at Milham Park between Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, the four-times US Open Champion wrote to Millar
congratulating him on the condition of the course which he compared favourably with many of the top private courses in America.
Robert Millar married Christina Aikman from North Berwick and in February 1951 after they returned from spending the winter at their home
in Florida, the club presented Robert with a suitably inscribed watch to celebrate 25 years as professional and manager at Milham Park. The
club also give him a two year extension to his contract. Robert Millar died January 1968 in Kalamazoo, and the members continue to play for
the Bob Millar Trophy now in its 34th year.
Robert's uncle was a golf pro at North Berwick and his grandfather also called Robert, was one of the first to be employed as a caddie on the
West Links in the days of the gutta-percha ball. Robert Snr. was originally a fisherman and witnessed the dramatic increase in the popularity
of golf as a holiday sport at North Berwick and the opportunity it presented to incease his earnings from caddying. In 1893 he was granted a
license as a golf professional at North Berwick and Rev. John Kerr wrote about Millar in his Golf Book of East Lothian ' Were his wonderous
scores authenticated, he might be set down as the record holder of the green. Bob Millar taught Robert Maxwell's sisters Annie and Isabel
Maxwell to play golf.' Millar was a popular character on the West Links and a good story teller! The Millar famliy lived at 53
Lochbridge Road, North Berwick. He often attended the Ratepayers Meeting held in the Oddfellows Hall in Forth Street. In October 1904 he
suggested an alternative scheme to the Town Council's proposals for the Glen Golf Club, which was greeted with much laughter and applause.
JAMES MILLIGAN (1883-1917)
Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania, USA
James Milligan born
7th April 1882, Oakendean Lodge, Melrose, Roxburgh, son of Lawrence 'James' Milligan, gardener and his wife Catherine Tullis. The Oakendean
Estate was owned by James Mitchell, a woollen manufacturer. In 1885, the family moved to Gullane and were living in the Old Manse in Sandy
Loan. James was employed as a joiner with J. & R. Hay, Salcoats Road, Gullane. He moved to Markinch in Fife before emigrating to the USA in
1911. Milligan sailed from Glasgow on the steamer S.S. California arriving in New York on 10th April. His contact in America was Edmund E.
Jones secretary of the Wyoming Valley Country Club (PA) where James Milligan was appointed pro after being recommended for the position by
Ben Sayers. Within a month he had set a new course record 72, and was living at 4, South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
In July, Milligan took the train north to New Jersey to play in the Metropolitan Open, after sending his entry form by 'Marconi'. The
championship was played at Englewood Golf Club, and the field included five other North Berwick golfers, Jack Hobens, Tom Anderson Jnr, Fred
McLeod and James R. Thomson. It was over twelve years since this group played together on the West Links. In 1912, Milligan finished third
in the inaugural Shawnee Country Club Open Championship, and the following year he played in the US Open at Brookline C.C.
He returned to Scotland in 1913, 1914 and 1915 to visit his mother living in the Main Street, Aberlady. In 1915, he returned to the USA on
the Lusitania, taking five days to complete the crossing. This article on James Milligan was published in the top selling magazine 'The
American Golfer' - January 1918.
"...Milligan came to America from North Berwick not ten years ago. He was professional at the Wyoming Valley Country Club, at Wilkes-Barre.
He was a powerful hitter but so quiet and unassuming that his name was little heard outside his club. He was a typical Scot, red-headed and
with the real burr on his tongue. For a few years he worked quietly at his bench in the club-shop or patiently instructing. Only on rare
occasions did he enter the tournaments.
Then came the war and soon after the news of the death of one of his three brothers, every one of whom had joined the colors. Then another gave his life
and after a while the third. Milligan thought of the mother, alone in Scotland, sorrowing bravely in the doing of her bit. He closed the
door of the club-shop and returned to Scotland, declaring that he must keep out of the trenches for the sake of the mother, who had only himself left.
But word came that he had enlisted in the Highland Light Infantry and shortly afterwards the news of his death at the front. Poor lad, the
last of the family! It was a brave game you played, far bigger than any! And now the men, with whom you played another game, are to know
gloriously you ended your last round......"
James Milligan was killed on 11th April 1917, at Arras, Pas de Calais, France. His name is engraved on the Gullane War Memorial, beside the
Auld Kirk graveyard.
FRED MCLEOD Factfile
ROBERT G. MACDONALD Evanston Country Club,
Robert George McDonald, born 24th February 1885 in the village of
Evelix, a mile west of Dornoch, son of William McDonald, gamekeeper and his wife Janet Fraser. Bob McDonald, a native Gaelic speaker had
four sisters and three brothers and on leaving school he was employed as a gardener. It was at this time the family name was spelt 'MacDonald'
In 1889 Robert MacDonald was employed by Aberdeen City Council as greenkeeper and professional on the Kings Links municipal golf course. He
returned to Dornoch in 1890. Bob enlisted in the army in 1900 and fought in the Boer War. In 1907 he moved to North Berwick and worked with
his brother-in-law Donald Mackay also a club maker with James Watt. Bob MacDonald, 5' 11' tall, was granted his professional license that
year on the West Links, North Berwick and gave his address as James Watt's worksop at 1 Station Hill. During the winter months of 1907-08 Bob MacDonald was pro at
Aix-les-Bains Golf Club, west of Lyon at the foothills of the French Alps, and was invited to play in a series of matches at Nice, Hyeres
and Costebelle. The field included J. H. Taylor, Harry Vardon, Ted Ray, Rowland Jones, James Braid and Arnaud Massy. In 1909-10 MacDonald
was appointed pro at Hyeres where he met his wife Jeanne 'Marie' Girald from Bragny, Verdun-sur-le-Doubs.
Bob and his wife emigrated to the USA, sailing from Glasgow on S.S. Furnessia they arrived in New York on 1st November 1910. Bob's contact in
America was Fred Low a club maker from Carnoustie who arrived in 1906. MacDonald was appointed professional at Hyde Park Country Club, Cincinnati,
Ohio. In 1912 he was joined by Charles Marr, a club maker from North Berwick who he employed as his assistant. In 1915 they moved to Buffalo
Country Club, New York State and then to Indian Hill Golf Club, Winnetka, Chicago, Illinois. In 1915 MacDonald tied with Gilbert Nicholls for the
Metropolitan Open at Fox Hills but was defeated in the play-off. During this period Charlie Marr lived in Ridge Avenue, Gross Point, Evanston IL.
where he continued his club making and looking after the pro shop while MacDonald entered the tournaments. In 1919 they moved to the new course
at Evanston and then to Bob O'Link Golf Club, Highland Park, Chicago before Charlie Marr set out on this own in 1921.
For many years MacDonald wintered at the Ormond Beach Golf Club in Florida and played in the West Coast Open at Belleair in 1912 along with
Tom Anderson and Fred McLeod from North Berwick. MacDonald was known to bring his bagpipes to the early tournaments and was one of the longest
hitters, using light clubs and a 131/2 ounce driver. He played in ten US Opens and was never out of the top thirty, his best finish was third
in 1915 at Baltusrol, NJ.
In 1916 Bob Macdonald was a founder member of the US PGA and later served as its President. In December 1918, Bob MacDonald and Jock
Hutchison opened Chicago's first indoor golf course in the Spalding building. By 1926 they had opened a golf school on the sixth floor
of the Leiter Building which occupied 20,000 square feet. The school had twelve practice nets, an 18-hole course with some of the holes
forty feet in length. Nearly all the holes were bunkered and the course had a regular score card and the par was 39. The facility attracted
over 200 golfers everyday throughout the winter months. By 1927 every city in the US had a indoor golf centre patterned on MacDonald's
school in Chicago.
In 1919 Bob MacDonald and his French wife Gerard (Maria) were residing at 643 Liberty Place Evanston IL and that year the New York Times listed
MacDonald as the fourth best tour pro in the USA, and described him as the big braw laddie who haggles the bagpipes more or less melodiously
after the conclusion of the round. In 1921, Bob MacDonald was one of the favourites to win the US Open at Columbia Country Club where Fred
McLeod was the pro, but he failed to qualify. A week later MacDonald won the Metropolitan Open at Siwanoy Country Club, Mount Vernon, New
Jersey. The field included George Sayers, James R. Thomson, Fred McLeod, Robert M Thomson and Jack Hobens.
In 1920, Bob MacDonald and amateur Chick Evans of Chicago defeated Ted Ray and Harry Vardon in a 36-hole exhibition match. Evans set a
new record for the local course by shooting below par on both rounds for total of 47. Bob MacDonald and his partner missed their train
and arrived in Kokomo, Indiana by airplane, a few minutes before match time.
In 1921, the American PGA selected a team of twelve pro's to compete in the British Open Championship. To cover the team's expenses a National
Subscription was launched. Bob MacDonald was selected but his club Bob O' Link Golf Club (Highland Park) IL refused him leave, which must have
been a disappointment at the height of his career.
In September 1920 Bob MacDonald and amateur Chuck Evans from Chicago defeated Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a 36-hole exhibition match at
Kokomo Golf Club. This was only the second defeat on the visitors American Tour. Evans set a new record for the Indiana course by shooting
below par on both rounds for a total of 67. Evans and MacDonald missed the train and arrived at Kokomo by airplane a few minutes before
MacDonald did not win many tournaments but a highlight was winning the Metropolitan Open which he won again in 1923. That year it was played
at Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit, New Jersey when MacDonald defeated Jim Barnes in an eighteen-hole play-off for the title. In 1921 he became
an American citizen and in 1922 he won the inaugural Texas Open at Brackenridge Park in San Antonio. The Texas Open is now recognized as the
tournament which helped to start the PGA Tour. MacDonald who is credited with inventing the modern stance, continued to play in tournaments
into his mid-fifties and was a popular figure in the Chicago area. Bob and his wife Maria returned to Scotland for the final time in 1962.
He suffered from poor health and died 26 May 1965.
Bill and Jack Macdonald
Bob's brother William MacDonald, a butcher to trade emigrated to America in December 1913 and was living with Jamie Duncan from Dornoch at 593
Walton Avenue, NY. Bill MacDonald was appointed golf instructor to Bonham Golf Club, Texas (1913-1917) then at Door County, Sturgeon Bay,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1919 Bill visited Scotland and returned to the USA in February 1920 with his 23 year old brother John Fraser
MacDonald, a green keeper at Dornoch. Jack MacDonald was appointed manager of Mahopac Golf Club, Putnam County, New York State, then in
1923 he joined the newly opened Jacksonville Country Club in Illinois. He worked at the 4G's indoor golf range in Chicago and at the
Stop-n-Sock'em range in Springfield, Illinois. In 1931 he was greenkeeper at Southmoor Country Club, Palos Park, Springfield, Illinois.
Bill MacDonald joined his brother-in-law Dan Mackay at Springfield Country Club OH before moving to Illini Country Club, Illinois. Their
other brother James MacDonald remained in Scotland and was clubmaster at Royal Dornoch Golf Club for 20 years. Bob MacDonald coached Horton
Smith, Babe Zaharias, Gene Sarazen, and wrote an instruction book called 'Golf' in 1927 which continues to be highly collectable. He was
married three times, had two sons and died 29th March 1960 in Miramar, Florida.
DONALD MACKAY Springfield Country Club,
Donald Mackay born 10th September 1879 in the village of Clashmore,
two miles from Dornoch, son of Donald Mackay Snr, a crofter (10 acres) and his wife Catherine Matheson. At the age of sixteen he was a lodger
with William MacDonald at Evelix two miles west of Dornoch where he was employed as a gamekeeper and golf club maker in the season. In 1899
he enlisted in the Lovat Scouts raised by Simon Fraser, 16th Lord Lovat on 26th January 1900. They saw action during the second Anglo-Boer
War (1899-1902) between the British Empire and the Boer settles in South Africa. The recruits were stalkers, ghilles and shepherds used to
scout out vital information on the Boers. On his return to Scotland in 1904 Dan married William MacDonald's daughter Jessie.
In October each year there was a Dornoch Caddies Golf Competition with prizes donated by Andrew Carnegie, the owner of the neighbouring
Skibo Castle. Over sixty caddies took part in the competition which was followed by the prize giving. This included good conduct and club
cleaning prizes for the year. 150 caddies then sat down to tea and cakes supplied by the donor.
Dan MacKay was employed as a club maker in Dornoch by Tommy Currie from Kilconquhar in Fife who was previously at Dunbar Golf Club before
taking over from Donald Ross at Dornoch in 1900. Tommy also employed his brother George Currie and Bob MacDonald as club makers and his clubs
stamped 'T D Currie, Maker, Dornoch' are very rare.
(Left) D.Mackay driver, circa 1900
Tommy lived with his wife Wilhelmina in Links Cottage situated 200 yards from the Clubhouse. In November 1921 they emigrated to America and
the following year he was appointed professional at the Donald Ross designed course at Inverness Country Club, Toledo, Ohio. That year he
played J.H. Taylor in an exhibition match at Inverness. In 1931 Currie was appointed to Knollwood Golf Club, Lake Forest, Illinois.
In July 1904, Dan MacKay moved with Jessie and their one year old son Robert to North Berwick and started a club making business at 1 Station
Hill. In August 1904, they were joined by Dan's brother-in-law from Dornoch, Robert G. MacDonald who would later emigrate to America and
have an outstanding golfing career. James Watt joined Dan Mackay in the club making business at 1 Station Hill, Watt apprenticed with Willie
Park & Son at 15 Beach Road, North Berwick.
Dan Mackay and Bob MacDonald applied to the West Links Green Committee for a professional license but withdrew their application. Dan Mackay
playing off scratch, joined the Rhodes Golf Club in North Berwick. On 12th November 1908 Jessie Mackay had a stillborn child who was buried
in the North Berwick cemetery. The family emigrated to the USA on 5th October 1909. On their arrival they resided with Arthur Kendall from
North Berwick, pro at Fort Smith Country Club, Arkansas. Within a few months Dan MacKay was appointed golf professional and clubmaker at
Tulsa Country Club in the neighbouring state of Oklahoma. They lived in the Black Dog Township where their son Donald was born in 1910.
Mackay was joined at Tulsa by Arthur Jackson a club maker from North Berwick who laid out a number of public courses in Oklahoma City. The
Tulsa course was situated close to the Indian Reservation and according to the club history the adjacent landlord was Clarissa Bell, an
Indian woman who shooed golfers retrieving errant shots from her back yard with a Winchester rifle.
While visiting his brother-in-law Bob MacDonald, the pro at Indian Hill in Chicago, Dan met H.V. Bretney the owner of a tannery in Springfield
who persuaded him to move to Ohio. In 1916 Dan and his family arrived at Springfield Country Club and in 1922 he was reunited with Donald Ross
from Dornoch who was hired to design a new 18-hole course at Springfield. Donald Ross was greenkeeper and pro at Dornoch from 1893-1899 when
Mackay was in the club makers workshop. Dan's wife Jessie assisted with organising the caddies at Springfield and was joined by her brother
William MacDonald. He was a fine golfer and played in several exhibition matches while acting as Caddie Master for Dan Mackay from 1920 to 1923.
In 1922, Bob Macdonald was the first winner of the Texas Open played in the public park at Brackenridge, San Antonio. In 1923, Bill MacDonald
and Steve Zappe played in the Ohio Open, which Zappe won. In 1924, Dan Mackay moved to Dayton Community (Municipal) Golf Club and that year he
hosted the US Amateur Public Links Championship. In 1935 Dan was self employed working from a premises at 4646 N.Main Street, Dayton while
residing on Knecht Drive. His son Robert MacKay (1905-1989) was also a golf professional at Hazard Country Club, Kentucky.
PHILIP MACKENZIE ROSS (1890-1974) Golf
Philip Mackenzie Ross, born 7th October 1890, at Polworth
Terrace Edinburgh, son of Alexander M. Ross and his wife Isabella Dickson. Philip's father was an outstanding golfer of his generation
and he started a successful catering business and owned shop premises on Princes Street and the Cafe Royal Hotel at 17, West Register
Street, Edinburgh. Philip became interested in the game while attending Loretto school he joined Royal Musselburgh. After six years
service in the Kings Own Scottish Borders during World War Two ending up with the British Mission in Siberia he returned to designing
courses. In 1923, playing off scratch he won the Challenge Trophy at Cruden Bay. The following year he entered the Amateur Championship
at St Andrews. In 1920 he was hired by Tom Simpson, considered to be one of the greatest golf architects between the two wars. By the
mid-Twenties, Ross was a full partner in the firm of Simpson & Ross. They worked throughout Europe developing courses in France, Spain,
Portugal and Belgium including Malaga (1925), Chantilly, and Morfontaine (1927).
In the late 1930s Philip Mackenzie Ross began working on his own and developed a fine reputation as a designer in Great Britain and the
Continent. One of the first courses he laid out was at Silverknowe in Edinburgh in 1938 although the full 18-hole course was not complete
until 1956. He designed the original nine-hole-course at Furnas on the Atlantic island of Sao Miguel in the Azores archipelago, an autonomous
region of Portugal. He also designed a short 9 hole course at Vidago in Northern Portugal. In 1945 he laid out the Estoril course in Lisbon,
and carried out work on Royal Antwerp, Royal Guernsey and the Hardelot course near Boulogne. During WW2 many courses in the UK were
commandeered by the military and ploughed over for food production. Following the conflict Mackenzie Ross carried out remodelling and
restoration work to reinstate many courses including Castletown, Isle Of Man (1945); Longniddry (1947); Pyle and Kenfig (Wales); North
Berwick (East) (1948); and the Ailsa Course at Turnberry (1949-51).
Frank Hole the managing director of British Transport Hotels who bought the Turnberry Hotel and golf course on behalf of British Rail was
responsible for employing McKenzie Ross and persuading the company to invest in the project. McKenzie Ross was assisted in the project by
Mr Chapman foreman with Suddon Seeds Ltd. The scale of the task they had undertaken at Turnberry is hard to imagine. The coastline was
relatively untouched but the central ground with the runway foundations four feet deep and topped with an eight-inch layer of concrete
which had to be removed. The excavated rubble was used to fill up the craters and as a base for the hills and mounds. Thirty thousand
cubic yards of topsoil were taken from surrounding fields and mixed with imported peat to make the beds for the new fairways and greens.
Scottish golf had not seen building works of this magnitude for a long time but in just two years the job was done. In 2006, Turnberry's
Ailsa course was voted No.1 in a list of the 'Greatest Golf Courses in Britain and Ireland' published by Golf World magazine. There is an
exhibition of the work carried out by Mackenzie Ross in the Turnberry clubhouse.
In 1949, Mackenzie Ross completed Southerness on the Solway Firth, his fee was £2,000 and the course is probably his most respected work.
His attention to detail was exemplified by his habit of making plasticine models of greens to show machine operators the shape and size and
contours he was looking for on each putting surface. He semi-retired to North Berwick in 1955 and resided at Kaimend, overlooking the famous
'Redan' hole on the West Links. In 1962 he designed La Coruna, in Spain and in 1968 completed the Maspalomas course in Gran Canaria. In
1972, Philip Mackenzie Ross was elected the first president of the British Association of Golf Course Architects. He died in North Berwick
Alexander Mackenzie Ross
Philip Mackenzie Ross's father Alexander Mackenzie Ross, better known as 'Sandy' Ross was born 18th November 1849 at 36 Wright's Houses,
Bruntsfield son of John Ross a venetian blind maker employing 4 men and his wife Christian Mackenzie. Wright's Houses was at the centre
of the golf club and ball making in Edinburgh adjacent to Bruntsfield links where young Sandy Ross learned to play golf.
Alex M. Ross started a catering business and became the Refreshment Contractor at the Edinburgh Exhibition of 1886 and followed that up
at Manchester, Brussels and Edinburgh in 1890. He also secured the catering contract at the London Naval Exhibition in 1891. Alex owned
several shop premises in Princes Street including the Cafe Royal and Royal Hotel. He also built Craigview on Cromwell Road, North
Berwick and owned St Helen's in Westend Place and Pointgarry Cottage which he sold to Tantallon Golf Club at the price he paid, as their
clubhouse in 1896. In 1900 Mackenzie Ross resided with his wife Elizabeth, son Phillip, daughter Isabel and five servants at 19, Coats
Crescent before moving to 14, Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh.
In 1897 he was captain of Luffness (New) and when a group of members broke away to form Kilspindie in 1898, Ross was invited along with
Ben Sayers to lay out their new course at Craigielaw. Ross won many amateur competitions including the Hope Challenge Medal (1893, 1900)
and the first Braid Hills Tournament (1889). At the Braids, over a 100 spectators followed Ross during the latter part of his round, also
watching was Old Tom Morris and Andrew Kirkaldy. His best finish in the Open Championship was 13th place at Musselburgh in 1889. He
resided at Rockville, 16 Westgate, North Berwick in 1899 and was captain of Tantallon Golf Club (1900-02). His portrait and golf
medals are now on display in the clubhouse of the Burgess Golfing Society at Barnton. In 1904, Ross built the impressive Hill House situated
on top of Gullane Hill with his initials carved in the stonework above the entrance door and panoramic views over Luffness, Kilspindie
and Gullane links. He died at Hill House in 1915 aged 65 years.
JAMES MACKIE (1899-1977) (Catherine Thomson)
James Mackie born 17 December 1899 at 10 Pitt Street,
Edinburgh, illegitimate son of Catherine Thomson and Colin Mackie, a joiner journeyman. They were married in 1915 and moved to 3 Harbour
Terrace, North Berwick. On leaving school Jim Mackie was a fisherman and a golf caddy on the West Links during the season. In August 1913
his uncle Alex Thomson, a golf caddy from North Berwick emigrated to Cleveland, Ohio and in 1923, he paid for Jim Mackie’s tickets to
join him in America.
Jim Mackie married Nancy Peterson and was joined in Cleveland by Alex's sisters Margaret and Janet. In 1929 Jim Mackie and the other family
members were all employed as machinists in the Awning Works in Cleveland. Catherine Mackie died in North Berwick in 1951 aged 80 years. Jim
became an American citizen in 1967 while residing at 6918, Lorain Road, Cleveland. Mackie died in the Lutheran Medical Centre on 23 April
1977 and is buried in Brooklyn Heights Cemetery, Cuyahoga, Ohio.
ALEXANDER M. McLAREN (1882-1955) Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Victoria, AUS.
Alexander Marshall McLaren and his twin brother John Marshall McLaren, born 12th February 1882 at 18a Vincent Street, Edinburgh,
sons of Alexander McLaren, a slater and his wife Margaret Marshall. The family moved to North Berwick when the twins were two years old and
they lived in Harmony Place where their sister Janet was born. Alex and John were both granted a first-class caddie badge on the West Links
in May 1896. Alex apprenticed as a clubmaker, and John was a joiner by trade. Alex joined the Territorial Army reserves and was three
years in the Royal Scots regiment.
Alex McLaren was a founder member of the PGA and in 1901 he was appointed pro at the nine-hole course at Hampstead Golf Club. In June 1903, Alex
played in the Open Championship at Prestwick and later that year he emigrated to Australia. On his arrival in Melbourne, McLaren began playing at
Sandringham and the captain of Royal Melbourne Golf Club, W.J.Carre Riddel gave McLaren a three weeks teaching engagement at the end of which
time he was to come to Sydney but he remained in Melbourne.
Jim Hutchison and Alex McLaren trained together in James Hutchison's club-makers
workshop at North Berwick and are recognised today as pioneers of golf in Australia.
During this period the Howden brothers, originally from North Berwick were members of Royal Melbourne and were both Australian Amateur Champions.
In September 1904, Alex McLaren played in the first Australian Open Championship at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney. The winner was
Michael Scott (Amateur), Jim Hutchison (above) from North Berwick finished fourth equal. The following day the Amateur Championship was
played when Jim Howden defeated Michael Scott in the final. The eight best professionals played in the first Australian Professional
Championship for money prizes and Alex McLaren was defeated in the final by Carnegie Clark from Carnoustie, pro at the Royal Sydney Club.
In December 1904 the New Plymouth (NZ) Exhibition Company arranged through Mr. Ward, Hon. Secretary of the local golf club for the visit of
a party of professionals. Hutchison, McLaren (RMGC) and Martin (Australian G.C) were joined in Auckland by Fred Hood (Musselburgh and
Auckland GC). They played over the Auckland course and then moved to New Plymouth where a substantial purse had been subscribed for the
matches over three days. On 31st December the results were - McLaren 75, Martin 81, Hood 83, Hutchison 84. The previous record for 18 holes
had been 84 and for nine holes 38. McLaren broke both, his best nine being 37. On 2nd January they played an exhibition fourball match in
which Martin and McLaren were pitted against Hutchison and Hood whom they beat 1 up on the 38th hole.
Access an image of a McLaren stamped clubhead and
business advert from April 1905.
In 1905 Alex assisted in the extension of the original Sandringham course at Royal Melbourne into the rugged heathland, opening up the sand
belt for the first time. That year Alex caddied for Miss M. Backhouse when she won the Ladies Championship of Australia on the Sandringham
During the Australian Amateur Championship an interstate match was also played between teams from Victoria and New South Wales. The matches
were played over the Royal Melbourne links, then the following year on the Royal Sydney course at Rose Bay. It was the practice for
the members of the host club to raise a purse of £50 for a 36 hole professional tournament. In 1905 Alex was joined in Australia by his
twin brother John, and the following year, playing off a handicap of plus two, they were among the fifteen professionals taking part. In 1907
Alex reached the final of the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Melbourne. He was defeated 4&3 by Dan Soutar (Carnoustie) who had five
three's in the first ten holes. Alex and John McLaren where the first brothers to compete in the Australian Professional Championship, both
finishing in the top ten in 1905, 1906, 1907.
Alex McLaren was runner-up to Dan Soutar in the final of the
Australian PGA in 1905.
Alex moved to Honolulu in the Territory of Hawaii on Friday 15th November 1907 and was the first pro at the nine-hole course at Oahu Country
Club and looked over the course with Frank Halstead. Alex McLaren played the nine-hole Moanalua course in 37 strokes and the Oahu Country
Club in 38 and suggested the courses were too easy and short. He was invited by Samuel Damon the landowner to look over the course at
Moanalua where Donald McIntyre was green keeper and give advice on the new bunkers.
Alex McLaren resigned in June 1909 and sailed east on the Aorangi. Alex 'Sandy' Bell a former club maker at North Berwick and pro at San Rafael,
California, took over at Oahu Country Club. Alex McLaren moved to California and was appointed pro at Annandale Golf Club, one of the
first 18-hole courses in Southern California, situated one mile from Pasadena, and eight miles from downtown Los Angeles.
The original 18-hole course at Annandale had sand greens and was one of the longest at 6,750 yards with two adjacent Polo fields. The club
was founded by Henry Huntington, the rail-road magnate and George Patton father of the famous American General. The mild climate attracted
many wealthy families to the area including the Gambles, Kellogg's and Weyerhaeuser's who were taught the game at Annandale by the twin
(Above: Alex McLaren - LA Times 1910)
During WW1 Alex was resident golf instructor at the Kort Hotel in Chicago and in September 1917 he crossed the Canadian border and travelled
to the Toronto Mobilization Centre where he enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force, 1st Depot Battalion C.O.R (Central Ontario
Regiment). Following WW1 he visited his parents in North Berwick and returned to America in January 1919. His contact in New York was John R
Taylor a pro from Carnoustie living at 209 East, 21st Street. Alex then moved south to a sporting goods outlet in Albuquerque, New Mexico
(1919-1923). At Christmas 1921 he was joined by his brother Jock McLaren who returned to the hotel at Castle Hot Springs in January.
Alex moved to Warren District Country Club, Bisbee, Arizona (1924-27). This was a copper mining town and the golf course was purpose
built by the Phelps Dodge Mining Company for their higher ranking employees. In 1928 Alex moved to Coos Country Club, Marshfield, Oregon and
later that year to Enid Country Club, Oklahoma.
JOHN M. McLAREN Englewood CC,Bergen NJ.USA
John Marshall McLaren was a caddie on the West Links, North Berwick and was
granted a 1st class caddie badge No.128 on 4th June 1896. He joined the professional ranks in 1904 and took over from his twin brother at
Hampstead Golf Club. That year Jack McLaren reached the final of the Tooting Bec Cup a 36 hole competition organised by the PGA and played
that year at West Middlesex Golf Club. The tournament was unique for that period in that some of the professionals were given handicaps.
Jack McLaren was playing off three and his gift of six strokes over the two rounds was enough to allow him to tie with James Braid on 147.
An 18-hole play-off followed, and McLaren still with his handicap of three was tied coming to the last but the pressure finally got to the
young pro. He topped his drive into the pit in front of the teeing area, and his ball disappeared forever. Braid drove the green and got
down in three to win the tournament. The PGA never repeated the experiment of allowing handicaps in a major tournament.
In 1905, Jack McLaren joined his brother in Australia and later that year he moved to New Zealand where he was appointed professional
to the nine-hole course at Otago Golf Club in Dunedin. In January 1906 Alex McLaren was runner-up in the New Years Day tournament and the
following year he won the Professional Championship of New Zealand by one stroke from David Hood who was employed by Alex McLaren as a
clubmaker in his workshop at the neighbouring Balmacewen Golf Club.
In August 1907, Jack McLaren left New Zealand for Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open Championship. It was reported in the Otago
Witness in December 1907, that Jack had accepted a three month engagement with Royal Melbourne. A writer on the Sydney Mail said
Alex McLaren played well in the Melbourne Professional match play competitions which confirmed his position as one of the best professionals
in Australia. Alex often suggested his twin brother Jack would be the better man had he the opportunity for practice.
In September 1907, Jack McLaren entered the first ever New Zealand Open played over the Waiohiki links at Napier Golf Club. McLaren was
the leading professional at the Open Championship and he received £25 prize money. David Hood from Musselburgh was runner-up,
finishing one stroke behind. In those days only the leading amateur players could win the Open Championship of New Zealand.
Jack McLaren coached the left handed Claude Felstead who won the Australian Open Championship in 1909. Earlier Felstead promised that if he
ever won a tournament he would not forget his tutor and true to his word Felstead presented Jack McLaren with a gold watch. Following Alex's
departure, Jack McLaren was appointed head pro at Royal Melbourne before returning to North Berwick in 1909.
Jack McLaren followed his brother to America, sailing from Glasgow on S S Columbia, he arrived in New York on 11th October 1910. 'Jock'
McLaren travelled to California and joined Alex as pro at Annandale Golf Club. Formerly Pasadena Country Club laid out on the Campbell-Johnston
Ranch. In November 1910, the Los Angeles Times reported that the golfers in Southern California where still talking about Alex McLaren's
wonderful round of golf when he set a new course record 68 on the par 74 Annandale course. Alex held the previous record of 70 made a few
months earlier. That year Alex's former pupil at Honolulu, Austin White was a finalist in both the Amateur Championship of the Pacific
Coast Golf Association and the prodigious Del Monte Tournament. In September 1911 Jack McLaren entered the Del Monte Professional Tournament
and met up with his former school-mate George Turnbull who he had not seen for over ten years.
McLaren Brothers, September 1906, Sandringham, Melbourne|
Copyright © The Leon Old Golf Collection
Jack McLaren was pro at Castle Hot Springs, the first spa resort in Arkansas where many of the wealthy American families had a private
residence including the Rockefellers, Vanderbilt's, Wrigley's and Kennedy's. Jack McLaren was the first golf instructor on the nine-hole
course at the Castle Hot Springs Hotel laid out in 1916. The following year Jack McLaren moved to Colorado where he was the resident pro
at Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, and that year he was appointed to Englewood CC, Bergen NJ. In 1919 McLaren was hired to laid out the
course at Hassayampa Country Club, Prescott, Arizona, which was opened for play in November that year. In 1921 Jack McLaren was based at
Grand Beach Country Club in Michigan and in 1925 he laid out the original nine-hole course at Fox Acres Country Club in the Red Feather
lakes area, Colorado. He also designed the 18-hole course at Bailey Springs, Florence, Alabama, opened in April 1927. Jock moved back to
Colorado in 1930 and was resident golf instructor at the Astor Hotel, 1960 Broadway, Denver. In 1930 the twins were joined in America by
their nephew John 'Jock' Marshall McLaren (below) from North Berwick, Scotland who was a golf pro in Wisconsin.
"Grand Old Man Of Oklahoma Golf"
JOCK McLAREN (1908-1994) Lawsonia Golf Club,
John 'Jock' Marshall McLaren born 11th November 1908, 13
Melbourne Place, North Berwick son of James McLaren, a slater to trade and his wife Margaret Gordon. Jock McLaren was the nephew of
Alex and Jack McLaren listed above. Jock McLaren was a caddy at North Berwick and Muirfield and on leaving school he served a five
year apprenticeship as a clubmaker with Ben Sayers & Son in their workshop next to the first tee on the West Links, North Berwick.
Jock McLaren learned to play the game over the Glen golf course at North Berwick. He was also a member of the Rhodes Golf Club wining
the Haldane Cup in 1929 and Maxwell Shield in 1930. That year Jock emigrated to America and arrived in New York on 8th April 1930.
He was appointed assistant to James Souter from North Berwick, who was head pro at Tuxedo Golf Club, New York. He was also assistant
to Robert Thomson from North Berwick, pro at Greenwich Country Club, Connecticut.
In the same class as McLaren at North Berwick Public School was Jimmy Thomson who emigrated with his parents to America in 1922.
Thomson joined what was to become the US. Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour and was recognised as the longest driver in
the game during the 1930s and 40s.
Jock McLaren was freelance for a while before being signed up as professional at Green Lake's Lawsonia course in 1937. McLaren
resided on a farm at Elo, Oshkosh and played part-time on the golf tour and spent most of his winters in Florida as golf i
nstructor at Ormond Beach Golf Club. Jock became a naturalised citizen of America at Indiana City, Illinois in September 1941.
In 1952 McLaren was appointed manager and professional at Waupaca Country Club, Wisconsin and two years later he was pro at Fox
Valley Golf Club, Kaukana. He then followed Harry Dettlaff as superintendant at Mary Jewell Park Golf Course, known later as
Oshkosh Municipal Golf Course. In 1957 he was elected President of the Wisconsin PGA representing the Northeastern District. He
then moved to the west coast and was pro and manager at the Barbara Worth Resort & Country Club, EL Centro, California. He took
a similar position at Mountain View Golf Club, Whitefield, New Hampshire.
In January 1958, Jock was signed up as manager of Lakeshore Municipal Golf Club, Oshkosh in Northeastern Wisconsin. For the first
time he was permitted to operated outside the park board jurisdiction as a separate municipal facility and was directly
responsible to the city manager. One of the first things McLaren did at Lakeshore was reverse the nines with the present back
nine then the front nine. He retired from Lakeshore in February 1974 and resided with his wife Eleanor Shea and their five children
at 7326 Banville Road, Oshkosh. John Marshall McLaren died 4th April 1994 at San Antonio, Texas.
More pro golfers have resided in the stair at 98 High Street than any
other. Ben Sayers (1895 and 1911); Billy and John Keppie (1924); Willie Anderson (1893); Arthur Fennell (1956) Fred McLeod (1893); and Willie Stuart
PATRICK W.R. McLEOD (1878-1956) Carholme Golf
Club, Lincoln, UK
Patrick William Robertson McLeod, born 2nd November
1878 in Edinburgh, son of Neil McLeod, Chelsea Pensioner and manager of the Temperance Cafe and his wife Marion Whigham. In 1880 Patrick's
parents moved to North Berwick where his younger brother Fred McLeod was born. As a teenager Patrick caddied on the West Links, North Berwick
and in 1893 he was granted a license as a professional. During this period the West Links was described as a golf academy with ten licensed
professionals, six available to give lessons and the remainder to play with the members and visitors.
In 1895, the course at North Berwick was extended and that year Patrick's father was in charge of the ginger beer stand beside the ninth
tee. Fred McLeod joined Bass Rock Golf Club in North Berwick and in 1903 he emigrated to America. Patrick followed his brother to the USA
in 1905, sailing from Glasgow on the SS Corinthian he arrived in Montreal, Canada on 20th November. Patrick was appointed pro at Lincoln
Memorial, a nine hole public course in Washington DC for 'coloured people'.
Fred McLeod won the US Open Championship at Myopia Hunt Club, Massachusetts in 1908. Patrick returned to Britain in 1909 and was appointed
a PGA registered professional at Carholme Golf Club, Lincoln. He married Annie Crookes in July 1914, and they had a son Neil Frederick
McLeod. The family lived at 8 Whitehall Grove, Lincoln.
In 1926 Fred McLeod returned to Britain to play in the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Anne's. During his visit he took part in an
international match at Wentworth between America and Great Britain, which was the fore runner to the Ryder Cup. Throughout Fred's visit
his contact was listed as Golf House, Carholme, Lincoln.
Patrick remained at Carholme for over 35 years and retired in 1944. Fred McLeod returned to Britain on the Queen Elizabeth in 1952 for
the final time to visit his brother in Lincoln and his friends in North Berwick. Patrick McLeod died in the County Hospital in June 1956,
aged 77 years.
JOHN C. MORTON (1881-1971) Freeport
Country Club, Illinois, USA
John Crawford Morton, born 7th September 1881
in North Berwick, son of George Morton, Railway Carrier and his wife Jessie Crawford. Jessie's family worked the Rhodes Quarry at North
Berwick. John 'Jack' Morton was a plumber to trade, and lived with his parents, two sisters and a brother at 47, Westgate, North Berwick.
In 1905, Jack was granted a license as a professional on the West Links and later that year he emigrated to America working in the Pittsburgh
area. In 1908 he returned to Scotland to visit his family and in March he sailed back to America on the S.S. Caledonia. Jack followed
Bob Bolton from North Berwick as golf pro at Rockford Country Club, Illinois.
In 1910 the 'Rock Island Argos' reported on the Western Golf Association Open Tournament at Beverly Country Club, Chicago when Jack Morton
defeated Robert Peebles of Dallas in the quarter-finals. Morton was beaten by Jim Barnes of Spokane in the semi-final by 1 hole. That year
Jack moved to the nine-hole course at the Country Club of Peoria, Illinois and in 1915 he assisted in extending the course to 18 holes. The
playing season was short from May until September.
Jack Morton qualified for the Western Open in 1912 and 1913 when the event was played at Memphis C.C where he met up with George Livingstone
(above). In the winter of 1910 and 1912 he visited North Berwick and in March 1912 he returned to America on the S.S. California, three weeks
before the Titanic disaster.
In 1916, Jack moved to Racine Country Club on the shores of Lake Michigan, south of Milwaukee in Wisconsin and that year he qualified for
the US Open at Minikahda Golf Club, Minnesota. The field included North Berwick men, Fred McLeod, Jim Ferguson, Bob MacDonald, Jimmy Wilson
and George Turnbull. In 1918, Jack was persuaded by Byron Trueblood to move to Freeport Country Club in northwest Illinois where he remained
for over eighteen years.
The Freeport Journal Standard regularily carried adverts for the Messing & Becker Sporting Goods company on E. Stephenson Street, Freeport
offering for sale Jack Morton's beginners selection of well balanced golf clubs including a Brassie, Mid-Iron, Mashie, and Putter with canvas
and leather trim priced at $6.85. In 1920 Jack was joined by his brother-in-law George Amos (Portobello) who was appointed a green keeper at
the Country Club.
In 1920, he qualified for the Western Open at Olympia Fields and entered the Illinois State Championship in 1923 and became a US Citizen on
3rd March 1924. Jack's regular caddie was George Schmeizie and for several years Jack held the Country Club course record of 32 strokes.
Jack laid out the course at Welty Golf Club in 1924, the first public course in Freeport. He also designed the Wolf Hollow
golf course for Lena Golf Club (1928) and the course at Mount Morris for the members of Sunset Golf Club (1937). Jack and Ann's daughters
Elizabeth and Doreen played golf and his son Bob Morton joined the professional ranks. Jack Morton died in May 1971 at Freeport, Stephenson
ROBERT MURRAY (1885-1944) Dresden Golf
Robert Murray born 19th June 1885, Beresford Cottage, 28 Forth
Street, North Berwick, son of Robert Murray, a tailor and his wife Elizabeth Bertram. At the age of 14 years 'Wee Bob' was a golf caddie
and lived with his parents at 13, Melbourne Place. In 1906, he was a licensed professional on the West Links, North Berwick and played
in the Open Championship at Muirfield. Bob Murray moved to Germany in 1907 and was appointed pro to Dresden Golf Club (1907-1914). He
married local girl Anna Thalheim in 1910, a former caddie girl at Dresden Golf Links which were situated at the Dresden-Reick horse
Bob gave lessons to the two sons of Major von Schimpff the club secretary, Mrs Kronheim the Jewish owner of a straw hat factory and the Rev.
Wurthgen minister of the Scottish Church in Dresden.
In 1910, he laid out the first nine-holes at the newly established Munich Golf Club together with Sir Ralph Paget, a diplomat in the British
Foreign Service. At this time there was only one 18 hole course in Germany at Baden Baden. Bob played in the Professional Golfers Tournament
in 1911 at Oberhof where he finished second. He also played in the famous Baden-Baden Open Championship in 1911 which Harry Vardon won.During
WW1 Bob Murray was interned at Ruhleben, a village eight miles west of Berlin in the Spandau district, which became a British civilian detention
Conditions at Ruhleben Camp in the early days were described as intolerable, but things improved with food parcels from home. His internment
was noted in the Scotsman newspaper on 22nd June 1915. The camp contained over 4,500 prisoners and among the inmates where a number of
English professional footballers. In May 1915 an England XI featuring Pentland, Wolstenholme, Brearley and Bloomer played a World XI
captained by Jock Cameron, a Scottish Internationalist. The match was watched by over 1,000 prisoners.
The POW's laid out a 12 hole golf course in the Ruhleben Camp and organised a professional golf tournament in 1915. The professionals
included R. Murray (Dresden); J. B. Holt (Hamburg); W. Jackson (Cologne); E. Warburton (Kiel); F. Richardson (Bremen); C. Culling
(Darmstadt); J. Brown (Assist. Berlin) and A. Andrews (Hannover). The competition was 36 holes medal play with four prizes donated by the
members of the Ruhleben Golf Club. During the final round Murray had a ten foot putt on the last green to win the tournament but missed and
finished tied for the led with J. B. Holt. The Camp magazine described the play-off over 12 holes as a 'ding-dong battle' which the little
Scotsman won by three strokes.
In November 1917 Murray spent time in the Schonungsbaracke (Convalescent Barracks) and later five weeks in the Lazarett (Military Hospital).
On his release Bob and Anna moved to Holland on 22nd March 1918 and then to Scotland where in April 1919 Bob was granted his professional
license at North Berwick. Anna Murray could not settle in the UK and the follow year they moved to Denmark where he was appointed pro at
Copenhagen Golf Club (1920-1928). In 1925 he won the Scandinavian Open playing faultless golf he lowered the course record and finished
sixteen stokes ahead of the runner-up. A Danish newspaper article described him as a quiet, honest and stable man although he did not play
as well as 'Turnbull' his predecessor, (Robert Turnbull from Musselburgh), Murray was a better teacher and took more care of his pupils
(without making bets with them). An iron club stamped with the name Robert Murray is on display in the Danish Golf Museum.
In December 1928 Murray and his wife returned to Germany and he was appointed to the newly opened Lubeck-Travenmunde Golf Club on the shores
of the Baltic Sea (1928 - 1939). In 1930 Bob Murray won the German Professional Golfers Championship, played on the North Sea island of
Norderney, a true links course. He was runner-up in this event in 1911, 3rd in 1928 and 4th in both 1931 and 1932. During the winter months
he gave lessons to the Gutermann family on their private golf course near Freiburg in the south of Germany.
In August 1939, shortly before war broke out the Murray's managed to leave Travemunde with the help of some club member's to cross the border
into Denmark and where he worked for a short period at Aalborg Golf Club. In 1940, he was arrested by German troops in Denmark and put into a
internment camp. Anna Murray's relatives in Dresden succeded in getting Robert released from prison, and it has been suggested that his
brother-in-law even asked Foreign Secretary of State von Ribbentrop to assist.
In November 1941 Murray was back in Dresden working as a golf pro on the course laid out in 1930 at Dresden-Bad Weisser Hirsch. Murray was
the last golf professional in Nazi Germany. The appalling conditions which prevailed in war-time Germany, coupled with the fact he refused
to become a German citizen, and therefore did not qualify for food rations, Robert Murray died of starvation in April 1944 in Dresden and
was buried in the Tolkewitzer cemetery. According to golf historian Christoph Meister, in 1946 Anna Murray had to sell off the 1930 German
Professional Championship Golf medal and she died in Dresden in 1947.
Robert Murray's brother George Murray (b.1899) served his apprenticeship as a clubmaker with Ben Sayers & Son. In 1923 he joined William
Keppie in Denmark and was appointed his assistant at Esbjerg Golf Club in the southern district of Denmark. The following year George moved
to Fano Golf Club (1923-27).
George was reinstated as an amateur and joined his younger brother Henry 'Rouzie' Murray (b.1902) as a member of the Glen, Bass Rock and Rhodes
Golf Clubs in North Berwick. Rouzie Murray was Captain of the Glen Golf Club 1928-30 and is the only player to win the Bass Rock Golf Club
Summer Scratch Medal three years in a row from 1922. George and Rouzie are the only brothers to represent the Rhodes Golf Club in a wining
East Lothian County Cup team in 1929.
Rouzie Murray also worked for Ben Sayers & Son and he made wooden club heads in a ramshackle timber building in Forth Street, opposite Ben
Sayers factory. While the iron heads were forged in the factory, Rouzie crafted the persimmon blocks in his workshop this was before the
days of health and safety regulations. The fumes from the petrol driven machine filled the air and Henry who was usually covered from
head to foot in saw dust must have appreciated the fresh air on the Links.
WILLIAM NICHOLS (1882-1972) Muskogee
Country Club, Oklahoma, USA
William 'Bill' Nichols Jnr, born 26th April 1882
in Springwell Place, Edinburgh, son of William Nichols, coachman and his wife Christina McGregor. Willie had two sisters Mary Anne (b.1880)
and Catherine (b.1884) who attended Dalry Normal Episcopalian School. His father was appointed coachman to George Dalziel and the family
moved to Dalrymple Villa, 9 West Bay Road, North Berwick in 1884. George Dalziel was a solicitor and practiced law at 66 Queens Street,
Edinburgh. At that time he owned nineteen properties in North Berwick, and carried out the legal work for Sir Walter Hamilton-Dalrymple
owner of the North Berwick Estate. In 1902, Dalziel purchased Redholm in Greenheads Road, overlooking the Burgh golf course and the Nichols
family moved to the coachouse where they remained employed until 1920.
Bill Nichols was a member of Bass Rock Golf Club at North Berwick and in 1898 he moved to Edinburgh. Bill worked as a legal clerk with George
Dalziel who also provided accommodation in his property at 1 Rothesay Mews. In 1902 Bill Nichols was a founder member of Corstorphine Golf
Club and won their scratch medal in 1902, 1903 and 1905.
Bill Nichols was just under 5 feet 11 inches tall, with fair hair, and blue eyes. At the age of 26 years he sailed to America from Glasgow
on the SS Caledonia and arrived in New York on May 24th 1908, listing his occupation as 'Clerk'. In October 1908 he left the amateur ranks
and accepted an engagement with the Town and Country Club of Muskogee as their first professional. He was recommended for the position by
Leslie Brownlee from North Berwick. Brownlee was pro at Lakeview Country Club, the forerunner to Oklahoma City Golf Club. Brownlee laid out the original nine-hole course at Muskogee with
sand greens and in June 1908 Bill Nichols had the course open for play. Six months earlier Oklahoma had joined with Indian Territories
to form the 46th State of America.
In 1908, Bill Nichols laid out the original nine-hole course at Tulsa Golf and Country Club, also with sand greens. The first Oklahoma
Open Championship was played in 1910 at Tulsa Country Club. The two players in contention were Leslie Brownlee of Lakeview Country Club
in Oklahoma City and Bill Nichols pro at Muskogee Town and Country Club. By the second nine holes Nichols had an eight stoke advantage
and Brownlee retired.
Bill Nichols won the first two Oklahoma Open Championships in 1910 and 1911. In 1912 Indiana born Chester Paul Nelson snatched the
championship played at Tulsa Country Club. A year later Nelson won the State Championship again, this time at Oklahoma City and
Country Club. This was the first to be contested over eighteen holes, nine-holes of the old Lakeview and nine from the new course
which resulted in a three way tie which Nelson won after a playoff. The two rivals stood at two wins apiece.
In 1914 the fifth Oklahoma Open was held at Oak Hill Country Club in Bartlesville when Bill Nichols regained his title with a
three-stroke victory. By then Nichols was pro at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas. The decisive match took place on June 17, 1916 at
Muskogee Town and Country Club. Returning to his old club, Nichols captured his fourth and final Oklahoma Open with rounds of 71-70
and fifty dollars prize money.
By 1911, more ground was acquired and the Muskogee golf course was extended to 18 holes. Nichols also gave instruction to the lady
members of the Town and Country Club and arranged a ladies tournament with the weekly draw published in the Muskogee Daily Phoenx.
Nichols coached club member Harry G. Gwinnup winner of the State Amateur Championship three times. In 1912 and 1914 Nichols entered
the Western Open and in 1914 qualified for the US Open at Midlothian Country Club. In 1915, he moved to Lakewood Country Club in Dallas,
and then in 1916 to Dallas Country Club.
Ralph Guldahl was born in South Glasgow Drive, Dallas in November 1911 and won the US Open in 1937, 1938 and the Masters in 1939. He
was a caddy at Tenison Park and Lakewood golf courses where he learned to play golf. In 1928 he won the Dallas Junior Golf Championship,
and the following year he won the Texas High School Championship and Dallas City Championship.
Nichols retired from pro golf in 1917, was re-instated as an amateur and won the Oklahoma State
Championship in 1925 and 1927. He went into real estate and insurance business until his retirement in 1963. Nichols was president of
Muskogee Country Club and secretary there for many years.
Left: Bill Nichols giving instruction in 1914 Copyright © Muskogee Phoenix
He was a great supporter of the Muskogee Roughers, the high school football team and the 'Bill Nichols' award for Rougher team leader has
been given annually since 1947. The team got their name 'Roughers' because many of the players performed without helmets, due to lack of
funding, and for their rough play. Nichols was president of the Muskogee Quarterback Club for several years and in 1930 was appointed
President of the Oklahoma State Golf Association.
Bill's wife Margaret was from Texas and they lived with their two sons and a daughter at 411 North 12th Street, Muskogee City. Bill Nichols
died in February 1972 at Broadway Manor, Muskogee, aged 89 years. As a teenager in North Berwick his golfing highlight was being selected to
represent the Bass Rock Golf Club in the four-man team to play in the Wemyss County Cup, now the oldest foursome tournament in the world.
His regular partner in the Bass Rock competitions was Fred McLeod, US Open champion in 1908. Nichols was a founder member of Corstorphine
Golf Club in Edinburgh which became Ratho Park Golf Club. An interclub match between Bass Rock and Ratho continues to be played annually
for the Fred McLeod Trophy. A friendship between golf clubs started by Bill Nichols in 1902 and has now lasted over a century.
GEORGE G. NEILL
Tynemouth Golf Club UK
George Guthrie Neill born 21st January
1905 at 36, Forth Street, North Berwick, son of John Grant Neill a stone mason and his wife Frances Millar. George served a five year
apprenticeship as a greenkeeper on the West Links, North Berwick. At the age of eighteen he joined the artisan Bass Rock Golf Club, wining
the Aggregate Handicap Medal in 1924. He was appointed professional at Stirling (1930) and then Callander Golf Club (1935) before moving to
Windyhill Golf Club, Bearsden, a post he held for ten years. In 1948 George was Captain of the Glasgow and District P.G.A. In February 1949
he was offered the position of head professional at Tynemouth Golf Club where he remained until his retirement. His parents resided at 42,
Quality Street, North Berwick.
Gullane golf course in 1897 with the first tee off Saltcoats Road
Copyright © Life Association of Scotland|
ORR SISTERS (Edith 1876-1955, Theodora 1891-1914, Aimee 1872-1971)
Ladies' British Open Amateur Champion
Edith C. Orr won the
Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship at Gullane in 1897. She learned to play golf during her summer holidays at North Berwick when
the family occupied Winterfield Lodge overlooking the seventeenth fairway. Edith was taught by local professional David Grant, and it was
said her swing resembled Grant's style. The family lived at 21 Woodside Terrace, Glasgow and their father John Orr had a business
manufacturing cotton thread in their Wilson Street mill. During the summer months they moved to 18 Dirleton Avenue, North Berwick and
their father engaged Grant as his daughter's personal golf instructor. John Orr was very immobile without the aid of his horse and
believed in physical training for his daughters and selected golf as their chosen sport.
In 1897 the Ladies' Championship in it's fifth year came to Scotland for the first time and was played at Gullane. The course then
followed the present line of the number two course with the first tee off Saltcoats Road. Two of the Misses Orr sisters contested the final
with a third sister Aimee reaching the quarter finals. Grant caddied for Edith C. Orr throughout the competition which attracted criticism
from the LGU, and she was the ultimate winner defeating Theodora Orr 4 & 2. Unfortunately their father died in 1887 and did not share in
his daughter's achievements.
In July 1902 Edith and her sister Theodora Orr played a foursome match over the West Links, against Frances Griscom, US Women's Amateur
Champion in 1900 and Miss Rhonda Adair, the Irish Champion from Portrush. They were followed by a huge gallery of spectators and the
Orr sisters won the match 2&1. Throughout the summer Frances Griscom was being coached by Ben Sayers at North Berwick. This was the start
of a relationship between Merion Golf Club in Philadelphia where Frances was a member and the Sayers family which lasted until the 1960s.
In an article written in 1902, Frances Griscom, selected her top ten women golfers in the world and she included Edith C. Orr. Griscom
described Miss Orr as having the best example of a half-swing she had ever seen. She plays very much like Miss Hoyt. Although it is not a
pretty style, it is most effective. She plays her mid-iron and full mashie shots better than any woman I know. This is her forte and her
drives are also good but not wonderful. After her father died the family moved permanently to 18, Dirleton Avenue, North Berwick where
Edith died in 1955. Their brother R.W Orr, a second lieutenant in the London Irish Rifles was killed in France during WW1 in October 1915.
He was a fine golfer and a member of Prestwick St Nicholas and Tantallon Golf Club. Their younger brother was Major Norman Charles Orr,
born in 6th August 1883 in Winterfield Lodge, North Berwick. He joined the Seaforth Highlanders and was killed by tribesmen
near Landikotal, India on 8th April 1923 aged 39 years. He was gazetted to the regiment on 22nd October 1902 and was buried in Peshawar
Their brother John A Orr served in the Manchester Regiment in 1899 and transferred to the Cameron Highlanders in 1905. He was promoted to
the rank of Lieutenant in 1900. John served in the South African War and received the Queens Medal with 4 clasps and Kings Medal with 2
clasps. He was promoted to Captain in 1905 and qualified for Staff College. He was assistant Subaltern Officer at Southampton and on the
outbreak of World War One he left to join the Cameron Highlanders on September 26th 1914. He was killed-in-action at Langemarck, France
on 22nd October 1914 and his name is commemorated at Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
Their cousin Charles E. Orr (1867-1935) was a fine amateur golfer and was described as the Managing Director of the family business of
Cotton Spinner and Thread Manufacturer at Neilston Mills, in Renfrewshire. Living on independent means he emigrated to California in 1906,
and resided on Muirfield Road, Los Angeles. He joined Pasadena Golf Club and won the Amateur Championship of Southern California.
Gullane golf course in 1897 with the first tee off Saltcoats Road
Copyright © Life Association of Scotland|
GEORGE, ANDREW AND JAMES PEACOCK Knole Park Golf Club,
George Rodger Peacock born 13th November 1892 at 36 Horsemarket in Kelso,
son of John D Peacock, fishing rod maker and his wife Jane Lyall. The family moved to 56 High Street, North Berwick where George served an
apprenticeship as a greenkeeper in 1920 under the supervision of legendary head greenkeeper Alex Gow. Their brother James Lloyd Peacock born
1890 in Kelso, was a painter to trade in North Berwick. James Peacock emigrated to America sailing from Glasgow on the S.S. Cameron he arrived
in New York on 31st March 1913. His contact in America was Henry Chisholm a golf club-maker from St Andrews who resided at 54 Chestnut Street,
Boston. Mike Brady pro at Oakland Hills Golf Club, Bloomfield, Michigan recommended Henry Chisholm as pro in Pittsburg before he moved to the
Country Club of Lansing, Michigan.
In 1924 George was appointed the first pro at the newly opened Knole Park Golf Club, Sevenoaks. The following year George set a new course
record 68 and a week later his brother Andrew went round in 67. Sam King, a local boy was George Peacock's assistant at Knole Park, and he
played in the Ryder Cup in 1937 and 1947. King was appointed head pro when George Peacock retired in 1955. George died in 1957 in Surrey.
Andrew Inglis Peacock (b.1901) brother of George was also a licensed golf professional on the West Links at North Berwick. Andrew was
described as an assistant to Ben Sayers before becoming Private Professional to the Weimer and Rothschild families. Andrew was assistant to
his brother George at Knole Park (1924-27) before moving to the neighbouring Wildernesse Golf Club (1927-63). He played in the Open
Championship in 1933, 1934, 1938 and 1939, and died in 1981 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
JAMES PRINGLE Interlachen Golf Club,
James Pringle born 25th February 1896, 8 Morrison Place, Stow,
Midlothian, son of Alexander Pringle, foreman baker and his wife Isabella Campbell. Jim Pringle and his parents, three brothers and
a sister moved to North Berwick in 1902 and resided at 25 Melbourne Place. On leaving school Pringle was first a caddie and then a
freelance golf professional on the West Links at North Berwick.
Jim Pringle emigrated to Canada, sailing from Glasgow he arrived in the port of St John, New Brunswick on 15 April 1921. He was
appointed golf professional at Brandon Golf and Country Club, Manitoba (1921-22) and then head professional at Alcrest Golf Club,
Winnipeg (1923-26). In May 1922 Jim was joined in Manitoba by his 21 year old brother-in-law Alexander M. Reid from Scotland who
was listed as his golf assistant at Brandon. In August 1925 Mary Pringle returned to her family home at 6 Strawberry Bank, Linlithgow,
Scotland to have her second child called Isabel. Mary was accompanied on the journey by her eldest daughter Agnes and they returned
to Minnesota with the new baby on 15th May 1926.
In the 1930 US Census Alex Reid was residing with Jim Pringle and his family at 222 Emerson Avenue South, Minneapolis and both were
working 'on their own account' as golf professionals. Later in 1930, Jim Pringle was appointed golf instructor at Interlachen Country
Club, Edina, Minnesota after being recommended for the position by the head professional Willie Kidd from Monifieth, Scotland. Jim
Pringle had just arrived at the club when Bobby Jones captured the third leg of golf's Grand Slam at Interlachen during the 1930
Pringle represented Interlachen in the 1930 Minnesota State Open Championship at Golden Valley Country Club and finished in sixth
place. He also worked for the members of Rochester County Club while residing at 2737 Dakota, St Louis Park, Minnesota. Jim Pringle
was engaged to give golf lessons to Patty Berg winner of the Minneapolis City Championship in 1934. Patty Berg turned
professional in 1940 and put her career on hold during WW2 when she joined the US Marines. Berg became a pioneer of women's
professional golf and won a record 15 majors including the first US Women's Open Championship in 1946. Jim Pringle became a citizen
of the United States of America in 1943 and during this period he worked freelance from premises on Emerson Avenue South,
Hennepin. Minnesota. Pringle retired to California and died in San Diego in December 1968. Alex Reid visited Scotland in November
1927 and was accompanied on the journey by Robert Millar from North Berwick, pro in Michigan. They returned to America the following
year sailing from Glasgow to Quebec and travelling on to Minnesota.
PETER PURVES (1884-1930) Essex Fells Country Club,
Peter Allison Purves born 17th November 1884 at 3, Divine Cottages,
opposite Harmony Place in Forth Street, North Berwick, son of Robert Purves, a joiner and his wife Marion Divine. In 1898, Peter was an
apprentice draper living with his mother and father, then described as a clubmaker, two sisters and two brothers at 10 High Street. In 1902,
Peter was a licensed caddie on the West Links and in 1906 he became a member of the Rhodes Golf Club playing off a handicap of three.
Duncan Fleming was a lodger with the Purves family at 10 High Street, North Berwick. Fleming was a gardener to trade and was appointed
the first greenskeeper on the Burgh Golf course in 1908. In March 1915 Peter Purves was pro at Strathpeffer Golf Club in Ross and
Cromarty when he enlisted in the 3rd Seaforth Highlanders. In 1917 he was transferred to the 51st Division of the Gordon Highlanders
and was wounded three times, gassed and shell shocked in the trenches. Peter reached the rank of sergeant while part of the Army of
Occupation in Germany and was not discharged until January 1920 at the Barry Camp, Carnoustie.
Peter emigrated to America, sailing from Glasgow with the Anchor Line on S.S. Columbia he arrived in New York on 9th April 1920. His contact
in the USA was Harry Hall a clubmaker from Carnoustie who was living in New York. Peter was appointed to West Orange Country Club and
then to Essex Fells Country Club, both in New Jersey. In May 1922, Peter played in the New Jersey State Open and again the following
year at Englewood. In July 1923 he entered the Metropolitan Open won by Bob Macdonald who left North Berwick in 1910.
Peter Purves married Elizabeth 'Bessie' Denholm from Whittingham who was living at 46 High Street, North Berwick. She joined him in
America in 1921 and they lived at 60 Pillott Place, West Orange, New Jersey where their son George and daughter Helen were born. In
1924 they moved to Kirkside Estate in Roxbury, New York as private instructor to Helen Gould Shephard, daughter of the railroad
magnate Jay Gould. The land is now owned by Shephard Golf Club. In 1926 he was pro at Pakatakan Country Club, Arkville, NY and three
years later was appointed to the nine-hole course at Windham Country Club, two-and-a-half hours drive from New York. At this time his
older brother James Divine Purves was professional at Garden City on Long Island. Probably at Salisbury Country Club, which in the 1920s
came to be known as the 'Sports Center of America' and featured five courses all within the confines of today's Eisenhower Park.
Peter Purves died at Windham on 26th May 1930, aged 46 years following an operation at Kingston City Hospital. Peter as a war veteran was
given a military funeral. His wife returned to live in Roxbury and in June 1931 she placed and advert in the Catskill Mountain News -
'Housekeeper with two children wishes situation. Good house preferred to big wages.' By 1936 Bessie and her children were living in the
picturesque village of Walton in Delaware County, New York.
Peter's brother James Purves emigrated to America with his son Robert, also a clubmaker in May 1929. Their contact was Jack Fox, professional
at Equinox Golf Club, Manchester, Vermont and in 1930 they were living at 16 Centre Street, Hampstead, Long Island NY.
CHARLES RAMAGE Brighton and Hove Golf Club,
Charles Ramage born 2nd September 1856 in North Berwick, son of
William Ramage, quarryman and his wife Ann Greig. While attending school Charles and his brother Henry were licensed caddie's on the West
Links. Charles was a plasterer to trade and lived with his mother, Ann Denholm, sister Helen, brother Henry, step-brother Andrew Denholm
and lodger Charles Gibson at 42 Westgate, (now No.47) North Berwick. Charles Gibson, a 22-year-old clubmaker from Musselburgh and was
employed by Tom Dunn in his workshop beside the first tee on the West Links, North Berwick. Charles Ramage's sister Helen married Charles
Gibson in the Abbey Church on 30th December 1881 and they set up home at 27 Westgate, North Berwick before moving to Devon in 1889.
Ann Denholm's neighbour at 41 Westgate was Tom Arundel, a clubmaker who was the first player to enter the Open Championship from North
Berwick in 1879. The adjacent apartment was occupied by Ben Sayers and his family.
Charles 'Chas' Ramage married Bessie Scotland from Kinross in 1884 and they resided at 23 Quality Street, North Berwick. In 1886 Charles
Ramage worked as a clubmaker with Tom Dunn and was a fine 'bulger' maker (a driving club with a convex face). In 1888 he was the first
professional and clubmaker to be appointed to the newly opened nine-hole-course at Brighton & Hove Golf Club. In 1891 the members
organised a professional tournament played for £10. The field included Charles Ramage, Douglas Rolland, Peter Paxton (winner),
Tom Dunn, Charles Gibson, George Douglas, David Pinkerton, Alex. Alexander, Ramsay Hunter, Rowland Jones. During this period Charles
and Bessie resided in Cowpie Road, before they moved to 49 Fonthill Road, Hove Sussex.
In 1891 Charles was joined at Brighton by his step-brother Andrew Denholm as his assistant. The course commanded stunning views over
the Sussex Downs and was served by the Brighton & Dyke Railway. Andrew Denholm was an original member of the PGA and played in the Open
Championship in 1900 and 1904. Charles Ramage died suddenly in 1893 aged 36 years and Andrew Denholm took over as professional and
clubmaker at Brighton & Hove until 1924.
HARRY REDDIE Misquamicut Golf Club, Rhode
Henry Govan Reddie born 7th June 1878 in North Berwick, son of
David Reddie, a porter and his wife Georgina Thomson. They lived in the staff quarters in the Wall Tower at The Lodge in Quality Street
which was the residence of Sir Walter Hamilton-Dalrymple, 8th Baronet of North Berwick. Harry and his brother George Reddie were caddies on
the West Links in 1891 and Harry gained his professional ticket on 7th June 1895. Harry was also a school friend of Willie Anderson and a
member of Bass Rock Golf Club. He was selected to play in the first inter-club match between Bass Rock and Dirleton Castle over the links
Harry emigrated to America, sailing from Glasgow on SS Ethiopia he arrived in New York on 6th March 1897.
Harry was accompanied on the
journey by Willie Anderson who was returning after the winter to his position as pro at Misquamicut Golf Club, Watch Hill, Rhode Island.
Harry Reddie played in a pro tournament at Ocean County Hunt and Country Club, Lakewood, NJ on New Years Day 1898. Reddie was representing
St Andrews Golf Club, Yonkers, NY. According to the New York Times the field also included North Berwick pros, Harry Gullane, Robert
M. Thomson, Jack Litster, Willie Anderson, Jamie Campbell and Tom Harley from Aberlady. The Fitzjohn brothers from Muirfield and also pros
at North Berwick played-off for the first prize.
When Anderson moved to Baltusrol, Reddie replaced him at Watch Hill and when the new 18 hole course at Misquamicut was opened on 4th July
1898, Harry Reddie set a new course record 70. He wintered with Willie Anderson at St Augustine Golf Club, Florida and played in the Palm
Beach Open in 1901. Reddie resided on N. Cortlandt Street, Belleville, Essex County, New Jersey where he was employed as a club maker in
a golf club factory in Belleville.
In 1910 he was employed as a club maker by Harry C. Lee & Co. a sporting goods company working from 97
Chambers Street, New York. Reddie was appointed foreman when the company moved to 10 Warren Street, Manhattan. In the 1940 US Census
Harry Reddie, his New York born wife Madeline and son Henry where residing at 611 East 136 Street, Bronx, NYC where Harry died in March
JOHN RICHARDSON (1891-1968)
Upper Montclair Golf Club, New Jersey, USA
John Butler Richardson,
born 31st December 1891 at Gretna, Dumfriesshire, brother of Harry and James Richardson (listed below), sons of John Richardson, gardener and
his wife Isabella Davidson. The family moved to 19 Victoria Road, North Berwick and their father joined Bass Rock Golf Club, winning the Tait
Medal at the Autumn Meeting in 1903. That year John and Harry were licensed caddies on the West Links. John married Adeline Spalding from
Edinburgh and they resided at 8 Clifford Road, North Berwick with their son John. John Richardson was a club maker with Ben Sayers & Son for
sixteen years and at a golf club exhibition at Weybridge during the 1920 Open Championship, Richardson took nine prizes out of a possible
twelve for his club making. John and his family emigrated to the USA in 1922 when he was appointed assistant pro to William Braid from St
Andrews at Upper Montclair Golf Club (NJ).
In 1923, John Richardson played in the Metropolitan Open at Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit. NJ. won that year by Bob MacDonald from Dornoch
who worked in North Berwick before emigrating to America. In 1926 John was recruited as golf instructor at Essex Fells G.C, NJ, where
his daughter Rachel 'Rae' Richardson was born at 23 Westville Avenue, Caldwell NJ. In 1935 Adeline was listed as a Practical Nurse
residing with her son John, daughter Rae and mother Rachel Spalding at 4th Avenue North, St Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida. John Richardson
died in October 1968 in Trenton City, New Jersey.
James Richardson born 30th April 1896, at 2, Market Place, North Berwick, emigrated to America with tickets paid for by his employer Ben
Sayers. He sailed on the S.S. Celtic from Liverpool and arrived in New York on 9th February 1921. Jimmy was assistant to George Sayers,
head professional and club maker at Merion Cricket Club Philadelphia. Jimmy Richardson resided with his wife Florence and daughters Mary
and Alice at 48, Abington Street, Philadelphia. In 1924-28 Richardson moved to Sunnybrook C.C Flourtown PA. Sunnybrook was laid out in 1914
by founder member Frederick W. Taylor and the construction work was supervised by Samuel Y Heebner. Taylor described as the "Father of
Scientific Management." was the driving force behind the formation of the course at Flourtown and persuaded James Richardson to become
their professional to the one hundred and twenty-five members. In 1926 he returned to Scotland with Jim Souter (listed below) and they
sailed back to the USA in February 1927. In 1935 Jimmy was listed as assistant golf professional at Lower Merion, Montgomery Country.
James Richardson died 27th November 1970 in San Diego, California.
Alexander Borthwick Robertson
born 10 November 1882, North Lodge, Stevenson House, Haddington son of Thomas Robertson, a gardener and his wife Margaret
Borthwick. Alex moved with his parents, two sisters and three brothers to North Berwick in 1887 and the family resided in
Fordell Cottage, 25, St Andrew Street. Alex trained as a greenkeeper on the West Links under the supervision of head
greenkeeper Alex Wright.
Alex sailed to Australia on the S.S.Hunter from Leith via Durban then to Sydney. He worked his passage as a 'steward'
and was discharged in Sydney in June 1907, aged 25 years. He worked as a greenkeeper at Marrickville Golf Club, North Ryde for
six months until July 1908. The family suggest he also worked as a sparring partner for Tommy Burns in the lead up to the Burns
/Johnston heavyweight title fight in Sydney on 26th December 1908.
Alex married Australian girl Josephine Blackman in Whitefield Congregational Church, Sydney on 3rd September 1908. They
returned to Scotland and on the night of the UK Census on 2nd April 1911 they were recorded as residing in Fordell Cottage
where Alex's parents Thomas and Maggie lived until 1925. Nine days later Alex travelled to Southampton and boarded the
S.S.Majestic which arrived in New York on 26th April 1911. The passenger manifest listed his contact details as Mrs. William
Goodall, caretaker, Queen City Bowling and Curling Club, 80-94 Hayden Street, Toronto. In 1911 Alex Robertson described as
a Golf Green Contractor resided in the Toronto Township in Peel County, Ontario. Josephine followed on the S.S. Scotian
(1st class), Canadian Pacific Line and arrived in Port Hurow, Michigan on 27 September 1911. Listed as her contact in
Detroit was Archie Simpson from Earlsferry in Scotland, the golf professional at the Country Club of Detroit.
When Josephine arrived she resided in Hotel Pontchartrain, Groose Pointe, Detroit.
Alex was employed by Patterson Wylde & Co. of Boston a golf course construction business. The new course in Toronto was
laid out on the banks of Etobicoke Creek, eleven miles west of the city and was ready for play in September 1912. Alex
worked with the same company on a new course at the Country Club of Detroit before he sailed to Australia. Alex, Josephine
and their two boys returned to Scotland and was appointed professional and greenkeeper at Ardrossan and Saltcoats Golf Club
in 1923 -1926). Following World War Two the course was reduced to nine-holes and eventually closed.
Alex returned to Australia permanently and worked as a greenkeeper in Sydney at Moore Park. In 1928 he was employed as foreman
greenkeeper at the newly laid out course at The Lakes Golf Club. Alex and his family resided at 164 Gardeners Road, Rosebery
close to the golf course in Eastlakes, NSW. Josephine died 28 August 1946 at 28, Bestic Street, Rockdale and is buried in
Woronora Cemetery. Alex followed her to the grave eight years later in 1954.
BUD RUSSELL (1908-1997) Barwon Heads Golf
Club, Victoria, AUS
William James Russell, born 2nd September 1908 at 3 Hopetoun
Place, (Maule Terrace) Gullane, son of Alexander Russell the starter at Gullane No.1 course, and his wife Agnes Vert. W. J. 'Bud' Russell was educated at
North Berwick High School and trained as a club maker with Jack White in his two storey workshop 'Hopetoun Golf Works' in Goose Green Mews,
Gullane. Jack White won the Open Championship in 1904 and returned to Gullane in 1927 after being pro at Sunningdale for twenty five years.
White also had a successful golf equipment shop at 2 Rosebery Place, Gullane.
Bud Russell had a brother and two sisters and lived with his parents at 39 Middleshot Road, Gullane. Bud was a member of Dirleton Castle Golf
Club and playing off a handicap of two, won the Haldane Cup 1922 and Austin Trophy in 1930. At school his nickname was 'Boy' and, when he started his
apprenticeship with Jack White, it was Mrs White who suggested that young Russell had outgrown his nickname and should be called 'Bud'.
In June 1930, Bud Russell answered an advertisement in the Journal of the Professional Golfers' Association, which read: Professional
required for Barwon Heads Golf Club, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Scotsman preferred, £150 per annum, house workshop rent free, passage
paid to £40. Two years engagement, extending if suitable, if terminated within twelve months passage money to be repaid. Main qualification
coach of outstanding ability, age limit 35.
The advert attracted dozens of applications from England, Scotland, France, Sweden and India, The club secretary at Barwon Heads, Harry Hay
enlisted the help of Stanley Melbourne Bruce, who was in London with his family's importing business after completing seven years as Prime
Minister of Australia. Bruce asked James Braid's advice and the shortlist was reduced to two, Bud Russell and a young lad from Troon.
On 27th July, Russell was brought to London for an interview and the following day Stanley Bruce (Later Viscount Bruce) cabled Hay with the
news: Have selected Professional-Scotch-single-twenty-two. Hay wired approval, cabled £40 passage money and 'Desire early departure'. Bud
sailed on 5th September on the Royal Mail steamer Mongolia, arriving at Port Melbourne on 13 October 1930 with 25 shillings in his pocket and
he retired a millionaire.
Barwon Heads is a popular seaside resort on the Southern Ocean and Russell set about increasing the turnover of the pro shop with shrewd
merchandising. He took a huge risk ordering £1,000 worth of Scottish knitwear and according to George Gibson, the manager of the
George Nicoll foundry at Leven, Fife, in Scotland, Bud's orders of 1,000 heads at a time was unique. Large crates of Nicoll and Brodie Graves
clubs came to Barwon Heads for resale to other professionals as well as to his own customers. Barwon Heads Golf Club is listed among the Top
25 courses in Australia, situated on the Bellarine Peninsula, one hour drive from Melbourne, it was described as one of the most elite beach
side locations to be frequented by the Melbourne crowd.
In 1937, Bud lived with his wife Edith Rita May Russell at 31 Glenleith Avenue, Geelong West, Victoria and that year he returned to Scotland to
played in the Open Championship at Carnoustie. He returned to Australia via America where he met up with his school friend Jimmy Thomson pro
at Los Angeles GC. Bud served his apprenticeship as a club maker with Jimmy Thomson's uncle in Gullane. The last time they were together was
in 1934 when Jimmy won the Melbourne Centenary Championship.
On his return from the six-month trip to Scotland, England and the USA in 1937 'Bud' was interviewed by Sporting Globe (Melbourne) on the improvements
in golf and club-making in Scotland since he left seven years ago. " Russell said that wooden heads were more compact and more shallow faced
than they were. Grips are on the thick side. For the four normal woods carried, the length of shaft is in each case the same, normally 42in.
A rather remarkable fact is that for the driver the shafts are stiffer than for any of the other woods, and they get whippier as you work
down to No.1 wood. Iron heads are heavier more shallow and more compact than formerly. Hickory has passed forever, and the sheathered steel
shaft has almost completely replaced the chromium. The general tendency in head-construction seems to be getting back to about 1920.
Visiting the Ben Sayers factory at North Berwick Russell discovered intricate machinery not only for construction work, but for the detection
of a hook, slice, loft, spring, swinging balance etc. He saw none that were in advance of those in Australia.
Teaching methods have, he considered improved vastly and now professionals study the art of educating rather than giving facts to pupils.
One trend in dealing with more accomplished pupils is the development of the wrist flick that is so pronounced in Henry Cotton's shot-making
when he goes out for length. Russell is convinced that in the detail and generally in the act of developing ability in play for pupils, he
has learnt much.
One of the most conspicuous details in the play of the leading pros, particularly the American ones is their depending on judgment rather
than on the range of the club for their shot. The traditional 'half-shot' is coming back strongly, and rarely does a first-class player from
the fairway go all out now. It is the practice for instance to use a No.3 or 4 iron for a shot that a year or so ago would be tackled with
There is much talk in Britain about the likelihood of the introduction next year of the American slightly larger ball as the standard one.
Russell likes this ball and considers that if it is introduced it will prove popular. No club impressed him more than the famous Hillcrest
Country Club at Hollywood. With two great courses it is a wonderful place and the centre of social and sporting life."
Bud served in the RAAF in the South Pacific during WW2, reaching the rank of sergeant. In the 1960s he was granted permission to enter the
members' clubhouse for the first time; an old fashioned rule today, but a significant gesture by the committee a decade before other
Australian golf clubs. Jean Donald from North Berwick (listed below) visted Victoria in the 1960s. She was the first lady professional in
Scotland and played an exhibition match at Barwon Heads. In 1966 Bud helped to re-design the course at St Leonards Golf Club, and extend
it to eighteen holes. In 1977, he was conferred Honorary Life Member of Barwon Heads Golf Club and was acknowledged among the Queen's
Honours with a B.E.M. in 1982 for services to golf and his community. Bud retired after 57 years with the club and lived in a bungalow
called 'Gullane' a three wood distance from the pros shop. He died in 1997, aged 88 years, at Geelong, Victoria.
BEN SAYERS Factfile
If you can add to the details above or have information on
other North Berwick golfers
GEORGE SAYERS (1887-1977) Merion Golf
Club, Pennsylvania, USA
George Thomson Sayers the youngest son of Ben Sayers
Snr. was born 19th October 1887 Millhill, Musselburgh, East Lothian. George worked in the family club and ball making business at North Berwick
and taught the game to the rich and famous including Lord Kitchener. In 1897 George Sayers was involved in laying out the new
eighteen hole course at Lanark Golf Club. He suggested the sites for the greens which were incorporated in the plans laid out by Tom
Morris. In 1909 Ben Sayers devised a new course and was paid £ 3 for his labours. In April 1904, George Sayers was presented
with a silver watch from the Marquis of Linlithgow, as a gift from Lady Linlithgow, Lord Charles Hope, Captain Corbett and
others as a memento of his stay at Hopetoun where George acted as tutor to Lord Charles and his guests.
During this period Frances Griscom, US Woman's Amateur Champion and a member of Merion Cricket Club, Pennsylvania visited North Berwick and
was tutored by Ben Sayers Snr. throughout the summer of 1902. She visited North Berwick again in 1906 and 1911 this time with her brother
Rodman Griscom who invited George Sayers to take up the position of head pro at Merion Cricket Club.
George and his wife Agnes sailed from Liverpool to New York on the S.S. Baltic and arrived on 10th May 1913. Rodman Griscom of stockbrokers
Berton, Griscom & Co. 40 Wall Street, New York was George Sayers contact when he arrived in America.
The connection between Merion Cricket Club and North Berwick goes back to 1897 when Robert Thomson from North Berwick was appointed head
pro at the nine-hole course in the town of Haverford. In 1903 Jack Millar from Musselburgh was appointed club maker. In 1905 Robert was
followed at Merion by his brother James R. Thomson and in 1910 the club moved to new ground in the district of Ardmore where Thomson
assisted in laying out the new course. In 1910, twenty-four year-old Tom Bonnar (1886-1966) from Musselburgh was appointed assistant
professional. Two years later he was the first professional at Sunnybrook (NY), then at Mecklenburg (NC) and Bedford (NY)
before joining Elimira Country Club in 1920.
George Sayers and his family lived at 321 Walnut Street, in the historic district of Philadelphia. He was followed by a long line of club
makers sent out from Ben Sayers & Son who passed through Merion. The first to arrive was 19-year-old James Kelly Thomson from North
Berwick who took up the position of assistant pro, (he was later pro at Mohawk G.C. NY). Thomson was followed in 1914 by James Gullane
(later Colorado Springs). Jimmy Richardson (Sunnybrook G.C. PA) was the first to arrive at Merion after WW2. His brother John Richardson
was also a club maker with Ben Sayers & Son for sixteen years. At a golf club exhibition at Weybridge during the 1920 Open Championship,
Jimmy Richardson took nine prizes out of a possible twelve for his club making. A favourite of the Sayers family, Jimmy Richardson was
the only apprentice to have his passage paid for by Ben Sayers. He was followed in 1929 by another Sayers apprentice George Izett who
remained at Merion until 1932. He started the Izett Custom Golf Club Company which is still in business on Haverford Road, Ardmore PA.
George Sayers was head pro at Merion throughout a remarkable period in the club's history, when Merion hosted eighteen USGA championships
more than any other club in America, which included four US Opens. In 1922, George Sayers finished tied for fourth place in the
Philadelphia Professional Golfers Association championship.
The legendary Bobby Jones played many of his famous matches at Merion. At the age of 14 years he played in his first national championship
at Merion in the 1916 US Amateur Championship. In 1930, Jones won the final leg of what is still the only true Grand Slam ever achieved
in the game at Merion. In 1950 George welcomed Ben Hogan to Merion when he won the US Open, just a year after he was almost killed in a
In an article in the Los Angeles Herald in June 1920, Lady Astor cabled George Sayers of Philadelphia inviting him to come to England to
coach her at golf. The American born peeress entered for the Parliamentary golf competition at Sandwich and wanted to finish among the best
six. With lessons from Sayers she believed she could win. He replied that he was unable to make the journey.
To complete the North Berwick connection George Sayers gave lessons to Dorothy Campbell at Merion, they grew up together on the West Links
at North Berwick. Throughout the month of November 1923 she haunted the Merion practice tee 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 41, Campbell entered the 1924 US Women's Amateur
hosted by Rhode Island Country Club when she defeated Mary Browne the American tennis champion by 7 and 6.
George Sayers became an American citizen at the District Court in Philadelphia on 22nd November 1922. George returned to Scotland to
arrange his father's funeral in 1924. In April he sailed back to America with his mother Catherine and they shared the journey with
Tom Bonnar from Musselburgh, the previous Merion professional who was returning to Elimira Country Club, Cheming, (NY).
George Sayers resigned from Merion after 32 years and on 3rd January 1946 the Philadelphia Record suggested he resigned as a result
of 'snipping' by members who considered George as 'out moded'. Sayers received a number of very attractive offers but began making
golf clubs exclusively at his business located in Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA. The heads were forged in Ben Sayers factory in
North Berwick and shipped to Pennsylvania. George Sayers made customized clubs for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, comedian Jackie
Gleason, Reverend Billy Graham and Amelia Earhart the famous pilot. George Sayers died in January 1977 at 19468 Royersford, Montgomery,
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