Musselburgh - East Lothian |
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Mrs. Foreman's Inn and 3rd Green
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Musselburgh Links |
usselburgh Links is the site of the oldest remaining
golf course in the world. This nine-hole course is a relic from the 'cradle of golf' and remains as a testimony to what was
the centre of Scottish golf during its greatest era. Authenticating the record is documentary evidence found in the account
book of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston who records losing at 'golfe' at Musselburgh on 2nd March 1672. He also mentions that
'Mary Queen of Scots reputedly played here in 1567'.
Musselburgh Golf Club came into being in 1774 when Tom McMillan of Shorthope presented a cup for competition. The club
shared the links with Musselburgh Racecourse established in 1811, and from 1836 by a number of other golf clubs including
Edinburgh Burgess and Bruntsfield Links Societies and the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.
The Musselburgh Silver Cup is the oldest sporting trophy in existence and is on display in the British Golf Museum. First
played for in 1774 it is the only 18th century trophy in the shape of a cup, while the other four from that period take the
form of a silver club. Musselburgh Golf Club became a Royal Club in 1876 and moved to a new course at Prestongrange in 1925.
Another club named Musselburgh Golf Club was established in 1938 when the Town Council decided to move to Monktonhall.
The Musselburgh Old Links Club continues to play over the original nine-hole-course owned by Musselburgh Town Council.
The first recorded feathery ball-maker in Musselburgh was Tom Alexander born 1827 in New Street. In the 1830s
his mother was steward in the Golf House in Millhill. In 1835 in a well publicised match Tom Alexander and partner Robert
Oliphant were defeated by Sandy and David Pirie over two rounds at St. Andrews. In October 1840 Alexander played in a match
against Allan Robertson over two rounds at St. Andrews which again the locals won.
Another early Musselburgh golfer was Tom Geddes born 1842, Inveresk. His parents Thomas and Marion were keepers of the Golf
Tavern, 48 High Street, Musselburgh. Tom Jnr. trained as a blacksmith and resided at Haddon Court, 112 Nicolson Street,
Edinburgh. The town of Musselburgh has produced many champions like the Parks, Ferguson, Brown and the Dunns.
Peter McEwan was the sixth generation of the McEwan family involved in club and ball making. James
McEwan started the family business in 1770 at Leith. He was followed by Peter McEwan (1781-1836), then by his son Douglas
(1809-1886), another Peter (1834-1895) and then Douglas (1869-1921).
The McEwan workshop was situated in Millhill, Inveresk.
Peter McEwan (1895-1971) the last of the six generations was appointed professional at Preston (1919-23), then Bolton Old
Links (1923-25), before moving to Barassie (1925-27) and then Nairn (1927-29).
The Gourlay family of professionals and ballmaker was established by Douglas Gourlay and operated from Bruntsfield links and
later at the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club in Musselburgh. His sons William and John continued the business. John Gourlay worked
between 1835 and 1855 in producing golf balls. He was one of three males in the Gourlay family who specialised in making golf
equipment. A feathery ball made by John Gourlay in 1850 fetched £2,640 at a Sotherby's auction in July 2000.
The Musselburgh golf ball makers have been involved in the evolution of the golf ball since General Balfour returned from India
with a piece of gutta-percha which he asked Old Willie Dunn to make into golf balls. It was Willie Dunn who used a cobblers
hand-hammer to mark the outside of the gutta-percha ball which made the ball travel further.
Eventually Peter Paxton brought out a mould that produced a ball with smaller brambles, and this was adopted by the leading
manufacturers. In March 1899 Messrs J & D Clark of Eskside, Musselburgh sold over 79,000 balls in one month and had orders
for 10 times that amount.
The links was originally seven holes, with another added in 1838 and the full nine-holes came into play in 1870. The first three
holes stretch eastwards from the grandstand at the racecourse - site of the former clubhouse of the Honourable Company.
To the south is the main traffic route on to which the Musselburgh golfers often sliced their shots and played back to the links
using the new brass-soled clubs. The metal plate on the 'brassie' wooden club was invented here in 1885. 'The Graves', the 344
yard 2nd hole was reputedly named after the ground where the soldiers were buried following the Battle of Pinkie in 1547. Some
say to stop the golfers using the land.
At the third green, beside 'Lord Shand's' bunker stands Mrs. Foreman's Inn where there was a hatch in the wall used to pass
refreshments to the early golfers. The course then turns northwest towards the sea with a bunker named 'Pandemonium' to be negotiated.
The next follows the coastline with the second last hole near the gasworks requiring a drive and a long iron shot to reach the
green. The Home Hole, which is now the present first, near the abandoned former clubhouse of the Burgess golfers. The course
measures 5380 yards.
By the 1880s there was a number of clubs playing Musselburgh and organising the Links became a problem with over crowding. The
four senior clubs, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, Burgess, Bruntsfield and Royal Musselburgh formed a committee to
regulate the green, ending the town's control over the links which had lasted for hundreds of years.
The seemingly random size for the four and a quarter inch diameter hole was just that, it happened to be the width of the implement
invented by Robert Gray in 1829 and first used to cut the holes at Musselburgh. In 1893 the R&A made the size mandatory.
he Honourable Company were first to move further down the coast in 1891, followed by the Burgess club settling at Barnton in 1894
and Bruntisfield laid out their own course in 1898. Royal Musselburgh, granted it's Royal title in 1876, moved to a new parkland
course in 1924 at nearby Prestongrange, designed by James Braid.
Records show that during the eighteenth century a women's golf competition was held annually on New Years Day among the fishwives
of Musselburgh and Fisherrow. The earliest known reference to an open womens' golf competition at Musselburgh dates from 9th
January 1811. Played on a putting course, the winners prize was a 'creel' and a 'skull' (a skull was a small fishing basket), with
the consolation prizes of 'two fine silk handkerchiefs from Barcelona'. It was not until the 1870's that Ladies began to play with
a set of clubs on short courses. |
In the earliest code of the Honourable Company the penalty was one stroke for a lost ball. The penalty of the distance and stroke
was adopted in 1839 with the following exception: "But a ball is not to be considered lost which is seen to go on to the road or
over the wall on the south-side of the road at Musselburgh."
The Musselburgh Open was an independent tournament played seven times between 1892 and 1906. The first Tournament was played in 1892
when Willie Park Jnr. triumphed over Tom Vardon, and Andrew Kirkaldy. It was not a set fixture but organised when the Open was in
Scotland. It was not played in 1905 when the Open was held at St Andrews, and the prize money fluctuated between £41 and £100.
The format was described in 1896 as the 'new system of two competitions - the first by strokes and the second by holes.' Following the
first day of stroke play the leading 16 players qualified for the matchplay competition on the second day. This format was played at
Musselburgh in 1896 and 1901.
The last challenge match at Musselburgh took place in May 1898 when Willie Park defeated Willie Fernie by 13 holes to 12 in a £
50-a-side match over Musselburgh and Troon. This was the end of an era as challenge matches declined in popularity and the new breed
of professionals preferred to play exhibition matches.
The 1889 Open championship was the last to be held at Musselburgh. It consisted of four rounds of the nine-hole course played on a
gloomy 8th November day. There were 48 competitors, 22 of these were Musselburgh men. At the conclusion of the third round it was
almost dark and the organisers, The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers had to do something drastic to complete the championship
before total darkness. It was decided to offer five shillings to any of the players willing to retire from the tournament at the
end of the third round. It was so dark during the fourth round the final pairs had to be guided by the street lights. The result
was a draw between Willie Park Jnr and Andrew Kirkaldy and they returned on Monday for the 36 hole play-off which Willie Park won.
The last Musselburgh Open Tournament was played in 1906. The tournament was played nine times when the Open Championship was played
in Scotland. Although the halcyon days of Musselburgh were over, professionals like James Braid continued to play the course and in
October 1911 Braid set a new course record 69, previously held by Harry Vardon with a 77.
In 1900 the Golf Clubs playing over Musselburgh included Levenhall Golf Club, Zingari Golf Club, Musselburgh New Golf Club, Links Golf
Club, Royal Musselburgh Golf Club, Honestas Golf Club, North Esk Golf Club, and Musselburgh Ladies Golf Club. According to the custom of
Musselburgh Town Council, following the election of the town magistrate, the leading officials of the burgh then left the chambers and
played two rounds of the links for the Musselburgh Corporation Golf Club Medal.
H.R.H the Duke of Connaught while quartered with his regiment at Piershill Barracks about 1886 he joined the old Musselburgh
Club and was often seen on the links. In token of their esteem the Royal Musselburgh Club elected him their honorary president
and in return his Royal Highness showed his appreciation of the honor by presenting the club with a handsome silver challenge
cup, one of the most coveted trophies in the club's possession, which is played for annually by holes by the eight lowest scores
at the Autumn Meeting 1912.
The Father of American Golf
John Reid known as the 'Father of American Golf' was born 28th December 1840 in Dunfermline son of John Reid a hand loom weaver
and his wife Isabella Aidie. Reid learned to play golf on Musselburgh links before he emigrated to America and was appointed the
secretary of an Iron Manufacturing Company. Reid resided on Palisade Avenue, Yonkers, New York when he requested a friend Robert
Lockhart to purchase a few clubs and balls for him while on a visit to Scotland. Lockhart had them shipped across the Atlantic,
and dispatched to John Reid. Lockhart was born January 1840 at 6 Cousin's Lane (off Mill Street) Dunfermline son of James Lockhart
a Table Linen Manufacturer employing nine men, and his wife Ann.
In 1888 a few friends used the recently arrived equipment to negotiate a rudimentary three hole course cut in a field close to
his house. Five of his friends got together to form St Andrews Golf Club of Yonkers with John Reid as its first president on
14th November 1888. Four years later they moved to a better locality, a mile north of the original position near the secretary
Henry O. Tallmadge's residence. The new ground comprised of 30 acres of pasture land and an old apple tree they called the
clubhouse, where the members gathered under the branches for cool shade and they where called 'The Old Apple Tree Gang'.
Historians suggest that John Reid's reputation as the 'Father of American Golf' is undeserved as he did nothing to encourage
the infant game. Robert Lockhart was a member of Dunfermline Golf Club and regularily returned to Scotland. In 1904, he resided
at the Royal Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh when he fell ill and died on 19th July. His home address was 218 West 139 Street,
James Affleck began his apprenticeship as a clubmaker with Ben Sayers Ltd in 1952 at their workshop in Forth Street, North Berwick.
Jimmy Affleck set up in business as a clubmaker and worked from his shop in Lochrin Place, Edinburgh for more than 30 years. He
tweaked clubs for several top players including Tom Watson, Tony Jacklin, Lee Trevino and Ian Woosnam. Roger Cleveland, the founder
of the golf equipment brand also paid a visit to Affleck at his home in Aberlady. He worked there in his garden shed where assistants
doing their PGA training were regular visitors to ask him questions on clubmaking. He died in Aberlady in December 2012 and his
obituary was carried in the Scotsman.
John Aitken born 12 January 1880, South Vennel, Fisherrow, Inveresk, son of John Aitken, maltsman and his wife Agnes Hardie.
Aitken worked with Willie Park Jnr and was later appointed foreman in the factory at 27 Pinkie Road, Inveresk. He moved to St
Andrews before being attached to Hanger Hill 1928-29. Aitken was then appointed head pro to George Duncan at Wentworth 1929-1938.
Hickory shafted clubs with forged heads by Forgan of St Andrews and marked 'John Aitken Wentworth Golf Club' are popular with
collectors. John Aitken died 18 February 1961 at 3e Mortonhall Terrace, Musselburgh.
Robert Aitken born 3 October 1891 in Abbey View Cottage, North Berwick son of Robert Aitken, a gardener and his wife Agnes Aytoun.
In 1895 Robert moved with his parents to Loganbank Gardens, Milton Bridge, Midlothian where he learned to play golf at Glencorse Golf
Robert 'Bob' Aitken emigrated to America sailing from Liverpool on S.S Baltic he arrived in New York on 13 March 1923. Bob was
appointed assistant professional to the former Irish champion John Edmundson at Llanerch Country Club, Haverford, Pennsylvania. The
following year he was assistant to Jack Hobens from North Berwick at Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Rydal) PA. He was engaged as
head professional at Baederwood Golf Club (Jenkintown) PA. (1928-29) and then to Lu Lu Country Club (North Hills) PA. (1930-43). Bob
became an American citizen on 1st October 1930 at the US District Court of Philadelphia while he resided at 204 Bockins Avenue,
Abington. Bob Aitken returned to Baederwood Golf Club (Jenkintown) PA. (1944-55) and finally to West Chester Golf & Country Club
(West Chester) PA. (1956-59).
In 1930 he travelled to Scotland with his wife Margaret and one year-old son Robert to visit his family at No.1 Sciennes Hill Place,
Newington, Edinburgh. Bob shared the journey from New York to Glasgow with three other golf professionals John Dryburgh (Fife),
Herbert G. Irwin (Edinburgh), and George Thomson (North Berwick).
Bob Aitken was a member of the Philadelphia section of the PGA and following a meeting of professionals in Wannamakers Department
Store in Philadelphia in 1935 Bob Aitken was elected Vice President of the Philadelphia section. He was re-elected the following
year. Bob Aitken died 10 September 1979 at 33528 Dunedin, Pinellas, Florida.
Thomas D. Armour
Thomas Dickson Armour born 24 September 1896 at 18 Balcarres Street, Edinburgh, son of George Armour, foreman baker and his wife
Martha Dickson. Tommy Armour attended Fettes College and then studied mathematics at Edinburgh University. He began playing at the
nearby Braid Hills golf course along with his elder brother Sandy, a talented golfer who would later win the Scottish Amateur
Championship. In 1896 Tommy Armour played an exhibition match with the Amateur Champion Freddie Tait at the Burgess Golfing Society
at Barnton, Edinburgh. Tommy Armour also played with Tait in the team representing Luffness New Golf Club which won the prodigious
East Lothian Country Cup.nHis brother Sandy was a member of Lothianburn Golf Club in Edinburgh and represented the club in the Amateur
Championship at St Andrews in 1913. Tommy was also a member of Lothianburn and a third brother Will Armour became a professional at
Aix les Bains in southern France.
Their father George Armour was an accomplished violinist and he died in 1900 when Tommy was four years old and did not share in
his son's achievements. Tommy joined the Edinburgh Thistle Golf Club which had its home course at the Braid Hills. He won the club
Gold Scratch Medal in 1919 and was also a member of Edinburgh Western Golf Club which also played at the Braids and the club rented
rooms in the Carruthers' Golfers Tryst clubhouse.
Tommy enlisted in WW1 and quickly moved through the ranks to be Staff Major in the Tank Regiment. He was blinded in both eyes and
sustained serious injuries to the head and left arm during a mustard gas attack at Passchendale. When he was released from hospital
with metal plates pinning his skull together and having regained the sight in his right eye he was able to play more golf.
Left: Tommy Armour at North Berwick
An article in the New York Times quoted Bobby Cruikshank a fellow professional, who served with Armour in France said that Tommy
while still a teenager captured a Germain tank single-handedly when the tank commander ignored the invitation to surrender peacefully,
given the enclosed confines of the cock-pit. Armour was forced to strangle his captive to death, an act of raw courage that earned
him a personal audience with George V when the King made a morale-busting visit to the trenches'.
Tommy Armour emigrated to America sailing on S.S Aquitaine from Liverpool he arrived in New York on 24 July 1920. His passage was
sponsored by the North British Rubber Company Ltd of Toronto, manufacturers of the 'Clincher Cross' golf ball. They also had a
factory in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. Tommy's final destination was Inverness Country Club, Toledo, Ohio. In 1922 Walter Hagen gave him
a job as secretary of the Westchester-Biltmore Club and Tommy continued to play in amateur tournaments until he turned professional
the following year.
He had a distinguished amateur career, including wining the French Amateur Open (1920), Scottish Amateur Championship (1920) and tied
first place in the Canadian Open (1921). Tommy was appointed professional at the Congressional Country Club, Washington DC (1926-28)
before moving to Tam O' Shanter Golf Club, Chicago IL(1929-32). During this period he was working on his own account and resided with
his wife Consuelo Carrera who he had known since his student days in Edinburgh they resided in the Commodore Hotel at 109, East 42nd
Street, New York next to Grand Central Terminal. In 1926, Tommy Armour returned to Great Britain with Fred McLeod to play in the Open
Championship at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s. The week prior to the championship an international match was played at Wentworth between
British and American professionals when Armour played for the USA team. This match was the forerunner of the Ryder Cup. Tommy won
the 1927 US Open (Oakmont); 1930 US PGA (Fresh Meadows); 1931 Open Championship (Carnoustie).
Tommy Armour know as the 'Silver Scot' had the unique distinction of playing in 1921 for Britain against the US as an amateur and
in 1925 as professional for the US against Britain in the unofficial international matches that preceded the inception of the Walker
Cup and Ryder Cup events. At this time he was appointed professional at Medinah Country Club, Chicago (1933-34) and resided at 308
Scoville Street, Oak Park, Cook County, Illinois. When he retired from competitive golf he moved to Florida and gave lessons at the
Boca Raton Waldorf Resort and gained an outstanding reputation as a coach and books he wrote on the technique of the game were
best-sellers. Thomas D. Armour died on 11 September 1968 Larchmont, New York.
Alexander 'Sandy' Armour (b.1881) was fifteen years older than Tommy and resided with his mother Martha, two brothers and three
sisters at 23 Comiston Road, Edinburgh. Sandy served an apprenticeship as a joiner and was a member of Edinburgh Western Golf Club in
1910 and the following year his brother Tommy joined. In 1914 Sandy and Tommy were part of a four-man team representing the Western
Club who won the prodigious Evening Dispatch Trophy. Sandy won the Scottish Amateur Championship with brother Tommy on the bag and in
1920 Sandy was elected captain of the Western Golf Club.
In June 1922 Sandy Armour visited his brother Tommy in New York at 25 West 53rd Street, and according to the passenger manifest he
intended to stay for only six months but remained in America for the rest of his life. The New York Times reported that his bother
Tommy met him at the pier and took him to his club at Westchester-Biltmore. Sandy won his first amateur tournament in America at the
Shennecossett Country Club Annual tournament in 1922.
In 1924, Sandy was the first professional appointed to the new course at Ferncliffe Golf and Country Club, West Caldwell, New Jersey.
he also ran one of the biggest indoor golf schools in New York. In 1926. he joined his brother Tommy at Congressional. In 1929
Sandy went with Tommy to Medinah Country Club in Chicago and wintered at Boca Raton Resort and Golf Club in Florida.
Sandy regularly played in the Middle Atlantic Professional Golf Association tournament representing Congressional. In 1930 the
tournament was played at Fountain Head Country Club when the members backed their local pro. When Tommy Armour left Congressional
in 1929 Sandy took over as head pro until 1935. The members of the Congressional Country Club included John D Rockefeller, the duPonts,
Walter Chrysler, William Randolph Hearst, Harvey S. Firestone and US Presidents Taft, Coolidge, Hoover, Wilson, Harding were lifetime
members of the club.
In March 1938, Sandy was appointed golf professional at the nine-hole course at Bloomington Golf and Country Club, Illinios. Here
he gained a reputation as an excellent instructor, successfully coaching several juniors at the club. In 1942 he married a rich widow
Ethel Barnett and they resided permanently in the Shoreham Hotel in Washington DC. Tommy Armour and Lawson Little were signed as pros
by Samuel S Deutch owner of Hawthorne Valley Country Club, Cleveland. Armour was the teaching pro at the club and Little represent the
club at tournaments. In 1943 he resigned from the PGA and Sandy died in January 1969 in Washington DC.
William Armour born 1882 in Linlithgow before the family moved to Edinburgh the following year. William was a joiner to trade and was the
first in the family to join the professional ranks. In 1911 he moved to France and was appointed golf professional at Aix-les-Bains
(1911-34), he was also attached to Golf Club de Menton (1922) and also Sospel Golf Club (1923-24). He died on 3rd August 1934 in the
Municipal Hospital at Aix-les-Bains aged 51 years. He resided with his wife Jean at 14 Rue Talma, Aix-les-Bains and his death was
registered by the British Consulate in France.
The list below of Edinburgh club-makers peaked in 1900.
Alex Aitken 174 Morningside Road; R. Anderson & Sons 67 Princes Street; Colin Bain, 36 Patrick Square; Alex Bain 61 Dalry Road; W.A.
Bain & Co. 22 South College Street. David A. Brown, 4 Graham Street; Thomas Carruthers, Golfers Tryst, Braid Hills; J. P. Cochrane &
Co, 27 Albert Street; Wm. Cunningham 26 & 35 Leven Street; J. & A. Dickson, 15 Comiston Road, 14 Braid Road, and 5 Barrcares Street;
F. Doleman 36 Wright's Houses; Far & Sure Golf Club Co. 124 Duke Street, Leith; William Fergie, Archer's Hall; Wm. Frier, Braid Hill.
Wm. Gibson & Co. Jordon Lane, creek and iron maker; Gouldie & Co. 25 Princes Street; Grey & Co. 27 Frederick Street; John Grieve 44
Dalry Road; Gunn & Co. 36 Braid Road; Hardy Brothers 5 South St Davids Street; Alexander Henry & Co. Beaverbank; F. A. Lamley maker
of the Scottish Champion Clubs and Balls, 163 Leith Street; Henry Lumsden, 100 Newhaven Road; William Macormack, Roseburn Street;
Martin & Kirkaldy, Young Street, South Lane; Harry Macrae, 60 Clerk Street; T & G Mackenzie, 6 Bank Street; George Mckay, 53 High
Street; W.S. Millar, 58 High Street; John Muir. 7 East Adam Street; Martin McDaid Easter Road; John Muir 96 Nicolson Street; William
Park Jun. 6 South St Andrew Street; A. G. Spalding & Bros. 3 South Charlotte Street,Alex Simpson 6 Braid Road; Spence & Spence, 40 and
42 Charlette Street, Leith, Sportsman's Emporium, 33 Frederick Street, John L. Somerville, 1a Hope Park Terrace; Alexander Winchester,
East End, Braid Hills; William Watt, 17 West Register Street.
George L. Baillie
George Baillie born 1852 in Musselburgh, was a teacher in Belfast and a keen golfer when Tom Sinclair, a local resident persuaded
him to layout a golf course for the Royal Belfast Golf Club. In 1881 Baillie was appointed secretary of the club and became a prolific
course designer in Ireland. The courses he laid out included Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Scarabo, Bundora, Lisburn, Lane,
Greenore, Knock, Castlerock, Omah and Leopardstown. In laying out the first course in Ireland for Royal Belfast Golf Club, Baillie
was assisted by Walter Day a native of Musselburgh and pro at Bruntisfield links. His brother Alex Day was later to become professional
at the Royal Belfast Club where he remained for twenty years.
Thomas W. Bonnar
Thomas William Bonnar born 4th October 1886, Edinburgh, son of John A. T. Bonnar, Pictorial Artist and his wife Jane Bonnar. The
family moved to 31 Millhill, Inveresk, Musselburgh where young Tom worked as a golf caddy. Tom emigrated to America after being
recommended for the position of professional at Merion Cricket Club by Jack Miller from Musselburgh who was clubmaker at Merion.
Bonnar arrived from Liverpool on 2nd February 1910 and lodged with Jack and Martha Miller in Conway Street, Philadelphia.
Four months after he arrived in America, Tom entered the US Open Championship at Philadelphia Cricket Club and finished in a very
credible 14th place. He entered the championship again in 1913 at the Country Club of Brookline and played the first two rounds
with Harry Vardon. Bonnar represented Merion in the US Open in 1911, North and South tournament in 1915 and the Golf Association
of Philadelphia at Huntingdon Valley Country Club.
In 1912 Tom Bonnar was the first professional to be attached to the new course at Sunnybrook Golf Club, Flourtown (PA). Two
years later he moved to Mecklenburg, Charlotte N.C. (1913-15) and then to Bedford Golf and Tennis Club (NY). In 1919 he was
attached to the nine-hole course at Elmira Country Club, (NY) and resided on Cleveland Avenue. At the opening of the new course
at Elmira, Tom Bonnar played an exhibition match partnering the amateur Jim Hunter against Walter Hagen and the city judge Bill
Philips. On 28th January 1924 he became a citizen of the United States at the Supreme Court of Elmira, NY. That year he travelled
back to Scotland on holiday and shared the return journey to America with George Sayers from North Berwick, the head pro at Merion,
Haverford, PA. Bonnar extended the course at Bath Country Club (NY) to eighteen holes in 1953. The following year he was elected
President of the Central New York PGA and retired in 1954 after 35 years as pro at Elimira. Tom Bonnar died in October 1966.
Thomas Brentnall born December 1846 in Escomb, County Durham, son of Joseph Brentnall, a grocer and his wife Mary Strutt. On leaving
school Tom joined the Bank of England as a clerk. He moved to Prestonpans in Scotland and was appointed secretary of the
Prestongrange Coal and Iron Company, owned by Sir George Grant-Suttie, Prestongrange House and Balgone Estate, North Berwick. Tom
resided with his wife and child in Beach House, 188-190 High Street, Prestonpans, East Lothian.
Brentnall was given golf lessons by Tom Morris and as early as 1874 he was a member of Royal Musselburgh Golf Club. In 1878 he
emigrated to Australia and established the firm of Brentnall, Mewton and Butler, Chartered Accountants in Melbourne. It is
believed that Tom Brentnall was the first man in Melbourne to own a set of golf clubs and with his two friends John M. Bruce and
William Knox son of the school teacher in Duns, Berwickshire they founded the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in 1891. Brentnall was the
third club captain and there is a display cabinet in the clubhouse with a set of 'agricultural equipment' with which the game began
in Victoria. Brentnall died in 1937 at his home in Caroline Street, South Yarra, where he had resided for almost seventy years and
was buried in Boroondara Cemetery.
In 1895, Tom Brentnall was joined at Royal Melbourne by the Howden brothers from Highfield Farm, south of North Berwick. Harry
Howden won the Amateur Championship of Australia in 1896, 1897, 1898 and 1901. He also won the championship of the Royal Melbourne
Club in 1897. Jim Howden won the Victoria Championship 1900 and was Australian Amateur Champion in 1904 and 1911.
In 1903 Alex McLaren from North Berwick emigrated to Australia and was appointed golf professional at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
In September 1904, Alex McLaren played in the first Australian Open Championship at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney. In 1905
his twin brother John McLaren arrived at Royal Melbourne and followed his brother as professional.
Daniel Brown born 26th March 1869 son of Thomas Brown, shoemaker and his wife Christina Veitch. Daniel was the younger brother of
Open Champion Davie Brown (below) living at 3 Kerr's Wynd, Musselburgh. Daniel was a golf club maker and joined his brother and
sixteen-year-old nephew Thomas Brown at Hagley Golf Club in Worcestershire (1891-93) before Daniel moved to the nine-hole course
at Morecombe & Heysham (1895-97). He was attached to Fairhaven Golf Club on the original links site near Fairhaven Lake at Lytham
where Jimmy Pringle from Musselburgh was his assistant. Daniel resided at 97 Russell Road, Lytham before returning to Scotland in
1906 and taking over the business of D.McEwan & Son at 41 Millhill, Musselburgh.
David Brown, born 9th May 1861, Wonder Street, Musselburgh, son of Thomas Brown, shoemaker and his wife Christina Veitch. Davie
known as the 'Deacon' was a roofing slater to trade. When he won the Open at Musselburgh in 1886, he did not initially enter the
championship but at the last minute was called from his work to make up the numbers.
After a wash and borrowed clothes he amazed everyone by leading a strong field with a record 157 for 36 holes. After his triumph
he give up his trade and joined the professional ranks and was appointed assistant to his Musselburgh friend Peter Paxton (below)
at Worcestershire Golf Club, where Brown was appointed head pro in 1891.
That year the Club members subscribed towards paying his fare to compete in the Open at St Andrews where he finished in 7th place.
Brown set a new course record at Malvern in 1894 and 1898 before moving to Harborne Golf Club near Birmingham. In 1899 he emigrated
to America and was employed by A.G.Spalding Bros. in New York before moving in 1901 to the Crescent Athletic Club, Brooklyn. A Long
Spoon (circa 1880) made by Davie Brown is on display in the British Golf Museum.
At the US Open in 1903, Davie Brown tied with Willie Anderson from North Berwick but was defeated by two strokes in the play-off
which was marred by pouring rain. Brown was a familiar figure at North Berwick working the West Links during the summer months
when Anderson was a school boy hanging around the club makers workshop.
In 1891, Brown spent a week in the town partnering Ben
Sayers in money matches. He often mentioned the tricks Sayers would employ to beat his opponents, such as walking forward a
hundred yards to study the green before making his aproach shot or another trick was smoothing down the green with the back of his
hand as if conveying the idea that he expected to hole the putt. If Davie Brown was playing against Sayers, he would carry a
newspaper and when Ben began his tricks, Davie would pretend to read the newspaper as if he did not notice Sayers antics. Davie
Brown enjoyed playing the stock market but lost most of his wealth during the Wall Street slump in 1929 and returned to
Musselburgh residing at 7 Dalrymple Loan. In 1934 he was an inmate in the Inveresk Poorhouse and died on 8th July 1936 at 61
Wedderburn Terrace, Musselburgh and is buried in Inveresk Cemetery.
Willie Campbell, a former caddie to Bob Ferguson, was
born 9th August 1862, Archibalds Place, Musselburgh, son of John 'Jack' Campbell, a golf caddie and his wife Christina Nice. Willie
and his younger brother Benjamin were caddies on the links at Musselburgh while living with their parents at 2, Simpson Close, Millhill,
Inveresk. The family moved to North Berwick in July 1876 when their sister Christina was enrolled at the North Berwick Public School.
They lived in Park Place, North Berwick which today is Nos. 17-25 Old Abbey Road where they resided for over ten years.
Willie and Ben Campbell were granted a professional license at North Berwick and they entered the Open Championship from the town in
1885. Ben moved to 49 Millhill, Musselburgh and played in the Open Championship for over a decade from 1883 and his highest finish was
third at Musselburgh in 1886.
Willie married Georgina Stewart in 1886, a cotton factory worker with J & W. Stuart. Her family lived next to the Campbell's at 49,
Millhill Musselburgh. In 1887 Willie was assistant pro to Charlie Hunter at Prestwick GC and in 1889 he was the first greenkeeper and
professional to be appointed to Ranfurly Castle GC (1889-94). Where he was joined by his younger brother John Campbell and apprentice
club-maker David Adams who moved to Alexandra Park Golf Club,Riddrie (1899-1910) and then to Douglas Park Golf Club, Bearsden (1910- 1938).
In 1889 Ben Campbell was appointed pro at the adjacent Bridge Of Weir GC (now defunct) from 1889-92. Willie's daughter Mary Hunter
Campbell was born in Gateside Cottage, Bridge of Weir in 1888.
Willie was a tall strapping fellow, not a sensational driver yet long and straight off the tee. It was with the mashie that he was
famed, using it for every kind of shot, sometimes putting with it. Matchplay rather than strokeplay was Campbell's forte winning
many money matches. In 1886, he defeated Willie Park twice over Musselburgh and North Berwick, beat the champion David Brown and
had victories over Bob Martin and Willie Fernie.
In 1889, Willie Campbell took part in a four round challenge match against Archie Simpson over Carnoustie, St Andrews, Musselburgh
and Prestwick. Campbell won all four matches but it was the huge crowd at Musselburgh which stole the headlines with the players
driving down an avenue of spectators ten to twelve deep including top-hatted Edinburgh gentlemen shoulder to shoulder with grimy
miners who had climbed from the bowels of the earth to watch the match. Campbell laid out courses at Machrie Hotel (1891), Isle of Islay,
and Seascale (1893), Cumbria.
William Campbell emigrated to America in 1894, sailing from Glasgow to Boston on the S.S.Carthaginian he arrived on the last day of
March. Willie was appointed greenkeeper and professional at the Country Club of Brookline. In May the following year he was joined in
McLellan Street, Dorchester by his wife Georgina and daughter Mary. In 1895 Willie moved to Myopia Country Club and in March 1896
George Douglas from North Berwick was appointed to the Country Club of Brookline.
| John Reid who is credited as being the Father of American Golf was born in Dunfermline in 1840, and learned to
play the game over Musselburgh Links. |
Willie Campbell also assisted at Essex C.C before being appointed the first greenkeeper and head professional on the public links at
Franklin Park golf course. In October 1900 Willie Campbell offered a cup valued at $50 for an interscholastic tournament by team completion, and
he also offers to give medals to the members of the winning team. The cup is to become the property of the school winning it twice
and the schoolboys in the vicinity of Boston are planning to hold the first competition on Saturday. It was here that Georgina began
to give lessons and is recognised as the first lady golf professional in America. Working from a shop in Dorchester, Campbell was
allowed to retain the green fees at Franklin Park as his pay and sell clubs and balls. Campbell never enjoyed good health and died at
his home in Dorchester, Boston on 25th November 1900 at the age of 38 years and is buried at Forest Hills. Georgina moved to Glenway
Street, Dorchester and was described in 1909 as 'Club Matron' at Franklin Park. She was appointed Superintendent of the Franklin Park
courses, thereby becoming the first woman to earn employment as a golf professional in the US. Ironically, despite the heavy demand for play the town closed the course on holidays and Saturday afternoons in the summer because
of the danger posed by errant shots to the crowds who flocked to the park during prime times. This motivated the commissioners to lay
out a six-hole course for novices inside the regular links. She married Dec Willis and became an American Citizen in 1924. |
Ben Campbell continued to work as a club-maker at Musselburgh and North Berwick and was among a group of pro's who were invited to
play at the opening of the new Luffness course in October 1894, and the extended course at North Berwick in June 1895. Ben Campbell
died at 9, Kerrs Wynd, Inveresk, Musselburgh in 1908, aged 43 years. At that time his father Jack Campbell was working as a caddie at
North Berwick and in 1912 he died in Inveresk Poorhouse.
Alex 'Nipper' Campbell (b.1876) followed George Douglas as pro at the Country Club of Brookline in 1899 and it has been suggested that he was
a brother of Willie Campbell. Willie and Alex Campbell were not related, Alex came from Portland Road, Troon, Ayrshire.
John 'Fiery' Carey
The most famous caddie at Musselburgh was Johnnie Carey known as 'Fiery' because of his complexion rather than his temperament. Fiery was
born in 1847 in Kerr's Wynd, Inveresk and on leaving school he worked as a labourer in Pinkie Brickworks at Levenhall. His brother
Tom Carey was a miner and the family resided in Dumbrae before moving to 169 High Street, Musselburgh.
By 1875 Fiery was described as a 'club carrier' and as golf became more popular his talents were in demand on the links at
Musselburgh. He became the regular caddie for Willie Park Jr. carrying his clubs in all his big matches. Fiery always dressed in his
Balmoral bonnet with streamers floating behind, and the clubs loosely held beneath his oxter. He was a first-class caddie at North Berwick
and given the Ticket No.18. His fellow caddie from Musselburgh was John Forman who was given Ticket No.19. 1909 Royal Musselburgh Golf
Club and the Honourable Company paid 'Fiery' the veteran caddie, seven shillings each week. He remained single and resided at 93 North
High Street, Musselburgh where he died in 1913, aged 66 years. Musselburgh Golf Club named the 16th hole at Monktonhall 'Fiery' after the
Alexander Carrick born 1762 in Athelstaneford, East Lothian, was a Blacksmith and Edge Tool Maker. He was joined in the business by
his brothers Archibald (b.1789) and Francis (b.1791) when they expanded to 61 High Street, Musselburgh in 1839. F & A Carrick, where
also Golf Cleek Makers in their workshop on Back Street, Inveresk. The business continued with James Carrick (b.1827) at 1 New Street,
Fisherrow until 1908. James lived at 132 North High Street, Musselburgh. Popular with collectors today is the smooth faced Carrick
lofting iron with a hickory shaft supplied by R. Forgan & Sons, St Andrews.
James, David & Peter Clark
The Clark brothers, James (b.1867), David (b.1874) and Peter (b.1876) resided in Brewery House, 181 High Street, Fisherrow, Musselburgh,
sons of William Clark, brewer and his wife Euphemia Girdwood. The brothers apprenticed as club and ball makers with Willie Park in his
workshop at Millhill, Inveresk before branching out on their own account in 1892.
Messrs. J & D. Clark produced golf clubs and balls for the wholesale and export market and in 1896 they were the largest golf equipment
manufacturer in Scotland, employing over 40 men. They opened branches at 16 Braid Road, Edinburgh and were the resident clubmakers
at Dunbar Golf Club, supplied from their workshop at 2 Eskside South, Inveresk. Their best seller was the 'Musselburgh' gutty percha
ball and in 1898 they exported over 107,000 to the USA alone. In 1899 the J & D. Clark contract at Dunbar Golf Club was taken over
by J & A. Dickson of Edinburgh.
Their father William Clark died in 1881 aged 46 years. When the brothers left for America their mother Euphemia continued the business
at 3 Links Place, Musselburgh until 1903 when the business closed. James Clark remained a club maker residing at 64 West Holmes Gardens,
Musselburgh before being appointed assistant to J. H. Taylor at Mid-Surrey Golf Club, Richmond.
David W. Clark
In the 1901 census David Whitelaw Clark is listed as a golf clubmaker residing at 15, West Holmes Gardens, Inveresk. In February 1902
he followed his younger brother Peter to America and remained in Pennsylvania for the rest of his short career. He was appointed
professional at Mt. Airy Country Club (1902-03), then Lansdowne Country Club (1904-1910). Before he was appointed Manager and Professional
at the nine-hole municipal Castle Shannon Golf Club founded in 1907 in Pittsburgh. Castle Shannon was sold to the borough of Mt. Lebanon
in 1947 and converted to a public facility. In 1916, Clark accepted an offer to join the Country Club of Scranton and he resided with his
wife Alexandria Miller and family at 932 First Street, Pittsburg where he died in May 1925, aged 50 years. David Whitelaw Clark is buried
in Dunmore Cemetery in Scranton, Lackawanna County. Advert above from the USGA publication in January 1898.
Peter emigrated to America in 1898 and was listed as a golf professional boarding at 695, North Jackson Street, Media, Delaware,
Pennsylvania. In 1900 he moved with his wife Margaret to Tarrytown Road, Greenburgh Westchester County, New York. In June 1901 the
New York Times reported that Peter Clark who was associated with Nassau Country Club at Glen Cove, Long Island had decided to return
to the golf business in Westchester County in October. On 13th November 1905 Peter Clark (Century Country Club) attended a meeting
of professionals in the Astor House New York to establish the Eastern Professional Golfers Association.
In 1912 Peter was appointed Golf Instructor and Superintendent of the Golf Grounds at Gedney Farm Golf Club, White Plains, NY. Clark
was appointed the first head professional at Westchester Hills Golf Club and he designed their new course inspired by Donald Ross.
The first nine-holes were completed in 1913, five more holes were added the following year with the final four completed in 1915. The
new golf course was for the guests of the Gedney Farm Hotel opened in 1912. The members of Gedney Farm Country Club acquired the
course from the hotel and altered the name to Westchester Hills Golf Club in 1921. A second course was laid out in 1923 by Peter
Clark to cater for the hotel guests which became the Ridgeway Country Club. He resided at 72, Knollwood Road, Elmsford and remained
at Westchester Hills Golf Club until 1937. Ridgeway Country Club closed in 2009.
William Cosgrove born 1855 Inveresk son of Alexander Cosgrove, golf club-maker and his wife Janet Nelson. The family resided in James
Place, Millhill, Inveresk. He married Mary Jane Quin in 1878 and was described then as a golf ball-maker. Willie Cosgrove entered the
Open Championship from Musselburgh in 1874 (finished 20), 1877 (6), 1883 (16), 1884 (16), 1885 (25), 1886 (20).
Alexander Cosgrove died in Inveresk Poor House in 1867, aged 46 years. William H. Bell. Cosgrove died in Newington, Edinburgh in 1927
aged 73 years.
Robert Cosgrove (b. October 1827) and his elder brother Edward 'Ned' Cosgrove (b. July 1819) were born at Dambrae, Inveresk, sons of
Edward Cosgrove, a general labourer and his wife Ann Fechnie. On leaving school Robert 'Bob' Cosgrove worked as a golf ball-maker at
51 High Street, Fisherrow. During the season, Ned Cosgrove was a freelance club carrier on Musselburgh links and returned to general
labouring in the winter. Bob Cosgrove entered the Open Championship in 1874 at Musselburgh and finished in 22nd place. In 1875 Bob
Cosgrove travelled to St Andrews to take part in the professional tournament after the Autumn Meeting of the Royal & Ancient Club.
In 1880 he moved to North Berwick working as a golf ball-maker at 2 Melbourne Cottage.
In September 1875 The Scotsman reported on the professional tournament at North Berwick, organised the day before 'The Big Match'
played between the Morris's father and son, against Willie and Mungo Park. During the tournament Bob Cosgrove returned a card one
stroke better than young Tom Morris who was leading the tournament, but the referee John Home W.S, North Merchiston House, Edinburgh
refused to accept the card because it was incorrectly marked. Cosgrove complained bitterly but the disqualification stood. Willie
Park and the other Musselburgh players stated that unless Cosgrove was awarded the £7 first prize they refused to play with any
of the St Andrews men. When the dust eventually settled young Tom Morris was declared the winner.
Ned Cosgrove entered the Open Championship at Musselburgh in 1880 finishing third and the following year at Prestwick again finishing
third behind the winner Bob Ferguson. Bob Cosgrove died in North Berwick in 1895 aged 63 years. His wife and children moved to
Robert 'Bobby' Cruickshank
Robert Allan Cruickshank born 16 November 1894 at 14 South Street, Grantown-on-Spey, son of Robert Cruickshank and his wife Jane Lawson.
Robert'Bobby'Cruickshank was 5 feet 4 inches tall and learned to play golf on the local course at Grantown-on-Spey where he and his
brother John caddied for visitors. One of those visitors was Mrs Isabella Usher of the brewing family who was so impressed by her young
caddies that she offered Bobby's family the opportunity for the boys to have a good education at her expense in Edinburgh. In 1909
Bobby and John moved to live with Mrs Usher as their guardian at 5 Murrayfield Avenue and they attended Daniel Stewart's College.
Bobby played golf on the Braid Hills course in Edinburgh where he met and established a life long friendship with Tommy Armour. Both
were badly injured serving in Belgium during WW1 and Bobby had to live with the trauma of seeing his brother John being blown-up only
yards away and his body was never found.
In 1919 and 1920 Bobby won the Edinburgh Corporation Coronation Cup over the Braid Hills, which at the time was Edinburgh's premier
tournament. He also represented Stewart's FP golf club with success in the famous Evening Dispatch Trophy and reached the third round
of the 1920 British Amateur Championship at Muirfield.
Bobby Cruickshank emigrated to America with his wife Helen and daughter Elsie Isabella named after Mrs Usher. They arrived in New
York on 7 April 1921 and the passenger manifest listed his occupation as 'Student'. His contact in America was William Park at 25 W
43rd Street, New York. They took the railroad to Port Chester, Westchester, New York where Tommy Armour was a member. On his arrival
in America Bobby won a number of tournaments including the St Joseph's Open,(Missouri), the Syracuse Open and the New York State Open
as an amateur.
He was attached to the following golf clubs, Essex Country Club NJ 1921; Shackamaxon, Westfield NJ 1922-24; Twin Hills, Oklahoma City,
OK 1925-26. Wintered at Palma Ceia, Tampa, Florida 1925-26 and was appointed to Progress Purchase NY 1928-31. He spent six-months at
Willowbrook NY in 1931,and was appointed to the Country Club of Virginia, Richmond 1933-35.
In 1929 he returned to Scotland to play in the Open at Muirfield and in a newspaper article Bobby said 'I brought over only two clubs,
a niblick and a putter and for the rest, he said he was going to go and see Jack White at Gullane'. Bobby wore his Stewart's College
tie in the second round of the Open and finished sixth. Jack White apprenticed as a clubmaker with Tom Dunn at North Berwick before
being appointed professional at Sunningdale. He had recently returned to East Lothian and started a clubmaking business in Gullane.
In 1938 he was attached to the newly opened course at Monktonhall, Musselburgh.
Although Bobby recorded nine top-six finishes in golf's four major championships, the closest he came to the elusive win was twice
being runner-up at the US Open in 1923 and 1932. Cruickshank retired to Delray Beach, Palm Beach, Florida where he died in August
Charles Crawford, born 21st. November 1863 at 6 Simpson Close, Inveresk Musselburgh son of Robert Crawford, agriculture labourer and his
wife Margaret Blackie. Charlie boarded at 150 High Street (Archibald Place), Inveresk and was a caddie on Musselburgh links before
being appointed greenkeeper and professional at the nine-hole Rochester & Cobham Park Golf Club laid out on Oakleigh Farm (1891-1892).
He entered the Open Championship at Musselburgh in 1886 and the Open at Muirfield in 1892, finishing in the top thirty on both occasions.
He was appointed the first pro at the newly opened nine-hole course at Finchley Golf Club, originally laid out in the grounds of Nether
Court (1892-1900). Charlie Crawford and his wife Jane returned to Musselburgh and resided at 16 Dam Brae and he worked as a licensed
professional at North Berwick prior to WW1.
Walter D. Day born 11th March 1838 in Edinburgh, son of Benjamin Day, golf ball maker and his wife Catherine. Walter Day moved
to Musselburgh in 1875 and was working as a golf club maker at 34 Hight Street. In 1880, his father was clubmaker to Bruntisfield
Golf Links Society at Millhill and the family resided at 2 Links Place, Inveresk. When the Bruntsfield Club moved to Barnton in
1895, Walter Day's workshop was at Pinkieburn Golf House in Golf Place, Musselburgh. His sons Christopher and Walter Jnr. were
also club makers. In 1902, Walter Snr. was appointed professional at Ardeer Golf Club, Ayrshire and in 1910 Walter Day was
professional at Edenmore Golf and Country Club, Tullyanaghan, Magheralin, Co. Down, and his brother Benjamin Day was his assistant.
In 1914 they moved to Lurgan Golf Club, Northern Ireland.
Walter D. Day was one of the first golf professionals to work in South Africa, when he was appointed to the Cape Golf Club in March
1893. According to the records of the South African Golf Association the first professional golfers in South Africa were Walter Day
(Cape GC) from Musselburgh and Jack Johnstone (Port Elizabeth GC), from North Berwick, Scotland.
When the SA Amateur Tournament was played at Port Elizabeth in 1893 it appears that Walter 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. At the same tournament in 1899 at Kimberely GC.
Walter Day's elder brother Benjamin Day (b.1862) is listed among the four professionals. 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.
William Davidson (b.1857) and his brother Charles Davidson (b.1859), were born in Pencaitland, East Lothian the illegitimate sons of
Janet Davidson. They resided with their grandmother Isabella Davidson before moving to Gullane where they apprenticed as golf clubmakers
with Douglas McEwan. The brothers started their own business W & C Davidson in 1895 working from a property named Temple Croft at the
corner of Saltcoats Road and Templar Place in Gullane. Charlie Davidson continued the clubmaking business in Downie Buildings, 13
Millhill, Inveresk and in 1901 he resided at 39 Eskside South, Musselburgh. In 1905 William lived at 22 Rothsay Place, Inveresk, then
41 Hercus Loan and in 1920 at North High Street, Musselburgh.
Alexander and John Dickson
John Dunbar Dickson (b.1859) and his brother Alexander Dickson (b. 1867) were born in Plainstone Close, Canongate, Edinburgh sons of
Thomas Dickson, house painter and his wife Elizabeth Dunbar. The brothers apprenticed as golf clubmakers and in 1880 John was also
described as a Fishing Rod Maker. In 1889 they started their own business as A. & J. Dickson working from 8 Braid Road, and later at
15 Comiston Road, Edinburgh. They patented several clubs including the Simplex iron based on the mallet principal in 1893. The brothers
moved to 108 Rose Street with their worksop at 5 Balcarries Street, and they continued to supply fishing rods and tackle at 30 Braid
Alexander married Elizabeth Marshall and they resided at 3 Belhaven Terrace, Edinburgh with the clubmaking business in Braid Road.
In 1905 John Dickson was listed as Manager of Golf Club and Cycle Maker at 15 Comiston Road, Edinburgh. He resided with his wife
Grace Morrison at 10 Jordan Lane where he died in May 1905. Alex continued the business of A & J. Dickson until 1908 when it went
into liquidation. Alex died in June 1926 at 2 Balcarries Street, Edinburgh.
Archibald Dickson born 25th October 1868, 34 New Street, Fisherrow, Musselburgh, son of James Archibald and his wife Joan Naismith.
The family moved to 4 Pinkie Pans, Inveresk before Archie Dickson was appointed greenkeeper and professional at Rowallane Golf Club,
Saintfield, Belfast (1896-97). He then held a similar position at the Royal Engineer Golf Club at Chatham. Dickson apprenticed as a
clubmaker under Peter Paxton at Tooting Bec and later he was attached to Maidenhead Golf Club. In 1900 Archie shared his apartment
at 127 N. High Street, Musselburgh with Bob Tait another local golf professional.
Robert Doig born 23 February 1876, Newbigging, Inveresk, son of William Doig, labourer at Inveresk Paper Mill and his wife Ann Millar.
In 1890, Robert Doig was described as golf ball maker residing with his parents at 160 High Street, Musselburgh. At this time Bob was
treasurer of the North Esk Golf Club.
In 1905 Doig laid out the nine-hole course at Marianske Lazne, Czechoslovakia where he was appointed the first professional in the
summer months. He moved to Leipzig Golf Club (1907-1908) and then to a winter position at Rome Golf Club (1908-27) used by British
and American diplomats. At this time he was also attached to Calisbad Golf Club, Cezech Republic, and later to Lucerne in Switzerland.
In 1907 Bob Doig was joined by his brother Jimmie Doig as his assistant. In 1910, J.H.Taylor played an exhibition match with Bob Doig.
Taylor was invited to Rome to play in a pro/am and the following day he played a match with Bob Doig. Doig suffered badly from
nerves and lost by 22 strokes over 36 holes.
During WW1 Bob Doig was interned in a prison-of-war camp while based at Marienbad Golf Club in Austria. He was eventually realised
and the gendarme came to the golf club-house and took his passport. Bob had sent his wife and family home with his brother when the
war cloud burst several weeks before. He was kept under observation by detectives despite the fact I had been golf professional at
Marienbad for ten years.
Doig decided to make a move for the Italian border and after a twenty-four hour journey which normally took nine hours he travelled
over the frontier into Italy. Following a couple of days in Rome he came home via Switzerland and France. Approaching Paris he had
four wounded French solders as travelling companions and the British flag was flying over the French city.' Doig travelled back to
Scotland for a short period before returning to Rome in 1915. Robert Doig died 20th January 1956 in Musselburgh.
Doleman brothers living at 7, High Street, North Esk were associated with golf for over 70 years. William (1838-1918) was the
best player and was the first amateur to enter the Open Championship. A. H. Doleman (1836-1914) was one of the pioneers of golf in
England and founder of golf at Lytham and St Annes. John (1826-1918) the eldest, introduced the game to Nottinghamshire and Frank
(1848-1929) was a clubmaker at Bruntsfield Links. William Doleman is credited as the first to play golf in Canada in 1854. When as
a 16 year old sailor he went ashore from a military vessel and played a game on the Plains of Abraham at Quebec with clubs he had
brought on the voyage. There is a fine example of Frank Doleman's clubmaking in the Museum of Edinburgh with a clubhead made in
1884 from oak salvaged from a building demolished in the High Street, Edinburgh.
Robert Dow was twenty-five years younger than William Dow (below). Robert was born 1868, 6 Links Place, Inveresk son of John Dow, and
his wife Jane Robertson. His grandfather John and brothers John and William were listed as club carriers on Musselburgh links and
during the winter they turned their hand to general labouring.
Robert Dow emigrated to America in 1898 and secured a position with Slazenger & Sons, 19 East, 15th Street, New York. In 1900 he was
appointed golf professional at Bedford Golf and Tennis Club in Westchester County. He moved to Powelton, Newburgh NY (1901), then
Mount Vernon NY (1902) and Knollwood Country Club (1903-07) before returning to Bedford Golf and Tennis Club NY (1908-09). Robert
Dow married American school teacher Josephine Park and they resided on Old Hill Road between Bedford village and Mount Kisco where
their friend Walter E. Stoddart from Musselburgh was the golf pro.
In November 1905 Robert Dow attended a meeting of professionals in the Astor House, New York to establish the Eastern Professional
Golfers Association. Dow was elected to the executive committee along with Willie Anderson, Alex Smith, Willie Norton, and Alex
Campbell. In December 1908, Robert travelled to Scotland to visit his family at Musselburgh. On the return journey to New York in
February 1909 he was joined by Tom Anderson the former head green-keeper at North Berwick and now professional at Montclair Golf
Club. NJ. His son Willie Anderson won the US Open Championship four times.
He was offered the position of golf pro at Ridgeford Golf Club NJ (1909-12) then to Monroe Golf Club NY (1913-15), and Oneonta NY
(1916) before moving to Bedford Golf and Tennis Club, as superintendent (1917-30). In September 1908, the brothers Robert Dow
(Ridgewood) and William Dow (Fall River) played in the Eastern Professional Golfers Association Championship. Robert Dow finished
third and received $30 in prize money. The following month Robert Dow played in the Metropolitan Open Championship at Baltusrol
Golf Club, NJ. and picked up third price of $33. The field included the former North Berwick caddies, George Turnbull (Washington),
Jack Hoben (Englewood) Robert M Thomson (Knollwood) and Robert Peebles (Ridgewood). Bob Dow played in the US Open Championship in
1903 at Baltusrol and in 1908 at Myopia Hunt Club he withdrew after the second round. Bob resided with his family on North State
Road, Bedford, Westchester County where he died in 1931 and is buried in Bedford Union Cemetery.
William Dow born 1839 6 Links Place, Musselburgh, son of John Dow, joiner journeyman and golf club carrier, and his wife Jean
Robertson. Willie Dow had six top ten finishes in the Open Championship and was third in both 1861 and 1865 at Prestwick. The day
after the Open, the professionals played in challenge matches encouraged by the gentlemen golfers who put up the prize money, and
in 1862 Willie Dow beat Willie Park. Willie Dow was a freelance professional at Montrose and North Berwick. He died in Inveresk,
Musselburgh in October 1872, aged 32 years. This William Dow should not be confused with William S. Dow, born 1886 at 11 Carseburn
Place, Forfar, who apprenticed as a cleek-maker in Monifieth before emigrating to America where he was attached to a number of
Country Clubs in Massachusetts.
Thomas S. Drummond
George Thomas Scot Drummond born 7 September 1884 at 20 High Street, Musselburgh son of George Drummond, coachman and his wife Martha
Young. On leaving school Tom Drummond was a caddie on the Musselburgh links before being appointed golf professional at Mortonhall Golf
Club in Edinburgh.
In 1909 Tom Drummond was appointed the first golf professional at the newly opened course designed by James Braid at Greenway Hall. Tom
boarded in Ivy House, Stanley Road, Stockton Brook, Stoke-on-Trent. In 1912 he returned to Scotland and was a freelance professional
giving private lessons on the Aberdeen City Council Links. Henry David Drummond b.1887, St Andrews club-maker is not related to Tom S.
Willie Dunn and family
Willie Dunn and his twin brother Jamie were born in Musselburgh in 1821, sons of a plasterer. They both apprenticed as ballmakers
with Douglas Gourlay at Bruntsfield. They played in many challenge matches together between 1840-1860. In 1851 Willie Dunn was
appointed 'Keeper of the Green' at Blackheath and was joined by his brother Jamie. Willie remained at the club for fourteen years
until he was dismissed in 1864 for inappropriate behavior. In 1865 Willie moved back to Leith links and in 1869 he became 'Club
and Ballmaker and Custodian of the Green' to the Leith Thistle Golf Club. Willie worked as a club and ball maker from his house
at Primrose Cottage, Lochend, Leith. In 1867 the Thistle Club leased No.8 Vanburgh Place as their clubhouse where Willie Dunn
resided with his workshop situated behind in Vanburgh Place Lane.
In 1871 Willie moved to Musselburgh to set up a clubmaking business and then to North Berwick. Willie had two sons Tom who
apprenticed as a club maker under his father at Musselburgh and Willie Dunn Jnr. who trained under his older brother from the
age of thirteen. Tom Dunn started his professional career at North Berwick in 1869. The following year he moved to the London
Scottish Club at Wimbledon and in 1871 he joined his father at Leith Links where they lived at No.7 Vanburgh Place. Willie
Dunn Snr remained at Leith Links for ten years before settling at North Berwick. He died at Millhill, Inveresk in 1878 at the
age of 59 years.
Willie Dunn Jnr. was 15 years old when he played his first match against Ben Sayers at North Berwick and won. In 1882 he partnered
Sayers in a money match against the two Fernies at St Andrews. The first day was halved but the second day Dunn and Sayers won the
match by five holes. Willie entered the Open Championship for the first time from North Berwick in 1883 and again in 1884, and
The Golf Course at Musselburgh Links has been officially
recognised as the oldest in the world by Guinness World Records. |
In 1886, Willie Dunn Jnr. was asked by Horace Hutchinson to take charge of the links of the Royal North Devon Golf Club at
Westward Ho!. Dunn remained there for a year and laid out the present course. In 1888, he moved to Royal Epping Forrest in
Chingford and laid out their 18 hole course. The following year he was considered for the vacant post at Worcestershire but
instead transferred to Biarritz in France where his brother Tom designed the course during a winter visit while still engaged
at North Berwick. Willie Dunn Jnr. remained at Biarritz for six years. |
In the winter of 1890 while on vacation in the south of France, William K. Vanderbilt and two friends from Southampton (LI).
Duncan Cryden and Edward S. Mead of Dodd, Mead & Co. persuaded Willie Dunn Jnr. to come to America. He arrived in March 1891
and accepted the post of professional instructor at Shinnecock Hills during the summer months. Willie extended the existing
twelve hole course at Shinnecock Hills as well as laying out the nine-hole ladies course. Four years later a combination of
the two courses were used to host the 1896 US Open. Willie Dunn Jnr. was the first unofficial champion of America in 1894 by
defeating another Musselburgh boy Willie Campbell. In 1895, Dunn was runner-up in the first official US Open Championship.
The long-nosed putter used by Willie Dunn in 1849 is on display in the Museum of Golf. His son Willie Dunn Jnr used the same
club to win the first US Open at Shinnecock Hills.
By 1896, after flying visits to Biarritz in the winter, Willie Dunn Jnr. with his wife and son Norman William Dunn settled at the
links of Ardsley Country Club in New York where he designed the course. It was here he set up a club manufacturing business and was
joined by his nephew John D. Dunn in 1897. Willie opened a retail shop in New York and began experimenting with steel shafted clubs and
was the first to use a tee peg. In 1895, he established the first Indoor Golf Centre and he continued this facility when his
business moved to 9 East, 42 Street New York in 1898, a few blocks away from John D. Dunn's premises. In 1900, Willie Dunn Jnr
laid out a private nine-hole course for John D Rockefeller on his Tarrytown Estate, NY.
The family can remember the son of Willie Dunn Jnr. telling the story of how one minute he was a grocer's delivery boy in Blackheath and
the next he was playing rough and tumble with the Vanderbilt and Rockefeller children on 42nd Street, when his father made his
millions and then in no time he would be back delivering groceries again when his father's fortune was lost. He said this
happened a couple of times. In the 1920s Willie Dunn Jnr. moved to San Jose in California still designing clubs until his death
Bob Ferguson was born in Musselburgh in 1848 and won the first of his three Open Championship's over his home course in 1880. Ferguson
lived at 150 High Street (Archibald Place) Musselburgh and when he was only 18 years old, he won the first prize of ten pounds in a
tournament at Leith Links (1866) against a strong field of top professionals. His patron was so enthusiastic over his victory that he
offered to present Ferguson with a set of clubs.
When the set was duly bought in the shop of Douglas McEwan, the eight clubs were chosen with such care that they lasted him all through his
championship career. His wealthy sponsors including Sir Charles Tennant who backed him in 1868 and 1869 when he defeated Tom Morris
on six occasions.
Golf Illustrated wrote of Bob Ferguson 'To see him address the ball was in itself a study; broad-backed and sturdy, so square and
solid he looked, yet with great loose free-working shoulders swinging as true as if his back-bone was a pivot. And that forward dig
of his with the iron, which used to lay the balls up on the plateau-pitched holes of North Berwick as if by magic! Another feature
of his game was his skill in running-up the ball from long distances with the wooden putter, a club which the golfers of other
courses called in derisive bitterness the 'Musselburgh Iron'
In 1868 he halved one match with Morris at Musselburgh and won another but was badly beaten over Luffness. Once the two played a match
with cleeks alone over Prestwick and Ferguson, who was a very powerful player with all iron clubs, won by four holes. His chief
triumphs against the Morris family seem however to have been gained in foursomes. With Davie Park as his partner he beat Old and
Young Tom by 4 and 3 and a still better win was at North Berwick when he and old Willie Park beat Tommy Morris and Davie Strath by
Bob Ferguson and B. Hal Blyth played old Tom Morris and John Ball in two matches (18 holes each) at North Berwick on August 8th 1881.
The first match was won by Blyth and Ferguson by 3 up and one to play, the last hole being halved. The second match was halved. These
matches were played when the Hoylake team came to North Berwick for the first time to play Tantallon Golf Club. The same foursome
played a match at Gullane and Blyth and Ferguson won 4 up and 2 to play.
Ferguson won the Open Championship in 1880, 1881 and 1882. In 1883 he tied with Willie Fernie, losing the 36-hole play-off by one stroke.
After that championship he became ill with typhoid and was never able to reproduce his great form. During this period he was unable
to pay his medical bills and gave the doctor one of his Open Championship gold medals. Ferguson lived at 150 High Street, 5 Archibald
Place, Musselburgh and was appointed custodian of the old links. There is a fine example of Ferguson's club-making with a Wooden
Putter circa 1880 in the British Golf Museum. In 1889, Bob Ferguson and Peter M'Ewan designed and laid out the Braid Hills the first
public course in Edinburgh. Bob Ferguson's brother John 'Jackie' Ferguson was also a caddie on the links.
When Bob Ferguson died in May 1915, Royal Musselburgh G.C. instigated a subscription for a memorial fountain to be erected adjoining
Musselburgh Links. The remaining funds were handed over to Ferguson's wife who was an invalid and totally blind, but well cared for
by her family. The memorial took the form of a drinking fountain which was originally erected beside Balcarres Road and when
Musselburgh Golf Club moved to Monktonhall in 1938, the fountain was transferred to a new site in front of Musselburgh clubhouse at
Monktonhall where it remains. Bob Ferguson and Peter M’Ewan designed and laid out the Braid Hills course in 1889. Bob Ferguson is
buried in Inveresk churchyard in an umarked grave, (lair 673) owned by his son Peter Ferguson. Among the other Open Champions buried
in Inveresk are Davie Brown, Willie Park, Jack White and caddie Henry 'Big' Crawford. Interestingly the famous Open Championship
Claret Jug is inscribed three times with the spelling 'Bob Fergusson'.
John 'Jackie' Ferguson.
Bob Ferguson's elder brother John 'Jackie' Ferguson (b.1844, Musselburgh) was the son of Peter Ferguson and his wife Isabella. On
leaving Inveresk School Jackie was a caddie on Musselburgh links and was listed as a golf professional when he entered the Open
Championship in 1886. Jackie married Annie Carey sister of John 'Fiery' Carey the famous Musselburgh and North Berwick caddie.
John Forman born 28th July 1860 in Old Bridge Street, Leith, son of Henry Forman, a merchant seaman and his wife Barbara
Gillespie. John Forman was a contemporary of Ben Sayers and Andrew Kirkaldy, and caddied for Old Tom Morris, Davie Strath, and
Johnny Laidlay at North Berwick and Musselburgh. Forman bought his first golf club from Willie Dunn Snr who was in charge of Leith
Links. John Forman worked for Thornton & Co at 78, Princes Street, Edinburgh as a club and ball maker for over 21 years. In 1895
he lived in the High Street, North Berwick and was granted his professional ticket on the West Links on 23rd August 1895.
Forman emigrated to America in 1897 and was appointed pro at the Dutchess Country Club, Poughkeepsie, NY where Mungo Park laid out
the nine-hole course the previous year. Forman described the scenery among the rolling hills and meadows of old Dutchess as
resembling the hills of East Lothian, Scotland. Two of the original holes are named 'Trap' and 'Perfection' after the holes at North
Berwick. In 1898 Forman was appointed assistant pro to Willie Dunn Jnr. at Ardsley Casino Country Club, Dobbs Ferry, NY where John
Duncan Dunn was also a club maker. Forman was familiar with the Dunn family from his days at Leith, Musselburgh and North Berwick.
A report in Golf magazine in April 1899 reads, 'John Forman seems to have given general satisfaction to the Ardsley golfers during
the past year and I hear that his clubs have become so popular that several dealers are now duplicating the various shapes.'
John Forman remained at Ardsley for three years and in 1901 he moved to Westfield G.C. NJ (now Echo Lake Country Club), then to
Kahkwa G.C. at Erie PA (1903-1904), before settling at Warren Golf Club in western Pennsylvania, (which does not exist) 1905-1916.
He was appointed to Danville G.C. VA in (1917-19) before moving to Harrisburg, PA (1920-28) where he died at the age of 64 years.
Madge Neill Fraser
Margaret 'Madge' Neill Fraser was born in 1880 in Edinburgh daughter of Patrick Neill Fraser a master printer and his wife Margaret
Watson. Madge resided with her parents three brothers and a sister in Rockville on Murrayfield Road, Edinburgh. She was a member
of Dornoch, North Berwick and Murrayfield Golf Club's and played Musselburgh links. Madge was a Scottish Internationalist from
1905 until 1914, semi-finalist in the Ladies Championship in 1910 and runner up in the Scottish Championship in 1912. She was
captain of the Scottish Ladies Golf team at the start of WW1 when she volunteered as a nurse with the Scottish Women's Hospital.
Posted to Serbia during a typhus epidemic she caught the decease and died at Kragujevatz in March 1915 and is buried in the Chela
Kula Cemetery, NIS Serbia.
The funeral was conducted according to the rites of the Greek Church with full military honours. Over two-hundred attended her
funeral and an annual commemoration ceremony still takes place every February at the graveside, an indication of the heroic status
the women acquired among the Serbs. The Ladies Golf Union and her friends and admirers started the Madge Neill Fraser Memorial
fund to supply additional beds for the Scottish Women's Hospital in Serbia. They raised sufficient funds to donated 200 beds.
Her father's great uncle started the family printing business Neill & Co, which supplied printed books and law papers to
H.M.Stationary Office. They employed a number of staff at their printing press in the Old Fishmarket Close with the company
offices at Bellevue and 13a George Street, Edinburgh. When Madge's father died her brother Patrick took charge of the printing
works. He enlisted in WW1 and was comissioned in the North Stafford Regiment attached to the Border Regiment. Lieutenant Patrick
Neill Fraser was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916 and is buried at the Citadel New
Military Cemetery, Fricourt, France. Their grieving mother resided at 50 Grange Road, Edinburgh until her death in 1927, aged
Andrew Galloway born 1879 Torryburn, Fife, son of James Galloway, Estate Carter and his wife Isabella. In 1898 Andrew moved with
his parents to Downie Buildings, Musselburgh where he apprenticed as a golf clubmaker. In 1905 Galloway was appointed clubmaker
and professional to Lothian Golf Club who shared the nine-hole course on Musselburgh Links. The members became dissatisfied with
sharing the links with other Clubs and leased land on Turnhouse Farm to the west of Edinburgh where they laid out their own course.
The Club continued as Lothian Golf Club until 1909 when they adopted the name Turnhouse Golf Club.
In 1912 Galloway was appointed assistant professional to Willie Thomson at Baberton Golf Club, Juniper Green, Edinburgh. Thomson
originally from Dirleton was a freelance professional at North Berwick. When he left Baberton in 1927 Andrew Galloway was appointed
head professional and remained at Baberton until his retirement. His brother James Galloway residing at 63 Millhill was keeper of the
green at Musselburgh (1894-1903).
Charles Husband Gibson
Charles H. Gibson Jnr. was born March 20th 1860 in Millhill, Inveresk son of Charles Gibson, master joiner and his wife
Marion Walker. Charles apprenticed as a cabinetmaker and joiner in the business run by his father and uncle, Charles and John
Gibson at 8 Millhill, Inveresk. When they retired in 1880 Charles Gibson was employed by Tom Dunn as a clubmaker and moved to
North Berwick when Dunn was appointed keeper of the green in 1881. Tom Dunn used a timber building adjacent to the first tee on
the West Links, as his club-making workshop. Charlie Gibson and Tom Dunn trained many fine clubmakers at North Berwick including
Open Champion Jack White.
Charles Gibson lodged with Ann Denholm at 42 Entry Door, Westgate, North Berwick sharing the accommodation with her daughter Helen Ramage,
son Charles Ramage and her son Andrew Denholm. Charles Ramage was appointed professional and clubmaker at Brighton & Hove Golf
Club in 1888 and following his death in 1893 aged 36 years, his step-brother Andrew Denholm took over as professional. Charles
Gibson married Ann Denholm's daughter Helen Ramage in the Abbey Church on 30th December 1881. They set up home at 27 Westgate,
North Berwick and their first child Annie Greig Gibson was born at Forrest's Court, Westgate in 1882. She was followed by Marion
Walker Gibson (1884), Charles Husband Gibson (1886) and William Ramage Gibson, (1888). The Gibson family moved to North Street,
Northam, Bideford, Devon where Robert J Gibson was born in 1890.
In 1889 Gibson joined Tom Dunn's brother Willie Dunn Jnr. at North Devon Golf Club, Westward Ho! where he was appointed clubmaker.
In 1891, Gibson laid out the original nine-hole course at Royal Porthcawl in Mid-Glamorgan and the course at Lahinch, Co. Clare in
1892. Gibson remained with the North Devon Club for 43 years and trained many fine clubmakers including Harry Fulford,
Fred Saunders, Eddie Davies, Walter Andrews and John H. Taylor who left school at the age of 11 to become a greenkeeper and went on
to win the Open Championship fives times; George Cann who later started a club making business with Taylor at Richmond and Bert Way
who designed the courses at Euclid Country Club and Mayfield Country Club in Cleveland. Way was also a friend of Coburn Haskell and
collaborated in the testing and design of the rubber-wound golf ball.
(Left) Charles Gibson with the miniature clubs in his hand
In 1924, Charlie Gibson was asked to make a miniature set of golf clubs for Queen Mary's Doll's House. Ben Sayers at North Berwick
made the irons and Gibson made the wooden clubs. The leather golf bag was two and a half inches high and the clubs were three and
a quarter inches long. The Doll's House was displayed at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley and is now on view at Windsor
Castle. The aim of the project was to raise money for children's charities and Queen Mary wrote personally, thanking the
clubmakers. Gibson used as his clubmakers mark a horse, reflecting his early days living opposite Musselburgh race course.
Charles's youngest son Robert J Gibson joined the professional ranks and assisted his father at Royal Devon before being appointed
head pro at Royal Calcutta Golf Club, Tollygunge (1922-24). Some of the territorial regiments in the British Army where stationed
in India and Robert would organise a match with the soldiers. During WW1 he saw service in Mesopotamia and India. William R. Gibson
was appointed golf professional and clubmaker at Royal Winchester (1912-13), Hallamshire (1913-15), Woolacombe Bay, Devon (1915-17)
and Sauton Golf Club (1923-29). Charles Gibson died March 1932 at Bideford, Devon.
John Gourlay, born 1815 in St Cuthberts Parish, Edinburgh son of William Gourlay a golf ball-maker and his wife Christian
Brand. John Gourlay and his elder brother William resided with their parents and four sisters at 1 Leven Street off Bruntisfield links
in Edinburgh. They were the grandsons of Douglas Gourlay Sen. and the sons of William Gourlay Sen. John (1815-1869) and William
(1813-1844) were in partnership as Wm.& John Gourlay. In 1850 they moved to Mill Hill in Musselburgh where they employed three
men and John had two domestic staff. They were also related by marriage to the McEwan club-making family. Jean Gourlay married
Peter McEwan in 1802. The two families worked together at Wright's Houses on Bruntisfield links before moving to 1 High Street,
Inveresk in 1858, where they each employed one man. Peter's son James McEwan was apprenticed to William Gourlay in 1824 and
became a ball-maker rather than a club-maker.
William used no weights whatsoever but simply paced the ball on one side of a pair of scales, and so many leaden pellets of shot on
the other. He died young in 1844 and the ball-making business was carried on under John Gourlay, who married Elizabeth Thomson in
Inveresk Church in 1857.
Peter McEwan had two sons, Douglas (1809-1886) and James (18075-1836). Douglas followed his father and became a famous club maker.
James was apprenticed to Gourlay and became a ball-maker. He died at the age of 31 years. Douglas continued in the business until
his death in 1886 when he was succeeded by his son Peter McEwan (18834-1895).
Douglas McEwan moved from Brunsfield to Musselburgh in 1847, the town also had Douglas Gourlay, the best feather ball-maker of his
generation and a shrewd businessman. He moved to Musselburgh in the 1840s and was tenant of the racecourse grandstand where he
accommodated the golf club boxes belonging to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. In 1844 John Gourlay was the only
ball-maker in the family and he began to make gutta-percha balls in 1852. In the 1860s Robert Forgan developed his own hand-hammered
criss-cross pattern which was basically a grooved diamond-mess design which was copied by most of the gutta-percha ball-makers and
became known as the 'Forgan' pattern. In 1894 Robert Forgan introduced a new ball with a revolutionary cover resembling a blackberry.
Forgan called it the bramble pattern and this became the most popular golf ball until the arrival of the Haskell in 1902.
In 1868 Douglas McEwan resided at 132 Gilmore Place with his workshop at 36 Wright's Houses and later at 34 Leven Street, Edinburgh.
John's younger brother Samuel Gourlay established a business as a gunmaker at 16 South St. Andrew Street, Edinburgh where he
employed four men. His shotguns with the name 'Gourlay' stamped on the lock side plate are very collectable.
John Gow Harrison born 1828, 19 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, son of John D. Harrison and his wife Grace Gow. John and his brother
Henry attended George Heriots School, Edinburgh and trained as Accountants and Insurance Agents. They started their own business at 17
George Street, Edinburgh and John also acted as Secretary of the Ship Owners Liability Insurance (UKPI) at 23 St Andrews Square,
The Harrison brothers would have learned to play golf at Bruntsfield and Musselburgh Links where the Edinburgh golfers had emigrated
from Leith links. The clubs sharing the links at Musselburgh included Edinburgh Burgess, Bruntsfield Links Societies, the Honourable
Company of Edinburgh Golfers and Royal Musselburgh Golf Club.
In 1894, John Harrison was persuaded to emigrate to Canada by fellow Scotsman Charles J.Thomson, an agent of the Loan and Trust Company
residing in Virden, Manitoba. According to the 'Manitoba Free Press' Harrison was sent to Winnipeg with the intention of starting a
golf club. Following a meeting in the Manitoba Hotel a committee of local businessmen formed the Winnipeg Golf Club. Harrison was the
only golfer in the group and was elected to set the rules and write the constitution. The first three holes were layout and subsequently
extending to six along the banks of the Red River in the Norwood area of the city. The club later moved to another site off Portage
Avenue and a second nine was added in 1896. The club changed its name to Norwood Golf Club in 1914.
Charles John Thomson b.13th April 1840, Edinburgh, son of William Thomson, baker to trade and his wife Charlotte Parker residing at
No.7 W. Nicholson Street, Edinburgh. Thomson emigrated to Canada in 1883 and died 2nd June 1911 at Virden, Manitoba, He is buried in
St Cuthberts Churchyard, Edinburgh.
In 1896, Jack Harrison was engaged as golf professional on the five-hole course at Fairfield in Connecticut before moving to the
neighbouring nine-hole course at Ridgefield Country Club (1896-97) situated along what is now Golf Lane and Peaceable Street.
Harrison entered the US Open from Ridgefield Country Club in 1896 and 1897; He withdrew from the 1898 US Open in Philadelphia and
entered the 1899 US Open from Dayton. The following year he played out of Biltmore and in 1900 he entered from Delaware Field Club,
Wilmington. In 1901 and 1902 he represented Colonia Country Club and at Baltusrol in 1903 he withdrew after the second round. During
the winter Harrison worked in the Gimble Brothers Department Store, Philadelphia (1897-98).
He moved to Philadelphia Country Club in 1898 where Harry Gullane was the pro. Jack struck up a friendship with Jimmy Campbell a
professional from North Berwick. In March that year Jack and Jimmy Campbell accepted a challenge from Harry Gullane and Wiliiam W.
Campbell, a member at Philadelphia. Harrison and W. H Way then challenged Gullane and Campbell to a match, two rounds at Meadow Brook
and two at Philadelphia for $200. These challenge matches gave the players more exposure and generated huge interest with rival members.
In 1897 while at Ridgefield, Harrison played in the US Open championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Long Island. Joseph Lloyd won
the championship and Willie Anderson from North Berwick was second. Jack Harrison won the longest driving contest among the
professionals in a contest before the 1897 US Open Championship. His winning drive was 232 yards 4 inches, John Harrison was representing
New York (probably Innis Arden GC) where he played in the Hollywood Tournament in August 1901.
In 1899 Jack and Jimmy Campbell were appointed to Dayton Golf Club, Ohio. In June that year Jack was recruited by the Crawford, McGregor
& Canby Company of Dayton, Ohio. He joined Willie Dunn and Willie Hoare in managing the golf works - Shipping 100,000 rough turned
persimmon heads to Scottish makers.
A.W. Tillinghast, the American golf course architect wrote in Golf magazine about his visit to Scotland in 1899. He described his
pleasure of a days golf at Musselburgh with Henry Harrison of Edinburgh, brother of Jack Harrison the well known professional in
America and golf representative of Crawford, McGregor & Canby Co. of Dayton Ohio. While playing Musselburgh Tillinghast used the
services of local caddie Jackie Ferguson, brother of the former Open Champion Bob Ferguson. In the 1900 US Open at Chicago Golf Club
at Wheaton, Illinious, Jack Harrison carded the highest ever 72-hole score of 393 to set an all time record. In 1901 Harrison and
Campbell team-up again at the Delaware Field Club, later Wilmington Country Club. That year Harrison coached and carried the bag for
Miss Genevieve Hecker from Essex Country Club when she won the Metropolitan Championship at Baltusrol. In 1902, Campbell remained at
Wilmington and John Harrison went to Colonia Country Club in New Jersey.
In 1901 Harrison carried the bag and coached Miss Genevieve Hecker from Essex Country Club to success in the Metropolitain
Championship at Baltusrol. In 1896 while at Ridgefield he played in a open championship on Long Island. In 1910 Harrison played in
an exhibition match with Fred Newnham and David Ogilvie at the opening of the new 18 hole course of the Augusta Country Club at
Walter S. Hill
Walter Somerville Hill, born 1887 at 168 High Street, Musselburgh, son of James Hill, papermill engineer and his wife
Isabella Somerville. On leaving school Walter apprenticed as a club maker and then a freelance professional on Musselburgh Links.
In 1907 he resided with his parents in Harbour Cottage and that year he was appointed golf professional to Menaggio and Cadenabbia
Golf Club, Lake Como, Italy where he remained for ten years.
He also gave tuition at Sanremo Golf Club, Italy. In 1917 Walter Hill (pictured left) returned to Britain and enlisted in WW1. A
report in the press suggested he was wounded in action. In 1920 he returned to Musselburgh and married Jane Hyde and worked as a
caddie and professional on the old course. He died in 1924 aged 38 years.
Davie, Fred and Tom Hood
Thomas Hood born 17 April 1870, Inveresk, son of Thomas Hood, golf ball maker and his wife Hannah Peake. Tom Hood Jnr trained as a club
and ball maker with his father at 2 Shrub Place, Inveresk before moving to 21 Millhill where his brother Frederick was born in 1881.
Tom Hood Jnr opened a shop at 2 Braid Road, Edinburgh and in 1895 they had a workshop in the grounds of the Braid Hills Hotel. Tom's
first apprentice was Peter Paxton (below).
Tom married Sarah Agnes Phillips and in 1893 he was appointed the first greenkeeper and professional at Royal Worlington & Newmarket.
In 1894 he moved to Raynes Park, London, and in 1899 he was appointed head pro at Royal Dublin and resided at 12 Conquer Hill,
Clontarf East, Dublin. Tom was followed to Ireland by his brother Fred who was appointed to Malahide Golf Club, before travelling to
New Zealand. During 1902-04 Tom followed his brother to New Zealand and was assistant to Fred at Auckland Golf Club.
In December 1904, Fred 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, and Alex McLaren, from North Berwick, and Fred Hood representing 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.
Tom returned to Royal Dublin in 1904 and opened a retail shop at 10, Trinity Street and from 1906-1909 he worked from a property at
3 Church Lane, Dublin. Hood entered the Open Championship in 1905 (St Andrews) and 1906 (Muirfield) but missed-the-cut on both
occasions. He laid out a number of course in Ireland including Castle, Grange, Rathfarnham, Tramore and Wicklow and was a founder
member of the Irish PGA in 1911. During WW1 Tom was a hotel-keeper running the White Hart Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire. He
returned to Worlington for a short period before leaving in 1923 to run the Old Bridge Hotel at St Neots in Cambridgeshire. Tom
Hood died in June 1959 and is buried in the churchyard of All Saints, Worlington.
David Hood, a cousin of Tom and Frederick, emigrated to New Zealand in 1905. He worked as a club maker in Jock McLaren (North
Berwick) workshop at Balmacewen Golf Club. In 1906 McLaren won the Professional Championship of New Zealand by one stroke from Davie
Hood. The youngster was assistant to Fred Hood at Auckland before moving to Hagley Golf Club, Christchurch. In 1908, Davie was
runner-up in the second New Zealand Open Championship. In 1913 Fred and Davie Hood were elected members of the first council of the
Professional Golfers Association of New Zealand.
In 1920 Davie Hood left New Zealand and travelled to the Philippines where he gave lessons at Manila Golf Club. From there he sailed
to Tokyo and gave instruction to the Emperor of Japan. He also gave lessons to Prince Asaka and other members of the Imperial
Household at Shinjuka Palace. Hood layout three golf courses in Japan including the famous Ibaraki links.
Frederick George Miller Hood was pro at Auckland before moving to Miramar where he gave lessons to Viscount Jellicoe, Governor General
of New Zealand. In 1924 when His Excellency completed his term of office he was presented with two beautiful wooden clubs, a driver
and brassy made especially by Fred Hood. Fred married Gertrude Johnston in 1908 and died in Wellington in 1926.
The first combined amateur and professional tournament in New Zealand took place at New Plymouth Golf Club on 2nd January 1905. Alex
McLaren, originally from North Berwick won the pro prize and set a new course record 75. Fred Hood the Auckland pro presented a trophy
for the leading amateur.
James Huish born 13th December 1879 at Winton Hill, Pencaitland, East Lothian son of William Huish ploughman and his wife Mary
McDonald. Jimmy Huish had a tall slender physique and stood straight as a flagpole. He was a supporter of Heart Of Midlothian
Football Club in Edinburgh and a close friend of Bobby Walker who was Heart's leading goal scorer and International player from
1902-12. Huish distinguished himself during the Second Boer War in South Africa and in 1911 he was listed as a chauffeur residing
in Inveresk Village, Musselburgh. Bill Moffat also from Musselburgh, was golf pro at Victoria Golf Club, British Columbia, and
he invited Jimmy to become his assistant. Huish sailed from Liverpool and arrived in Quebec on 17th August 1912.
After working under Moffat at Oak Bay, Huish went first to Vancouver Golf and Country Club and then spent the war years at the
United Service Club near Macaulay Point. In August 1916, Jimmy Huish married Jenny Muirhead and they resided in Vine Street,
Victoria. In 1920 he was appointed the first pro at Colwood Golf Club when they opened in 1920. The club became Royal Colwood
In 1921, Huish played in an exhibition match with Davie Black (Shanghnessy G&CC) when they defeated the Australian champions
Joe Kirkwood and Vic East. In 1922, Jimmy Huish organised a meeting at Victoria Golf Club to establish the British Columbia
Golf Association. At the opening of the Point Grey Golf and Country Club on Victoria Day 1924 an exhibition match was played
between the local pro Dave Ayton and Jimmy Huish against Davey Black and Alex Duthie. On 26th June 1926, the Langara Golf Links
were opened, the first public course in the City of Vancouver. Jimmy Huish was among a group of professionals invited to the
opening ceremony. That year Jimmy moved to Marine Drive Golf Club, where he established a new course record 67 in 1928. The
popular Huish, known as Jimmy 'The Hush' Huish. He departed Marine Drive in 1940 to work in a munitions plant and when WW2 ended
he worked as a club maker for Fred Wood and Eric Brown. Jim retired in 1942 following a testimonial dinner in his honour at the
old Pacific Athletic Club, Marine Drive. Huish died on 18th April 1953 in Vancouver.
John M. Inglis
John Milne Inglis born 1879 at 4 Milne Square, Edinburgh son of Adam Inglis, spirit merchant and his wife Margaret Milne. John
worked as a clubmaker with William Frier at the Braid Hills Golf Club, Edinburgh and later with John and Alexander Dickson who
had premises in Braid Road and 108 Rose Street behind Thornton & Co where John Forman worked as a ball and clubmaker.
Jock Inglis emigrated to America in 1897 and worked with Mungo Park for Slazenger & Son in New York City. In 1898 Inglis was
appointed greenkeeper and professional at the Dutchess Golf and Country Club in New York. The nine-hole course was laid out the
previous year by Mungo Park and the first pro was John Forman from Edinburgh. In 1902 he moved to Meriden Golf Club (CT),
then to Fall River Country Club (Massachusetts) 1904-07 before moving to Fairview Country Club, Elmsford,(NY). During this period he
wintered at Hampton Terrace, Augusta, GA and at Montgomery Country Club (Alabama) before moving permanently to Alabama (1904-19)
and residing with his wife Annie at 218 Stephenson Street, Montgomery.
John M. Inglis (Left) and Gilbert Nichols (Right)
In November 1910, the members of Montgomery Country Club sent J.M.Inglis east to inspect the latest golf courses with a view to
alter their own course. Inglis stopped on the journey at Henderson NC and laid out an 18-hole course for the Highland Lake Club.
During his sixteen years at Montgomery, Jock Inglis developed wonderful Bermuda grass putting greens, which gave him a national
reputation. He also established a successful golf club manufacturing business and was known as 'Inglis of the Perforated Grip Fame',
mailing the calf leather grips he developed all over the country. In 1912 Inglis laid out an eighteen-hole course for the Capital
City Golf Club in Montgomery.
On 8th September 1915 the Alabama Golf Association was established and Jock Inglis was elected secretary and treasurer, a position
he held for a number of years. In 1920 he was appointed pro at Savannah Golf Club, Georgia and in 1923 he followed Wilfred Thomson
from North Berwick at the Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, VA.
On 17th January 1924 he suddenly died of pneumonia at the age of 46 years, leaving his wife Anne Rutherford Inglis and five
daughters, who later moved to Atlanta, Georgia. The obituary of John M. Inglis was carried in Golf Illustrated and the USGA
periodical, and the members at the Country Club of Montgomery erected a plaque to his memory. The information above was
diligently researched by Tom Buggy, a member of the Dutchess Golf and Country Club.
Herbert G. Irwin
Herbert Graham Irwin born 13 April 1894 in Carlisle son of Fred W. Irwin, a draper to trade, and his wife Jessie Hill Graham. Herbert
moved with his parents to Edinburgh and resided at 17 Cathcart Place, and later at 7 Ardmillan Terrace, Edinburgh. He emigrated to
America in 1913 and was engaged as a freelance professional working from 3209 Cresson Street in Philadelphia.
Herbert 'Scotty' Irwin became an America Citizen in June 1917 and enlisted in the US Army, 206 Aero Squadron at Fort Worth, Texas
on 6th July 1918. He was appointed golf instructor at Mason City, Iowa (1925-27) then at Mississinewa Country Club, Oakdale, Indiana
(1928) before being golf instructor at the Webster Hotel, Chicago IL (1925-28). In the 1940s he was attached to the Countryside Golf
Club at Mundelein, Illinois.
Richard Leslie born December 1864, 4 West Row, Inveresk, Musselburgh son of James Leslie, railway surfaceman at the Fisherrow
Depot and his wife Jane Wood. Richard worked as a Millworker before serving an apprenticeship as a golf club maker. He was also
a freelance caddie on Musselburgh links. Richard emigrated to America, sailing on the S.S.Etruria he arrived in New York on 5
December 1896. He moved north to Manitoba and was appointed professional at the nine-hole course at Winnipeg Golf Club.
Leslie qualified for the 1897 US Open Championship at Chicago Golf Club, when Joe Lloyd was the winner and eighteen year old
Willie Anderson from North Berwick was runner-up. That year Richard designed the course at Glen View Club, Chicago and was
appointed the club's first professional. This was the start of a long working relationship with ‘Larry’ the green-keeper which
lasted until 1911.
In 1903 Richard returned to Scotland and worked as a clubmaker and caddie while residing in Abbey Court, St Andrews. In 1905
Richard's brother William Leslie was working on the links at Musselburgh and in April 1905 the brothers sailed on S.S. Campana
from Liverpool to New York. The passenger manifest listed Tom Bendelow as their contact at 147, Wabash Avenue, Chicago. A. G.
Spalding & Bros also had offices on this street. Tom Bendelow travelled the country as director of golf course development for
In 1906 Richard assisted Tom Bendelow to layout the course at St Charles Country Club, seven miles west of Winnipeg. In 1912
Richard was appointed club maker and professional at St Paul's Town and Country Club and his family resided at 2049, Iglehart
Avenue, Chicago.Richard's career included Winnipeg Golf Club (1897), St. Charles Country Club, MAN (1898-05), Glen View Club IL
(1905-08), St Andrews, Scotland (1909-12), St Paul's Town and Country Club, MN (1913-14).
Richard's brother William Leslie born September 1872, High Street, Musselburgh was a baker to trade in the Fisherrow Depot.
Willie was a golf ball maker and caddie at Musselburgh before emigrating to America in 1900. He was appointed professional at
Milwaukee Country Club and his hand made 'guttie' golf balls were very popular with the members. In 1924 he moved to Sadaquada
Golf Club, Utica, New York Mills, New York.
In 1903, Richard Leslie married Isabella Glen daughter of Willie Glen green-keeper at St Andrews Links. They married in Chicago
where their son Richard Leslie Jnr. was born ‘The Minneapolis Morning Tribune reported on 17 December 1908 that tragedy had
struck the family when their five year old son died of meningitis. The couple will depart for Scotland on Tuesday and with them
will go the tiny casket containing the form of the boy who a few short weeks ago was the life of the golf links at the club.
In 1910 their second son Gordon Blair Leslie was born in Abbey Street, St Andrews. During an eighteen year period in America,
Leslie crossed the Atlantic eight times, returning to Scotland in the winter. In 1912 he shared the voyage with George Gordon
a former work colleague and club maker from St Andrews. At the time George was golf professional at Wannamoisett Country Club,
Rumford, Rhode Island.
In 1915, Richard Leslie returned to Scotland permanently and resided at Glenesk, Lade Braes, St Andrews. He worked as a Market
Gardener which was a reserved occupation during WW1. Richard Leslie died in September 1926, aged 62 years. Isabella followed him
to the grave in April 1947 after complications during surgery at Dundee Royal Infirmary.
John 'Jackie' Little
John James Little, born 2 July 1938, Inveresk, Musselburgh, son of Richard Little, ships driller and his wife Marion Wilson. He
started his apprenticeship as a club-maker with Ben Sayers Ltd. North Berwick in 1954. Jackie resided with his parents at 3e
Monktonhall Terrace, Musselburgh, The same address as fellow pro John Aitken (above) and his family. Jackie was appointed assistant
pro to John Catleugh at Trentham Golf Club, Staffordshire and following his national service Jackie joined David Houston at the
Silverknowes course in Edinburgh. Later he was appointed to the Royal Calcutta Golf Club and on his return to Britain he was
professional at the Crompton and Royton Club before being appointed head pro to Bernard Gallacher at Wentworth. In 1949 he moved
back to Scotland, and following the death of Jack White he took over at Musselburgh Golf Club.
John 'Jack' Millar, born 1863, Dambrae, Musselburgh, emigrated to America in 1903 and was appointed club maker to Merion Cricket
Club, Philadelphia. Jack Millar was a joiner to trade working in Edinburgh for one of the twenty-six golf club makers in the
capital including William Park & Son - Frederick Street, R. Anderson - Princes Street and A.G. Spalding & Bros.- Charlotte
Street. Jack Millar resided in Conway Avenue, Narberth, Philadelphia.
In 1911 he moved to Cottage Street, Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania and was employed as a ship carpenter on Hog Island.
He married Martha Bryceson from Pennsylvania and following WW2 he returned to his trade as a joiner. Jack Millar died in 1948
and is buried beside his wife and family in Beulah Cemetery, Doylestown. PA.
Jack and Bill Moffat
John 'Jack' Moffat, born 21st June 1879, at 29 Fishers Wynd, Fisherrow, Musselburgh son of David Moffat, baker, and his wife Margaret Brown.
In 1904, Jack sailed to America and the passenger manifest listed his final destination as Portland Golf Club, Sellwood, Oregon.
At that time, golf was played in Portland on ground between 13th Avenue and Golf Junction.
In 1905, Jack became the first resident golf pro in British Columbia when he was appointed to the Victoria Golf Club with a salary
of forty dollars a month. In 1906 Jack began to coach Violet Pooley who became six-times winner of the PNGA Women's Championship.
Walter Gravlin, the first province born pro served his apprenticeship at Victoria under Jack Moffat. In 1907 Jack met Rudyard
Kipling, winner of that years' Nobel Prize who was a guest of honour during the Pacific Northwest tournament at Oak Bay
Jack's brother William 'Bill' Moffat (b.22nd February 1883) was a golf ball maker at 3 Millhill, Musselburgh. In 1899, Bill enlisted
in the 2nd Batallion Seaforth Highlanders and served in the Second Boer War in South Africa. (1901-1903). On 23rd February 1905 he
followed his brother to America, and resided with Jack and his wife at 401, First Street, Portland, Oregon. Bill was employed as golf
instructor at Duluth in Minnesota, before moving to Harbor Point Golf Club, Harbor Springs Resort, Michigan.
In 1909, Jack and his American wife Fruda Knizenga visited Scotland for the first time when tragedy struck and Jack fell ill and
died on 31st August 1909, at 53, Millhill, Musselburgh aged 30 years. Jack's brother Bill Moffat escorted Fruda back to her home
in Canada at 1606 Bank Street, Victoria on 18th October 1909. The following year Bill Moffat was invited to take over from his late
brother as pro at Victoria Golf Club at Oak Bay. Bill Moffat brought Jimmy Huish over from Scotland as his assistant.
The 1911 Canadian Census lists Bill Moffat as a golf professional boarding at 177 Wallace Street, Toronto. In June 1915 Bill
returned to Scotland and enlisted in WW1. His Military Record has not survived, but when the fighting was over Bill returned to
Musselburgh and worked as a clubmaker from 120 Newbigging, Musselburgh. He remained single and died on 18th January 1940 at 11
Goose Green Road, Musselburgh.
Bill Moffat's assistant Jimmy Huish was later attached to the United Service Club near Macaulay Point before he was appointed the
first pro at Royal Colwood in 1914. Jimmy Huish (above) moved to Vancouver Golf and Country Club in 1917.
Willie Park and family
Willie Park Sen. born in June 1833 in the village of Wallyford south of Musselburgh, East Lothian, son of James
Park, a farm worker and his wife Euphemia. When Willie was seven years old the family moved to Cottage Lane, Inveresk where
Grace Park was born. Willie Park Snr. came to prominence around 1853 and was such a strong player that an abundance of money was
forthcoming to back him. He played Tom Morris on at least six occasions for £100 and the honours were evenly divided.
In the last of these at Musselburgh in 1882, the crowd anxious for their local man to win, repeatedly moved Morris's ball into
a worse lie and the referee stopped play. When Morris and the referee retired to Foreman's public house, Park sent a message
saying if Morris did not come out and finish the match he would play the remaining holes alone and claim the stake - which he
Left: Willie Park Snr. (1833-1903)
Willie Park Sen. had an easy swing with a pause at the end, and his accuracy with the putter from six or seven feet was deadly. He
was the first winner of the Open at Prestwick in 1860, runner up the following year and champion again in 1863, 1866 and 1875.
His brothers David and Mungo were both fine golfers with the later lifting the now familiar Claret Jug for the first time at
Musselburgh in 1874.
Until Harry Vardon came along Willie Park Snr. was undoubtedly the best professional golfer alive and he was that by virtue of
his fine putting. The goose-neck putter similar to the Schenectady type, was a Scotch idea. Willie Park's putting cleek was run
over by a cart, bending the socket forward. Park to his surprise found he could putt better with it in its new shape and it was
patented by him. Another feature of his game was his skill in running-up the ball from long distances with the wooden putter,
a club which the golfers of other courses called in derisive bitterness the 'Musselburgh Iron'.
Willie Park Jnr. was born in 1864 and apprenticed as a club maker with his uncle Mungo at Alnmouth. At the age of sixteen he was
appointed green-keeper and professional at Ryton Golf Club where he stayed for four years before returning to his native town.
Park lived for many years at 8 Mill Hill, Inveresk where he started in business as a club and ball maker. Willie Jnr. first came
to the public's attention when he was seventeen, winning against a strong field at Alnmouth. He later went on to win the Open in
1887 and 1889. In a challenge match at Musselburgh against Archie Simpson, he holed the nine holes in thirty three strokes
establishing a new course record.
It was custom for the Supreme Court of Scotland to rise on
Saturday in time to catch the 1:10 pm train to Musselburgh. |
Described as a graceful player, Park was the longest driver of the ball among his
contemporaries. He continued to use his cleek for putting rather than the modern style and his only trouble was in getting loft on
his iron shots so he set about designing a club with a concave blade - between a mashie and a lofting iron, which sent the ball
very high in the air, landing softly with no run. Willie Park was the first to patent a golf club. It had a concave face and the
Patent No. 5042-1889. The idea was not new but Park monopolized the design for a considerable period. Park's patent 'Lofter' was
taken up by a number of good golfers and established him as a leading innovator in club making.|
Park made the most of his playing talents and business acumen. During the 1890s, with the increase in popularity of the game his
patent clubs were in great demand. He persuaded many large stores to stock his branded clubs and through skillful advertising
which was new at the time, he reached markets beyond the professional's shop. In 1899, Park bought a house in North Berwick which
he converted into a workshop and residence. He brought Robert Sullivan, a club maker in Musselburgh to manage the business. His
apprentice, James Watt continued as a club maker in North Berwick for many years.
John Archibald Park born 11 March 1878, Inveresk son of William Park Snr. Golf Club and Ball Maker and his wife Susanna Veitch,
His uncle was Mungo Park Open Champion in 1874 and brother Willie Park Jnr winner of the Open Championship twice in 1887 and 1889.
In 1897, Park won an open tournament at Carnoustie, aged 18 years.
He emigrated to America in 1898 to manage his brothers' golf store at 25 W, 43rd Street, New York and assisted him to layout the
course at Maidstone on Long Island. In March 1907 Jack Park travelled to Argentina where he designed the nine-hole course at
Mar de Plata Golf Club, a delightful seaside resort of Buenos Aires. Jack Park formerly of the Essex Country Club and
afterwards of the Golf Club Argentino.
In 1924 Jack and his brother Willie Park designed the '18-Hole-Course' at Maidstone which continues to be listed among the top
seventy courses in the USA. Jack was appointed golf instructor at Essex County Country Club NJ (1898-1901). He finished sixth in
the 1899 US Open at Baltimore and ninth in the 1901 US Open at Myopia Hunt Club, when the winner was Willie Anderson from North
Jack returned to Great Britain on several occasions and became a member of the PGA in 1903 while working the links at Musselburgh.
In 1909 he represented Scotland in the International match against England. In 1911 when Jack returned to America he listed A.G.
Spalding as his contact in the passenger manifest. In 1910 Jack Park was invited to Belgium to play in a foursome match to celebrate
the opening of the new course at Lombartzyde. Braid and Willie Park defeated Herd and Charles, while Jack Park and Harry Vardon
halved their match with Taylor and Ray.
Jack accompanied his uncle Mungo to Argentina before returning to Maidstone Golf Club, LI (1915-1925), then to Amagansette Country
Club, East Hampton NY (1925–Retired). He died 2 October 1935, at 274 Cooper Lane, East Hampton, Suffolk, and was buried in Cedar
In 1901, Willie Park Jnr. laid out the Sunningdale course which at that time offered a glimpse of the potential that inland golf
could aspire. His next venture at the Huntercombe Club was not so successful which included three golf courses, a hotel and housing
development. Park put up the finance himself and when the project failed he lost heavily. When he sold the property in North
Berwick Willie returned to Musselburgh and was living at 6, Victoria Street. He also wrote the first golf instruction book by a
professional called 'The Game of Golf' in 1896 and 'The Art of Putting' in 1920. Willie Park Jnr. died in 1925 at the age of 61
years and is to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2013. Philip Mackenzie Ross, a respected golf architect from
North Berwick, stated that Wille Park Jnr. was the pioneer of the modern ideas of golf course construction.
Mungo Park born 1877, High Street, Fisherrow, son of Wilie Park Snr. and his wife Susanna Law. Mungo followed his father as a golf
pro at Musselburgh before moving to the West Links at North Berwick where he was granted a pro license on 16th June 1894 and was
living at 17, Victoria Road. His brother Willie Park Jnr opened a store in New York City in 1895 and 19 year old Mungo was sent
over to manage the shop. In 1897 Mungo laid out the nine-hole course at the Dutchess Golf Club (NY). The following year he was
appointed pro at Dyker Meadow Golf Club, Brooklyn, while working during the winter months as a clubmaker for Slazenger & Son in
New York City.
In the winter of 1899 he laid out the first nine holes for Galveston Golf Club, but the course was washed away by a hurricane a
year later. In 1905 Mungo was the first winner of the Argentina Open played at Buenos Aires Golf Club, which he won again in 1907
and 1912. Mungo laid out the 18 hole course at San Andres Golf Club, Buenos Aires in 1907. That year he was joined in Argentina by
his brother Jack who came second to Mungo in the 1907 Argentina Open (El Abierto). Jack worked at the Belgrano Golf Club and the
Golf Club Argentino in Buenos Aires. Jack was also credited with laying out a junior course at Mar del Plata.
Mungo Park Jnr. moved to Gullane in 1914 and was living at 9 Stanley Road, repairing clubs and giving lessons. In July 1915 he
enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps and was sent to France. Following the conflict Mungo returned to Argentina and then back
to America to assist his father to layout the course at St Johnsbury Country Club, Vermont in 1923. During the winter months of 1923
and 1924 Mungo returned to Argentina.
Left: Willie Park Jnr. (1864-1925)
In 1925 he laid out the course at Port-Au-Peck on the Shrewsbury River, New Jersey and in 1926 he was pro at the nine-hole course at
Lake Mohonk. The following year he moved to Hollow Brook, near Peekskill (NY) and in 1928 he was based at Castle Hot Springs Golf
Club in Arizona. In 1930, Mungo laid out the 9-hole course at the Red Hook Golf Club in Red Hook (NY).
Mungo's wife Grace Morrison was a school teacher and she travelled with him to Argentina in 1904. Grace was a fine golfer and the
first winner of the Ladies Open Championship of the River Plate in 1904, and again in 1909 and 1910. They returned to Scotland with
their three children in 1914 and were living at Dunedin, Levenhall, Musselburgh. Mungo remained in America until 1936 when he returned
to Scotland permanently. His final piece of design work was in 1939 at Royal Musselburgh Golf Club where he carried out substantial
alterations to James Braid's original work.
In 1923, Willie Park Jnr made his last trip to America and by the following year he was unable to cope with the pressure of work.
Mungo took his older brother home, travelling to Southampton where they were met by Margaret, Willie's wife. They travelled north
together by train and Willie was found a place in Craighouse Hospital, Edinburgh where Willie died on 22nd May 1925.
Mungo's niece Doris Park represented Great Britain in International matches throughout the 1930s. (Mrs. Aylmer Porter). Mungo's
daughter Kaye (Catherine) was also a Scottish Internationalist, she lived in Haddington where Mungo died in 1960 at the age of 83.
Jack Park died in 1935 at East Hampton, New York State.
Peter Paxton born 20 October 1857, Inveresk son of James Paxton, cab driver and his wife Elizabeth Sharp. According to his peers
Peter Paxton's clubmaking was the most outstanding among his generation. Peter started as a caddie at Musselburgh where he learned
to play the game. He was taught the rudiments of clubmaking by Willie Park's brother David and was among the first of Tom Hood's
apprentices. Peter Paxton resided with his parents at 160 High Street, Musselburgh, next door to golfer Robert Doig (above) and
his family. Peter entered the Open Championship at Musselburgh in 1880 and finished second to Bob Ferguson. His first appointment
as professional and greenkeeper was at Worcestershire Golf Club, Malvern 1880-88, He held a similar position at Royal Eastbourne
before moving to Royal Dulwich & Sydenham (part-time) in 1894 and then to Tooting Bec 1893-1902.
Philip Wynne originally from North Berwick was professional at Tooting Bec at the same time as Peter Paxton. Wynne bought the
heads from Carruthers in Edinburgh and fitted the shaft and grip himself. His clubs continue to be popular with collectors and
are marked with Wynne/Tooting. During this period Paxton was also clubmaker and repairer at the Royal Wimbledon Club, before
moving to Hanger Hill Golf Club (1902-1905), He was attached to Leeds (1905-1908) before joining the nine-hole course at Old Colwyn
in North Wales, (1910-1912). Paxton was then engaged as instructor at Oakwood Park Hotel Golf Club, Conway in 1912. The hotel and
golf course closed in 1940.
Peter Paxton's brother George Paxton was six years older, and also a fine golfer. George entered the first Open Championship to
be staged at Musselburgh in 1874 and finished second to Tom Morris Jnr and the winner Mungo Park. In 1880 Peter (2nd) and George
(4th) were the first brothers to compete in the Open Championship. George played in the Open from 1871-1883 and Peter played from
Left: Peter Paxton, Royal Eastbourne
In 1880 Peter followed his brother to Worcestershire (1880-1888), before moving to Royal Eastbourne (1888-1893), then Dulwich &
Sydenham (1894), and to Tooting Bec (1893-1902). He was an original member of the PGA in 1903 and was based at Hanger
Hill (1902-1905), Leeds (1905-1908), then Old Colwyn (1910-1912), and Oakwood Park Hotel Conway (1912) where he was joined by
Arthur Paxton in 1915. The hotel course closed in 1940.Musselburgh Golf Club Makers
Horace Hutchinson recalled when Paxton applied for the position of professional and green keeper at Eastbourne he sent in his
credentials and added the comment "and Sir, I drink nothing stronger than cold water." Paxton was a first prize winner three
years in succession at Hoylake, and first also at Littlestone Golf Club, Romney, Kent in 1889.
In 1892 Paxton invented a golf ball mould that produced a ball with smaller dimples, and this was adopted by the leading
manufacturers. The mould could turn-out 2,000-3,000 per week. Various companies made balls of different sorts of gutta percha,
namely, red, white and black. White proved to be more resilient than the others and having the advantage of still looking white
when the paint came off. Paxton's reputation as a clubmaker was such that he supplied clubs to the Duke and Duchess of York and
because of this connection his clubs carried the mark of a crown. Peter introduced two new gutta balls in 1899, the 'Sirdar' and
the 'Bramble'. That year he patented an approaching iron similar to the old jigger. Peter did the shafting himself and the heads
were made by Anderson of Anstruther in Fife.
James 'Jack' Paxton born 27 September 1874 at Victoria Place, Musselburgh, son of George Paxton, club carrier and his wife Janet
Millar. Jack Paxton apprenticed as a clubmaker and in 1889 he joined his uncle Peter at Royal Eastbourne Golf Club where he
resided with Peter and his wife Sarah at 3 Brightland Road, Eastbourne. Jack Paxton was an original member of the PGA in 1903.
He was appointed golf professional at Royal Guernsey (1900-1903), then Romney Sands (1903-1905), and Romford (1906-1908).
Harry Kummerer Peebles, born 25th March 1899 at 21 New Street, Inveresk, son of John Peebles, paper mill worker and his wife
May Peebles. Harry worked as a miner and carried clubs at Musselburgh links. Harry emigrated to Australia on 11th January 1923,
sailing on the S.S.Benalla from London to Capetown he arrived in Freemantle, Western Australia in early February. He resided at
29 Lincoln Street, North Perth and was employed giving golf lessons in the famous Boans Emporium, a department store between
Murray and Wellington Streets. Peebles worked in the second floor sports section and gave free instruction with a separate practice
room and net. He married Marjorie Olive Peebles in 1925 and they had two children. Three years later she sued for divorce on the
grounds of desertion and told the court 'he enjoyed the company of men and lived for his sport'. During WW1 Harry held a commission
in the Flying Corps.
On 9th December 1930, Harry was charged with stealing 35 books, from Boans department store and receiving them knowing they
were stolen. He pleaded guilty through his counsel to the receiving charge only. The Detective Sergeant stated that Peebles had
got a boy in the book department to sell him the books for about a shilling each. Peebles had been employed as a golf instructor
at Boans for over nine years. He had now lost his position and was fined £12 in default five weeks imprisonment with hard
labour and ordered to return the books. He moved to East Perth with his second wife Winifred Mary Peebles and they resided at 60,
Bronte Street and was described as a sports expert and golf professional. He later moved to the Bassendean area of Perth where
James A.W. Prentice
James Alexander Webster Prentice born 29th May 1885 at 15 Mount Pleasant, Portobello, son of Rev. Archibald Prentice, minister at
Newcraighall and his wife Jane Ann Russell. James attended George Watson's school in Edinburgh and learned to play golf as a member
of the nine-hole course at Portobello Golf Club. Jimmy trained with Norwich Union Insurance Company and resided with his parents
and brother Thomas at 1 Woodside Terrace, Portobello, Midlothian.
Jimmy emigrated to South Africa in 1905 and settled in Johannesburg. He was a member of Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth Golf
Clubs being plus-four at the former. He won the South African Amateur Championship in 1908 after being runner up the previous
year. He won it again in 1911 and 1913 and was runner-up in 1910 so for five years in succession he was in the final. In 1913
he captured the Transvall Open Championship which he had gained two years previously. He also won on the Durban and Kimberley
courses in South Africa.
In 1912 he retuned to Scotland and entered the Amateur Championship at Royal North Devon Golf Club and reached the last-16. He
entered the 1912 Open Championship but failed to qualify. That year he won the prodigious Cruden Bay Amateur Championship
beating his brother Thomas in the semi-final and the Peterhead Amateur Tournament, this time beating Thomas in the final.
Thomas was a Bank Manager in Carnoustie and resided on Guthrie Street where he died in September 1948.
During WW1 Jimmy returned from South Africa on 26th August 1914 and enlisted in the 3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales Own).
Lance Corporal James Prentice was posted to Belgium and was wounded in the village of Hooge near Ypres and died on 6th June
1915. He is buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery and his parents received the War Office telegram at 92 Dalkeith Road,
Edinburgh. Jimmy's obituary was carried in the publication American Golfer in August 1915.
Robert Pringle born 1851, Dalkeith, Midlothian, son of David Pringle and his wife Mary Hilston. Pringle played in the Open
Championship for over a decade starting in 1873 at St Andrews. He had four top-ten finishes, his highest place was in 1877 at
Musselburgh when he was runner-up to the winner Jamie Anderson. Pringle was a freelance professional at Musselburgh links and
died on 8th September 1902 in Inveresk Poorhouse.'Rattle his bones over the stones, he's only a pauper nobody owns'.
William Mackenzie Reekie born 3 October 1883 at 13 Spottiswoode Street, Edinburgh son of John Ferguson Reekie, a tailor's cutter
and his wife Jane Wilkinson. Willie Reekie attended George Heriot's School in Edinburgh and was a member of Heriot's Former Pupils
Golf Club wining the Taws Gold Medal, the Hole and Hole tournament and the Club Scratch Medal in 1907. He was on committee at Heriots
FP club and was also a member of Bruntsfield Golf Club in Edinburgh.
Willie Reekie emigrated to Canada in September 1907 and was a member of Lambton Golf and Country Club, Toronto Golf Club, Brantford Golf
and Country Club and Galt Country Club in Ontario. In 1912 he joined Oak Hill Country Club of Rochester NY and played in amateur
tournaments around the New York neighbourhood where he worked as a bond salesman with Bonbight & Co. 25 Nisan Street, New York.
Left: William Reekie
In 1918 he moved to Upper Montclair Country Club, New Jersey and resided with his wife Rose Balfour Nash at 133 Haddon Place, Montclair.
In 1920 he won the New Jersey State Amateur Championship played at Arcola Country Club near Hackensack. Despite Reekie's pronounced hook
he defeated his Upper Montclair club-mate Frank W. Dyer 7 & 5 in a thirty-six hole final played in pouring rain. Dyer was a former
University of Pennsylvania golf leader and winner in 1915 of the Pennsylvania State Championship.
In 1921 Reekie won the annual invitational tournament at Shawnee Country Club and his name is inscribed on the famous Buckwood Trophy and
he received a replica of the original. Willie was recruited for the Lesley Cup played among the top amateurs representing teams from
Rochester, Toronto, Buffalo and Detroit. Willie Reekie won many amateur tournaments including the Western New York Championship, Arcola
Invitational and the Nassau Country Club invitational.
He was also a two-time winner of the Metropolitan Amateur tournament in 1924 and 1926. This was open to all members of clubs in New York,
New Jersey and Connecticut. The highlight of his career was wining the New Jersey State Amateur Championship. Willie Reekie became an
American citizen at the District Court of Newark in 1926. He retained his membership at Upper Montclair for many years and resided at
128 Buckingham Road, Glen Ridge, Caldwell NJ. He retired from his position with Graham Parsons & Co. 14 Wall Street, New York and died
on 28 October 1948 aged 65 years.
Walter E. Stoddart
Walter Edward Stoddart born 12 September 1877, Rochdale, Lancashire, England son of Thomas Stoddart, general importers manager and his
wife Catherine Dobbie. In 1880 the family moved to 31 Hercus Loan, Inveresk, Musselburgh and on leaving Inveresk School, Walter apprenticed
as a golf clubmaker. At aged 19 years, he emigrated to America sailing from Liverpool on S.S Umbria he arrived in New York on 29
Walter was appointed the first golf professional at the newly opened Nassua Country Club and he resided in the neighbouring village of
Oyster Bay in Westchester NY. In 1899 he moved to the Country Club of Brookline, Massachusetts before returning to the Westchester
district and was engaged as instructor at the Glen Cove Municipal golf course in 1900-02.
In November 1905 Walter Stoddart attended a meeting of professionals in the Astor House, New York to establish the Eastern Professional
Golfers Association. Stoddart was elected to the executive committee along with Willie Anderson, Alex Smith, Willie Norton, and Alex
Campbell. Stoddart moved to the Weeburn Golf Club in Connecticut 1903-05, then Bedford Golf Club, NY. He was appointed superintendent
at Mount Kisco Golf Club, Westchester in 1918 and remained there for twenty years.
According to an advert in the New York Herald, Walter joined George Kerrigan, pro at White Beeches Golf Club, and John Farrell pro at
Quaker Ridge Golf Club to manage an indoor practice area during the winter months in the Golf Studio in Mt. Kisco.
The original Mount Kisco Golf Club opened in 1917 on property north of the current course. In 1926 another course was built to serve
Lawrence Farms, a residential community. Walter retired in 1938 when Mount Kisco closed. Many of the members joined Lawrence Farms
Country Club, subsequently renamed the Mount Kisco Country Club in 1941.
Walter was described as a dog fancier and was a regular judge at the local dog shows. He resided with his wife Leila and daughters
Peggy Ann and Leslie Stoddart on Birch Drive, New Castle, Westchester where he died on 31 December 1939, aged 62 years and is buried
in Oakwood Cemetery in the village of Mount Kisco.
John Reid from Dunfermline in Scotland was described as 'The Father of American Golf'. Reid born 28th December 1840 at New Row,
Dunfermline son of John Reid Snr., a farmer and his wife Isabella Adie. John Reid attended MacLean's School in Dunfermline with Robert
Lockhart and they emigrated to America in 1869. Lockhart encouraged Reid to play golf and they founded the first golf club in America
at Yonkers, New York in November 1888, called St Andrew's Golf Club. A six-hole course was laid out on the Yonkers meadows, and the
first regular meeting took place in March 1890. John Reid was listed in 1899 as secretary of the Jordan L. Mott Iron Company and
resided on Park Avenue, Yonkers, New York.
Robert Lockhart was born 14 October 1840 at 9, Knabbie Street, Dunfermline son of Robert Lockhart Snr., a hand loom weaver and his
wife Jane. Knabbie Street was originally situated off Pilmuir Street in Dunfermline and was chiefly occupied by weavers. Lockhart
learned to play the game on Musselburgh links and took his boxed clubs to America. Lockhart was a linen merchant in Yonkers and
returned permanently to Scotland in 1904 and resided at 20 Polworth Terrace, Edinburgh where he died 10 June 1904. Most historians
agree that Robert Lockhart should have been given the title 'Father of American Golf.' rather than John Reid.
Archibald Tait, born 1881 in Musselburgh, son of Archibald Tait, a self employed carter and his wife Maria. Archie apprenticed as a
golf club maker while living with his parents at 213 North High Street, Musselburgh. He married Helen Ferguson and was appointed golf
professional at Portmarnock, County Wigton where his son Archibald was born in 1911. Archie Snr. returned to Musselburgh where he
started in business as a wine and spirit merchant at 83 High Street. Archibald Tait Jnr. married Bernice Sharp niece of Ben Sayers
the famous North Berwick golf professional.
Miss Maud Titterton
Emily Maud Titterton born 1877 in Bournemouth, daughter of Charles R. Titterton, varnish manufacturer and his wife Julia Steel. In
1880, Maud moved with her parents to Scotland and resided in Eastbourne House, 76 Prince of Wales Promenade, Portobello.
Maud learned to play golf on the six-hole course at Portobello. She was the first winner of the silver cup presented to the Portobello
Ladies' Golf Club in 1894 for a scratch prize when she scored 62 for the two rounds of the green. Maud joined the Musselburgh Club
and was selected to represent England in the Home Internationals 1906-07-08-10-12. Bob Ferguson was her regular instructor and caddie
at Musselburgh. In 1898 Bob Turnbull travelled to Great Yarmouth to carried Titterton's clubs in the Ladies Open Championship.
Left: Frances Teacher, Musselburgh Ladies
In 1908, the British Ladies Championship was played on the old course at St Andrews. In the semi-final Maud was dormie two when her
opponent Cecil Leitch holed a very long putt on the 17th. The spontaneous cheering and applause frightened a young horse in a two
wheeled cart standing on the road and it bolted among the crowd, causing a regular stampede. It was not to be wondered that Maud
missed her putt for a half and they went to the home hole. At the 18th Titterton topped her second shot into the Swilcan burn. Her
ball struck the cement sides and ricochet off the historic stone bridge and landed high and dry on the fairway. Maud halved the hole
and won the match. She faced Dorothy Campbell in the final and their match was all square on the 18th and extra holes were required.
At the 19th Titterton nearly holed in three and she won the championship. Throughout the tournament the ladies were not given the
freedom of the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse.
The following year at Birkdale, Maud won the stroke competition that preceded the championship and was put out of the tournament in
the fourth round by Miss Hilda Mather. Maud was one of the most superstitious of golfers and had innumerable mascots, her favourite
being an old brass button which she picked up on the links.
In 1909 a meeting was convened to establish the Midlothian County Ladies' Golf Association. Among those attending was Madge Neill
Fraser, Dorothy Campbell the current Scottish Champion and Maud Titterton the reigning British Champion, all members of the
Musselburgh Club. At the first meeting Maud Titterton was elected Captain.
That year she married Jock A.P. Gibb and they emigrated to Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1913 she joined Heronmere Golf Club and
was later described as the 'Founder of Women's Golf in South Africa', 'Founder of the South African Ladies Golf Union' and 'Founder
of the Transvaal Ladies Union'. Maud Gibb was President of the South African Ladies Golf Union 1914-16 & 1919-23. She won the South
African Ladies Championship 1913, 1914 and winner of the Transvaal Ladies Championship 1913,14, 15, 16, 19.
Maud returned to England in 1918 and was driving motor tractors as part of the Women's Land Army war effort. In 1924 she moved to
Canada where her husband Jock Gibb died two years later. Maud returned to Scotland and resided at 7 Dalkeith Street, Portobello. She died
2nd May 1932 at 2 Strathearn Road, Grange, Edinburgh.
The other members of Musselburgh mentioned above were Dorothy Campbell and Madge Neill Fraser. Dorothy Campbell entered the
British Ladies championship from Musselburgh in 1908 and 1909 when she won the title at Birkdale. That year she was invited to
America and became the first woman to hold both the British and US Amateur titles.
Madge Neill Fraser was Captain of the Scottish International team from 1905 until 1914; runner up in the Scottish Championship
in 1912 and semi-finalist in the British Championship in 1910. During WW1 she served in Serbia with the Scottish Women's
Hospital as a nurse and driver. She caught Typhus and died in Serbia and is buried in the Chela Kula Cemetery.
Frederick Guthrie Tait, born 11th January 1870 at 17 Drummond Place, Edinburgh, third son of Professor Peter Tait and his wife
Margaret Archer Porter. During the winter months, when the University was in residence, the Tait family lived at 38 George Square,
Edinburgh and in the summer they resided in St Andrews. Freddie's first recorded round of golf was when he was twelve years old
he played over the nine-hole course at Musselburgh in 1882.
Freddie attended Edinburgh Academy and then Sedbergh School in Yorkshire before entering Edinburgh University in 1887. He enrolled
at Sandhurst in September 1889 and passed out with special honours in riding and military administration. In 1894 Freddie joined the
second battalion Black Watch stationed in Edinburgh Castle. The following year he joined Tantallon Golf Club and set a new course
record 73 at North Berwick. The army sent him to Colchester as Instructor of Gymnasia and from there he was transferred to a similar
capacity in the Scottish District. In 1895 he became a member of Luffness New Golf Club and represented the club in the winning
four-man team in the East Lothian Country Cup. In 1896 Freddie Tait won the Amateur Championship at St George's Golf Club, Sandwich,
Kent representing the Black Watch Club. That year he was elected an Honorary Member of the Burgess Golfing Society, Edinburgh and
played several matches on their new green at Barnton with Tommy Armour.
In May 1896, Freddie played several matches at North Berwick with Willie Thomson the local professional and brother-in-law of Ben
Sayers. Freddie also played a match against Ben Sayers and beat him by 8 holes. Sayers remarked at the conclusion of the round fairly
summed up the situation “ Beaten by 8 holes on my own green, it's no possible but it's a fact'.
In 1898, Luffness New Golf Club won the East Lothian County Cup when Freddie Tait partnered Tommy Armour and the other couple were
Tom Gray and Alex M. Ross. That year Freddie played for Tantallon in an interclub match with Royal Liverpool. This fixture started in
August 1881 and was played the week prior to the Open Championship and is now recognised as the forerunner of the international
matches between Scotland and England. In 1898 Freddie Tait won the Amateur Championship for the second time representing the Black
Watch Club when he defeated S. Muir Ferguson in the final.
When Freddie Tait played in East Lothian he was often a guest of Sir David Kinloch (Gilmerton House). Francis Wemyss (Gosford House)
John Laidlay (Invereil House). In July 1899 the Park-Vardon match was played and Tait refereed for Park at North Berwick and Ganton.
It was estimated that over 8,000 spectators watched the match at North Berwick.
In 1899 Freddie Tait's regiment was posted to South Africa and he boarded a steamer at Tilbury docks along with the officers and
men of the 42 Highland Brigade of the Black Watch. On 11th December he was wounded in the leg on the terrible march to death at
Magersfontein. He recovered well from his wound and rejoined his company in January 1900. His battalion moved
westward down the Riet River to Koodoosberg Drift where he was killed on 7th February, aged 30 years. A fellow army officer Captain
Harry Armitage who was also a member of Tantallon presented a portrait of Lieutenant Freddie Tait to the club in 1905 and it now hangs
in the staircase of the Tantallon Clubhouse. There is a Freddie Tait Cup given annually to the best amateur in the South African Open
Championship. This cup was purchased from the surplus of the funds collected during the visit of the British amateur golfers to South
Africa in 1928.
Robert Tait born 21st January 1870, Duddingson, Edinburgh, son of Donald Tait, a waiter and his wife Elizabeth Bruce Jamieson.
Bob Tait played in the Open Championship at Musselburgh in 1883 and 1886. He missed the cut at St Andrews in 1891 and Muirfield
in 1901. His best finish was 18th in 1888 at St Andrews. In 1891 Robert Tait was invited to layout a nine-hole course for Alloa
Golf Club, near Cambus.. The club later moved to a new nine-hole course on land owned by the Clackmannanshire District Council
and the club adopted the name Braehead Golf Club. In 1901 Robert Tait was boarding with Archibald Dickson a clubmaker residing
at 127 High Street, Musselburgh.
Robert Turnbull, born 1874, Edinburgh son of George Turnbull, butcher and his wife Margaret McWatt. Bobby Turnbull resided with his
brother James and their parents at 53 Millhill, Inveresk. Bobby was a caddie on Musselburgh links before joining the ranks of the
golf professional at Copenhagen Golf Club 1907-1921. That year Turnbull returned to Musselburgh and was attached to the
nine-hole-course at Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie. In 1923, Turnbull was appointed head pro at Nice Golf Club. Four years later
he returned to Musselburgh and died 16 February 1927.
Thomas P. Waggott
Thomas Pilling Waggott was a golf club-maker in Aberlady and Musselburgh at the end of Queen Victoria's long reign. In the early years,
William Waggott and his son Thomas P. Waggott worked in a variety of Tannery's in Dundee, Edinburgh, Inveresk, Arbroath and Port
Glasgow where Thomas was born in 1859. William Waggott also made golf clubs and had several patents to his name. Willie and Tom
Waggott gained a reputation for making wooden-shafted clubs and gutta percha golf balls under Royal Warrant in Aberlady. The heads
were purchased from Tom Stewart of St Andrews and Gibson of Kinghorn. In 1893 they opened a shop at 49 Comiston Road under the name
Thomas P. Waggott while their family resided at 7 Balcarres Street, Edinburgh. Tom Waggott's wife Annie Howden came from Dirleton and
in 1890 they resided at 4 Golf Place, Musselburgh.
Tom Waggott played the best ball of two Musselburgh members in 1894 and teed off the face of his watch for every drive. He was round
in bogey and never scratched the watch. Tom had a shop in The Wynd, Aberlady (opposite the village hall) trading under W. Waggott where
they sold golf clubs and his eighty-year-old father William and sister Mary opened a restaurant between 1893 and 1915. Tom Waggott and his
family resided in Sunset View in Aberlady and continued in business until his death in July 1941.
William James Weir born 8th May 1851 at No.10 Wright's Houses, Edinburgh, son of James Weir a carter's porter and his wife Ann Hogg.
Wright's Houses situated on Bruntsfield links was at the centre of golf in Edinburgh in the 1870s. The Golf House Tavern (No.27),
Bruntsfield Golf Club (No.30) and Douglas McEwan's workshop was at No.36 where Willie Weir was taught the art of clubmaking while
working as a Hatter and Hosier at No.11 Wright's Houses. He married Alison Flint, a dressmaker and they resided at 21 Brougham Street,
Edinburgh. When the golfers moved from Bruntisfield to Musselburgh links, Willie followed as a seasonal caddie and assistant to
Willie Park Jnr. the former open champion.
Willie Weir emigrated to America in 1895 and was appointed greenkeeper and professional at Morris County Golf Club in Morristown,
New Jersey when he assisted in laying out their eighteen hole course. The season was from April to November when the annual
competitions for the caddies and club employees was played. During the winter Willie was an instructor at Pine Forest Inn Golf Club,
Summerville S.C. In April 1909 when he returned to Morristown he resided on Church Street, Bridgewater, Somerset, New Jersey.
Willie suffered a stroke and died on 20th November 1910 at All Souls' Hospital, Morristown, aged 59 years. He is buried in Evergreen
Cemetery, New Jersey.
William C. Stark (1890-1968) from Kinghorn, Fife was appointed assistant to Willie Weir at Morris Country Golf Club in 1900 and
remained at Morristown for fourteen years. Stark joined A.G.Spalding & Co. (NY) as a clubmaker and resided at 161 Devon Street,
Kearny, New Jersey. Willie Weir's widow Alison moved to Cleveland, Ohio and was survived by her children James, Frederick, William,
George and Agnes Weir.
The clubmakers and freelance professionals listed
below where employed by the three manufacturers of golf clubs and balls in Musselburgh at the start of the twentieth century.
They included Douglas McEwan on the Links, William Park & Son at Newbigging and 2 Millhill, and J.& D. Clark, Link House, 3 Links Place,
||4 Mitchell Street
36 High Street
||16 Bakehouse, Canongate
||150 High Street
|James G. Clark
64 West Holmes Gardens
|James R. Dailey
Downie Building, Millhill
||4 Craighall Terrace
||150 High Street
Downie Building, Millhill
|Thomas W. Grassart
1 Victoria Terrace
|Thomas Allan Parkinson
89 High Street Fisherrow
Hermus Golf Club, South Africa
10, Links Place.
|Robert & John Thompson
43, Hercus Loan|
| Crossed clubs with 1886 in the masonry, when Bruntsfield Society built their clubhouse at Musselburgh
© Digitalsport UK |
Four Open Golf Champions are buried in unmarked graves in Inveresk Church Cemetery, Musselburgh. Robert Ferguson (Open Champion
1880-81-82), Willie Park Jnr. (Open Champion 1887) Jack White (Open Champion 1904), David Brown (Open Champion 1886, small stone)
caddie Johnnie Keir, and Harry Crawford one of the most famous golf caddie's in the world. |
The Links at Musselburgh are owned by Musselburgh Common Good Fund and administered by East Lothian Council. The greenkeepers and
members have worked tirelessly to bring the course back to the fine condition it is in today including a state-of-the-art watering
system installed in 2015. For those wishing to experience playing golf during the 19th century, hickory clubs and guttie balls are
available to hire from the starter. The town of Musselburgh is situated on the A1 motorway, en-route from Edinburgh to North Berwick.
Booking Tel: 0131 665 6981
Starter Tel: 0131 665 5438 |
| Copyright ©
Douglas C. Seaton 2017, All Rights Reserved. |