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10 Balcarres Road, Musselburgh, EH21 7SD, East Lothian, Scotland

mocgc

Willie Park Senior v Tom Morris Senior at Musselburgh Featured in The Film ‘Tommy’s Honour’

Musselburgh, March 8, 1870.

“We, the undersigned, agree to commence to play our match at golf for 100 sterling a-side on Tuesday, the 12th day of April, and that on St Andrews links at 12 o’clock; on Prestwick, 15th April; North Berwick, 19th April; and on Musselburgh links, 22nd April, to play at same hour (twelve o’clock), as at St Andrews.”

Signed, Tom Morris, Willie Park.

Of these the most notorious match was in 1870. Tom and Willie had agreed to play four rounds of four courses for £100 of which the last four were at Musselburgh, where they were accompanied by a partisan crowd of several thousand who had come to see their local man win. This resulted in serious interference with Old Tom’s play, which the referee, Mr Robert Chambers, an eminent golfer himself, was unable to control. When the players retired for refreshments at Mrs Forman’s, with 6 holes left to play and Willie Park two holes ahead in the match, Mr Chambers decided that play should be abandoned and resumed the following day in the hope of better comportment by the spectators.

Willie Park believed this exceeded the referee’s powers and, with due notice, returned to play the remaining holes in 22 strokes. The following day, Park refused to play and Tom Morris, under direction the referee, walked the course (in 28 strokes) and was declared the winner. Nowadays few remember the result of the match, only the controversy of the circumstances. 

With permission from JK – Producer of TM

tommy's honour

Musselburgh Old Course Featured in The Film ‘Tommy’s Honour’

Tommy’s Honour is a 2016 historical drama film depicting the lives and careers of, and the complex relationship between, the pioneering Scottish golfing champions Old Tom Morris and his son Young Tom Morris.

 

Musselburgh, March 8, 1870.

“We, the undersigned, agree to commence to play our match at golf for 100 sterling a-side on Tuesday, the 12th day of April, and that on St Andrews links at 12 o’clock; on Prestwick, 15th April; North Berwick, 19th April; and on Musselburgh links, 22nd April, to play at same hour (twelve o’clock), as at St Andrews.”

Signed, Tom Morris, Willie Park.

Of these the most notorious match was in 1870. Tom and Willie had agreed to play four rounds of four courses for £100 of which the last four were at Musselburgh, where they were accompanied by a partisan crowd of several thousand who had come to see their local man win. This resulted in serious interference with Old Tom’s play, which the referee, Mr Robert Chambers, an eminent golfer himself, was unable to control. When the players retired for refreshments at Mrs Forman’s, with 6 holes left to play and Willie Park two holes ahead in the match, Mr Chambers decided that play should be abandoned and resumed the following day in the hope of better comportment by the spectators.

Willie Park believed this exceeded the referee’s powers and, with due notice, returned to play the remaining holes in 22 strokes. The following day, Park refused to play and Tom Morris, under direction the referee, walked the course (in 28 strokes) and was declared the winner. Nowadays few remember the result of the match, only the controversy of the circumstances. 

With permission from JK – Producer of TM

golf course skull

THE skull of a teenage girl who died about 2500 years ago has been dug up at the world’s oldest golf course.

THE skull of a teenage girl who died about 2500 years ago has been dug up at the world’s oldest golf course.

The grisly find was uncovered on Tuesday at ­Musselburgh Links by greenkeepers ­excavating the grass lip of a bunker near the green of the fourth hole.

It was initially thought the skull was about 100 years old but archaeologists discovered it dated from the Iron Age – about 500BC.

It has been sent to Dundee University’s forensic anthropology department for further examination. Experts now hope to dig up the rest of the girl’s skeleton. The nine-hole Old Golf Course, is owned by East Lothian Council.

A council spokeswoman said yesterday: “On discovery, the police were contacted so that they could determine if this was ancient or related to something more recent.”

The course is recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest in the world, dating back officially to 1672 but Mary, Queen of Scots is believed to have played the links in 1567.

It is not the first time Musselburgh Links has been associated with old bones.

The course’s second hole is named The Graves because it is believed to be a burial ground for soldiers who died at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh between the armies of Scotland and England in 1547.

Police said the matter was being ­investigated and the remains were to be sent for analysis

A FUNDRAISING appeal to provide lasting memorials to Open champions at Musselburgh is gathering pace.

Open champions at Musselburgh

So far, £3,500 has been raised towards the £5,000 target which will see game legends David ‘Deacon’ Brown, Bob Ferguson and Jack White remembered in the town’s graveyard at Inveresk.

The initiative is being led by Stevie Hill, captain of Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club, who noticed there were grave markers for Mr Ferguson, a three-time Open champion, and Mr White, but no headstones. He also wants to properly recognise Mr Brown, who is buried there too.

He has launched a crowdfunding page to raise funds for headstones, with details of their victories to be installed, as a reminder of their sporting prowess on the links and their connections with Musselburgh. It currently stands at £1,471.

Musselburgh Golf Club at Monktonhall also handed over a cheque for £500 after reading about the fundraising appeal in the Musselburgh Courier.

A further £1,500 was raised at the annual charity day at Musselburgh Old Course, when entrants paid £10 to compete for prizes and an auction for four ball games at different courses was held.

Mr Hill said the event usually attracted about 100 players but, this year, due to the Covid-19, it was restricted to members, attracting about 60 golfers.

He added: “I am delighted at the generous response to the appeal and wish to thank Musselburgh Golf Club and all those who supported the charity day as well as those who have made crowdfunding donations.”

He is keen to made contact with relatives of Jack White to get their permission to install a headstone for him. Mr Hill can be contacted on 07789 374666.

Stuart Wright, captain at Musselburgh Golf Club, said: “It was a great honour and privilege to hand over the cheque for £500 – we hope that it goes a long way to reaching the target.”

Mr White was born at Pefferside, near Whitekirk, in 1873 and died in Musselburgh in 1949, aged 75. He is remembered as the winner of the 1904 Open Championship at Royal St George’s.

Mr Ferguson, who was born in Musselburgh in 1846 and died in the town in 1915, won a hat-trick of consecutive titles at the Open Championship in 1880 (at Musselburgh), 1881 and 1882.

He became Custodian of the Links at Musselburgh and taught the boys of Loretto School how to play golf.

Mr Brown, who was born in Musselburgh in 1861 and died, aged 75, at Inveresk in 1936, won the 1886 Open Championship and finished second in the 1903 US Open.

In total, he had 12 top-10 finishes in Major championship tournaments.

The cemetery is also the resting place of famous Open champions Willie Park Snr – the first to lift the both from Wallyford.

In 1974, Musselburgh Town Council, with Royal Musselburgh Golf Club, erected a stone to mark Willie Park Snr’s grave. This, and Willie Jnr’s wall-mounted stone, were cleaned and re-lettered with help from the Old Musselburgh Club in 2007.

The only Open champion whose grave is as yet undiscovered is that of their relative Mungo Park, who won in 1874, coming from a career as a seaman to have his name inscribed on the Claret Jug. No burial marker has yet been found for him.

charity golf event

Musselburgh Old Course golfers in drive to help local charity Teapot Trust

GOLFERS in Musselburgh have raised more than £1,000 to help provide art therapy for children with chronic conditions.

A competition was organised by the Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club in support of the Teapot Trust, which is based in the town at Stuart House, Eskmills Park.

The recent event attracted 80 players and was won by Scott Higgins with a net score of 64. Euan Glen had the best scratch score with a 68.

The golfers paid an entry fee, with the cash split between prize money and the charity. A raffle with prizes donated by members and friends of the golf club was also held.

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