Leith Rules Golf Society
The aim of the Society is to increase the recognition of Leith Links as the home of the earliest recorded rules of golf and one of the game's prominent early locations

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Hickory Open 2009



"For a memorable golfing experience using traditional hickory clubs, come to Leith Links and play on the very turf where golf's earliest rules were written"

For the third year running the winners of the Hickory Open were Bruntsfield Short Hole, though Steven Doyle and Paul Middleton were taken right to the wire by their opponents Merchants of Edinburgh.

An innovation this year was the introduction of a handicap event alongside the main competition, for a club presented to the Society by Philip Knowles, one of our members and a respected golf archivist and historian. 

 

 

The scores at the top of the qualifying rounds were as usual very close, our finalists getting through on a count-back of the last 5 holes. Based on national handicaps, Bruntsfield were favourites to win the scratch award, but as is often the case our "greens" proved to be a great leveller; Merchants quickly established a two-hole advantage and although the match ebbed and flowed, on the penultimate green they had a short putt for victory. Unfortunately for them, it was missed, Bruntsfield won the last to take it to sudden-death, finally triumphing at the second extra hole. 

As the final progressed it was clear that both teams were getting distinctly uneasy on the greens, one spectator's comment of "there but for the grace of God......" nicely summing up the feelings of many as they watched good players struggle! 

 

The handicap final was more clear-cut. The Foot of Leith Walk Golfing Society, one of the main supporters of the event over the years, were conceding too many shots to The Odd Couple, though they were the first to say that their opponents thoroughly deserved their victory, with Robin Morris guiding his higher handicap partner, Yves Foulis, extremely well to a 2 & 1 victory.

 

About the trophies ....

The club on the Hickory Open trophy is a mashie (5 iron is the closest modern-day equivalent) and was made by Hendry and Bishop circa 1905. It is stamped as "made in Edinburgh" and was almost certainly made at their workshop in Stead's Place, Leith. It was restored and donated to the Society by Philip Knowles. The mounting board and inscription were made and donated by David Kirkwood of Alexander Kirkwood & Son, Albany Street, Edinburgh
 

"A Much Travelled Leither"
This Ladies Mashie (c1920) began life in Leith and has crossed the Atlantic twice. The "acorn/twig" symbol is the import mark of Harry C. Lee, sports goods dealer N.Y. City. 

It was presented to the Society by Philip Knowles in 2009.

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