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 2011


 "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"

In 2010 we reported that during the event "the sun shone, the rain poured ...". Well, in 2011 -"the sun shone, the rain poured ...". The morning rounds were played in glorious sunshine, there were splatters of rain in the afternoon and then, just after the presentation ceremony, we were treated to thunder and lightning with torrential rain.

So, just a typical July Saturday then!

The morning rounds as usual were qualifying for the two finals in the afternoon, for the Hickory Open and the Hickory Handicap trophies.

The early pace-setters were Bruntsfield Links Krooks and Brothers in Arms with gross scores of 44, net 37 and 36 respectively. But the Krooks team were disappointed to just miss out in places in either final as Gifford (41) and AlandAl (42) qualified for the Open, with the PAR Team's net 34 meaning they took on the Brothers in the handicap event.

The handicap event was introduced in 2009; Robin Morris had been a winner both years, he was the "R" in the PAR Team, so could Brothers in Arms deny him his hat-trick?

In the scratch event, Steven Doyle was going for a 5th win in succession, could AlandAl bring his fantastic run to an end?


The answer to both questions was "no".

Brothers in Arms fought well, but the 4 strokes they were conceding was just too much and were shaking hands with the victors on the 8th green after a 3&2 win for Robin and his partner, Pat Denzler.

In the scratch final, the first two holes were halved, but then Gifford threw 2 consecutive birdies at their opponents to establish a lead they never relinquished, running out winners by 2&1.

The trophies were presented to the winners by Kenny MacAskill MSP, the Justice Secretary. We are very grateful to him for taking the time out of his busy schedule to support us.


In their own words AlandAl (Alex Fleming and Alastair Chalmers) did not putt well enough to win; they had won the Foulis Medal the night before representing South Leith Church, so did not come away from the week's events empty-handed.

So ended another excellent week of hickory golf at Leith Links. Can anyone stop Robin Morris and Steven Doyle's dominance? There really is only one legal way - let's all get practising hard for the next 12 months!

Comments were made throughout the week that the greens were as good as they had ever been. This is down to one man, Steven Doyle, who burnt the midnight oil finding a suitable mower and was then a regular visitor to the Links cutting and re-cutting them.
So, a special "thank you" to Steven for all his efforts.

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.

View the scores

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