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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 211 perty, feued from the city of Edinburgh, was “ vested in Mr. St. Clair of Roslin, Mr. Keith of Ravelston, and Mr. W. Hogg junior, banker, for behoof of the whole subscribers.” In 1800 the “Honourable Company of Golfers” was incorporated by a charter from the Magistrates ;’ and, for more than twenty years afterwards, the meetings of the Club-which could boast of the most illustrious Scotsmen of the day amongst its members-continued to be regularly held at Leith. Latterly, some alterations having been made on the Links, and the playground ceasing to be attractive, the stated meetings of the Club were given up about 1830 ; and it was ultimately deemed advisable, or rather became necessary, from the state of the funds, to dispose of the Goff-House and furniture. This was accordingly done ; and it is much to be regretted that various pictures of old members, and other articles, connected, it may be said, with the Pistory of the Club, were not reserved. These sold for trifling sums, and, in many instances, to parties unconnected with the Society, from whom they cannot now be repurchased. About three years ago, however, through the activity of some of the old members, the stated meetings were revived on Musselburgh Links ; and a great accession of young members having taken place, the Edinburgh Golfing Company is once more in a flourishing condition. Besides the Societies already noticed, several others have temporarily existed. The ‘‘ Thistle Golf Club,”’ instituted in 1815, continued till within these few years, when, like the “ Edinburgh Company of Golfers,” they broke up on account of the impaired state of their playground, the Links of Leith. The affairs of these Societies are usually managed by a President, or Captain, as he is termed, Secretary, Treasurer, Recorder of Bets, Medal-holder, and Council. The Links, or Commons, being free to all, there are innumerable players unconnected with any of the Golfing Societies ; and many who resort to Bruntsfield Links occasionally for amusement and exercise, are accommodated with the loan of clubs by the maker for a trifling remuneration. At Musselburgh they are still manufactured ; and they were at Leith until a few years ago. At Bruntsfield Links the business is carried on with increasing spirit by Mr. P. M‘Ewan, club-maker, and Mr. W. Gourlay, ball-maker, to the Golfing Society. Until the grandfather of these men (Mr. Douglas Gourlay) commenced business at the Links in 1793, the balls were brought from St. Andrews and Their insignia is an embroidered star-worn on the left breaskontaining two clubs and two balls, with the motto- “ Far and Sure.” a The uniform of this Club consisted of “ a scarlet single-breasted coat, with a green collar, and plain gilt buttons ; a badge on the left breast, with the derice of the thistle embroidered with gold upon green cloth ; the trowsers white.” The Thistle Golf Club a At St. Andrews about twelve hands are constantly employed in making,balls ; and besides the quantity required for their own locality-averaging from three ta four thousand-upwards of eight thousand are annually disposed of in other markets. There are two Golfing Clubs belonging to St. Andrews. One of them, instituted in 1754, is composed of the nobility, gentry, and profewora ; the other, of a more plebeian order of citizens. The former are distingoished by wearing red coats; the other, green. In the making of golf clubs and balls no monopoly now exists. 1 The “Edinburgh Burgess Society ” obtained a charter at the same time. reinstituted in 1871.
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212 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. Yards. 414 . 461 426 495 435 2231 retailed by the tavern-keepers at 6d. painted, and 5d. unpainted-so little had they advanced in price from the days of our Sixth James, when a ball cost 4s. Scots (i.e. 4d. sterling). The price of a club at present is 3s. 6d.; and of a ball, 28.’ The handle, which is straight, is generally about four feet and a half in length, and usually made of ash, or hickory, which is allowed to be better. The curvature made of thorn, is affixed to the bottom, faced with horn, and backed with lead :- The bat or club is accurately represented in the Engraving. “ Forth rush’d Cadulio, and his daring foe ; Both armed with clubs, and eager for the blow. Of finest ASH Chstalio’s shaft was made ; Pond‘rous with LEAD, and faced with HORN the head ; The work of Dickson, who in Letha dwells, And in the art of making clubs excels.”a The ball is a little one, but exceedingly hard, being made of leather, and stuffed with feathers. There are generally two players, who have each of them his club and ball.” The game consists in driving the ball into certain holes made in the ground, which he who achieves in the fewest strolres, obtains the victory. The golf lengths, or the spaces between the first and last holes, are sometimes extended-where the ground will permit, such as at Xt. Andrews-to the distance of two or three miles ; the number of intervening holes appears to be optional,’ but the balls must be struck into the holes, and not beyond them: when four persons play, two of them are sometimes partners, and have but one ball, which they strike alternately. It is no unusual thing for a player to have along with him eight or ten clubs of different forms, adapted for striking the ball in whatever position it may be These details are now altered by the change in the manufacture and use of gutta percha. Eo. 1877. Poem of Goff, formerly quoted. Andrew Dickson, club-maker, is the person alluded to as having acted the part of fore-cadie to the Duke of York. It is almost indispensable for a player to have at least two clubs, a long one for driving, and a short one for putting near the hole ; and on Links such as St. Andrews, where there are many sandholes, or bunkers, as they are termed, it club with an iron head (differing in form froin the heads of the wooden clubs) is required, Of these iron clubs there are various kinds, adapted to the different situations of the green. On the Links of Leith, which had five, the lengths were- * The holes are not limited to any particular number. I __ FORMERLY. II LATTERLY. I Feet. Yards. First hole ...................... 975 325 Second hole .................... 1221 407 Third hole ..................... 1278 426 Fourth hole .................... 1485 495 Fifth hole. ..................... 1305 435 6264 2088 -- -- I Feet. First hole ...................... Second hole .................... Third hole ..................... Fourth hole ................... Fifth hole ...................... 1242 1383 1278 1485 1305 6693
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