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THE CHAMPION AND MASTER CLUB MAKERS As the game progressed the care, upkeep and layout of the golf course resulted in the appointment of "Keepers of the Green" who combined their work with the making of golf clubs and some instances golf balls, playing with the members and offering them advice on the game. It was these intriguing and multi-talented individuals who became the first professional golfers.


A LONG-NOSED SCARED-HEAD SHORT SPOON BY DAVID STRATH, CIRCA 1875 The pale beechwood head stamped 'D Strath'
Robert Hansen Collection.

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Philip Harley 20th Century British & Irish Art

Lot Essay

The Strath brothers Andrew and David (1840-1879) belonged to the early professional era. Andrew won the Open Championship in 1865 at Prestwick and David, a great friend of young Tom Morris, although considered to be the better player, was never to emulate his brother's achievement. David Strath was involved in one of the strangest incidents in the Championship's history. In 1876, he appeared to have the Championship won after 13 holes of the second round but at the 14th, his drive hit and felled another player, an upholsterer called Hutton. Although Hutton recovered almost immediately from the blow, the incident so upset David Strath that he dropped strokes there and at the 15th, and then two pars at the 17th and 18th, both 5's in those days. This would still have given him victory but he took 6 at the 18th and tied with Bob Martin on 176. Some of Martin's supporters asked for Strath's disqualification, claiming that he had played his approach to the 17th before the pair in front had left the green. The championship committee could not decide whether to sustain or overrule the objection. Strath, believing that the issue should be decided before a play-off, refused to turn up and the title was awarded to Bob Martin. The Strath bunker, placed to guard the right hand side of the 11th green, commemorates to this day the name of one of St. Andrews' most famous golfing families.

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