The trophy has the original silver balls
The trophy in it's handsome display case
The trophy has the original engraved golf clubs
C B MacFarlane - Glasgow Golf Club
The archives of the Corporation of the city of Glasgow reveal that the origins of this elite competition were in 1897. At a meeting on the 2nd of June of that year the Parks Department sub-committee of the City Corporation agreed to invest no more than £15 for the purchase of a golf trophy to be played for over the golf course at Alexandra Park. By September of 1897 a trophy had been purchased from Messrs Thomas Smith & Son for £13 and the inaugural competition took place on the 23rd of September of that year.
Trophy and winners -
Over the years the trophy was embellished with a number of golf clubs and silver balls. Latterly silver plates were used to record the winners names. There is now a complete record available of all the winners from 1897 and the clubs they represented.
The Glasgow Open Amateur Open Championship has played a major role in the life of the elite golfer since its inception. The first winner, CB Macfarlane of Glasgow Golf Club who was capped against England in 1912. His son, also C.B. Macfarlane is also an early winner. Another early winner, I912, was JH Irons of Pollok Golf Club. He was the first winner of the Pollok Club Championship in 1920. He played cack handed. His other claim to fame was as a wing half for Queens Park from 1896 - 1901. He was an amateur but played for Scotland v Wales in an international involving professionals.
First Winner - C B MacFarlane
The first winner in 1897 and the following year was C B Macfarlane of Glasgow Golf Club, and the last winner in the 19th century was A Reid of St Nicholas Golf Club of Prestwick. The Sub-Committee of Parks ran the competition, and the Entry Fee was 1 Shilling. There is however, no record of any Prize Fund. In September 1901, the Corporation decided that the trophy should be displayed in the Peoples Palace at Glasgow Green and it was displayed there for many years.
After the initial focus on Alexandra Park the competition had a more nomadic existence also being played at Lethamhill and Blackhill, courses all owned by the City, and perhaps surprisingly Hayston Golf Club at Kirkintilloch.
Between the World Wars Erskine Golf Club was a host venue as was Cawder and Ralston. However after the first post WW11 event was held at Cathkin Braes, the Parks Sub-Committee approached Pollok Golf Club to host the event and it has remained there ever since, the trophy in a handsome display case.
Robert Scott Jnr
Robert Scott Jnr, was a notable winner of the Glasgow Open Amateur Championship, in addition to his victories in 1913 & 1919 he was the winner of Tennent Cup four times, was the leading amateur at the 1923 Open Championship at Troon, played for Scotland versus England in five successive years from 1924 and was one of the two undefeated members of the 1924 Walker Cup team.
The 1969 winner was our current GGU Hon. President, Gordon Cosh. He was presented with the trophy by a Glasgow councillor who congratulated him on his excellent score "Out in 69, back in 68".
The winner in 1939, 1949 & 1952 was Donald Cameron, an ex Scottish Internationalist and a member of Kirkintilloch Golf Club, who the formed Donald Cameron league in 1947. He presented a trophy to be played for annually and invited the following clubs to participate: Balmore, Bishopbriggs, Cawder, Douglas Park, Hayston, Kirkintilloch, Lenzie and Milngavie. In 1958 the following clubs were admitted to the league: Bearsden, Dullatur, Glasgow, and Hilton Park. In the sixties the leagues' compliment of clubs was complete with the addition of Sandyhills and Windyhill.
Graeme Shaw - 3 consecutive titles
In the 1984 Championship John Peters of Pollok (son of GB Peters winner 1934) shot a 64, a member's course record. Not good enough as the man who signed his card shot 62, a new course record. This was Graeme Shaw of Haggs Castle Golf Club on his way to the first of 3 consecutive titles. Other players who have won the competition 3 or more times include E.W. Hammond, Craig Watson & D.B. Howard.
Sam McKinlay enjoyed a great career in golf culminating in his appearance at the 1934 event at St. Andrews He probably first drew attention to himself at the age of 19 by reaching the semi-finals of the Scottish Amateur Championship in 1927. In 1929, he found himself chosen to play for Scotland in international matches against England, Ireland and Wales, and was then chosen to play in each of the next four years as well.
The records show that he did not play in 1934, which seems somewhat strange as that was the year of his Walker Cup appearance, but it could have been that he could not fit both events into the holiday time he had from newspaper work. He was back as a Scotland player in 1935, and again in 1937, before concluding his international career in 1947. SL (as he was known) also distinguished himself in important one-day, 36-hole stroke events of the period, winning the Tennant Cup at Killermont once, the Edward Trophy at Glasgow Gailes twice, and the Glasgow Open Amateur Championship three times.
When he first appeared in championships he entered from Alexandra, located at Letham Hill, Millerston, Subsequently he entered from Western Gailes, and then from the Glasgow Club. he was later to become a member of the R&A, there to serve as a Walker Cup selector, and also as a member of the Rules of Golf Committee.
Over the timeline of the Championship about 30% of the winner have either been Walker Cup or Internationalists. There are 17 Walker Cup golfers in the winners list: R Scott Jnr, Andrew Jamieson, Jack McLean, Gordon Peters, Hector Thomson, Sam McKinlay, Frank Deighton, Reid Jack, Stuart Murray, Gordon Cosh, Iain Carslaw, Charlie Green, Andrew Brodie, David Carrick, Graeme Shaw Barclay Howard and Craig Watson.
In addition there were 15 Scottish Internationals: CB McFarlane, Willie Tulloch, John Lang, Donald Cameron, Eddie Hamilton, Walter McLeod, John Stuart, Billy Jack, Sandy Sinclair, Colin Strachan, Scot Cochran, John McTear, , Keith McIntosh, Alastair Forsyth and Barry Hume.
In the years to come let us hope our winners achieve the same success and recognition as the galaxy of great golfers noted above. We wish them well.