A charity which uses the legacy of 19th century Scottish golfing pioneers Old Tom Morris, Young Tom Morris and Willie Park to educate, empower and inspire children has thanked the custodians of four iconic golf courses for hosting a challenge which saw all the courses played on the same day.
William Lumsden, from West Lothian, who established the Tommy’s Honour Education Trust in 2018 following the premiere of the film Tommy’s Honour at the NPH Cinema in St Andrews, said the donations generated would go towards “inspiring the talent of tomorrow” while the memories of the event played at St Andrews, Prestwick, Musselburgh and North Berwick would “last a lifetime”.
The golfing challenge got under way when eight golfers arrived in the dark at Prestwick, the birthplace of the Open Championship – to replicate the challenge matches between the Morris and Park families in the second half of the 19th century.
After playing the Prestwick course it was on to Musselburgh Links, North Berwick’s West Links; and the New Course in St Andrews.
The seed for this incredible challenge was planted when William was researching the legacy of the Scottish golfing pioneers Old Tom, Young Tommy Morris and Willie Park to develop the educational programmes that form the charity’s cornerstone.
“The inspiration for this challenge came about through building up my knowledge of our Scottish golfing pioneers, and the contribution their legacy made towards shaping the modern game of golf which is now enjoyed by over 60 million golfers worldwide,” he said.
“Spanning a 30-year period Tom Morris of St Andrews and Willie Park of Musselburgh played in many 144-hole challenge matches over the links of Prestwick, Musselburgh, North Berwick and St Andrews.
“These matches were witnessed by thousands of spectators who flocked to the courses to watch these golfing gladiators battle away against each other in all kinds of weather.
“As the custodians of the game of golf we have a responsibility to preserve the legacy of these remarkable men.
“By working in partnership with local authorities and golf clubs we can inspire children to become pioneers of their own path in life as they make their own way in today’s society.”
The trust were delighted to initially gain the support of the head golf professionals from Prestwick, Musselburgh and North Berwick Golf Club’s through not only taking part in the challenge itself but in helping to raise awareness of the charity and its mission.
Leaving North Berwick, a drive around the Firth of Forth saw the golfers arrive in St Andrews the home of golf at 7pm to play their final golf course of the day.
The New Course was laid out by Old Tom Morris and the course opened for play in April 1895.
The New Course provided a fitting platform for Mark Richardson, the secretary of the New Golf Club, to hole the final putt on his favourite course.
Taking part was David Fleming, head professional at Prestwick; Dominic Fairlie, great, great grandson of James Ogilvy Fairlie; Norman Huguet, head professional at the Musselburgh Golf Club; William Lumsden; Martyn Huish, head professional at North Berwick Golf Club; Clara Young, Scottish amateur golfer; Mark Richardson, secretary at the New Golf Club in St Andrews and Chic Harper, past Captain of the New Golf Club.