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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Fred Clarkson
St Louis, MO
Frederick Alexander Clarkson was the third of four golfing brothers and born in Carnoustie on 17 September 1883.

After following his father, who was high up in Carnoustie’s boot and shoe factories, with an apprenticeship in bootmaking, he travelled from Glasgow on the California arriving in New York on 10 April 1911. His destination was his sister Mrs Edge, the eldest sibling (her second husband being James Edge), the same person (then Miss Eliza Clarkson) as his brother Charlie was headed for in 1907. This has nothing to do with the golfing story but I am grateful t Sue Farrell, a descendant, for clearing this up.

He spent the winter of 1913-14 as a professional at Palm Beach, Florida, and it was announced in May 1914 that he had accepted the post of professional at the Mission Hills Country Club in Kansas City.

By November 1914 he was professional at the Oakwood Country Club in St Louis, playing in a foursome at Topeka, so there is a few year’s gap when I do not know where he was. This was previously the Progress Country Club, one of the first Jewish clubs in the United States opened because traditional country clubs would not countenance Jewish membership. In 1916 he played from here in the regional qualifier for the US Open. It illustrates the importance of so-called ‘majors’ to professionals of the time. The top two qualified. Clarkson was third behind Tom Clark and William Brown who had tied in the lead. Clark could not or would not go to Minneapolis so Fred qualified instead.

At the start of the 1919 season he was still in St Louis but moved to the Ridgedale club. He continued to spend his winters as an instructor in Florida, at the Poinciana club, but returned to St Louis after the 1920-21 winter to become professional to the Glen Echo Country Club in March. He stayed here for the rest of his career.

In 1956, four days after his 73rd birthday, while he was still professional at Glen Echo with his son, Don, he went round the course in 72.

He died on 21 September 1969.

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