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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
David Park
Davie Park was the younger brother of Willie Park snr and born in Musselburgh probably in 1838 (most sources say 1840 but he appears aged 3 and 13 respectively on the 1841 and 1851 censuses).

He played in the early Open Championships, finishing fourth in 1861, third in 1863 and second, behind his brother in 1866. He tied for fourth in 1872 and sixth in 1874. The other Opens he did not bother to enter. The real money was in foursome matches for wagers. In 1858 at St Andrews, before the professionals’ tournament in which he won 3 shillings for coming fourth, he undoubtedly pocketed more partnering Captain Kinloch and beating John Blackwood and Young Tom Morris. He and his brother in St Andrews in 1864, defeated the heavily backed Tom Morris and Davie Strath, and, playing with Bob Ferguson, won against Old and Young Tom Morris and, in St Andrews in 1869, described in the press as the ‘match of the season’.

Davie Park was also a fine craftsman, beginning as a ballmaker (he and two other ballmakers, David Gressick, and Thomas Stewart, were boarding with Jemima Taylor and her daughter in High Street, Inveresk in 1861) but also making clubs, the well-known golf writer of the times, Rev J G McPherson, waxing lyrical about his old Davie Park iron in Golf in 1891. What I have never seen mentioned anywhere else is that Park spent some time in Aberdeen as a ballmaker, lodging with George Ogilvie, in his house on the links in 1871.

For some reason of which I am currently unaware his golfing career ended. On the 1881 census he is living at Links Place with his wife, married in 1868, Isabella née Paterson, and categorised as a general labourer. The commercial acumen of his brother, Willie, seems not to have been shared by David. He died at Links Place on 7 July 1887 and is described on his death certificate as ‘pauper, formerly professional golf player’.

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