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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Alexander C Brown
Alexander C Brown was born in Musselburgh around 1840 and was a clubmaker in the town running a business employing one other clubmaker, John Buchanan, who was boarding with Alexander, wife Mary and daughter Janet in 1881.

The following April he was appointed professional at Dunbar with rent-free accommodation in the clubhouse and a salary of £25 per year.

In 1888 he moved to Nairn and the improvements he made to the course and its upkeep were commented upon favourably at the time of the Spring Meeting in May 1889. He does not appear to have entered tournaments but was clearly a competent player engaging in singles and foursome matches with Archie Simpson when he visited Nairn.

Also in 1889 he laid out a nine hole course at Forres (on a site at Kinloss which was used until 1904). He made a club for the Forres provost, Mr Burn, Captain of the club, to play the first shot when the club opened on 31 May. He returned a month later to play in a friendly match and won all 9 holes against the provost. The newspaper account noted him as professional but it is unclear whether this was in general or applied to his status at the Forres club. In any event there does seem to be some change in his status with the Nairn club (or he had a lot of time on his hands) as he announced in May 1890 that he was going to devote his time solely to teaching young players and this would be done on the Kinloss course and at Lossiemouth.

Another club then comes into the mix. He designed the course at Grantown-on-Spey which opened in June 1890 as a 9-holer according to the club but described at the time in the local papers as having 13 holes. He also played at least one further exhibition match there and was described as ‘professonal’. He may well have served as professional for the season (though I note the club history refers to him as ‘a golf professional’ rather than ‘the’ professional) but the following year, in September 1891, he is being praised for the improvement of the course and the putting greens as the new professional at Woodford Green on the north-eastern fringes of London.

Although Callander GC in the Trossachs write that their first professional appointment was in 1924, A C Brown was certainly here by 1894 and is referred to as the professional in a short account of a foursome he played in over the course at the end of August. Jackson’s Register has him here until at least 1902 but I find no further record of him.

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