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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Jock Hutchison
St Andrews/Pittsburgh
Jock Hutchison John Waters Hutchison was born in 30 North Street, St Andrews, on 6 June 1884 to William Hutchison, a fisherman, and his wife Ellen, née Waters, and is recorded as a golf caddy in the town on the 1901 census.

His elder brother Tom had already gone to the United States and Shinnecock Hills by this time and was employed as private professional in the winter months by William Coleman Carnegie, nephew of Andrew. It was in his employ at Cumberland Island that Tom fell from a horse and was killed. W C Carnegie later paid for Jock’s passage to America and he sailed on the Baltic from Liverpool on 1 November 1910 arriving in NYC on the 10th of the month.

By August of the following year he was competing in the Metropolitan Open from the St Andrews club in Hastings-on-Hudson, finishing third behind the Carnoustians George Low and Alec Smith. He subsequently moved to the New York Golf Club and in 1909 became professional at the Pittsburgh Golf Club from where he won the Western Pennsylvania Open Championship in his first yea with the club. By 1911 he was professional at the Allegheny Country Club and was runner-up that year in the Western Pennsylvania Open which was won by George Duncan visiting from Britain.

Hutchison remained at Allegheny until 1917 when he moved to the Glenview club in Illinois. In the south for the winter in his first season there, he won the South Florida Open and he won the USPGA championship in 1920. Already, by this time, there was talk of his deep groove irons which imparted huge backspin to the ball. They caused much controversy when he returned home to St Andrews and won the 1921 Open Championship (which they shouldn’t have as they were still legal). Despite their association with Jock, what I find interesting is a 1916 claim that they were invented by Macdonald Smith who showed one he had made to Hutchison who promptly copied it. He backed up his Open win with wins in the North and South Open the same year and the Northern California Open in 1922 and the Western Open the following year.

He won the first PGA Seniors’ Championship in 1937 and won it again 10 years later.

With Fred McLeod he was a starter at the Masters’ from 1963 until illness prevented him in 1973.

Jock Hutchison died in Evanston, Ill, on 27 September 1977. His career is now commemorated in St Andrews by the plaque on the house where he was born in North Street (though it was J Douglas Edgar he defeated in the USPGA final not “Elder”).

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