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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Andrew Forgan
Younger brother of Robert with whom he served an apprenticeship in St Andrews. Set up a clubmaking business in Perth for a while (ca 1878-1882 – Perth Artisans Golf Club was formed at a meeting here in 1879): the shop in Carpenter Street later taken over by Peter Stewart). It was hard to make a living in Perth as golf was played over the North Inch and, no matter how historical it was, it had a very short season, two months in spring and three months in autumn, its use in summer being given over to the ‘cow feeders’. Some golfers tried to keep it open and it was reported at a meeting of the Town Council in May 1882 ‘that a man had been seen at the whins with a horse and cart moving and removing the grass’. The Perthshire Advertiser reported, ‘The delinquent was Andrew Forgan, the greenkeeper …. one of the most peaceable and law abiding of men but who had been incited …. by some spirited golfers’. Some of the council were up in arms but were calmed down by the Dean of Guild who said he had spoken to Forgan who had promised not to do it again without the permission of the magistrates.

It is little wonder he left Perth and is better known for his clubs from Glasgow where he established a business at 65 West Regent Street. His cleek mark is usually described as the pear tree from the coat of arms of the City of Glasgow but either it is not a pear tree or it is not from the city's coat of arms because the armorial tree is an oak tree. (Even that is pretty confusing - they chose an oak tree to symbolise the hazel twig in which St Mungo is supposed to have induced self-combustion. See Glasgow, see strange.) A newspaper obituary of David Anderson (son of Jamie) says he was appointed playing professional and clubmaker to Andrew in 1891 when Andrew was professional at the Alexandra park club in Glasgow.

One of Andrew Forgan’s finest pieces of work was apparently two miniature golf clubs which formed the centre of a wreath for the deceased captain of the Glasgow Golf Club, John Hamilton, in 1896.

After retiring from his post in Glasgow, he went to Canada on holiday in the summer of 1914. The advent of the First World War prevented him returning on the day planned which resulted in him staying in Montréal. He passed his time here collecting coins and medals and golf memorabilia and being an active member of his local church. He died in 1925 and asked for his body to be returned to Perth for interment with his wife.

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