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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
W Freemantle
Hyeres/Dieppe/St Moritz
There was quite a dynasty of Freemantles plying their trade around the golf courses of France, Belgium and Switzerland. William's brother, Sam, spent winter in Cannes and summer in Ostend while he himself seems to have spent his entire professional career overseas. Two sons, whether of William or Sam is unclear, were also professionals at Etretat, Granville and Deauville (R Freemantle being a regular fixture in the French Open Championships from the mid-1920s to mid-1930s) and Lausanne.

William began in France, at Cannes, at the turn of the twentieth century, sharing the professional duties with his brother-in-law Bernard Calloway, the designer of the course, and there is a record of them playing here in 1905 against J H Taylor who played against their better ball and still won 6 and 5 over two rounds.

He split his time between HyŤres on the Riviera (a course he laid out) and the one at Dieppe although still finding time to set a course record at St Moritz in Switzerland and to play with Lady Wolverton at Cannes against J H Taylor and Countess Torby. In March 1907 he took part in a tournament at his ‘home’ course of HyŤres with professionals who had travelled from the UK to play in a competition in Cannes. These included Harry and Tom Vardon, Ted Ray, Sandy Herd, J H Taylor, Rowland Jones, J H Taylor and James Braid. It must have been some tournament to persuade Braid to travel across water, something he hated passionately. Later that year Freemantle was professional at the St Moritz Engadine club though still keeps his association with HyŤres as he played in another tournament the following year with Harry Vardon, J H Taylor and Robert MacDonald, the much travelled Dornoch professional, then plying his trade at Aix-les-Bains, before succeeding Freemantle at HyŤres, and the French masters, Arnaud Massy, Jean Gassiat and Bomboudiac.

He appears in the records again in Switzerland at Villars Palace in 1927.

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