Isaac Mackie was a native of Earlsferry, the other half of Elie, a good player, in the Earlsferry Thistle club, and an apprentice clubmaker in the town as he was before the court, with three pals, in December 1896 with that designation accused of ‘having conducted themselves in a riotous and disorderly manner at the Town Hall, Earlsferry while a dancing class was taking place’. He was defended by W R Ketchen, a stalwart of Elie Golf Club where Isaac was then course record-holder with a 70, and the punishment was fairly lenient.
I presume his apprenticeship was with George Forrester. Dundee’s Evening Post claimed he learned his trade in the same shop as Braid but James Braid was a joiner not a clubmaker in Elie but spent much time in Forrester’s shop where his best friend Ralph Smith was an apprentice.
His brother, Jack went to America to be a golf professional in 1899. And two other brothers William and Dan followed.
In 1901 he also emigrated to the United States to become professional at the Fox Hills Golf Club on Staten Island and remained here until 1914 with some winter sabbaticals, from 1903 he was the “winter pro” at the Lakewood Country Club in New Jersey and he spent the winter of 1910-11 at Cape Fear in Wilmington NC. He designed the Hollywood course in Deal, NJ and moved to New Jersey himself in 1916 as professional to the Canoe Brook club in Summit.
He patented a fixing method for clubheads, as can be seen in his 1914 advertisement, which attempted to combine the strength of the socket head with the ‘direction’ of the splice, by minimising the rotation of the clubhead on impact.
He came back to Britain in 1910 to play in an Anglo-American tournament at Walton Heath ‘to create a more friendly union between the professionals in this country and those in the States’ according to the Manchester Courier which was rather odd given that most of the participating US professionals, like Mackie, were expats.
He was a regular in the US Open between 1901 and 1921 and won the Eastern PGA Championship in 1908 over his home course at Fox Hills.
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