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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Robert Murray
“Wee Bob” Murray was born in North Berwick in 1885 and licensed there as a professional in 1906. The following year he went to Germany to become professional at Dresden where he married Anna Thalheim who had caddied at the club. During his time here he took part in the richly endowed ($1250 prize money) Baden-Baden tournament of 1911 finishing second behind Harry Vardon. He also laid out the first nine hole course of the Munich Golf Club in Thalkirchen with its first president, Sir Ralph Paget, the British ‘Minister Resident to the Kingdom of Bavaria’

He was still professional at Dresden at the start of the First World War and consequently arrested in November 1914. After brief detention in Dresden and Berlin he was sent to the internment camp at Ruhleben where, as the linked article explains, he won the camp’s professional golf tournament.

After the war he and his wife returned to North Berwick via Holland and Hull in November 1918 but she was unhappy there and the couple moved to Denmark where Bob was professional to the Copenhagen Club between 1920 and 1928. In the middle of this tenure he won the Scandinavian Open of 1925.

In 1928 he was back in Germany at the newly opened Lübeck-Travemünde club and, during his time here, won the German Professional Championship of 1930. At the start of the Second World War he was able to escape to Denmark and worked at the Aalborg club. Following the German invasion of Denmark he was arrested and once again found himself in an internment camp. The intercession of his German wife’s relatives saw him released and he became a golf professional in Dresden again, this time at the course of the “Kurort” (health resort), Der Weiße Hirsch.

According to Douglas Seaton, the authority on anything golfing related to North Berwick, Murray refused to become a German citizen thus failing to qualify for food rations and died of starvation in Dresden in April 1944.

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