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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Allan Gow
The newspaper account of Allan Gow being appointed professional at Panmure in 1938 suggests he was born in Gullane in 1892 or 1893. Jackson’s Register states he was born in Lochton (which is in Kincardineshire) in 1885. In fact, he was born in that year though in Longforgan in Perthshire but, by the time of the 1901 census, he was living in Maude Terrace, Gullane (no longer extant but somewhere on Dirleton Road), an apprentice golf club maker, aged 16 with his parents and siblings, his father, Alexander, being described as a greenkeeper.

His first professional appointment was in 1905 at the Gog Magog club in Cambridge and he came home the following year to play in the Open at Muirfield but did not qualify for the final two rounds. His stay at Gog Magog extended to 1913 at which time he came back to Scotland to be professional at Nairn. The newspaper account previously mentioned claims he did not bother much with tournaments but he was fairly active around this time entering the Open another three times before the outbreak of the First World War, taking part in the big Cruden Bay tournament of 1909 and posting a score a couple of shots behind the winner, J H Taylor, at a professional tournament in Port Seton in 1914. He also played for Scotland against England in 1912

He left for Banstead Downs in 1916 and spent six years there. This was followed by a brief sojourn to the United States as professional to the Edgewater club in Chicago. Herbert C Lagerblade, the first golfer to use steel shafted clubs in the US Open (in 1924) wrote about testing the shafts in front of members of the Western Golf Association in 1923 at Edgewater and recalls, ‘One of the testers was the new pro at
Edgewater, Allan Gow by name, who had arrived from Scotland that spring. He stood on the first tee and promptly sliced three balls over the fence, definitely convincing the Western committee that the steel shaft was not a mechanical aid’.

Gow returned to Britain the same year and became professional at the Tyrell’s Wood club in Leatherhead where he laid out the course. After six years here he crossed the channel to become professional at Royal Zoute in Belgium in 1929 for five years, winning the closed professional championship of Belgium while he was there. In 1936 he returned to Cambridge, this time to be professional at the Girton club before his final employment at the Panmure club from 1938.

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