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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Tom Clark
Montrose/Kansas City etc
Tom Clark Thomas Burns Clark and his younger brother Walter played golf from childhood in Montrose and were regular caddies under the control of Bob Dow in the 1880s. The 1891 census shows Tom and his elder brother, John, both employed as caddies (Walter was still at school) living at home with sister, Margaret, and their widowed father at 86 Melville Lane, Montrose.

Tom served in South Africa in the Boer War and the officers, learning he had been a caddy in Scotland, gave him a hundred men with the order to lay out a nine hole golf course which Clark claimed was the first course in Natal, later extended to 18 holes.

Tom and Walter both went to America in 1901 and the first record of a professional position I have for Tom is at the Agawan Hunt Club in Easr Providence, Rhode Island, where he broke the course record in June 1903.

The two brothers were home in the winter of 1907 and, with John, played for Montrose against St Andrews University over the Old Course in February 1908.

When he returned to the United States that year he was professional at the Pittsfield Country Club in Massachusetts. There he was involved in rescuing a man and, as a consequence, was badly burned by electricity. His right thumb was so badly damaged it had to be amputated.

In 1911 he went to the Midwest as professional to the Hutchinson CC in Kansas. Three years later he began his long association with the Blue Hills CC in Kansas City, Missouri. He retired in 1946 after 32 years service but retained the title of emeritus professional. At the age of 86, in April 1964, he was the oldest competitor in the USPGA Senior Open.

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