Mungo Park jnr
Mungo Park was the younger brother of Willie Park jnr and the nephew of Mungo Park snr, the winner of the 1874 Open Championship, and born in Musselburgh in 1877.
Aged 19, he went to New York to open a branch of his brother’s business but this only lasted one, or at most two, years as Mungo was advertising for a professional’s position for 1898 in Golf. During his time in New York he laid out the nine hole Dutchess GC course at Poughkeepsie in 1897 then began 1898 as the professional to the Dyker Meadow Club in Brooklyn.
He went to Galveston at the end of 1898 and laid out a nine hole course there and remained for six months as the professional. He was reported as ‘just back’ in Scotland in November 1900 when the course and clubhouse was destroyed by a tornado. The 1901 census in April found him living in Nuffield in Oxfordshire with his wife and with brother, Willie. This was the period he was assistant manager on his brother’s ill-fated. self-financed project at Huntercombe consisting of three golf courses and a hotel and housing development.
He played in the Musselburgh tournament of 1901 in May and in the Open Championship at Muirfield the following month.
Sometime later that year he went to Argentina where golf was not new, there were already six courses and an amateur championship had been contested since 1895, and served as a professional. He won the country’s first Open Championship in 1905, a feat he repeated in 1907 and 1912, and laid out a course in Buenos Aires at San Andrés, Argentina’s oldest club in 1907. His wife, Grace, a formidable player over many years, was the country’s first ladies’ Open Champion.
He was reported as ‘newly returned from South America’ when he competed in the Scottish Professional Championship in May 1914. In February 1915 he enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps and served as a Private with the 73rd Field Ambulance in France until his discharge in May 1919.
After the war he returned to Argentina and again to the United States in 1923 to complete the work done by Willie, now in failing health, at St Johnsbury Country Club, Vermont. Although he spent that winter, and the next, in Argentina, Mungo remained in the United States until 1936 with spells as professional at rather eccentric resorts, including the Victorian castle run on Quaker principles at Lake Mohonk, NY, and the Castle Hot Springs resort in Arizona.
Mungo died in 1960.
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