TIMELINE - 1910
On 3 June 1910 Mr Asquith, the
Prime Minister and Mr Reginald McKenna, the first lord of the
Admirality played a foursomes match around Royal Portrush. They
arrived on the Admirality boat the Enchantress, which docked at
Many of the clubs in Dublin (Rathfarnham,
Royal Dublin) cancelled their normal competitions as a result
of the death of King Edward VII. King George signified his pleasure
with the Curragh Golf Club becoming the Royal Curragh Golf Club
as reported in the Irish Times on the 29 September 1910.
Hewson recounts the story of a
field of corn which was cut adjacent to a golf course and 100
balls were found the farmer was at liberty to sell the balls with
the exception of those which had the owners name - selling those
would result in the farmer being liable to prosecution although
from a practical standpoint it might have been quite difficult
Golf is: "a science, the
study of a lifetime, in which you may exhaust yourself but never
the subject. It is a contest, a duel, a melee, calling for courage,
skill, strategy and self-control. It is a test of temper, a trial
of honour, a revealer of character. It affords the chance to play
the man and act the gentleman.".........and so say all
Harry Ferguson had accomplished
the feat of being the first person to achieve powered flight in
Ireland on the 31 December 1909 when at Hillsborough, Co. Down
he remained airborne for a distance of more than 100 yards. He
repeated the feat in Newcastle in his monoplane completing the
flight "of almost three miles along the foreshore at a low
altitude varying between fifty and five hundred feet" in
an attempt to win a £100 prize offered by the town for the
first powered flight along the strand. While no strictly golf
related he must have had one of the first aerial views of the
famous Newcastle links.
The House of Commons gave its
deliberation on Sunday play when a railway company to over the
RPGC saying it was up to the Portrush Urban District Council to
decide if Sunday play should be allowed. Another victory for the
In 1910 Bernard Darwin's classic
golf book - The Golf Courses of the British Isles was published
and included paintings (48 colour and 26 sepia illustrations)
by Harry Rountree - cost 21s. The mis-spelling of Rountree's name
on the cover of the book was blamed on a sub-consious link with
Rowntree's Chocolates - it wasn't the first instance of this erratum.
Despite his legal training Darwin took a position as journalist
for the Evening Standard in 1907, his first article described
Lord Dunraven's private course near the town of Adare in Limerick.
From here Darwin joined the London Times and wrote for Country
Life one of the premier magazines in circulation at the time.
Darwin was the grandson of the famed naturalist and evolutionist
Charles Darwin. Harry Rountree, a New Zealander, illustrated the
book and sixteen pages were set aside for the courses in Ireland
including Dollymount, Portmarnock, Lahinch, Portrush and Newcastle.
The most striking watercolour is entitled: 'Coming Home' depicting
golfers taking the horse and carriage ("vis-à-vis"
or side-car) crossing from the Portmarnock Golf Club to Baldoyle.
It was Darwin's first book in a publishing frenzy that produced
over thirty titles and further fifty-or-so golf club handbooks.
Late March saw the publication
of The Irish Golfers' Guide at a cost of one shilling and edited
by Lionel Hewson. The use of "freak" clubs (e.g. croquet
mallet putters, socketless mashie (C.O. Hezlet)) was a topical
issue again and the Irish Golfers Guide sought the opinion of
the more accomplished players on the subject when producing its
W.C. Pickeman designed a golf
course at Bagnalstown, County Carlow. The Athgarvan (Curragh)
Club (nine holes) was founded. Dun Laoghaire opened it clubhouse
doors with Thompson the professional procured by the club with
a little assistance from Harry Vardon.
Hood opened his shop in 73 Middle Abbey Street. Marley Grange
was secured for the purpose of opening a new golf course within
a short distance of the Rathfarnham tram and Thomas
Hood had provided a favourable report as to its suitability
as a golf course. The new course would be the Grange Golf Club
and although it size was sufficient for an eighteen-hole lay out
they proposed to have a nine-hole course to start with. Both Thomas
Hood and J.J. Mckenna provided
favourable reports on the suitability of the land for the Howth
Golf Club. These plans for a golf course at Howth may have eventually
fallen through by the end of 1910. Mr Cecil Bancroft was commissioned
to lay out the second eighteen-holes at the Kingstown Golf Club.
New clubs that raised their head
during the year were Ballina, Edenderry, Carrick-on-Shannon, Howth,
Robin Hood (later Newlands), Castlebar. Omagh and Marley Grange.
The Malahide professional C.H. Wilkinson laid out the Ballina
Killarney became an eighteen-hole
track the sub-soil is so sandy that it has many attributes of
a seaside course while still remaining an inland course. Willie
Park visited to make improvements to Killarney and took in Tramore
Hewson looked back over the previous
ten years and asked if golf benefited from the advancements to
which his answer was a resounding no. The additional expense incurred
from the rubber-cored ball couldn't offset the truer strike as
golf clubs were lengthened without any discernible difference
in the challenge there posed to the ordinary golfer. One editorial
suggested a system for 'Registration and Identification of Golf
Balls', which would include a golf club and member reference and
name and presumably a method of returning the golf ball to its
original owner once lost.
Another golf ball hit the market,
the MANOR, which was relatively inexpensive (1s 6d) and considered
second only to the Orange Spot golf ball. The price of rubber
had sent 2s golf balls to a half a crown (two schillings and six
In 1910 Arthur F. Knight's (the
inventor Schenectady putter) of the patented a hollow steel construction
for shafts, despite there being previous patents for steel shafts,
this is considered the patent which began a revolution for this
new shaft. However it would be 1925 and 1929 before the USGA and
the Royal & Ancient respectively legalised their use.
The Royal and Ancient Rules committee
banned the mallet-headed (the head not on one side of the shaft)
putter including the infamous and controversial Schenectady putter
used by Walter Travis to such good effect in the 1904 Amateur
Championship. The special correspondent for the Irish Times was
one golfer who breathed a sigh of relief on hearing the news of
this rule change. The Americans were none to pleased at the barring
of their beloved Schenectady putters and refused to adopt the
new ruling resulting in a schism in the rules between the USGA
and the Royal & Ancient - it would be a further forty-two
years before the rules converged again.
Ladies' Home Internationals
On 30 April Scotland won the Miller
Shield, at Westward Ho, for the third time in succession since
Ireland's victory in 1907.
3-6 May - Westward Ho!
Gladys Ravensroft won the curtain
raiser, the strokeplay championship held on the 2 May with a round
of eighty-four strokes. The first notable scalps were Maud Titterton
when she was beaten by Miss Mabel Harrisson playing out of RPGC
and Cecil Leitch. Miss Ravenscroft destroyed the Irish Champion,
Miss Ormsby, by 7 and 6 in the third round. Harrison and Violet
Hezlet were the only Irish players to make it through to the fourth
round but both went out in the fourth and fifth rounds respectively.
The eventual winner was Miss E. Grant Suttle, the Sunningdale
The Amateur Championship
30 May - 3 June Royal Liverpool Club - Hoylake [160 entrants]
H.M. Cairnes caused a huge upset
by taken the reigning (and 1903) champion, Robert Maxwell, out
of the picture by 2 and 1 unfortunately this only set up a match
with the redoubtable John Ball playing at his home club
was only ever going to be one result, despite Maxwell's victory
over Ball in the international match played before the Championship,
5&4 was the final margin of victory. The was only a very small
cohort of Irish players represented and with Lord Annesley and
Cairnes out in the second round and A.
V. Macan, the Malahide player, out the third (albeit by only
one-hole to James Laidlay) all hopes rested with Lionel Munn but
he eventually succumbed to F.C Carr, the Handsworth player, in
the fourth round by one hole. 'Johnnie' Ball went on to win his
seventh amateur championship (winning eight in all), to date,
this represents three more than his nearest rival, Sir Michael
Hopes of one of the Irish clubs
staging the Amateur Championship in 1912 seem a real possibility.
Irish Ladies Championship
7-9 June - Newcastle
The scratch competition before
the event saw Miss Ormsby and Ms G. Lauder shoot 91 and a play-off
would be held later in the week to determine the winner. Mabel
Harrison beat last year's champion, Miss Ormsby, and favourite
in the fourth round by 1up. The final was referreed by Lord Annesley
and Miss Harrison wouldn't be denied notching up a 4 and 3 victory
against Miss Magill.
6 June: The final of Moran
vs Cahill duel over 72 holes (Skerries/Dollymount) ended in victory
for Moran by 17 and 15.
June 8-9 Rosapenna Golf Club
Lord Leitrim was trying to organise
a professional tournament at Rosapenna between Tom Ball and Duncan
vs Vardon and Herd to be played June 8-9 (Day 1 - 36-hole singles
and Day 2 - 36-hole fourball). Herd may have replaced Braid in
this event probably because of his dislike of travelling by sea
even a four-hour journey between Hollyhead and Kingstown filled
him with dread.
On the Thursday Vardon was pitted
against Duncan and the largest crowd followed this match against
the King and a young pretender to the throne. Vardon covered the
first nine in 39 strokes two shots less than his opponent. They
match each other in the inward nine but Duncan's card was somewhat
ruined by a seven on the sixteenth. Herd shot lower than Ball
(80 vs 81). In the afternoon Vardon was out of sorts and while
Duncan was playing majestically albeit his putting was haphazard.
The final scores over the thirty-six holes read: Herd 155; Duncan
155; Vardon 157 and Ball 158.
Tom Ball and Duncan won the fourball
on Friday by 1up keeping a fight back from the Vardon/Herd at
bay having been 4up by the turn in the afternoon. A large contingent
including the Scottish and Irish press stayed at the Rosapenna
hotel after which discussions with these great players showed
Ball disenchanted with the way golf was becoming a study and Vardon
declaring that he wouldn't pass a strict examination of the rules
of the game.
An eagerly awaited match 11-13
October between Harold Hilton and Cecil Leitch took place a Walton
Heath where Hilton had given up a half a stroke a hole and three
thousand people were there to witness the proceedings. Cecil Leitch
eventually won the match by 2up.
The Irish Professional Championship 9-10
June 1910 - Royal Dublin Golf Club (Dollymount)
Heavy rain on the course had taken
its toll on the greens, which were heavy and sluggish as the professionals
started play in the fourth championship and the putting reflected
this in the morning round. However, the local professional, Michael
Moran, took the course record in the afternoon round with
Out 5,5,4,6,4,3,2,3,4=36 In: 3,4,4,3,4,5,4,5,4=36
Moran's total of 150 gave him
a seven shot lead at the halfway stage over James
The next day Moran played the
Dollymount course in 70 strokes and another course record and
the championship was his. His four round total was 296 (78,72,70,76)
ten shots ahead of his nearest challenger Martin Cahill (Skerries)
306 (82,77,74,73) with James Edmundson,
in third place, a further thirteen strokes behind Cahill 319 (78,79,81,81)
and tied with H. Hamill.
In the Amateurs vs Professionals
match which following Moran pipped Lionel Munn by a single stroke.
With fourteen players on either side the Professionals won out
by 12 and 9 playing singles and foursomes matches.
Irish Close Championship 14 -17 June - Royal
Dublin Golf Club (Dollymount)
The 19th Amateur close championship
(44 entries) got off with twelve first round matches the most
notable of which was Cairnes and Macan, the former winning out
with a 5 and 3 victory. Another casualty of this early round was
Captain Boyd. Munn was in fine form on the second day's play shooting
level fours for the holes played with victories of 9 and 8 (Orr
- Stillorgan Park) and 8 and 7 (Elvery - Dublin University).
In the semi-final Jameson beat
E.B. Maxwell (Portmarnock), a cousin of Robert Maxwell now stationed
at the Curragh, by 5 and 4. Munn had an altogether more difficult
time of it only securing victory against Captain J.P. Curran by
Surprisingly J.F. Jameson won
the final by 2 and 1. Jameson had the better of the first round
shooting 76 one better than his opponent. The second round saw
Munn further adrift with a 79 which was four shots off the eventual
winner. Jameson is slight in stature but his timing is such that
it allows him keep up with even the longest of hitters - during
the winter he would practice much of his golf in France. The quality
of his game was attributed to the coaching of John
McKenna, the Malahide professional, who was now based in Germany.
Hewson was a little aggrieved
at the Northern golfer who put his handicap down as 2 (when he
had a much longer handicap) and playing Portrush in 74 strokes
as a joke for inclusion in the Irish Golfer's Guide Who's Who
- he wasn't amused.
The Open Championship
21-24 June 1910 St. Andrews Golf Club
The first day of the Jubilee championship
was cancelled in the early afternoon due to thunderstorms a first
for the event. Despite George Duncan's course record 73 in the
first round Moran found himself well placed on 77 in joint ninth
place. Another good round of 75 left him within striking distance
but finished with 79,81 and a 312 total and in joint 14th place
thirteen shots behind the eventual winner James Braid. No other
Irish player figured in the Open Championship this year.
The new motorboat built by Messrs
Reid of Portstewart and fitted with an engine from Messrs Hayward
of Belfast at Portmarnock gets it first try out.
Irish Open Professional
Championship 6-9 July 1910 Portmarnock Golf Club
A professional tournament has
been arranged at Portmarnock between 6-9 July 1910, the format
consists of a thirty-six-hole strokeplay qualifier with the best
32 players moving on to the matchplay stages each over 18 holes
with a thirty-six hole final. It was eleven years since a professional
tournament was last held at Portmarnock and the minimum prize-money
of 250pds would certainly attract a big field. First and second
prize were £50,£30. It was hoped that the Great Northern
would put more carriages than usual on their trains to Howth while
the championship was being played. Messrs Harrison & Co. erected
marquees to provide refreshments for visitors and the club motorboat
and launch were free to all visitors. A telegraph office was set
Over 1,500 spectators watched
the closing stages of the match. The only hiccup was with the
catering on the Wednesday when the petrol (petrol joints came
loose) in the motor launch failed and delayed catering staff by
up to two hours and left them unable to cope with the number of
spectators. Ted Ray rowed the boat in heavy winds on the Wednesday
morning while the motor launch was out of action.
Ted Ray won the thirty-six-hole
qualifier but was knocked out in the matchplay stage by Michael
Moran. Moran only just scrapped through the qualifiers seemly
more concerned with perfecting his swing in the company of Harry
Vardon than the actual score. Once through Moran had a close match
with Sydney Ball, the Wrexham player, only winning by one hole
and achieved a similar margin against Ted Ray. George Duncan from
Hanger Hill eventually defeated Moran by 2 and 1 in the quarter-finals.
James George Sherlock, the Stoke Poges professional, won the championship
by 2 and 1 over Harry Vardon, the victory was very much attributed
the Sherlock ability on the putting surface with 7-8 putts in
the 4-15yards all making the hole. Sherlock won 50pds and a golf
medal and Vardon 30pds and a silver medal, Mayo and Duncan took
away 20pds each - the prizes presented by Mrs Jameson.
It was very much considered "Sherlock's
Year" despite a poor showing in the Open Championship he
managed many of the other main events that year including the
News of the World Matchplay played at his home club where he beat
George Duncan. Sherlock (picture below) was not up to this consider
a tier-one player but was a reknown putter despite the mashie
being the favourite club in his bag.
Irish Open Amateur
Championship 30 August - 2 September Portrush Golf Club
Of the 160 entries only forty
were Irish in the nineteenth championship, the course at 6.600
yards is considered one of longest courses in existence. The competitors
faced a two-hour journey from Belfast to Portrush albeit in reasonable
comfort given the dining facilities available to them. In the
strokeplay competition preceding the matchplay championship Lionel
Munn's 77 (plus 4) secured him victory ahead of Anthony Babington
(scr.) who carded a 79. Many of the Irish players exited in the
second and third rounds and conditions weren't conjusive to low
By the fifth round of the Championship
proper only three Irish players remained A. Jeffcott (Portmarnock),
A.K. Sparrow (RPGC) and Lionel Munn (North West). Ernest
Carter another RPGC player went out in the fourth round to
Major H.L. Fleming of Edinburgh Burgess by 5 and 3. By the end
of the fifth only two remained Munn and Sparrow recorded 8&6
and 5&4 victories respectively. The sixth round saw Sparrow
defeated by the Yorkshire Champion L. Butler Smith (Wakefield)
but Munn continued in devastating form with a 5&4 victory
followed by a 3&2 victory over George Wilkie (Leven Thistle)
in the semi-finals. Munn now faced Gordon Lockhart the Prestwick
player in the final with an estimated 1,500 spectators watching
the proceedings. Munn (38, 35) had already an unassailable lead
against Lockhart (43,40) by the end of the first round when he
went in 8up, the match finally ended up 9&7 in Munn's favour
allowing him to secure his second victory in the Championship.
South of Ireland
Championship 6 - 9 September Lahinch Golf Club
Dr. G.R. Girdlestone (Oswestry
Club - Shropshire) beat S.H. Fry (Felixstowe) in the 36-hole final
by 4 and 2 both were also members of the host club, Fry had entered
the previous weeks Amateur Championship as a Lahinch player. Girdlestone
beat Jameson (who might have been favourite at this stage), the
Irish close champion in the semi-finals by 1up with Fry beating
R. de Rose (Lahinch) by 5 and 3.
Seventeen clubs entered the Barton
Cup, which was won by Milltown. Dublin University and Helen's
Bay took the honours in the Senior and Junior Cups respectively.
1910 saw Peter
Gannon's success in the Italian (Florence) and Swiss (La Boulie)
Open Amateur Championships.
US Amateur Championship
William C. Fownes Jr. at the Country
Dorothy Campbell (Scotland) at
Homewood Country Club. Campbell beat Nonna
Barlow by 4 and 3 in the quarter-finals.
Alex Smith (Scotland) at Philadelphia
Cricket Club, St. Martin's Course
The Irish Golfers' Guide: Lionel
Royal and Ancient Championship
The Shell International Encylopedia
of Golf: Donald Steele and Peter Ryde