An original feature by Matt Hooper
St Andrews was once a place of pilgrimage for thousands of religious pilgrims to the town for many years until the reformation. Nowadays thousands of golfing pilgrims make the journey to East Fife to play the Old Course. It is actually difficult to find a reason, bar the weather, to leave this beautiful and historic town. But St Andrews does have many famous emigrants to other parts of the world.

Old Tom Morris made his name as the keeper of the green and course designer at Prestwick in the 1860’s; Pop star K.T. Tunstall was born here in 1975 and has been nominated for the Mercury Prize in her nearly 30 year career.
Arguably the greatest collection of St Andrews emigrants are the golf professionals which made their own pilgrimage to the United States and North America in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. They played a pivotal role in establishing the game in the United States and educating Americans on how to swing their golf clubs.

Perhaps the most important of these individuals were John Reid and Robert Lockhart, who were from Dunfermline, a town 35 miles South West of St Andrews. Reid was born in 1840 and emigrated from Scotland to the United States as a teenager and when returning to Scotland he was inspired by talks given by Old Tom Morris outside his shop by the 18th green of the Old Course. Reid’s friend, Robert Lockhart, who was also from Dunfermline, bought six clubs and 12 gutta percha balls and took them to the US. 

Reid borrowed the clubs and tried to show friends how the game was played, over time this evolved into something more formal and eventually in 1888 a club was formed. Reid and Lockhart were joined by Henry O Tallmadge, Harry Holbrook, Kingman H Putnam and Alexander PW Kinman in playing the game at an Apple Orchard in Yonkers, New York.

At the end of their competitions the six used to share a ‘Wee dram’ of Scotch Whisky by one of the Apple Trees, and they quickly became known as the ‘Apple Tree Gang’. The club was formally established as the Saint Andrews Golf Club in Yonkers, New York. The club has been on its current site since 1897 and in 1983 the course was redesigned by Jack Nicklaus.

The Saint Andrews Golf Club was one of the clubs which founded the United States Golf Association in 1895 along with Newport Golf Club, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, The Country Club and Chicago Golf Club.

One of the very first St Andreans to find their way to the other side of the Atlantic was James Beveridge. Born in 1872 he became the professional at the former Royal Isle of Wight Golf Club in 1888 and departed the role in 1894 and immigrated to Southampton, New York. There he became the professional at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. 

Beveridge passed away in 1899, cutting his time as professional on Long Island short.

Beveridge was followed by a flock of professionals from one family, namely the Herds. Fred Herd was born in St Andrews in 1874 and in 1898 he emigrated from the east coast of Scotland to the north east of the United States, specifically to the industrial city of Chicago.

He served his apprenticeship with Forgan and Son, along with William Yeoman. The two would later go on to set up a club making and golf retail business, as I discuss later in this piece. Herd became the club professional at South Shore Country Club on the shores of Lake Michigan in that same year.

He went on to win the 1898 US Open representing South Shore. His tenure at the club lasted until 1920.

Fred was one of five golfing brothers from the home of golf and his older brother David joined him at South Shore in 1919.

Another golfing family from St Andrews was the Foulis’s and in 1895 James Foulis became the head professional at Chicago Golf Club after an offer from CB Macdonald. 12 months later Foulis won the US Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.

After ten years at the helm James was succeeded by his brother David. He stayed at the Wheaton, Illinois club until 1916.

Another golfing family from St Andrews is of course the Auchterlonies and in 1899 Laurence Auchterlonie came to America as the professional at the St Andrews Golf Club in Yonkers, New York. Laurence had three spells at the club as professional as well as making his way down to Bellevue Country Club in Florida in 1908 and to Ravisloe Country Club near Chicago in 1913. He won the 1902 US Open at Garden City in New York, he is listed as representing Chicago Golf Club although there seems to be no record of him holding the professional’s position at the club.

David Cuthbert was born in St Andrews in 1885 and was a caddie on the links, he became the professional at Huntingdon Valley Country Club in Pennsylvania in 1915.

There were many other Scots who made the journey to the United States, along with the men from the home of golf, St Andrews. Travel to America 100 years ago was an arduous process by boat, usually from Southampton on the south coast of England. 

The journey would take anywhere between 7 and 12 days across the Atlantic Ocean and ships did not have the luxurious accommodation and facilities of the later 20th and early 21st century.

Within a dozen years of the game being introduced to the United States there were over 1,000 golf courses across the country. The game was booming, and with the role of the club professional becoming even more important and the demand for equipment spiralling, many sporting goods stores began selling golf equipment to the masses. 

Fred Herd and William Yeoman set up one of, if not the first, golf club manufacturing and retail store in the United States in 1910 in Chicago. There were many others in the industrial North and North East United States too, with the likes of Allied Golf Corp. Chicago and ATCO in New York selling golf equipment in their sporting goods stores.

Jack Jolly, from St Andrews, was a pioneer of golf equipment manufacture in the United States. Jolly was a sailor who had stayed in New York after catching Malaria.  He was put in charge of the New Jersey affiliate to the St Mungo Company and after meeting James Smart, also from St Andrews, in a Manhattan store, took up the role as professional at Forest Hill Golf Club in New Jersey.

In the 1920’s and 1930’s two of America’s most prominent department and clothing stores Abercrombie & Fitch and R.H. Macy and Co. sold golf equipment.

It was in many department stores across America and Canada that Harry Vardon performed exhibitions in 1900, helping to popularise the game among the American people.

With club makers and club professional’s role growing in importance and evolving it was clear that an association or union for these many thousands of professionals was needed by the mid 1910’s. 

And it was another department store which played the pivotal role in making this association into a reality.
John Wanamaker opened his store, Wanamaker’s, in 1876 and the store was the first department store in Philadelphia.

In 1863 John Wanamaker and his wife Mary Erringer Brown had a child called Lewis Rodman Wanamaker. Rodman joined his father’s business at the age of 23 after studying at Princeton University. In 1889 he went to Paris to manage the Wanamaker Store in the French capital. When his father purchased the former Alexander Turney Stewart business in New York Rodman returned and made it a success.

With his father ageing Rodman took on a more prominent role. He had a passion for golf and on January 17, 1916 he invited a group of 35 golf club professionals and industry representatives to a luncheon in New York at the Taplow Club in the now Radisson Hotel Martinique on Broadway.

After further meetings the Professional Golfers’ Association of America was formally established on April 10, 1916 and the inaugural PGA Championship was contested at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York from 10 to 14 October. 

32 professionals contested 36-hole matches over five days with England’s Jim Barnes and St Andrews’ Jock Hutchison reaching the final.

Barnes prevailed 3&1 but Hutchison would go on to win the 1920 Championship and on his return to his native St Andrews, as a naturalized American, won the 1921 Open Championship – he was the first US citizen to win the claret jug and remains the last man from St Andrews to win The Open.

Despite that inaugural win by an Englishman, it was only apt that a man from St Andrews, would take his place in the first final of the PGA Championship.

Jock Hutchison was born in St. Andrews, in 1884.

He immigrated to the US in the early 1900s, settling in Pittsburgh at the Allegheny Country Club. By 1918, he was at Glen View Club in the Village of Golf, Illinois. In 1919, he became a PGA professional. The PGA and the PGA Championship was off and running. 

Just as St Andrews played a crucial role in the development of the game and spread of it, they did so in the establishment of what is now the largest operating sports organisation in the world.

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