19 August 2014
Matt Vallance recalls an exciting golf match in 1929, when top American players were pitted against a scratch team of Glasgow amateurs. ...
Matt Vallance recalls an exciting golf match in 1929, when top American players were pitted against a scratch team of Glasgow amateurs.
When the Ryder Cup match tees-off at Gleneagles in September 2014, it will be only the second time golf's greatest team competition has been held in Scotland, the home of the game.
Iconic venues such as Muirfield in 1973 and Gleneagles this year will each have hosted one US Ryder Cup team. Whitecraigs Golf Club, in the southern suburbs of Glasgow, has twice seen America's finest professionals do battle against Scottish teams.
On 1 May, 1929, Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen and other top Americans (pictured) arranged a match against a scratch team of Glasgow amateurs. The Scots included Andrew Jamieson, known as ‘the man who beat Bobby Jones’, (in the Amateur Championships in 1926) and Sam McKinlay, later the doyen of Scottish golf writers during many years on the staff of the Glasgow Herald.
The Americans won, playing in front of a crowd of 8,000 and when they returned for the 1933 match at Southport and Ainsdale, they also came back to Whitecraigs, where, as four years previously, they were royally entertained.
As in 1929, Hagen led the Americans to victory. Also back was Horton Smith (the first man to win the Masters), Leo Diegel and Sarazen, while McKinlay and Jamieson were back for the Scottish side, with McKinlay winning his one shilling-a-hole side bet with Hagen; winning the match one-up, and the money, after Hagen's attempt to drive the eighteenth green was last seen bouncing down the A70 towards Eastwood Toll.