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TANTALLON GOLF CLUB

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  • bigpicTantallon Golf Club was founded in 1853 and the formation documents, including the signatures of the founder members, are on display in the Clubroom.

    In the early years Tantallon instigated the first interclub golf tournament in East Lothian, played at Gullane in September 1864 and over the years, Tantallon has played in many interclub matches, the most notable being a series of matches against Royal Liverpool dating back to 1881. The brass plaque on the wall in the Clubroom with a thistle and rose embossed on it, was presented by the Royal Liverpool Club, and reads. 'This door plate commemorates the series of matches between Tantallon Golf Club and the Royal Liverpool Golf Club which commenced on 5th August 1881 and which proved to be the forerunner of international matches between Scotland and England.'

    The Hoylake golfers were instrumental in resurrecting the Amateur Championship in 1885, and Tantallon was among the twenty-six Clubs which contributed to the purchase of the Amateur Championship trophy. One of the most memorable matches against Royal Liverpool was played in 1899, at Prestwick on the Saturday prior to the Amateur Championship, where Johnny Laidlay partnered Freddie Tait for Tantallon against Harold Hilton and John Ball. The Hoylake team also included John Graham Jnr. while Tantallon fielded Robert Maxwell. Tantallon won the match by 19 holes and the following week John Ball defeated Freddie Tait at the 37th hole to win the Amateur Championship for the fifth time.

    It was often said that the date for the Amateur Championship could not be fixed without first consulting the Tantallon and Hoylake clubs.

    During the first ten years of the International matches Robert Maxwell and John Ball were invariably pitted against each other at the head of the Scottish and English teams. They met seven times in all, and of the seven Maxwell won five and Ball two.

    The first winner of the Amateur Championship in 1858 was Robert Chambers who was elected captain of Tantallon Golf Club in 1880. He was Captain for eight years and presented the Club with a trophy in 1883 which is still contested today. In 1884, it was Chambers who suggested that the Club tent should be sold, and the members should acquire a permanent clubhouse. It was not until 1896 that the Club purchased Point Garry Cottage and converted the building.

    Robert Maxwell and John E. Laidlay J.P. both have the distinction of being elected captain of Tantallon Golf Club, and during their careers both won the Amateur Championship twice. In February 1901, Robert Maxwell won the Tantallon Century Gold Medal and went on that year to become the leading amateur golfer in Scotland, winning the gold medal at the spring and autumn meeting of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers; the St Andrews Cross at the spring meeting of the Royal and Ancient and the gold medal at the autumn meeting of the Royal and Ancient.

    Golfers at Tantallon have in subsequent years continued to represent the Club with distinction in a variety of competitions, winning East Lothian Winter League trophies and of particular interest, The Wemyss County Cup, the oldest double foursomes competition in the world. This trophy has been won twenty one times by the Club since 1870, most recently in 2012.