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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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been always a host of enthusiastic wielders of the club in the district; but whether a regular " club" was previously formed among the players is uncertain. We know that Preston Links has borne witness to many an interesting struggle in the past. But far more curious and interesting surely would the struggles be when the sea coast, with its rugged rocks and water dubs, from Preston Links even on to Ringan's Hole, was used as a golf course. And this continued for a great many years, during which, no doubt, many a foot would slip and many a ball would take to the water. The tradition is that there was a club formed at Prestonpans as early as anywhere else in Scotland.
Over twenty years ago a very strong district club was formed under the name of the Thorn Tree Golf Club, when a handsome silver medal was obtained and played for. The minute-book of the club fails to give particulars of this medal further than that towards the end of 1877 only one vacant space remained for a winner's name.
In 1878, at a general meeting of the club, the following office-bearers were elected: —Robert White, Esq., Chief Magistrate, Captain; John Edgar, Esq., Vice-Captain; Messrs Robert Hay and N. M'Cairn, Joint-Secretaries. On the conclusion of the business meeting the annual competition for the silver medal was begun, and after three rounds of the green it was found, on scores being compared, that Mr John Edgar was winner for 1878; Mr Archibald Callander being a good second. Mr Edgar had thus the honour of filling up the old medal by winning it the hindmost time it was played for.
A new silver medal was obtained by the members who, at the above period, numbered twenty-six. It is oval in shape, with a heavy thistle-laced border. This medal is also filled up with the names of winners. Mr James Pow, senior, had the honour of first winning it in 1879, and Mr D. Kay had the latest honour of winning it in 1894.
In 1895 arrangements were made with Shaw's Trust for a twelve years' lease of the Links Fields, and about this time a reconstruction of the club took place. New rules were submitted and passed, and a great influx of members was the result. The new office-bearers appointed at this time were: — President, General Sir Robert Cadell, K. C. B.; Captain, Hew Francis Cadell, Esq., W. S.; Vice-Captain, Mr David Adams; Secretary, Mr George Hunter; and Treasurer, Mr James Dewar, together with a dozen members of committee.
In 1895 only nine holes were available, including four on the old links. On the opening Saturday various couples and foursomes were played, and some good scoring made, Richard Ormiston doing two rounds of the nine holes in 44 strokes and 45; William Robertson, second, with three strokes additional.
During 1896 the east and west fields were opened up, and the entire course played over.
Towards the close of that year it was proposed and carried to have a separate golf course for the ladies, as the ladies of the district had formed a golf club.
Throughout the years 1897 and 1898, the Thorn Tree tackled quite a number of other clubs in friendly matches on the links. On Thursday, June 3rd, they met North Esk, twelve men a side, and got beaten by 35 to 12. In October following, with ten men a side, they completely vanquished Haddington players by 30 to 13 points.
During 1899 the membership numbered seventy.
In 1900 the following office-bearers were unanimously elected: —Honorary Presidents, Colonel Cadell, V. C., Cockenzie, and R. H. White, Esq., Preston House; Captain, H. V. Cadell, Esq., W. S., Edinburgh; Vice-Captain, the Rev. H. C. Cargill; Secretary and Treasurer, Mr Robert Page; besides a very influential acting committee. Some of the fixtures are as follows: —Quarterly Medal and other prizes; Armstrong Trophy, etc.; Captain's and other prizes; Yearly Medal, etc.; and the Adams Cup, which carries with it a Gold Medal to the one who wins it oftenest throughout the year.

The Ladies' Golf Club is not just so old as the gentlemen's, but the members of the one are certainly not less enthusiastic over the old Scottish game than the other. There is a very handsome medal in connection with it. It is played for all the season, and the winner most times during the season has her name inscribed on it at the end of the play. Mrs White, Preston, has hitherto proved herself quite invincible, having won it three seasons running. This season Mrs Morrison won it the first month, and Miss Moncur, Preston, the second, but who will ultimately carry home the trophy remains to be seen. The official list is: —Captain, Miss M. D. Hislop, Castlepark; Secretary, Miss Moncur, Preston Lodge; Members of Committee, Miss R. H. White, Preston; Mrs J. K. Morrison, Inveresk; Miss A. Ross, Cockenzie; and Miss Greenfield, Prestonkilns.
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