Quirky wee traditions

I love the little traditions that are passed down the ages, or not so, in some Golf Clubs.
Now take the marvellous ‘playing-in’ of the new Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. At dawn on a late September morning you will see hundreds of well attired gents and lassies meander down to the first tee of The Old Course, and some chap manouvering a cannon alongside. Yes a cannon.
The tradition goes that the new Captain, on the firing of the said cannon, hits a drive off the first of The Old and all the local caddies make a mad scramble for the ball. The prize for the caddie who manages to retrieve it is a gold sovereign, while the new Captain ‘wins’ the Silver Club and the Adelaide Medal for his one shot. Excellent stuff.
On the one occasion I took part I had a run in with Oliver Horowitz (‘An American Caddie in St Andrews’), as he half stopped it off a good drive, and we both sprinted like madmen over thirty yards. Unfortunately, Oliver’s youth and athletic prowess got the better of me and I slipped and ended up flat on my back. It caused much amusement to The R@A contingent as they thought I’d ended up in The Swilken Burn. I seemingly just disappeared!
Now, my old Club in Edinburgh, Mortonhall, has the Dewar Hill Race as quite a unique tradition. In essence, there is a hill outside our clubhouse (quite a large and steep hill I may add), and the idea is to run with one club up this hill, to what used to be the old 18th tee, and then hit down towards the clubhouse and finish the hole in the best time and least shots. We ran it as part of our Centenary celebrations and there were many willing participants and amused, champagne quaffing, onlookers. It was great fun. I came second (again!). And of course, it had to be Keith McCall (our only R@A member!) who beat me.
I tried to inaugurate the event as an annual one. However, this never materialized. Shame but hey ho. And it now looks I will have to wait an awfully long time to avenge this defeat.
I wonder where they store that cannon ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.