The club’s historian and archivist are always very interested in retrieving information and artefacts relating to Nairn Golf Club and the history of golf in general. The club would appreciate any help from members past or present and any member of the public who may be of assistance with trophies, photographs and any memorable conversations relating to Nairn Golf Club.
Many items have surfaced over the past two years instigating this thoughtful comment from one of our country members.
“It was with the delightful items of marginalia (for example the little card from the late 1940s or 1950s) that so seldom survive that are especially touching. The little scorecard took me back to childhood in an instant, and with great vividness, for it was so typical of the time, the age; not just the item, but the size, the design and even the print font: such items bring the past to life as only certain smells of childhood that remind us powerfully of the long lost past, or very personal mementoes may do. Why did such a trifle suddenly remind me of the smell of old-fashioned wet waterproofs in the age before designer labels and the clatter of cleats on stone-flagged locker rooms?”
If you feel you are able to contribute please contact the Historian and Archivist at the Nairn Golf Club at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jottings from the archives
Sunday, 22 july 2018
RHR Christie was Captain of Nairn Golf Club from 1960-1962.
He was a respected Committee Member and during his time as a Green Convener oversaw the creation of two bunkers on the right at 16 placed 50 yards, or so, over the road. A measure of their relevance was their unpopularity and they became known as ‘Christie’s graves’ before being decommissioned in later years.
Ross Christie was appointed Manager of the Clydesdale Bank in Nairn in 1954. He proved to be both a good banker and trusted adviser and he proceeded to establish close and enduring friendships.
A native of Montrose he joined the former North of Scotland Bank there in 1925, moving to Ayr in 1932, where he married in 1935. He served with the Royal Army Service Corps from 1941-1946.
Ross Christie’s associations with Nairn became extensive. He was an Honorary Sheriff Substitute, Chairman of the Nairn branch of The Royal British Legion, a senior elder of Nairn Parish Church [ordained in 1957], a member of the Board of Management of Nairn Hospital and a staunch Rotarian.
He loved all forms of sport but he excelled as a golfer.
At the time of his death in Nairn in 1989 he was survived by his wife Kathleen, son Alan and daughter Dorothy.
The Nairn Golf Club’s archive holds information from press cuttings about his winning the Montrose Links Championship in 1930 having defeated his great rival and previous Montrose Links champion, Willie Spark, in the semi final.
These local amateurs were selected to play in an exhibition match at Montrose on May 29th 1931 before the first Open Championship at Carnoustie which was won by Tommy Armour.
Gene Sarazen and Johnny Farrell had agreed to play at Montrose, having been approached by Charlie Adams a pioneer professional from Angus, who had contributed to developing the game in America. At the time both Sarazen and Farrell were past US Open Champions [1922 and 1928]. Gene Sarazen went on to become the first member of the Career Grand Slam Club [US Open 1922/1932; USA PGA 1922,23,33; The Open 1932 and Masters 1935] and Johnny Farrell set a record by winning 8 consecutive professional tournaments in 1927 and recording his own US Open win at Olympia Fields after beating Bobby Jones in a dramatic 36 hole play-off.
Ross Christie and Willie Spark partnered Sarazen and Farrell in a four-ball match which Farrell and Spark won 2/1. Charlie Adams felt that Willie Spark and Ross Christie had the makings of two of the finest amateurs in Britain. Willie Spark played for Scotland in the Home Internationals before turning professional and moving to Lanarkshire.
It is a reflection of Ross Christie’s character that this significant golfing event was not known to Nairn Golf Club until 2018 when it also became a revelation to his surviving family. Ross Christie played good competitive golf well into middle age winning Nairn’s Cawdor Cup in 1963 and Jackson Cup in 1973.
NB- an account of the exhibition match is recorded on pages 147-149 of Golf in Montrose by William W Coull, revised by his daughters Lynn Coull and Doreen Gordon and published in 2004.