Re-enactment marks start of 450th

Six-year-old Finn Coull as James Melvill tees off watched by Jason Boyd (centre) and Montrose Golf Links Ltd chairman Alan Crow.'Staff photo
Six-year-old Finn Coull as James Melvill tees off watched by Jason Boyd (centre) and Montrose Golf Links Ltd chairman Alan Crow.'Staff photo

While golf has often been compared to a religion, visitors to Montrose Links on Monday could have been forgiven for taking the comparison literally.

The first recorded game of golf on Montrose Links was re-enacted by local golf professional Jason Boyd and six-year-old Finn Coull, recalling the account penned by James Melvill who received instruction in the game from his schoolmaster Reverend William Gray in 1562. It launched the official start of celebrations marking the 450th anniversary of golf in Montrose.

Despite the inclement weather a large crowd of local golfers braved the rain to watch as Finn, a member of the Royal Montrose, played off from a sand tee using an authentic hickory-shafted club.

David May, chairman of the Montrose 450 committee, said the re-enactment had been a suitable start to the celebrations and he was delighted with how the event had gone.

He said: “It’s a pity that we’ve had typical Scottish weather but it went really well and I’m delighted. One remarkable connection I wasn’t aware of until the day was that Finn is related to Bill Coull who wrote the history of the course, ‘Golf in Montrose’, so it was quite fitting.”

Afterwards the links also welcomed a delegation of golfers from China as part of the Tartan Day International Golf Challenge, who also teed off using hickory-shafted clubs.