Not a Temperance Society!
On July 1st 1789 the Society passed the 'unanimous resolution that no member, in particular the Secretary, shall absent himself from the bowl on the pretence of tea drinking.' Apparently the purpose was served, for three years elapsed before an infringement occurred, one member being then fined half a mutchkin of punch 'for being about drinking tea. Mr L. Was convicted on his own confession.'
On 5th September 1792 the Society adopted an official uniform which was a scarlet jacket with a plain yellow button. Any member appearing on the links on a golfing day without this uniform was liable to the penalty of half a mutchkin of punch. On 5th June 1793 Captain Aytone and Mr Ranken, both former captains of the Society, were fined for 'appearing on the links with green jackets.'
On 4th September 1793 it was agreed that members of the Kingsbarns Golfing Society be allowed to play in the uniform of their own Society (blue jackets). This piece of information is now acknowledged by Kingsbarns as enabling them to date early golf on their links.
A Declaration of Loyalty
In 1794, 45 members signed a declaration of loyalty to the sovereign, George III which included the following:
'That they detest all levelling and republican principles tending to subvert the same, and which can only lead to anarchy and confusion and the destruction of all regular government.'
The Captain's Bottle
In 1832 Robert Inglis, Esquire of Kirkmay was obliged to resign from the captaincy due to ill health. Mr Inglis wrote 'begging the members' acceptance of his warmest wishes along with a bottle of fine old India Arrack to flavour their toddy'.
The Minutes record that 'the members spent the evening with their usual hilarity and good fellowship'.
The First Match
The first recorded match between Crail Golfing Society and another club was on 27th November 1839. The opponents were Kingsbarns. The match was a two leg affair, home and away.
Unfortunately the result is not recorded, whether due to too many mutchkins of punch is also not recorded.
Iron Cases for the Holes
On 7th August 1874 it was agreed that 'iron cases be got for the holes on the links to prevent the holes from being destroyed'. It was agreed that they should be left in the holes during that part of the year when there was most play on the links.
There is a school of thought that suggests Crail Golfing Society was the first to introduce such cases. Sadly it is unlikely that this can be proven. However, until such time as another club proves otherwise..............
Married Men and the Weather
The Minute of 24th July 1886 mentions that it had been intended to have a match between the married and single members, 'but, owing to the inclemency of the weather up to the time of the meeting, the married members did not turn up in force, while there was a good turnout of singles, so the match did not take place.'
Methinks 'if you expect me to wash your kit if you play in this weather you're mistaken' was not minuted!!
Number of Holes
It is important to note that the number of holes on a golf course was far from uniform in days gone by. The Old Course was reduced to 18 from 22 in 1764
The earliest record of the number of holes for Crail Golfing Society was 1842 when there appear to have been 8 holes on Sauchope Links
In 1890 the course at Sauchope was improved and extended and on 10th March 1891 it was resolved that '18 holes should be two rounds of the Links – that 4 ½ strokes a hole, or 81 should be considered par play. It seems to suggest that the course was extended to 9 holes, however, the Annual Report of 1892 'Our two rounds of the Links have been fixed at 18 holes – 10 holes for the first round and 8 for the second.'
One does have to keep coming back to these mutchkins of punch!! All very confusing.
Amalgamation with East Neuk o' Fife Club
This took place in the summer of 1894. The result was to double the membership to about 90.
The Captain of East Neuk was Mr J W Duncan of Boghall, Kingsbarns. He went to live in England and proposed the amalgamation presumably to keep the group together.
The documents show that Crail Golfing Society was the senior partner suggesting it was more of a take-over than an amalgamation, however, members of East Neuk appear to have been better players.
The Society purchased two motor buses in 1919 from loans received from public spirited citizens. A service described as 'somewhat chequered' ran to Balcomie until 5th September 1928.
On 9th July 1890 the East Neuk o' Fife Golf Club and Crail Golfing Society agreed to employ a greenkeeper at a salary of £5 per year (increased later to £7) and to procure a small lawn mower.
Levies to pay for improvements are clearly not new. The course was extended and improved in 1890 at a cost of £34 17s 2d. Subscriptions were invited to pay the cost, but fell £3 10s short.
Sir Jimmy Shand, born in East Wemyss in Fife on 28th January 1908 became, perhaps, THE most famous accordion player resulting in both an MBE and a knighthood. Appearances on both "Top Of The Pops" and "This Is Your Life" cemented his place in history.
In 1972 he retired to his home in Auchtermuchty where he became known as the "Laird of Auchtermuchty". After his death in 2000 a bronze sculpture was erected in Auchtermuchty.
In 1998 Jimmy Shand wrote a piece of music called "Welcome to Craighead" to mark the opening of Craighead Links. The original music is to be found in the trophy cabinet in the clubhouse but is reproduced here. To view the music, click on the image of Jimmy Shand.