The History of Leith

September 7, 2004

South Leith to the “Fore”

In early July on Leith links a special Golf competition took place. The Leith Rules Golf Hickory Open.

Hugh Blackie and Tom Nichol

This is one event that tries to ensure that Leith Links receives due recognition for the part it played in the history of Golf-the first rules of the game were formed by golfers playing there in 1744.

People from South Leith played a prominent part this year in the events. Hugh Blackie and Tom Nichol entered the competition representing South Leith; Alistair Chalmers and a friend from Duke Street Church representing the “Foot of Leith Walk Golfing Society” and Jimmy Allan’s stewarding assisted in keeping the massive crowds back giving the players room to play (OK, he chased away a dog and a couple of lads on their bikes!) Other local Churches were also well to the “fore” in the events.

Alastair Chalmers

As its name suggests players in the Hickory Open use old style hickory golf clubs, sand instead of pegs and imitation old golf balls and the course is created on the East side of the Links by the Council cutting grass a bit shorter for tees and greens. It is therefore quite different to modern golf and success can be down to the “luck of the bounce” just as much as any skilful play. This goes a long way to explaining why Alistair and his partner now proudly possess the Hickory Open Trophy as champions for 2004

To find out more about these events or the Leith Rules Golf Society who organise them look at

Source-Kirk & Folk-Magazine of South Leith Kirk

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