Golf – Pre-1921

Golf – Early Years


Fred Collins Standing 2nd from Left

Fred Collins

James Frederick Collins (4 September 1878 – 15 December 1940) was an English professional golfer who enlisted into the RFC in 1916 (Service No # 49898).

He won the Welsh Professional Championship in 1905 and then, 28 years later, in 1933.

Fred Collins had qualified through the Midland section in 1904 and had lost to Sandy Herd in the first round. As winner, Collins received entry to the final stage of the 1905 News of the World Match Play, where he was due to meet Arnaud Massy. However both players scratched from the event.

Fred Collins won the Welsh Professional Championship for a second time in 1933, 28 years after his first win. Played at Rhyl, Collins had rounds of 77-76-76-76 for a total of 305 and a one stroke win over Edward Musty.

Fred Collins completed the four rounds of The Open Championship every year from 1901 to 1914 with the exception of 1906, when he missed the cut by one stroke.



Fred Collins represented England against Scotland in 1903


Fred Collins represented England against Scotland in 1904

Fred Collins was runner-up in the 1904 Leeds Cup, a stroke behind Sandy Herd


Fred Collins won the Welsh Professional Championship in 1905.
The 1905 Welsh Professional Championship was held at Conwy Golf Club on 23 August. There were 15 entries. Fred scored 153 for the two rounds and finished two shots ahead of George Duncan. However, Duncan had moved to Timperley and was only trying to qualify for the News of the World Matchplay, not being eligible for the Welsh Championship. Alfred Matthews, the Rhyl professional, was runner-up in the Championship on 160. The News of the World Matchplay had started in 1903 but in the first two years the Welsh professionals had to play in the Northern or Midland sections qualifying events.

Commentary Provided by Evening Express




Charles Henry Mayo

Charles Henry Mayo served with (RFC) during World War I after which he was demobilised in 1919 and returned to Burhill. After the war he quickly regained good playing form and was entered in the St Annes Old Links Tournament where he was joint leader after the first day but faded on the second day to finish joint 5th, three strokes behind J.H. Taylor.

Charles Mayo with George Duncan with the 1908 London Professional Foursomes Tournament

Charles Henry Mayo Link



Mayo vs Duncan – Opening of new Golf Course

The new Golf Course for Londoners – Parklangley kent

Charles Mayo was defeated by George Duncan in an 18 hole match at the new golf course at Parklangley, Kent. Duncan won with a score of 78 against Mayo of 83.

Reported By: The Bystander – Wednesday 08 June 1910



Fred Collins tied for seventh place in the 1912 Open Championship.



Squadron Commander Christopher Draper DSC

While trying to find a job flying, he learned from a cousin in the service that the Royal Navy was offering short service commissions to pilots with an Aviator’s Certificate. After passing the medical Draper joined the Royal Naval Air Service on 27 January 1914 and was commissioned as a probationary sub-Lieutenant, RNR.

From January to April 1914 he attended the fifth course at the Central Flying School. Also on the course were Hugh Dowding and Wilfrid Freeman while the instructors included John Tremayne Babington and John Salmond – all of whom were later Air Marshals . After passing his course, Draper was assigned to the Royal Naval Air Station at Eastchurch under the command of Commander Charles Rumney Samson. He was promoted to Flight Lieutenant in June, and on 20 July he was one of nine pilots who flew in the Naval Review at Spithead, the first review to include aircraft.

Spending the initial war years on Home Defence in Newcastle and Scotland, Draper initiated his liking for dare-devil exploits by flying a seaplane under one of the spans of the Firth of Tay bridge near Dundee. While based at Dundee, Draper was ordered to land an aeroplane on the green at St. Andrew’s golf course. He stopped right in front of the clubhouse.
On 28 June 1915 he was promoted to Flight Commander .


Hardit Singh Malik Joins the RFC

Sardar Hardit Singh Malik CIE OBE (23 November 1894 – 31 October 1985) was an Indian civil servant and diplomat. He was the first Indian High Commissioner to Canada, and then Indian Ambassador to France.

He was the first Indian to fly as a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War. He also played first-class cricket between 1914 and 1930.

Early life

The second son of Sardar Bahadur Mohan Singh and Sardarni Lajvanti, he was born in Rawalpindi, Punjab, British India(now in Punjab, Pakistan). Malik was the title bestowed to his grandfather Sardar Khazan Singh. He travelled to England aged 14, where he attended a prep school and then Eastbourne College, before reading history at Balliol College, Oxford, from October 1912, graduating in 1915. He achieved an Oxford blue in golf.

Malik appeared in 18 first-class cricket matches. He played in five County Championship matches for Sussex in 1914 and then returned to play for Sussex in 1921, also playing one match for Oxford University in 1921. He later played for Sikhs and then Hindus in the short lived Lahore Tournament in India between 1923 and 1930. A right-handed batsman, Malik scored 636 runs with a highest score of 106; as a bowler, he took four wickets with a best performance of two for 92. He captained the team while at Eastbourne College, and also represented Oxford University in golf.

First World War

He volunteered at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine during university vacations. After graduating, he attempted to join the Royal Flying Corps with friends from university but he was denied a commission, perhaps on account of his race. He served with the French Red Cross in 1916 as an ambulance driver. After he offered his services to the French air force, the Aéronautique Militaire, his Oxford tutor “Sligger” Urquhart wrote to General David Henderson, head of the RFC, and secured Malik a cadetship. On 6 April 1917, he received an honorary temporary commission as a second lieutenant in the RFC (substantive from 13 April).

Malik trained at the No.1 Armament School from April 1917 and was appointed a Flying Officer in No. 26 Squadron on 13 July 1917. As an observant Sikh, he wore a turban instead of a helmet, and later wore a specially designed flying helmet that fitted over his turban. As a result of his unusual helmet, he was nicknamed the “Flying Hobgoblin”.

He transferred to No. 28 Squadron RFC in October 1917 and served on the Western Front, flying a Sopwith Camel. His commander was Canadian Major William Barker, who later won the Victoria Cross. Seeing action for the first time on 18 October, he shot down a German aircraft and was credited with his first victory. He flew combat missions over France and Italy in late 1917, and secured several kills. On 26 October, he shot down another German aircraft, but was wounded in his right leg during the dogfight. He and the rest of his flight were subsequently ambushed by German aircraft; while attempting to return to base, Malik was wounded and, unconscious, crashed behind Allied lines, his aircraft receiving over 450 hits. He was hospitalised through November.

After recuperating and receiving a month’s leave in London, Malik rejoined his squadron in northern Italy in early 1918, where it had been assigned as part of the British forces sent to support the Italian military. Unfortunately, Malik was soon diagnosed as having an allergy to the Sopwith Camel’s castor oil lubricant and was reassigned to England, where he joined the RFC, now renamed the Royal Air Force, flying the Bristol F.2 Fighter with No. 141 Squadron RAF based at Biggin Hill, alongside pilots from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Rhodesia, and Argentina. In May 1918 (with effect from 1 April 1918), Malik was promoted to the substantive rank of lieutenant. In the summer of 1918, he was posted back to France with No. 11 Squadron RAF, first stationed at Bapaume, then at Nivelles. Malik was stationed at Aulnoye-Aymeries when the Armistice was signed on 11 November. By the war’s end, Malik had been credited with two aerial victories, though he claimed six victories, which would have made him a flying ace and the only other Indian flying ace of the First World War besides Indra Lal Roy. Of the four Indians who flew with the RFC and RAF during the First World War, Malik was one of two who survived: the other was Erroll Chunder Sen, who had been a German prisoner of war during 1917–18.



Active Service Golf Tournament 1919

The famous international lawn tennis player. H. L. Doherty, who is a plus player at golf, has entered for the International Active Service Golf tournament, which will take place at Sandy Lodge in the week ending April 12. Lieutenant Doherty, who is in the Royal Air Force, has won several golf prizes, including the Orrell Challenge Cup (Mid-Surrey) in 1907 and 1909. He also tied second in 1913 for the scratch prize of the Lawn Tennis Golf Cup, and he has done well in the Amateur Championship.

Reported in Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Thursday 27 March 1919

Royal Air Force Club Vs Royal Aero Club Golf Match

Royal Air Force Club v. Royal Aero Club A Golf Match between the Royal Air Force Club and the Royal Aero Club took place at Worplesdon on Tuesday. July 29, 1919. The morning’s play resulted in the Royal Air Force Club being defeated by 6 points to 1. The afternoon was given up to four-ball matches, in which the teams finished ” 2 all.” The Royal Aero Club won, therefore, on the day’s play by 8 points to 3.

As Report provided by Flightglobal on 7th Aug 1919


There was dramatic finish to the Active Service Golf Championship at Sandy Lodge, yesterday, when Captain K. Lietor Kaye, of the R.A.F., after being dormy 5 and seeming an almost certain winner, lost Capt. Lord Charles Hope at the thirty-seventh hole.

Though Captain Kaye hod played consistently in the earlier stages, play underwent distinct change towards the end. He led the turn the morning, and two holes at the end of the first round. At the ninth in the afternoon had increased his lead to four, and he became 5 up with 5 to go.

Then his bad patch set in. He seemed to tire and found all sorts trouble, whereas Lord Charles Hope, showing not only his traditional tenacity, but also high form skill, reduced his deficit. When the players reached the eighteenth there wag tension in the air. Captain Kaye, dormy one, needed only a half win, but raised his head at his tee shot and the ball went into pit. Going out again. Captain Kaye was trouble all the way, and Charles Hope, with a approach, took the hole in 5 to 6 and secured the victory.

Reported By: Lancashire Evening Post – Saturday 12 April 1919


Fg Off H.C. Hull (RAF) – Wins Royal Malta Scratch Challenge Cup

Royal Malta Golf Club – Scratch Challenge Cup

The Scratch Challenge Cup has been played for since 1891. In some of the early years there are two names on the honour board for a particular year, whether this indicates that the competition was held twice or if two people had the same winning score is not known.

Individual aggregate 36-hole medal played off scratch.
Played over two consecutive days (Saturday and Sunday).
First day draw, all off the 1st tee in groups of three in ascending sequence of exact handicap.

Second day draw, groups of three in descending sequence of score with the worst scores off the 10th tee if necessary to ensure a reasonable finish time.

The Hon. E.G. Knollys Playing in the White’s Club Golf at Prince’s GC, Kent

The Hon. E.G. Knollys was one of the starters for the White’s Club Golf Handicap at Prince’s Golf Club, Sandwich on May 29, 30 and 31st 1920.

Flt Lt E.G. Knollys DFC – RAF Graduation – April 1918

As Reported in The Tatler – 09 June 1920

William Gourlay Dunn

WILLIAM GOURLAY DUNN, born 18th February 1874 at Windmill Cottage, Wimbledon. He attended Manilla College in Camberwell and at the age of 17 years he was appointed manager of the Richmond Golf Course designed by his father Tom Dunn. In October that year he was engaged as professional at Sherringham Golf Club, Norfolk.

In 1893 William laid out the original course at Northampton Golf Club, and in 1894 he was the first pro to be appointed to the Prince’s Club at Mitcham where he held the course record 79. That year he entered the Open Championship at St George’s Golf Club, Sandwich as Gourlay Dunn. In 1897 Dunn equalled J.H. Taylor’s course record of 80 at Lyndhurst and set a course record 71 at Brockenhurst.

In 1897 William was working from the Golf Pavilion, Bournemouth and that year he married Nina Grace Chambers and subsequently adopted the surname Chambers being thereafter known as William Chambers. His wife was the daughter of Robert Chambers Jr. publisher in Edinburgh and Nina and her sister Violet were members of North Berwick Ladies Golf Club. In 1911 William and his family emigrated to Vancouver Island, Canada and in 1913 William and A.V. Macan designed the Royal Colwood Golf Course on Vancouver Island. The family returned to Britain in 1914 when William enlisted in the Royal Naval Air Service and transferred to the Royal Air Force in 1918. Due to ill health, he is deemed permanently unfit for service, retaining the rank of Major. He dies on the 11th December 1920 in France and is buried in the Longuenesse War Cemetery near the town of St. Omer, 45 kilometres south-east of Calais.