Chapter 11 – Earlston, Melrose and Lauder:
The Lauder Golf Club was formed in 1896, initially based on land near the Stow Road and then moving to Chester Hill, where Willie Park Junior (1864–1925), Open champion 1887 and 1889, supervised the layout of the new course. As it matured, and to celebrate his involvement, he was invited to give a demonstration match with his friend Iain Christie, and it was at this event, on 5 August 1905, that he set the professional course record of 70—out in 36, back in 34.
This grand event was enthusiastically covered by the Berwickshire News & General Advertiser, an extensive piece which included reference to second sight and psychic research. The Kirk Elders should have been informed:
It is a well-known fact, especially to such as are gifted with second sight and whose facilities are clarified by psychical research, that it is possible, under certain conditions, to hold communication with the shades of the departed. Quite recently, the shade of Thomas the Rhymer, which still haunts the Valley of the Leader, visited the Tower near Earlston and communicated prediction regarding Lauder and its golf course. The prediction was given in the Latin tongue, of which the following is a fair translation:
As sure as one and two make three,
Lauder will deserted be
Unless some local interest be
Aroused, and that right speedily
There is no ambiguity about the Rhymer’s predictions, such as was attendant upon those of the Delphic oracle, and therefore it is most desirable that the inhabitants of Lauder, with something like the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads, in the form of this prediction, should at once awaken their interests.9
A colourful piece, no doubt influenced by time, too long spent in the beer tent. A little less alcohol, and the journalist may have reported the correct score—the Berwickshire News declaring a score of 71, out in 36, back in 35.