More about: Charles Lees
Subcategory: Paintings & Prints
St Andrew's Golfing Engraving, Charles lees.
A fine golfing engraving 'The Golfers, A Grand Match played over St Andrew's links'. This is one of the most famous golfing scenes of all time. The scene is of the Old Course at St Andrews and the match in progress is between Sir David Baird of Newbyth, and Sir Ralph Anstruther of Balcaskie, against Major Playfair and John Campbell, Esq. of Glensaddel. The original oil painting was painted by Charles Lees in 1847, and all the Gentlemen in the picture are either skilful players or lovers of Golf. The numerous portraits in the picture have all been painted from actual sittings, and a key was produced at the same time naming them all. The original oak frame has a plaque reading 'Presented by Capt. A.M. Ross, 5th Royal Rifles'. The engraving is by Charles F. Wagstaffe, printed by W. Wilding, Edinburgh. 20th December, 1850, published by Alexander Hill, print seller to the Queen, 67 Princes Street.
St Andrews 'The Home of Golf' is on the Fife Coast of eastern Scotland and is considered the oldest and most iconic golf course in the world. The Old Course is 6721 yards with a par of 72. It is famous for the 'Swilcan Bridge' spanning the first and 18th holes and 'Hell Bunker'. Everyone who plays the 18th hole walks over the 700-year-old bridge, with it featuring in many iconic pictures of St Andrews. The Old Course remains a public golf course, open to all and apart from the clubhouse for the Royal and Ancient, there are clubhouses overlooking the links for The St Andrews Golf Club (1843) and The New Golf Club St Andrews (1902) for men and the St Rule Club (1896) and St Regulus Ladies Golf Club (1913) for women.
The Old Course was pivotal to the development of golf and how the game is played today. By 1754, St Andrews consisted of twelve holes, ten of which were played twice, making a round of twenty-two holes in all. The members deciding that the first four and last four holes on the course were too short combined them into four holes (two in and two out). St Andrews then became the first 18-hole golf course in the world, and a blue print for the modern course.
In 1863 the R&A appointed 'Old' Tom Morris as Custodian of the Links and with the skills he had learnt at his time in Prestwick, he went about rejuvenating St Andrews. He established separate tee boxes on each hole, the fairways were widened, the greens enlarged and two new ones were constructed. The hazards were actively managed (before then hazards and bunkers had been left to mother nature) all of this spread out play over larger areas, thus increasing the volume of golf being played at St Andrews. Tom introduced the concept of top-dressing greens with sand, was the first to use a push mower to cut greens and all the time this was helping to improve the quality of the course. He also owned a shop and workshop at 8 The Links, which still exists.