There are 2 main golf events associated with SMRH cricketers. The Annual Golf Outing and the Tartan Tour. Their history is summarised below.
TARTAN TOUR HISTORY
Back in 1978, August 26th to be exact, Stewarts Melville Trojans X1 set out on their first of 10 weekend cricket tours of Perthshire. From 1978 to 1980 matches were played against Comrie and Crieff and in 1981 with Crieff being unable to accept a fixture that season, the opponents switched to Strathearn for the next 7 seasons.
It was the enthusiasm of the then Stewarts Melville 2B X1 (latterly the 3rd X1) which kick started the event - a desire for more cricket had resulted in some Sunday friendly matches being arranged and the idea of a tour quickly followed under the leadership of Alan Veitch and Donald Wood.
After a couple of memorable tours, more activity was required on the Sunday morning to walk-off the hangover and so cricket gear and golf clubs were packed for 1980. Unknown of course, at the time, this was to be the start of the Tartan Tour.
In 1982, a major step forward happened when the quartet of Alan Veitch, Stuart Foubister, Willie Bruce and Brian Haig set off on the Friday morning for a day's golf at Crieff before the weekend's activities started for real on the Friday night!
YOUTHS VERSUS BUFFS
1984 was the year the Tartan Tour, as we know it today, came into being. The now more seasoned Alan Veitch and Stuart Foubister set off for 4 days golf against the slightly more youthful Malcolm Dunn and Alan MacPherson. A challenge was set.....a pint on each match....youths versus buffs. This set the tone for the annual match now played on each tour.
THE LATER YEARS
With firm foundations the annual Tartan Tour was well underway, although surprisingly in 1990 it nearly didn't happen. However, a late escape in October to Ayrshire ensured a continuous run to date, albeit it produced the only day's washout so far when the Troon courses - Lochgreen and Fullarton were unplayable on the Saturday.
The first trip overseas in 1991 was to South West Ireland, which enhanced interest in the event and since then it has gone from strength to strength. Recent increased numbers have seen a third team 'Adults', somewhere between Youths and Buffs, make some appearances.
As with all golf tours and the Tartan Tour is no exception, venues are now visited beyond the original Tartan Tour home. Appearances have been made in the North of England and the 21st anniversary trip visited the West of Ireland and even included a weekend in Dublin at the end of the week when Ladies (!!) were present. In 2003 Northern Ireland was added followed by the 25th anniversary trip to Northern France in 2004.
The 30th anniversary in 2009 visited the Dornoch area.
QUALIFICATION RULES FOR APPEARANCES
There is some minor confusion as to who was actually a member of the tour back in the early days. For the records the following rules have generously been applied :-
Any player who played golf out with the cricket tour 1980 to 1987 between Monday and Friday
All players since 1988 onwards
Plus any member of the cricket tour 1980 to 1987 who played golf on the Sunday morning and who qualifies under either of the above rules has been credited with an appearance.
For a detailed listing of courses played, now 167 at the end of the 2015 Tartan Tour, please CLICK HERE
TARTAN TOUR PHOTOS