It’s set to be a year to remember for one of St Andrews’ most famous and historic golf clubs.
The arrival of 2017 signals 200 years since the founding of the St Andrews Thistle Golf Club - and it is set to celebrate the bi-centenary across the next 12 months with a series of tournaments, competitions and special events.
The ‘Wee Club’ operates out of The St Andrews Golf Club with its membership made up of existing members of the one of the senior men’s clubs in the town.
Formed in 1817 as the Thistle Golf Society, the club originally struggled to grow against the established presence of the Royal & Ancient.
After dissolving in 1839, the club reformed in 1865 as the Thistle Golf Club and soon gathered new membership.
Its oldest medal dates to 1819 and was won by John Buddo while the club also boasts Old Tom Morris as an honorary member.
And the club is to allow itself the chance to reflect on all that has gone before in the past 200 years across the coming 12 months.
Its year of celebration commences in April when the captain’s drive-in precedes the launch of a specially commissioned exhibition at The British Golf Museum focussing not only on the unique history and traditions of the club but also, on the corresponding social history of its members.
A round-robin versus other Thistle’ Golf Clubs is planned for late April; a putting challenge against The St Andrews Ladies Putting Club in early June and a head-to- head match versus Scotscraig Golf Club, who also celebrate 200-years in 2017, will occur at the end of July.
A spokesman for the club said there would be plenty to look forward to.
He said: “Highlight of the playing year will, no doubt, be The Grand Match to be played on July 2 when some 200 golfers will experience the unique thrill of playing the historic Old Course by special dispensation from The Links Trust, on a Sunday.
“In October, the club will formally acknowledge 200 years of golf with members and invited dignitaries attending a gala dinner at The Old Course Hotel.
“It promises to be a most exciting and memorable year.”
The club has extended an offer for local individuals or businesses to hop on board and be part of the year of celebration.
The spokesman added: “All offers of support or sponsorship for planned events are most warmly received by the club through the chairman of the 200th anniversary sub-committee, Jim Knox, at email@example.com
The Thistle stays true to it’s founders’ traditions by playing all its medals and competitions on Thursdays as it was when founded.
Thursdays used to be early closing day for shops and businesses when such a thing existed.
For further information on the club itself, please visit www.standrewsthistle.com