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William Dow
Monifieth/St Louis/Miami

William Stormont Dow was born in Murroes (a few miles north of Dundee) in 1885 and. because of his father’s job as a gardener, the family moved around, at Kellyfield House in Dundee on the 1891 census but in Monifieth in 1901 where he began his career as an apprentice clubmaker with J C Smith and Sons. He ‘was a keen supporter of the Monifieth club and, when business permitted, he gave his services willingly in the cause of inter-club matches and medal competitions’. On that 1901 census he is living at Gibson’s Cottages, Brook Street, Monifieth, with his by then widowed mother, Eleanor, and five siblings.

He went to America with Jamie Watson who had returned to Monifieth for the winter of 1904-5 and took William back with him as his assistant. Dow was given a send-off from Monifieth in March 1905 with ‘a purseful of sovereigns’.

William became professional at the Normandie club in St Louis with young brother Jim as his assistant. I assume this was for 1906 and 1907 as he mentions two and a half years at Normandie when advertising his services in Golfers’ Magazine in 1908. There is a press report of the two brothers playing a five hole fourball challenge match by moonlight there in 1906.

From a newspaper account of the 1908 Massachusetts Open, it seems he became pro at the Fall River club there that year.

He joined, and fought with, a rather unusual regiment in World War I, the MacLean Highlanders, originally created as the 236th New Brunswick Kilties in Canada but, on the United States’ entry to the war, a New England battalion was formed, the 236th MacLean Kilties of America.

The Boston Globe in August 1919 described him as a veteran of the Canadian Army and former professional at Lousiville, KY (a strong Monifieth connection, and right enough, as the Louisville professional he is playing his former townsman, Bobby Craigs in a ‘home and away’ over the Louisville and Audubon courses in July 1914) and Lakeville CC, Denver (which I have not yet been able to verify) as well as Normandie, and announced he had been appointed professional at Brockton CC, MA, in succession to Joseph Lally. In amongst these dates he was also professional at the Dark Harbor club in Maine from where he entered the 1916 Massachusetts Open.

As yet I do not have all the clubs in between, but a Courier article in 1950 identified him as the oldest Monifieth-born pro still in harness in the USA, in Miami. He played, as did his youngest brother, Colin, in the USPGA Senior Tournament at Fort Myers in January 1942 when he was professional at the Bemidji Town and Country Club, Minnesota.

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