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Peter Purves - golf pro at Strathpeffer Golf Club

Peter Allison Purves was born on 17th November 1884 in North Berwick. He was a son of Robert Purves, a joiner and his wife Marion Divine. In 1898, Peter was an apprentice draper living with his mother and father, then described as a clubmaker, two sisters and two brothers. In 1902, Peter was a licensed caddie on the West Links and in 1906 he became a member of the Rhodes Golf Club playing off a handicap of three.

In 1912 he was appointed professional here at Strathpeffer Golf Club but in March 1915 during WW1 he enlisted in the 3rd Seaforth Highlanders. In 1917 he was transferred to the 51st Division of the Gordon Highlanders and was wounded three times, gassed and shell shocked in the trenches. Peter reached the rank of sergeant while part of the Army of Occupation in Germany and was not discharged until January 1920 at the Barry Camp, Carnoustie.

He emigrated to America where his contact was Harry Hall, a clubmaker from Carnoustie, who was living in New York. Peter was appointed to West Orange Country Club and then to Essex Fells Country Club, both in New Jersey. In May 1922, Peter played in the New Jersey State Open and again the following year at Englewood. In July 1923 he entered the Metropolitan Open won by Bob Macdonald who hsd left North Berwick in 1910.

Peter Purves married Elizabeth 'Bessie' Denholm, who joined him in America in 1921, and they had two children George and Helen. In 1924 they moved to Kirkside Estate in Roxbury, New York where he worked as a private instructor to Helen Gould Shephard, daughter of the railroad magnate Jay Gould. He carved out a successful golf career but died young in 1930, aged 46 years, following an operation at Kingston City Hospital. As a war veteran he was given a military funeral. 

The above info was sourced from