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How simple Percy Alliss always made the game look until he was on the green. He would have won many more than his 16 tournament victories but for his inconsistent putting stroke and he was always experimenting with different methods. The previous year, at the Yorkshire Evening News tournament at Moortown, he thought he had finally found the answer. He placed his feet in such a way as to form two sides of a square, with the left foot pointing in the direction of the hole. He said that this eliminated the body movement that is so detrimental on the green. It worked at Moortown and he opened with a 71, the same score as me. We both lost in the subsequent match play, but it was not Percy’s putting that caused his demise. His clubs somehow ended up in another player’s car boot and he was forced to play with a borrowed set that did not ‘fit’ him. By the time his own clubs were returned his match was lost and by the time of the Scottish Open his new putting method had gone the way of all the others.

1935 Scottish Open Golf ChampionshipI went on to Muirfield to practise for the Open and to join the England team for the international match against Scotland, to be played on the course the day before the Open commenced. Henry Cotton had demonstrated his typical single mindedness by again declining to play in the match because it was too close to the Open. He went out to practise and beat the Muirfield record with a 65, although it did not count of course.
The summer that had begun with a blizzard continued to disappoint with changeable weather that June and the South African tourists had been frustrated by the conditions of a typical English cricket season. The previous week the first Test of the 1935 five-match series at Trent Bridge, Nottingham had been abandoned due to rain, the first of four draws, but it was to be England who came off worst in the end.

Our match began in oppressive heat and I suffered in the foursomes when I was on the receiving end of a 5&4 drubbing from Syd Fairweather (Malone) and Bill Laidlaw, a new Scottish cap with great potential who was an assistant to my brother George at Malden and later to Henry Cotton at Ashridge. Tragically Bill was to be killed in the RAF flying over Germany in 1941. My partner was Tom Green, who was Welsh born and later played for Wales when they entered the home international series – one of the few players to represent two countries. I remember that Tom hated the sea and his face would match his name at the mere thought of travelling by boat. We did manage to get him to go over for the Irish Open, but only after a ‘session’ in the bar.

England won the match 13-4, Scotland’s only two wins in the singles coming from Jimmy Adams, then at Romford, and the veteran of the Scottish team, George Duncan, who beat Syd Easterbrook. I won my match against J. Forrester of Cruden Bay 4 & 3 and Tom extracted revenge by beating Laidlaw two up. One of the Scottish team, Tom Dobson, suffered from the controversial stymie rule when he knocked Ted Jarman’s ball into the hole on the last green to lose the match.