The St Andrews Golf Club was formed 29 September 1843. Its eleven founder members were mostly tradesmen, but included a Dancing Master and a Butler (George Morris, brother of Tom). Nowadays the club's members cover a broad economic spectrum, but in 1843 golf was not a poor man's game and the first members were all men of some substance.
Soon they were joined by Alan Robertson and Tom Morris. Alan was the foremost golfer of his day and employed Tom in the family business making feather golf balls, later he became Captain of the club. Both he and Tom are recorded as having organised the members 'odds' or handicaps.
The club also had the rare distinction of having a member, Mackenzie Turpie, who competed in the first Golf Olympics in Paris in 1900. He was a postman in the town and paid his own entry fee and travelling expenses 'purely for the honour of competing'. In the first 60 years of its history, the club played regular competitions and met thereafter in various hotels and inns in the town for many happy evenings of "toast, song and sentiment".
The foundations of the present day club were laid when
the first clubhouse was bought in 1905. This was the property in Golf
Place, now occupied by Auchterlonie golf shop. In 1933 the club moved
to its present clubhouse to overlook the 18th green of the Old
Course. This splendid Victorian mansion provides an ideal grandstand
for members during the Open
Championship and other major tournaments held on the famous links.