Mungo Park, great grandson of Willie Park Snr, the first Open champion in 1860 has saved, restored and preserved a rare golf book that details the very beginnings of golf in Argentina.
The Open Championship Committee of the River Plate dates back to the early 1900’s and is a rare glimpse of how golf developed in that country.
Mungo’s grandfather, Mungo Park Jnr won the very first River Plate tournament in 1905. The tournament would go on to be the Argentine Open and is one of the oldest national golf open championships. Previous winners include Angel Cabrera, Craig Stadler and oberto De Vicenzo.
Mungo said, “I am very happy that we were able to protect this rare book. It offers a rare insight into the growth of the game at that time. It is of personal significance for my family and I am happy to see that the heritage of the game inArgentinais now preserved for future generations.
“I would like to thank those who made this possible namely, the R&A and Masterworks Golf. The R&A have a long record of protecting the heritage of the game with the British Golf Museum being just a small percentage of their work. Masterworks Golf specialises in rare golf photographs detailing the history of the game. It is apt that it was these two companies who helped me make this happen.”
On Thursday 19th July, during The Open Championship at Royal Lytham, Mungo presented the book to Mark Lawrie, the Director of the Argentine Golf Association (AAG).
This presentation marked the end of a journey, which had started in East Hampton, Long Island, where Park, who now lives in Gloucestershire, first became interested in the foreign exploits of his grandfather (Mungo Park Jnr) and his brothers Willie Jnr and John. All three, sons of Willie Park Snr, were exceptional golfers in their own right. Willie Park Jnr was the most famous, but his two brothers also had exciting careers at the frontiers of golf, as it became established in the late 19th century in North and South America.