One of the greats plays Seaton Carew

"It is a splendid course. Personally I am very fond of seaside links. They are natural and provide very interesting and varied types of holes. The Seaton links are very well groomed, the greens lovely, and the fairways and lies good. It is not an easy course. It provides a good test of golf and is one on which I should like to play quite often."

Those were the thoughts of  four times Open champion Walter Hagen after a visit to Seaton Carew on Saturday 24th of July 1937. The “Clown Prince of Golf”, as he was known, had just partnered his Australian colleague, Joe Kirkwood, in an exhibition match against the Seaton pair of Club Professional, Bert Reveley, and former Captain and Schoolboy International, Peter Salmon.
The visit created considerable interest in local golfing circles, and despite showery rain there was a gallery of several hundred to accompany the match, which teed-off just after 2.30pm. Kirkwood had arrived well ahead of time and hit a few practice iron shots, followed by some work with a driver and brassie, before finishing with a little approach work and putting. Hagen didn't arrive until 2.30, when a large chauffeur driven car pulled up outside the clubhouse, and out stepped “The Haig” along with his female secretary. He then went into the locker room, but looked in no apparent hurry to start the match. In fact, he sat down and refused to move until his “togs” were brought in. As time ticked by Bert Reveley became more impatient, and eventually went to see where the great man was. He found Hagen calmly paring his nails at the wash basin. Finally, he came out and instead of being given the bird by the spectators, as might have been expected, he was welcomed with a hearty round of applause.
The Seaton pair took the honours at the 1st, both hitting excellent drives, and the hole was eventually won by a Bert Reveley birdie three. After some wayward driving the 2nd was halved in bogey sixes. At the 3rd all three professionals halved in 3's whilst Salmon took four. However, the amateur made amends with a birdie three at the 4th, to put the Seatonians two up going to the 5th. That was halved in four and by now the rain was falling heavily and the greens were becoming very slow. By the turn the local pair had gone four up and the next three holes were halved, but then the visitors mounted a come-back, thanks to Hagen birdies at the 13th and 14th. Halves at fifteen and sixteen left the Seaton players dormie two going to the 17th. That was won by Hagen and Kirkwood with a birdie three, but a half at the last gave victory to the locals. It meant Bert Reveley and Peter Salmon had become the only Professional/Amateur combination to beat two of the best golfers of the era.
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