Arnaud Massy's Grave Getting Its Due

Martin Dempster reports on the discovery of 1907 Open Championship winner Arnaud Massy's overgrown gravesite near Edinburgh, and the efforts by a variety of organizations to spruce up the site where the first French golfing great's family is also buried.

Massy was the first non-Briton to win the Open.

His burial ground in Newington Cemetery, formerly a private site but now under the Edinburgh City Council umbrella, was discovered by Douglas Seaton, a North Berwick-based golf historian. Thanks to him, a homage ceremony for Massy, who was also the first winner of both the French and Spanish Opens, is set to be held later this month.

It will be attended by members of the French Golf Federation (FFG), including Francois Illouz, who won the Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship at Blairgowrie in 1989 during his amateur days and is now in the professional ranks.

Also due to attend the graveside ceremony on 23 February is the French Consul as well as representatives of the European Association of Golf Historians & Collectors, chief among them being Jean-Barnard Kazmierczak, the founder of that organisation and its first president.
Representing the Massy family will be Hugh Henderson, whose great aunt was Janet Punton Henderson, wife of Massy. The couple met after Biarritz-born Massy, the son of a sheep farmer, first visited North Berwick as a 21-year-old in a bid to develop his golfing skills and was subsequently granted a professional licence on the town’s West Links.