As you enter the Clubhouse at Lothianburn, there is a large portrait of the club's most notable member, Tommy Armour - the 'Silver Scot' - hanging above the guestbook table.
Tommy Armour was born on September 24, 1894 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He attended Fettes College and Edinburgh University and was a prominent amateur golfer in Scotland until the outbreak of the Great War.
Armour immediately enlisted in 1914, joining the Tank Corps, where he rose to Staff Major. His service was cut short by a nasty mustard gas attack, which blinded him in 1917.
As he convalesced in a war hospital, Tommy soon regained the sight in his right eye and he went back to golf to build up his strength. Before long he decided to play seriously.
Tommy's application to Lothianburn Golf Club was accepted on March 15th, 1919. He brought with him a playing handicap of +2, and a formidable reputation, especially for his powerful iron play. He competed in various team matches, including the Lothians Team Tournament and the Inter Club, but was unsuccessful in the club championship.
The 1920's ushered in a golden era of sports, and Armour, playing all his competitive golf out of Lothianburn, quickly made his mark with a victory in the 1920 French Amateur. Later that year he gave a good showing in the American National Amateur, losing to Francis Ouimet in the fifth round. These achievements were recognised with Honorary Membership of Lothianburn in 1922.
By 1924, Tommy, by now a full-time golfer, had emmigrated to the States and turned Professional. By 1926 he was a member of the US team in the first International professional matches between the United States and Great Britain, becoming the first golfer ever to represent both the United States and Britain in international play.
Tommy's biggest win undoubtably came in 1927, when he held off the likes of Bobby Jones, Harry Cooper, Leo Diegel and Johnny Farrell to win the U.S. Open at Oakmont. He added the USPGA title in 1930, beating Gene Sarazen in the final. At this point Armour's powers were at their peak, and on a trip back to the homeland, he took the British Open in 1931 at Carnoustie.
Armour was head professional at the exclusive Boca Raton Hotel and Club in Boca Raton, from 1929 to 1948. During the winter and early spring months, he devoted his full-time efforts to teaching golf and soon gained a reputation as one of the great teachers. He charged up to $50 an hour and taught many movie stars, business tycoons and other famous people of the times.
In 1953, Armour published his seminal instruction book 'How to Play Your Best Golf All of the Time'. A further book 'A Round of Golf with Tommy Armour' (1956), introduced readers to the mental side of the game, and golf psychology became a serious subject of study.
A famed raconteur, a master bridge player, a classical violinist and a gifted businessman, Tommy Armour had an enviable social life, counting amongst his close friends the flamboyant Walter Hagen and the hard-living Babe Ruth.
Tommy Armour was elected to Golf's Hall of Fame in 1942. The 'Silver Scot' passed away on September 12, 1968, just 12 days shy of his 72nd birthday. Armour's legacy lives on in his golf company, Tommy Armour Inc, which still produces some of the very best irons in the world.