The John Lumsden Memorial Cup
In 1926 The Leinster Branch instituted a competition under handicap for single figure members of Leinster Clubs and named it The John Lumsden Memorial Cup, to commemorate the memory of the man who had done so much to popularise the game of golf in the province of Leinster.
The Leinster Branch invited Royal Dublin to host the inaugural playing of the Tournament and the winner J.G. Greene was a member of the host Club. It is the second oldest Leinster golf competition preceded only by the Barton Cup.
John Lumsden, a Scottish banker after whom the trophy is named was one the true pioneers of golf in Ireland. He was a vice president of The Golfing Union of Ireland and a founding member of The Royal Dublin Golf Club. He was tireless in promoting the game of golf and was always available to assist and advise in encouraging the spread of golf throughout the country. In 1885 he laid out in the Phoenix Park together with his two sons and his brother in law, what is recognised as the first 18-hole golf course in Ireland.
The event has been played at many different venues throughout Leinster and taken a number of forms over the years from a 54-Hole event, to a one day qualifying round followed by match play over successive days, to its current format a 36 hole event, with prizes for best gross score and prizes for the best first round and second round scores.
It is a very popular event and has been won by many great names in Irish golf over the years. The winners of the Lumsden Cup are recorded in the histories of many of the great golf clubs in Leinster. Tom Craddock of Malahide in 1980, International golfer, Walker Cup player, Irish Amateur Open and Close winner; Roger Greene of Clontarf in 1933 won the Lumsden Cup and earned International honours that same year and is the only member of that Club to be so honoured; The beaten finalist was Jim Middleton fondly remembered in Howth Golf Club as “Uncle Jim” the very epitome of a gentleman.
J.F. McLoughlin of Royal Dublin in 1929, West of Ireland winner, whose sister Molly McLoughlin of Dun Laoghaire was Irish Ladies Close Champion in 1927. Con Harnett of Hermitage who famously defeated Joe Carr of Sutton in the 1951 final. International golfer and Irish Close winner G.H. Owens of Skerries winner in 1934, uncle of former Royal Dublin professional Leonard Owens and later President of the Golfing Union of Ireland.
A number of years ago the Leinster Branch invited the Committee of Royal Dublin to take over hosting the competition on a permanent basis, which Royal Dublin was very pleased to do. It is now run under the auspices of the Tournament Committee of Royal Dublin as a 36-hole competition. The event is an open competition for all golfers in the province of Leinster, with a handicap of 9 and under.
The Lumsden Cup now has a permanent home at Dollymount but it still remains as envisaged by its original founders, a competition open to members of the golf clubs in Leinster. This is entirely appropriate and serves to remind all golfers of the debt of gratitude we owe to the vision and energy of golf pioneers such as John Lumsden.