The present work portrays a scene in the 1840s depicting Lord Rosebery, Admiral Fleming, the Duke of Buccleuch and Lord Charles Hope and their caddies engaged in a tense moment on the first green during a round at North Berwick. The current painting shows clearly two golf balls the nearer of which is impeding the further away ball directly along the line to the hole. Nowadays the ball lying closer to the hole would be 'marked' to give the other ball, when played, unrestricted access to the hole. When the latter ball has been played the other ball would be replaced. However, at the time of the painting the ball lying closer would have remained as an obstruction to the other ball and would not have been 'marked'. This was called a stymie and was subsequently dropped from the modern game as it was deemed to give unfair advantage. The exposed landscape in the background of this picture was, and is still is, one of the main attractions of this wonderful golf course. The exact site is the West Links at North Berwick, a small town lying on the Firth of Forth approximately 25 miles to the east of Edinburgh and close to the world-renowned Muirfield which has hosted the Open Championship a number of times. The West Links present a wonderful golfing challenge with all the holes being highly varied and consisting of a number of memorable pitfalls. The course has regularly been a qualifying course for the Open Championship when it is played at Muirfield. A former captain of the North Berwick Golf Club was Arthur James Balfour who subsequently became British Prime Minister.
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