Not many Irish golf clubs can claim an Open Champion as their Professional. Mungo Park was the second professional appointed to Foxrock Golf Club in 1894, at almost 60 years of age. He spent less than a year in Foxrock and moved to Portmarnock where he is credited with assisting in the design of the original course. While little is known of his time in Foxrock a report dated August 1894 expresses satisfaction with his skill as a coach which was attributed to his early experiences at North Berwick in Scotland where fairways are famously rock hard and the course was at that time closely grazed by sheep.
Mungo was a member of a famous family of Scottish golfers. Park's brother Willie and his nephew Willie Park, Jr. both won The Open Championship.
He was born 22 October 1836 to James Park (1797–1873) and his wife Euphemia Park née Kerr (1806–1860) at Quarry Houses in Musselburgh, which was to become one of the three towns that shared hosting responsibilities for The Open Championship through the 1870s and 1880s. He learned golf as a boy, and like many golf professionals he could not earn a living from the game, and became a sailor. Although a little in the shadow of his brother and nephew, he would surely have been a far better player if he had not gone to sea. After his career as a seaman concluded he returned to his home town in the early 1870s.
In 1874 he beat Young Tom Morris by two shots to win the first Open Championship to be played at Musselburgh Links, his home course. His winning score was 159 for 36 holes. Park would go on to post four more top-10 finishes in The Open Championship between 1875 and 1881.
Mungo spent his later life working as a teacher, golf course designer and club maker. After his many early years spent at sea, he expressed a wish to be buried under a seat where golfers looked out to sea, so he could listen to them talking golf. Park died of pernicious anemia in the Inveresk poorhouse.
Mungo Park, 1836 – 1904