From the fairways to the frontline, the tees to the trenches. In the Great War of selfless sacrifice, desperate squalor and unprecedented slaughter, the men of the Niblick Brigade stood up to be counted. Many would fall amid the roar of unnumbered guns.

“It was a brave game you played, far bigger than any. And now the men, with whom you played another game, are to know gloriously you ended your last round.”

For years, the late Phil Weaver, a former chairman of The PGA who would become the association’s director of heritage, had meticulously researched the involvement of professionals, assistants and clubmakers in the First World War.

At the time of Weaver’s death, he had uncovered over 100 PGA members who had paid the ultimate price for their bravery and sense of duty. “The PGA was still in its relative infancy during the war, it was formed in 1901, so the association lost a lot,” said the current chairman, Alan White.

The Niblick Brigade was just one of numerous Pals Battalions forged during a heady rush of patriotism that had men queuing outside enlisting posts at the outbreak of hostilities in 1914.

“Moustached, archaic faces, grinning as if it were all, an August bank holiday lark,” wrote Philip Larkin in his poem from the 1960s, as he mulled over this recruitment drive in an evocative snapshot of life before the true horrors of war unfolded.

The initial fighting force of almost 30 golfers were gathered together at an Italian restaurant on London’s Old Street by Albert Tingey, Charles Mayo and the decorated Scot, George Duncan. Many others would follow and the ranks would be reinforced by greenkeepers and caddies.

During basic training, the Niblicks were invited to refreshments by Lady Astor, the first female MP to sit in Parliament. With morale boosted by the prospect of an enlivening gargle, the Niblicks swiftly became “quietly ungrateful” when they discovered their drouth would have to be quenched by lemonade. Lady Astor was a tee-totaller.

Things didn’t improve in the trenches near Armentieres when Tingey, who kept the nation informed with dispatches in Golf Monthly magazine, once reported that B Company had lost their rum ration down a hole.

Tingey, one of the founding members of The PGA, survived the Great War. Many others did not and, for years, their acts of valour went largely undiscovered until Weaver’s research helped to illuminate their lives and times.

As the professional at Lanark for almost 30 years, White himself was unaware that one of his predecessors, James Anderson, had served on the front. Anderson was killed in 1918, Five years earlier, his wife had died at the age of just 33 during childbirth in the Lanark clubhouse.

“It was only when Phil phoned me in 2017 to inform me of what he had found out about James Anderson that it all came to light,” added White. “That’s why Phil’s work was so cherished by so many people. There were families who didn’t know these people had served in the war and many golf clubs that didn’t know either.

“When we discovered James’ story, there was a feeling of both pride and sadness. At Lanark, we had John Fallon, who was a Ryder Cup captain in 1963. James Anderson, though, was largely unknown. But he’s celebrated at the club now.

“These were hugely important people in golf. They were trailblazers. The golf club wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for these people. The PGA wouldn’t be here either. And they made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Those tales of sacrifice amid the grim, harrowing futility of warfare are bountiful. James Milligan was a Melrose-born golfer who took up a post as a club professional at the Wyoming Valley Country Club in Pennsylvania.

When the war broke out, his three serving brothers, Lawrence, Alexander and John, would all be killed in action. Milligan returned to Scotland amid dreadful family sorrow but would enlist too. Like his three siblings, Milligan would perish on the battlefield.

Robert Barr, an assistant professional at Ranfurly Castle, and Robert McDougall, a professional at the Old Ranfurly club, were members of the 15th battalion of the Highland Light Infantry and fell on the same November day during the Battle of the Ancre, the final British offensive of the atrocious Somme campaign. These Bridge of Weir Boys were buried four graves apart.

On this weekend of solemn reflection, we will remember them.