An annual challenge match is played in Glasgow for the Boundary Bell trophy. It started in 1998 between the winners of the Brand Putter League (BPL) of nine (now ten) clubs in the south side of the city and the winners of the Donald Cameron League (DCL) of fourteen clubs in the north of the city. Both of those inter-club leagues were formed in 1947. The Brand Putter League clubs played their first series of matches in 1947 followed in 1948 by the first set of matches for the original eight members of the Donald Cameron League.
The instigator of the challenge match was Graham Dunigan, a Past Captain of Hilton Park Golf Club, who was the guest speaker at the Brand Putter League dinner at Eastwood Golf Club in 1997 and who threw down the gauntlet during his discourse on what he saw at the time as a divided golfing city. Dunigan referred to the two leagues which at that time had been going for more than fifty years and "it seemed that never the twain would meet". He offered to put up a trophy if a challenge match was arranged and the respective secretaries of the two leagues picked up the gauntlet and the first match was arranged for 30 August 1998 at the neutral venue of Ralston Golf Club. That first match resulted in a win for Haggs Castle Golf Club against Cawder Golf Club by four matches to two matches with two matches halved. The winners of the Bell are entitled to call themselves "Glasgow Champions".
There are a few rules drawn up by Past Captain Dunigan and amended over the years in the light of experience, but generally they are similar to the rules of the Brand Putter League. One major difference, because of the need to have positive result every year, is that in the event of draw, the result of the reserve match shall decide the winner of the challenge match. If this match is also a draw then the challenge match will be decided in a sudden death play off between a selected player from each side.
A tradition has been started that winners of the Bell hang same in a prominent position within their Clubhouse and if members wish to ring the Bell, they must make a donation to the Glasgow based charity "The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice". Over £12,000 has been collected to date.
In 2020 the competition was cancelled due to Coronavirus.
The winners of the Boundary Bell play the winners of the Edinburgh Golf League for the Inter Cities Cup.
The idea of a new tournament to promote a better interest in Junior golf in Glasgow was first conceived by The Glasgow Golf Union. Having watched a sudden fall in Junior Golf competition entries, and with some clubs struggling to even put out a Junior team, the GGU decided something had to be added to the competition circuit. The concept was to engender a more competitive atmosphere and interest within the Junior section of all Clubs in the Glasgow area, both North and South of the river.
Looking at the success of the Glasgow Boundary Bell which had been competed for in an enthusiastic atmosphere for over 20 years, they decided to emulate same on the same format, but have the Junior Champions of the Fleming Watson League (South) compete against the winners of the JJ McCarry League (North)
As I had designed and put together the original Bell I was approached by the Glasgow Golf Union to enquire if I could do the same for the newly proposed competition. To differentiate the two trophies I decided to make the new one along the lines of the old one, but slightly smaller. Out of that decision arose the name “Wee Boundary Bell”
The Bell shaped backboard was made by Bruce Hamilton Furniture maker extraordinary who was commissioned to replicate the furniture for the refurbished “Macintosh at the Willows” and some of the furniture for the doomed restoration of the Glasgow School of Art.
The Bell was obtained from a Chandlers showroom in Scotland Street, Glasgow. The engraved brass plates were from a Trophy shop in Clydebank.
History written by Graham Dunigan