Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland
 Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland

Teeing off at Turnberry

Forgotten Greens Of Existing Clubs

Forgotten Greens Of Existing Clubs


The following details refer to existing golf clubs which have occupied a previous site, or sites, prior to their present location. Not all golf clubs have recorded their history in a publication or centenary book, therefore, this list will be a useful reference resource to present or future researchers. As this information was originally going into a book, and to keep the number of pages and cost to a minimum, it was decided to publish the information as a list, however, as we are now on a web site then this information can be expanded upon and edited as we go along.

This section of the site is very much an ongoing project and the information shown should not be regarded as being final. It is also my hope that new information will be contributed as the site becomes known.



Aberdeen Golf Club.

Played on course at Queens Links from 1815 to 1888.

The club have played at their present site at Balgownie since 1888.

Extensive histories have aready been written by others on this great club.

Aboyne Golf Club

1. Played on Village Green from 1874 although the club was not formally instituted until 1883. The club have played at their present site since 1905. ( Also see Aboyne in Main site )

The Aberdeen Press, March 29th, 1905


New Golf Course For Aboyne



Public Meeting


A public meeting was held in the Aboyne public hall on Monday evening to discuss the projected acquisition of the Fernie Brae and Formaston Parks as a new golf links for Aboyne.

There was a large and representative gathering.

Mr A. Grant, Pine Villa, chairman of the golf club, presided, and in a concise manner explained the purpose of the meeting, the attitude of the golf club in relation to the scheme, and the steps which had been taken .He said the day was, when Aboyne rejoiced in being the happy possessor of a golf links on Deeside, but that day, fortunately or unfortunately, was past, and they were now on all sides eclipsed by their neighbours. The green of Aboyne was without doubt one of the principal attractions of the place, but, crowded as it was now with all sorts of games, it was altogether unsuitable for golf.

Mr Ean Cecil of Craigendinnie had, with kndly interest, agreed to lease the Fernie Brae and Formaston Park.

He ( The Chairman ) would say, not only according to the view of the golf club, but also according to the opinion of an expert who had carefully gone over the ground, that a more suitable place could not be found in Aboyne, nor indeed, in the whole of Deeside.

The laying out of the ground would involve a large expenditure, more than the present golf club could cope with single-handed, and they therefore wished to ascertain the feeling of the people of the district regarding the matter. As the success of the plan would depend on the support which the people of Aboyne would extend towards it, they appealed with confidence to them, as this was not a selfish scheme for the benefit of the golf club alone, but one calculated to effect very seriously the interests of the village as a whole.

Mr J. Milne, Shoemaker, Captain of the club, also spoke in support of the scheme.

Mr C. Smith, Postmaster, said surely the public must see how the scheme was to be for their mutual benefit. Aboyne was almost entirely a summer resort. If they failed to attract visitors all classes would suffer. If they were agreed that the scheme should be carried out, he suggested they should straightway proceed to discuss ways and means for its fulfilment. In his opinion, the first essential was the formation of a large and thoroughly representative committee.

Mr Grant stated that several letters had already been received in relation to the scheme, and several people had already given it substantial support by handsome donations.

Rev. Father Thomson said he was not animated by a blind enthusiasm for the game, and therefore any remarks he made should carry greater weight. He endorsed most emphatically the remarks of the previous speakers. He had known personally of people having passed over Aboyne in search of Ballater and other places with better golf links. It was recognised that a good golf course was a source of prosperity to many places. They ought to leave no means untried to attract visitors and to cater for their tastes. He himself was ready to contribute to the scheme, and he had no doubt many other persons would do the same. But it did not follow that he and other contributors were to be members of the golf club, and when the scheme was accomplished he felt that those contributors ought to have a vote in the management of the funds. He had no doubt the present golf club would see the wisdom of that policy. He therefore moved that a committee, to be called the new golf course committee, should be elected, with powers to carry the scheme through.

Mr Shiach, Shoemaker, supported Father Thomson’s motion, and added that it was of the utmost importance that the people of the village should know that they were not merely engaged in the formation of a new golf club, but were forming resolutions regarding the feasibility of a scheme which would be generally beneficial to all. He seconded Father Thomson’s motion as being the first necessary step to put the scheme in working order.

The motion was unanimously adopted.

Mrs Captain Farquhar, Granville Lodge ; Dr Macintosh, Mr A. Henderson, Merchant ; Mr Littlejohn, Builder ; and others asked a few questions calculated to enlighten the meeting as to the expense of the undertaking, and also as to the prospective means for putting it on a sound financial basis. These questions showed, in an informal manner, the unanimous feeling of the meeting was that each one would give the scheme his most practical and cordial support.

A large and thoroughly representative committee was then elected, and out of those was chosen a smaller body to act with discretionary powers as prime movers in the scheme. Mr Grant was appointed chairman and convenor of the committee, and Mr C. Smith, Postmaster, and Mr A.C. Borrowman, accountant, North of Scotland Bank, as joint secretaries.

On the motion of Mr Anderson, Banker, Mr A. Grant. Mr Sandison, Huntly Arms, and the two secretaries were delegated to negotiate the terms of the lease.

The meeting recognising Mr Anderson’s ability in matters of this kind, elected him unanimously as a member of the same delegation. This concluded the business of the meeting.

The Aberdeen Daily Journal September 14th, 1905


New Golf Course At Aboyne



Opened By Lord Aberdeen



Interesting Proceedings



The new golf course at Aboyne was opened yesterday by Lord Aderdeen in presence of a large number of visitors and of the inhabitants of the district. The first ball was driven off the tee by Mrs Coats of Glen Tana.

The course in one of nine holes, but it is hoped that before long the club may find itself in a position to acquire additional land, and complete the course of 18 holes. The new course has Aboyne-Loch in the East, the Queens Hill on the North, and the Ladywell Park on the West, and comprises the comparatively level ground of the Formaston Park and the uplands of the Fernie Brae. Mr J.A. Donaldson, of the Bieldside club, laid out the greens, and the whole scheme was carried out under the supervision of Mr James Stewart.

With Mr James Downie, as greenkeeper, the course ought by another year to improve in its sporting qualities.


The Opening Ceremony


At the opening ceremony there was a large and fashionable gathering. Mr J.R. Heaven, Forest Of Birse, presided. Invitations had been issued to the following subscribers, most of whom were present :- Lord and Lady Aberdeen, Mr J.R. Heaven, Forset of Birse, and party ; Mr G. Coats and Mrs Coats, of Glen Tana and party ; Mr W.E. Nicol, of Ballogie and party ; Lady Brooks, The Neuk ; Major Davidson of Dess ; Messrs J.C. Barclay-Harvey of Dinnet ; James Williams, Dakota ; Harvey Hall, Deeside Lodge ; A. Sandyson, Aboyne ; Robert Williams, Birsemohr Lodge ; Ewan Cecil, Craigendinnie ; James Ledingham, Kincardine O’Neil ; J.F. Cochran, of Balfour ; James Duguid, Millbank ; James Wright, The Birches ; Hon. Mrs St John, Drumnagesk ; Mrs Pickering of Kincardine ; Mrs Davidson, Altdinnie Tower ; Admiral Sir C. Fare, K.C.B., Balnacoil ; Dr Farquharson, M.P. ; Dr William Gordon, Town Clerk of Aberdeen ; Messrs Genise Morgan, R.A. Springfield ; J. Dyce Nicol, Bank of England, Hull ; W. Bullouch, Kincardine O’Neil ; H.O. Davidson, Birchbank ; G. Bennet Mitchell, Cae-na-coil ; Henry Ross, Craigmore ; Dr W. Brodie Brown, Rosslyn ; Messrs A.G. Anderson, Bank House ; John Coutts, Homewood ; James Cruikshank, Schoolhouse ; Robert Milne, Bona Vista ; A. Grant, Pine Villa ; W.S. Milne, Aboyne ; John Troup, Aboyne ; A. Henderson, Pine Villa ; Gordon Smart, James Milne, Aboyne ; A. Fletcher, Vulcan Cottage ; G.H. Cowie, Thistle Bank ; John Davidson, Aboyne ; F.C. Waters, Falcon Cottage ; R.G. Nicol, of Ballogie ; A.H. Stephen, Tigh-na-Gaeld ; D.M.M. Milligan, Advocate, Aberdeen ; Mrs C. Farquhar,Craiglurch ; Messrs W. Farquhar of Carlogie ; Peter Stewart, Aberdeen ; Captain Farquhar, R.N.C.V.O., Mr Kildane ; C. Robinson, The Vicrage, Hunstanton ; Dr Mackintosh, Camden ; Messrs R. Smith, Viewfield ; C.C. Smith, Post Office ; Alexander Wright, Springfield ; Alec Watt, Springfield ; A. Carnegie, Birsemohr Lodge ; Admiral Sir Aurthur Farquhar, K.C.B., Mrs King, Dalry ; Messrs A. Littlejohn, Builder ; Surgeon-General Spencer, C.B., Mrs E. Duncan, Preasmohr ; Miss Ross, Maneos House ; Rev. J.D. Mackenzie, The Manse ; Rev. A.W. Wishart, Aboyne ; Rev. J. Thomson, St Margarets, Aboyne ; Messrs John Grant, ( Watt and Grant ) ; A.T. Curr, Linton Cottage ; David Calder, Norwood ; James Clubb, Lily Vale, Aboyne ; James Stewart, Salisbury House ; Andrew Black, St Lesmo Tower ; T.A. MacKintosh, St Catherine’s ; Mrs Methven, Bletsoe ; Dr J. Inglis, Misses J.and M. Crombie, Station Square ; Miss Farquharson, May Villa ; Sir John Clark of Tillypronie ; Colonel R.F. Caldwell, Inneshewan ; Messrs Joseph Farquharson, R.A., Moubray Farquhar, Drumnasgesk ; Commander Stuart Farquhar, R.N., Messrs Aurhur Robertson, Aboyner ; James Gibb, Aboyne ; Captain Ewen, Mrs Maxwell, Balfour House ; Mr and Mrs Graham, Granville Lodge ; Messrs George Coutts, Earn Bank ; A. Langebrink, Birchwood ; Lady Francis Cecil, Fasnadairoch ; Mrs Thornycroft, Miss A. Dugdale, Mrs Moggath, Glenalloch ; Miss Garnt, Luton Cottage ; Mrs Robertson, Kincardine O’Neil ; Messrs R.P. Robertson, Glasgow ; J. Russell Middleton, Altdinnie ; J.P. Hardie, Gavin Coutts, Birchwood ; H.H. Tory, Stanley Cottage ; A. Buchan, Bridgend ; F. Middleton, Galindo ; Alexander Mackay, Aberdeen ; F. Birss, Boddomend ; J.G. Henderson, Stanley Cottage ; John Henderson, St Eunaus ; Georg Allan, Station Agent, Aboyne ; J. Bremner, Tarland ; Miss Fraser, Lodge Cottage ; Messrs J. Stewart Watt, Advocate, Aberdeen ; G. Barclay, Edinburgh ; J. Harper, Bridg-end ; Hon Mr Pennt, Tigh-no-gaeld ; Mrs Drake, Graiglarach ; Mr Willoughby Brown, Auchintarf ; Rev. Cecil Nash, Mrs McNair, Mrs Davidson, Altdinnie ; Miss Ogg, East Rosebank ; Miss Hyde, Auchentarf ; Mr J.F. Gaskell, Cambus O’May ; Lieutenant E. St John, R.A., Drumnagask ; Rev. Dr Dunn, The Manse, Birse ; Rev. A. Mackenzie, The Manse, Coull ; Messrs J.F. Bush, Huntly Arms ; A. McKenzie, Dunmail, Cults ; Inspector Allan, Police Station ; Messrs W. Ewen, Station Square ; W. Todd, Do ; Ex Provost Grant, Ballater ; Mr J. Anderson Titaboutie ; Messrs W. Shiach, Aboyne ; John Watson, The Hall ; Mrs Thomson, Aboyne ; Mrs Grant, Aboyne ; Mrs Thain, Viewmount ; Mrs Wadd, Victoria Cottage ; Messrs David Mearns Westwood ; Duncan Calder, James Smith, Cameratta ; H. McWilliam, W. Duncan, Dee Cstle ; James Duguid, Ballater ; A. Henderson Jun, John Middleton, Huntly Cottage ; Robert Dinnie, Birsbeg ; Miss Murray, Schoolhouse ; Miss Farquharson, The Firs ; Miss Stewart, Bridge View ; Mr C. Smith, Primrose Cottage ; Miss Lindsay, Clifton Cottage ; Messrs Hendry, Kinaldie, Tarland ; A. Davie, Huntly Cottage ; and John Farquhar, Granville Lodge.


Chairman’s Remarks


The chairman said that they were met for the purpose of opening the new golf course at Aboyne. He was glad to be able to say that the new golf club started under very favourable financial conditions – ( Applause ) – thanks to the good work of the preliminary committee and of its energetic secretary, Mr Smith, ( Applause.)

The funds collected were sufficient to prepare the ground for the laying out of the golf course and the building of a handsome pavilion, and it was hoped that the members subscriptions would suffice to cover further current expenses, and also enable the club to complete the course and thus make it one of the best. ( Applause )

He had pleasure in asking Mr W.E. Nicol, of Ballogie, to give some of the reasons why the golf course was necessary. ( Applause.)


Address by Mr Nicol of Ballogie.


Mr Nicol, in the course of a racy speech, said he had been informed that it was his duty on that occasion to say something with regard to the opening of the course. They had all come there to celebrate two things. They were, first and foremost, there to celebrate the opening of their new golf course, and they had also come to celebrate the furtherance of the very royal and very ancient game. ( Applause.)

With regard to Royalty, they knew very well that the game has been played by many crowned heads ( Applause.) He believed the first crowned head who had ever played golf was James 1st, but whether or not he was a golfer of distinction they had no reliable information to go by ( Laughter.) They also knew that Charles 1st had played golf. That monarch had been playing somewhere near Edinburgh when he heard there was a rebellion in Ireland. He “ chucked” his single or his foursome. - ( Laughter.) – it was not related which he was playing – and went away in a troubled state of mind to Holyrood. Then there followed Charles 2nd, and his successor, the Duke of York, who had been a keen golfer and a good player, because that was related on most reliable authority. He did not know if any members of the house of Hanover ever played golf. He thought they would not, in all probability, have been so fleshy, as many of them were if they had played golf ( Laughter and Applause.)

Coming to more modern times, they found that his majesty the king took a great interest in the game. It was only last month that the king opened a golf links in Germany, and he had also a golf links in his own park at Windsor. Then they found that the late Duke of Albany and the late Duke of Clarence were very keen players. There were small fry – the Prime Minister – ( Laughter ) – the Colonial Secretary, Lord Advocates, and many other small fry keen at the game ( Laughter )

In Aboyne golf was played for many years on the green. He remembered when golf was played in a casual way, 25 or 30 years ago, but it was about 22 years since some of them met together at Aboyne and formed a club, which has played since, on the green. He was glad to sat that Rev. Dr Dunn and Dr Keith, and a few others had met together, and it was perhaps appropriate for him to address the gathering on the present occasion, as he had been elected at that bygone period the Captain of the first club. ( Applause.)

They owed a deep debt of gratitude to many people in Aboyne. There was a large committee who carried out the work in connection with their new course, and they had worked hard. ( Applause.) They knew that two gentlemen very kindly gave their honorary service. He referred to Mr Bennet Mitchell, who executed the plan of the course and the plan of the handsome pavilion, and kindly superintended the building until it had been completed. ( Applause.) One of the most energetic men in Aboyne was their friend Mr James Stewart, who had superintended the carrying out of the work without remuneration. ( Applause.)

Their thanks were also due to Mr Arthur Farquhar, the Captain of the club, Mr Grant, and Rev. J. Thomson, who in all probability had written the article which had appeared in the newspapers giving a full description of the course and the scenery which surrounded the course. ( Applause.)

There was another man who deserved their thanks. He had been most energetic, and one of the most excellent beggars he knew. ( Laughter.) He did it in such a nice way that nobody declined to help him, and that was their friend, who had come recently to the district, and associated himself in every good interest in Aboyne and neighbourhood. He ( Mr Nicol ) referred to their postmaster, Mr Smith. ( Loud Applause.)

Their chairman thought that, so far as their funds were concerned, they had done extremely well. But there was never a golf club or association in existence that could not take a little more money. ( Laughter and Applause.)

He ( Mr Nicol ) was told a horse or donkey was very much wanted to draw a big mowing machine, which they had not yet got. ( Laughter )

If anybody would present them with a horse or donkey, and a mowing machine, they would be very pleased indeed. ( Laughter and Applause.) They desired funds to come in gradually to the secretary. There was an aspiration that the course, now a nine hole one, would be made an eighteen hole one. He ( Mr Nicol ) did not think the course would be completed until the committee had made up their minds that they were to include one of the best hazards, and that was to go over Spion Kop. ( Laughter and Applause.)

They found that golf was played all over the world, Switzerland had about a dozen courses,and Germany and Austria were following suit. Even at Khartoum they had greens – they called them greens – ( Laughter ) – but they were not greens in the sense in which the people of this country recognised greens.

They had read in the newspapers about the enthusiasm of golfers. Only a short time ago, at St Andrews, no fewer than 15,000 spectators were present at the International Match, and it required a large force of police and forty stewards to keep the crowd in order. ( Laughter.)

But as the match went South, the number of spectators decreased and less than 1000 person’s witnessed the last day’s play at Deal. With regard to that match, Scotland was beaten, but not disgraced. There was another point brought forward by a gentleman – an M.P., and they always expected wisdom from an M.P. ( Laughter and Applause.)

He ( Mr Nicol ) had observed that Mr Crombie, member of parliament for the adjoining county, has stated at a similar function to theirs that a place was not fully civilised until it had a golf course. ( Laughter and Applause.) In that case Aboyne had been civilised many years ago by the course in the green. But now in Aboyne they had come to a state of greater civilisation - ( Laughter and Applause.) – and he hoped it would long continue in that way.

He ( Mr Nicol ) would strongly recommend the younger people not to take to golf ( Laughter ) Let them instead play Hockey, Football, and Cricket, as long as they were sound in wind and linb. ( Laughter and Applause.) but there was an advantage in golf ; they could play it as long as they could walk – ( Laughter ) – and even if they could not walk. ( Renewed Laughter.) He had seen people play at golf who were in a bath chair and on a pony. ( Laughter and Applause.)

He ( Mr Nicol ) had an acquaintance who was a golfer, and by the greatest stroke of luck he ( Mr Nicol ) had beaten him in a game which they had played. Mr Nicol, afterwards met his friends wife, who remarked,” Well, were you playing golf ?” “ Oh Yes,” he ( Mr Nicol ) replied. “ I hope you did not beat him, Mr Nicol,” were her next words, and he ( Mr Nicol ) replied, “ Oh Yes,” ( Laughter.) “ Well,” she continued, “ You don’t know what it means when George gets beaten at golf ; the house is simply unbearable.” ( Loud Laughter.)

Then there was the poor man who did not happen to be a golfer, but whose wife was smitten by the craze for golf. Her husband complained of the neglect of the family and household. He had spoken to his wife one day about the matter, and all that she said was “ you be niblicked,” ( Loud Laughter.)

He ( Mr Nicol ) wished the new golf course and its promoters all manner of success ( Applause.) The chairman then called upon Lord Aberdeen to declare the course open. ( Applause.)


Speech by Lord Aberdeen.


Lord Aberdeen, who had a most cordial reception, offered his hearty congratulations to the promoters of the new golf course. He and Lady Aberdeen were not present at the first part of the proceedings that day, much to their regret, but he had sent a telegram which explained that he and Lady Aberdeen would arrive a little late. Continuing, Lord Aberdeen said that they would remember that the official and correct designation of golf was the “ Royal and Ancient Game,” – Royal, no doubt, because the game was patronised by members of the royal family from time to time, and also because of its premier position amongst the games in Scotland. ( Applause.)

They must now allow their southern friends to forget that golf was a distinctly Scottish game ( Applause. ) When he ( Lord Aberdeen ) was a boy he was presented with a delightful volume entitled “ The Boys Own Book,” and one of the pictures in the volume was a stalwart Scotsman in Highland dress eagerly and excitedly engaged in pursuing one small ball.

On a near eminence a piper was playing to further excite the golfer’s ardour. Under this picture was written one word – “ Golf.”  He ( Lord Aberdeen ) knew better, because he had been staying at Blackheath, where there was one of the oldest golf clubs in the kingdom. ( Applause.) The game of golf was called ancient because it really was ancient. ( Applause.)

On one occasion a family had arrived at St Andrews from England. On the following morning the eldest daughter of the family desired to see something of St Andrews and its locality. With that in view she issued forth, and on her return to the family the first thing she said was –“ Dear Me :- fancy, golf has penetrated to this out-of-the-way -place.” ( Laughter )

He ( Lord Aberdeen ) thought that the new course at Aboyne would rank high among the golf courses of the country for its surrounding scenery. ( Applause )

Those who had taken such an active part in carrying the project to a successful issue deserved their best thanks. There was one important procedure to take place by a lady whom they now regarded as one of themselves – he referred to Mrs Coats of Glen tana.

Mrs Coats was to drive off the first ball, and he desired to tender her in advance their most heartfelt thanks for coming with them in order to carry out that duty. ( Applause.)

He had pleasure in declaring the course open. ( Applause.) He trusted that many pleasant games would be enjoyed over the course. ( Applause.)

The chairman then called upon Mrs Coats to drive the first ball off the tee.

Mrs Coats, amidst much enthusiasm, drove off the first ball with a club which was presented to her by the committee of Management as a souvenir of the interesting occasion.


Opening Match.


At the conclusion of the ceremonial proceedings a match was played over the course between teams representing the Royal Aberdeen club and the Aboyne Club. The play ended in a win for Aberdeen by 38 holes to 1 for Aboyne. Results :-


                              Royal Aberdeen                                               Aboyne

Wm. Davidson  …… …. ……..  …..    0           J. Williams  …..  ……………  ….    … 1

James Pau 1st  ………….  …..  …….    2          Captain S. Farquhar, R.N. ……..  ….. .. 0

Dr Alexander  ………… . ………….   2           J. Jeffrey  ………….  …..  ………….    0

T.L. Adam  ……………… .  … ……   6          E. Heaven  …………  ….  …………. .  0

H.R. Lumsden  ………….  …  .. ……. 1          Capt. R. Heaven  ….. ..  …………  …   0

F. Macrae  …………. ….. …………..  10        W.R. Farquhar  ………….  . …………  0

W.L. Foggo  ……………  .  … ……..  3          J. Milne  …… … …………..  ……….  0

A. Walker  …………………….  ..        3          F.C. Waters  ……… .. ………..  …..    0

R.D. Leslie  ……….  …. ….  ……….  2          Dr Macintosh  ……………..  ……..      0

H.J. Jopp  …………….  …. ……. …    4         A. Sandison  ……………..  …………   0

                                                          36                                                                 1


Mr Paul at the eighth, holed out in one with his tee shot.

Above, The new 1905 Layout of the course

Scotsman October October 20th, 1905

Aboyne Club


At a meeting of the members on Wednesday, it was reported that the money subscribed for the new course amounted to £478.10s. The course had been completed, a handsome new pavilion erected, and there was still a balance on the right side. The following were appointed office bearers for the ensuing year :- Mr Ean Cecil of Cragendinnie ; Vice President, Mr Eustace Heavens, Forest of Birse ; Captain, Mr James Willaims ; Vice Captain, Mr James Milne, Aboyne. Captain Tillard, R.N., and Captain R. Heaven were added to the  committee.

Aberdeen Journal September 28th, 1908


Aboyne Golf Course




Speech by Lord Aberdeen


There was a very interesting ceremony at Aboyne on Saturday afternoon, when an addition to the beautifully-situated golf course was opened with fitting ceremony by his Excellency the Earl of Aberdeen in presence of a large and influential company of ladies and gentlemen from Aboyne and the surrounding district.

The weather, unfortunately, was dull and showery in the forenoon, and not very promising for the success of an outside function, and that probably kept away several who would otherwise have been present ; but about the time of the ceremony the rain ceased, the mist cleared from the hills, and the afternoon though not so bright as might have been desirable, was good. Since it was opened three years ago, the nine-holes course has been a source of great attraction to both residenters and visitors, the latter especially being delighted with its picturesque situation by the side of the loch of Aboyne extending Westwards.

So great was its popularity that the necessity of an extension to a regular eighteen holes course was proposed and heartily taken up by the committee of the Aboyne golf club, and especially by Mr James Williams, Dakota, chairman of the club, and Mr R. Smith, Postmaster, the efficient and enthusiastic secretary. Largely through the efforts of the latter, the funds for the extension and for paying off the debt on the original nine-holes course and the neat clubhouse were secured.

Archie Simpson, greenkeeper, and professional to the Royal Aberdeen golf club, was engaged to lay out the extension to the South and West of the nine-holes course on land leased on moderate terms to the club by the proprietor, Mr Ean Cecil.

The extension has been admirably completed, and may be seen to advantage by passengers on trains of the Great North of Scotland Railway company’s line which runs alongside part of it. Several artificial bunkers have been provided, and, added to several natural hazards make an excellent sporting course, which is likely to be appreciated by residenters and visitors alike.


The Company


There was a large attendance of ladies and gentlemen at the opening ceremony, which took place in front of the neat and convenient clubhouse, situated on rising ground overlooking the loch of Aboyne – a clubhouse designed and erected from plans prepared by Mr G. Bennet Mitchell, Architect, Aberdeen, who has his summer residence at Caen-on-coil, Aboyne. The following is the list of invitations, and most of those invited were present :-


Lord and Lady Aberdeen, Mr J.R. Heaven, Forset of Birse, and party ; Mr G. Coats and Mrs Coats, of Glen Tana and party ; Mr W.E. Nicol, of Ballogie and party ; Lady Brooks, The Neuk ; Major Davidson of Dess ; Messrs J.C. Barclay-Harvey of Dinnet ; James Williams, Dakota ; Harvey Hall, Deeside Lodge ; A. Sandyson, Aboyne ; Robert Williams, Birsemohr Lodge ; Ewan Cecil, Craigendinnie ; James Ledingham, Kincardine O’Neil ; J.F. Cochran, of Balfour ; James Duguid, Millbank ; James Wright, The Birches ; Hon. Mrs St John, Drumnagesk ; Mrs Pickering of Kincardine ; Mrs Davidson, Altdinnie Tower ; Admiral Sir C. Fare, K.C.B., Balnacoil ; Dr Farquharson, M.P. ; Dr William Gordon, Town Clerk of Aberdeen ; Messrs Genise Morgan, R.A. Springfield ; J. Dyce Nicol, Bank of England, Hull ; W. Bullouch, Kincardine O’Neil ; H.O. Davidson, Birchbank ; G. Bennet Mitchell, Cae-na-coil ; Henry Ross, Craigmore ; Dr W. Brodie Brown, Rosslyn ; Messrs A.G. Anderson, Bank House ; John Coutts, Homewood ; James Cruikshank, Schoolhouse ; Robert Milne, Bona Vista ; A. Grant, Pine Villa ; W.S. Milne, Aboyne ; John Troup, Aboyne ; A. Henderson, Pine Villa ; Gordon Smart, James Milne, Aboyne ; A. Fletcher, Vulcan Cottage ; G.H. Cowie, Thistle Bank ; John Davidson, Aboyne ; F.C. Waters, Falcon Cottage ; R.G. Nicol, of Ballogie ; A.H. Stephen, Tigh-na-Gaeld ; D.M.M. Milligan, Advocate, Aberdeen ; Mrs C. Farquhar,Craiglurch ; Messrs W. Farquhar of Carlogie ; Peter Stewart, Aberdeen ; Captain Farquhar, R.N.C.V.O., Mr Kildane ; C. Robinson, The Vicrage, Hunstanton ; Dr Mackintosh, Camden ; Messrs R. Smith, Viewfield ; C.C. Smith, Post Office ; Alexander Wright, Springfield ; Alec Watt, Springfield ; A. Carnegie, Birsemohr Lodge ; Admiral Sir Aurthur Farquhar, K.C.B., Mrs King, Dalry ; Messrs A. Littlejohn, Builder ; Surgeon-General Spencer, C.B., Mrs E. Duncan, Preasmohr ; Miss Ross, Maneos House ; Rev. J.D. Mackenzie, The Manse ; Rev. A.W. Wishart, Aboyne ; Rev. J. Thomson, St Margarets, Aboyne ; Messrs John Grant, ( Watt and Grant ) ; A.T. Curr, Linton Cottage ; David Calder, Norwood ; James Clubb, Lily Vale, Aboyne ; James Stewart, Salisbury House ; Andrew Black, St Lesmo Tower ; T.A. MacKintosh, St Catherine’s ; Mrs Methven, Bletsoe ; Dr J. Inglis, Misses J.and M. Crombie, Station Square ; Miss Farquharson, May Villa ; Sir John Clark of Tillypronie ; Colonel R.F. Caldwell, Inneshewan ; Messrs Joseph Farquharson, R.A., Moubray Farquhar, Drumnasgesk ; Commander Stuart Farquhar, R.N., Messrs Aurhur Robertson, Aboyner ; James Gibb, Aboyne ; Captain Ewen, Mrs Maxwell, Balfour House ; Mr and Mrs Graham, Granville Lodge ; Messrs George Coutts, Earn Bank ; A. Langebrink, Birchwood ; Lady Francis Cecil, Fasnadairoch ; Mrs Thornycroft, Miss A. Dugdale, Mrs Moggath, Glenalloch ; Miss Garnt, Luton Cottage ; Mrs Robertson, Kincardine O’Neil ; Messrs R.P. Robertson, Glasgow ; J. Russell Middleton, Altdinnie ; J.P. Hardie, Gavin Coutts, Birchwood ; H.H. Tory, Stanley Cottage ; A. Buchan, Bridgend ; F. Middleton, Galindo ; Alexander Mackay, Aberdeen ; F. Birss, Boddomend ; J.G. Henderson, Stanley Cottage ; John Henderson, St Eunaus ; Georg Allan, Station Agent, Aboyne ; J. Bremner, Tarland ; Miss Fraser, Lodge Cottage ; Messrs J. Stewart Watt, Advocate, Aberdeen ; G. Barclay, Edinburgh ; J. Harper, Bridg-end ; Hon Mr Pennt, Tigh-no-gaeld ; Mrs Drake, Graiglarach ; Mr Willoughby Brown, Auchintarf ; Rev. Cecil Nash, Mrs McNair, Mrs Davidson, Altdinnie ; Miss Ogg, East Rosebank ; Miss Hyde, Auchentarf ; Mr J.F. Gaskell, Cambus O’May ; Lieutenant E. St John, R.A., Drumnagask ; Rev. Dr Dunn, The Manse, Birse ; Rev. A. Mackenzie, The Manse, Coull ; Messrs J.F. Bush, Huntly Arms ; A. McKenzie, Dunmail, Cults ; Inspector Allan, Police Station ; Messrs W. Ewen, Station Square ; W. Todd, Do ; Ex Provost Grant, Ballater ; Mr J. Anderson Titaboutie ; Messrs W. Shiach, Aboyne ; John Watson, The Hall ; Mrs Thomson, Aboyne ; Mrs Grant, Aboyne ; Mrs Thain, Viewmount ; Mrs Wadd, Victoria Cottage ; Messrs David Mearns Westwood ; Duncan Calder, James Smith, Cameratta ; H. McWilliam, W. Duncan, Dee Cstle ; James Duguid, Ballater ; A. Henderson Jun, John Middleton, Huntly Cottage ; Robert Dinnie, Birsbeg ; Miss Murray, Schoolhouse ; Miss Farquharson, The Firs ; Miss Stewart, Bridge View ; Mr C. Smith, Primrose Cottage ; Miss Lindsay, Clifton Cottage ; Messrs Hendry, Kinaldie, Tarland ; A. Davie, Huntly Cottage ; and John Farquhar, Granville Lodge. Etc, etc,


The Opening Ceremony


Mr James Williams, Captain of the club, who presided, was accompanied to the clubhouse verandah by Lord Aberdeen, Mrs Coats of Glen Taner ; Me W.E. Nicol, of Ballogie ; and Mr Smith, secretary of the club.

The Captain of the club said they had met that afternoon to have a little ceremony in connection with the opening of the extension of the Aboyne golf course. The committee and the secretary of the club were very pleased to see that they had arrived at such a stage in the clubs career, as people generally could have no conception of the amount of work required for the laying out of a golf course, and having it opened for play. He was not to go into details, but he might mention that the course had cost them something like £1,000, and it was satisfactory to know that the money had all been raised, so that they would open the extended course absolutely free of debt. ( Applause.) He was not to say the course was the finest in the country, because if he did so his friend Archie Simpson might laugh at him, but he would say it was one of the finest inland he had played upon. ( Applause.)

He had not played on the extension to the course, but he thought all would admit that the course as a whole, was one of the most picturesque they could find in the country. ( Applause.)

They were glad to have Lord Aberdeen with them to perform the opening ceremony, and Mrs Coats of Glen Taner to play off the first ball. ( Applause.) He had pleasure in calling on Lord Aberdeen to address them. ( Loud Applause.)


Lord Aberdeen’s Speech


Lord Aberdeen, who was very heartily received, said – It seems to be recognised that on the occasion of the opening or extension of a golf course, the proceedings must include at least two items – namely, a speech of some sort, and, more essential a ceremonial first drive. ( Applause.)

Of course, the great object, both in the case of the speech and the ball, is to hit it off. ( Laughter ) With regard to the ball on this occasion, I have no doubt there will be a satisfactory and graceful performance ( Applause.) As to the speech, that is more uncertain. ( Laughter.) But, at any rate, one can keep to the short game – ( Laughter ) – and the more so because, in these days, to deliver an exhortation upon the merits and advantages of golf would be a superfluity ( Laughter and Applause.)

Probably all here are convinced, and thus the matter is so clear as to be, according to an old Scottish saying, a “ a teed ball,”  ( Laughter and Applause.)

Some people, however, alas ! have discovered that it is possible to miss the point in the case even of so obvious, a thing as a “ teed ball” ( Laughter.) and, by the way, having quoted that phrase, as we have the pleasure of seeing amongst this assemblage some who do not claim to be of Scottish Nationality, it may be remarked that the fact of a sort of Scottish proverb being based on golf is sufficient proof – if such were needed – that the origin and fountain head of this celebrated game is in Scotland. ( Applause.) Of course, to scots who have played with, or seen, Morris, Park, or Robertson – not to speak of subsequent celebrities – the matter of the birth-place of golf goes without saying ; but possibly future generations may not always be so well informed. ( Applause.) And so the utterances on this occasion will rather be those of hearty congratulation to be exchanged, amongst the residents, temporary or permanent, in Aboyne, and their friends, neighbours and well-wishers. That is a comprehensive list, and it is well represented here to-day, and some who could not possibly be present send their hearty greetings and good wishes. ( Applause.) May I say that amongst those, Lady Aberdeen much regrets that she could not accept the cordial invitation of the committee to take part in these proceedings.

The fact is, she was previously engaged to open a sale of work at Tarland, and, of course, one must begin at home, though, indeed, we are made to feel very much at home at Aboyne – this delightsome locality where, with beautiful scenery, a noble river, and splendid air, there is everything to charm and attract. ( Applause.)

Truly, it is a gem of a place, and the setting has been completed by the provision of a most picturesque and admirable golf course, which has already proved to be a great success, and is this day, to be enlarged to authorised dimensions. ( Applause.) After seeing this attained, I suppose I shall be expected to go back to Tarland and its modest course feeling somewhat crestfallen. Well, I am not sure about that, the course there seems to be giving satisfaction, and is well patronised, and if there are those who find the course at Aboyne too much blocked with players, they may as well try a turn at Tarland. ( Applause and Laughter.)

Now the only drawback here to-day is the deplorable weather.

Bad enough in its effects on this gathering, though just now brighter, the effect of the weather here is a very small matter in comparison with the anxiety and concern caused by this prolonged spell of wet and mist in regard to the harvest. ( Applause.)

It is most serious and depressing, and we can only hope that the change may yet come in time, and that, as has sometime happened, a dry spell may make much reparation. ( Applause.)

And now we come to what I have already described as the essential element – namely, the inaugural stroke. I think it is a stroke of good fortune that you should have secured Mrs George Coats to perform this ceremony. ( Applause.)

Mrs Coats has proved herself to be a true friend and helper in the most sympathetic and effective manner regarding this addition to the attractions and welfare of Aboyne, and this is only characteristic of what Mrs Coats and her husband are ever ready to do in promoting the wellbeing and happiness of those with whom they associated in their Northern home. ( Applause.)

I am sure, therefore, that we shall give the warmest welcome to Mrs Coats, and I have now pleasure in asking her to symbolise the opening of the extended course. ( Loud Applause.)


Votes Of Thanks


Mr W.E. Nicol, of Blallogie, said that before they proceeded to have an exhibition of golf by Mrs Coats and others, they ought to accord a vote of thanks to Lord Aberdeen for coming there that afternoon, in inclement weather, to open the extended course. ( Applause.)

They were all delighted with the course, and were under a deep debt of gratitude to those who had arranged and provided so excellent an amusement for the inhabitants of Aboyne. ( Applause )

He ought to refer to one gentlemen in particular, and that was their excellent secretary. ( Hear, Hear, and Applause.) Mr Smith, he thought, deserved the most sincere thanks of them all. ( Hear, Hear, and Applause.) They knew perfectly well that when it was proposed to extend the course, their chancellor of the Exchequer began to trouble. ( Laughter ), However, a few “tenners” came in, and he was delighted, and after that ten “ tenners” in a jump were received, and there was no holding Mr Smith. ( Laughter and Applause,) in fact, it was fortunate that the post office authorities enlarged the post office or he could not have been held. ( Renewed laughter and applause.) As secretary of the committee, he had done really excellent work. ( Applause.) Then there was one gentleman who had had the matter of the extended course on his mind day and night – Sandy Grant. ( Applause.) It was currently reported that a ghost was to be seen in the middle of the night surveying the course, and at last arriving at “ Spion Kop” where he could look round on his handywork, he returned, it was believed, to a place called Pine Villa, the costume being what was generally supposed to be between the sheets. ( Laughter and Applause.)

Theybwere also under a deep debt of gratitude to Mr Sandison, Huntly Arms Hotel, who had kindly given them a large donation in kind, he having very generously allowed the horse work to be done almost entirely free of cost, so that they owed him mant thanks. ( Applause.)

Most important of all, they were greatly indebted to Mr Ean Cecil, the proprietor of the ground for his very great kindness in leasing the land at a very moderate rent, which would not bear heavily on the club’s finances. ( Applause.) Mr Nicol concluded by again asking the company to give Lord Aberdeen a hearty vote of thanks for opening the course that day. ( Loud Applause.)

The vote of thanks having been awarded with great cordiality, Mrs Coats was presented with a club with which to strike off the first ball from the tee near the clubhouse. This she did in a very graceful manner amidst the heartiest applause of the large crowd of ladies and gentlemen, while piper Charles Thomson played “ Lord Panmure” and “ Glendaruel Highlanders” on the bag pipes, and the successful formal opening proceedings terminated.


Exhibition Match


Thereafter an exhibition match was played over the course, the players being, Mr J. Heaven, Forest of Birse ; Archie Simpson, professional to the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club ;Cyril Hughes, professional to the Chester golf club ; and Robbie Mearns, a well-known Aberdeen professional, who accompanied Simpson.

A large crowd of ladies and gentlemen followed the players round the course, and were greatly interested in the play, which was of a high order of merit. The course was found in capital order, considering part of it was played on for the first time. The greens, it is true, were found somewhat heavy on account of having been so recently laid down and prepared, and also on account of the rain which had fallen heavily in the course of the forenoon. Fortunately, while the game was in progress, the rain had ceased, and the weather though, for the most part dull, was not against an exhibition of first class golf. It was agreed to play four balls, the result to be determined by the best individual score returned. Archie Simpson’s driving was magnificent, he easily proving his great superiority in the long game – a notable instance being at the longest hole on the old course, where he reached the green with his second stroke. On the putting green, however, he was not so good, the somewhat rougher nature of the turf as compared with the fine seaside turf to which he is accustomed on Balgownie course, evidently troubling him somewhat. He missed four comparatively short putts of a yard or so, but on the whole his play was good, as indicated by his excellent score of . This was excelled, however, by the English professional who returned the magnificently low score of 67 – a record for the course, which it is expected will stand for a considerable time unshaken.

Hughes was very steady in his play, for although his driving was outdistanced by Simpson, he was definite and deadly with his approaching and putting, and threw nothing away. His performance gave great satisfaction to the spectators. He has been resident at Aboyne for a week or two, and had been familiarising himself with the course, and that, added to his uniformly consistent play throughout, gave him what was regarded as a most popular and excellent victory.

The other two players, though playing a fairly good steady game did not attain any of the brilliancy of the former two players. Mr Heavens score was 76, and that of Merans 79.

In the course of the afternoon, tea was served to the company in a large marquee erected to the West of the clubhouse, Mr Sandison, Huntly Arms Hotel, being the purveyor.

An opportunity was also afforded visitors of seeing through the clubhouse, which it is now considered will require to be enlarged to provide accommodation for the increased membership which will accrue from the provision of the extended course, and the fact that, even at present, the accommodation is found to be limited.

When first erected, it was considered the clubhouse was too large, but the popularity of golf at Aboyne has been exceptional during the last year or so. 

Scotsman June 8th, 1914



Vardon and Ray to Open New Course


The Thirty second annual meeting was held, when Mr William Ewen Laurerlbank, who was present at the first meeting of the club on its formation in 1883, presided. The secretary ( Mr C.C. Smith ) stated the total income, including a sum of £69 brought forward, amounted to £592. During the winter the extension scheme planned by Mr H.L. Curtis, of Bournmouth, had been completed, and it was proposed to open the extended course on 15th July, when matches between Harry Vardon and Edward Ray would be played. The expenditure in connection with the alterations had been entirely paid off. The office bearers for the ensuing year are as follows :- President, Mr Ean Cecil ; Vice President, Mr J. Herbert Tayler ; Captain, Mr Eustace Heaven ; Vice Captain, Dr D.D. Mackintosh.

Aberdeen Press and Journal July 16th, 1914


Vardon and Ray at




Opening of the altered




Champions Round of 64


Than the construction and rapid development of inland courses, nothing bears greater testimony to the remarkable popularity which golf has attained in recent years. A further impetus was given to the game on upper Deeside yesterday when Harry Vardon, the British Open Champion, and Edward Ray, British Open Champion of 1912, engaged in two exhibition games to mark the opening of the extended course at Aboyne. The players had a round under match conditions, in which Ray was victorious by 2 holes ; and the other round, which was by medal play, was won by Vardon with a brilliant score of 64, which will stand as the record for the extended course.


What Vardon Said


Ten years have elapsed since Aboyne was equipped with a course which was limited to nine holes. Such was the advance in the game in public estimation, however, that five years ago the course was extended to eighteen holes.

With a general improvement in the standard of play, the committee have for some time been considering the advisability of enhancing the sporting qualities of the course, and so providing a better test of golf. Yesterday’s proceedings were the outcome of the action taken by the committee of the club, and surveying their work they must be satisfied that their foresight is fully justified.

The course in its reconstructed state is well worthy of a holiday resort enjoying the popularity which Aboyne has attained, and if it does not supply a difficult test of golf to such as the scratch and plus men, it is sufficiently good a test as to fully satisfy the class of player who will be most frequently seen upon it. In Harry Vardon’s words “ it is a compact little course, something above the average of ordinary inland courses, and if it might be improved it would be by the provision of several more bunkers,”

By the alterations fully a thousand yards have been added to the length of the course. Several holes have been entirely disgarded, and have been supplanted by others of a more sporting character. The length of the third hole has been increased by fully 100 yards, and the sixth hole is new entirely. The hole is located on a plateau which it is intended to set amid a surrounding of “ Alps,” The twelfth is also a splendid new hole set down on the most sporting part of the course. Over £100 has been spent on improving the fairway, a huge quantity of boulders having been removed. The thirteenth green has been retained, but the approach has undergone considerable change, and, from an easy “Bogey 4,” the hole is now difficult in that figure. The total length of the course is 5010 yards, and the bogey score is 74.


Ray Finishes 2 Up


Ideal weather favoured the visit of the crack professionals. The burning rays of the sun were tempered by a cooling breeze, which, however, was not sufficiently strong to affect the play. The attendance numbered about 500, which, while falling a little short of expectations, was quite creditable. The spectators, furnished with a brilliant exposition of the game, and especially in the medal round, were not slow to show their appreciation of the executed shots. Probably on account of unfamiliarity with the course, the play in the match round was not maintained at the same high standard which characterised that under medal conditions. The keenness of the game by match play is reflected in the fact that at only four holes were decisive results registered. At the start there was a brilliant succession of 4’s, and the first outstanding piece of play in the match was recorded at the sixth, where Vardon with his second left Ray a dead stymie two yards from the hole, with Vardon’s ball lying midway. Ray very cleverly lofted his ball and holed out. The initial break in a long succession of halved holes came at the eighth, where ray, after being in the rough off the tee, had a lovely second and run up, and with Vardon requiring three to reach the green and two putts, Ray took the lead in 4 to 5.

Both holed putts of three yards for brilliant two’s at the ninth, Ray going out in 32 to Vardon’s 33, and turning one up. Good halves in 4s followed to the sixteenth, where Vardon got on equal terms.

He had a lovely drive on to the green, but the ball kicked and ran off into the hollow below. He pitched to within 4 feet of the disc, and got down in a brilliant 3. Ray pulled on to a ridge above the green, and then played too strongly, and was over and into the hollow with his next and then was short with his pitch back, and gave up the hole. Ray might have snatched a 2 at the seventeenth, where he putted weakly, but this indifference was eclipsed by Vardon, who missed an effort of two feet for a half. Another display of weak putting cost Vardon the home hole in 4 to 3, and the game finished with Ray 2 up.





The approximate details of the round are as follows :-


Vardon – Out – 4,4,4,4,4,3,3,5,2 – 33

                   In – 4,4,4,4,4,4,3,4,4 – 35 – 68


      Ray  - Out -  4,4,4,4,4,3,3,4,2 – 32

                    In – 4,4,4,4,4,4,5,3,3 – 35 – 67


Ray always drove the longer ball , but was inclined to hook. Vardon was the most accurate in his approaching, but gave away strokes on the greens.


Vardon’s Record Round


In the medal round, Vardon turned the tables, as going round in the magnificent score of 64, he was four strokes better than Ray, and was no fewer than ten strokes up on bogey. He kept a wonderful line throughout, and his putting was more dependable than it had been in the earlier round. He was slightly at fault on the first green, where he required three putts, but that was about his only mistake on the round. At the third, Ray lipped the hole from five yards. Vardon had a brilliant three at the sixth, where after being short of the green from the tee, he pitched on two yards from the hole, and got down his putt. At the seventh, Ray lipped the hole with a four yards putt for a 3. The Oxhey professional putted badly at the ninth, as after being on from the tee, he took 4, and turned in 34 to Vardon’s 33.

Vardon was in his Cruden Bay form on the homeward journey, which he accomplished in 31. He had a weak approach to the tenth, and missing a seven feet putt, required 5, but had hard luck in not getting down in 3 from the edge on the green at the next. Probably the best play of the day was seen at the thirteenth, which was halved in 3. Both followed up brilliant drives by finely judged pitches, and each holed a long putt of five yards.

At the fourteenth Vardon lying fifteen yards short, lipped the hole for a 2. Ray sliced his drive below the green at the sixteenth, and taking three to get on he required 5 to Vardon’s 4. A brilliant 2 was registered by Vardon at the seventeenth, where he holed a putt of eight yards and Ray, who was over the green and in the rough from the tee, required 4. At the home hole Ray found the bunker for the first time during the afternoon. He got out in brilliant style, but putted badly, and Vardon laying his run-up dead, holed out in 3, to finish in a brilliant 64.

The details of their scores are :-


Vardon – Out – 4,4,4,3,4,3,4,4,3 – 33

            Home -  5,4,4,3,3,3,4,2,3 – 31 – 64


      Ray – Out – 3,4,4,3,4,4,4,4,4 – 34

             Home – 4,4,4,3,3,3,5,4,4 – 34 – 68


At the close both players got a great ovation from the crowd, who were delighted with the standard of the play.

Fraserburgh Golf Course 1

Coming soon

Arran and Bute

Rothesay 1 Golf Club

1st course was at Westland Farm.

Buteman May 2nd, 1891


The new golf course spoken of some time ago is still a probability. An experienced golfer has marked off a course of 18 holes on Bannatyne Mains Farm, and a sketch of it has been submitted to Willie Campbell, the well-known professional golfer. As before stated, the course is very much in connection with the Kyles of Bute Hydropathic, the present popularity of which may be judged from the fact that last Saturday even the reading room was utilized for sleeping.

Buteman May 7th, 1892

A Golf Course Wanted


A correspondent wants to know why a golf course is not formed at Port Bannatyne, and suggests that the directors of the Hydropathic, along with some of the leading Rothesay golfers, should take up the matter.

The subject was taken up last year, when it was found that difficulties as to the renting of the ground, and the suitability of the ground, prevented anything practical being done.

Buteman June 11th, 1892


The Proposed New Course For Rothesay.


Willie Campbell, the well-known professional, was in Rothesay on Thursday and made an inspection of the three different sites proposed for the new golf course. He will make a report on the most suitable site, which will be submitted to the committee at a meeting next week.

Buteman June 18th, 1892

The Golf Links


The Kilchattan folks are looking with dismay at the prospects of Rothesay getting a golf course of their own, when all, or nearly all, the present members of the Bute golf club will cease to visit the Quochaig links. A suggestion has been made that if the subscription were lowered to five shillings, a good many young men in the district, farmers sons and others, would join, and thus preserve the game from falling away and the links from being closed.

Buteman June 25th, 1892


The Proposed New Golf Course

For Rothesay


In connection with the proposal to form a golf course more convenient to Rothesay than the present links at Kingarth a public meeting was held in the town hall on Monday evening.

The Rev. R. Forgan was called to the chair, and there were also present Rev. A.N. Sutherland, Messrs W.C.W. Maddever, R.D. Macmillan, A. McGaw, John Mackirdy, Andrew Macmillan, A.H. Milloy, Michael Cuthbertson, and A. Baxter.

The chairman referred to the inspection made by Willie Campbell of the three sites suggested. The first, on the Burgh Lands, he reported as quite unsuitable. The other two courses, Craigagoul and Westland, were both feasible, but the Craigagoul course would require a very serious outlay, whereas the Westland course could be formed at very little expense, and the ground was if anything, a little better. Mr Campbell’s report was consequently distinctly in favour of the Westland course as far and away the best of the three.

Mr A.H. Milloy gave some particulars as to the inspection of the various sites. He mentioned that Campbell had actually reported on four courses, because he had inspected the Port Bannatyne site on a previous occasion.

The tenant of Westland was willing to take a yearly rent of £8, but it would be necessary to get an undertaking from the burgh that they would not be dispossessed at the end of Mr Curries lease, which would be in two years. There was another piece of ground on Gartnakeilly, but no arrangement had been come to.

Campbell estimated the expense of making the Westland course at £30, whereas the Graigagoul course would cost about £200. Mr Currie was also willing to give them a short cut through his fields, which would cut off a good bit, and would bring the course within fifteen minutes walk from the centre of the town. It would be a long nine-hole course, about 1 ½  miles in extent, and might be lengthened out to about two miles.

Mr R.D. Macmillan mentioned that it would probably take about three weeks to form the course, which would take them on till about the beginning of August.

Mr Millot said that if it is to be gone on with it should be done at once, so that people coming here this year might be induced to become members.

Mr R.D. Macmillan mentioned that he had already got the names of 53 members.

Mr John Mackirdy moved that the meeting form themselves into a club to be called the Rothesay Golf Club, and that they adopt the report submitted recommending the Westland course.Mr McGaw, as a member of the Bute Golf Club, seconded. The Bute golf club was a separate organisation, so they could not adopt that name without confusion.

The motion was unanimously agreed to, and a committee consisting of Mr J. Windsor Stuart ( convenor ) Sheriff Martin, Messrs Milloy, McGaw, Forgan, and R.D. Macmillan, appointed to draw up a constitution and to call a general meeting after various preliminary arrangements had been made. Some discussion afterwards took place as to the advisability of erecting a clubhouse, to save members carrying their clubs, &c., all the way, the opinion being expressed that a good rustic clubhouse could be got very cheap. It was stated that several gentlemen had already promised donations to the club, and it was hoped life members at ten guineas and also a number of honorary members would join. The site being within fifteen minutes of the Kyles Of Bute Hydropathic it was thought the directors might also give a donation.

On the motion of Mr A.H. Milloy, seconded by Mr Michael Cuthbertson, it was agreed to fix the annual subscription at one guinea. It was also suggested that there might be a junior branch and also working men’s tickets. The usual vote of thanks to the chairman brought the meeting to a close.

Buteman August 20th, 1892


The New Golf Course At



It had been intended that Mr Graham Murray, M.P., would open the new course of the Rothesay golf club at Westland during his present visit. Some doubt exists, however, in the minds of players as to the advisability of opening it this season, as the green are not in such good condition as had been expected, owing to the long spell of dry weather that followed their formation. Mr Murray, who is an enthusiastic player, has kindly consented to visit the course next week and give the club the benefit of his advice as to whether the formal opening should be delayed to next season. Should his opinion be favourable the opening will take place some day next week. We understand that a number of Rothesay players have already played over the course, and are well pleased with it.

Buteman August 27th, 1892


The Rothesay Golf Club


The new golf course at Westlands formed by this club is to be opened at 3 o’clock today by A. Graham Murray Esq., Q.C., Member of parliament for the county. The opening of this course, of which we hope to give a sketch in our issue of next Saturday, marks a new epoch in the way of sport in Rothesay. While places around us and in every part of the country have opened their golf courses, Rothesay has not been able to provide one until now, and we are glad to know that the town will be in a position to retain its popularity in the eyes of the large and increasing number of people who play golf. The sport is innocent, health giving, and engrossing, and we hope the community generally will give the club the support which they deserve for the public spirit they have shown in undertaking what is really a public advantage to both town people and visitors. The golf course will undoubtedly prove a strong attraction for many visitors, and if attractions are necessary for Rothesay, they are worthy of support. We hope soon to hear that the club has a large accession to its membership, as the expenses of formation and upkeep of the course are considerable. The annual subscription is £1 1s, and any of the office bearers will be glad to take the names of gentlemen desiring to join the club.

The office bearers are :- A. Graham Murray, Esq., Q.C.., M.P., Captain ; Mr R.D. Macmillan, Writer, Secretary ; and Mr J. McKirdy, Agent, Bank of Scotland, Treasurer ; and the committee consists of the following gentlemen, Viz ;- Major Stuart, Rev. John C. Walker, Messrs A.H. Milloy, and A. McGaw, M.A.

The Buteman September 3rd 1892



This new course was formally opened last Saturday afternoon by Mr Graham Murray, M.P., the first Captain of the club who, in presence of a number of members and visitors, drove off the first ball and declared the course open. The course is within easy access to Rothesay, and is expected to still further enhance the attractions of the “ Queen of Scottish Watering Places”, both as regards residents and visitors.

The course of the Bute golf club at Quochaig Bay, although an excellent one, was found to be too far from the town to be suitable, but we are glad to know that it also will be carried on as before, the old members remaining and a considerable number of new members belonging to the Kingarth district having promised to join.

The situation of the new course is very suitable, being within about twenty minutes walk from Rothesay, and commanding a splendid view of the Arran Hilss on one side and of Rothesay Bay and the Firth on the other. It is a long nine-hole course, the distances being as detailed on our sketch. Already some fifty members have joined the club,and it is expected that as soon as the course becomes better known there will be a large accession to the membership. Special facilities will also be given to visitors.

At the opening on Saturday afternoon there was a large attendance, the company including Mr and Mrs Graham Murray, Master and Miss Murray, Major Newall and Mrs Newall, Major Stuart, Lieut. Macrae, Mr D.H. Gibb, Rev. R. Forgan and Mrs Forgan, Rev. J.C. Walker, Rev. Geo. Dodds, Barr ; Ex-Provost Orkney and Mrs Orkney, Messrs T.L. Walker, and J.C. McLachlan, Edinburgh, Members of the Motonhall golf club ; Messrs R.D. McMillan, James Carse, A.H. Milloy, John Mackirdy, Andrew McMillan, D. Munro, T.H. Harvey, Windyhall ; Daniel Duncan, Woodend ; Mrs Bryan, &c.

The company was photographed standing round the teeing ground by Mr John McKim, Mr Graham Murray in front of the group as if to hole out, and Mr J. Windsor Stuart, looking on.

Mr R.D. Macmillan, secretary of the club, then asked Mr Murray to accept of a silver headed golf club, with the following inscription :-


“ Rothesay golf club, August 1892 – presented to A. Graham Murray Esq., Q.C., M.P., Captain of the club, on the occasion of his opening the golf course at Westland.”


Mr Murray then drove off the first ball with a fine stroke amid loud applause. He then addressed the company, thanking them very heartily for the honour they had done him in electing him the first Captain of the Rothesay club, and also for the present of this handsome golf club, which he would keep as a memento of this interesting occasion.

He hoped the course would be successful, and be the means of adding to the many attractions of Rothesay, and attracting many visitors in future seasons who would recognise it, as they hoped to make it, as one of the best inland courses in the country.

He had now much pleasure in declaring the course open for play. ( Applause.)

A match for a number of special prizes, presented by Mr Murray, Mr G.O. Cameron, Victoria Street ; Mr John Mackirdy, and Mr A.H. Milloy, was then proceeded with, the playing, doubtless owing to the high wind that prevailed, showing some unexpected results. The following were the scores :-


                 R.J.G. Murray  ………………………..  89 ( 7 )  82

                 R.D. Macmillan  ……………………  104  ( 15 ) 89

                 A.H. Milloy  ………………………..     99 ( 7 )   92

                 A. Graham Murray  ………………….   93 ( 0 )   93

                 D. Munro  …………………………… 120 ( 20 ) 100

                 Andrew Macmillan ………………….  110 ( 7 ) 103

                 J. Mackirdy  …………………………   127 ( 20 ) 107

                 J.W. Stuart  …………………………...117 ( 7 ) 110

                 T.H. Harvey  …………………………. 134 ( 24 ) 110

                 James Carse  …………………………  144 ( 24 ) 120


The prizes were afterwards presented by Mrs Murray, and consisted of ( first ) a handsome dressing case ; ( second ) a silver cruet stand ; ( third ) a golf club ; and ( fourth ) a box of golf balls.

Buteman February 20th, 1897


It is rumoured that Rothesay golf club intend to give up the course at Westland which they have occupied for some years, and that they will use the Glenburn course, the long distance of the old course from the town and the want of conveyance having hindered the club from the beginning. Another thing that hampered both it and the cricket club, which is also in a dying condition, was that it was too “ toney” or “ Classy,” making common shopkeepers, clerks, and such like, rather shy of joining, and the “ workmen’s tickets at reduced rates,” spoken of at the inauguration of the course, never became a fait accompli.

Buteman March 13th, 1897

Rothesay golf club


The annual meeting of this club was held last night – Mr J. Windsor Stuart presiding. The balance sheet showed that after clearing off all liabilities to date there was a small balance on hand. It was resolved after some discussion to retain the course for another year at anyrate. It was agreed to offer the following terms to Mr Hugh Black, the present greenkeeper :- The club to guarantee a rent of £12 and a salary of £8. Mr Black to obtain all charges from casual visitors , and also to get any surplus of income that the club may have at the end of the year. In the event of him not accepting these terms, the club to advertise for another greenkeeper on the same terms – the conditions being that he keeps the course in its present condition. The following office bearers were appointed :- President, Mr Graham Murray ; Vice President, Sherrif Martin ; team Captain, Mr W.T. Esplin ; secretary and treasurer, Mr Donald Munro ; and a committee of management.

Buteman May 1st, 1897



At the Westland course a flagstaff has been erected on the hill, the flag bearing the word “ Golf.” It should prove useful as a means of guiding strangers.

Buteman April 3rd, 1897

Rothesay club


Appointment of Professional as Greenkeeper


At a meeting of committee held on Monday afternoon it was resolved to appoint Mr J. Anderson of Musselburgh, as greenkeeper for the Westland course, to commence duty the following day. Mr Anderson, it was stated , is an experienced club and ball maker, and a professional golfer, well qualified to give instruction, and the opinion was expressed that his appointment would tend to popularise the game in Rothesay.

The Buteman September 15th, 1906


The Proposed Municipal Golf



Lord Bute Against the Westlands



At the meeting of the town council on Monday last. Councillor Burnie, convenor of the Burgh Lands Committee, reported the result of the sub-committee’s meeting with Lord Bute. Along with councillor Fisher and the town clerk he called upon Lord Bute and had a very pleasant interview with him. His Lordship expressed himself as being entirely at one with them in the desire to have a municipal golf course ready by next summer, and assured them he had no wish to delay the project. He desired to push matters forward so that the work might be gone on with within a month or two, if arrangements could be made. His Lordship promised to go over both of the proposed courses and see what could be done, also to see the farmers. That was how they left the matter.

His Lordship seemed very hearty in his wish that they could have a first class course. He believed that since then a communication had been received from Lord Bute by the town clerk.

The town clerk read the letter, which was as follows :-


Bute Estate Office.

Rothesay, September 8th, 1906


Dear Sir, - On Thursday last Lord Bute inspected both the proposed golf courses – the Westlands and the Eastlands – and he decidedly prefers the Eastlands, though he thinks the proposed extension capable of improvement.

He is opposed to the Westlands course being extended, at any rate on the proposed basis. – Yours Faithfully, R.P. Butler.


The Provost – that is all that can be done meantime.

Mr Fisher thought the letter ought to be remitted back to the committee. It was clear that there was ground for discussion.

Lord Bute had expressed a preference for the Eastlands scheme, but the Westlands was the one recommended by Willie Fernie, the golfing expert, as the one that would give them the best course, therefore their duty was, if at all possible, to get that course. They were well enough aware that the farmers made some little objection to the ground proposed to be taken, but he thought it was well enough understood that the council did not wish to impose any hardship on anyone, and that for any ground taken they were prepared to give a fair remuneration for the use of it. In these circumstances he thought it better to remit the matter back to the committee to arrange a basis on which they might get the ground asked. He did not think that should be impossible. He need not refer to the fact that towns far less important were able to accomplish this. They saw in the newspapers that day, that Portrush, a smaller place than Rothesay, had a great golfing tournament, where all the leading players of the United Kingdom had gathered. He thought a first-class golf course was very essential to the prosperity of Rothesay –

The Provost – I think you should defer your remarks till after the letter is re-considered –

Mr Fisher – I just wish to emphasise the anxiety of the council on this matter.

Bailie Miller seconded, and the matter was remitted back to the Burgh Lands Committee.

Buteman October 6th, 1906


The scheme for a municipal golf course seems as far off as ever. The committee had an interview with Capt. Butler this week, at which it became apparent that the Westlands project – the favourite – was quite unattainable. Lord Bute, as well as the tenant farmers, being against it. It was resolved to call in the services of another expert, who will report on the Eastlands scheme. The suggestion is again made that if a cliff railway were allowed to be run up to the pleasure park on Canada Hill, it would not only solve the difficulty of an approach within easy touch of the town, but prove a boon to thousands of pleasure-seekers and nature lovers, besides helping to develop that very sparsley populated district. Another suggestion made is the formation of a golf course at Scalpsie Bay, with a light railway run through the loch fad valley.

Buteman October 13th, 1906


The Proposed Municipal Golf



Westland Course Banned


At Monday’s meeting of town council the minutes of the special committee showed that a letter had been received on 1st inst. From Captain Butler, of the Bute Estate Office, intimating that Lord Bute was definitely opposed to the extension of the Westlands golf course, but was in favour of the suggested extension of the Eastlands, and the minutes recommended that a fresh golfing expert be called in to advise.

Mr Burnie, in moving the approval of the minutes, said that there was a letter from Capt. Butler making suggestions as to a golf course, but his suggestions didn’t exactly amount to a municipal golf course, and the committee thought that it should be a municipal golf course if anything.

Capt. Butler kindly came over to consult with them, and explained Lord Bute’s position. He gave them no hope as to the Westlands course, but stated that his lordship was willing to give them evry help to have the Eastlands made a suitable course – either an 18 hole course being laid down, or the present 8 hole course improved. In these circumstances, it was agreed to accept Lord Bute’s decision with regard to the Westland course as final, and to call in a fresh expert to advise, his selection being left to himself and Mr Fisher.

It was hoped very soon to be able to recommend an expert whose opinion would settle the matter as to whether a suitable course could be made on the Eastlands or not, and they would then be quite prepared to make proposals to the council.

Mr Fisher seconded, and the minutes were agreed to.

Buteman October 27th, 1906


The Proposed Municipal

Golf Course



Ben Sayers Opinion of the

Eastlands Scheme


It will be remembered that at last council meeting the question of getting an expert report on the proposed Eastlands course was remitted to councillors Burnie and Fisher, with joint powers.

On Tuesday last Ben Sayers, North Berwick, one of the greatest experts in Scotland, arrived in Rothesay and in the forenoon went over the Eastlands accompanied by Councillors Burnie, Fisher and Fife, Capt. Butler as representing the Bute Estate, and Mr Hepburn, Town Clerk.

The first inspection was merely to see the lie of the land generally, and to find out what ground he had to work upon. In the afternoon he played over the course, and staked it off in the manner he thinks most advantageous. He declined to be accompanied by any golfers, and we think he was wise in doing so. It is extremely difficult for local golfers to view the lands without a personal bias, and he was evidently determined not to hear opinions for or against.

His own opinion, after going over the ground twice, was that it will make a capital course, and laid out as he has done it we cordially agree with him. Questioned as to whether he thought it would be advisable to allow Craigmore players to commence at that end of the course, he said that sort of thing was often done and there could be no objection to it.

All the players of the ancient game admit that the present Glenburn course is not an ideal one. It has three great disadvantages, viz,- all the holes are “ blind” in many cases the ground lies badly, and one has to play across public roads four times.

It was freely admitted that if these disadvantages could be got over no one could have any objection to it. Mr Sayers, in his laying out of the course, has cleverly got clear of these difficulties. Only six of the present nine holes are used in the new plan, and with the exception of the present fourth, every one is approached in a different direction from the present line of play. In only one case does Mr Sayers propose to play across a road, but if that is considered objectionable it can be avoided by moving the tee a few yards nearer the hole, with no material difference to the game.

The field containing the present 1st and 9th holes is entirely left out, but additional ground is gained on the Ardbrannan Estate, and a small piece would be required from Bogany farm. This necessitates dealing with another proprietor, but as the piece of ground required is very small, it is probable there would be no difficulty in obtaining it. The inclusion of this ground gives a new interest to a large part of the course, as, by encircling the hill, the player covers entirely different ground in going out and coming home.

Players from Craigmore and the Hydropathic could most conveniently enter at the new thirteenth tee, which is close to the present eighth hole. By doing so they could still use the existing clubhouse, which is quite near enough. Local golfers who are interested should satisfy themselves by a walk over the ground, and as the course is marked out with red flags going out, and white ones coming in, there can be no difficulty in following it. They must, of course, remember to walk through the pleasure ground to find the 8th tee.

In the evening Mr Sayers made a report to the committee, which is presently under their consideration. The report, we understand, is of an exceedingly favourable nature, stating that the ground is excellently laid for golfing, that the grasses and subsoil are of first rate quality and that, generally, the course as laid out on his proposed lines, will be equal to any inland course in Scotland which he has seen. He estimated the first cost to be about £180, with an annual upkeep of £200, exclusive of rents. The course would begin and end near the Foley house gate at the head of Ministers Brae, and would thus be brought into close proximity to the town.

On Wednesday morning Mr Sayers went over the Westlands course with councillors Burnie and Fisher and the town clerk, and he considered it was not to be compared for a moment with the Eastlands for general golfing requirements, while the cost of it would be very much greater.

Another consideration was that if the Eastlands scheme was begun by December it could be ready by Easter, as they were all natural greens,while the Westland course would take two years before it was ready.


Attitude Of Glenburn Club


A meeting of the committee of the Glenburn club was held on Wednesday evening, Dr Marshall presiding, for the purpose of discussing the question as to how the proposal for a municipal course on the Eastlands would affect the interests of the club.

On the whole the opinions expressed by the different speakers were not unfavourable, the general gist of the remarks being that while they were very well satisfied with the position of affairs at present they would not like to stand in the way of a municipal golf course if it was to be a benefit in the way of attracting visitors to the town, but no formal resolution was come to. We understand that a general meeting of the club will be held in the course of a week or so for the purpose of coming to a definite finding on the subject.

Buteman November 10th, 1906


The Municipal Golf Course


Nothing more can be done in this matter till the town council meeting on Monday, when Ben Sayers report on the Eastlands scheme will come up for consideration. Ameeing of the Glenburn golf club was held in the Hydropathic on Friday evening to consider the attitude to be adopted towards the new proposals. There was an attendance of about twenty members, and the speakers included Dr Marshall who presided ; Capt. Butler, who outlined an alternative scheme providing for joint management by a committee representing the town council, Lord Bute, The Glenburn Club, and the ordinary subscribers ; Mr R.D. Macmillan who pointed out that under a municipal scheme, which seemed almost inevitable, the Glenburn club could still maintain its identity, instancing the Braid Hills municipal course at Edinburgh, on which 13 different clubs played ; Bailie Lyle, who pointed out that if the town council provided the funds it would in all probability insist on keeping the management in its own hands, through a golf course committee, who would no doubt, be willing to accept advice from those interested ; Capt. Miller, who moved the appointment of a committee to wait upon the town council for the purpose of ascertaining if the Glenburn club would have any share in the management ; Mr Henderson, Mr McBirnie, Mr Smith, and others. The general trend of the discussion was to the effect that while the members were very well satisfied with things as they are, they would not like to stand in the way of anything that would prove to the benefit of Rothesay as a whole. It was also pointed out that as the Glenburn lease of the existing course does not expire till November next, nothing could be done with that portion of the proposed municipal course till after that date. This, of course, puts an end to the sanguine expectations of having a municipal course ready by next spring.

Buteman November 17th, 1906


The Municipal Golf Course


The golf course committee had a meeting on Thusday with the deputation from the Glenburn golf club, which consisted of Messrs R.D. Macmillan, R. Henderson, C.H. Nutton, and Captain Miller. The situation was discussed in a very friendly manner, the Glenburn representatives being willing to assist in the project in every wat possible, while the committee, while retaining the control of the course, seemed to be favourable to accepting any suggestions that might be made by an advisory committee of the club.

The town clerk has been instructed to open negotiations with Mr Towers-Clark for the field lying below the pleasure ground and with the two burgh tenants, Mrs Robertson and the Glenburn company, with regard to the acquisition of the ground.

Buteman December 15th, 1906


The Municipal Golf Course


Negotiations as to the Land


At the meeting of town council on Monday last, the minutes of the Municipal golf course committee showed that a deputation had been received from the Glenburn club, and had offered to appoint a small committee to suggest and advise in connection with the course ; also, that the town clerk had been instructed to approach the Marquis of Bute, Mr Towers Clark, Mrs Robertson, and Mr McGilvray, lessees of burgh fields proposed to be included in the course, and the directors of the Glenburn Hydropathic, lessees of the present Glenburn golf course, with a view to eliciting the terms on which land belonging to, or tenanted by, them could be acquired.

The Dean of Guild, in moving the adoption of the minute, said they had had an interview with Lord Bute’s representative, who was prepared to give the land on favourable terms, and they were hopeful that a satisfactory arrangement would be made with the others. He hoped they would be able at an early date to lay a detailed scheme of the whole work before the council.

Mr Fisher, in seconding, suggested that the convenor should visit some of the golf courses in the immediate neighbourhood so as to be fully informed as to the best way of laying out a golf course.

The minute was approved.

Rothesay Chronicle April 18th, 1908


The New Golf Clubhouse



Interesting Ceremony



On Thursday afternoon an interesting ceremony took place at the clubhouse on the new municipal golf course, when photographs were taken by Mr Robert Whiteford, photographer, of the clubhouse and ladies And gentlemen who were present. The company included the Provost, Magistrates, and town council, with their wifes, the principal burgh officials, the architect and contractors for the clubhouse, and a number of members of the golf club. Mr Ben Sayers was also present. The company was grouped in front of the building, and after the photographs had been taken, Provost Burness thanked the ladies and gentlemen for their presence. He hoped the ceremony augured well for the new club. The town council had done their best to provide a splendid clubhouse and golf course, and he had no doubt that the inhabitants and visitors would respond and patronise the venture. They were indebted to the lord of the manor for his kindness in granting the ground on very reasonable terms, and he had no doubt the new course would prove a great benefit and success to their ancient and royal burgh. He had also to thank them for their presence in the name of the convenor, Balie Harvey. The Bailie’s duties in connection with the new course had been arduous and he had given them great attention, and had spared no time in bringing it to the position it had reached.

Cheers were given for Bailie and Mrs Harvey and family.

The clubhouse had now been completed and painted, and presents a very handsome appearance. The refreshment room, with a well-fitted kitchen, occupies the centre of the building, and the ladies and gentlemen’s rooms are at each side. These are commodious rooms, lined with lockers, and provided with lavatory accommodation. The store-room and greenkeepers workshop are under the lower end of the house, and a stylish verandah extends along the front. A number of shrubs are planted around the house. We hope shortly to give a description of the course.

Rothesay Chronicle, April 25th, 1908


The New Municipal Golf Course


Special Description


This new eighteen hole golf course, now fast approaching completion under Municipal direction, will prove a success, there seems little doubt. From the players point of view the course has attractions which are peculiarly its own – the different holes presenting characteristics of an interesting and widely varied character. The novice will find holes which will not too severely tax his rather limited prowess in the game, while the experienced golfer will have ample opportunity for bringing into use the best skill he can muster. The eighteen holes cover some 4160 yards, and golfers may find a short description of the course of some interest.

The first hole, 280 yards – slopes uphill from opposite the front of the clubhouse at the top of the Minister’s brae. The green, which is a natural one, in the top corner of the field, should be reached easily in two. A sloping ridge stretching across then field forms an obstacle at this hole, but a longish drive striking the face of this should not be seriously impeded. The second hole – 316 – is in the higher field, running parallel with the public road. Here the weak driver will find himself in difficulties, unless he plays short from the tee. A deep wide ditch and open running drain cross the filed about 100 yards from the tee, and a ball landing here is severely punished. A strong driver should be within putting distance with his third stroke.

The third is a long hole – 333 – and is at almost right angles to the second, and slightly uphill.

A foozled second or third shot will land the player behind the stone wall which effectively guards the green. The hole is a good four.

The fourth is a simple hole – 240 – in which the present temporary course is entered. A hedge in front of the green calls for careful approach, and a pulled second shot may land the player in the ditch at the top of the ridge on which the green is situated. From this hole the first “ View” is obtained, the Firth being visible as far down as the Cumbraes, while beyond Loch Ascog and Loch Fad rise the Arran hills.

Number five – 257 – is over a deep dip in the ground, and uphill to a fine natural green. A hedge in front of the tee need not prevent the player using his putter for the third stroke. A topped drive may be held back by the rising ground, and a pulled tee-shot will find a thorny bed among whins. The sixth is a short hole – 163 – but a topped drive must be played out of the whins lining the steep downward slope at this hole. A full iron shot should carry the green. The seventh – 217 – is an easy four, the green being on the flat top of Canada Hill. A pulled drive again suffers, a bank of whins growing to the left of the fairway, while, if the drive is topped, the slope of the hill increases the difficulty of approaching.

At the eighth the player enters new ground, and this hole is easily the most sporting on the course. The tee, which is directly below the pleasure grounds, is built out on the steep slope, and faces Ardbrannan House. The nervous or erratic driver may be prepared to spoil a promising score. The hole lies 175 yards off in the valley below the house, and the player who pulls his drive ever so slightly will find himself in the small plantation beside the farm. An easy, straight drive will roll down the slope on to the green. From this hole a most magnificent view of the Firth from Inverkip to the Cumbraes is obtained, while the peak of Ben Lomond is seen on a clear day.

The ninth hole- 177 – is also a sporting one, running along the valley towards Clandale. If the drive is sliced or even played straight to the green, it will probably drop in rough ploughed land to the right, and approaching is very difficult on account of the steep side of the built green. The ball must be played to the left and allowed to run down the slope. If the green is over driven, difficulties will also be experienced.

The turn brings the player again on to the old course. The tenth – 180 – is a trying hole, running up the steep hill from Clandale to the edge of the wood on Canada Hill. A foozled drive adds considerably to the difficulties on the rising ground, while a low second shot may be held by a turf ridge running across the field. The green is a sloping one, and calls for careful putting. The eleventh – 223 – again descends to Clandale, the green being beside the house. A good drive should land on a flat piece of ground above the green, within suitable pitching distance, and with careful pitching, a three should result.

The twelfth – 260 – again ascends the hill to the old course, running parallel with the Eastlands Road, where a sliced ball will be lost. The green is the eighth of the present temporary course ; with a good drive, the hole is a nice four.

The thirteenth – 184 – slopes up to the wood on the hill, the green being backed by whins, and the player must be careful with all his clubs. The green is slightly sloping, and the hole is a very sporting one.

Rothesay Bay, The Kyles Of Bute, and Loch Striven, are seen to fine advantage from this green. The fourteenth – 178 – is another sporting hole, the green being the ninth of the present course.

The tee is among the whins at the top of the hill, and the deep valley in front of the green can be easily negotiated. The green is on the undulating plateau, and calls for cautious putting.

The fifteenth – 187 – is a good three provided a clean drive is obtained, but whins, a hedge, and a cart road make a formidable bunker about twenty yards from the tee. A topped ball, therefore, is totally unplayable. The green, an extensive and level one, lies in the corner of the field, being the first of the present course. The old course is left at the sixteenth -360 – which is the longest on the course. In order to avoid the corner of the wood, the player must keep to the left, in the neighbourhood of the third green.

The stone wall is the only impediment, but this should be easily carried with the second shot.

The green is a little distance from the second, and a four at this hole may be considered brilliant play.

The seventeenth – 220 – runs almost parallel with the second, and the same bunker confronts the player as at number two.

With a good drive, a three is possible at this hole, but most players will take at least one more. The eighteenth – 210 – descends the hill to the clubhouse, and is an easy three. A straight drive should run on to the green, but a pulled shot will come perilously near the wood. Caution in approaching is also necessary as the green may be easily over run.

Throughout the length of the course the turf is excellent and once the greens are fairly running, Rothesay may be congratulated of possessing a course worthy of the attention of all conditions of golfers. The necessary work, in the capable hands of Mr Donald Bremner, the greenkeeper, is well forward, and by 30th May, when four of the greatest exponents of the game the world has seen, Massy, Braid, Vardon, and Sayers, will play an exhibition match, the Scottish Madeira will have been enhanced by an attraction not the least of the many she possesses.

The Buteman May 22nd, 1908


The Municipal Course


Formation Of A New Golf Club


The adjourned meeting of local golfers called for the purpose of forming a club to play over the new municipal course was held in the Institute on Wednesday evening, Mr R.D. Macmillan, presided, and there were also present, Capt. Miller, Dr Hall, Messrs W. Dunlop Brown, A. Montgomerie, James Maclay, A.W. Herbert, Jonathan Roe, Wm. White, - Palmer, Alex Brown, Joseph Maitland, Neil McNicol, Thos. McBirnie, A. Taylor, A. Hall, George Smith, Congalton, Nicol &c.

Captain Miller reported that along with Mr Maclay and Mr McBirnie he had met with the Rothesay golf club at their annual meeting on the previous evening, and it was agreed to join the new club in a body, with the exception of a few members who wished to retain their connection with the Westland, and who would still be members of the club, and eligible to play in matches on the municipal on paying their shilling.

Mr R.D. Whyte, who attended on behalf of the Rothesay golf club produced the typewritten minutes of the meeting, which laid down the following conditions :-

1. That from and after this date the club be not responsible for the management and upkeep of any golf course.

2. That annual subscribers to either the municipal or the Westland golf courses be eligible for membership of the club.

3. That the membership fee be 1s.

4. That the general meetings of the club be held in the Norman Stewart Institute.

5. That the golf-house and tools be retained by the members of the club who are subscribers to the Westland course and that the house, tools &c, be not disposed of without the sanction of the club.

6. That the funds of the club be used only for general club purposes.

He mentioned that arrangements would be made with Mr Currie, Westlands, as before.

A general discussion of the terms followed, some objection to the shilling membership, it being thought that the guinea was sufficient, and that a rebate of a shilling might be got from the town council.

Thereafter, Mr Scott, President of the Rothesay golf club, Mr Hay, Secretary, Mr Harkness, and Mr Christie appeared and the meeting resolved itself into the adjourned annual meeting of the Rothesay Golf Club.

The minutes of the previous night’s meeting were read, and showed that the club had a balance of £17 19s 2d in hand, which the treasurer was instructed to hand over to Mr Currie, Westland, as per agreement. It was intimated that in the event of the course being given up, Mr Currie intended to carry it on as a private venture. The minutes were adopted.

The following office bearers were then appointed :- Hon. President, The Marquis of Bute ; President, Mr R.D. Macmillan ; Mr John Hay, Vice President ; Mr James McLay, Secretary ; Mr George Smith, Treasurer ; and a committee of nine, consisting of Messrs Wm. Whyte, W. Dunlop Brown, G.T. Scott, T. McBirnie, Capt. Miller, A.W. Herbert, Alex Taylor, J. Hall, and J. Palmer.

It was agreed that the general committee should form sub-committee’s as green committee and handicap committee, and go into the question of the constitution of the club.

A letter from the Innellan golf club intimated that the Firth of Clyde trophy would be played for at Innellan on Saturday 6th June, and asked that two representatives be sent. Messrs A. Ross Thomson and T. McBirnie were appointed.

On the motion of Mr A.S. Christie, votes of thanks were accorded to the retiring office bearers and particularly to Messrs Scott, President, and Hay, Secretary, and a similar compliment to the chairman closed the proceedings.

The Buteman May 29th, 1908


Opening of the new Municipal Golf Course



Arrangements For To-morrow’s Ceremony




                                                              Plan Of The Course


The ceremony of opening the new 18 hole golf course takes place to-morrow at eleven o’clock, when the company will muster at the clubhouse at the head of Minister’s Brae, and the proceedings will commence by the firing of a gun by Capt. McNair, Harbourmaster.

Thereafter the Provost will introduce Mr Norman Lamont M.P., for the county, who will drive off the first ball. This ball, it may be mentioned, will be secured, mounted in silver, and placed in the clubhouse as a memento of the auspicious occasion.

Afterwards, Bailie Harvey, convenor of the golf course committee, will present Mr Lamont with a silver cleek as a souvenir of the event.

The company will then be photographed by Mr Charles Sweet, and with more gun firing the formal part of the proceedings will then close.

Thereafter a four ball foursome will be played by the champions, Massy, Braid, Vardon, and Ben Sayers, the company following round the course to watch the game, which is for a £50 purse. Subsequently the company will proceed to the Royal Hotel where luncheon will be served at 1.30pm. Among those who have already accepted invitations to the luncheon are Mr Norman Lamont, M.P., Provost Cockburn and Ballie Cunningham of Millport, Sheriff Martin, Capt. Butler, Mr R.D. Macmillan, Captain of the new golf club which is to play over the municipal course, Mr White, Postmaster, and a number of others. The guests will also include the Captain and one officer each from the three warships in the bay – “ The Sentinel” “ Circe” and “ Hebe” – who will also take part in the opening of the course. The four professional players will also, of course, be among the guests.

The toasts will include “ The King” by the chairman ( Provost Burness ) “ Success to the new course” by Mr Lamont, responded to by Baillie Harvey ( Croupier ) “ The Burgh Of Rothesay” by Provost Cockburn, Millport, responded to by Provost Burness ; “ Golfing” by Mr R.D. Macmillan, responded to by Mr Ben Sayers ; “ The Chairman” By Mr J.J. White.

Thereafter the company will return to the course, at about three o’clock, when a stroke competition will take place for a £5 prize, at the close of which, Massy, Braid, and Vardon leave for London.


The New Course


The new course, which has been laid out by Ben Sayers, of North Berwick, at an estimated cost of about £1200 including a commodious clubhouse, absorbed the old Glenburn nine-hole links and the extra ground required was obtained by including certain fields on the Burgh Lands, also Bute estate ground which has been given by Lord Bute on very favourable terms.

The club-house and teeing ground are at the head of Minister’s Brae, which can be easily approached either from High Street or Bishop street from the pier.

There is an abundance of those hazards dear to the heart of every golfer and the Rothesay course will, it is claimed, be equal to any inland course in the West Of Scotland. The first hole is 280 yards and is a natural green. The second – 316 yards – is a fine sporting hole, and is in direct line with the Cumbraes. The third and fourth, are natural greens, and the distances to them are respectively 333 and 240 yards. At the fifth, which is 257 yards, the old Glenburn course is entered. The sixth – 163 yards – is a natural green, and though short, is of such a nature as should afford good sport. The seventh green is 217 yards, and brings the player on to the top of Canada Hill, which commands a magnificent view of the Firth of Clyde from Dumbartonshire to the Ailsa Craig, which is visible on a clear day. The eighth- 175 yards – faces Loch Ascog, and is a very picturesque hole. At the ninth – 177 yards- which is the turning point of the course, the player faces Loch Striven and the entrance to the Kyles, another very fine prospect.

The tenth – 180 yards – is a good sporting hole, which remark also applies to the eleventh – 223 yard. The twelfth is 260 yards, and calls for no special description. The thirteenth – 184 yards – is a tricky hole, with a natural green at the top of the hill. At the fourteenth – 178 yards – the player passes from the old Glenburn course. The fifteenth hole – 187 yards – is regarded as an easy one, while the sixteenth, is the longest one – 360 yards – is a very good hole. The seventeenth and eighteenth are 220 and 210 yards, and are fairly easy.

The turf is good and no pains have been spared in the construction of the artificial greens, which are each 20 yards square.

The work has been carried out under the direction of Mr Donald Bremner, who has been appointed keeper of the course.

The club-house comprises a large room for gentlemen with suitable appointments ; A workshop for the clubmaster, and caddies shelter. A luncheon-room, with kitchen and offices for the convenience of visitors. The arfchitect for the house is Mr George McLintock, Rothesay. The contractors were J. McCallum & Son, Joiners, James Pinkerton, Mason ; Miller & Son, Slater ; A.R. Peacock, Plumber ; W. & J. Stewart, Painters.

The Buteman June 5th, 1908


Opening Of Municipal

Golf Course



Fine Weather And Record Crowds



Speech By Mr Lamont, M.P.



Interesting Foursome By Vardon And

Braid, Massy, And Sayers.


The formal opening of the new 18 hole Municipal golf course took place on Saturday last in splendid weather, and before a record gathering of spectators, the number being estimated to be about 2000.


The Opening


The charge of a shilling for admission did not deter the crowds of spectators, a large proportion of whom were visitors.

The arrangements were in the hands of Mr J.C. Sinclair, Burgh Chamberlain, and there were also on the ground Mr R.D. Macmillan,President of the Rothesay golf club ; Mr James McLay, Secretary, and most of the local exponents of the game.

The fine new club-house was handsomely decorated with flags and bunting. The proceedings began at eleven o’clock by the firing of a gun by Capt. Macnair, Harbourmaster. Immediately after, Provost Burness, accompanied by Mr Norman Lamont, member for the county, who had specially journeyed North to perform the opening ceremony, took up their places at the first teeing ground. Among others present were :- Ex-Provost Thomson, Bailies Harvey and Cunningham, Ex Balies Brown, Cunningham, Fisher, Fife, Squair, McBride, and Muir. Treasurer Buchanan, Dean of Guild Macmillan. Councillors Burnie, Thomson, McKinlay, Rankin, McColl, Lawrie, and Capt. Miller ; Mr James Rose, Interim town clerk ; Mr R.D. Whyte, County Clerk ; Chief Constable McKay ; Bailie Cunningham, Millport, &c., &c.

The Provost said they were met here today under very favourable circumstances. The weather was all that could be desired and he had to thank them for coming here in such large numbers. It was very gratifying to the town council of Rothesay to see the inhabitants and visitors coming forward so well to patronise their new course. He trusted it would not only be an attraction to Rothesay but a benefit to the residents in the way of health and exercise.

No expense had been spared to make it as perfect as possible, and they trusted it would be a success. They as a council did not wish to reap any benefit from the course – if there should be a surplus at the end of the year it was their intention it should be spent for the comfort of those taking advantage of the course – ( Applause ) – and everything would be done to make the course a pleasure to those who patronise it. ( Applause ) He thought they were entitled to acknowledge that they had got the ground for it from the Marquis Of Bute on the most reasonable terms, and he believed it would be difficult to find a better place for a course. The scenery was all that could be desired, and he was quite sure would be appreciated by those who had never seen it before. He called upon Mr Lamont to open the course.

Mr Lamont, who was received with applause, said he had been placed under a very great temptation, to which many of his colleagues were accused of constantly giving way, to give a speech of inordinate duration in order to defer the evil moment of having to drive off the first ball. He must plead guilty to being here on false pretences, for he was not a golfer. It was a popular belief that all politicians were addicted to golf, but in this matter he was in the minority. He read in to-days paper the result of the great contest for the Amateur championship, and was obliged to confess that he had never heard the name of the Amateur Champion before, and was only sorry he was not a Scotsman. The mystic word niblick, conveyed nothing to him ( “ Oh,” and Laughter,) he did not know what the difference was – if there were a difference – between a Brassy and a Stymie ( Laughter )

The word Bogey certainly had a sort of home like familiarity, but there was one word in the golf vocabulary which had been burnt in on his mind in letters of fire that morning, and that was the word “ Foozle,” ( Laughter )

There was another phrase which they constantly heard in use amongst their golfing friends – “ A good Lie,” – and was an expression on which he thought, they might all find common ground – ( Laughter ) and which seemed to be familiar alike to all pursuits of their fallible humanity. He did not know whether the frequent occurrence of that expression, was because the golfer – like the fly fisher – was addicted to the embroidery of his exploits in elegant language. Perhaps that was a matter which might be judiciously left to the local newspapers now that they had settled the burning question of “ where are the dead ? “ On a beautiful morning like this, and with the prospect of seeing four of the most brilliant players of the day, they would not desire to be detained by the merely formal part of the proceedings, so he would like just in a word to congratulate the provost and town council, and not only the inhabitants but also the visitors upon the successful issue of this new undertaking, which he believed would be of the greatest benefit not only to the residents, but also to the sojourners in their midst for recreation, exercise, and enjoyment. He hoped it would long continue to be an additional attraction to this town, which, for more than a century now, has been one of the favourite health resorts of Scotland. Many years ago people were content to come here merely for change of air, but nowadays people going down to the coast wanted to have something to do when they got there, and he thought the town council were wisely advised in undertaking this new venture, which he now had pleasure in declaring open. ( Applause.)

Bailie Harvey, in proposing a vote of thanks to Mr Lamont for declaring the course open, referred to his public services, and to his readiness at all times to meet with the wishes of his constituents, and presented him with a silver mounted cleek, bearing the following inscription, as a souvenir of this very interesting occasion :-


“ Presented to Norman Lamont, Esq, M.P., on the occasion of the opening of the Rothesay Municipal Golf Course – 30th May, 1908.”

The Bailie concluded by calling for three hearty cheers for Mr Lamont, which were heartily given.

Mr Lamont, in responding, thanked them for the most beautiful gift which they had presented to him, and said that it was more his misfortune than his fault that he was not a golfer, as there were no links on Loch Strivenside, but their kindness to him and the provision of this splendid course, would be an encouragement to study this great science of golf.

The company were thereafter photographed by Mr Charles Sweet, with the member in the attitude of driving, and the four professionals – Arnaud Massy, French and Open Champion ; James Braid, Ex Champion ; Harry Vardon, Another Ex Champion ; and Ben Sayers of North Berwick, under whose direction the new course was laid out – standing on the teeing ground beside him.

Mr Lamont then drove off the first ball, amid loud cheers, and the formal part of the proceedings were brought to a close by the firing of rockets.


The Game


In the foursome which followed, putting was difficult, owing to the newness and dryness of the greens, but the driving was excellent. The first two holes were halved, Vardon and Braid getting level at the third. At the tenth, Massy squared the match, but at the twelfth, the others got ahead again, increasing their lead to two at the fourteenth. Massy won the fifteenth, and Braid the seventeenth, and the last hole being halved, Braid and Vardon won by two up. The players all through were hampered by the crowd pressing in upon them. An attempt was made to keep the spectators back by means of a rope stretched across the course, but while such an arrangement may be of use on level ground, on a course with so much up and down on it, it proved comparatively useless, and was abandoned in the afternoon.

Public Luncheon – Presentation to Bailie Harvey.


After the first round of the links, the company adjourned to the Royal Hotel, where luncheon was served. Provost Burness presided, supported by Mr Norman Lamont, M.P., ex provost Milloy, Bailies Harvey and Cunningham, Ex Bailies Brown, Cunningham, McBride, Fisher, and Fife, Treasurer Buchanan, Dean Of Guild McMillan, Councillors Thomson, McColl, and Captain Miller ; Bailie Cunningham, Millport ; Commander Skipworth, Lieut Shearmie, Lieut Phillips, and Staff Surgeon Craig of H.M.S. “ Sentinel”, Commander Mausel, H.MS. “ Ciree” Commander Willing, H.M.S. “ Hebe”, Messrs George Halliday, J.J. White, George Smith, R.D. MacMillan, A.W. Herbert, G.M. McLintock, Donald McCallum, J.C. Sinclair, James Rose, D. Bremner, J. Scott ( Glasgow ), W. Kerr ( Glasgow ), and D. Bone ( Glasgow ), In addition to the four professional players, Messrs Massy, Braid, Vardon, and Sayers.

Apologies for absence were intimated by Mr Guy Spier, Rev. Dr Hewison, Sheriff Martin, Provost Cockburn, ( Millport ), Provost Dobie ( Dunoon ), Councillor McKinlay, Mr Charles Turner ( Innellan ), and Col. MacInnes ( Glendaruel ).

After an excellent repast, the chairman proposed “ The King” which was loyally responded to.

Mr Lamont, who was cordially received, proposed “ The Rothesay Municipal Golf Course.”

The difference in weather like this, between supporting the burden of existence in London and experiencing the joy of living in Bute was so patent to anyone that he felt he ought to start by passing a vote of thanks to them for having given him this admirable excuse for escaping for a couple of days from his customary avocations in the South, and making a special visit to Rothesay. In the next place he must certainly congratulate the Provost and the Town Council on the site they had chosen for their municipal golf course. He did not mean from the golfers point of view – from that side he was not entitled to speak, and he remembered the controversy as to the rival merits of the Eastland and Westland courses, on which the opinions of experts differed. Besides, they had in the four distinguished players whom they welcomed here today the first and highest opinion as to whether it was a good course or not, and he felt confident that from the two winners at any rate they would have no difficulty in obtaining a favourable verdict.  

But from the artistic point of view for picturesqueness and scenery, he felt sure no golf course in Scotland could be lovelier, while the view also had the advantage of extending on the North from the Kyles Of Bute, the gateway of the highlands, past the fertile slopes of their own island and the heather-clad hills of Argyll, to this noble firth of theirs on the South, the highway of Scotland’s commerce, broadening to the ocean, and girt in by such a variety of landscape that to a newcomer it appeared to be one great landlocked lake, from which it was impossible to find access to the open sea. He rejoiced that they had taken this matter in hand, and had carried it so successful a conclusion. Municipalities were sometimes criticised from various points of view when they entered untrodden paths, but they, he was certain, would not be accused of any tendency towards municipal socialism in opening this municipal golf course. No effort was more legitimate, more desirable, or more praiseworthy than this, catering for the recreation of the residents and the visitors to their community.

Other municipalities, perhaps not any very great distance off, might direct their energies and their funds towards the erection of pavilions – ( Laughter ) and the provision for indoor amusements for their people, while they, placing confidence – he hoped not misplaced confidence – in the superiority of their climate and the comparative smallness of their rainfall ( A Laugh ) – had preferred to make their playground out of doors – ( Applause ) – and he hoped this municipal golf course would minister to the exercise, to the health, and to the enjoyment for many generations to come, not only of their own citizens but also of the strangers within their gates. Whom, indeed, this new attraction at Rothesay ought to do very much towards increasing in numbers.

And among the strangers at present within their gates he would like to say how heartily they welcomed the gentlemen of the Royal Navy – ( Loud Applause ) – whom they were all glad to see during these last few years paying more frequent visits to their bay than was at one time the case. He knew they were all anxious to get back to the links and he merely wished to add that it gave him the greatest possible pleasure to be with them to-day, and to have had a small share in declaring the course open ( Applause ). He had to thank Balie Harvey again most cordially, and all of them for the magnificent gift they had given him to commemorate his part in the day’s proceedings, which he hoped would be an encouragement to him to take up the study of this great science of golf in the future.

He had only in conclusion to propose for their acceptance the toast of “ Success to the municipal golf course,” coupled with the name of Bailie Harvey, to whom untiring efforts the success of the movement was so largely due. ( Applause ).

Bailie Harvey, in responding, thanked the company for the hearty response to the toast, and Mr Lamont for the very kind and encouraging remarks he had made in regarding the future of the course. He would like to say at this time that the kindness and courtesy with which Mr Lamont performed the duty of opening the course to-day demanded the esteem and appreciation of the whole community.

He could assure them that every member of the town council had the interests of the town at heart, and it had been their privilege and their duty to further these interests and to make the town as attractive as they could, to induce the visitors to come to their shores.

Judging from the turnout to-day, and the number of spectators who came to their opening, he thought he was quite safe in saying that they had added another powerful attraction to Rothesay. ( Applause ). No doubt the council had been very much indebted, as the Provost had said already, to their most generous landlord, who leased them a good portion of the ground required on very reasonable terms, and the town council and the community appreciated Lord Bute’s generosity very much.

Ex-Balie Fisher said they had with them to-day certain gentlemen who made it imperative that a certain toast usually honoured at such gatherings should be given to-day. He ment the toast of “ His Majesty’s Navy”. ( Applause ) They rejoiced that they had with present with them to-day a number of officers of His Majesty’s warships, and he could assure them they were delighted to see them every time they came to Rothesay Bay, which was adorned with such vessels. He had pleasure in coupling the toast with the name of Commander Skipworth, of H.M.S. “ Sentinel.”

Commander Skipworth, in responding, expressed the pleasure he and his brother officers had had in going over the new golf course, and in visiting this lovely place. He had never been here before, but he could assure them it would not be his last visit. ( Applause.)

Bailie Cunningham, Millport, in proposing “ The Royal Burgh Of Rothesay,” said he thought the event of to-day gave Rothesay one more right to claim – as she had always done – to be the premier watering place of the Firth Of Clyde. He thought the town council had shown a wise regard for the best interests of Rothesay in providing this municipal golf course. It might be a little late in the day ; still, it showed that the town council had the best interests of Rothesay at heart, because no watering place could claim to be an efficient recreation ground for visitors without a suitable golf course.

He thought to-day they had opened a golf course which for situation and view was equal to any on the Firth Of Clyde. In doing so he thought the local authority recognised that there was a wider scope for its activities than merely sanitation and keeping the town clean. There was, for instance, the prevention of trouble and disease, and he thought such a golf course would be a great preventive of disease, both among residents and visitors.

Provost Burness, in responding, said since he came to Rothesay 34 years ago there had been a transformation of the whole scene through the wisdom of their predecessors, which had made Rothesay, though not an extensive burgh, one of the wealthiest burgh’s in Scotland. Some people thought it was a poor burgh, but that was a great mistake. If they looked at the columns of the leading newspapers, they would see the leading cities of Scotland advertising for loans at ¼ per cent more than Rothesay needed to give. If they were not in a thoroughly good financial position that would not be the case. Year by year they were getting richer, they had a very rich Common Good, and to-day they had added another substantial asset to it. ( Applause.) Their valuation was increasing by leaps and bounds, they were paying off their debt rapidly, money was flowing in to the coffers of Rothesay, and he believed there might be reduced taxation by judicious management. They should always remember that every penny added to the rates reduced the value of property, while, correspondingly, every penny they took off the rates added to the value of property, and consequently to the wealth of the burgh.

Mr R.D. MacMillan, in proposing “ Golfing,” said he was sorry the Provost had commanded them to be brief, because he could speak on this subject for any length of time, and he had made extensive notes from the various handbooks, including Vardon’s and Braid’s. ( Laughter ) but he would just say that the toast was addressed to two classes of people – those who golfed, and those who didn’t. Those who golfed did not need his remarks, while to those who didn’t he would just suggest that they should begin at once. After the inevitable golf anecdote, Mr MacMillan went on to say that this meeting would be memorable in their recollections inasmuch as to-day they has sat down to luncheon with four gentlemen who amongst them could claim to be eight times champions in the world of golf. ( Applause.)

He thought on behalf of this company he could wish them every success and prosperity, and that when the closing stage of the open championship came, whoever came out in the end would be from amongst these four. ( Applause.)

He coupled the toast with the names of Messrs Sayers and Vardon.

Mr Ben Sayers in responding, returned thanks on behalf of the professionals for the kind remarks made, and said he could assure them it was a pleasure to be here to-day among such a lot of nice people. At the same time he begged to thank the Rothesay Town Council and people for giving him the honour of laying off the course. ( Applause.)

Mr James Braid, in the course of some remarks, said he found it more difficult to make a speech than to play a game. He congratulated the council of Rothesay on the magnificent golf course they had laid out, and Mr Sayers for having made the most of a difficult situation. He also congratulated Balie Harvey and Mr Bremner on the way in which they had carried out the work.

He was sure anyone visiting Rothesay and playing on the course would very soon come back again. ( Applause.)

Mr J.J. White proposed “ The Chairman,” and the Provost briefly replied.

Mr G.M. McLintock, on behalf of the architect and contractors then presented Bailie Harvey with a handsome gold scarf-ring as a memento of the occasion. Bailie Harvey acknowledged the gift in a few appropriate words and the gathering was brought to a close.


The Afternoon Game


The company afterwards returned to the course, where before an even larger crowd the foursome was resumed. The first hole was halved. Braid and Vardon won the next, and were thus three up, counting their lead. Massy won the next two holes, and the fifth was halved in three. At the sixth, Vardon won with a splendid putt, and increased the lead to two. The other pair won at the seventh, but the eighth was halved. At the ninth Braid and Vardon increased their lead to two. The tenth fell to the other pair, and at the eleventh Sayers, with a fine pitch on the green, squared the match. Halves followed to the sixteenth, at which Braid and Vardon were one up. At the seventeenth the game was again squared, and at the eighteenth, amid considerable excitement, the first three players took four each, while Braid, on the last shot, holed in three, thus concluding the game, with Braid and Vardon, who had lead nearly all along, one up on the day’s play.

Rothesay Chronicle July 15th, 1910


Braid and Taylor at Rothesay


Record for the new course


Before an attendance of from 500 to 600, James Braid, Walton Heath, and J.H. Taylor, Mid Surrey, last Saturday played exhibition games over the municipal course. Mr R.D. Whyte assisted on the greens, and the general arrangements of greenkeeper Bremner were excellent.


In The Forenoon


Play in the forenoon took the form of a hole match, and charming weather conditions prevailed when the champions drove off. At the first Taylor had hard lines for a 3, and a half in 4 resulted. At the second Taylor holed a splendid four yard putt, and secured a brilliant 3. At the third Taylor practically lost a stroke through getting into the rushes, while Braid landed at the foot of the dyke with his second, but recovered with a splendid niblick shot. Both had 5s here, and at the next 4s resulted. At the fifth Braid lipped the hole for a 3, and the hole fell to his opponent, who was approaching and putting with machine-like accuracy. Braid was short with his putts, and Taylor secured the sixth with 3 to 4, while the next three were halved in 4, 3, and 3. Taylor therefore turned 3 up, the scores out being :-


Taylor  …..   4,3,5,4,3,3,4,3,3 – 32

Braid  …….  4,4,5,4,4,4,4,3,3 – 35


Braid pulled into the fence going to the tenth, but recovered with a fine niblick shot. Taylor took the hole in 4 to 5. Braid was on the green at the eleventh with his drive, and laying a stymie, secured the hole in 3 to 4. Going to the twelfth, Braids drive lay badly at the ridge, which Taylor’s drive had cleared, and he took 5 against Taylor’s 3.

At the thirteenth Taylor’s tee shot was in the edge of the wood, and the scot took it in 3 to 5. Both had 4s at the fourteenth, and at the fifteenth Braid’s tee shot was at the foot of the hedge, and he gave up the hole. Taylor winning the match by 4 and 3. Taylor also won the bye. Scores :-


Taylor ………  4,4,3,4,4,4,5,4,3 – 35  Total, 67

Braid  ……….. ( Allowing a six at the hole where he lifted )

                      ... 5,3,5,3,4,6,5,4,4 – 39  Total, 74


In The Afternoon


A medal round was played, and both gave a capital exhibition. At the first Braid was well over the ridge with his drive, and two 4s resulted. Braid, playing great golf, secured the second with a 3, and the next was halved. At the fourth Braid holed his mashie shot and secured a 2. 4’s and 3’s were secured by both at the next two, and a fine approach gave Taylor a 3 at the seventh. Taylor was out of bounds at Ardbrannan, but he made amends with a four yards putt at the ninth, which gave him a 2.  Scores :-


Braid  ………….  4,3,4,2,4,3,4,4,3 -31

Taylor  ………… 5,3,4,4,3,4,4,4,3 – 34


Both has splendid drives over the ridge at the twelfth, and with Braid out in the splendid score of 31, he looked like creating a notable record. His last three holes cost him 5s, however, and he finished with a total of 67. The scores were :-


Braid  ………....  4,4,4,3,3,3,5,5,5 – 36  Total, 67

Taylor  ………..  5,3,4,4,3,4,4,4,3 -  34  Total, 68

Braemar Golf Club

Played on a temporary nine hole course from 1901 to 1903, they then moved to their existing site.

Braemar members at their present course

Huntly Golf Club

1st course in 1892

Inch Golf Club.

1st course was at Dunnideer Hill in 1906.

2nd course was opened in 1912 at the Recreation Grounds. Club re-opened in 1923 to 1940.

The club have been at their present site since 1982.

Aberdeen Journal June 1st, 1906


Insch Golf Course


First Course.  “The new golf course at Insch was formally opened yesterday in presence of a good attendance of ladies and gentlemen. The course – one of nine holes – is situated about three-quarters of a mile to the north-east of the village. It is laid out to the best advantage on two pasture fields at the foot of Dunnydeer Hill, the property of Mr George Cooper, who is honorary president of the club. The first teeing ground is at the top of what is known as the Belts. The longest and best hole is close to the railway, and the driving is in the direction of the mill of Dunnydeer. For an inland course, golfers – especially the less experienced – will find that it provides ample sporting qualities. The greens are at present in a somewhat primitive state, but if they are well looked after for some time they will soon improve. The officials of the club may be relied upon to do everything in the way of improving the course. The membership of the club numbers about fifty – a most encouraging start – and there are indications that that number will be considerably increased. The president of the club is Provost Dawson, and the vice-president Dr Davidson, Mr W A Macdonald is captain, and Mr A A Middleton should prove an excellent secretary.

      Provost Dawson was thankful that at last they had been able to formally open the new course as the original date had to be foregone because of bad weather. The club had been fortunate in getting a good and interesting course.The old castle of Dunnydeer stood on the hill behind, and overlooked the grounds; a very fine view of Insch and the surrounding district was obtainable. He hoped the course would be well patronised and tat it would be the means of bringing visitors to Insch. Mr Cooper, who had kindly placed the the grounds at the disposal of the club, was to have opened the course on the original date, but was now unable to attend as he was away on business. In his place was Mr Smith, of Pittodrie, who identified himself with all good institutions in the district. Mr Smith had kindly agreed to become a patron of the club, and had subscribed handsomely to the funds. Mr Smith then declared the course open and called on Mrs Cooper to drive the first ball. Mr Ironside presented her with a Driver as a souvenir of the occasion. Dr Davidson called for a vote of thanks to the ladies who had thoughtfully provided tea and cake, which were much appreciated.” (AJ 1.6.1906)

Scotsman July 5th 1912


Opening of Golf Course at Insch 


The new golf course and recreation grounds at Insch, Aberdeenshire,were formally opened yesterday afternoon by the Hon. Mrs Leith Hay of Leith Hall who was accompanied by Mr Leith Hay. There was a large attendance.  The ground measures twenty-nine acres, 12 ½  of which are old commontry gifted to the feuars by the superior, Mr C.E.N. Leith Hay with 16 ½  acres added from the adjacent arable land in order to complete the golf course.  This latter portion is leased for a period of fourteen years from Mr Leith Hay by the committee of feuars at an annual rental of £24.  For the fencing and improvement of the grounds public subscriptions amount to £250.  including a donation of £50 from Mr Leith Hay, and a similar sum from Colonel J.F.Beattie, Emerald Bank.  The grounds, which have been well fenced and nicely laid off abound with natural hazards and make a splendid nine hole sporting course.

Kirriemuir Golf Club.

Golf has been played at Kirriemuir as early as 1864 according to newspaper reports, although the club has its formation date as 1884. 1st course was at at Hill Of Kirriemuir.

The club has occupied their present site since April 26th, 1909.

Kirriemuir Moving


Glasgow Evening Times May 5th 1897

Proposed new course at Kirriemuir


The annual general meeting of the Kirriemuir golf club was held on Monday evening. Provost Ogilvy was re-elected President ; Mr A.D. Donald, Vice President ; Mr Stewart Lindsay of Crawford Park, Secretary and treasurer ; and Mr George Kyd, match secretary. It was agreed with a view of securing a site for a new course, to negotiate for the purchase or lease of several acres of ground at East Hillbank, or the area of wood at Muirhouses farm, the property of Sir Leonard Lyell, M.P., Bart of Kinnordy.

Keith Golf Club.

1st course at Drum Burn in 1901 ( Included in this site )

Club has been at present site since 1963.

Lumphanan Golf Club

The club was playing at a course in the village in 1914 ( Aberdeen Evening Express July 11th 1914 ) albeit somewhat rough, however, their first proper course emerged in 1923 at the South of the village. The club folded in 1967 but managed however, to re-group, reform and open their present course in 2000. ( See Main Site )

Peterhead Golf Club




Alyth Golf Club

1st course opened in 1894 on ground belonging to the Rev. John Ross, Balloch and Captain Clayhills Henderson of Invergowrie.

2nd course opened in 1896 at Pitcrocknie Muir.

Club was resuscitated in 1903, we have the file etc.

Alyth Golf Course. 1894.


Perthshire Advertiser  August 29th 1894


Proposed Golf Course


Alyth is not to be behind it’s neighbours any longer in the matter of that much to be desired recreative adjunct – Viz, a golf course. Following on the report of the recently appointed committee, which gave in a list of 68 intending members, along with satisfactory terms regarding the lease of the ground, it was agreed at a meeting held lsat week, that a club be formed, to be called the Alyth Golf Club ; The following office bearers being thereafter appointed :- Hon. Presidents, Rev. John Ross, Balloch, and Captain Clayhills Henderson ( The proprietor of the course ) ; Captain, Dr McPherson, Ruthven ; Sub Captain, Rev. J.R. McLaren, Alyth ; Secretary and treasurer, Mr D.S. Kidd, Solicitor ; Committee of Management : - Messrs J. Reid, A.M. Ferguson, Solicitor ; Mr W. A Thoms and Mr F.T. Garden. It was remitted to the committee to draft rules to be submitted to a general meeting of members.

The fees were fixed as follows : - Gentlemen 10s 6d , with an entrance fee of 10s 6d, Ladies 10s 6d. It was left to the committee to have the course laid out and procure the assistance of a practical golfer, if need be. This ended the business.

Perthshire Advertiser September 21st 1894.


New Golf Course for Alyth


The new golf course at Alyth was formally opened on Wednesday, when a large and distinguished company of ladies and gentlemen assembled on the grounds to witness the proceedings. Amongst those present were :- Rev. Dr McPherson, Ruthven ; Archdeacon Aglen, The Parsonage ; Rev. J.R. McLaren, Alyth ; Rev. P.G. Gilruth ; Major Robertson ; Mr John Reid ; Dr Bremner ; Mr Tom Morris , St Andrews ; Mr Tom Clark, Alyth ; Mr A.M. Ferguson, Provost Orchar ; Mr W.H. Thoms ; Mr F.T. Garden ; Mr James Japp ; Mr Herbert J. Japp ; Mr T. McMurray ; Mr Alex Clark ; Mr John Smith ; Mr Munroe ; Rev. G.B. Lunan, Newtyle ; Rev. William Wilson, Airlie ; Mr Jas Hill ; Mr A.B. Fenton, Kingoldrum ; Mr Richmond, Loyal ; Mr A.G. Primrose, Dundee ; Mr Robert Bruce ; Mr W. Graham ; Mr J.M. Tawes ; Mr D.S. Panton ; Mr Alex Hay ; Mr Robert Crabbe ; Mr John F. Craik and Miss Hood, Forfar ; Letters of Apoligy had been received from Sir John Kinloch M.P. ; Sir James Ramsay Bart, Banff ; Professor Ramsay, Drumore ; and Captain Hunter, Drumnacree.

Rev. D. McPherson said they had met for the very interesting object of opening a golf course in the neighborhood of Alyth. It was well known to golfers that a golf boom had set in all over the world, and it would scarcely do for a town like Alyth to be behind the age. In the spring of the year, Rev. Mr McLaren, the parish minister, an enthusiast of the purest type, had aroused from the lethargy which for some years he had fallen into, and had asked him to do something for golf.

They accordingly set themselves to try to stir up a little enthusiasm to get a club started. It was only about six weeks since they had had their first meeting, and all negotiations had been carried out since that time.

They had met with some opposition which which rather damped them, but on the other hand they had received such kindness that they were encouraged to go on. Dr McPherson then called upon Miss Isabella Jane Ross, Daughter of the Rev John Ross, Balloch, to strike the first ball, and this having been gracefully accomplished by the young lady, the course was formally declared open. The first match played was a foursome consiting of the Rev Dr McPherson and Rev. J.A. Mclaren against Provost Orchay and MrTom Morris. Provost Orchay and Tom Morris were the winners by one hole. The match was followed with interest by a considerable number of spectators.

Scotscraig Golf Club

1st course at Garpit Links


Inverary Golf Club

May 13th  1893  Oban Times

Formation Of Club


Inverary.- Golf- At a meeting of influential gentlemen connected with the district held on Friday last, it was resolved to form a golf club for Inveraray, the stable Park, opposite Inveraray ~Castle, being intended to furnish the course, for which it is considered very suitable.


June 10th  1893  Oban Times




Golf.-  The newly-formed golf club for the Inveraray district has already made a good start, with a membership of thirty-six.  At a meeting held last week for the election of office-bearers, Provost MacArthur was appointed president; Mr J. C. Maclullich, vice-president;  Sheriff Shairp, captain; and Mr John Gilmour, secretary and treasurer; with the following committee-  Messrs Jas. Wylie, chamberlain of Argyll; Archd. Henderson, town clerk; B.M. Wright, bank agent; J. Rose, Post-office; C.M. Guthrie, National Bank; and R.Dawson, Union Bank.  The club has been fortunate in obtaining the use of an excellent course over the meadows, extending from the mouth of the river Aray to the foot of Duniquaich.  It is a nine-hole course, measuring in all 2,190.  Play goes on daily, and three prizes have been offered for competition, two of them by the Marquis of Lorne.


June 17th  1893  Oban Times


Inverary- Golf Incident. -  The other day during practice on the  Inveraray course, a somewhat unusual stroke of luck fell to the hands of one of the players.  The golf ball, while being sent a long shot over a mound by Mr MacTaggart, Achadunan, struck a rabbit sitting near the mouth of its hole, and turned it over quite dead.


April 7th  1894  Oban Times


Golf.- A tournament was held during the past month by members of the Inveraray Golf Club, and the result was announced last week, Sheriff Shairp tying with Mr Ernest Smith for first place, and handsomely retiring in favour of the junior player, who had been allowed four points off each round.  The latter was accordingly handed a complete set of fine clubs by the secretary, Mr John Gilmour. ‘Another competition takes place during the present month for two prizes presented by the Marquis of Lorne. This club continues to flourish, and much interest is taken by the members in the daily practice.

June 16th  1894  Oban Times


GOLF CLUB- The annual business meeting of the Inveraray Golf Club was held on Wednesday evening in the Argyll Arms Hotel-Mr Wyllie, chamberlain of Argyll, presiding.  The Secretary Mr John Gilmour, handed in his report, which showed that the season had been a highly successful one, a steadily increasing interest having been manifested in the sport.  The meeting fixed the entry money at 10s6d, and the annual subscription of members at 7s6d, of ladies and boys at 5s.  The office-bearers having been re-elected, the chairman handed the following prizes to the winners for the past season (several others having already been distributed):- The Marquis of Lorns’s prizes-(1) A silver pepper box, in the shape of a golf club, to Mr John Rose; a handsome binocular glass presented by Mr Hugh Buchanan, won by Mr. B.M.Wright.


June 23rd 1894 Oban Times


Golf- The following is a complete list of the prizes and prize-winners on the Inveraray golf course during the past season:- The captains’ prize, Mr R.S. Munro; club prizes-Messrs Archd. Gilmour and Ernest Smith, golf clubs; the Marquis of Lorne’s prizes- (l)a silver pepper box in the shape of a golf ball, Mr Ernest Smith;(2) a silver pencil case in the shape of a golf club,Mr John Rose;binocular glass presented by Mr Hugh Buchanan, won by Mr B.M.Wright.


Inverary. – Golf Match


November 10th 1894  Oban Times


A game between teams representing the Inverary and Lochgilphead Golf Clubs will be played on the Inverary Golf Course on Saturday, 10th inst.


November 17th 1894 Oban Times




Golf Match – A golf match between teams representing Inveraray and Lochgilphead, was played on the Inverary course on Saturday last, when Lochgilphead won by 4 holes.  The following  are scores;-


Lochgilphead                                  Inveraray


D.Menzies         4                            H.Smith         0

D.MacNicol        0                            Sheriff-hairp   4                                    

A.MacBrayne     0                            J.H.Rose         7

D.Cam,pbell      3                            J.Gilmour        0

J.Mitchell          8                           B.M.Wright       0

                            ---                                                   ---

                             15                                                  11



June 1st 1895 Oban Times


Golf Tournament.-   The Inveraray Golf Club held a handicap tournament (18holes) on Wednesday for prizes presented by the Marquis of Lorne.  The following are the prize-winners;- 1, Archd. Gilmour, 101-18=83;  2, John H.Rose. 103-15=88;  3, Ernest Smith, 99-7=92;  4, Robert S. Munro, 114- 20=94.


May 30th 1896 Oban Times


Golf – Oban v Inveraray.- On Friday last eight members of the Oban golf Club played a match with eight of the Inverary club on the ground of the latter with the following results:-


Inveraray                          Oban

Sheriff Shairp            1        Mr.C.Rankin        0

Mr.J.H.Rose              1        Mr.W.L.Menzies  0

Mr.Chas.MacArthur    0        Mr.MacNeill        5

Mr Wm.Stewart         1       Mr.John MacColl  0

Mr.Ernest Smith         9      Mr.H.MacDonald  0

Mr.Alastair MaCarthur10     Mr W.Smith         0

Mr Arch. Gilmour        2      Mr.J.Menzies       0

Mr.John Gilmour         5      Mr.MacDougall    0

                                         ---                                  ---

                                         29                                  5


Inveraray thus won by 24 holes.  The visitors were afterwards entertained to dinner with the Inveraray players in the Argyll Arms Hotel.

June 27th 1896 Oban Times


Golf Club-  the annual general meeting of the Inveraray Golf Club was held in the Argyll Arms Hotel on Tuesday last- Sheriff Shairp in the chair. Mr John Gilmour, secretary and treasurer, submitted his annual statement, which showed a balance of £8 to the credit of the Club.  The monthly gold medal was presented to Mr John H. Rose, who had won it in five out of the twelve competitions. For the ensuing season it was resolved to offer two medals for competition one in handicap matches and the other in scratch.  All the office-bearers were re-elected;and, on the motion of the captain (Sheriff Shairp), a special vote of thanks was accorded to Mr Gilmour for his very efficient services to the Club.


June 19th  1897 Oban Times

Inveraray Golf Club


Golf Club:- The annual business meeting of the Inveraray Golf club was held in the Argyll Arms Hotel on Thursday, when the secretary and treasurer, Mr John Gilmour, gave in his report for the past year, and received a vote of thanks for his services.  The monthly competition medals were presented to the respective winners, namely, in the scratch competition, Mr Charles MacArthur; and in the handicap, Mr Gideon Scott. The following office-bearers were appointed for the year:- President, Mr William Douglas vice-president.  Mr James Wyllie;captain, Sheriff Shairp; secretary and treasurer, Mr John Gilmour.

May 18th 1901 Oban News


Inverary Golf Club


At the annual general meeting of the Inveraray Golf club, held in the Argyll Arms Hotel on Tuesday- Mr Dickson, P.F., in the chair the financial statement for the past year was presented by the secretary, Mr John Gilmour, showing a balance of £4 in favour of the Club.  Mr Gilmour received a cordial vote of thanks for his services, and he was unanimously appointed an honorary member of the Club.  The meeting resolved that the handsome silver cup presented by Mr E.A.Lawson-Johnston be played for monthly under handicap conditions the cup to become the property of the member winning it oftenest during the season.  The Club agreed to play a match with the Dunoon Golf Club at Dunoon on Wednesday, 22nd inst.  While congratulating Sheriff Shairp on his promotion, the meeting recorded regret at the loss sustained by the Club through his removal to Ayr.


May 6th  1905 Oban Times


Golf:- In the weekly competition on Wednesday last for the Inveraray Club medal, the best scores were :-


Duncan Sinclair (sec)  82

J.H.Ross  82=2=84

J.P.Munro  86+2=88

Wm. Mitchell  102-12 =90

D.Thomson 99-8=91

Carradale golf course


Campbeltown Courier, 14th July 1906


Carradale has taken a decided step forward in recognising the claims of the golfer in its arrangements for attracting the summer visitor. Golf enters much into the thoughts of the modern holiday maker and the place that claims his patronage cannot long afford to deny him facilities for indulgence in the game. The credit of originating the Carradale course belongs to the laird, Austin Mackenzie, Esq., while Major W. M. Hall of Torrisdale also took an interest in the new venture. Mr Mackenzie had the ground marked out under his own direction and afterwards gone over by Mr Munro the Machrihanish professional (but in fact believed to be John Munro the then greenkeeper at Machrihanish as there was no professional there until 1920) The course is a nine hole one. It is situated between Airds and Portrigh and embraces two fields on the home farm (Portrigh Park) and the ground known as Castle Park. Mr Mackenzie played the opening shot and during the opening ceremony the minister of the Free Church, Rev George MacLeod, remarked “this was a course for which beauty and scenery and bracing air was not to be surpassed in all Scotland and which for riskiness and hazard in losing balls it would command all their (the players) skill.( Applause )

Mr Keith Campbell said he endorsed all Mr MacLeod had said, and in addition he had to call for three hearty cheers for Mr and Mrs Mackenzie – and for the success for the bazaar. ( Cheers )

Mr Mackenzie, in acknowledging the compliment, said they ought to thank Mr John Paterson more than him, for he had given the bulk of the golf course. Although he, ( Mr Mackenzie ) had given the two fields on his farm, the bulk of the course – The Castle Park – belonged to Mr Paterson. ( Applause )

As Mr MacLeod had remarked, the beauty of the place was quite unsurpassed. If players lost their tempers when balls went amissing he thought they had only to look round about them to be restored to equanimity. ( Applause ).

This concluded the proceedings.


As stated in The Courier, the original course occupied part of the ground known as Portrigh Park (part of the Estate Home Farm, to the left of the Bay Road, up to Dunvalanree) and Castle Park (leased from the estate by John Paterson) the name being taken from Airds Castle fortified at the end of the 15th century by King James IV of Scotland and the ruins of which can be seen from the 3rd tee and the gents medal tee at the 4th. In 1906 the 1st tee was at the far end of Portrigh Park with the drive being shorewards.  Five of the subsequent holes were played over Castle Park with the 8th and 9th holes returning to Portrigh. At a later, but unknown date, the layout was altered and included the 3 holes behind Dunvalanree and adjoining houses but these holes were lost, it is thought, on or about the onset of the Second World War and on the 5th tee, which looks out to the southeast towards the Cruban Buoy (the club’s logo) the unroofed walls of a wartime Listening Post remain. For a time there was a football pitch on part of the 5th fairway and for many years the 5th green was a lightning fast sloping green below the 6th tee. The 6th hole, Pudding Bowl, is the signature hole of the course and the 7th, from the gents medal tee, is one of the toughest par 3 holes anywhere. For a short period there were bunkers at the 3rd, 8th and 9th greens but these were loved more by sheep than by golfers and they were duly removed along with a dry stane dyke which for many years was an obstacle which had to be overcome in front of the 7th green. An obstacle of a different kind can be the feral goats which occasionally stray from their home on Carradale Point – an attractive sight but whose body odour leaves a lot to be desired!


All competitions were played off the front (box) tees until the early 1970’s when new medal tees were constructed and on display in the clubhouse is one of the first silver medals competed for in the club’s opening year. The course records are 64 for the ladies (June 2017) and 61 for the men (August 2012) each currently being held by our local members, Fiona Ramsay and Jamie Campbell respectively. The club is proud to have Belle Robertson, unarguably one of Scotland’s finest lady golfers, as an Honorary Member and Belle opened our current clubhouse in 2009. Another famous golfer to have played the course is the legendary Australian golfer, Peter Thomson, a 5 times winner of the Open Championship.


In the 1960’s and 1970’s holiday competitions during July and August provided fantastic fun and entertainment combining crazy golf (driving on one leg, hitting the ball with eyes closed, playing through a tyre on posts on the 9th fairway and more!) with slightly more serious mixed foursomes/greensomes, the latter still being played today. For about 20 years there was an annual match between holidaymakers to Carradale and holidaymakers to Blackwaterfoot and, in the absence then of a ferry link, transport was provided by a local fishing boat. That established a connection with Arran which continues today and a seasonal vehicular ferry between Claonaig and Lochranza makes a trip to Arran very easy and enjoyable.


With a succession of splendid greenkeepers over the years the club has been fortunate to have a course which has been and still is maintained in fine condition. Visitors are warmly welcomed to tackle our challenge and to enjoy the magnificent northerly views up The Kilbrannan Sound  towards the Cowal Peninsula,  across to Arran and to the south past the Cruban Buoy to embrace Ailsa Craig in the distance.


Lochgilphead Golf Course 1892.


1st Course opened in 1892 to the West of the village at Bank Park


Oban Times June 11th, 1892



Golf Competition.- Great interest has been taken in a golf competition which has taken place on the Lochgilphead course during the past week for a set of golf clubs presented by Dr Fraser, Falkirk.  Some weeks ago, on account of the club and course having been recently formed, a competition took place among the members, in order to enable the committee to fix the handicaps, which ranged from scratch to 25 points.  About a dozen of the members played Saturday for Dr Fraser’s prize, and a similar number on Thursday evening, both days being wet and stormy- indeed, so much rain has fallen of late that the putting greens were very soft, and almost unfit for play.  Mr C. D. MacKenzie was scratch, and was quite unable to play against the handicaps allowed.  The clubs were won by Mr A. MacBrayne with a score of 89 for the 18 holes, after deducting the 21 points which had been allowed him.  It has been intimated that gold and silver medals will be competed for at the end of the summer.

Oban Times August 6th, 1892

Lochgilphead Notes


Golf Competition.- The second of six monthly competitions for a silver medal, presented by Mr D MacCubbin, was played on the Lochgilphead course on Saturday afternoon, in suitable weather.  Dr James Hunter, who took the first position last month, again secured the same position on Saturday with the total score for the 18 holes of 100 ; Mr A. MacBrayne coming second with 110,  On Saturday only nine players turned out, and it is likely even this number will decrease as it becomes more evident who the winner is to be.

Lochgilphead's first course. This is now a caravan park.

Tarbert Golf Club

Now on their 3rd course

1st course at Barfad Farm in 1898

2nd course in town between the pier and the village in 1908

Moved to their existing site in 1924

Tighnabruaich Golf Club ( Kames )

Now on their 2nd course

1st course from 1894 to 1901 was at roughly the same location

Tobermory Golf Club

Now on their 4th course

1st course was at Erray Farm 1896

2nd course was on the outskirts and to the East above Erray farm on the moor in 1897

3rd course was at Sgriob Ruadh to the West of the town. 1907 ( Club Resuciatated )

4th course is at their existing location.

Minute Extract from club minute book, 28th April 1896


At Tobermory and within the Reading Room there convened a meeting of gentlemen favourable to the founding of a golf course." A letter was read from Col. Caldwell of Mishnish to the effect that ground could be made available immediately behind Erray as a temporary measure and that more suitable ground be found at a later date.

Scotsman April 30th, 1896

Proposed golf course at Tobermory


The formation of a club and course


On Tuesday evening a meeting of gentlemen favourable to the formation of a golf course at Tobermory was held in the public reading room. The provisional committee appointed at a previous meeting to prospect, make terms,and if need be employ an expert, reported their diligence in the matter. Bailie Fletcher presided, and both Colonel Caldwell of Mishnish. The proprietor, and Mr Graham, who holds the extensive farm of Erray, the tenant, within whose bounds the proposed golf course is to be formed, expressed, the former by letter, the latter personally, their willingness to grant every facility. The ground decided upon is situated on the outskirts of the sheep farm of Erray, starting from the wood skirting the farmhouse, and extending for about three quarters of a mile in a Northerly direction. At a point overlooking Runagal lighthouse, it turns South along the high ground ( chiefly moorland ) commanding at various points a magnificent view of the Sound Of Mull, Loch Sunart, and the surrounding heights. The distance around the course is about a mile and three quarters, and there are several natural hazards and bunkers. It gives promise of being an excellent sporting course of nine holes, and those well qualified to judge compare some of the hazards with those of Braid Hills, Edinburgh. Twenty eight members were enrolled and the following office bearers appointed :- Colonel Caldwell of Mishnish, President ; Bailie Fletcher, Captain ; Mr Berry, Vice Captain ; Mr Robert Brown, Treasurer ; and messrs D.S. MacColl and R. Simpson, joint secretaries ; with a managing committee of ten members. The subscriptions were fixed at 10s 6d for gentlemen and 5s for ladies. It is expected that the course will be opened on Saturday the 9th prox.

May 2nd 1896  Oban Times


New Golf Course At Tobermory


A public meeting of those interested in the formation of a golf club at Tobermory was, on Thursday 16th ult, convened within the reading room, by the secretary of the regatta club, at the request of a number of those desirous that Tobermory, with all it’s natural advantages should in no way be behind other watering places on the west coast.Mr Graham who held the lease of the extensive farm of Erray, was present and expressed his willingness to give the necessary privileges during the remainder of his lease. A provisional committee was thereupon appointed with Bailie Fletcher as chairman and messrs D.S.MacColl and Robert Simpson as joint secretaries. It was unanimously resolved that negotiations with respect to suitable ground should be entered into without delay with Colonel Caldwell, the proprietor of the Mishnish estate. At a subsequent meeting, held on Tuesday last at which the report of the committee appointed to look over the ground was given in by Bailie Fletcher, Colonel Caldwell’s reply to the secretary’s letter was read. The colonel said he was very pleased indeed that a golf course was in contemplation and he would not offer any objection, seeing Mr Graham of Erray was agreeable to grant every facility. He asked the club to do him the honour to enrol him as one of the original members. He was soon to be on a visit to Tobermory and he would then settle the detail regarding the necessary ground. It having been formally moved and carried unanimously that a club be formed and a course be opened. 28 members were enrolled and the following office bearers were appointed ; - President – Col.Caldwell of Mishnish ; Bailie Fletcher, Captain ; Mr Berry I.R. Vice Captain ; Messrs D.S.MacColl and R Simpson joint secretaries ; and Mr Robert Brown, Treasurer.

The following gentlemen were appointed the committee of management ; - Messrs P.S.Aunand, Banker ; A Graham, Erray ; H.J.C.Kinghorn, Teacher ; Dr Maxwell and Dr Love ; Messrs MacLauchlan, Badaroch ; A McLean, Mishnish Hotel ; Jas MacColl, Postmaster ; N Macdonal, Mull Hotel ; and H.B.Sproat, Strongarbh House. It was remitted to the joint secretaries to arrange with Mr G.L.Macbain, road surveyor and Mr McKinnon forester to Colonel Caldwell of Mishnish to assist in laying out of the course. The annual subscription for gentlemen was fixed at 10s 6d for and ladies 5s.   The distance round the course, which is one of nine holes, is about one and three quarter miles.  There are several natural hazards and bunkers on the course and those who are well qualified to give an opinion on the matter way that it gives promise of affording excellent sport.  From the greater part of the course a magnificent view of the Sound of Mull,Loch Sunart, and the surrounding heights can be obtained.  The course is expected to be open on the 9th inst.  Now that Tobermory is about to add to its many other attractions that of golf and that too on such a splendid course, it can easily be seen that it is no wild stretch of the imagination in which we find a correspondent in Rod and Gun indulging.  He “is strong in the belief that at no far distant date Mull will become the Isle of Wight of Scotland.  The late Sir William Gull was greatly interested in the possibilities of the place which was prominently brought u under his notice by the case of a remarkable cure a sojourn there affected on one of his patients and the correspondent says he is sure that had Sir William lived he would have worked the island up so to speak as a health resort. The Gulf stream passes near it”.

Minute Extract from club minute book, May 8th 1896


The Tobermory Golf Club met and the following Officers appointed - President, Colonel Caldwell of Mishnish, Captain, Ballie Fletcher, Vice-Captain Mr John Berry, Messrs D.S.MacColl and M.Simpson, Joint Secretaries and Mr Robert Brown Treasurer. "It was decided that the committee would walk over the ground the following day and a resolution come to that unless something presented the golf course should be opened on the 9th proximo." Sub­scriptions were set at l0s 6d for gents and 5s for ladies.

May 9th 1896 Oban Times


Golf:-  Already the golf course has proved quite an attraction and enthusiastic golfers in many cases accompanied with admiring friends are to be seen strolling along the grounds which are now laid out in a most satisfactory manner. Visitors are quite taken with the capabilities of the course and the magnificent view obtainable from every point within its bounds.  Visitors will find the course now in splendid condition and Mull air will do the rest.  We anticipate quite a crush of visitors at Tobermory this season.  There is every attraction, tennis, boating, sea-fishing, loch fishing, and now a golf course, declared by those well qualified to judge, second only to Macrahanish on the West Coast.


Ardeer Golf Club

Ayrshires 4th oldest club. 1st course laid out on the Stevenston Shore in 1880.

The club moved to a new location at Ardeer in 1905 where they stayed until the sixties, however, the ground was owned by the I.C.I. Company who required the ground back to build a factory, therefore the club had to once again move to a new location. They have been at their present location ( Lochend ) since 1965.


Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald July 31st 1880


Formation Of Club


We understand a golf club for this district and neighbourhood is in course of formation. It is called “ The Ardeer Golf Club,” and arrangements are so far completed that the opening game will be played on the club’s ground, Stevenston, on Saturday, the 14th August – play to commence at one o’clock. The formation of such a club should fit up a much felt want in our midst, and we are sure it will be a strong one, and will be patronised by the gentlemen in the neighbourhood.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald August 21st, 1880


Ardeer Golf Club


Opening Of Golf Course


It was with feeelings of satisfaction that we witnessed, under most favourable auspices, the opening of a new green, and the revival of the fine old game of golf on Stevenston links on Saturday last. It is difficult for us to say, as it is uncertain at what time the game was introduced into Scotland, whether or not the game was practiced by holy friars, squires from the house of Eglinton, or the retainers of such houses in North Ayrshire, but it is well known that the late Earl of Eglinton was an enthusiastic exponent of the game, and that he played many a keen tie with Sir Alexander Boswell, and others, over the links at Stevenston in bygone days. His Lorship, Hope Johnstone, Alex. Sinclair, a gentleman named Gilmour, Oswald of Auchencruive, Campbell of Craigie, and many of those staying at Eglinton Castle from time to time were regular frequenters of the links. The Browns of Parkend, were also good golfers.

It is not meet, then, that the resuscitation of the game on the fine links at Stevenston should be allowed to pass without being duly chronicled, as it is an event noteworthy in the district . It was pleasing, then, to see such a goodly number of enthusiastic players on the ground on Saturday, when the balls were” teed” and a start made at one o’clock, and to watch thereafter the painstaking care of players throughout a game, in which such a nice calculation of forces is required – such as wind and weather influences, and that on a green that was strange to them. The weather was too hot to be comfortable, still there were on the links a good turnout of ladies and other visitors to whom the play proved exceedingly interesting. It is long since the whizzing golf ball has broke through the startled air, or hid itself amid the heathery braes on these links, in the same fashion as it did when driven by the clubs of so many expert handlers of the golf stick or irons as followed it on Saturday last.

The driving and putting were witnessed with much interest by onlookers ; and as the game begins to be better understood by the public, the play will doubtless be watched with eagerness. The opening of these fine old links in such a salubrious spot as the Sandhills of Stevenston should be of benefit to the district in a variety of ways. The likelihood is, as the green improves, many gentlemen from the city will prefer a day on the links at the coast, now so very accessible by railway, to practising in Glasgow ; others may come to stay for a time ; while there will be a call on the boys of Stevenston, who are free to go and act as “ caddies.” Then one encouraging feature of the new start is that the Ardeer Club will find in Mr Robertson, their Captain, an exponent of then game who will do all he can to make it as popular in the district as it was in olden times.

A hearty welcome was given by the local golfers to the visitors from other clubs who had accepted invitations to take part in the opening games, and among those present were the following gentlemen who played “ foursomes” as enumerated :- Messrs H. Smith, Captain, Prestwick St Nicholas ; A. Robertson, Captain, Ardeer Golf Club ; T. McCulloch, St Nicholas, Prestwick ; J. Anderson, Glasgow Golf Club ; A.W. Smith, Glasgow Golf Club ; W. Stewart, Arderr Golf Club ; J. Kirk, Glasgow Golf Club ; A. Cumming, Ardeer Golf Club ; Walter Beeton, St Nicholas, Prestwick ; H. Smith, Glasgow Golf Club ; D. McCulloch, St Nicholas, Prestwick ; J. Grieg, Glasgow Golf Club ; Dr Highet, Secy., Troon Golf Club ; A. Hunter, Ardeer Golf Club ; G. McKirdy, Troon Golf Club ; J. McIsaac, Ardeer Golf Club ; J. Duncan, Glasgow Golf Club ; Rev. J. Grahame, Ardeer Golf Club ; J. Melville, Glasgow Golf Club ; J.M. Brown, Ardeer Golf Club ; D. McEwan, Edinburgh ; Neil Boon, Prestwick.

Baillie Rowan, Glasgow, who had to leave the links early in the afternoon, took the opportunity, when the members made an adjournment to the golf house, to make a few remarks on the refining influences of golf as a game. He knew of no better means for promoting amity and health, and leading out the good dispositions of men, as engaging in such games as golf, Cricket, Bowlinbg, &c. He complimented the members  on the fine ground they had secured , and he felt confident that many players from a distance would be attracted to the links at Ardeer. He wished properity to “ The Ardeer Golf Club.”

Mr Robertson, Ardeer Cottage ( Captain of the club ) replied – thanking Ballie Rowan for the kindly feelings he had expressed in proposing “ Prosperity to the Ardeer Golf Club.” Which was pledged most heartily.

On returning to the green, several rounds were again played, before going to dine.

We followed one of the rounds, or the players who went the round of the links. To give those who may not have seen the game played, some notion of how it runs, or rather how it struck a stranger to the lings, we may recount the play in a “ Foursome” we followed. The players were Kirk and Cumming against Stewart and Smith. The start was made at a point near to “ The Geordie” coalpit. The put out was made towards the second hole, which is near to Auchenharvie No 5. The ground is nearly level between the first and second hole, and does not present the “ hazards” which are known to make the game so interesting. By this we mean it is a flat surface, with few sandholes. A large level common is not the kind of place coveted by golfers ; but rather a field with an uneven surface, that presents obstacles or “ hazards” at many points, to clear which successfully proves the skill and calculating judgement of the player.

From the point, back to the pit nearly opposite the station the play was continued ; and the party ended all square at the third hole. Stewart and Smith we should have said, won the first hole ; Kirk and Cumming won the second – Stewart and Smith the third – when they stood all square. They were all square again at fifth and sixth holes. The long putting was very good. On leaving the sixth hole, Mr Smith got into a sandy “ bunker,” and Mr Stewart, in order to free his neighbour, took his “ iron” or “ niblet” to clear the ball out of the “ bunker,” but not getting properly under it in the first stroke, he unwittingly came on it a second time, and paid the penalty of losing one hole. The seventh hole is near to the burn. Playing out for the 8th hole, after crossing the burn, it was “ halved,” which means that it was reached by the players in the same number of strokes – neither side gaining an advantage, Kirk and Cumming being one up. On reaching the ninth hole, they were all square, and two holes to go. Mr Cumming coming in, played into a “ bunker,” the professional cleared it out cleverly on to the level green ; but here Cumming, in bringing his club on to it missed the ball – and gave the opposite side a further advantage. At the ninth hole, Stewart and Smith were “ dormy” one up and one to play. The round finished –


The Dinner


At the close of the days play, the members and a few friends dined in the Thistle and Rose Hotel, Stevenston, where covers were laid for upwards of thirty.

Mr A. Robertson, Ardeer Cottage, acted as chairman ; Mr McIsaac discharged the duties of croupier. Among the strangers present were observed Messrs A.W. Smith, Glasgow ; James Kirk, Glasgow ; James Melville, Glasgow ; John Duncan, Glasgow ; Peter Wilson, Glasgow ; --- Aitken, Glasgow ; Robt. Aitken, Ardrossan ; W. Hunter, of Chapelhill ; H.B. King, Banker, Kilwinning ; Mr Brown and Mr McCulloch, Kilmarnock ; Mr J.M. Brown, Stevenston ; Mr W. Beaton, Prestwick St Nicholas ; Dr Highet, Troon.

The liqueurs, and everything produced at the feast, were at the most recherché description – and the whole affair was on the most handsome scale possible.

After a sumptuous dinner had been served up in rare good style by Mr Kilpatrick, of the Thistle and Rose. The chairman said he thought that, of all folks in the world, golfers were the truest, if they played the game rightly, and he thought they would ever be foremost in pledging the toast of “ The Queen,” ( Appl.) The croupier gave “ The Prince and Princess Of Wales,” which was heartily pledged.

Mr Hunter, Banker, said that as he was but a young member of the Ardeer Golf Club, it was flattering to him that he should have been asked to propose the next toast, namely, “ The Strangers from other Clubs.” He would not have given this toast at so early a stage in the evening, had it not been that members of the golfing fraternity who had come from a distance to countenance them in playing their opening game on the once famous links of Ardeer, had to leave by an early train. While he regretted this, he asked the company to dedicate a hearty bumper to “ The Strangers,” coupled with the health of Mr Beaton, Ayr. ( Applause )

Mr Beaton expressed regret at having to leave a company – so large and enthusiastic a company – of golfers, more especially as they had met to-day to inaugurate a new green on the West coast of Ayrshire. ( hear, hear, and appl.)

Wisdom comes from the East, they had heard it said. It does not stay there, however, but travels to the West. So this ancient game of golf, practised so long in the East of Scotland, was spreading fast in the West ; and he was glad that he had been privileged to take part in the game at the opening of a new club which he hoped would go on prosperously, until it came to be the equal of all the golf clubs that had been started during the last quarter of a century. ( Applause.)

He ( Mr B. ) said he belonged to a club not second, or third, to any on this West coast – he referred to the St Nicholas, Prestwick. ( Applause.) It began at the beginning of golf in Ayrshire, and their club minutes attested the fact that its membership was not confined to those who were high and holy, but comprised many with horny hands ; and the science of golf that belonged to one of their great golfers, was of the highest order, and it secured for him a degree of excellence to which no other player in this country had ever attained. As a club, they had the honour, even now, to be in the van. He rejoiced with the members of the Ardeer club in the fact that they had got a good golf ground in this part of the country. With such fine grounds at their command, and lying waste, he thought the gentlemen in the neighbourhood had done a great service to themselves, and to the community at large in opening up this fine ground at which people from a distance might come and have much enjoyment.

He wished them all success and prosperity ; and he felt certain that no club in the country would be envious of the success of the Ardeer Golf Club. ( Applause ) They should rather rejoice to hear that they increased in numbers daily – ( applause ) – and that they would be able in their day to play a good game at golf, making a fine “ put,” and ending at last in “ the hole,” ( Laughter and Applause.)

Captain M. Smith thought that few clubs had started with such fair prospects of success as the Ardeer Club. They had links superior to almost any he could point to ; and very little expense would make them second to none in the West of Scotland, or even in the East ( Applause.)

The gentlemen in the district had themselves turned out in such numbers as should entitle them to succeed. He had never been present at such an enthusiastic meeting of golfers, or one at which all seemed so bent on enjoying themselves ; and the manner in which the strangers had been treated, both in the club-house and here – where they had been literally swimming in champagne – showed them to be second to none. Besides, their prospects as a club were certainly very encouraging.

He proposed “ Success and prosperity to the Ardeer Golf Club,” and expressed a hope that they might have many keen contests on their links. He could wish to meet such gentlemen often in friendly contest. ( Applause.)

The toast was heartily responded to.

Dr Highet, Troon, spoke in highly enlogistic terms of the game of golf, a game he should like to play until his dying day. The implements of the green were capital ; the putting greens were very nice, only they required to be played upon ; and he would be disappointed if the Stevenston club did not soon place itself on an equality with the Prestwick club, or even the one he was the secretary of at Troon. ( Laughter )

He hoped that soon they might come to know and respect each other better. ( Applause ) Mr Brown thanked Dr Highet for his presence on the green that day.

The chairman said to one gentleman present they were much indebted for the fine display of golf he had treated them to . That gentlemen was Mr Smith, the best golfer in Scotland. ( Applause ) He had seldom seen golf played better than by him to-day. It had been like sweet music to him to see A.W.Smith in his game. He had also to thank the strangers present for the hearty way in which they had come to countenance the opening game at Ardeer. They were much indebted to them, indeed. ( Applause ).

 Expressed the gratitude of every member of the Ardeer club, when he said they were glad to see so many strangers on their links at the opening game. As golfers and as gentlemen they had endeavoured to do all they could for them, and they had enjoyed together a very good game on the links.

It was wonderful what they might be able to do at another time, but his object on the present occasion had been to engage all their own members, and to bring them in contact with members from a distance who were better exponents of the game. ( Hear, Hear )

The result of the days play had been that no one party had gained much advantage – as the result of the various matches had been pretty level. While returning these gentlemen the thanks of the Ardeer club, he could assure them that, when any of them wished to come down here, to have a little change from their own green, that the members of Ardeer club would be delighted to meet with them – ( Appl.) – or they would be glad to go as a deputation to Troon, Prestwick, or St Enoch’s or any other club. ( Applause.) The members of the Ardeer had met that night and done what they could to give all a hearty welcome. ( Applause.) He hoped they might yet become more intimate as golfers. ( Applause.)

Mr Smith returned thanks on his own behalf, and on behalf of the other Glasgow gentlemen connected with Glasgow golf clubs. He was sure if they had all enjoyed themselves as well as he had they would have one cause to complain. He had played over nearly all the greens in Scotland within the last few years, but never had he gone to a new green in such excellent condition. On new greens, where there was a want of grass and so on it was difficult to play ; and one could not make a good score. It was not so on this green, to play on which had afforded others besides himself great pleasure. ( Applause.)

He thought some Saturday he would make a big team of 20 or 30. Many Glasgow folks would come down. Then they would be able to show young players what sort of practice would bring them into good form. By playing together in clubs they got a knowledge of the game ; but it is when they came to engage in a contest with strangers that they generally failed for a want of nerve.

They might be good enough players when amongst the members of their own club, but it was when a good player was pitted against another of the same class that he was apt to lose nerve. An agreeable meeting such as the present was calculated to bring members of the club out well. Their green, he ventured to say, would yet be one of the best greens in the West of Scotland – for this among other reasons, that they had no pontage on this green. ( Applause.)

He was glad to observe a number of the fair sex present during the progress of the game. ( Applause.) Mr Stewart wished to add to the toasts proposed, that of the “ several golfing clubs round about them.”

Being an East countryman himself he wondered who would propose the toast of the golfing clubs. It was a game he had seen played often in his youth, and he was sure after what the Captain had seen of him that day on the green, he would give him credit, since he had taken the club into his hand, for being an industrious pupil, though he might be a very bad scholar. ( Hear, Hear.) He asked the company to join with him in drinking a bumper to the golfing club in Scotland, along with those of St Andrews, Musselburgh, and North Berwick – ( Applause.) coupled with Mr Kirk’s name.

Mr Kirk admitted that he was no speech maker. He could play golf better than make a speech. He contrasted the green at Ardeer with several others he had played on, and pointed out its superiority to some, while it was equal to that of St Andrews – if only it had been played upon as often. It should form an attraction to gentlemen players from Glasgow who, he thought, would prefer coming to Stevenston to playing in Glasgow on a Saturday afternoon. They would enjoy it fifty per cent better. There was something about the air and green of Stevenston which was very exhilarating. He thought the promoters had made a good move in starting this club. Every opportunity he had he should come down and play at Stevenston, so he proposed “ Success to the Ardeer Club.” – which was given with highland honours.  

Mr James Brown, Kilmarnock, said he was an old golfer, though he was young like. It was twenty five years since he had started with the golf stick in his hand ; and he could say they had good links here, and he thought the club should prosper, if it got the encouragement it deserved.

The chairman thanked the company for the hearty way in which they had proposed his health, remarking that he had not been well backed up by the gentlemen around him in carrying out his project, else he never could have got on. While returning thanks for the honour they had done himself, he wished them to acknowledge the unwearied services of their friend Mr McIsaac, who had devoted much time, and been at trouble in various ways to promote the interests of the club. He was quite willing to do so yet. It would be ungraceful in them not to acknowledge his health, and to wish that he might long preside as secretary of the club. ( Applause.) He hoped the club would prove to be a great success. ( Applause.)

The croupier expressed his obligations for the honour that had been done him in drinking his health. It was an honour he never in this world expected. He referred to the time when the chairman came amongst them a perfect stranger. His love for golf led him often to other grounds ; but as their intimacy with each other increased, they were wont to admire the Stevenston Links and say “ Fine grounds there,” “ Right you are my boy,” would be the Captain’s appreciative reply, “ as fine links as in all Scotland.”

So we went ahead, determined the moment we could get thirty members to begin playing. The club was in its infancy yet ; but through the exertions of their worthy Captain, and active members, they would soon come to be regarded as the first club in Ayrshire. He had been North lately, and saw nothing there, that could at all compare with the Stevenston Links – Dr Highet – and your love is but a lassie yet – and by the time she had come of age she would give a good account of herself.

Mr Stewart in fitting terms proposed “ The Ladies,” Mr Brown made a suitable reply. The Captain, he knew, was bent on providing links suitable for the ladies ; and when this had been provided they would have accommodation for golfers in every way equal to Prestwick. ( Applause.)

Songs were sung at intervals by several of the gentlemen present – a gentleman giving “ who deeply drinks of wine,” in a style of excellence that is seldom heard at the social board.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald  September 18th 1903


Ardeer Golf Club are taking steps to procure ground north and south of the private railway to Ardeer Factory for the formation of an 18 - hole course.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald  October 9th 1903


Ardeer Golf Club has decided to to proceed with the laying out of a new 18 hole golf course on the land to the north and south of the private railway belonging to Ardeer factory. W Auchterlonie, St Andrew's favourably reported on the conditions of the ground. The Ardeer Club was formed in 1880 by the late Archibald Robertson and others.

Ardrossan And Saltcoats Herald   September 23rd 1904


The new golf course at Ardeer was informally opened on Saturday with play in the Autumn competition. William Reid with the best scratch score 81 won the club's gold medal. other scores included Thomas Harvey (6) 89, second prize; the Rev J Adams (8) 93. The Robertson Medal was won by Barclay Hogarth (a junior member) with (10), 92.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald September 23rd 1904


Ardeer Golf Club


Annual General Meeting


The annual general meeting of the members of Ardeer Golf Club was held in the new club-house on Saturday last. The new course, too, was informally opened on the same day. Play for the autumn competition being participated in by a fairly large turnout of members. The club-house, which has already been described in these columns looked well on the outside under the bright sunshine, while internally, it could not be more satisfactory. The rooms are splendid and well lit, and are decorated tastefully in a light and cheerful scheme.

Both the architect, Mr Hugh Thomson, and the decorator, Mr John Gillfillan, are to be congratulated on their achievement. At each side of the club – the ladies and the gentlemen’s – the principal club-room has a large bay window that looks out upon the course. The view is really charming, and, though it includes no seascape, the stretch of undulating turf with a background of vivid pink tinted sandhills is sufficiently pleasing to the eye. The fitments of the house are really all that could be desired.

The general meeting took place after play for the medals and club prizes was over. In the absence of the Captain, Mr Laidlaw, Mr W. Allan, was asked to take the chair.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald April 14th 1905


The official opening of the new golf course and clubhouse at Ardeer took place on Saturday. A stroke competition by representative members of West of Scotland clubs resulted in a win for Robert Andrew, St Cuthbert, with a score of 73, Among the other leading totals were:- TW Robb, Glasgow, 75; John Black, Troon and William Reid, Ardeer, 81, Mr D Laidlaw presided over the gathering at the clubhouse, and Mrs Allan, wife of the vice-captain, performed the opening ceremony.

Beith Golf Club

1st Course at Grangehill from 1896 to 1907

Brodick Golf Club, 

Isle Of Arran

1st course laid out on the high ground in 1897.

The club moved to its present site in 1913.

Cumbrae Golf Club

The Cumbrae club laid out an additional course due to congestion in 1914, however, this course only lasted till 1924.

Irvine Ravenspark 1

Kilmarnock Municipal 18 holes

Kilmarnock Municipal Releif nine holes

Muirkirk Golf Club

1st course located at Auldhouseburn Farm from 1910. ( Also in Main site )

New Cumnock Golf Club

1st course in 1896

Present location since 1902

Stranraer Golf Club

1st course East of Stranraer at Bishop Burn Bridge from 1905 to 1940. This course was taken over by the war dept in 1940 and used as a transit camp. The club have been at their present site at Creachmore since 1952.

Skelmorlie Golf Club

1891 find course


Dunns Golf Club

1st course laid out at Castleknowes in 1894.


Dollar Golf Club


This club actually went to the wall for six months and bounced back as a nine hole course. They are now on their third course. Their two previous courses were at Market Place and Gloom Hill.

 The location of the Market Street Course

Alloa Advertiser May 2nd 1891


Proposed formation of a golf club


There seems a not altogether remote prospect of the Royal and Ancient game of golf finding a permanent habitat in our midst. At a meeting of golfers, held in the Museum Hall yesterday, the initiative was taken in connection with the formation of a course and the subsequent establishment of a club. Although it is perhaps premature to suggest what may be resolved upon by the committee appointed to carry out the preliminary arrangements, it is quite safe to say that, should a club be formed, there will be no lack of ardent supporters.

About 40 gentlemen have already signified their readiness to become members, and there is no doubt that when once the club is got thoroughly under way, there will be no difficulty in maintaining its vitality and success.

The New Course at Dollar


11th September 1906 The Scotsman


Dollar has now got its golf course, which was formally opened on Saturday by the Countess of Mar and Kellie with due pomp and circumstance.  The course lies to the north of the town, and is easily accessible.  It is about three miles in length, and extends from the Glen on the one hand to the Quarrel Wood on the other.  B.Sayers, of North Berwick, was consulted regarding the laying out of the course, and under his guidance full advantage has been taken of the natural difficulties which abound.  Each hole has its peculiarities, and there is no crossing at any point.  A small stream runs through the course, and forms an excellent hazard at several places, and the player who wishes to keep down his score must drive a straight ball and pitch with accuracy, for there is no running up to any of the greens.  Golfers who are not too much engrossed in their game will be struck with the beautiful prospects which are to be had from the course.  Below lie the policies of MacNabb, and beyond may be seen the valley of the Devon and the wooded slopes of Sheardale and Dollarbeg.  The originators of the movement for the construction of the course were fortunate in finding a house close at hand, which, with few alterations, has been converted into a club-house, and the scale of charges, either for the visitor or the residenter, is reasonable.


Dumfries & Galloway golf club 

are on their second course

1st course at the Kerse where they played alongside other clubs ie, The Dumfries Mechanics, The Queen Of The South club etc, which are included in this site.

Lockerbie Golf Club ( Annandale ).

1st course laid out by Bob Ferguson ( Musselburgh ) in August 1889 on Lockerbie Hill.

The club moved to Broomhouses Farm in 1898 which was nearer to the town. They eventually moved back again up to Lockerbie Hill in 1907.

Moffat Golf Club

1st course at Chapel Farm from 1884 to 1905. Club moved to its present location at Coats Hill in 1905.

Wigtown Golf Club

1st course at Borrowness in 1894

Wigtown Golf Club was re – constituted in 1914 at their present site.

Edinburgh and District

Craigmillar Park Golf Club 1895 to 1907

1st course at Craigmillar Park in 1895 and moved to its present site in 1907.

Dalkeith & Newbattle Golf Club 1896 to 1934

The old Dalkeith Golf Club ( Formed in 1880 ) did not have a course of their own until 1896 when the Name changed to Dalkeith & Newbattle golf club, and a course laid out on the Kings Lines. The club then moved to their present location in 1934 and changed name again to Newbattle Golf Club Ltd.

Portobello Golf Club

Lochend Golf Club 1891 to 1908

1st course at old Leith Links and now playing at Craigentinny. Now celebrating their 125th year with a book written by Harry Ward.

East Lothian

Lufness Old Being researched at present



Balbirnie Park Golf Course

Burntisland Golf Club

Golf has been played on the foreshore at Burntisland since the late 1700s.

The Burntisland golf club moved up the hill to Dodhead in 1896.

Canmore Golf Club, Dunfermline

1st course at Bainbridge 1898 to 1902

Crail Golf Club

Sauchope Links Course 1

Sauchope Municipal Links 1928

Cupar Golf Club

1st course at Tailabout Farm from 1855 to 1876. They then played at Ladybank until 1896 when they amalgamated with the Hilltarvit golf club.

Dunfermline Club Golf Courses

Leven Golf Club

The Innerleven golfing society began on Dubbieside Links in 1820, however, this course would eventually be out of favour by 1867.

Lochgelly Golf Club.

Several courses  ( To be typed )

Thornton Golf Club

1st Course in 1921

Club moved in 1925

Glasgow and District

East Kilbride Golf Club

East Kilbride golf club’s first course was at Show Park from 1900 to 1910.

2nd course at Blacklaw from 1910 to 1923.

The club moved to Nerston in 1967.

Cathcart Castle Golf Club. ( Formerly Merrylees 

Glasgow Golf Club.

1st course at Glasgow Green.

2nd course at Queens Park.

3rd course at Alexandra Park.

4th course at Blackhill.

Present site at Killermont since

Also have course at Gailes, Ayrshire.

Kilsyth Golf Club

1st course was at Balmalloch from 1899 to 1905

The club moved to its present location in 1905


Inverness Golf Club

1. Muir of Ord   ( To be typed )

2. Longman    ( To be typed )


Braehead Golf Club


( Formerly, Alloa, ) Played their early golf at Arnsbrae from 1891.

Re-located to their present site in 1926

Tulliallan Golf Club

First course was on opposit side of road ( Still to research )


Kirkcudbright Golf Club 1 & 2



Airdrie Golf Club

1. Drumbathie Farm 1876 to 1878

2. Old Race Course 1878 to ?

Biggar Golf Club 


Celebrated their centenary in 1995 with a book by Alfie and Harry Ward ( Biggar golf club, A History ).

are now on their 3rd course. The club’s previous sites were :-

1. Langlees 1895,

2. Heavyside 1901 ( Tom Morris )

The club have occupied their present site at the Public Park since 1907





















                                                                                                               Opening Of Langlees Golf Course 1895


Golf Course – The golf course at Langlees was formally opened for play on Tuesday afternoon. Miss Thomson of Huntfield drove off the first ball in presence of a large gathering of ladies and gentlemen. Thereafter, Provost Lindsay, in name of the members of the club, thanked Miss Thomson for her kindness in taking part in the opening ceremony, and presented her with a silver mounted cleek as a souvenir of the occasion. The course, which is a nine hole one, is pleasantly situated , and commands a magnificent view of the clyde valley. It is well laid off, and will, we are certain, prove a great attraction to the many visitors who during the summer months reside in our little town.


Opening Of Heavyside Golf Course




Biggar 1901


Some time ago, a movement was set afoot, with the result that on the Heavyside grounds belonging to one of Biggars greatest benefactors – Mr J.L.Murray – an admiral course in every way has been laid out. The course, though only extending to nine holes, takes one over many historic parts, and the golfer, though he may be the greatest enthusiast, cannot but feel the effects of walking over one of natures beauty gardens. A stylish and thoroughly up to date golfhouse has been erected in which one might after a round, rest and survey the beauties of the surrounding country, or refresh oneself with the more creature comforts.

There was a large and fashionable attendance at the opening ceremony on Saturday, and the number of golfers present augered well for the future success of the course.

Mr R.G.Murray, in calling upon Tom Morris of St Andrews, said the game of golf was pre-emminently a scotch game. It had been played in Scotland for hundreds of years, and it was only within recent years it had been introduced to other countries. He was proud therefore, to have the honour of calling upon, and they as a club were proud of having such a man as Tom Morris as their guest to open their new golf course.

Mr Morris then stepped forward and teeing his ball drove off for the first hole amid loud applause-the length of the drive showing that old toms hand had not yet lost its cunning.



Carluke Golf Club 


are now on their 3rd course. Previous sites were :-

1. Belstane Farm 1893

2. Langshaw Farm 1895

The club have occupied their present site at Hallcraig since 1910

Hamilton Golf Club.

1st course at racecourse

Leadhills Golf Club 


are now on their 3rd course. Previous sites were :-

1. Broadlaw 1891

2. Wetbush  1927

The club have occupied their present site at Broadlane Park since 1935

Larkhall Golf Club

Were resuscitated etc

Wishaw Golf Club.

1st course at Waterloo and Greenhead Road in 1894 although the club have its institutuion date as 1897.

2nd course was at Gateside Road which was to the West of their existing site which they have occupied since the 1930s.


Fauldhouse golf club 


( Greenburn ) 2nd course

1st course at Fallowhill

Pumpherston Golf Club


Pumpherston are now on their fourth course ( Details to follow )


Forres Golf Club

1st course at Findhorn Links

Orkney & Shetland

Shetland Golf Club

1st course


Peebles Golf Club

Now on their second course at Kirkland Street, now a municipal course, however, the club's first course was at Morning Hill on the South side of town.

Peebles Advertiser March 4th 1893


Peebles Golf Club


We have much pleasure in recording that this club has made a capital start, and now has a large membership. At a meeting of the committee the other night, three beautiful medals were handed to the secretary, Mr Wm. Lyon, solicitor, to be competed for during the season. One of these is a large and most artistically designed silver medal, which will be competed for under handicap rules, but the precise terms of the competition for it have not as yet been determined. Another of these medals is of gold, and is intended for competition by the lady members of the club, the most successful competitor during the season being the holder.

Then there is a finely got-up silver cross, which will be competed for once a month by the boy members, under handicap rules, and will become the property of the most successful competitor for the season. These handsome medals should prove a great incentive to competitors to do their utmost in the competitions for the coming season.

We understand that arrangements are being made for the erection of a suitable pavilion on the course, which will prove a great boon to the members.


Peebles Golf Course ( Morning Hill ) 1893.


Southern Reporter, April 20th 1893.

Opening of New Golf Course.


The formal opening of the new golf course and club-house at Peebles took place on Saturday week in beautiful weather.

There was a large attendance of players and the general public, and the Provost, Magistrates, and Town Council were also present. The Captain of the club, Mr Henry Ballantyne of Minden, said he was glad to see so many present, which he thought went to show that this latest addition to the attractions of Peebles was a great success.

He called on Mr Walter Thorburn M.P. to declare the course open. Mr Thorburn said he had to congratulate those who had been engaged in the formation of the club and the town of Peebles in at last being in possession of a ground which was second to none of any of the inland courses of Scotland. 

This is a dream course for guys like us with remains of greens and tees everywhere

A similar modern view as above. Sheep are on the 8th green

8th tee in corner next to fence and 7th green before it just over the ditch and rushes

Perth & Kinross

Dunning Golf Club


( Still to be typed )


Strathtay Golf Club

2nd Course

Birnam golf course

Still to be typed


Greenock Golf Club.

Greenocks first course was at Bow Farm from 1873 to 1876

Paisley Golf Club

Existing course at Gleniffer Braes since 1946

1st course was at the Bushes from 1896 to 1945

Ross & Cromarty

Bonar Bridge Golf Course

Invergordon Golf Club.

1st course at Rosskeen, field of Balblair, adjoining the Castle in 1893

2nd course at Joss Street in 1921.

The club have been at their present location since 1996.

Portmahomack Golf Club

1st course behind the school in 1894

2nd and present course started in 1909


Kelso Golf Club

1st course at Friar’s Haugh in 1887

The club have played at Berrymoss since 1913 with various course layout changes over the years.


Balfron Golf Club.


Balfron originally tried to form a golf club as far back as 1896, but without success. It would be 1905 before their efforts to secure ground for a course became successful, however, the club's first course was duly opened at Park quarry Farm on September 15th 1905. The club then folded in 1939 and have been at their present site since 

Callander Golf Club,


are now on their 2nd course. The club's previous site was at Muir Of Gart from 1889. They have been at their present site since 1893.


Lybster Golf Club.

Lybster Members
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Ulapool Golf Club

Now on their 2nd course ( Included in site )

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