Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland
 Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland

Cruden Bay.

It is known that golf was played at Cruden Bay in 1791 from a ballot box, which has been authenticated, inscribed ‘Cruden Golf Club 1791’.

Port Errol Golf Club. “The first Port Errol Golf Course was laid out by Captain Webbe, the Earl of Errol’s brother-in-law, and was played on by both lady and gentlemen golfers until the year 1895, when the new line and Cruden Station of the new railway line to Boddam cut off half the course.” (BBBB)

 

      "Golf has been played from time immemorial in the village. In the very early days the Ward Hill was the venue - and even today the vestigial remains of bunkers and greens may still be discovered on its gently rolling slopes. Later a small course was built by the local Laird, on what was destined to become the station yard (near Nethermill), but in 1899 the Great North of Scotland Railway Company laid out the present links course and extended playing privileges to local residents who quickly organised themselves to form the Port Erroll Golf Club."

      The Port Erroll Golf Club is now a small autonomous club within the Cruden Bay Golf Club. It has a limited membership of approximately 75 players, playing competitive golf every Wednesday evening from the beginning of April until the end of September.

[Port Errol changed its name to Cruden Bay in 1924] 

Cruden Bay Golf Course

 

Leven Advertiser April 20th 1899

 

Golf.

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Tournament At Cruden Bay..

 

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Success Of H. Vardon and J. Kinnell.

 

Very enterprising, but unlike the railway companies as we know them, was the action of the Great North of Scotland Railway Company in regard to Cruden Bay Golf Course. With the object of becoming that district, the Company has spent about £80,000 in extending and improving the Links from a nine hole to an eighteen hole course, erecting a hotel, laying an electric railway from the station to the hotel, and other facilities.  Archie Simpson and the veteran Tom Morris were consulted and followed in the laying out of the course, and the verdict of those who have tested these improvements is that the Company has made a splendid job. Of course they handled the opening with a tournament – to this, the first event of the year, the eyes of the golfing world turned, and most of the men in the front rank were present when play started on Friday.  The notable absentees were Alex Heard (who had sprained his ankle), W. Park, J.H.Taylor, and W.Auchterlony.  The tournament was run on the familiar lines of stroke play on Friday, the best four cards to entitle the holders to compete in a hole competition on Saturday.  Undernoted is the order of starting :-

 

Joseph Dalgleish, Nairn, and C.Neaves, Irvine.

B.Sayers, North Berwick, and C.S. Butchart, Pollockshaws.

Henry Robertson, St Andrews, and Archie Simpson, Aberdeen.

Robbie Mairns, Aberdeen and J.L. Hutchison, North Berwick

AW. Robertson, Peterhead, and James Forrester, Erlsferry.

D.Kinnell, Leven and James Braid, Romford.

Harry Vardon, Ganton and David Grant, North Berwick

AH. Scott, Earlsferry and Jack Kirkcaldy, St Andrews

James Kinnell, Prestwick and Andrew Kirkcaldy, St Andrews.

Thomas Hutchison, St Andrews, and Willie Fernie, Troon.

Bob Scott, Lossiemouth, and J. Sherlock, Oxford.

 

Vardon, as unquestionably the finest exponent of the game of recent date, commanded the chief attention. His first round revelled him at his best finishing at 79 he won the £5 offered for the lowest score in forenoon.  J.Kinnell and A.Kircaldy were never before so thrown together as in the end of land week.  They are rivals of long standing, Votaries like to recall how at Aberdeen, Kinnell won his spurs by vanquishing the redoubtable old soldier, finishing three days brilliant golf by record play in the final.  Since then Balcombie saw some hard matches between them and other greens they have tasted sitluctuating success. But on Friday the ballot through them together in the stroke play, and then again they had to compete against each other for places in the final. The whole was a most exciting struggle. Kinnell had the best of it on the outward journey in the forenoon, but this was only obtained by fine play. Kirkaldy warmed to his work on the last part of the journey, and though he displayed better form, he was unable to overtake the Prestwick man. Kinnells total was 82, and Kirkaldy was only two strokes more. Jack Kirkaldy played consistently, and finished with 84, his partner, A.H. Scott of Earlsferry, making an indifferent display, and returning a card of 92.

Willie Simpson with 84, held a good place ; C. Neaves was 86, the same as his old clubmate D. Kinnell ; J. Braid was three worse, and J. Forrester ran up to 91. The hero of the afternoon was A. Simpson, who despite one or two unlucky lies played very steadily, and going round in 80 lifted the £5 offered for the afternoons best score. Vardon finished badly, but held his place as first on the list with 83, a total of 162. The contest between J. Kinnell and A. Kirkaldy was again of a most interesting character. The players were very equally matched. Both were out in 40, although at the third hole Kirkaldy’s card was marred by a bad 7. On the homeward journey, the players maintained their equality, and ended with the score of 81 each for the round, although Kinnell with his 82 in the forenoon had a total of 163, that being two less than the St Andrews representative.

These four qualified for the places in the hole competition, and were drawn as follows to play for the allocation of the prizes, £30, £20, £12, and £12 –

 

Vardon V Simpson ; Kinnell V Kirkaldy.

 

The other prizes were decided as follows :-

 

B. Sayers ( £7 ) ………………………………. 166

W. Fernie ( £7 )  ………………………………166

T. Hutchison ( £5 )  …………………………   167

J. Braid ( £4 )  ……………………………….   170

D. Grant ( £3.10s ) ………………………….    172

J. Kirkaldy ( £3.10s ) ………………………..   172

R. Scott ( £3 ) ………………………………..  174

A. H. Scott ( £3 )  ……………………………   176

C. Neaves …………………………………….. 177

C.S. Buchart …………………………………   177

D. Kinnell ……………………………………  177

J. Sherlock  ………………………………….   177

J. Forrester  …………………………………..  178

J. Dalgleish  …………………………………    179

H. Robertson  ………………………………..   181

 

Fife folk had a strong link with the final ties, no fewer than three of the quartet were reared on local greens – Leven and Earlsferry claiming each a son. Considerable interest was taken in the first couple, Vardon and Archie Simpson,and they had a very large following.  It was, however, a one sided game nearly through out, and Aberdeen professional was scarcely a match for the champion, who was in his usual steady form. With the champion five up, the match was brought to a close on the fourteen green.  For the second successive day Kinnell had Kirkaldy alongside him. He played splendidly and finished the first half three holes up, the quality of the display being measureable in the scores 37 – 40.  Give – and – take play followed, but Kinnell landed dormy four, and halving the next won by three up. The final was a worthy finish to the tournament. The Prestwick tee stroke was carried off the line by the strong head wind, and he followed this up by half topping the second, with the result that he had to give the odd on the green, Vardon holeing out with a 4, against 5.

At the second Kinnell exhibited nervousness.  He was unlucky in having a dead lie for his second stroke, and thereafter threw the hole away, Vardon playing accurately for 5.  Kinnell was weak with his second at the third hole, but recovered and got a half in 5.  The fourth hole was divided at 4 hole although Kinnell might have given his putt a better chance to reach the hole.  He nearly left Vardon a stymie, but the champion managed to get round and secured the half. Through week approaching, Vardon lost the fifth hole. Kinnell pitched his ball over the green, while the champion fell a good bit short.  Still the Englishman had the chance of a half, but slipped past the hole, and Kinnell won his first “glory.” The hole being 4 and 5, making the game one up.  The sixth hole was beautifully played, the approaching being more deadly, and a half in 4 resulted.  Considerable sensation was created at the seventh hole by Kinnell.  His approached over ran the hole by about ten yards, while Vardon was at least 20 yards short.  The champion with his third lay on the lip of the hole. Kinnell, on the other hand, gave his ball no more than the necessary force to take it to the hole, and it seamed to hesitate against the breeze, but ultimately toppled in,amid loud cheers. The match was now all square. To all appearance Kinnell had the best of matters at the eighth, for Vardon from his tee stroke lay in the ditch at the side of the green, and pitched very weakly. Kinnell, however, missed a put of less and the yard and a half. Vardon thus again led by a hole. The champion did not retain his lead very long. The Prestwick professional, by an exceptionally fine put, secured a beautiful three at the ninth hole, and the match was square.  In the second part of the journey Vardon started with a brilliant raking stroke, and with fine putting he got the lead once more.  The eleventh was halved in 5. Kinnell made a gift of the twelfth to Vardon, his approach shot only going half the distance.  At the thirteenth hole, Vardon duffed his tee shot, but followed this up with a marvellous brassy stroke, which took him to the green.  Kinnell, however, was able to get a half in 4. The fourteenth was halved in 5.  Kinnell had a slice of luck at the fifteenth.  A badly pulled stroke took the ball to the face of the hill, of which it rolled down to the green.  This enabled him to get a half in 5.  The match came to an end at the sixteenth hole. Kinnell pulled his drive onto the hill, and the ball could not be found. The result was that the hole went to Vardon, and the matched ended in the champions favour by 3 up and 2 to play.

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