Forgotten Greens of Scotland
Forgotten Greens of Scotland


Rosehearty Golf Club


Instituted about 1860.  A 9-hole course three and a half miles from Fraserburgh.  “The club was only formed in 1883 by Col. Fordyce, of Bucklay, the proprietor's uncle, but it is nevertheless true that golf was played in the time of the first Lord Pitsligo. ( Picture )

The Castle of Pitsligo overlooks the course, which must have been laid out by Lord Pitsligo himself. Some of the holes used in olden times are still to be seen in certain parts of the green. They are made of stone, and are great curiosities in their way. The course is composed of a stretch of links 1854 yards long and about 600 yards broad. It consists of nine holes, and is partly composed of bent. There are some exceedingly nice hazards. Membership 60

(Golfing Annual 1888-89) 

Banff Journal February 20th, 1883


Rosehearty – Golf

Formation Of Club

The ancient game is in fair way of being revived under the most favourable auspices. The game of golf has been played here from time immemorial, but, as far as known, the formation of a golf club was never undertaken. The Rosehearty links are of considerable extent, and will afford a good many hazards necessary for the proper display of golfing. Col. Fordyce, who is an enthusiastic golf player, and a winner of several honours at St Andrews and Aberdeen, upon a recent visit to Rosehearty, played over the golf course, and expressed himself highly pleased with its features. A number of gentlemen met on Saturday last in the Harbour Office for the purpose of forming a golf club. Mr Sharp, Banker, was called to the chair. A letter was read from Col. Dingwall Fordyce, in which he expressed a willingness to lend a helping hand, and at the same time agreed to give a medal, to be played for in April in the event of twelve gentlemen joining the club. After it was found that double that amount had pledged themselves to become members, the following appointments were made :- Patron, The young laird of Buckley ; Captain, Col. Fordyce ; Vice Captain, J.D. Sharp ; Secretary, A. Smith ; Treasurer, R. Mirrilees. The club have amongst its members, J. Dingwall Fordyce, Esq. of Culsh &c.

Aberdeen Journal November 15th, 1883


The annual general meeting of the members of the Rosehearty golf club was held yesterday. Mr Mirlees, Treasurer, submitted the accounts for the year, which showed a balance in favour of the club of 12s 8d. The following office bearers were elected for the current year :- Captain, Col. Fordyce : Vice Captain, James D. Sharp : Councillors, J.D. Johnstone, James R. Scott and D. Ritchie : Treasurer, R. Mirrlees : Secretary, A. Ferguson. It was agreed to play for the monthly medal on Saturday first." 

Fraserburgh Herald April 30th, 1884


"The annual competition for the challenge medal presented to the club by Lieutenant-Colonel Fordyce was played off on Saturday, under special handicap. The weather was all that could have been wished for, and the course was in excellent condition, the greens being very keen, and in good order. There was a large turnout of members, and a good deal of excitement prevailed among the competitors until the result became known. The competition is decided by one round of the course, or nine holes. When the cards were compared it was found that Wm.Watt was the winner, with a score of 46, 4 off, 42. The following are a few of the scores viz :- Walter Flett, scratch 44 ; James D. Sharp do,. 46 ; John Skinner, 49, 3 off, 46 ; E.H. Gordon, 53, 5 off, 48 ; D. Ritchie, scratch, 49 ; J. Ferguson, 55, 5 off, 50 ; A. Ferguson, scratch, 52 ; W. Hutchison, 65, 9 off, 56 ; A.G. West, 63, 4 off, 59."

(FH &NCA 30.4.1884)

Fraserburgh Herald October 29th, 1884


"A match between the Rosehearty and Fraserburgh clubs was played on Saturday afternoon over the Rosehearty Links. The weather was fine. The greens though in good order, were new and dull. Six couples started and played two rounds of the green, or 18 holes. At the close of the game it was found the Fraserburgh club had gained by 30 holes.

Scores :- Fraserburgh – J. Mellville, 2 holes ; Geo. Downie, 9 ; W. Flett, 13 ; W. Noble, 1 ; J. Stevenson, 9 ; G.M. Joss, 0.

Rosehearty – Colonel A.D. Fordyce, 0 ; James D. Sharp, 0 ; John Skinner, 0 ; William Watt, 0 ; J.R. Scott, 0 ; J.R. Youngson, 4.

Total for Fraserburgh, 34 ; Total for Rosehearty, 4."

Aberdeen Peoples Journal November 8th, 1884


"The annual meeting of the Rosehearty golf club took place last Saturday when it was reported that 44 members are on the roll, and that there is a balance of funds at credit. Colonel A.D. Fordyce was re-elected Captain, and Mr A Ferguson was chosen as secretary. The monthly medal was afterwards won by Mr A. Ferguson ( Scratch ) with 83 strokes." 

"The monthly competition for the scratch medal of the Rosehearty golf club took place last Saturday afternoon, when the trophy was won by Mr A. Ferguson, teacher, with a score of 85. The best scores by other players were as follows :- A.G. West ( 100 off 8 ) 92 : John Skinner ( 101 off 5 ) 96 : James Youngson, ( 104 off 8 ) 96." (PJ 12.11.1884)

Aberdeen Peoples Journal May 1st, 1886


"The medal presented to the Rosehearty golf club by Colonel Dingwall Fordyce was gained on Monday by Captain Reid with a score of ( 47, 2off ) 45 strokes. The weather was fine, and the greens were in good condition for play."


Fraserburgh Herald November 2nd, 1886


"A match between the Fraserburgh and Rosehearty clubs is to take place on the Rosehearty links on Saturday afternoon.Play commences at one o’clock and eight men a side will start. It is expected that Col. Fordyce and his nephew will play on the Rosehearty side"

Fraserburgh Herald September 9th, 1886


"We hear that Col. Fordyce is to have a couple of professional golfers at Rosehearty during the season so that the local players will have an opportunity of becoming thoroughly acquainted with the game. On Saturday afternoon a friendly match was played on the Rosehearty course between eight local players, headed by Colonel Fordyce, and a like number of the Fraserburgh club under the captaincy of Balie Murray. The Fraserburgh team left the Royal Hotel shortly afternnon. A strong gale was blowing at the time and the drive was of quite a bracing nature. Owing to the strong wind that prevailed throughout the afternoon, the competitor’s calculations were much interfered with, especially in driving. The “ Greens” though a little rough were in very fair condition. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather some excellent scores were made, several of the Fraserburgh representatives, and one or two of the local players coming in with from 80 to 85 for the 18 holes. The following are the full scores, by which it will be seen that the match resulted in a win for Fraserburgh by 46 holes :-


                            Fraserburgh                                                          Rosehearty

                                          Holes                                                                                Holes

W. Flett ……………………   3                           Col. Fordyce  ……..  ……………   0

J. Mellville  …….  ….  ……   9                           J.D. Sharp  ……  ………  ….. …    0

G.M. Joss …. …….  …..  …   6                          Wm. Watt  …………  ………….     0

A. Mitchell  …………  ……   0                          Wm. Gordon  …….  ….  …….  ..    2

James Stevenson  ……. …. ..  4                            J.R. Scott  …….. ………..  ….        0

P. Nobel  ……………….  …  4                            A.G. Watt  …………  …. ……..     0

Thomas Black …… … …… 10                           W. Hutchings  ………………….     0

George Stephen ….. …….     12                           Captain Reid …….  ….  ………      0


                           Total             48                                                                Total            2

                                                 Majority for Fraserburgh, 46 Holes


At the conclusion of the match the Rosehearty club entertained the Fraserburgh players to dinner at the Forbes Arms Hotel where an excellent repast had been prepared for them.

Colonal Fordyce occupied the chair, and Mr J.D. Sharp, Rosehearty, was croupier. When the covers were removed the chairman gave the toast of “ The Queen” which was duly honoured. The army, navy, and reserve forces  was proposed by Mr Sharp and acknowledged by Colonel Fordyce, who afterwards proposed the health of the Fraserburgh team, remarking that he had for years taken a great interest in golf in the North- East of Scotland, and was always ready to lend his influence in furtherance of the game.

( Applause ).


Mr Mellville proposed the health of Colonel Fordyce, the toast being heartily received. It was a pity, he remarked, that the Fraserburgh club had not a President like Colonel Fordyce. It was not their fault, however, for they had been long looking for one. He was sure his friends from Fraserburghwere like himself, exceedingly happy to meet Colonel Fordyce on the golf course. Colonel Fordyce said he was very happy to meet the Fraserburgh players. Mr Flett proposed the health of the croupier and Mr Sharp replied. The toast of “ The Strangers” was acknowledged by Mr J.E. Park.

Mr Cranna proposed the health of the host and hostess. Songs were contributed by Messrs Flett, Cranna, and Captain Reid, and a very pleasant evening was spent." 


Rosehearty and Fraserburgh golf clubs competed here last Saturday – eight players a side. Fraserburgh gained by 46 holes" (Aberdeen Journal 13.11.1886).

At the annual competition of the golf club for the challenge medal presented by Colonel Dingwall Fordyce, the trophy was gained by Mr James R. Scott with a score of 43 strokes."

(FH 3.5 1887)

"The Rosehearty golf club met in the Harbour commissioners office on Friday – Mr Mirrlees presiding. A committee was appointed to revise the rules of the club, make any necessary alterations or additions, and submit their proceedings at a special meeting of the club to be called at an early date. Mr William Gordon was declared the winner of the yearly medal, played for on Saturday last,with a score of 40." (AFP 23.4.1888)

"The principal winners of yule prizes this year were Mr William Gordon, first, and Mr William Watt, second. Mr Mirilees handed over the gifts at a meeting.' (FH 14.1.1890)

'The Rosehearty golfers are on the outlook for a new course. The old course on the links, besides being short, is hampered by cattle and nets. A deputation approached Mr Barclay a few days ago with the object of getting a grant of a course below Bracopark. Mr Barclay’s reply is expected soon."( FH 23.6.1896)

Formation of new Golf Club


A meeting of those interested in the formation of a golf club was held in the commissioners office on Monday evening. It was resolved to proceed with the formation, and the following office bearers were appointed for the ensuing season :- Captain, Mr Forbes, Schoolmaster : Secretary and Treasurer, Mr William Watt, Town Clerk : Committee, Councillor Ross and Messrs Wm. Gordon, ( Boatbuilder ) : N. Ferguson,(  Fisherer ): G.C. Gordon, ( Baker ) : and Wm. McKenzie ( Joiner ). It was decided that ladies be admitted to membership. There are already about 30 members of the club, which will meet in the Commissioner’s office. " (PS 20.4.1901)


The newly re-established golf club had a match for a monthly medal last week. The former club possessed a yearly and a monthly medal. The yearly one was presented by Colonel Dingwall Fordyce of Culsh, and is now in the possession of the new club, but the monthly medal, which was the gift of Mr J.D. Sharp, late of Union Bank, has gone amissing. Mr John Ritchie, Joiner, has presented a medal in its place. There was a large attendance of members, but play was not up to expectations. The best scores were :- Mr Shirran, Union Bank, 83 ; Mr Gordon, Baker, 85 ; Mr Ross, Baker, 92." (FH 14.5.1901)


"The members of the golf club last week competed for the annual medal presented by Colonel A. Dingwall Fordyce. The medal was won by Councillor Ross with a score of ( 87 les 4 = 83 ). The following were the best scores :- W. Ross ( 87 less 4 = 83 ) : W. McKenzie, ( 92 less 4 = 88 ) : George Gordon ( 96 less 4 = 92 ) : G. Walker ( 102 less 10 = 92 )" 

(PS 6.7.1901).


"In connection with the golf club a match was played on Thursday last week for the quarterly medal presented to the club by Provost Gibb. The best scores were :- 1. George Gordon, Baker, 83 less 4 = 79 : 2. Councillor Ross, Baker, 84 less 4 = 80 : 3. A.M. Shirran, 86 scratch" (PS 20.7.1901)


"A match was played on the 17th inst. Over the Rosehearty course between teams of the Inverallochy and Rosehearty golf clubs. The Roshearty players were completely outclassed by their more experienced opponents, and were eventually beaten by 82 holes to 0."

(APJ 26.10.1901)

"A golf match was played on the Rosehearty course on Wednesday afternoon, between teams representing Fraserburgh and Rosehearty Wednesday players. Despite a rather strong wind, a very pleasant game was enjoyed. After the match the Fraserburgh players were entertained to tea in the Temperance Hotel. The following are the totals :- Fraserburgh, 23 holes ; Rosehearty 34 holes." (FS 1.3.1902)


"The golf match to be played last Saturday for Mr Fordyce of Brucklay’s medal which he presented to the golf club was postponed owing to the stormy weather." (PS 19.4.1902)


"The return match between representatives of the Fraserburgh golf club who recently visited Rosehearty and the Roshearty men, who played on the Philorth course on Wednesday afternoon.The weather was very fine, and a very enjoyable game resulted. Excellent scores were made by Messrs Mackenzie and Dunn for Fraserburgh and Shirran for Rosehearty. Rosehearty made an excellent show, and but for the severe defeat of Mr Ross, the score would have been pretty nearly equall. As it was, Fraserburgh won by 13 holes. The full scores were as follows :-


                                Rosehearty                                                  Fraserburgh

W. Ross  ………………  …….  ……. 0             G. Dunn …………. .. ………  …..    14

A. Shirran  …………………………..  0             W. McKenzie  …………………….   5

J. Petrie Hay  …………………………0             W. Cruikshank  …………………….  3

W. Gordon  ……………………. …    5              J. McKay  …………………………    0

N. Ferguson  …………………… …    0             W. F. Smart  ……………………….   3

T.D. Nox  …………..  ….. ………..    4             J.R. Cooper  …… …… ……………  0

G. Walker  …………………………    0             A.W. Proctor  ……………………..    7

W. Henderson  …………………….     0             W. Howie  ………….   ……………  4

Rev. A. Stevenson  ………………….  1              J. Purdie  ………………………….   0

John Fraser  …………………………  3              John Duthie  ……………………..     0

B. Ritchie  ………… . …..  ………..    8            J.C. Thomson  …………………..       0

W. McKenzie  ………………………. 2              J. Bain  ……………………………    0

                                            _______                                                              ______

                                                  23                                                                       36


The visitors were afterwards entertained at an excellent tea in the café, purveyed by Mr Ironside. A pleasant couple of hours song and sentiment were spent." (PS 26.4.1902)


"During the past week or two the members of the Rosehearty golf club have been competing for the gold medal presented by Mr A. Dingwall Fordyce, of Brucklay Castle, Hon Captain of the club. Councillor Ross and Mr N.W. Ferguson reached the final, and Mr Ferguson, who had four holes of a handicap, won by 2." (PS 10.5.1902)


"The annual silver medal has been won by Mr James Simpson ( 82 – 4 = 78 ) Clubs given to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th by Mr Shirran were won by S.G. Morrison ( 111 – 28 = 83 ), Andrew Buchan ( 96 – 12 = 84 ): J. Knox ( 92 – 5 = 87 ). Mr Shirran ( scratch ) tied for second place, but did not take a prize." (AJ 31.5.1902)


"The Fraserburgh golf club travelled here on Wednesday, and played a match with a local team, the latter winning by 17 holes to 16. The visitors were entertained to tean in the Temerance Hotel." (PS 18.10.1902)

"Mr A.M. Shirran has won the monthly medal of the golf club. This week the members are competing for a silver medal presented by the Rev. Mr Stevenson." (PS 18.4.1904)


"The annual meeting of the Rosehearty golf club was held in the Temperence Hotel on Friday night of last week. Mr A.M. Shirran was elected Captain, Mr W. Ferguson, Vice Captain, and Mr Fred Barclay, secretary and Treasurer. The club rules were discussed, new members were admitted, and arrangements made for several matches. The balance sheet was considered very satisfactory." (PS &BJ 30.4.1904)


"The members of the golf club had a competition on Saturday last for the monthly medal and other prizes. The result was as follows :- Mr W.M. Ross 88, Medal ( scratch ) : Mr Alex Forbes, 99 less 14 = 85, two golf balls : Mr Fred Barclay, 101 less 15 = 86, one ball : Mr W. Baker 89 ( scratch ) one ball." (PS 22.10.1904)

"The yearly medal for the Rosehearty golf club was played for on Saturday. The medal was won by Mr Wm. Ross, with 81, scratch. Mr James Sinpson, with 87 less 2 = 85 was second, and William Henderson with 107 less 10 = 97, was third. Mr Ross has won this medal four times during the last five years." (PS 17.6.1905)


"Bailie Ross was the winner of the Rosehearty golf club’s monthly medal which was played for on Saturday last. The weather was somewhat rough and put scoring out of the question. The genial Bailies score was 95." _(PS 9.6.1906)

"The golf club has taken the links on the Mains Of Pitsligo at an annual rent of £7" 

(APJ 18.5.1907)


"A Turrif team of 14 golfers drove down on Monday to play a return match with the Rosehearty club. The day did not turn out an ideal one for golf. A rather stiff Northerly breeze was blowing with occasional showers. The result was a draw, 7 ½ games each."

(APJ 22.8.1908)

"One of the most popular annual social functions in the ancient burgh of the “ Rose And Heart,” is the “ At Home “, and dance organised by the Rosehearty Golf Club. The Fordyce Street Hall presented a gay and festive appearance on Friday evening, when fully 50 couples were present, including numerous representatives from Fraserburgh, Sandhaven, and Aberdour. During the earlier part of the evening a delightful programme was submitted by talented local artistes. Mr Alex Forbes, M.A., Captain of the club,presided, and opened the proceedings in a racy and reminiscent speech.

  Referring to the ever increasing popularity of Rosehearty as a holiday resort he said the community in general, and visitors in particular, owed no small debt of gratitude to the efforts and enterprise of the golf club. 

  The present club was formed thirteen years ago, and was in a flourishing condition. He was sure it was the sincere wish of everyone present that their present prosperity might be more than maintained in the coming years.

  The programme was ably sustained by Miss Nellie Ritchie, Miss Marshall, Mr Forbes C. Grant, Mr Adam Hay, Mrs Henderson, The Square ; The Rev. James Gibb, and Police Constable James Scott. The various accompaniments were tastefully played by Miss Jean Tyler. Hearty votes of thanks were awarded at the close.

  Thereafter an excellent tea was served, and the hall was cleared for dancing, which was kept up till 2am., inspiring music being provided by Mr Peter Mitchell, Fraserburgh, and Miss Jean Tyler, Rosehearty. Mr Jack Rae, Mounthooly, most capably discharged the duties of M.C." (AWJ 13.3.1914)


Despite the optimism, the club went into abeyance due to the strictures of WW1. 

Question, What happened between 1914 and 1938 ?. We dinnae Ken, maybe somebody in Rosehearty can tell us !!.

Here We Go Again


Golf Course Re-Opened


"Rosehearty golf course was formally re-opened on Wednesday afternoon by Mr J.C. Morrice, solicitor, Fraserburgh. Bailie Taylor presided over a large company. After Mr Morrice had driven off from the first tee the Rev. James Gibb called for a vote of thanks to him. An exhibition game was given by Messrs Gibb, Jack Pressley, Jack Mitchell, and C. Pressley senior, ( Members of Fraserburgh Club )" (FH 12.4.1938).

"Fine weather favoured the sports held in connection with the golf gala on the links, Rosehearty. The event was largely attended, many visitors being present.

Baillie Taylor, President of the golf club, called on Mr Telfer, Glasgow, who, on opening the proceedings congratulated the committee on their enterprise in getting the much-needed golf course set agoing, and wished them every success.

Provost Downie proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Telfer. Many amusements, games, and competitions were organised by Mr Ian R.C. Morrice, Management committee secretary" (AJ 30.7.1938)

      “This is a very sporting seaside course on rough bent-covered sand dunes. It is situated among some of the finest rock scenery. Par 40. Amateur record 37.” (SGC Mar 1947)


Last recorded 1950.

Rosehearty Today.
View looking North East. The course has always been at this location although the club has went to the wall on more than one ocassion.
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