Baldovan House Golf Course
The house is now demolished 2003
Overview : Sometimes referred to as Downfield and sometimes as Baldovan.
1895 Club Formed at Baldovan
1909 Club extend a new course at Baldovan
1919 Club fold at Baldovan
1923 Caird Park is opened in November
1923 Club resuscitated as Baldovan at Caird Park
1925 Club trying to purchase clubhouse at Caird from council
1929 Club resuscitated again as Baldovan at Caird Park again
1932 Club move to new Downfield course and re-name Downfield golf club
1933 Downfield course ready for play
1933 Downfield Opens as nine holes
1933 Downfield, October, Braid on site to look at extension to 18 holes.
1934 Downfield extension opens
1964 Downfield move to another location further West
Downfield Golf Club. Instituted 1895. “The course, of nine holes, varying from 90 to 370 yards (par33), is on the banks of the strea, Dighty, in the policies of Sir Reginald Ogilvy, Bart. The hazards comprise the burn, trees, a mill-dam, and a cart road. Baldovan station is a quarter of a mile
off.” (Golfing Annual 1907 - 1908 )
The land was returned to agricultural use at the beginning of WW1, and the Club was never revived after the war.
Formation Of Golf Club
"A meeting was held in Downfield Public Hall on Friday last to consider as to the advisableness of forming a golf club in connection with the village and district.
After discussion, it was unanimously agreed to form such a club, and Mr William Smith was appointed President, Mr George Tarbet, being elected secretary ad interim. It was decided to approach Sir Reginald Ogilvy, Bart., for the purpose of securing ground for practice on the Home Farm of Baldovan, and a committee was appointed to wait upon Sir Reginald with this object." (Evening Times, 4.11.1895)
Proposed Golf Course For Downfield
Dundee Courier, November 13th, 1895
"When the idea of securing a golf course near the village was first spoken about doubt was expressed as to the likelihood of sufficient ground being available for the purpose, and for this reason the proposal received rather half-hearted support.
Some of those favourable to the project, however, took the matter up with much energy, and the result was the formation of the Downfield golf club. A deputation from the club waited on Sir Reginald Ogilvy, and the result of that interview is distinctly encouraging to golfers.
Sir Reginald expressed himself as in full sympathy with this movement for acquiring facilities for recreation, and pointed out several large fields over which the club might secure the privilege of playing. At a meeting of the club held on Monday evening it was decided to take measures for obtaining possession of a portion of the ground offered, which would admit of the laying out of a nine hole course.
The extent of the projected course would afford scope for long driving, while there would be no lack of natural hazards. As the number of members must be restricted, those who wish to enjoy a game of golf within easy reach of their homes should at once get their names enrolled, and the prospects of a large membership have been anticipated by a resolution to the effect that after the expiry of the present month an entrance fee will be necessary for admittance. Those intending to join should therefore communicate at once with the secretary of the club, Mr Tarbet, Camperdown Villa."
Evening Times December 12th, 1895
Formal Opening Of Golf Course
"The Downfield members experienced the worst of weather on Saturday afternoon in their attempt to introduce the game of golf into the suburbs of Dundee.
The formal opening duly came off by the driving of a ball from the first tee by the Hon. President of the club – Sir Reginald Ogilvy, Bart. – but subsequent play was simply out of the question on account of a heavy fall of snow. From some remarks which fell from the President, it seems there is plenty of elbow room in the vicinity of Downfield for golf extension. The wonder is, that the treasure has lain so long undiscovered, for the golf fiend, like the company promoter, is ever on the warpath.
When once “ The niceties of the game” are understood out Baldovan waythe question of a course at Hillhouses may soon engage the attention of the Downfield residenter.
The course which was played on on Saturday for the first time is not without the hazard which unquestionably gives additional charm to the sport. The greens are perhaps not quite so smooth as will ensure accurate putting ; but the remedy for this is very much in the hands of the members, as attendance at the course will help to harden the turf."
Dundee Courier, November 24th, 1896
Safe For Another Year
"The Downfield Golf Club has just secured their present course for another year. The Council was anxious to secure a lease for a period of years, but the proprietor, Sir Reginald Ogilvy, could not see his way to agree to that in the meantime. This year the right of fencing the greens and keeping down the heavy patches of grass has been arranged with the grazier, so that next summer more pleasure in play should be experienced than was the case during the past wet season, when the grass was unusually long. Just now the course is in excellent order, and is much in use. At the annual general meeting the other evening the Treasurers report showed that the membership of the club, as restricted, was complete, and that, notwithstanding the heavy expenses incidental to the commencement of the club, there was a substantial balance in the hands of the Treasurer.
Downfield, like most of the other inland clubs, has arranged a conversazione and dance. Most of the members have accepted invitations, and the affair promises to be a big success. An excellent programme has been prepared for the Conversazione."
Dundee Courier December 9th, 1897
The remarkable improvement effected on the Downfield course since the club was formed and the abundant prosperity which has followed the financial operations of the club testify in the most marked degree to the trouble and skill which the executive officers have brought to bear on their respective duties.
With such gentlemen as Messrs Tarbet and Anderson at the head of affairs, ably supported as they are by Captain William Smith, prosperity must continue to follow the Downfield Golf Club.
Dundee Courier, December 12th, 1897
"A tie between G.D. Smith and John Laing to determine the winner for the year of the clubs monthly medal was played off on Saturday, and resulted in a win for Mr Laing, who has thus gained the honour of being the first member to have his name inscribed on this handsome medal. The new years day tournaments of lady and of gentlemen members of the club are creating much interest, and given a fine day a large gathering is anticipated.
Many handsome prizes – several of them of a very seasonable character – have already been gifted. The Council has not yet determined all the conditions of play, but one or two of the donors have stipulated that their prizes are to be awarded to those who have not as yet gained a prize at any of the matches of the club."
Dundee Courier December 16th, 1897
The Captain and Vice Captain ( Head Sketches )
Above is from a photo of the new Captain of the Downfield Golf Club. Dr Butter, who was unanimously elected Captain at the annual meeting last Friday, acted as Vice Captain for the past two years, and popular as he was in this office, we feel sure that the greater facilities afforded him as President opens up an important field which the worthy doctor is in every way capable of filling. A keen golfer, an enthusiastic supporter and advocate of the game, endowed with great tact, and a knack of managing business and finance affairs successfully, the able and cheery doctor should make a beautiful Captain
The above is a portrait of the Vice Captain, Mr Lewis Carmichael of Roineach Mhor, who is surely another well selected office bearer. Mr Carmichael showed the interest he has at heart for golf and the Downfield club by presenting this year two very handsome gold medals – one to be played for by the lady members, and the other for the gentlemen players. These are known by the Carmichael Jubilee Challenge Medals, and the first competition for these this year elicited so much earnest play that it is truly apparent how much they are valued by every member of the club. A young golfer, but already showing signs of golf of no mean order, liked and admired for his unassuming and frank disposition, he is likely to fill the office of Vice-Captain creditably.
Dundee Courier December 20th 1897
Downfield Golf Club
A tie between G.D. Smith and John Laing to determine the winner for the year of the clubs monthly medal was played off on Saturday, and resulted in a win for Mr Laing, who has thus gained the honour of being the first member to have his name inscribed on this handsome medal. The new years day tournaments of lady and of gentlemen members of the club are creating much interest, and given a fine day a large gathering is anticipated.
Many handsome prizes – several of them of a very seasonable character – have already been gifted. The Council has not yet determined all the conditions of play, but one or two of the donors have stipulated that their prizes are to be awarded to those who have not as yet gained a prize at any of the matches of the club.
Dundee Courier, December 18th, 1899
Match V Kirriemuir
"The Downfield club engaged on Saturday in a friendly encounter with the Kirriemuir Golf Club on the course of the former at Baldovan. Earlier in the year the Downfield club sustained a rather severe defeat at the hands of the Kirriemuir on their course. This time the result has been reversed, the Downfield club winning by nine holes. The conditions of play at Downfield and Kirriemuir are somewhat different, and this, no doubt, accounts for the severe defeat of Kirrie’s scratch men. These players did not appear to pick up the course until far on in the game, and it is difficult to understand how such formidable opponents on their own course should be so completely off unless for the cause referred to. The following is the result :-
H. Black …………………………. 0 James Mellville ………………………. 8
A. Black …………………………. 0 Rev. M.N. Rice ……………………….. 12
W. Wilson ………………………. 0 William Laing ……………………….. 0
P. Graham ……………………… 0 William Eckford …………………… 3
A. Crerar …………………………. 2 John Laing …………………………… 0
G. Kyd …………………………….. 5 D.C.C. Laing …………………………. 0
A. McLaren ……………………… 7 James Anderson ……………………. 0
A. Phyn …………………………... 7 J.B. Taylor …………………………….. 0
H.E. Peacock ……………………... 0 William Sellar ……………………….. 7
Dundee Evening Telegraph November 10th, 1908
Rearrangement Of Downfield Course
A correspondent writes :- About the end of next month that club which has its quarters situated on the outskirts of Downfield – Baldovan golf club – will begin to play over what will be practically a new course, five new greens having been laid down. The Baldovan course lies on the North side of the road leading between Downfield and Mains, and is about ten minutes walk from the car terminus. The new ground opened up lies to the East of the present course, and consists of two large parks enabling a few good long holes to be made and these present many features in regard to hazards in the shape of wire fences, trees, and the like found on inland courses.
The council, it is understood, are to have a free hand in the matter of the “rough” – a thing which has been sadly awanting in the past – thereby enabling much more pleasure to be derived from the game.
Dundee Evening Telegraph January 5th, 1909
New Golf Course
On Saturday ( Says a correspondent ) Baldovan Club formally opened their new course in the old-fashioned method of a Captain versus Vice - Captain match. In some places they do things differently; only the other day at a similar function the chief actors were Mr Arthur Balfour, partnered bv James Braid, and the Hon. Alfred Lyttelton, who was supported by Harry Vardon.
A crowd was drawn to the scene where the distinguished quartette performed: at Baldovan the golfers were unmolested by the attentions ignorant of the etiquette of golf. There was by no means a large gathering at Baldovan anxious participate the ceremony. New year's Day was the original time fixed for the historic parade of Downfield's chief golfers, but the elements intervened and demanded pause and a bowing of the knee to Captain
Burn and his colleagues who are responsible for the new government of the game which came into being the Ist of January, 1909. In the Burn code there is no provision for a snow-mantled course, Hence Baldovan Executive had no option in the matter of a declaration. Nine couples appeared on Saturday morning, and the prospect was eminently satisfying, inasmuch as the fairway was void of the casual' disturbance. Lying “high” and with a southern exposure, ground is, to put the case mildly, in a state that will for a period, make iron play a burden to the long handicap man.
Everybody seemed pleased; the times were propitious for the feeling; and the change was praised by the optimist, who enlarged on the idea of more brassy play and willie park iron strokes; further, the new arrangement obviates crossing. Ladies are placed on an equality with the gentlemen members; the Pankhurts therefore need expect, no converts at Downfield, and the outlook of the Baldovan club is extremely healthy.
Dundee Courier, April 28th, 1913
Immense Progress Of Baldovan Golf Club
Is Crowned By Opening of
Handsome New Clubhouse
Since its inception eighteen years ago Baldovan golf club has progressed immensely, but there was always one blot in the picture – no clubhouse adorned the beautifully situated course.
But Downfield golfers are a pushful lot. For a number of years past the only meeting place was an out of date tramcar, but on the site of that old relic of the steam car system there stands to-day a modern clubhouse. It is a pretty erection, and very commodious indeed, it is far beyond the wildest dreams of the enthusiasts.
The “ House” is built of wood upon brick foundations. Messrs Dargie & co, Downfield, were the contractors for the brick work, the erection being in the hands of Messrs W.R. Thomson & co, Edinburgh. The architect was Mr George Ford of Messrs Mann & Ford, Dundee.
The building consist of two large rooms, with two cloakrooms and a kitchen.
The members reached their ambition on Saturday, when the new “ House” was opened by Mr John Mitchell, editor of the “ Courier.” The torrential rains caused the opening ceremony to be held indoors, the scene being thus shorn of much of its gaiety.
Dr A.M. Hardie, the captain of the club, presided over a large audience, which included a big coterie of ladies.
The first meeting
Mr Mitchell said it was on the 1st November, 1895, that the first meeting of the club was held. It was attended by only eight residenters, and, curiously enough, three were school teachers – Mr George Tarbet, Mr James McAsh, and Mr William Eckford.
There also present Mr James Anderson and the late Mr William Smith, and just immediately after, Mr D.Y. Preston, and Mr Frank Boyd joined the club. There was never anything truer than that Downfield had made immense progress during the twenty years that had elapsed since the golf club was initiated. There were public streets where there were at that time agricultural lands. They had cricket and football pitches, and even a public park. They had also this great feather in their cap that they were the first to start a real Dundee golf course. They did so at a time when Dundee had not the faintest intention of stretching its tentacles in their direction, and they had no gifts from any wealthy citizen of Dundee. They did it entirely off their own bat. These facts showed that a village, like a great city, had no lack of community of interest, no lack of enterprise, foresight, and perseverance. He thought they would admit that no more beautiful situation could have been selected for a golf course, and he did not know of any inland course that was prettier than this. He congratulated them upon the prosperity which had attended them during the past eighteen years, especially upon the erection of that beautiful clubhouse,which he declared open.
On the call of Mr Frank Boyd, Mr Mitchell was heartily thanked.
Mr J.M. Nairn and Mr A.B. Crichton also addressed the gathering, and congratulated the club upon it success.
After tea, a delightful concert was held in the new clubhouse – Dr Hardie presiding.
The contributors to the programme were Miss Mary Dawson, Miss B. Munroe, Mr James Barnet, and Mr James Aitken. Miss Isabella Tarbet was a capital accompanist. A dance followed.
Downfields New Pavilion Evening Telegraph April 28th 1913 Mr Spark Driving off At First Tee. The opening ceremony was performed by Mr J. Mitchell.
Evening Times, June 25th, 1919
Should the Downfield Golf Course
( Special To The Telegraph and Post )
“The passing of the Downfield Golf Club should not be lost sight of by Dundee Corporation. For over Twenty Years the Downfield, Baldovan golf links have afforded recreation for the residenters of the Northern suburb of Dundee, and the course was as good an inland course as could be desired. The members of the club spent a lot of money of putting the fields into proper trim for their sport, and they had a most successful career.
There were nine holes of a fine sporting nature, ranging from a short hole of about 100 yards to one of 450 yards. The ground was perhaps somewhat flat, but with the introduction of plenty of hazards, together with a stone dyke and fences, variety was introduced into the play. . The demand for the cultivation of all land for food purposes led to the course being ploughed up in 1916, and, as it proved, this was the end of the Downfield, Baldovan Course.
It may be argued that the corporation are to lay down a course at the Mains, but this is by no means so certain as many people think, as several of the present members of the Town Council do not favour a large part of the ground gifted by Sir James K. Caird, being given over to golfers; but even although a course is provided, still the old Downfield course will prove a fine auxiliary and relieve to some extent the Mains Course. The Town Council should certainly consider the proposal
In the event, the Corporation opted for Caird Park, which opened in 1923. The sad fact is that one of Dundee's other courses is now to close in 2020 ( See Camperdown )
Nisbet’s Golfing Year Book of 1914 has it as Baldovan GC.
Dundee Courier, June 26th, 1919
Baldovan Club Disbanded
The Baldovan golf club has been disbanded. A meeting of the members was held in Lambs Hotel, Dundee, last night, when this decision was come to. Mr W.C. Lamb presided. It was also decided that £165, the amount standing to the credit of the club, should be equally divided amongst the members. The question of the disposal of the club’s medals was considered and it was agreed that these should be retained in the possibility of a new club being formed, otherwise the medals should be handed to the Corporation for competition on the new Caird Park course. At the close of the meeting, the founding of a new club was discussed, but no decision was come to.
Dundee Courier, May 22nd, 1923
Baldovan Golf Club Resucitated
A meeting of the former members of the defunct Baldovan Golf Club was held in Ingram’s tea room, Dundee, last night, when the advisability of resuscitating the club was under consideration and finally decided upon.
Play will be on the new course at Caird Park, and the Town Council will be approached with a view to securing locker accommodation.
Owing to the large number of applications for memberships which have been received, it was decided to give priority to applications from former members received during the next fortnight. New members will also be admitted up to a stated number, and afterwards a waiting list will be opened.
Office-bearers were appointed as follows ;- Captain, Mr W.C. Lamb ; Vice Captain, Mr William Bruce ; Secretary, Mr W.M. Dickson, Claverhouse ; Treasurer, Mr B. Gibb Irons ; Committee, Messrs A. Fernie, J. Russell Taylor, and W. Sellars.
It was decided to hold a match – Captain V Vice Captain – at an early date, on any available course.
The Downfield golf club web site states that the club did not Re-appear until 1932 when the new Downfield golf course was opened and the club changed its name to Downfield golf club. The above information shows that the club re-formed at Caird Park first before moving to the new Downfield course later. I also have another resucitation file for 1929 which i still have to research further. Although the new Caird Park course was a municipal venture i have included it below as it was to be the home of the Downfield / Baldovan club for another 10 years or so.
Opening Of Caird Park Course
Mrs Marryat Plays First Ball
Dundee Evening Telegraph November 5th, 1923
Experts Predict Great Future For The Course
Downfield's New Home
Caird Park Golf Course is now an accomplished fact, and the future of golf in Dundee is of roseate hue. The new course, which was first spoken of ten years ago, was officially opened on Saturday afternoon, and the general expert opinion was that in a year or two it will be one of the best inland courses in Scotland—and even in England. It was unfortunate that the weather conditions should have been so cold and wintry, but it would have taken great deal more than bad weather to affect the enthusiasm which imbued the 2000 crowd which took part in a memorable "christening " ceremony. Mrs Marryat, sister of Dundee's greatest benefactor, the late Sir James K. Caird, Bart., ( In Photo ) commanded the admiration of all her presence in spite of adverse weather. Mrs Marryat formally declared the course open, and in a hurricane and chill wind winded her way down to the starting tee, and played off the first ball.
A Dream Realised. Mr Alex. Aimer, convener of the Parks Committee, presided over the large gathering the opening ceremony, which included many members of the Town Council as well as representatives from local golf clubs. Mr E. Scrymgeour, senior M.P. for the city, was also present. Convener Aimer, said that his dream of two or three years ago had been realised and was proud that that day they had met to open the Caird Park Municipal Golf Course, for which they were indebted to the generosity of the late Sir James K. Caird. (Applause.)
As far as the golf course was concerned, they had spared no effort or money to make it a golf course worthy of the city of Dundee. (Applause.)
Calling upon Mrs Marryat to declare the course open, Lord Provost Spence said that of all the great gifts made to Dundee by the late Sir James K. Caird and his sister, Mrs Marryat, none would be more highly appreciated or more taken advantage of than the great gift of that pleasure park. It was Well to remember that in addition to the golf course there were facilities for all sorts of games—'cricket, football, tennis, hockey, and a children's playground—so that their city folks would have ample opportunity in the future of engaging in healthy recreation to their hearts' content. , The Lord Provost referred to Mr James Kerr, bootmaker, Wellgate, and said that it was largely through his instrumentality that the late Sir James K. Caird made the gift to the city. It was Mr Kerr who suggested the gift to Sir James as a New Year's present to the city ten years ago. It was Mr Kerr who carried through the negotiations with the owner of the ground, and he (the Lord Provost) was pleased to know that the Parks Committee had named the 15th hole Kerr Knowe, and that his name would down to posterity and be associated with the course for all time. (Applause.)
Cost of Layout.
While it was ten years since the gift was given to the city, it was exactly two years since Alex. Macrae, the parks superintendent. was given possession, and he had expended on that work rather more than £5000. He (the Lord Provost) did not know very much about golf courses—he did not pose as an authority the least —but by those most competent to judge he was told that the work had been most successfully carried through. Over £1000 had been spent on the course on seed and rather more than £3000 in wages, and the balance had gone towards material and equipment, that in addition to providing the community with a first-class inland golf course Mr Macrae was able to employ for a considerable portion of the time fifty men for the work, and thus relieved unemployment to that, extent. (Applause.)
Mrs Marryat then rose, and, to the accompaniment of hearty cheering, said she had much pleasure in declaring the course open. Mr D. A. Anderson, who replied on behalf Mrs Marryat said that she was very pleased to be present at the opening ceremony, and her chief regret was that her late brother. Sir James Caird, had not lived to witness it, and they all regretted that. The late Sir James had wonderful foresight, and immediately he had the suggestion put before him by Mr Kerr he, (Mr Anderson) understood that he at once accepted the suggestion and set about arranging for the buying over of the ground for the citizens of Dundee.
That was a very good trait in Sir James' character, and the citizens were to-day benefiting from his generosity. (Applause.) thanked them for turning out in such large numbers at the opening of the Caird Park, and hoped on behalf of Mrs Marryat that full advantage would taken of the facilities there provided for recreation and for rest. (Applause.).
Mr William Nicoll, ex-convener of the Parks Committee, then presented to Mrs Marryat and to Mrs Spence charming and ingenious souvenirs of the occasion in the form handsome cases each containing a miniature silver golf club and a tiny silver ball. Mr James Gillies, also a former convener of the Parks Committee, presented similar souvenirs to the Lord Provost and to Convenor Aimer.
A vote of thanks was accorded the Lord Provost, Mrs Marryat, Mrs Spence, and the convener, on the motion of Mr Wm. Reid. In the blustering, biting wind Mrs Marryat played off the first ball from the starting tee. Mrs Marryat's graceful shot was rewarded with a ringing cheer, and Convener Aimer promptly retrieved the ball and retained it a memento of a memorable occasion. The " christening " match was then commenced, the participants in a four-ball foursome being Messrs J. Gordon Simpson (Scotscraig ) Alex. Mann (Panmure), the holder of the " Telegraph and Post " Cup, J. R. Hosie (Carnoustie), and R. T. Myles (Monifieth).
The crowd which followed the play easily numbered over 2000, and excitement was as high and interest as keen as if the issue was to decide the Open Championship. All four played off confidently and maintained a high standard right round. J. Gordon Simpson was early outstanding with faultless driving, and young Reggie Myles was also playing in championship form. Play was close, and the match was square at the turn. Hosie and Myles lost the next three holes, but were all square again at the fifteenth. The sixteenth was halved, and Hosie and Myles won the seventeenth. a half resulted at the home green, and the young players won a keen game by one hole.
The best ball would be about 75. As was only to be expected thus early, the greens were often not quite true, and the ball was inclined to bump. All the players experienced difficulty in chipping the green and putting.
Interviews obtained from the players at the end of the game were of a most favourable description. Hosie and Myles were in thorough agreement that after the course had been tramped down a bit it would come on beautifully. Hosie said the lay-out was very good, and commented on the fair length the course. J. Gordon Simpson said. " it’s a perfect lay-out and just what a municipal course should be." Alex, Mann said, " The course is young yet, but it will come on beautifully. It is something to be proud of." Quite a number of golfers engaged in a round after the official opening.
Dun Courier, March 7th, 1925
Baldovan Golf Club Want A New Clubhouse
George Gray occupied the chair at the annual meeting of the members of the Baldovan Golf Club last night, when there was a large attendance of members. Mr W. M. Dickson, secretary, reported that he had been in negotiation with the Town Council on the question of the clubhouse at Caird "Park Golf Course, but the terms wore unsuitable, and the meeting decided the Council should be again approached in order to find out if they would reduce their price of £50 per annum. The financial statement, which was submitted »by the treasurer, Mr D. Gibb Irons, showed that the club was in healthy condition. Office-bearers for the ensuing year were elected follows: —Captain. Mr Wm. C. Lamb; vice-captain, Mr G. Gray: treasurer, Mr D. Gibb Irons; secretary. W. M. Dickson; match secretary, Mr I) Leslie: council—Messrs Wm. Coupar, ,T. Russell Taylor, Wm. Sellar, and Wm. Birse.
Leaving Caird for the new Downfield Course
Dundee Courier June 11th, 1932
New Golf Course
Forty acres acquired on
Dundee is to have another golf course in the near future. By private enterprise a nine-hole course is to be laid out in the polices of Camperdown between Lochee and Downfield. There is every likelihood that it will later be extended to 18 holes.
Several Dundee gentlemen who have been actively interested in the quest for a suitable lay-out have been successful in securing the offer of 40 acres of grass land on the Countess of Buckingham’s Caperdown estate, with the option of further ground for an 18-hole circuit. A meeting is being called immediately to form a club and enrol members. The prime movers in the matter are : - Messrs W.C. Lamb, Tayview ; T.M. Sparks, 27 Johnstone Avenue ; W. Stiven, 10 Frederick Street, Downfield, and Mrs Smith, Downfield House ; while Mr T.P.Douglas Murray, factor on the Caperdown estate, is also interested in the project.
The situation of the proposed course, which lies just West of Downfield within the city boundary, and with an entrance from Americanmuir Road is ideal. The land, through which winds the Gelly Burn is eminently suitable for the construction of a course.
With the natural hazards, the lay-out will be comparatively easy, while the trees ensure that the course will be sheltered. The nine-hole course will extend to the average length of 2500 yards, possible distances being a long hole of over 400 yards, a short hole of about 150 yards, and three holes of over 300 yards, and four holes of from 250 to 300 yards.
Mr James Braid, the noted professional, has been consulted and there is every chance he will come North to advise as to the lay-out. There is to be no delay with the new course. Work on the greens is to be commenced at once, while the general construction is intended to be underway by the autumn. It will depend on the progress of the greens whether play will commence next season.
A temporary clubhouse is to be constructed, with a permanent erection later on. There is every probability of a subsequent development of the city, North and West of Downfield.
Dundee Courier November 17th, 1932
New Dundee Golf Course
Meeting at Downfield To-morrow
A meeting has been called in Downfield Hall for tomorrow night by the promoters of the new golf course at Downfield, on which work has now commenced.
At the meeting the new club will be formally constituted. The desired three hundred membership has been secured, and already there is a waiting list for membership.
Play is not expected to begin until the beginning of next summer. Although the course is meantime limited to nine holes, an option has been secured on four fields with a view of extending the course to 18 holes. This will probably be achieved in about three years. The provision of suitable clubhouses and the question of Sunday golf – which is provided for in the terms of the lease – will probably be discussed at to-morrow’s meeting.
Dundee Courier November 19th, 1932
Downfield Golf Club
Work On Course To Begin On
The projected Downfield Golf Club, which has facilities for Sunday golf, was officially launched last night at a largely attended meeting of enrolled members in Downfield Public Hall. Three fields on the North side of the Gelly Burn have been secured for a nine-hole course, and the promoters have an option of acquiring further ground for an extension to an 18 hole-course. Work in earnest will commence on Monday, and it is expected that the course will be ready for play in the early part of next summer.
The following office bearers were elected last night :- Captain, Mr W.C. Lamb ; Vice Captain, Mr T.M. Sparks ; Secretary, Mr A.P. Sparks ; Treasurer, Mr John Stiven.
The following committee, with powers to draw up rules and regulations and proceed with the formation of the course was elected :- Messrs A.C. Barrie, George Gray, W.C. Hunter, Alexander Mitchell, Alexander Paton, C.M. Pearson, D.Y. Preston Junr, Davis Stirton, Charles L. Baxter, Peter Greig, G.A. Edwards, and James Mudie ; Ladies – Mrs D.B. Cunningham, Mrs John Brodie, Mrs W.F. Scrimgeour, Miss R.B. Milne, Mrs Leslie, Miss H. Webster, Mrs C. Boyd Anderson, and Mrs A. Bruce Ferguson.
The new Captain formally moved that those present form themselves into a club, to be called the Downfield Golf Club. An amendment that it be called the Dundee and Downfield Golf Club failed to find a seconder.
Membership Of 300
Mr A.P. Sparks, secretary, stated that in the lease the club had powers to erect a clubhouse, shelters,&c., but that the sale of spirits or alcohol liquors was prohibited. The proprietors had no objection to Sunday golf. The membership of the club stood at 300 – 90 ladies and 210 gentlemen – and there was a waiting list of about 18 names.
Mr Lamb, in a resume, said that they only got possession of the course last Saturday. Yesterday they had appointed a grrenkeeper, who was to start work on Monday with a squad of men, who would be under the supervision of Mr D. Millar, the Blairgowrie Professional. The course, when opened, would extend to 2,900 yards. It would be in a playable condition by the early summer. Mr Millar was delighted with the greens, and would have no difficulty whatever in getting them quickly into condition.
Replying to a question, the Captain said that they did not need to raise the question of Sunday golf. It was not prohibited in the lease, and the feeling of the promoters was that Sunday golf could go on. It was not necessary to move that there be Sunday golf.
A member asked if they were to turf the greens or sow them. After the disastrous experience of Caird Park, he said, that was an important point.
The Captain replied that Mr Millar thought they could get good greens without sowing at all.
Dundee Evening Telegraph April 18th, 1933
Downfield Golf Course
To Be Opened next Week By The
Hon. Mrs Bruce Ogilvy
Downfield golf course will be opened on Saturday of next week by Hon. Mrs Bruce Ogilvy. The course, is one of nine holes is nearly ready. In recent years golf has made great strides in popularity, and Dundonains have been crying out for more courses. It’s a very dickens of a job to get a reasonably quiet round at any time of the day or season. The Downfield course will alleviate the congestion in a measure at least.
Ever since the old Baldovan golf club wound up in the early years of the war, there has been a movement afoot to found a new club. But it is less than a year ago since the ground for the course was leased from the factor of the Camperdown Estate.
David Millar, the Rosemount professional, was principal advisor in the lay-out of the course. Mr Leith, his assistant, was put in charge of the construction. He is now the club’s head greenkeeper. It was late last year till the work was begun. In little more than five months half a dozen men have converted sixty acres of pasturage into a playable golf course. It measures nearly 3000 yards.
The course is a spacious one. The fairways average sixty yards in width. It has been laid out to suit most faulty golfers – those afflicted with the disease known as “ slice,” On the other hand, if you pull, you’re for it. The first two holes are open on the right hand side, but bounded on the left by the Gelly Burn. The fourth and fifth have a wood to the North as a trap for “ hooked,” shots. The holes average 330 yards in length, with the “ long seventh,” stretching for 455 yards from the West towards the clubhouse. The turf, is good firm stuff – of a much finer quality than is usually found on an inland course. Any benefits to big hitting which might accrue from this are counter balanced by the liberal sprinkling of bunkers with which the course is supplied. There isn’t an unguarded green.
The clubhouse is a stout wooden erection, with a stone foundation. It has five rooms, with accommodation for both men and women members. There will be two entrances to the course. One is by Americanmuir Road, where there will be a car park in the wood. The other is by Macalpine Road, with a drive to the parking place for motorists.
Members have been readily forthcoming. Already there is a fair size waiting list since it has been decided to limit membership to 300 for the present. Of the 300 approximately 90 are ladies. With the option on another four fields, the committee has decided to extend the course to a “ full sized,” one of eighteen holes. It will probably be two years at least before this is possible. Sunday golf will be permitted – during the whole of the day, moreover.
Play on the opening day will be by two-ball foursomes only.
Dundee Courier May 1st, 1933
New Dundee Golf Course
Opening Ceremony At
Lord Provost Drives Off First Ball.
An important addition to Dundee’s golfing facilities was provided on Saturday by the opening of the new course of Downfield Golf Club.
The opening ceremony, which attracted a large gathering of the general public as well as members of the new club, was performed by the Hon. Mrs Bruce Ogilvy, Bankhead, Forfar, and Lord Provost Buist drove off the first ball.
The new course is situated in a charmingly wooded corner of the Camperdown estate, fringing, but still delightfully secluded from, the busy life of the city. Meantime the course is confined to nine holes. Mr David Millar, Rosemount, who has been responsible for the layout, has, however, utilised the natural features of the ground, together with a skilful arrangement of bunkers, to make it both sporting and interesting.
Its extent of well nigh 3000 yards has been divided up into holes averaging about 300 yards each, with one short hole of 160 and one long hole of 455 yards.
The club has the option on ground for extension to eighteen holes, and the success of the initial effort has been such that the option is to be exercised right away. Thanks to the efforts of the ladies, who comprise about one third of the restricted membership of 300, an excellent clubhouse designed by Mr A.C. Barrie, architect, has been erected on the ground and was ready for Saturday’s function. The club is also fortunate in the possession of a selection of valuable trophies for competition.
These include a handsome silver shield of special sentiment value to the members, in that it is the personal work as well as the gift of Mrs C.W. Smith, who, along with Mr W. Stiven, shares the credit of having set on foot the formation of the new golf club. This shield is in the form of a plaque, with a characteristic golfing figure artistically worked in relief.
Four gold medals and three silver medals, which belonged to the Baldovan club, the original golf club of the Downfield district, have also been handed over to the new club by the trustees – Mr William C. Lamb, the Captain of the new body ; Mr A.M. Reid, and Mr David Clark. The earliest of these medals date back to 1897.
At the formal proceedings on Saturday, which took the form of a cake and candy sale. Lord Provost Buist presided. Among those present were the hon. Mr and Mrs Bruce Ogilvy ; The lady Provost ( Mrs W.H. Buist ), Sir William High and Miss High, Mr and Mrs W.H. Blyth Martin, Hospitalmaster, G.A. Johnstone and Mrs Johnstone, Bailie J.G. Fraser, Chief Constable and Mrs John Macdonald, Mr R.A. Scrymgeour, Mr Alex. Macrae, Mr Wm. C. Lamb ( Captain ) and Mrs Lamb, Mr and Mrs T.P. Douglas Murray, Mr and Mrs W. Stiven, Mr and Mrs C. Boyd Anderson, Mr T.M. Sparks ( Vice Captain ), Mr John Stiven ( Treasurer ), Mr D.Y. Preston, Mr A.C. Barrie and Mr Menzies Bruce.
The Lord Provost said that he did not think there was any sport which drew out the qualities of men better than the game of golf.
Blessing And Curse
In formally declaring the new course open, the Hon. Mrs Bruce Ogilvy said she thought the course and clubhouse looked absolutely magnificent, and were a great credit to everybody who had had anything to do with the making of them.
She was quite sure they would be a great blessing to the tired business man and perhaps a curse to all wives whose husbands had had a bad round or practiced their shots in the drawing-room. ( Laughter ).
Miss June Baxter presented Mrs Ogilvy with a box of chocolates. Mr William C. Lamb, the Captain, expressed the thanks of the members to those who had given assistance and loyal work in the preparation of the course and the clubhouse and to Mrs Bruce Ogilvy and the Lord Provost for the part they had taken in that afternoon’s ceremony.
Mr Lamb referred to the great assistance the promoters had received from Mr Douglas Murray in the negotiations with the Countess Of Buckinghamshire for the lease of the ground ; the work of Mr Millar and Mr Jack Leith, who had now been appointed head greenkeeper in the laying out of the ground ; to Mr Barrie, one of the club’s members for his professional advice in connection with the clubhouse and course ; to the social committee, and especially the ladies who had worked so energetically ; the original promoters of the club. Mrs Smith and Mr Stiven and Mr A.B. Sparks, the secretary.
After the Hon. Mrs Bruce Ogilvy unlocked the clubhouse door with a key presented by Mr Barrie, the architect, the Lord Provost drove off in a two-ball foursome in which he was partnered by Mr W.H. Blyth Martin against Mr Bruce Ogilvy and Mr A. Mitchell.
A large number of amusement stalls had been organised on the course by a committee, of which Mrs Smith and Mrs J. Brodie were the convenors. A cake and candy stall, laiden with tempting dainties, was under the convenorship of Mrs C. Boyd Anderson and Mrs W.F. Scrimgeour, with Mrs A. Mitchell, Mrs A.C. Barrie, Mrs R. Pryde, and Miss R. Milne assisting.
In a huge marquee teas were served under the convenorship of Mrs D.B. Cunningham, assisted by Mrs W. Burns, Mrs D.L. Storie, Mrs W.M. Patrick, Mrs F. Gray, Mrs Bruce Ferguson, Mrs R.G. Leslie, Misses Grace Mudie, Margaret Clark, E. Pearson, Margaret Leslie, Dorothy Wilkinson, Elsie Marnock, Barbara Smith, Francis Adams, Margaret and Chrissie Rattray. Clock golf was in charge of Mr J. Mudie.
During the afternoon an interesting programme of music was supplied by the band of Balgowan School, under the baton of Mr Melville Salmon.
Dundee Courier October 12th, 1933
James Braid to Be
It is proposed to extend Downfield golf course to 18 holes. The proposal was made at a meeting of the Club committee. It was decided to obtain the assistance of Mr James Braid, the famous professional and course architect. Mr Braid, it is expected, will be in Dundee on 25th October, when he will advise the club on the possibilities of the ground and lay-out of the extension.
Dundee Evening Telegraph October 25th, 1933
James Braid Pays
What May Be Done
Mr James Braid, the well known golf professional visited Downfield to-day in connection with the proposed extension of the new course.
The idea of the promoters when the course was first mooted was that when extension came along, the fields lying parallel with the present course, and with it forming the square formed by the belt of the plantation would be added. Economy was the chief recommendation of this idea. On the other hand, there was a fear that its very lack of geographical feature would mean that play would be inclined to be monotonous.
Success Of The Club
The success of the club as evidenced by the application for membership and the advantage that has been taken by visitors of the day and other short term tickets led some of the members to think of a more ambitious undertaking. This was to continue the line of the present course by breaking through the plantation and adding two fields beyond as well as the smaller field which now forms the Western boundary.
Mr Braid at once confirmed the wisdom of this suggestion. In conversation with a “ Telegraph and Post,” reporter after he had surveyed the whole of the ground he said he was very pleased indeed with the area which was now proposed for the new holes.
“ I feel it would make a first-class layout. It is exceedingly pretty. It is just nicely undulating. The turf is very good, and it looks as if it would be absolutely dry. In the third field he pointed out it was like Gleneagles. After playing the first two holes an entirely different country was entered.
Mr Braid’s Scheme
In the scheme which Mr Braid is proposing, the plantation is being taken full advantage of to add interest to the golf as well as beauty to the landscape. The three small ponds that form a charming feature of the picture are also to play a prominent part in the layout.
In his survey of the ground Mr Braid was accompanied by Mr William C. Lamb, Captain ; Mr A.P. Sparks, Secretary ; Mr A.C. Barrie, architect ; Mr Fred S. Walker,the club professional ; and Mr John Leith, the head greenkeeper.
Dundee Courier December 8th, 1933
18 – Hole Course For
Work To Begin Next
Arrangements have been completed for starting the extension work on Downfield golf course next week. Through the courtesy of Mr T.P Douglas Murray, factor to the Countess of Buckinghamshire, who has taken a keen interest in the club since its formation, immediate entry has been given to the ground required.
The contract for construction has been placed with firm of John R. Stutt, Paisley, and work will begin next week, so as to have the extension completed in the early spring. The third hole of the present course is to be done away with. The present fourth, eighth, and ninth, which will become the thirteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth, are thereby lengthened. The fairways between the new fourth, tenth, and eleventh holes run through the plantation and will be fringed in each case with trees. When work is complete the 18 holes will run to a length of over 6,200 yards.
One feature of the new course will be the crossing and re-crossing of the Ardler Ponds. Around these are many large trees, which, according to James Braid’s plan, are not to be interfered with, thus adding dignity and beauty to the situation.
The new nine-holes start with the new third hole and finish with the twelfth.
Dundee Courier May 21st, 1934
Nine More Holes Downfield
The extension to Downfield golf course, Dundee, was formally opened on Saturday afternoon. Nine holes have been added, making an 18-hole course of some 6100 yards in length.
The clubhouse has also been extended by the the addition two wings to provide acommodation for the additional 300 or so which are being included in the membership.
Two large new lounges and extra locker rooms have thus been provided. The opening ceremony was performed by Mr W. Stiven, the hon. President and Mr P T. Smith, the hon. Vice President.
Mr W. C. Lamb, the Captain, presided. He said it was most fitting that on that occasion they should honour the lady and gentleman, Mrs Smith and Mr Stiven, with whom the idea of the course originated. Mr Stiven said that last year about that time they were rubbing their eyes in astonishment to see what had recently been grazing fields converted into a fine nine hole course
Now, when they went further West, they would find an equally remarkable transformation. They would think that the fairies had been waving their wands. He could assure them they were not fairies, but hefty men wielding picks and shovels and other tools.
Thanks were due to that grand golfer and king of golf course architects, Mr James Braid, and to Messrs Stutt, Paisley.
They had now a magnificent 18-hole course and a magnificent clubhouse and pavilion,which Mrs Smith and he had much pleasure in declaring open. Mrs Smith formally opened the doors of the new clubhouse wings. Votes of thanks were accorded to Mrs Smith and Mr Stiven on the motion of Mr T. M. Sparks, vice Captain. The members afterwards took part in a mixed four-ball match between teams representing the captain and Vice Captain.
Captain Vice Captain
W.C. Lamb and Mrs T. Smith ………………. 1 T.M. Sparks and Mrs W.F. Scrimgeour ………… 0
G.B. Lamb and H.M. Lamb ………………….. 1 D.B. Lamb and J.L. Baxter ………………………… 0
G, Farquarson and J. Maiden ……………… 0 A. Murray and M. Brymer …………………………. 1
F. Gray and A.A. Farquhar ………………….. 0 D,B. Cunningham and W.F. Scrimgeour ……… 1
Miss Kidd and J. McGill ………………………. 0 H. Bairner and Miss Marnoch …………………….. 1
Miss Hill and Mr Rioch ……………………. 1 Mrs Rioch and L. Hill ………………………………….. 0
W.R. Hutton and J.M. McDonald ………… 1 D.K. Robertson and R. Johnstone ……………….. 0
Miss M. Clark and G.K. Robertson ………. 0 Mrs D.Y. Preston and D.Y. Preston ……………… 0
Mrs A.B. Ferguson and Mrs Dickson …… 0 Mrs D.B. Cunningham and Miss Cameron …. 1
Miss Strachan and W.J. Smith ……………. 0 Miss Hutchison and G.A. Hunter ……………….. 0
Miss P.B. Milne and J. Bain …………………. 0 J. Simpson ……………………………………………….. 1
Mrs W. Ogilvie and J. Stiven ………………. 0 W. Ogilivie ……………………………………………….. 1