Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland
 Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland

Loch Awe & Dalmally.

Loch Awe and Dalmally Golf Club.  Founded 1907.  A 9-hole course on land owned by Castles Farm to the west of Stronmilchan Road close to its junction with the (now) A 85, 1 mile from Lochawe station. “A 9 hole course is being laid out at Loch Awe by Charlie Hunter. There is already a resident professional supervising the work and the club is in formation.” (GI 15.3.07).

Oban Times, February 2nd, 1907

Golf Course

A golf course needed.

 

The want of a golf course in the Loch Awe and Dalmally district has been a constant drawback for annual visitors to these parts, and in order that this may be removed, an influential committee was appointed and Lord Breadalbane approached. His Lordship has consented to the formationof such a course, and the only stipulation made is that it is to be called the Dalmally and Lochawe golf course. Mr Thomson, tenant of Castle Farm, has given permission for the laying of a nine hole course on his ground. The course will start near the public road at the Mhoille Burn, about one and a quarter miles from Lochawe. Draining operations have been commenced, the contract for this part of the work having been secured by Messrs Capbell & MacVean, Stronmilchain. Everything will be done to make the course a first-class one, and the work is to be pushed forward so that it may be ready for this season. As there will be a considerable outlay, it is proposed to hold a three days bazaar some time in August, the proceeds of which will go to the golf fund.

      Scotsman February 19th, 1907

 

           New course at Loch Awe

 

The district of Loch Awe & Dalmally, like others dependant to a large extent on summer visitors, has long felt the want of a golf course. With a view to meet this want, a small syndicate was formed, who secured the services of the veteran professional, Charles Hunter, of Prestwick, ( In Picture ) to select and lay out the course. The ground chosen is at Castles, about a mile from Loch Awe Hotel and Station, and about three miles from Dalmally. The lie of the ground is excellent, undulating and diversified with hillocks, and, in the opinion of Mr Hunter, will give an excellent and sporting nine hole course, which with time and due expenditure, will be good enough, as an inland course, to satisfy even the exacting player. The course will run to close on 2500 yards, with holes of from 300 yards downward ; and a large staff are already engaged in draining and other operations under the direction of an experienced professional. The turf for the putting greens will be brought from one of the best localities in the North-Eastern seabord. It is proposed to form a club, to be called the “ Loch Awe & Dallmally Golf Club,” and the scheme has the sanction and approval of the Marquis Of Breadalbane. The ground will be opened to visitors and others at very moderate charges, and it is hoped that the course will be ready for play early in the ensuing summer. With the excellence of the hotel accommodation and the attractions of the district, such as the free fishing in Loch Awe, boating, and excursions by steamer, road, and rail,  the project of a well-equipped golf course should prove a success.

Oban Times, February 23rd, 1907

Golf Course

 

The work of laying out the golf course has been much retarded owing to the unfavourable weather. A professional golfer has been engaged, and has now arrived here, and under his guidance the work will be carried out.

 

Oban Times, March 30th, 1907

Golf Course

 

Good progress continues to be made with the laying out of this course. Turf for the putting greens has been brought by rail all the way from Forres, and three of the greens are all but completed.

 

Oban Times, April 13th, 1907

Golf Course

 

The work in connection with the laying out of the Lochawe and Dalmally golf course is being rapidly pushed forward. Draing operations are all but completed, and the greens are ready for rolling. During the easter holidays the course was visited by several experts, who spoke highly of its sporting qualities.

 

ObanTimes, May 18th, 1907

Golf Course

 

The work in connection with the laying out of the Lochawe and Dalmally golf course is now well forward, and it is anticipated that it will be possible to have the links opened on Saturday 1st June.

 

Scotsman June 4th, 1907

 

Loch Awe Course and It’s Surroundings

 

Among the hundreds of golf courses to be found to-day scattered over the United Kingdom, many are picturesque, many beautiful, yet is it hardly too much to say that for grandeur and wild beauty of scenery the new course at Loch Awe is nowhere surpassed – if, indeed, anywhere equalled. The site of the course stretches over the lower and gentle slopes of the giants, Beinn Cruachan and Beinn Eunaich, at the entrance to wild Glen Strae. Just in the centre of the course stands a green conical hill – “ Barran an tuirc,” the knoll of the wild boar – the name all that is left to us of some long lost story. Standing here you have below you the course winding over the slopes and among the knolls ; while on every side stretches a panorama of matchless grandeur. To the East the long ridge of Beinn Donachain divides the glen from the deep gorge of Glen Orchy ; still turning Eastward, Beinn Laoigh marks the skyline boundary of the neighbouring county of Perth – the watersheds where streamlets but a stone throw apart flow the one to the German Ocean, the other to St George’s channel. Prominent in the middle distance is the temple-like monument to Duncan ban Macintyre, the sweet singer of Breadalbane, the bard of mountain, river, and glen, of red deer, roe, and salmon,the poet sportsman of the West. In the immediate foreground, where the river Orchy loses itself in the broader waters of the loch, stands prominent the ancient castle of Kilchuirn, its massive roofless walls a sad reminder of ruthless vandalism of the past. Here in the olden days Donnchadh Dubh a’ Churraichd – “ Black Duncan of the Cowl” – ruled with an iron rod. A yet older tale is that of the Lady Chatelaine, who here kept watch and ward what time her spouse went on pious errand to the Holy Land. On one of the group of islands, some two miles down the loch is a far older ruin, that of an ancient hunting seat of the Kings of Scotland, whose hereditary keepers were the chiefs of the then powerful clan Macnaughton ; and here, too, we have another legend of golden apples, fiery dragon, and valiant prince – a celtic Hesperides. Then there is Innishail, the green island, with its ruined chapel and ancient sculptured tombstones ; the gloomy Pass of Brander, and all the other ever-changing beauties of this lovely loch winding for twenty five miles from head to foot. The formal opening of the course is to take place on Saturday, when, visitors to the district will have the opportunity of witnessing a match between the young professional, Hugh Logan, of Whitecraigs, Glasgow, and the local man,Willie Brown.

Kilchurn Castle with Ben Cruachan in the background

Edinburgh Evening Dispatch, June 6th, 1907

 

Opening Of First Course

 

 "The new course of the Lochawe and Dalmally club was formally opened to-day by Mrs Campbell of Blythswood, who drove off the first ball. Thereafter an exhibition game was played between the Professional, Hugh Logan of Whitecraigs and Willie Brown, the home professional. Amongst those present at the opening ceremony were Mr J. Gordon Simpson, a member of the Scottish International Team, and Mr J.H. McGregor, ex-gold medallist of the Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society, who will play a match with the Professionals in the afternoon. 

  Scotsman, June 10th, 1907 

 

Grand Opening.

 

 “Great though it’s reputation may be in point of historical associations, it’s scenery, and the sport it affords to disciples of Isaac Walton, the district of Lochawe has been without the one thing needful from the point of view of the average visitor – a golf course.

That want has now been supplied. Situated on the farm of castles, about a mile east of Lochawe Station and Hotel, the new course consists of nine holes, and with such enthusiasm and energy has the project been undertaken that already mention is made of the possibility of extending the round to eighteen holes. To the veteran Prestwick professional, Charles Hunter, was entrusted the task of shaping the course. The nine holes are excellently placed with the view of providing capital sport, and in all other respects he has made the most of the ground at his disposal.

     Like other courses in the raw state, that the Lochawe is still rough in places, but with a continuance of the drainage operations and other works now in progress, the course, with it’s knolls, ridges, hillocks, and mountain burns, should in a very short time take it’s place as one of the best of it’s kind in the west of Scotland. As regards the greens no effort has been spared to provide a good putting surface, and to keep it in first class condition. The turf, of fine close texture, has been brought from Kinloss, in Morayshire, a distance of 200 miles, and in order to preserve it from cattle and sheep, substantial wire fencing has been erected around each green.

     There was a goodly gathering of ladies and gentlemen around the flagstaff, from the top of which the Lion Rampant fluttered gail in the breeze, when the opening ceremony took place on Saturday. Amongst those present were, Miss Campbell of Blythswood, Mr Charles H. Alston of Letterawe, Mrs and the misses Alston, Miss Brown, Carnock, Mr Duncan Fraser of Carrigthura, Mrs and the Misses Fraser, Mrs  Macdonald, Corries, Miss Connell, Mrs Kyd, Carnoustie, Mr R McDairmid, Corries, Mr and Mrs McLean, Dalmally, Miss Allan, Dr Cameron, Dalmally, The Rev. Farquar McRae, Dalmally, Mr T Dow, Mr P Wight and Mr J Farquar, secretary and treasurer of the club.

     Mr C. H. Alston said he was sorry Mr Gilfrid Hartley or Hayfield, the first captain of the club, was unavoidably prevented from being present to ask Miss Campbell to strike off the first ball. Miss Campbell would do so with an ancient putter made by Tom Morris fifty years ago, which might be emblematical, perhaps of the best traditions of the Royal and ancient game, and she would use the latest thing in American rubber-cored balls, which might be emblematical of the latest improvements and conditions of the game. It was by keeping in view all that was best in the ancient traditions of the game, and in it’s novelties, that they hoped to carry on that club and course. (Applause.)

     Miss Campbell, in declaring the course open, said she was sure they would admit the scenery was unrivalled, and she thought they would find there a course which only wanted playing over it to make it an excellent one. She hoped it would in time be extended to eighteen holes. And that she would be asked to open it in it’s extended form. (Hoar, hear.) Thereafter a match was played between the Whitecraigs professional, Hugh Logan, and the local man, Willie Brown, which resulted in a win for Logan by two up and one two play. Mr J. Gordon Simpson and Mr J. H. McGregor also had a round, and the Scottish internationalist, who covered the nine holes in 36, won by two up and one to play. In the afternoon the amateurs played with the professionals, when the amateurs won by one hole.

     On the invitation of Mr Duncan Fraser of Carrigthura, who has been taken a keen in the promotion of the club, a number of the visitors were subsequently entertained at luncheon in the Lochawe Hotel. 

Loch Awe Hotel and Railway Station

Evening Times, Sketch

 

“The nine holes are excellently placed with the view of providing capital sport, and in all other respects Charles Hunter has made the most of the ground at his disposal. Like other courses in the raw state, Lochawe is still rough in places, but with a continuance of the drainage operations and other works now in progress, the course, with it’s knolls, ridges, hillocks, and mountain burns, should in a very short time take it’s place as one of the best of it’s kind in the west of Scotland. As regards the greens no effort has been spared to provide a good putting surface, and to keep it in first class condition. The turf, of fine close texture, has been brought from Kinloss, in Morayshire, a distance of 200 miles, and in order to preserve it from cattle and sheep, substantial wire fencing has been erected around each green.”  

Length of Course,  1879 yards

Hole No.   1         2        3         4         5        6         7         8         9

Length    270    225    176    140    160    200    160    300    240

 “A very nicely situated and good sporting course. Turf for greens has been brought from the sea-side and is doing well.  Good pavilion for use of members and visitors(ladies and gentlemen).”  (WWG) 

Scotsman, November 24th, 1908

 

Loch Awe and Dalmally club

 

In the final for the “ Scott” challenge cup,the first competition engaged in by this flourishing little Argylleshire club, Mr A. Livingstone won from Mr J.W. Hamilton Aston by four and three to play. Since this course was opened last year much work has been done it, and the improvement is in every way very marked. A new club pavilion has been erected, and much levelling and draining done ; while throughout the season the greens have been in good order, except indeed, in time of heavy rain, which at present tells against the course.The course is now under the charge of Richard Bridges, of North Berwick, one of Ben Sayers pupils, who last spring was appointed club professional, and has during the year given entire satisfaction to the club and to the many summer visitors. The club’s course at Castles, is about a mile from Loch Awe, and within easy reach of Dalmally, is doubtless unique in the extraordinary wildness and beauty of its surroundings.

Membership 50.  Club wound up in 1915 and the land reverted to agricultural use, mainly potatoes.

Dundee Courier, July 6th, 1934

 

Loch Awe Back Again

 

Loch Awe Golf Course

Opened

 

A new golf course was opened yesterday at Loch Awe, where a club has been formed. It is the only golf course between Oban and Killin, and is beautifully situated in Glen Strae. It has nine holes at present. A clubhouse is to built.

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