Forgotten Greens of Scotland
Forgotten Greens of Scotland

Oban's Courses. 1,2, and 3.

Oban Golf Club. 


Founded 1890. 

“Oban Golf Club had a very unsettled beginning, having had three courses, before the fourth became today’s home of Glencruitten Golf Club. The first was a nine-hole course at Dunolliebeg, north of the town, on the coast, from 1890-1893. The next was an inland course to the east, Polhaminster, again nine holes, which was in use until 1904. Then came a return to the coast, this time at Ganavan, further north than Dunnolliebeg. This was, yet again a nine hole course and althjough there was talk of extending it to eighteen holes, it never happened. The course closed for the duration of WW2,  when the ~Admiralty took over all the ground for a naval facility. When it was re-opened after the war, the local council took over management of the course from Oban golf Club., It was closed finally in 1955, being uneconomic to run.

1890 February Oban Times


The Formation


Proposed Formation of Golf Club.-  A meeting of parties favourable, to the formation of a golf club is to be held in the Council Chambers on Saturday afternoon next under the presidency of Provost MacIsaac.  We understand there is a likelihood of suitable ground being obtained from Mr Struthers of Dunolliebeg.


The Oban Golf Club.  Oban Times April 19th 1890.


Readers will be pleased to learn that the Oban Golf Club, so long talked of, is now an accomplished fact. The great drawback to the formation of such a club was the lack of suitable ground, but Mr Struthers of Dunolliebeg having come to the rescue, the idea  was cordially taken up some months ago and a club formed, and in the end of February a committee was appointed to arrange the preliminaries. At a meeting of the committee on Saturday last it was finally decided to take the field at Ganavan, Capt. Stewart of Fasnacloich having previously gone over the ground and reported favourably upon it. It was also decided to bring a man of experience from St Andrews to arrange the holes and lay off the ground properly. We understand that the membership is already over fifty so that the start would seem to auger well for the future of the club. The terms on which the ground has been given are said to be very liberal : and it is intended to open play for the season on the 26th of the present month


Old Tom Morris

Oban Golf Club, Opening Match.  Oban Times April 26th 1890


A general meeting of this club was held in the council chambers on Monday last. The membership now numbers over fifty, and the ground at Dunolliebeg has been laid out and prepared for play. The course will be opened at one o’clock on Saturday first, and the first match will be played between Captain Stewart of Fasnacloich at one time a champion among amateur golfers, and Tom Morris, the famous player, whose name stands in the very front rank in the golfing world.

   Scotsman, April 29th, 1890


Opening Of Oban's First Course


A golf club has recently been formed at Oban, and on Saturday last the course was formally opened by a match between Captain Stewart of Fasnacloich, a former amateur champion and Mr Tom Morris of St Andrews. The links are at Dunolliebeg near Sontsan Bay, about a mile from the town, and are in an extremely picturesque situation. Mr Tom Morris, who had laid out the course, expressed himself in very laudatory terms of their adaptability for good play, mentioning that the course was in better condition than some courses that had been opened for years. Two rounds of nine holes each were played, Tom Morris was five holes up in the first round, but Captain Stewart was even with him in the second. There are already about sixty members in the club, and a number of the summer frequenters of Oban have intimated their willingness to join. 


The same article appeared in the Herald on the same day.


Note : It should be noted that this first course was at Dunolliebeg Farm and not Ganavan Sands which is slightly to the North of Dunolliebeg Farm.


 Note: Captain Stewart’s name is not so well known nowadays in golfing circles as it was some thirty years ago. Regarding his play we take the following from the Badminton Library of Golf: ‘The autumn meeting of this year (1853) was made famous by Lieutenant James Campbell Stewart, 72nd Highlanders, holing the round in 90, this being 9 strokes better than this had hitherto been taken. So fine a player was this gentleman that he was able to play Allan Robertson on even terms, and on one occasion, certainly to hold his own, though probably in the long run the professional would have proved too heavy for him, as evidenced by the odds of 2 to 1 laid on the latter. (S29.4.1890)

Oban Times May 3rd 1890


The Opening Day.


The course which was recently laid off at Ganavan Bay by the above club was formally opened on Saturday last. Among those present on the occasion were : - Colonel MacDougall and Mrs MacDougall OF Dunollie : Mr and Mrs James Patten, yr of Gallanach, Mr Percy J. Westmacott and Mrs Westmacott Graimoraig, Messrs G.Woulfe Brenan : John Anderson, President of he club, etc.

The ground is exceedingly well adapted for the game, the turf being firm and the grass short, while the nature of the surface gives room for the display of much skill on the part of the players. The putting greens were specially prepared by an experienced workman from St Andrews links, and the committee are now receiving estimates for a club – room and shelter which they propose erecting upon the ground.Much interest was shown in the first match between Captain Stewart of Fasnacloich and Tom Morris, the champion professional from St Andrews : and these players were followed in two rounds of the course by a number of spectators. In the first game Morris was five holes up. At the end of the second game however, Captain Stewart was “ evens “ with his opponent.

Captain Stewarts name is not so well known nowadays in the golfing world as it was some thirty years ago. Regarding his play we take the following from the Badminton Library of golf : - The autumn meeting of this year

 ( 1853 ) was made famous by Lieutenant James Campbell Stewart, 72nd Highlanders – holing the round in 90, this being 9 strokes better than this had hitherto been taken at. So fine a player was this gentleman that he was able to play Allan Robertson on even terms, and on one occasion, certainly to hold his own, though probably in the long run the professional would have proved too heavy for him, as evidenced by odds of 2 to 1 laid on the latter.Several other matches were played on Saturday, and the following gentlemen were noticed wielding the clubs during the day ; Mr James Patten of Gallanach : Mr Charles Stewart Yr of Kinlochmoidart : Mr Campbell of Baleveolan : Mr Macpherson : Mr W.A.Cameron : Mr J.D.Sutherland, secretary : Mr Mackay, Chemist : Mr Lawrence, town clerk : Mr Alex Patten ,etc.

The opening of the course should be a source of much benefit to the town of oban. The want of such an outlet for the occupation of visitors has long been felt, while it may attract many players from the south in the months of April, May and October, and so extend our present short tourist season.

As the premier champion golfer, Mr Morris – more familiarly known as Old Tom Morris – is famous all over the golfing world. Certainly, he is the most distinguished professional player of the century. Born in St Andrews – the mecca of the Scottish golfer – in 1821, at the age of twelve he began play. Getting apprenticed to Allan Robertson, at that time the greatest golfer of the day – as a club maker,Tom served under him for upwards of nine years and from that period began his golfing life. Possessing naturally a keen, good eye he began before long to play a game which year by year developed , until in measuring himself against his employer,the latter found himself obliged gradually to decrease the odds of a half to a third,thence to strokes, until at last the odds he was allowed were represented by zero. As tom had been heard to remark – “ Alan and me to-gether played some gey an big mautches – an awfu’ player was puir allan “. At the expiration of his time with Robertson, Tom started business on his own account as club and ball maker, and continued this for several years, when in 1851, he was appointed custodian of Prestwick Links, just then established as a golf course. He afterwards returned to St Andrews and on the death of Allan Robertson, was appointed green keeper in that city. We are told that Old Tom is a character, - an institution – a subject on which a most interesting monograph might be written. Wherever golf is played his name is a password. “ Interviewers have interviewed him, Journalists made copy out of him, photographers have photographed him, artists have sketched him with sometimes astonishingly happy results. There never could be met with a more perfect specimen of what is called Natures gentlemen than old tom. Nobility of character is writ on his hansome sunburnt face, and withal there is an admixture of naïve, unsophisticated simplicity about him which is exceedingly pleasing. We shall take leave of this notable player by quoting his own words – “ Iv’e ben a gowfer a’ ma days, and had it na’ been for gowff I’m no sure that to-day I would hae been a leevin man !”

Golf is a Royal game. Queen Mary Stuart played both golf and pell – mell at St Andrews after the death of lord darnley. In 1503 in the Royal accounts,two guineas are set apart “ for the king to play at the golf with the Earl of Bothwell” In 1603, James v1 appointed a royal clubmaker: and fifteen years afterwards he gave another a monopoly of ball – making. In the latter case the king taxed Dutch balls,” but this” says Dr Lang, “ was before the delightful discovery that it is good for a country to be undersold by foreign cheap labour.” The ill – fated Prince Henry was a golfer. Charles 1 played many a keen match on the links of Leith : and all are familiar with the story of his breaking off a match there because news came of the Irish Rebellion. His son, James 11. ( Then Duke of York ). Was an enthusiastic player. Once he was twitted by two Englishmen about the superiority of the English style : The prince took a shoemaker as his partner, and ina foursome thoroughly beat the boasters. In 1592 – 3 so enthusiastic were the players that the town council of Edinburgh considered it necessary to issue a manifesto forbidding the playing of the game on Sundays. The derivation of the name golf appears to be celtic : for, though something like golf was played in the Netherlands, there is no specific resemblance whatever between golf and the Dutch game called Kolf.

In Scotland the links at St Andrews holds the premier place. The great mass of golfing history and tradition clusters lovingly within sight of the grey towers of the old university town. Then, there are the links of Musselburgh, North Berwick and Gullane, all within easy reach of the metropolis. On the other side, there are the links of Elie, not greatly celebrated in golfing history, but deserving of fame, both for their intrinsic excellence and for the many sterling good golfers of which they have been the nursery. At Carnoustie there are fine links, where the men of Dundee do the chief part of their golfing – Montrose, Aberdeen and Dornoch in the north, Prestwick in Ayrshire – not forgetting the famous ground at Machrihanish, near Campbeltown : and to these has now to be added the links at Dunollie Beg, where the great triumphs of our western players have yet to be won.

June 28th 1890 Oban Times


Oban golf Course.-  Last Saturday’s issue of the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch contained a neatly executed plan of the new golf course at Ganavan.  The following note accompanied the sketch;-  “The course, which is on the farm of Dunolliebeg, measures about 1 ¾ miles in length,and is on one of the most picturesque spots of ground in the kingdom, being flanked on each side by Dunollie and Dunstaffnage castles, with the broad expanse of Loch Linnhe in front, edged in the back-ground by the green island of Lismore and the towering mountains of Kingairloch, Morven and Mull.  Tom Morris, who opened the course recently, expressed the opinion that the ground made one of the best 9 hole links he had yet seen and townspeople and visitors are taking full advantage of it.  The road to the course branches off the Oban and Connel road at about a mile from the town, and the whole distance is covered in a twenty minutes walk.Golfers may, if they care, proceed the greater part of the way by the Oban and Dunstaffnage coaches.  The membership subscription is 7s 6d, with 2s 6d entry money.


 By 1893, the club had moved to a new 9-hole course at Polhaminster on the Glencruitten estate. 

May 6th 1893  Oban Times



Golf- On thursday last a match between teams representing the vice president and secretary came off at Polyhinister links.  A nine-hole game was played, and at the finish it was found that the secretary’s team had won by two holes up.  The scores were:-


       Vice President                                             Secretary

J.MacPherson              0                             W.Rankin             1

D.Campbell                   1                              A.Campbell         0

D.MacKenzie                0                              H.MacDonald    3

W.Menzies                    0                              J.  Smith              0

D.MacKay                      1                                                            0

                                        _                                                             -

2                                                             4


The return match of eighteen holes between Messrs Campbell and Honeymand was played on Saturday last, when the former (with ten of a start ) again won by three strokes.

Glasgow Herald 1893



 A match was played yesterday on the Polamhinister links between teams representing the Oban and Fort William clubs. The green was in good condition, but the day was excessively hot. A pleasant game ended with 27 up in favour of Oban. The scores being :-


                                           Oban                                   Fort William


J. Macpherson  ……………………  9    W. Murray  ………………………    0

W. Gardner  ………………………    6     Rev. D. MacMichael  …………   0

J. MacColl  ………………………      4     Alex Macdougall  ……………….. 0

D. Campbell  ………………………. 4     A. Barclay  …………………………  0

A. Campbell  ………………………   3    C. Livingston  …………………….  0

W. Rankine  ………………………    1    A. McCallum  …………………….   0

                                                        27                                                            0

Glasgow Herald 1893



The monthly medal competiton of the Oban golf club came off at the Polaminhisteir links on Thursday last, and the weather being good, and places of business closed on account of the weekly half-holiday, there was a large muster of members. Mr William Gardner was winner with the score of 78, the next best being Mr Archibald Campbell with 79 and Mr Duncan Campbell with 85.

May 6th 1893  Oban Times



Golf- On thursday last a match between teams representing the vice president and secretary came off at Polyhinister links.  A nine-hole game was played, and at the finish it was found that the secretary’s team had won by two holes up.  The scores were:-


Vice President                                             Secretary

J.MacPherson              0                             W.Rankin             1

D.Campbell                   1                             A.Campbell          0

D.MacKenzie                0                             H.MacDonald     3

W.Menzies                    0                             J.  Smith              0

D.MacKay                      1                                                           0

                                         _                                                           -

                                         2                                                           4


The return match of eighteen holes between Messrs Campbell and Honeymand was played on Saturday last, when the former (with ten of a start ) again won by three strokes.

January 6th 1894  Oban Times

Oban Golf Competition


This, between local club,was for a beautiful gold medal, presented by Mr. John Anderson, Burnbank, and a number of  other prizes.  The ground was in fairly good condition, but the greens were somewhat lumpy owing to the hard frost of the previous night.  The day was an ideal one for golf, and both players and spectators enjoyed it to the full.  The scoring was disappointingly high owing to the want of practice, caused, not by the want of enthusiasm, but by the unfavourable weather conditions of the last two months. The players were divided into two classes, one half of the prizes going to each-the 1st class being those with a handicap up to but not including 10,and the second those with 10 and upwards.  The following are the prize-winners and scores:-


1st Class.

C. Rankin                                                          97      4     93

D.MacKenzie,                                                 104     10    94

J.MacPherson,                                                   94       2    95

J.Anderson                                                       100       2    88

A.Campbell                                                        99       -     99

D.MacIntyre,                                                    105       4   101

W.Gardiner,                                                      102       -   102

2nd Class


J.MacKay,                                                         114     12   102

J.Gordon                                                            120    16    104

          D.Buchanan,                                                      118    14    104    Tie

T.Boyd,                                                               120    12    108

 D.MacKay,                                                         129    20    109

D.MacDonald,                                                    127    14    113


Mr J. MacPherson was the winner of a special prize, given by the  Club, for the best scratch score:  while Mr. D. MacKay was also the winner of a special prize, given by a member of committee for the best score among those with a handicap of 20  Mr. A. Honeyman, the local champion, had a round with one of the members, and did the round in85, coming in first in a sweepstake.  His individual holes were:-  Out- 5,5,4,4,4,6,5,5,5;  in- 6,5,4,6,4,4,5,5,3. This has only been beaten by himself in some former rounds.

Oban Times January 27th, 1894


Golf-  The tie between Messrs MacPherson and Rankin for last year’s cup was played off on Monday last and a disappointing (in that the scores were high)  though exciting game ended in the former winning by three strokes.  As will be seen from the details of the scores, at the end of the first nine holes it looked as if Rankin was going to walk away with it:and, when he stood twelve strokes to the good at the tenth hole, with only eight more to play, the spectators thought the game as practically over, but from this point his form completely changed for the worse,as did his opponent’s for the better.  Keeping free from hazards and playing steadily, MacPherson now gradually reduced the lead of his opponent, and ultimately won as above stated.


MacPherson,             out     …   886545455 = 50

       Do.,                     in,              865644466 = 49

   Rankin,                out,               665254665 = 45

     Do,                      in,               676868777 = 62

  MacPherson,            …                 99 plus 2  =101

   Rankin                     …                 108 less 4  = 104


The first monthly competition for the current year is being played to-day (Thursday).


March 31st 1894  Oban Times


Golf – To-day (Thursday) the members of the local club are playing a match for prizes, and the ground being in fine condition some good scoring may be looked for.  The annual general meeting takes place to-morrow (Friday) night,when a large turnout of members is expected.

April 7th  1894  Oban Times


Golf-  Spring Holiday Competition. -  This competition came off on Thursday last, and the weather being of the most favourable description for the game, a very large number of members turned out to take part.   The ground, though a trifle hard for accurate putting, was, on the whole, very good, and as a consequence some excellent scores were made. The prize-winners were  :- 1st class (with handicaps up to 9) – C.Rankin, 92, 2=90; J.Anderson, 92, 2=90; D.MacIntyre, 96, 6=90 (tie for 1st,2nd,and3rd);J.MacColl, 94=94; W.Gardner,96=96; H.MacDonald,109, 8-101.  Second Class (with handicaps of  10 up to 20)- A.Black,104,20=84;E.J.Benwell,111,20=91; T.Boyd, 103, 12 =91; D.Buchanan, 105, 14=91 (tie for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th); D.MacKay, 120,20=100; J. Symington,114, 10=104.  The tie in the first class was played off on Monday last.  Nine holes were played, and a very close and keenly-contested round resulted-Anderson, 45, 1=44;  Rankin,45, 1-44; and MacIntyre, 49, 3-46.  Other three holes were played to decide this second tie, Rankin scoring 6,5,5 = 16, against Anderson’s5,6,6=17, the former thus winning the Captain’s prize by one stroke.  The tie in the second class will be played off next week.

April 21st  1894  Oban Times


Golf-  The monthly competition took place on Saturday last over Polivinister links.  The day was unfavourable and few members turned out.  The best scores were as follows               ;- James Anderson, 92;  Charles Rankin, 92;  Henry Birrell 92 (tie);  John MacColl, 96.  The tie between the first three was played off on Tuesday when Mr Anderson was declared winner of the medal with a score of 92.


May 19th  1894  Oban Times    


Golf Club.-  The monthly competition for the club’s annual cup took place on the Links on Thursday last.  The weather was somewhat boisterous in the afternoon,  but cleared up towards the evening.  There was a good turn out and the following were the leading scores,

Viz. :-


1. John MacKay (winner),                97   12   85

2. Duncan MacIntyre                        94     5   89

3. Charles A.Rankin                          90     0   90

4. W.Gardner                                     93     0   93

5. James Gordon                               107    14  93


June 2nd  1894  Oban Times


Oban Golf Club.   The fourth round of the club tournament was played during the past week, the matches evoking keen interest among the members on account of each of the winners becoming prize takers.  The remaining matches will fix the positions of the four winners, among whom are the present captain and an ex captain. The result of the round is as follows;- Archd. Campbell beat W.Gardiner; Henry Birrell beat John MacDonald; J. MacPherson and A.S.Black undecided; and W.L.Menzies and Duncan Buchanan, undecided.


June 9th  1894  Oban Times


Oban Golf Club.    The semi-final matches of the club tournament were played on Tuesday and Wednesday last in perfect golfing weather. The greens were, however, somewhat hard and made play upon them rather uncertain.  The result is as follows;-Archibald Campbell beat John MacPherson; W.L.Menzies beat John MacPherson; W.L.Menzies beat Henry Birrell.


June 16th  1894  Oban Times


Oban Golf Club.    The final matches of the club tournament were finished during the past week, the results being as follows;- W.L.Menzies (10)beat Archd.Campbell9scratch);H.Birrell(scratch)beat John MacPherson(scratch). The prizes, in value, fall to the winners in the following order;-1, W.L.Menzies, 18s,2, A.Campbell,10s;3, Henry Birrell, 6s; 4, John MacPherson, 4s.  The tournament has proved most interesting, throughout, and has afforded considerable satisfaction to the handicapping committee as a test of the fairness with which the different members have been dealt with. Almost the only instance in which any change of handicap would be necessary was that of the winner of the tournament, whose ten points together with his steady play made it difficult for rapidity with which he has come to the front greatly exceeded the usual calculations. On the Queen’s Birthday holiday on Friday last a sweepstake competition took place on the Braid’s Links, Edinburgh, among a number of the members of the local club.  The course is one of eighteen holes, several of them being very enjoyable one.  The experiment was one which all would like to repeat on an early date.  The winners were Messrs Jas. MacTavish, Henry Birrell, and W.L.Menzies.  The monthly competition for the Club’s annual trophy was played on Saturday last. The following area few of the best scores;-


                                            Gross              H.Cap.          Nett

l. J.M.MacTavish                    95                     12              83

2.W.L.Menzies                        90                     5                85

3.Henry Birrell                        85                 scratch         85

4.W.Gardner                            88                 scratch         88

5.Dr MacIntyre                        92                      4               88

6.A.Campbell                           95                  scratch         95


August 18th 1894 Oban Times


Oban Golf Club.-  The monthly competition for the club trophy was played on Saturday last. The following were the best played on Saturday last.  The following were the best scores:- Charles A.Ranking,89 Henry Birrell,90; W.Gardner,91; W.L.Menzies, 101-5-96; John MacKay,106-9-97; James Anderson,98


August 25th  Oban Times 1894


Golf.- An interesting foursome match was played over the Oban links on Friday last between Captain Bridges, Lismore; and Mr Hugh MacDonald, Oban, against Mr Sopwith, Lismore; and Mr Norman Macleod, Calcutta. The match, which was well contested, was won by the latter players, who made a foursome record score on the course of 38, made up of – 5,4,4,5,3,4,4,5,4,  Mr Sopwith was deadly with his putter on the green, and Mr MacLeod played a very accurate game with the iron lifter.


September 29th Oban Times 1894


Oban Golf Club             


The monthly competition for the clubs annual trophy took place on Thursday the 20th inst. The following being the leading scores, viz. : - 1 and 2, Jas Anderson,88 and A.D.MacNeill, 106 – 18 = 88; 3. Archd. Campbell ( Captain ), 89 ; 4, 5, and6, John Macpherson, 92 + 4 = 96 ; W Gardener, 96 ; John Mackay, 106 – 10 = 96; 7 and 8, John MacColl, 97, and Charles Rankin, 97. Messrs Anderson and MacNeill having tied for first place, played a second match, the result of which was as follows : - A.D.MacNeill, 103 – 18 = 85 ; James Anderson 90. The usual autumn holiday competition took place on the links on Wednesday last. There was a very good turnout of the members, all the leading players taking part. A ballot for pairs was taken at 11 am. And another at 3 pm, and as the weather was all that could be desired, the match throughout was very enjoyable. The following are the scores, the first seven being prize winners, viz. : - Archd. Campbell ( Captain ) 89 ; 2 and 3 , Donald M.D.Skinner, 103 –10 = 93 and E.J.Benwell, 103 – 10 = 93 ; 4, W.L Menzies, 99 – 5 = 94 ; 5 and 6, Alex.S.Black, 107 – 12 = 95, and Alex. Shairpe, 110 – 15 = 95 ; 7 and 8 , W Gardiner, 96, and James Anderson, 96 ; 9 , 10 and 11, John Macpherson, 94 +4 = 98 ; Charles A Rankin Campbell, 100, and John Mackay, 109 – 9 = 100 ; 15Hugh Kennedy, 98 ; and Wm. Rankin, 98 ; 12, John MacColl, 99 ; 13 and 14, Duncan, 118 – 15 = 103 ; 16. Henry Birrell, 105 ; 17, Alex M. Cowan, 127 – 20 = 107 ; 18, Jas

Gordon, 122 – 14 = 108 ; 19, W Symington, 119 – 10 = 109 ; Thomas Boyd, 124 – 11 = 113.


Oban Golf Club

October 13th 1894  Oban Times


The recent challenge by Messrs Macpherson and Gardener to play any two members of the club, a 36 hole match was accepted by Messrs Archd. Campbell and Cass. A Rankin, and was played on Thursday and Friday last in choice golfing weather. The first days play was somewhat quiet on both sides, and resulted in a win for Macpherson and Gardener by two holes up, one of them being the penalty of a rub on the green. On the second day the glorious uncertainty of golf asserted itself, Campbell and Rankin playing in their best form, while their opponents did the reverse the result being a rather one sided game, the match ending in favour of Campbell and Rankin by six holes up and four to play. It may be mentioned that the score of the winners on the second day was lower than their lowest individual scores, being only 85 for the 18 holes.


Oban Golf Club.

November 17th 1894  Oban Times

The usual monthly competition was played over the course on Thursday last week, the following being a number of the best scores : -

C.A.Rankin 90 + 2 = 92 ; Wm. Rankin, 96 – 3 = 93 ; Duncan Campbell 94, D Buchanan, 107 – 13 = 94 ; A.D.MacNeill, 105 – 2 = 103 ; J.D.Smith, 112 – 9 = 103.


December 15th 1894 Oban Times

Golf Club.-  The monthly competition was played last Saturday.  The following were the best scores:- l,A.D.MacNeill, 87-2==85 W.L.Menzies, 90-5=85 (tie); 2,John MacColl, 91; 3,Duncan Campbell, 92; 4, C.A.Rankin, 92+2=94; 5, J.B.Anderson, 104+1= 105

Glasgow Herald February 1895



Looking For Pastures New


The Oban golf club are endeavouring to secure a new course. The present course at Polamhinisteir, which was laid out two years ago, is a nine hole course, and although it is convenient of access from the Town, it has not been a favourite course, especially with visitors. An effort is, therefore, being made to arrange for a new eighteen hole course at Dunolliebeg Farm, near Ganavan Sands, where the club formerly had a nine hole course. The new course will be within fifteen minutes easy walking  distance from the Town. 

March 30th 1895 Oban Times


Golf- The usual monthly competition in connection with Oban Golf Club was played over the links on Thursday last.  The following were the best scores;-

John MacColl, 88+2. 90;  J.R.Anderson,92+1,  93;  C.A.Rankin, 92+2, 94; E.J.Benwell, 104=10, 91; Arch. Campbell, 97; W.L. Menzies, 108+1, 109

There also used to be a private golf course ( Glenmore ) in the large area behind the station, Now Tesco's

April 13th 1895 Oban Times


Oban Golf Club- A special general meeting of Oban Golf Club was held in the Masonic Hall, on Friday evening last, for the purpose of considering the proposal to acquire links at Ganavan. Mr Thomas Boyd the captain, presided, and there was a full and representative attendance. The General Committee, who had had the matter under consideration for some time, submitted a report asking powers to make arrangements with the proprietor and tenant for the new course, and recommending that in the event of a lease of seven or ten years being offered, or if additional ground be given, they be empowered to proceed with the formation of a first-class eighteen hole course on the best possible terms.  |Messrs Arch.Campbell, John MacKay, Rev. A.Ingilby, John Sutherland, Dugald MacIsaac, and other members spoke favourably of the proposal and the committee were authorised to proceed with the arrangements.  It was stated that Colonel MacDougall was favourable to the club acquiring a course at Ganavan, and a deputation was appointed to meet with him on the subject.  It was also stated that the tenant was willing to give two fields for the purpose on the upper side of Ganavan Road, but though that ground admits of eighteen holes it is considered insufficient for a first-class course. The project is mostly in the interests of the town, and it is to be hoped that the club will be able to carry through the undertaking successfully.

April 27th 1895 Oban times


Golf-  The usual monthly competition for the Club’s trophy took place on 11th inst.  The following were the best scores:-l. C.A.Rankin87+2, 89; 2. Dun. MacDougall,112=20, 92; 3, J.D.Smith, 102= 9, 93;4. John MacColl ( piper)94+2, 96; 5, W.S.Menzies,97+l. 98; 6. Arch. Campbell, 98 + 1, 99; 7, John MacKay, 108=9, 99.

May 18th 1895 Oban Times


Golf -  Monthly Competition. – The usual monthly competition took place on Saturday last.  The following being the best scores:-

 John MacKay, 95+ 9, 86,  John MacColl, 86+2, 88;  Hugh MacDougall,     103=15, 88  C.A.Rankin,96=2, 98;  W.Gardner, 99-99;  Arch. Campbell, 101+1, 102; W.Rankin, 110 = 3, 107.


June 22nd 1895 Oban Times


Golf;-   The usual monthly competition of the Oban Golf Club was played on Thursday last.  The best scores wereH.MacLean,90-15=75; W. Gardner,84; John MacColl,Jnr. 95-10=85; H.MacDougall,102-13=89; W.Rankin, 93-3=90; John MacColl (piper), 89+2= 91; W.L.Menzies,91+1=92; J.D.Smith,103-9=94; J.B.Anderson,95+1=96; C.A.Rankin, 100+2=102.


July 6th, 1895 Oban Times


Golf.-  The foursome tournament among the members of the Oban Golf Club, which began some time ago was concluded last week.  About twenty players took part in the competition, the final four being- Messrs Duncan Campbell and Hugh MacLean, John MacPherson and Charles Rankin.  The four playing off, Messrs Duncan Campbell and MacLean beat their opponents and won first prize, the second prize thus falling to Messrs MacPherson and Rankin.


August17th 1895 Oban Times


Golf-  The monthly competition of the Oban Golf Club was played on the links on Thursday last.  The following were the best scores-

Hugh MacDougall, 85-10=75,  Malcolm McNeill, 104-15=89,  John MacKay, 98-7=91 C.A.Rankin, 90+2=92, John McColl jnr  100-8=92.W.Gardner, 94=1=95, Hugh MacLean, 99-3=96.


September 21st 1895 Oban Times


Golf-  A friendly match between teams representing Callander and Oban Clubs took place on Wednesday last, at the links at Polivinster,Oban  The day was very wet and stormy and not at all favourable for good scoring.  The Oban team won by 27 holes up.  The following are the scores of the men pitted against each other;-



      Callander                                                Oban

D.McLaren jr                   3               W.L.Menzies              13

J.MacSwan                      6                H.Mclean                    9

J.Thomson                       5                J.D.Smith                   8

R.Fulton                           8                J.MacPherson             7

R.Lister                            4                 B.Anderson                11

J.Anderson                      5                 A.Campbell                 7

R.Fulton jr.                      4                Duncan Campbell     10

D.McEwan                       8               James Smith                6

                                          ___                                                ___

                                            44                                                   71


October 19th  Oban Times 1895


Golf-  The usual monthly competition of the Oban Golf Club took place over the links last Thursday.  The following were the best scores;     John MacColl, piper, 86+2-86; J.B.Anderson,91+1-92; C.A.Rankin, 91=2-93 H.MacDougall, 92+1-93; Hugh MacLean, 101-3-99, John MacKay, 106-7-99 W.L.Menzies,98+199;  Arch. Campbell 99+1-l00.


November 16th 1895

Oban Golf Club   Oban Times


Golf ; The monthly competition in connection with the Oban Golf Club was played over the links on Saturday last. The following were the best scores ; -

J.D.Smith 92 – 9 = 83 ; W.L.Menzies 84 + 1 = 85 ; J.B.Anderson 87 + 1 = 88 ; W.Gardner 90 + 1 = 91 ; C.A.Rankin 93 + 2 = 95 ; Hugh MacDougall 103 + 2 = 105.


December 21st  1895  Oban Times

Oban Golf Club


Mr J.MacGilvray, Watchmaker George St, Has presented a handsome silver inkstand to the Oban Golf Club for competition on new year’s day. The ink bottle takes the form of a golf ball, and the penholders rest on two clubs.


December 28th 1895  Oban Times

Golf :

The last of the monthly competitions for this year took place on Thursday 19th inst when the following were the best scores : - John McColl Piper 81 + 2 = 83 ; J.C.Anderson 88 + 1 = 89 ; J.D.Smith 98 – 7 = 91 ; C.A.Rankin 90 = 2 = 92 ; W.Gardner 95 = 1 = 96 ; A Campbell 98 = 1 = 99.

At a meeting of committee held on Monday evening the scores for the year were considered and Mr John McColl was declared to be the winner of the trophy, Value £3. The members of the club played for prizes on Wednesday ( Christmas Day ) on their links at Pol – a- Mhinister. The weather was very much against low scoring, a high wind prevailing all day. The following were the prize winners : -

Charles Rankin 89 = 2 = 91 Thomas Boyd 109 – 11 = 98 ; James B Anderson 99 = 1 = 100 ; James D Smith 108 – 7 = 101 ; Duncan MacDougall 121 – 20 = 101.

January 11th 1896  Oban Times

Oban Golf Club


New Years Day Competition


Owing to a number of ties having to be played off the prizes for this competition were not distributed until Tuesday evening last. There was a large turnout of players on New Years Day and as the weather was very favourable some good scores were made. The following is the prize list and prizes : -

John McColl, Joiner Silver inkstand presented by Mr MacGilvray, 88 – 8 = 80 ; E.J.Benwell, portable dressing case, 94 – 10 = 84 ; W.L.Mousie,Writing case, 88 + 1 = 89 ; C.A.Rankin, Golf Bag, 88 = 1 = 89 ; Hugh Maclean, Hair Brushes, 93 – 3 = 90 ; J.D.Smith, Silver match box, 97 – 7 = 90 ; James Gordon, Bottle Brandy, 104 – 14 = 90; Hugh Macdonal, Cake, 100 – 8 = 92 ;John McColl ( Piper ) Photo frame, 90 = 4 = 94 ; Arch. Campbell, golf driver, 94 + 1 = 95 ; J.B.Anderson, pipe, 94+1 = 95 ;J.W.Lawrence, pipe, 116 – 20 = 96 ; J.N.Sutherland, album, 113 – 15 = 98 ; W Gardner, 97 + 1 = 98 ; W Rankin and D Grant, tie to be yet played off. The winner of the yearly trophy, a handsome timepiece, purchased from Mr Macgilvray, Jeweller, was Mr John McColl, Piper. On Tuesday evening in the Masonic hall, the prizes were presented by Mr Boyd, The captain.

January 18th 1896  Oban Times

Oban Golf Club Annual Meeting


The annual general meeting of the Oban golf club was held last Friday evening in the Masonic hall – Mr Boyd, Captain in the chair. From the large number of members present, it was evident that considerable interest was taken in the affairs of the club. The secretary’s and treasurers reports showed that the club to be in a very prosperous and healthy condition ; That the membership, exclusive of life members, was over eighty ; and that there was a considerable financial balance at the credit of the club. It is expected that, with assistance which the club hopes to receive from the town and others who take an interest in golf, that the course will be very much improved and enlarged this year and made more attractive for members and visitors. There will be a slight improvement in the terms of the monthly competitions for the clubs annual trophy. Instead of only one prize as formerly, there will be three prizes, and instead of four competitions being taken, the lowest aggregate out of six competitions during the year will be the rule. The following office bearers were appointed for the current year, viz : President, Mr C.L.Orr Ewing, M.P ;Vice President, Mr Thomas Boyd ; Captain, Mr J.D.Smith ; Secretary and treasurer, Mr Duncan MacKenzie, Committee and Management, Messrs W Gardner, James Gordon, D.McD Skinner ; Mr D Turner ; Duncan MacDougall, Hugh Macdonald ; and C.A.Rankin. Handicapping Committee : The Captain ( Mr Smith ) ;  Mr W.Gardner ; and Mr C.A,Rankin.

February 1st 1896  Oban Times

Oban Golf Club


The first monthly competition for the clubs annual trophies took place last Saturday. As there are special inducements offered this year for members to compete – there being three valuable prizes – there was a large turnout of competitors. The terms of the competitions are that the lowest aggregate  out of six competitions during the year will be taken, and the system introduced for balloting competitors the night previous and sending them notice, gave entire satisfaction. The following were the best scores :-

D.M.D.Skinner 99 – 10 = 89 ; James Gordon 102 – 12 = 90 ; C.A.Rankin, 89 + 2 = 91 ; W.L.Menzie,91 + 1 = 92 ; J B Anderson, 94 + 1 = 95 ; Hugh Macdonald 104 – 8  = 96 ;W Gardner, 96 + 1 = 97 ; J D Smith, 104 – 7 = 97


February 22nd 1896 Oban Times

Polamhinster Links


Golf;    The second of the monthly competitions for the Club’s trophies took place on Thursday,13th inst. Being the weekly half holiday there was a large turnout of competitors, but owing to having to play on temporary greens (new greens being in course of formation) the scoring was high.  The following were the best scores.


Hugh Kennedy  109-15-94

J.D.Smith          102-   7  95

James Gordon  107- 12  95

J.B.Anderson     97 +  1  98

W.Gardner         99 +  1 100

C.A.Rankin        99  + 2 101

D.M.D.Skinner  111 –10 101

W.L.Menzies     102 +1  103                                                                                                                John MacColl (piper) 100 + 4 104


With regard to the new greens, a considerable sum is presently being expended in making and forming such and also new teeing grounds, and when finished the course will rank as a first class course and prove attractive to all concerned. The Committee are making arrangements for a grand professional match at the opening of the new greens, when it is expected that the best professional golfers from all parts will be present. As this movement will not only tend to advertise (ban as a golfing centre, but act as a medium for advertising the town and district generally it is hoped that the Town Council and public, who have the interests and prosperity of Oban at heart, will look upon this as a landable movement, and take an active interest in the match by contributing towards the expense which it must necessarily entail  


March 21st 1896 Oban Times


Golf:-   The monthly competition for the club’s trophies took place on Saturday, 14th inst.  The day was very favourable, and there was a large turnout of competitors.  The following were the best scores:-


James Gordon, 103-12-91; Hugh Kennedy, 106-15-91; W.L.Menzies,91+1-92, M.MacNeill,108-15,93;D.MD Skinner,105-10,95; J.B.Anderson, 95+1-96;J.D.Smith,101-7,97;D.MacKenzie,106-9,97;Alex.Shairp,113-15,98; J.W.Sawrence,113-15,98.  


March 28th 1896 Oban Times


Oban Golf Club:-  The spring Holiday competition for the Captain’s and other prizes took place on Wednesday, last.  The day was exceptionally fine, with a bight sky and no wind, which induced quite a number of players to turn out and compete for the thirteen prizes arranged for by the Committee.  Owing , however to the heavy rain of the previous two days the course was not in good playing order. The greens were rather soft and spongy, which rendered good scoring difficult, but the day was thoroughly enjoyed by members and others, and throughout the whole day the course presented an animated appearance.  The prize presented by the Captain, Mr.J.D.Smith was one of the most handsome yet competed for on the Oban course being a unique silver inkstand with the  emblem of a golfer in the attitude of driving  a ball placed at the end.  This prize was naturally keenly fought for and coveted and at the close of the competitions when the cards were examined Mr Hugh MacDonald was declared the winner with a net score of 90. The other twelve prizes consisted of two golf bags, silver cigarette case, silver match-box, gents hand-box, writing-case, two boxes preserved fruit, three boxes Silverton balls and a golf driller. The following are the prise-winners:-


Hugh MacDonald,98-8-90,J.B.Menzies,101-10=91,D.Buchanan,103-12=91, W.L.Menzies,93+1=94,D.McD Skinner,101-10=95, J.B.Anderson,94+1=95, John MacColl,pipar,92+4=96. D.MacKenzie,105-9=96, J.W.Lawrence, 111-15=96C.A.Rankin, 95+2=97, T.W.Mair, 117+90=97, Alex Shairp,112-14=98, John MacColl jr. 100-1=99.


April 18th 1896 Oban Times


Golf.-  The monthly competition for the club’s trophies was played on Thursday, 9th inst. There was a large turnout of players.  The following are the best scores:-


D.McD. Skinner,95-8=87, W.L.Menzies,86+1 =87,John MacColl,84+4=88, T.W.Mair,109-20=89, James Gordon, 100-10=90, M.B.MacNeill, 102-12=90, A.S.Black, 104-12=92, Alex. Shairp, 109-14=95, C.A.Rankin95+2=97, D.MacDougall, 118-90=98, Hugh Kennedy 110-12=98.

Aberdeen Daily Journal, May, 8th, 1896


An important match between members of the golf club and a number of leading professionals took place at Oban yesterday. The competition was a stroke one, 36 holes being played. £43 was given in prizes.  18 holes were played on the forenoon and another 18 in the afternoon. The grand totals and prize-winners were: W Auchterlonie, St Andrews 147; A Kirkaldy, St Andrews and Archie Simpson, Aberdeen 148, divided 2nd and 3rd prizes;W Fernie, Troon 151; Ben Sayers, North Berwick 153; G Pulfors, Hoylake 158; R Mearns, Aberdeen 161; Menzies 165.” (ADJ 8.5.1896)

May 9th 1896 Oban News

Golf Tournament at Oban


On Wednesday last as the out come of the enterprise of the local club, a professional and amateur golf tournament took place over the links at Polamhinister.  The Oban Club was instated in 1890, and having enjoyed a successful and prosperous existence locally there has followed a desire to popularise the town as a golfing centre and makes known its golfing as well as the other attractions.  No modern health resort is now without its golf course- indeed, facilities for the enjoyment of the “Royal and Ancient” game are an indispensable adjunct, and as Oban is excellently equipped in this respect the effort of the club, which resulted is the organisation of a first-class tournament, were inaudible and worthy of encouragement, if on no other grounds, than in the general interest of the town as a watering-place.  It is unnecessary here to describe the features of the Polamhinister links, other than to say, they comprise nine holes, affording enjoyable and sportive play, that they are delightfully situated, and easy of access.  The course is furnished with a serviceable club house and visitors are always welcomed to the green, under reasonable arrangements.

It is gratifying to record that the tournament was completely successful and quite fulfilled the expectations of the club.  Most of the leading professionals in Scotland were present the only notable absentees being Park of Musselburgh and Kinnel of Leven, while several of the local players also entered the list, the competition being a stroke one and consisting of thirty six rounds or four rounds of the course.  The prize money comprised the sum of £43-£10 of which was subscribed by the Town Council of Oban and was divided as follows- 1st prize £15; 2nd £10, 3rd,£7, 4th £5, 5th £3, 6th £2, and 7th £1.  The weather was of the most delightful characters and if objection could be made it was that the sunshine was too bright and unfavourable for low scoring.  Throughout the day there was a fairly large number of spectators, among those on the ground being:- Provost Cooper, Captain Stewart of Fasnacloch; Dr MacCalmac, Baillie Stevenson, Mr E.W.Benwall, Mr A. Macarthur, solicitor etc.  Play begun at ten o’clock the draw for the forenoon being as follows:-

 W.Auchterlonie, St.Andrews and Ben Sayers, North Berwick, C.A.Rankin Oban, and A.D. MacNeill Oban, Archie Simpson Aberdeen and G.Pulford, Holyake,W.Fernie,Troon, and John MacColl Oban, Andrew Kirkcaldy, St Andrews and W.D.Menzies, A.Honeyman, Oban and R.Mearns, Aberdeen.

 Under the care of Mr Andrew Honyman the local professional the greens were in fine order these having lately been re-laid at considerable expense.  The professionals found the course an attractive one and “tricky”.  The first round of nine holes ended as follows.


Auchterlonie            39           Fernie             41

Sayers                     37           John McColl   52

C.A.Rankin              39            Kirkcaldy       36

A.D.MacNeill           52            Menzies        46

Pullard                     41            Mearns          43

Simpson                  37            Honeyman     43


The scoring in the second nine holes showed a general advance in play and a number of the professionals holed out with a total of 36.  It was not worthy that in this round Andrew Kirkcaldy was outplayed by W.L.Menzies, his amateur partner, who maintained a lead till the seventh hole and finished with 37 against the former’s 39.  scores for the second round of nine holes:-


Auchterlonie            35-74        Fernie            35-76

Sayers                     38-75        Kirkcaldy        39-75

C.A.Rankin              44-93        Menzies         37-82

A.D.MacNeill           51-l03       Honeyman     45-88

Simpson                  81-72        Mearns           32-82

Pulford                    42-83        MacColl retired


This completed the first half of the tournament and after luncheon the second stage was entered upon the competitors going out in the following order:-


A.D.MacNeill and Fernie

Auchterlonie and W.L.Menzies

Pulford and Sayers

Kirkcaldy and Honeyman

Mearns and C.A.Rankin

Simpson, bye


In the third and fourth rounds of nine holes, the results were:-


Auchterlonie                 37    36

Kirkcaldy                       36    37

Simpson                       38    38


May 23rd 1896 Oban Times


Oban Golf Club:-  The following were the best scores in the monthly competition for Club Trophies held on Saturday 9th inst:-  A.S.Black,94-12=82; Hugh MacLean,91-3=88; C.A.Rankin, 87+2=89; J.B.Anderson,89+1=90; W.L.Menzies 90+1=91; M.B.MacNeill 103-12=91/ D.McD Skinner, 107-8=94; James Gordon 105-10=95; John MacKay 104-7=97; and W.Gardner 96+1=97.


June 20th 1896 Oban Times


The monthly competition for club trophies took place on Thursday, 11th last.  The day was exceptionally warm, and rather unpleasant for the players, but notwithstanding a large number of competitors turnout and some very good scores were made.  Mr James Anderson of the railway Office made the record amateur score of the course viz.77.  The following were the best scores;-  James Anderson, 77,+1=78; C.A.Rankin 84 =2=86; Hugh MacLean, 89-3=86; A.D.MacNeill, 84+4=89; M.B.MacNeill 101-12=89; D.M’D Skinner, 101-8=93; James Gordon, 106=10=96; W.L. Menzies, 97+1=98; Archd. Campbell, 98+1=99.


July 18th 1896 Oban Times


Oban Golf Club.-  The monthly golf trophy competition took place on the Club’s Links at Pol-a-mhinister last Saturday in splendid weather. The great heat and long grass were, however, against low scoring.  The following were the lowest scores.

W.L.Menzies 87+1-88

WM.B.MacNell 100-12=88

D.McD. Skinner,99-8=91

J.B.Anderson 92+2=94

Archd. Campbell97+1=98

A.D.MacNeill 98+4=108

Hugh MacLean 108-3=105.


September 19th 1896 Oban Times


Golf:-  the monthly competition for the Club trophies took place at the Polavinister Links on Saturday last.  The following were the best scores: James Gordon,98-10=88 C.A.Rankin92+2=94; Arch.Campbell 95+1=96; D.McD.Skinner, 105-8=97; A.D.MacNeill, 95+4=99; W.L. Menzies,99+1-100


October 3rd 1896 Oban Times


Oban Golf Club- the autumn holiday competition took place on Thursday last week. There was a large number of valuable and useful prizes arranged for by committee, and which enticed quite a number of competitors to turn out.  Among those who contributed to the prize-list were Mr Westmacott, Craigmoraig House, Oban, and Mr Sopwith, Lismore; and a special vote of thanks is due to Mr Pulford  Hoylake one of the professionals who competed at the professional match held in Oban in May last, who forwarded a beautiful set of clubs, golf bag, and balls.  The prizes were presented to Mr Smith, captain of the club , in the Masonic Hall on Monday evening last, when a smoking concert was held and a pleasant evening was spent with song and sentiment.  The following were the prize winners: J.A.Sutherland, 93-15, 78; M.B.McNeill, 96-10, 86; Jas. Gordon, 97-10,87; D.McDougall,110-20=90; J.MacGregor, 110-20,=90; A.Ross, 110-20=90; John MacDonald, 102-11=91; J.D.Smith, 98-7=91; Thos. Smith 102-10=92; W.L.Menzies 91+1=92; Hugh McLean 96-3=93; J.A.Anderson 92+2=94; C.A.Rankin, 92+2=94; R.Stewart, 102-8=94.


October 17th 1896 Oban Times


Golf.-  the monthly competition which should have taken place on Thursday, 8th inst. was, owing to the boisterous nature of the weather, postponed till Saturday,  there were very few entries.  The following were the best scores:-  Hugh MacLean,91-88; M.B.MacNeill, 103-8=95; C.A.Rankin 97+2==99; and J.B.Anderson, 98+2=100.


November 7th 1896 Oban Times


Golf- Oban v Perth – On Thursday last a friendly competition between teams representing Oban and Perth took place at Perth. The Oban team, accompanied by a number of friends, journeyed by first train, and received a hearty welcome from the  Perth players, who afterwards entertained them hospitably. The day was exceptionally fine, and the  game was a most enjoyable one.  The following is the result of the match:-

Oban                                     Perth

C.A.Rankin          0        Peter Stewart   0

W.L.Menzies       0        D.Cunningham 5

John MacColl      0        G.Veitch            0

S.D.MacNeill       8        J.Brown             0

Arch.Campbell    5        David Duff         0

Dun.MacKenzie  5        D.C.Mathers      0

                           ----                                 ----

18                                    5


January 23rd 1897 Oban Times


Oban Golf Club- Annual Meeting.- The annual general meeting was held on Friday last, when there was a fairly representative attendance. Mr J.D.Smith, captain, of the club, presided. The meeting approved of the action of the committee in their improvements of the course. The forming of new greens and teeing grounds and also in arranging for the interesting professional match.  The committee were thanked accordingly.  The membership stands at over one hundred, and altogether the Club is in a healthy condition, and one of the most flourishing institutions in the town. The following were appointed office-bearers for the ensuing year, viz:- President, Mr C.L. Orr-Ewing, M.P.; vice-president, MrJ.D.Smith; captain, Mr James Gordon; secretary and treasurer, Mr Duncan MacKenzie; committee,Messrs W.Gardner, D.McD.Skinner,D. MacDougall, John MacPherson, D.MacIntyre, C.A.Rankin, and W.L.Menzies,  the meeting decided, with regard to the monthly competitions, that, instead of balloting competitors the night previous, they be balloted on the ground on the day of the competition at stated hours. As will be seen from our advertising columns, the first competition takes place on Saturday first.

February 27th 1897 Oban Times


Oban Golf Club-  The second monthly competition for the clubs trophies took place on Saturday last. Shortly after play commenced the rain began to fall heavily, and continued without intermission all the afternoon, with a strong gale of wind blowing, which rendered good scoring difficult.  Not withstanding this the competitors held out to the close.  The following were the best scores;  Donald Campbell, 97-9=88; C.A.Rankin, 91+2=93; John McColl, piper, 92+2=94; W.Gardner,93+1=94; A.D.MacNeill, 94+2=96; Arch. Campbell, 95+1=96; D.Leitch, 105-9=96; J.B.Anderson,95+2=97; W.S.Henry, 114-15=99; D.MacKenzie, 109-9=100; James S.Menzies, 113-10=103.


March 20th 1897 Oban Times


Golf.- the monthly competition for club trophies took place on Saturday last.  The day being fine, there was a large turnout of competitors and the scoring was exceptionally good.  The following were the best scores. viz;


John MacColl piper         80+2=82

W.L.Menzies                   80+2=82

Jas. S. Menzies              94-8=86

J.N.Sutherland               93-5=88

Hugh MacLean              93-3=90

D.Leitch                          99-9=90

J.D.Smith                      98=6=92

C.A.Rankin                     92+2=94

D.MacKenzie                103-9=94

J.B.Anderson                 95+2=97

John MacColl, joiner      98-1=97

M.B.MacNeill                104-6=98


April 10th 1897 Oban Times


Oban Golf Club.-  The spring Holiday competition for the clubs and other prizes were played on Wednesday, 31st ult. The day being fair a large number of competitors turned out, and the scoring was exceptionally good.  The Committee selected ten very good and useful prizes, the first being a valuable case with two meerschaum pipe, presented by the captain, Mr James Gordon.  The following were the prize-winners with their respective scores;- I. John MacColl , piper, 77+4=81;                      2.   A.D.MacNeill,80+2=82;     3.W.Gardner,85+1=86;     4.   D.Leitch, 95-8=87                 5. Thomas Boyd, 99-11=88;    6. W.S.Henry, 103-15=88; 7.D.McDougall,101-12=89 8. C.A.Rankin, 89+2=90;     9.   Hugh MacDonald,  98-8=90and 10.Hugh Kennedy, 103-12=91.


Glasgow Herald 1897

Oban V Fort William


On the ocassion of the Oban summer holiday a team of the Oban golf club journeyed to Fort William, and played a friendly game with the Lochaber club. The day was oppressively hot, which rendered play somewhat uncomfortable. The following is the result ( Eight men a-side ) :- Oban 42 ; Fort William 2.


April 24th 1897 Oban Times


Oban Golf Club.-  The monthly competition for the club’s trophy was played on Thursday  last.  The following were the best scores.-Don. Campbell, 81-6=75;  Jas. D.Smith, 94-6=88;  John MacColl, piper, 85+4=89;  W.L.Menzies,87+7=94; C.A.Rankin, 89+2=91;  D.Leitch, 99-7=92;  John MacColl, joiner, 96-1=95;  W.Gardner, 95+1=96; A.D. MacNeill, 93 +3=96; Duncan MacDougall, 109-11=98; Duncan Buchanan, 110-9=101.

May 8th 1897 Oban Times


Golf:-  Oban v. Dunblane Hydropathic


On Thursday of last week a friendly match was played at Dunblane between teams representing the Oban and the Dunblane Hydropathic Golf Clubs.  The Oban team journeyed by the morning train the same day.  The day on the whole was favourable although there was a strong wind blowing, which naturally told more against those least acquainted with the course.  At the close, it was found that Dunblane was up 19 holes, but it is right to state that a number of crack players from St Andrew’s and other golfing centres, presently living at the Hydropathic, played for Dunblane. The following were the scores;-


Oban                                       Dunblane Hydropathic                                                     

John MacColl, piper   2          R.Henderson           0

W.L.Menzies              0          J.Roberts,                0

A.D.MacNeill              0           R.Blair                     0

C.A.Rankine,              0           D.MacLauchlan      3           

J.N. Sutherland,         0           S.Christie                3

D. Campbell,              0           J.MacGregor           3

D.MacKenzie             2            R.Lennox                0

SW.Henry,                 0            D. MacMillan           9

D. Leitch                    0            Dr.Fraser                 5

                                  ---                                          -----

                                  4                                             23


May 22nd 1897 Oban Times


Oban Golf Club:-  The monthly competition for club trophies was played on Saturday, 15th inst.  The following were the best scores:- Ronald Stewart, 98-8=82; W.L. Menzies,80+4=84; Duincan MacKenzie, 94-9=85; John MacColl, piper, 86+4=90; Hugh McLean, 93-3=90; James d. smith, 98-6=92; J.B. Anderson, 92-2=94; Duncan MacDougall,105-11=94; W.Gardner, 95-1=96; and Donald Campbell, 99-99.


A 9-hole course at Polamhinister on the Glencruitten estate, 10 minutes walk from the town.  It can be conveniently approached either from the Glencruitten Road, or over the hill behind the hydropathic.  The course at present consists of 9 holes, and, having a variety of hazards, affords a very enjoyable game.  A clubhouse, seen below, has been erected, and it is proposed this year to enlarge it considerably, and possibly erect a larger and more substantial one.  In 1896 new greens were made at considerable expense.  This year new teeing-grounds were formed, and other improvements made, and altogether the course is very attractive.  (GGA1898).

The Oban Golf Links (writes a Scottish correspondent) which rejoices in the apparently unpronounceable name of Pol-A-Mhinister is in one way unique among nine-hole courses.  There is not a single hole where a brassey or cleek comes into play, except in driving from the tee; and from the configuration of the course itself, and the impossibility of extending it, the holes cannot be lengthened.  The long holes are a drive and an iron, and of the others several can be driven from the tee by a strong player. Par play for the round should, therefore, be 36, but as the greens are very small, banked up, and cleverly placed, and as there are several good hazards, 38 is a good score.         In spite of its cramped condition, Pol-A-Mhinister is a very sporting little links.  If Oban were an enterprising community, it could at small expense provide golfers with a first-rate course within less than a mile of the town, and thereby fill the pockets of the lieges.  At Ganavan Bay, behind the town, there is ample room for an eighteen-hole course over capital sea-turf. There are plenty of natural hazards.  In fact, little work would be required beyond making the putting-greens, and the situation of the course would be one of exceptional beauty.  A few holes were laid out about six years ago, but the lessee of the farm had views upon Golf, one of them being that, whether cows actually swallow the balls, or merely lick the paint off, the result is detrimental to their milk. “  (G 19.4.1898

January 5th 1901 Oban Times

Oban Golf Club


Golf competition;-  The annual New Year competition of the Oban Golf Club was played on New Year’s day.  This competition has always been the most notable fixture of the Club, and it invariably attracts a large entry of members.  The weather in the morning was fine, and had all the appearance of continuing, and owing to the fact that a large and valuable number of prizes were to be competed for, more than usual interest was evinced in the competition.  About half of the Club members turned out and entered keenly into the contest.  The ground, owing to the recent heavy rains, was very wet, but notwithstanding some good scores were made.  During the day quite a  number of townspeople visited the course and witnessed the play.  The following are the best scores:-


Duncan MacIntyre,              88-4=84

A.D.MacNeill                       85+3=88

N.Carmichael,                    98-10=88

D.Paterson,                      100-12=88

John MacKay,                      97-7=90

A.B.Duncan,                    102 - 12 = 90

Donald Campbell              90      =90

John MacColl,jnr.             90 = 1 =91

W.L.Menzies,                      87+4=91

J.D.Smith,                            96-4=92

Dun. MacKenzie,               100-8=92

J.B. Anderson,                    92+2=94

Dugald MacIsaac, jnr.          94   =94

Hugh MacDonald,              103-8=95

Alex. Ross,                     107 -12 =95


Oban Times, Febuary 23rd 1901.

Oban Golf Club.


The monthly compatition for the club prizes was played last Saturday. The weather was all that could be desired, and there was a fair turnout of members. Considerable improvements have been effected on the course, it now proves very attractive for all concerned. A new departure has taken place in the way of prizes. Instead of competing for a medal or medal’s throughout the whole year it was considered that greater interest would be evinced in these contests by having three prizes played for every month. Last month the prizes consisited of ( 1 ) Silver Cruit Stand ; 2 and 3, Golf Ballas. Scores :-


A.D. MacNeill       ………………………..   84 plus 3 = 87

M.B. MacNeill  ………………………………  87 ( Scratch ) 87

W.L. Menzies  ………………………………  84 plus 4 = 88

Duncan MacIntyre ……………………    94 – 4 = 90


Oban Times, December 28th 1901

Christmas Golf Tournament.


A competition for prizes, presented by members of oban golf club and others, was played over the links on Polivinister on Christmas Day. The day, although not an ideal one for golfing, was bright and dry, and induced a large number of competitors to turn out. The ground after the recent hard frost and snow was very treacherous, and especially on th egreens, required all the skill and careful play that a golfer could put into execution, notwithstanding, some good scores were made, and the game was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The following are a few of the best scores :-


1. Alex MacArthur   …………………. …………………     91 – 9 = 82

    ( Who won the Capatains Prize,

      writing case, Value £1 5s )

2, Duncan MacIntyre  ………………………………..     88 – 4 = 84

3. Alex Cameron  …………………………………………      92 – 8 = 84

4. Duncan MacKenzie  ……………………………….     93 – 8 = 85

5. J.B. Anderson  …………………………………………..    85 + 2 = 87

Oban Times, April 19th 1902.


Oban V Appin


A match was played between representatives of the above clubs on Monday over the Appin course. Play generally was keen, but Appin had the best of the match, and finished with 12 up.  The scores were :-


 OBAN                                              APPIN


WL Menzies     0                               D D F McIntyre     0

CA Rankin        0                               R. Fraser                2

A Cameron        0                               D. McIntyre           2   

J Murray            0                               C MacMillan         4

W Rankin          0                                J Rowan                0

W Henry            0                                I MacColl             4

                       ____                                                        ____



Oban Times May 17th  1902



An interesting competition under the auspices of the Oban Club has just been completed, and after a keen contest, in which good play was exhibited, the following were declared the successful competitors :- WL. Menzies, Alexander Cameron, John McColl, and William Hunter.  The play of the first pair in the final was productive of excitement, the closeness of the players in their strokes adding interest to the contest.  Ultimately, however, Menzies won by 2 holes up, a result upon which he was congratulated, having regard to the fact that he ousted 4 competitors before his meeting with Cameron.


The members of the Oban Golf Club played their monthly competition on Thursday, 8th instant.  The weather was al that could be desired and the ground in first – rate condition.  The following are a few of the best scores returned :-  James Moffat, 1011-15= 86; John N. Sutherland, 92-5 =87; A.D.McNeill, 88 + 3 =91; Alex Cameron, 99-6=93, Chas. A. Rankin, 92+2=94; Duncan Skinner, 95.

Oban Times November 1st 1902



London, 28th October 1902


Sir, I am pleased to see in my “Oban Times” of last Saturday Councillor Campbell’s reference to the necessity of a first-class golf course for Oban.  But there is no reason for postponing “a project of no great expenditure or great difficulty,” as you describe it. Until the opening of the road to Ganavan.  In any case, I understand that the road will be completed early next year, and there need be no difficulty in having the golf course ready by early spring, if it is set about at once and with energy.  It should not be purely a municipal undertaking, because the Town Council seems to have plenty on its hands at present.  A Committee of nine would be of a workable size say here Town Councillors,three Golf Club officials, and three hotel-keepers.  The first step, it seems to me, should be the calling of a public meeting by the new Provost to elect such a Committee.- I am, etc.

An Old Obanite.


Oban Times November 1st 1902





Sir,-  The more this question is discussed the more is its importance seen.  The matter was brought up at the Second Ward meeting on Tuesday, and I was very glad to hear Councillor Cooper state that it had his sympathy and that he would consider it, though he is against fresh capital expenditure.  Seeing the Town Council has so much to digest it is not surprising that further capital outlay should be vetoed.  At the same time if the electric light scheme,was stated, is to pay its own way, the cost of the Ganavan Road and of acquiring the Dungallan-shore feus should not be so vast as to stand in the way of a golf course a Ganavan.  The laying down of a golf course is not at all a costly affair.  The ground is not to be bought.  A lease is all that is wanted and the first step is to open negotiations with Mr Struthers.  What you stated last week will I think be found to be quite true- that Mr Struthers is not opposed to the golf course.

I hope the Golf Club and the Town Council will lay their heads together and carry this matter through.  The expenditure cannot be great for the Golf Club will do its share and it is so far very gratifying that both Councillor Cooper and Councillor Campbell are sympathetic.  Trusting that this modest but all important matter will be taken up.- I am etc.,

Member of Golf Club

OBAN TIMES March 12th 1904







On Tuesday evening a public meeting was held in the Court-Room of the Municipal Buildings, in connection with the proposal to establish a new golf course at Oban, Provost Cooper presided, and there was a large and representative attendance.

In his opening remarks, the Provost said he supposed they would all recollect that during the past winter there had been a great discussion with regard to the question of providing a better golf course for Oban.  It had been brought very prominently before the public at eh last municipal election, at which time he had promised to do what he could in the mater.  In fulfilment of that promise he had called the meeting, and had invited to it those gentlemen whose names had been given to him as those likely to take a warm interest in the matter.  He asked those who had any views upon the question to put them before the meeting and perhaps by means of discussion they might arrive at some understanding as to how they were going to carry out what he understood to be in view.

Mr Alex Shairp, architect,said he was very pleased that the Provost had called that meeting.  There could be no doubt that a good golf course was a necessity for a small town such as Oban; in fact, without a golf course a coast town was nothing.  He thought if they had a thoroughly good course in Oban they would have a long season and the houses fully let.  The present golf course was good in a way; it was a good course of nine holes.  But there were several objections to it.  It was too high on the hill, too hilly itself, and visitors coming to Oban would not take the trouble to go up there.  Other places had been suggested as suitable for a course- Kerrera, Glenmore, and Dalintart- but these places were equally undesirable, because they wee away from the sea.  The main thing about a golf course was to have it




If possible and he thought they ought to abandon the idea of having it inland.- The road having been formed to Ganavan, he thought they ought to endeavour to secure sufficient ground there to make a good course, and there would be no difficulty in forming a course of eighteen holes.  He had himself gone over the ground and although not an expert he was confident there would be no difficulty in forming a first-class course, which would hold its own for beauty of situation and scenery; in fact it would be unequalled in any part of the country.  He suggested that a Committee be formed to make enquiries as to whether it would be possible to get a lease of the ground from Captain MacDougall.  They must go into the matter thoroughly, and he had no doubt that before they could finish a course worthy of the situation and of the town it would cost something like £1000 to £1500.  If they made a first-class course the result would be that Oban would be immediately boomed by golfing tourists.

In reply to a question by Mr MacKerchar,merchant, the Provost said he was not able to state the opinion of the Council as a body on this question.  The Town Council as a body knew little or nothing about golf.  The main object of the meeting was, he understood, to ascertain the views of the golfers themselves and all parties interested.

Mr John Anderson manager of the Callander and Oban Railway in the course of a few remarks, spoke of the steps taken in acquiring the old course at Ganavan, and said the Colonel MacDougall had met the proposal in a most favourable spirit.  Colonel MacDougall had even expressed his willingness to rent the farm to the golfers, but the interested parties felt that the scheme at that time was too responsible an undertaking.

He (Mr Anderson) felt satisfied however, that if they were to have a good golf course in Oban; there was no place to equal Mr Struthers farm along the seashore.  He did not know a place where they had better prospect, fresher air, and everything more agreeable for the game, and likely to attract crowds of visitors.

Mr Shairp remarked that he thought if the course was to be any real good for the town it must be a municipal scheme, and that a municipal committee should take if over as a municipal concerns,  any committee that might be appointed should consist of several members of the Town Council.

The Provost said he understood it was a proposal that a committee should be appointed and that hey should enquire into the circumstances of the case with a view to


And with a view to raising a sum of money sufficient for the purpose.  That was quite clear, and that was Mr Shairp’s scheme.  He could not see how it would be municipal scheme.

Mr Shairp replied that he only wanted the municipality to associate themselves with it.

Councillor Robertson suggested that the meeting should decide first if there was any alternative proposal.  He was confident that all who were interested in it would lend a helping hand to make any scheme for a golf course a success.  He thought that if they were agreed on a particular place the committee should make enquiry with a view to acquiring it.

Bailie Hanratty expressed himself as favourable to the new course.  He said they all knew that no better place could be got than Ganavan, and he agreed with the proposal that a committee should be appointed to make enquiries with a view to getting suitable ground.

Mr W. Henry grocer said there seemed to be some misunderstanding about the matter.  They were not called there to consider as to a course for the benefit of the Golf Club.  The question was for a new course for the benefit of the town, independent of the Golf Club.  He thought the scheme should be a much wider one, and quite independent of the local club altogether.

Mr Donald MD. Skinner, chemist, concurred and went on to speak of the over-crowding on the present golf course during the summer.  The question of a golf course for Oban was a different thing altogether from a golf course for Oban Golf Club.  His opinion was that something was required to keep visitors in Oban.  (Hear, hear.)  He had come there in the expectation that the meeting was to consider as to acquiring a course for the town, and not for the Oban Golf Club.

Mr John Munro said it was not for the Golf Club that that meeting was intended; it was for the good of Oban.  He thought that the best way to advertise the burgh was for the municipality to get a first-class course for Oban.  He then went on to slate that he had for a long time been a thorough unbeliever of there being any good in the game of golf, but that he had been




A number of people had called upon him prepared to take up quarters in Oban for a time in the expectation that Oban, like other seaside resorts had a course worthy of the town.  But one visit to the golf course was to go to a place where they could get a course which would offer them the enjoyment they desired.  If the want of a good course was hindering the prosperity of Oban he remarked that they should have it by all means.

Councillor M Isaac agreed with the Provost that the Town Council had quite enough to do at present with other things.

The provost said he did not understand whether, if a new golf course were started it would be looked upon as a rival institution, or whether the members of the present club would support it.

Mr Duncan MacGregor, solicitor, said he did not think there would be any opposition to this scheme by the present Golf Club, because he knew that anyone who had a taste for golf required the opportunity on a better course to make him decide to which club he would belong.  He also agreed with the previous speakers that this matter was one for the town, but not necessarily for the Town Council and he thought that the proper form would be to have company floated to acquire the course and lay it out in a way that would attract visitors from all parts.

Provost remarked that they would run it very great risk if the present Golf Club did not support it.

Mr Leitch said as a member of the Golf, he was sure that 90per cent of the members of the Club would support the scheme.

Mr Archibald Campbell, prosecutor, said, with reference to Mr Anderson’s remarks, he could corroborate his statement as to the intention of the late Colonel McDougall to deal with the then Golf Club in the most favourable manner, and the fact that the Club having left Ganavan was not in any way due to any desire on the part of the Colonel that they should do so.  In speaking favourably of the proposed course at Ganavan he stated that he had had occasion to visit courses in different parts both in England and Ireland, and he had found that places which had almost no other attraction this




Had increased in population, and the inhabitants had come to look upon golf as the foundation of their prosperity.  This wife now quite a common occurrences even in our Scottish coast towns.  But of all the places he had visited he considered there were none which had greater advantages, or a mere attractive situation than the course at Ganavan would have. He also agreed with previous speakers that it was not at all necessary for the success of the scheme that it should be in the hands of the Town Council, as they had quite sufficient schemes on hand at present.  What was wanted

was the formation of a A Limited Liability Company, formed of parties interested in the prosperity of the town, who would use every effort to make the scheme eventually as successfully as it was in other parts less favourably situated.  The present Golf Course, to parties from the south had not attractions, as the holes were too close, and a great deal of the enjoyment of the game was taken away by the restricted nature of the course.

The Provost said that what was really wanted now was a Limited Liability Company with a capital, roughly speaking of £2000.  He thought a committee should be appointed to consider the whole question of the site as indicated by previous speakers, and any other points necessary.  He understood that now was the time to have that done.

The following Committee was then appointed:-  Provost Cooper, Mr Shairp,Councillors McIsaac and Robertson, Sheriff Maclachlan and Messrs.W.L.Menzies,Duncan MacGregor, MacTavish, Archd. Campbell, A.D. MacNeill, John Munro, Hugh Mackintosh, J. Gordon, and John Anderson Junr.



   At a subsequent meeting of the Committee it was resolved to meet on Tuesday next.  Mr Shairp was appointed Chairman of the committee, and Mr Duncan MacGregor secretary. 

Evening Dispatch March 15th, 1904


Oban golfers have become tired of playing in a hayfield, as the present course is considered.  As a result of a recent meeting a committee was appointed to consider the whole question of a new site, which in all probability, will be at Ganavan, situated on the shore and to which a road has recently been formed.  If the project is gone on with it is expected that the cost will be between £1500 and £2000.” (ED 15.3.1904)

15th March 1904 the Scotsman


A New Golf Course For Oban


Oban is about to bring itself into line with the leading seaside resorts by providing for the inhabitants and summer visitors a first class golf course.  For some years past there has been a course near Oban, but it was not of the kind that attracts golfers.  Even the inhabitants speak unkindly of it, and visitors who have gone to Oban for the purpose of including the Royal and Ancient game among their enjoyments are known to have fled the town after trying the pastime “all among the clover” at Polamhinister.  During the winter months the good people of the capital of the Western Highlands have been discussing the proposal of providing a better course, and the matter was brought to a head last week when a meeting was held in the Municipal buildings, with the Provost in the chair.  A variety of views were exchanged, chiefly as to whether the Town Council or a limited liability company should take up the question.  The Provost, in reply to a question, declared that the Town Council as a body knew little or nothing about, golf.  That should not be allowed to damp their enthusiasm.  Municipalities have carried through with success much more serious undertakings than the acquisition of a golf course, even though as a body they knew precious little of the subject matter.  As the upshot of the meeting, a committee was appointed to consider the whole question of the site, which, in all probability, will be at Ganavan, situated on the shore, and to which a road has recently been formed.  \Mr Alexander Shairp told the meeting that he had been over the ground, and, though not an expert, he was confident there would be no difficulty in forming a first-class course, which, for beauty of situation and scenery, would be unequalled in any part of the country.  If the project is going on with, it is expected that the cost will be between £1500 and £2000.


The popularity of the Ganavan Sands club led to the demise of this course. “Oban has at length wakened to the absolute necessity of a first-class golf course to a watering place.  The present links is of the drive-pitch, drive-pitch, drive, drive-pitch order with pocket-handkerchief greens and no room to add a hole to the present nine.  At Ganavan Sands, within a mile of the town, along a shore road lately opened, there is room for a first-class sporting course of eighteen holes upon good sea turf and old pasture.”  (GI 18.319.04)

The Oban Times March 19th 1904


The Proposed Course For Oban


Oban is about to bring itself into line with the leading seaside resorts by providing for the inhabitants and summer visitors a first-class golf course (says the writer of Golfing Topics in the (“Scotsman”).  For some years past there has been a course near Oban, but it was not of the kind that attracts golfers.  Even the inhabitants speak unkindly of it and visitors who have gone to Oban for the purpose of including the Royal and Ancient game among their enjoyments are known to have fled the town after trying the pastime “all among the clover” at Polamhinister.  During the winter months the good people of the capital of the Western Highlands have been discussing the proposal of providing a better course, and the matter was brought to a head when a meeting was held in the Municipal Buildings, with the Provost in the chair.  A variety of views were exchanged, chiefly as to whether the Town Council or a limited liability company should take up the question.  The Provost, in reply to a question, declared that the Town Council as a body knew little or nothing about golf.  That should not be allowed to damp their enthusiasm.  Municipalities have carried through with success much more serious undertakings than the acquisition of a golf course, even though as a body they knew precious little of the subject matter.  As the upshot of the meeting, a committee was appointed to consider the whole question of  the site which, in all probability, will be at Ganavan, situated on the shore, and to which a road has recently been formed. Mr Alexander Sharp told the meeting that he had been over the ground and though not an expert, he was confident there would be no difficulty in forming a first-class course, which, for beauty of situation and scenery, would be unequalled in any part of the country.  If the project is gone on with, it is expected that the cost will be between £1500 and £2000.

Oban Times,Saturday,January 21st 1905



Annual General Meeting

The annual general meeting of this Club was held in the Masonic Hall on Friday evening last.  The treasurer’s showed a large membership (the number having increased by 41 since 1901), and a comfortable credit balance.  The following office-bearers were elected for the ensuing year :- President, Mr J. Walter Higgin, Benvoulin: vice-president, Mr J. B. Anderson; captain, Mr Wm. Ironside; vice-captain and hon. Secretary, Mr Alex Cameron, National Bank; hon. treasurer, Mr James Gordon; members of committee, Messrs W.L. Menzies, John MacKay, A.D. MacNeill, Charles Rankin, Alexander Leitch, D. McIntyre, Argyll Hotel; Alexander Ross, Robert Calderwood, and Hugh MacDonald.  The captain’s prize for last year was won by Mr W.L. Menzies, and the Christmas and New Year prizes were awarded to the various prize-winners.

Mr Patten MacDougall of Gallanach, who was unable to attend the meeting, wrote that he had reason to think a good course might be formed on Gallanach ground, facing the Sound of Kerrera, and that he would be glad to give any proposal from the Club his favourable consideration.

The meeting greatly appreciated the terms of Mr Patten MacDougall’s letter, and remitted the matter to the Committee to consider and report.


Oban Times Saturday April 29th 1905




[To The Editor “Oban Times.”]

                                 Oban, 27th April,1905.


Sir,-  We have learned that there are some gentlemen in Oban who have formed the impression that the acquisition of a new golf course between Connel and Ledaig would not be to the advantage of Oban, but to the advantage of these other places.

There is no doubt that such a course would be to the advantage of Connel and Ledaig, but under the circumstances contemplated by the committee who have the scheme in hand, we think it is certain that it would be an immense advantage to the burgh of Oban.

The ground in question is the most suitable piece of land in the whole district and a golf course is sure to be started there within a very short time, in which case it would be managed without any regard to the interests of the burgh. We think it is absolutely necessary that Oban should have a controlling interest in it, in order to ensure that this town will derive its full share from the advantages which will certainly accrue from the laying out of such a magnificent course.

The idea is that the annual subscription payable by residents in Oban should include a season ticket to North Connel by the railway, and thus the Oban golfer would be landed with his clubs at the first tee ready to start his game, and could either return from Benderloch station near the other end of the course or go the whole round and return by train from North Connel.  In this way, Oban golfers would be able to enjoy their sport on very convenient and certainly not less advantageous terns than residents in any other part of the district.

We trust that there will be good turnout at the meeting of gentlemen interested in the acquisition of a first-class eighteen hole seaside course, and that a long-felt want in Oban may soon be permanently and amply supplied.- We are, etc.,

                                                                                                             Fras. W. Cooper,

                                                                                                             D. MacGregor.

Scotsman 4th May 1905


Proposed new golf course for Oban.


Yesterday a public meeting, convened by the provost, was held in the Burgh court house, Oban, to consider a scheme for securing ground for a new golf course. The attendance was small. Provost cooper explained that the circumstances under which the meeting was called were that the council had for some time been urged to take the matter up. He thought the council had quite enough to do in other directions and their powers were limited to the two miles of the Burgh boundary. A promise had , however been given that a public meeting would be called of those interested in golf, and a committee appointed to endeavour to arrange for a course on the Dunollie estate. That committee had been appointed, but the proprietors of Dunollie would not entertain the idea at all, and a number of other places had been tried. After describing several other places the provost continued that what was considered ideal ground for a golf course was found on the Lochnell estate. The ground extended to 125 acres, and would provide a first class eighteen hole golf course, and leave sufficient land to provide also for one or two small courses for ladies and beginners. The course would commence immediately behind the inn at north Connell, and would extend along the seashore to about a quarter of a mile from Benderloch station. After communicating with the Lochnell trustees it was found that the ground could be had, with the condition however that the Lochnell feuars at Connel and Benderloch should be entitled to one fifth of the membership of the club. It was suggested that the terms of subscription for residents and visitors to Oban would be arranged to include the railway fare to north Connell station. It was certain that sooner or later the proposed golf course would be formed and it would be of advantage to Oban to have a controlling interest in it. A discussion followed, but the meeting adjourned without 

The Oban Times May 6th, 1905









A meeting of those interested in the formation of a golf course at South Connel was held in the burgh courtroom, Oban, on Wednesday afternoon.  Provost Cooper presided, and there were also present Mr Duncan MacGregor, solicitor; Mr Arch. Campbell, burgh prosecutor; Mr A.D.MacNeill, draper; Mr Mac Gregor, Great Western Hotel; Mr Hugh MacDonald, bookseller; Mr Wm. Jolly, accountant; Mr Duncan MacIntyre, Argyll Hotel; Father MacClymont, Taynuilt; Mr Wm. Rankin, hairdresser; Mr Robertson, Royal Hotel; Mr J.G. Shedden, burgh chamberlain; Mr D. MacColl, Dunuaran; Mr Hugh Kennedy, baker; Mr W.L. Menzies, architect; Mr MacPherson, grocer; Baillie Robertson; Mr Wm. Hunter, George Street; Mr Hugh Skinner, inspector of poor; and Mr D. MacKenzie, etc.

Provost Cooper was called to the chair, and in introducing the proceedings, read a letter of apology from Mr James Patten MacDougall of Gallanach, who regretted his inability to be present. He, however, agreed with the necessity to provide a suitable golf course.  Proceeding, the Provost mentioned the circumstances under which the meeting had been called.  Some of them, at all events, would recollect that this question came prominently forward at a ratepayers’ meeting, and the members of the Council were urged that the Council should take the matter up, and endeavour to provide a golf course.  He did not agree that the Council should associate themselves with the matter, because he thought the had quite enough to do in




Which would necessarily fall upon them.  The powers of the Council with regard to matters of that kind were limited to distances of two miles from the burgh boundary.  As the outcome of the discussion at the ratepayers’ meeting, a promise was given that they would call a meeting of those interested in golf, in order that a committee might be appointed to see what could be done to prove a suitable golf course for Oban. That meeting had been called about a year ago, and a committee was appointed with the object which he had mentioned, and their first duty was to look into the question of getting suitable ground for a golf course on the Dunollie estate.  They had found it an absolute impossibility to get ground there for a course.  They then turned to the following places:- Kerrera, Glenmore, Dalintart, and one on the land belonging to Lochnell trustees on the other side of Connel,  The land on Kerrera, he thought, would be good enough, but there was a possibility of the island being shut off in stormy weather.  The ground at Glenmore and Dalintart, they had been informed was not suitable.  They had then considered the question of the ground at Lochnell, and a committee was appointed to look into the matter.  They came to the conclusion that it was an ideal place for a golf course.  They therefore entered into communication with the Lochnell trustees to find out whether they would entertain the idea of parting with the ground – either by lease or by sale – for the laying out of a course upon it.  After correspondence, they found the trustees favourable to the idea, under certain conditions.  In considering the suitability of that course the first question which would naturally spring up was – Would it be laid out there?  That was a question that had appealed to them.  They approached it from several critical points of view and the first one that occurred to them was this, that undoubtedly the construction of such a course would be to the advantage of Connel and Ledaig.   On the other hand, so far as Oban was concerned these seemed rather arguments in favour of Oban people having an




In it.  It was not a question whether a course would be constructed there at all.  He had been informed by those who were capable of giving a competent opinion on the subject that  that ground was suitable for a golf course, and an ideal place for the purpose, and therefore they might take it for granted that a course would be constructed there before long.  It was almost essential that Oban people should have an important interest in it.  The next point which naturally fell to be criticised by the committee was that assuming that the Oban people determined to take a real interest in the acquisition of the course, in what way could it could be carried out? The Lochnell trustees would stipulate that in the event of the Oban people acquiring the ground, they should not hold it exclusively for visitors to Oban, but on the other hand, the Oban people would never think of investing their money in it unless on such terms as they would have the advantage.  They therefore approached it in the way that they should be entitled to control it exclusively for residents and visitors to Oban to the extent of say, from 75 to 80 per cent; and the Lochnell trustees to have an interest in the other 20 or 25, which would leave it open to them and to their feuars.  Another point that arose was the question of accessibility to the course, and the idea was that the subscription payable by residents in Oban, or visitors resident in Oban, should include the railway fare. In that way, people in Oban would be put upon practically an equal footing with those at Connel and Ledaig, and the distance was so short by railway that



At the first tee.  The ground proposed to be taken extended to about 125 acres- a very large piece of land-and it stretched from just immediately behind the inn at North Connel.  It was about a mile and a quarter in length, going along the sea shore, and its average breadth was about 200yards.  That ground would provide a first-class 18 hole golf course, and would leave sufficient land to provide one or two smaller golf courses for ladies and beginners.  The Provost concluded by giving the terms on which the ground could be leased or purchased.

The matter was fully discussed, the main point in the debate that Connel Ferry and Ledaig would derive most of the benefit of a course at North Connel.

Nothing was done in the matter, and the committee was discharged with a vote of thanks for its trouble.

Oban Times January 26th, 1907









A special meeting of the Oban Town Council was held in the Burgh Buildings on Monday night.  Provost McIsaac presided, and there were also present Baillie Campbell and Maclachlan and Councillors Black, Forbes, MacCall, MacCallum, Rankin, and Skinner.  The meeting was called for the purpose of discussing the following motion, of which Councillor Rankin gave notice at last meeting viz.-“That the Council take steps to acquire a public golf course for Oban”.

Councillor Rankin said his reason for bringing the motion before the Council was that this important matter had not received the attention it deserved from the public, and it was only by united effort on the part of the Town Council, the Golf Club, and the people of the town that a scheme large enough to be successful could be carried out.  As the carrying out of such a scheme would be a benefit to the whole town, either directly or indirectly, who was so fitted as the Town Council to carry it out and give a strong lead.  It was with the greatest confidence that he asked the Council to take up this matter, because he did not know of any place where an eighteen-hole golf course had proved a failure.  Why, then, should Oban, a healthy little community financially, stand trembling on the brink, afraid to venture, when other places of far less importance, and with nothing like the attractions of Oban, had benefited so largely and a result of




And which places, but for their golf attractions, would never be heard of.  Golf had been booming for the last 20 years over the whole country, and during that time Oban had neglected its opportunities.  This was an age of sport and recreation, and among the attractions for summer resorts, whether at seaside or inland, the game of golf had no rival.  Hitherto the providing of golf for the visitors to Oban had been in the hands of a private club.  He did not want to belittle what the club had done, because it had done a great deal.  The club, for instance, had thrown the course open to the officers of the Isis and other war vessels that had come to Oban.  It was an open secret with regard to the cruising of war vessels around our coasts that the determining of places to be visited was left in the hands of the officers, and the officers favoured those places where they could get most sport in their off-time.  He did not want to go into detail with regard to all that the club had done for the course; he would content himself with one other instance.  Last year, at extra expense, they put the ground in better playing order than it had ever been before with the result that



Was increased to the extent of £23, an unprecedented increase.  Could anything be stronger than that statement to show to everybody what is really wanted?  The sum of £23 might seem very small, but they must remember that though every golfer who came to the town and played on the golf course for a month only paid 5s to the club, he increased by at least £10 the gross income of the burgh.  Considering the difficulties that the club had had to contend with they had attained a fair measure of success, but he was bound to say that if at the start they had had the capital to lay out a more extended a better equipped, and a more suitable golf course, their success would have been at least five times as great as it was.  When the club started, the membership was something under 40, with an annual subscription of 5s a year.  That meant a sum of £10.  After nine holes were put down there was left the princely sum of something under £5 to keep the ground in order and attract visitors to Oban.  Was it any wonder that golf had only been a partial success?  When they considered what other places had done for golf was it any wonder that Oban was not the golf centre it ought to be?  Let them look at what other places had been doing.  Quoting from a copy of “The World of Golf”  of 20th December last, Mr Rankin showed that “glorious Tramore,” which some 60 years ago was famed as a holiday resort among the people of Munster, and which had fallen from its position, has within recent years again come to the front, golf having come to the rescue.  The magnetism of the links, said the writer, has done more for the place than thousands of pounds spent on advertising.  The same paper stated that at Moffat the golfer had been suitably catered for in a beautifully situated eighteen-hole course.  Funds had been provided by the usual bazaar, and so liberal was the patronage that not only were the expenses of laying the course met, but the nucleus of a house fund was established.  The whole undertaking was splendid instance of the work that could be accomplished by a thoroughly practical and experienced committee of management.  Mr Rankin next read several letters he had received from golf club secretaries.  The secretary of the Royal Dornoch Golf Club, in the course of his letter,said:-   “The club has full management of the golf courses, and draws all fees, etc, and pays all salaries and charges, just as if it were their own private property, the town being content to get the summer visitor traffic in return.  Of course, we are in a peculiar position




And the town realises this.  It is a small place without any industry of any kind, and until we pushed golf the town was going back “ Mr Ranking wrote to a gentleman in Arbroath for information regarding the Abroath golf links.  This gentleman stated that these links were played over for a number of years before they were acquired by the town the club paying a rent to the farmers who leased from the landlord along with their farms.  In order to get full control as to grass cutting and improving the links for golf, it was found necessary that the Town Council should become proprietors, and after long bargaining the purchase was completed.  Everyone now thought that the town had made a good bargain.  In a subsequent letter, which the same gentleman wrote in response to Mr Rankin  for further information, it was stated that the resolution to purchase was come to at a public meeting.  A committee, which was formed, got subscriptions from manufacturers, merchants, and other gentlemen in the town.  These subscriptions, with others from natives of Arbroath in other towns and abroad, reached nearly £1000.  The balance, except £550 given by the Town Council, was raised by means of a bazzar, which was managed by a committee appointed at a public meeting.  Perhaps, continued Mr Rankin some of them might not be aware that Taynuilt and Inverary each raised about £200 for their links-Taynuilt by way of subscription or shares of £5 each, and Inverary by a public bazzar.  What these places could do Oban, he thought, should be able to accomplish.  How often one heard the remark from visitors that in Oban Nature had done everything she possibly could, yet they had done deucedly little for themselves.  That was a bad character to give to a town such as Oban.  If the remark was true, it could only be because the people had had such few opportunities of showing how they appreciated the policy of throwing a sprat to catch a whale.  Whether true or not, the character ill-befitted a town with such a motto as Oban.  If they searched the whole Gaelic language through they could not find a more appropriate motto than



which, he was told, meant “G ahead” (Laughter,).  But if they did not work up to that in the future more than in the past, he would suggest that they scratch it out and substitute the Latin for “stick in the mud”.  In the past Oban had not done much in the way of introducing schemes which would be at the same time revenue-producing, and prove attractive to the town.  Here to their hand was a scheme which would be both popular and safe.  If they wished the town brought into line with other summer resorts, and not left behind in the race for popularity, it was time they were up and doing, and if the town put a united shoulder to the wheel he was convinced they would be able to overcome all difficulties that might arise in the carrying out of the suggested scheme.

Bailie Campbell said, while he would be agreeable to second Mr Rankin’s motion, he would like to express it in a somewhat different way, and perhaps he would be able to induce Mr Rankin to alter his motion in such a way that the whole of the members present would have no difficulty in assenting to it.  He would suggest that Mr Rankin ask the Council to remit the matter to the Improvements Committee for their consideration, the Committee to report to the Council before any further steps be taken.

Councillor Rankin expressed his willingness to agree to Bailie Campbell’s modification.

The Provost thought that before altering the motion the views of all the members ought to be heard on the existing motion.

Councillor Skinner thought the Council should agree to allow Mr Rankin’s motion to be altered as suggested.

The Provost said he was not taking exception to steps being taken, but he took exception to Mr Rankin’s haste-to, as it were forcing the question upon the Council at a very inappropriate moment.  He thought the motion should stand.

Councillor Rankin said he could not be accused of haste.  At last meeting of the Council he left himself in their hands, and they agreed to discuss the matter by special meeting that night.

The Provost said he would explain what he meant afterwards.  Did any member second the motion as it stood, or did the Council as a body agree to Baillie Campbell’s suggested modification.

Councillor Skinner said he failed to see how the Provost could not allow the motion to be amended.

The Provost- If the members of the Council are agreed it may be amended.

Councillor Skinner said, while he was in entire sympathy with the movement to acquire a public golf course for Oban he would not care to go the length of seconding Mr Rankin’s motion which would.




To taking action. That was his reason for asking the Provost to allow the amendment, because by remitting the matter to the Improvements Committee a report could be obtained from the committee, and the Town Council would be committed to nothing.

Councillor Black said he was in sympathy with the business it could be done on the Abroath lines, ? was not prepared to second the motion ? it stood in Mr Rankin’s name.  He was agreeable, to support the amended form of the motion.  There was no doubt, as Mr Rankin had said, that Oban had felt very much the ? of a thoroughly good golf course and (Mr Black) would like to see such a course existence.

Baillie Campbell said that perhaps the best way to get things disentangled would be for him to second, and as a matter of form, Mr Rankin’s motion ? so doing, he would put the business in such order that any member of the Council could move the amendment which he (Mr Campbell) had proposed to move.  He simply seconded Mr Rankin’s motion to enable the meeting to go on with the business.  At the same time, there was a strong mental reservation in his own mind on the subject.  In seconding the motion, he thought he might congratulate Mr Rankin, who was one of the recruits to the Council, on having presented his motion with such cogency and fullness – he reminded the Council




Than a junior counsel. (Laughter.)  He thought, however, that Mr Rankin was a little top hard on the older members of the Council in-hinting that they had been rather remiss in regard to carrying out improvements.  The old Councils had always been on the outlook for suitable avenues of improvement, but they were always more or less frightened by the bogey of the rates.  After all, Mr Rankin would agree that at the present juncture the question of the increase or the decrease of the rates was one which concerned the ratepayers.  In thinking over this matter he had come to the conclusion that it would be almost and essentials part of such a scheme that there should be no capital expenditure-that the scheme should be one such as could be arranged for an annual payment without payment of money down. In saying that, he did not moan to hint or suggest where the ground should be.  That was a question for other investigation.  Rankin had not told them much about this present position of the Golf Club, but they ? as members of the public that matters the present club are in a somewhat critical position and he thought that was one reason why Mr Rankin had brought the question before the Town Council.  He agreed that the Town Council was perhaps the body that was charged most of all with an improvement of this nature because by introducing a proper golf course for Oban they would be catering not so much for the residents in the town (although, of course, they required to be catered for also) as for the customers of the town.  By this proposal they were seeking to increase the number of the town’s customers and, that was a very important consideration indeed.

Councillor Skinner moved an amendment in the following terms :- “That the matter of providing a public golf course for the town be remitted to the Town Council in Committee for consideration ad report”.  He was in entire sympathy, he said, with the providing of a larger course for the accommodation of the numerous visitors who came to the town annually.  It was a fact which stared them in the face that from the highest in the town to the lowest they were all dependent on the tourists and visitors who came to Oban, and if anything could be done in the way of attracting visitors in greater numbers the Town Council should not be a stumbling block.  At the same time they must consider that as a community.



And the Council would require to be careful as to how they went about the matter, so that there should be no increase of taxation; or at any rate to see that but a small increase would be necessary to meet the requirements for a new golf course.  Mr Rankin,s motion was too drastic because if it were accepted the Town Council would be committed to go on with a golf course, no matter what the cost might be.  He thought they should move very carefully in the matter, but he was in full sympathy, with the scheme whether it was taken up by the Corporation, the Golf Club, or a private company.

Councillor Black seconded the amendment, Councillor MacCallum said he believed the whole Council was of one mind in regard to benefit a new golf course would be to Oban.  The difficulty was as to which was the proper method of bringing about the desired result.  Some of them would like to know how the thing could be financed.

Councillor MacCall said he was also in favour of a good golf course, if such could be got, but as Mr MacCallum had said, the question of ways and means had to be considered.  Personally he would be chary of going into the thing if it was to lead to an increase in the rates.  These had been increased during the last two years, and resident proprietors had at present about 13per cent to pay in rates and taxes.  He would like to know what the scheme would be likely to cost before committing himself one way or another.

Councillor Forbes said the only objection he had to the scheme was on the question of expense.  He would like to know where the money was to come from.  He was at one with Mr Rankin that they ought to have Oban made as attractive as possible, but many good schemes had already been shelved owing to the want of money.  He had one or two schemes in his mind, but he had not brought them forward for the very reason he head stated.  The Town Council might co-operate in the matter but he did not think they should be called on to carry out the whole thing themselves.

The Provost said he did not wish to say much on the subject, but he wanted to justify what he said when he remarked that Mr Rankin had been a little hasty.  The very fact of this counter-motion, or amendment, coming up and meeting with the approval of the Council proved that.  A week past Friday he attended the annual meeting of the Golf Club.  The meeting resolved to reopen negotiations with Mr Bontein in regard to the suggested new golf course at Glenccruitten.  At the same meeting Mr Rankin brought forward a motion asking the Golf Club to do the same thing that he was asking the Town Council to do now.  He did not think that was consistent on the part of Mr Rankin.  The Provost (continuing) recalled a public meeting which was held in March,1904, to consider the question of a new golf course .  A committee was appointed to make inquiries, but there was very little support.  He thought at present that



Till the Golf Club ? had their try.  He was sure that the Town Council, individually and collectively, were willing to do everything they could to be able to get an eighteen-hole golf course for ? short of acquiring a golf course on the ? responsibility.

Baillie Maclachlan said he had expected to hear something much more practical that night.  As a matter of fact, it was impossible to put the thing in shape at a public board.  If the matter was to be properly take up it ought to be taken up in committee and threshed out there and the question should not see the light of day until it was in a practical form.  He would like to see one of the best golf courses in Scotland situated at Oban.  (Hear, hear,).  It would be a grand thing for Oban, because it would not only bring more visitors but the visitors would stay longer when they did come.  But as to the Council taking it up, where was the money to come from ?  They could not get the money except from the rates.  There was no common good in Oban and ? in the £ on the rates only brought in about £175.  What was double or treble that ? worth for starting a golf course ?  They were some 1200 ratepayers on the voters and about 150 of that number were ? Golf Club.  He asked them, were they going to call upon the other 1050 ratepayers provide for the pleasure of 150 ratepayers ? was sure that most of the members of the club would.


The Idea


of taking any ? from the hard-pressed labouring class of their special pleasure.  He would make a  ? . Some of the members of the Golf Club were wealthy, and they were almost all well-to-do.  Why not have shares ?  Some of the members could take from 50 to 100 shares, others from 20 to 50 the lowest share might be from £5 to £10 shares, but the average would be £10. There they had £1500 at once. That lets them go to the large business people who had the interest of the place at heart, and he was sure it was no stretch of the imagination to suppose that they would take shares to the extent of say £1000.  That would give a total of £2500.  With regard to Mr Bonteins offer to the Golf Club, he understood that gentleman had made a very generous offer, and he thought the Club was ill-advised in going against it.  It was to be hoped, however, that the deputation on the lines they were now going would have some weight with Mr Bontein. In concluding his remarks, Bailie Maclachlan said he would go the length of saying that even although a new golf course was in existence they might still have another ? the more golf courses they had the better.

Councillor Rankin, after a brief reply to the discussion withdrew his motion in favour or the amendment.

Bailie Campbell explained that in anything he said on the subject he did not for a moment contemplate that the Town Council should acquire and proceed to work the golf course.  The committee appointed in 1904 did all they could, but they failed to secure what was regarded as a suitable course.  He understood the Golf Club had come to a dead-lock with the present proprietor, but it seemed that there was some chance of that being overcome.  His view was that the Town Council was in this matter.




For the acquisition of a course for the town, and that if a course was acquired or leased some arrangement would require to be made for the working of the course.  That, however, belonged to the future, and would  require to be entered into with great deliberation.

The amendment was unanimously approved of, and Council rose.

Oban Times May 13th 1905



The final for the silver cup presented by the officers of H.M.S. Isis, and the Benares cup gifted by Mr Palmer was played off on the Links at Polavinister on Friday last, the contestants being Mr H MacDonald, and Mr A. Leitch.  The game was one of 36 holes,and as these were all played off in the after-noon, the prolonged and continuous effort must have been somewhat fatiguing for the finalists.  Four strokes a round were allowed MacDonald by Leitch.  MacDonald started extremely well, playing a strong and straight game, and finished the first round of nine holes six up. Leitch, however, through careful play gradually pulled up, reduced the lead, and eventually got on level terms.  The last nine holes was a neck and neck race for victory.  At the thirty-third hole of the match MacDonald got into difficulties, and Leitch drew up level.  The thirty-fourth hole and the thirty-fifth fell to Leitch, who thus came out winner by two up and one to play, the match throughout being most-interesting and well contested. Mr Leitch accordingly became the winner of the Isis silver cup, the Palmer cup going to Mr MacDonald. MacDonald was in magnificent driving form, getting into trouble indeed by sending the ball from the tee straight past some of the greens.  Leitch’s steady and well-directed approach shots won him the game and his score of 160 for the thirty-six holes shows there was room for few mistakes, when the game was only won at the thirty-fifth hole.

Comrie v. Oban

October 2nd 1905 The Scotsman


These clubs played a match over Comrie course, 15 players a side, the result being that Comrie won by 15 matches to 0.


Oban Times March 2nd 1907


Golf Club Dance- The members of the Oban Golf Club and friends held their annual dance in the Great Western Hotel last Friday night, when some sixty ladies and gentleman were present. Mr Wm Henry performed the duties of master of ceremonies.


Oban Times September 7th, 1907


Extended golf course for Oban

Mr Bonteins Scheme


The desirable idea of constructing a good 18 hole golf course in place of the present inadequate nine hole course has long been discussed by golfers in Oban but the difficulty in obtaining suitable ground and financings such an undertaking has hitherto prevented the realisation of their desires. A practical step in the required direction was at last made towards the end of last year, when Mr James Shelley Bontein of Glencruitten intimated to the members of the Oban golf club that he proposed to make an 18 hole course, and offered them playing rights on the course on payment of four fifths of their present subscription. After some correspondence, however, the negotiations fell through.

Mr Bontein, we understand, is now making arrangements for the laying out of the course, and the plans of the clubhouse were passed at the Dean Of Guild Court on Monday. The new course will be constructed partly on Glencruitten Farm and partly on the existing course, and it is to be managed by a committee as representing a new club, which is being formed.

The club-house is to built of brick and roofed with red tiles, and it will be erected on a knoll to the South of Glencruitten Road, a short distance from the march with Mossfield. The building will have about fifty feet of frontage. In addition to the club room – an apartment, 23 feet by 15 feet – the accommodation will consist of a box room, a ladies room, a kitchen, a bedroom for the use of the club master, and a wash house and lavatories etc.

It is understood that operations in connection with the new course are to be commenced forthwith, and that part of the course will be available for play by next summer.

Note : It would seem that nine of the eighteen holes are to be on the old Poliminister course. Why did the Oban club let the existing lease expire and how has Bontein managed to negotiate a new lease for his venture. 

Oban Times, December 7th, 1907


Oban Golf Club

Probable New Course.


A special general meeting of Oban golf club was held on Friday evening last in the masonic hall “ to consider what arrangements can be made for the future in view of the fact that the club has received notice to remove from lands rented and leased by it on the Glencruitten estate.

There was a large attendance, and the chair was taken by Mr C.A. Rankin, Captain.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read by Mr W.L. Menzies, Secretary. These contained the correspondence which had taken place between Mr Shelley Bontein of Glencruitten and the club.

Mr Bontein is in progress of laying out an 18 hole course by adding nine holes to the nine holes which form the links of the Oban club. Before proceeding with his scheme, Mr Bontein put before the club a series of proposals, under which it might as a club play over the extended course. These led to negotiations which subsequently fell through, and the option before the club was either to disband and individually join the club to be formed by Mr Bontein or to continue its identity, and seek for another course of its own. The general feeing among the members was towards the latter course, and at the meeting on Friday night a report was submitted as to the steps taken by the committee since the negotiations with Mr Bontein were broken off.


A new course in view


Mr Duncan MacGregor, solicitor, reported as to the actings of a sub-committee appointed by the committee with regard to the acquisition of ground for a new course. He explained that the sub-committee had hoped to lay before the club a complete scheme for approval or otherwise, but since the special general meeting had been called for that night they found that the negotiations in which they were engaged had not been concluded, as they had expected. They were hopeful, however, of procuring ground that would in every respect be suitable, both as regards golfing qualities and accessibility. Indeed, the ground they had in view was of the finest in every respect and the question of terms only remained for adjustment. The regular annual general meeting of the club was to held shortly, and they hoped that their proposals would be ready by that time.

Some discussion followed, Ex-Provost Cooper, Councillor Robertson, Councillor Rankin, Provost McIsaac, Ex Councillor Macdougall, and others taking part.

Ultimately on the motion of Mr A.D. Robertson, a motion was unanimously passed thanking the committee for its conduct and for continuing the name and identity of the club, and authorising the sub-committee to proceed with the negotiations in hand.

A vote of thanks was accorded the chairman on the motion of Councillor Robertson.

Oban Times January 18th  1908

Oban Golf Club


The annual competition, under handicap conditions was played over the Club Golf Course at Polyvinister on New Year’s Day. The ground was a trifle frost-bound, which was rather against low scoring, but notwithstanding some good card’s were returned.

The following are the lowest scores and prize-winners;-


  1. Wm.Murdoch                                 90-14=76
  2. Jack Kennedy                                 92-15=77
  3. A.D. MacNeill (acrch)                   78-    =78
  4. A.Robertson (P.O.)                        91-11=80
  5. Wm,.Hunter                                   88-  8=80
  6. George Henderson                         95-15=80
  7. C.A.Rankin                                    85- 3 =82
  8. H.MacCuaig                                 102-20=82
  9. Donald Sutherland                         95-12=83
  10. Neil Carmichael                             92- 9 =83
  11. M.B. MacNeill                               86- 2=84
  12. A.Fraser                                         96-11=85
  13. Alexander Leitch  (scr.)                 86-    =86
  14. Wm Rankin                                    97-11=86
  15. D. Livingston                                103-17=86
  16. D.Paterson                                       95- 8=87
  17. A.D.Robertson                                 97- 9=88

New Course At Ganavan

January 25th  1908 Oban Times


On Friday evening last the annual general meeting of the Oban Golf Club was held in the Masonic Hall.  There was a large attendance, with Mr C.A.Rankin, captain, in the chair.


Annual Report


Mr W.L. Menzies, secretary and treasurer, submitted his report for the past year.  It showed the Club to be in a satisfactory position, financially and as to members.  On the year’s working, there was a surplus of £47 10s and the balance to the credit of the Club amounts to £150.  The sum received from visitors’ tickets showed a decrease of £14 7s 6d,but the total amount coming from this source- £44 12s-was the second highest recorded.  The falling-off last year was attributable to the wet weather.  There are over 100 members.

The report was adopted.


Office – Bearers


The following office-bearers were elected for the year:-

    President, Mr Alex. Robertson, Bellevue; vice-president, Mr C.A.Rankin; captain, Mr Alexander Leitch; Vice-captain, Mr Duncan MacGregor; secretary and treasurer, Mr W.L. Menzies; committee- Messrs MacNeill, Malcolm Black, Alex. Cameron, John Dunlop, Wm. Abernethy, Wm. Rankin, A.D.Robertson, and Wm. Hunter.


The New Course


Mr Duncan MacGregor, solicitor, convener of the Sub-committee appointed to prepare a scheme for a new course, reported as to the various negotiations that had been entered upon and the results.  He stated that two schemes were available; and after hearing the details of each, it was unanimously resolved to lease ground at Ganaven, favourable terms having been obtained from the proprietor and tenant of the land.

The proposed new course adjoins Ganavan Sands.  It has thus the advantage of being by the sea, it is easily accessible and it is expected that nine excellent holes will be available.  The course is to be laid out immediately by a professional.

February 15th  1908 Oban Times


Mr Rankin went on to remark that if the Oban Town Council thought of acquiring ground for a public 18 hole golf course the necessary capital might be raised under the Public Parks Act the Public Health Act, or the Burgh General Act.  Of course, before they could take up such a scheme they would have to be assured of receiving as much in-some as would at least clear the annual expenses.  The local Club, as had been reported, had,


Secured a Nine-Hole Course


But when regard was had to the great popularity of golf, there was no doubt that a nine-hole course was quite inadequate for Oban.  The membership of the Club, just now was nearly 220, and when they kept in view that 40 people playing on a nine-hole course made it uncomfortably crowded, it was quite easy to see that there would be little room for visitors, and it was easy also to see that before very long the question of have an eighteen-hole course would have to be faced.  In recent years the Town Council had gone in for expensive schemes, such as the making of the Ganavan Road, the construction of piers, the installation of the electric light, and the buying of Dungallon Parks.  These were excellent schemes, and would be of benefit to generations yet to come;  but he thought they might now do something for the present generation.  The exclusive people that used to come to Oban seemed to be getting fewer, but they were happily getting in their stead a  good business class.  This was the class that they should cater for in the future.  There was no reason why Oban should not follow the example of such resorts as Brighton and Scarborough.  

Oban’s New Golf Course

   February 29th  1908       Oban Times


In “Golf Illustrated” the following reference occurs to the new golf course projected for Oban:- “Bob Simpson, of Carnoustie, at the invitation of the Oban Club Executive, paid a visit to the beautiful watering place on the west coast of Scotland.  On last year’s working, Oban Club showed a creditable balance: but the revenue from visitors was a trifle disappointing. Hence the call for pastures new. Adjoining Ganaven sands (the principal bathing beach in Oban), on ground admirably adapted for the purpose, Bob Simpson laid out a new course. (The turf is of a very rich quality and the bunkers are of the stamp which adorn East of Scotland courses.  Of fair average length, the holes have been implanted with a due regard to the character of the ground and the hazards in their vicinity.  In the distance the islands of Mull, Lismore, and others come into view- a panorama is opened out that will satisfy the most artistic sense of the cultured golfer.  There are some 30 hotels in Oban, and to these establishment the venture will be an excellent adjunct.”

Roller for New Golf Course

March 14th  1908 Oban Times


At a meeting of the Roads Committee there was read a letter from Mr W.L.Menzies secretary of the Oban Golf club requesting the use of one of the road rollers for the new golf course being laid out at Ganavan.  The Committee agreed to grant the application.


Oban Golf Club

March 14th  1908 Oban Times


The members of the Oban Golf Club and friends held their annual dance in the Great Western Hotel last Thursday evening.  About 40 couples were present.

Oban Golf Club’s New Course

May 16th  1908 Oban Times


New Course To Open


The new nine hole course which had been laid out on ground adjoining Ganavan Sands, by the Oban Golf Club, will be opened for play on Thursday afternoon 28th inst.

As was previously mentioned, the tee’s and putting greens were staked off in the first week of February by Mr Robert Simpson the well known golf Professional at Carnoustie, who was accompanied by several leading members of the Club, Mr Simpson expressed himself as charmed with the ground and its beautiful surroundings.  The work of getting the course into order was at once proceeded with. Operations have gone on steadily since, and the club officials are confident that the course will be in good playing condition when the formal opening takes place.

The turf is of a rich quality, and the bunkers are of such a nature as may be found on almost any East of Scotland course.  Of fair average length the holes are so arranged that the best possible advantage is taken of the character of the ground.  Ample scope has been provided for putting, the minimum size of the greens being 20yards. They have all been sown with special grass seed, and in course of time they should develop into excellent putting greens.  Clothed with natural grass, the surface of the greens in most cases, is of an undulating nature, the calling for skill in putting.


Oban Golf Course

May 16th  1908 Oban Times


Description of the Course


The first tee starts within a few yards of the terminus of the Ganavan Road, and the first green is 330 yards distant.

About 160 yards from the tee runs the Ganavan Burn, and a long drive will be necessary to carry it.  As the line of approach to the first hole runs parallel to Ganavan Sands, players will require to drive both straight and strong in order to steer clear of difficulties.  The second tee has been placed on a knoll which lies behind the north end of Ganavan sands.  From this eminence there is disclosed a magnificent panorama, ranging from Loch Nell Point to the island of Mull, with the Kingairloch hills and the island of Lismore in the centre, and on a clear day the ancient castle of Duart, and the William Black lighthouse may be readily observed.  From the second tee the player drives in a south-easterly direction, and the line of play again crosses the Ganavan Burn.  The length of this hole is 250 yards.  The next hole, which extends to about 300 yards in a northerly direction, will require careful playing, two ditches having to be successfully negotiated if the player does not wish to come to grief.  The fourth hole, running in a north-easterly direction, is the shortest of the nine, being about 120 yards.  The tee stands about fifty feet above the level of the green, which borders on the sea-shore.  A well-judged iron shot will land the player on the green.  From the fifth tee, which is near the fourth green, the player has not only to clear the burn, but to surmount the rising ground which faces him, and for this purpose a long drive is requisite.  The distance from the tee to the green is 250 yards, and the line of play runs in an easterly direction.  The sixth hole(The approach to the green from the tee is southerly) extends to about 300yards.  In playing this hole, two burns are crossed, and in order to avoid bunkering, a long carry is essential.  The seventh hole, although it only extends to about 170yards, is not without its sporting possibilities.  A straight drive is the proper play.  A pulled drive will land the ball in rough ground to the left, while a sliced drive will be caught in a sand bunker.  The eighth tee, like the second, is on a knoll.  Two bunkers have to be negotiated, and Ganavan Burn has to be crossed before the green is reached.  The line of play is northerly, and the distance is about 250 yards.  The distance between the last tee and the home hole is about 220 yards, and here again careful play is essential; a topped drive may land the ball in the Ganavan Burn.

A commendable feature in regard to the Ganavan course is that there will be no cross play in any part of it.  The probable scratch score for the course should work out at about 38 strokes.

The opening game will take the form of a match between teams captained by Councillor Robertson, the president, and by Mr C.A.Rankin, vice-president.  The committee of the club extend an invitation to all members and friends to be present on the occasion.

The annual handicap competition for the Isis shield was played over the Polvinster golf course to-day (Thursday).

The annual match is to be played on the Polvinister golf course between teams representing the Inveraray and Oban Golf Clubs on Wednesday first.

Scotsman May 28th, 1908


Two New Courses In Oban


A serious deficiency in the attractions of Oban as a summer resort has been the inadequacy of the provision for the needs of the golfer. This reproach no longer exists. The old course at Polamhinister has been abandoned, and two new courses have been laid out – one, an eighteen-hole course, provided by Mr J.Shelley of Bontein in Glencruitten, and the other  - a nine hole course – by the Oban Golf Club at Ganavan. The new course at Ganavan should prove a valuable attraction to the town. It’s situation is delightful. Formerly, before they had Polamhinister, the club had its course   on the Dunollie Farm near Ganavan, the picturesque position of which made it highly popular with visitors. The new course is a little further to the east, the first tee starting a few yards from the terminus of the Ganavan road, near the gate which gives access to the bathing beach.                         Over the whole course the player has constantly displayed before him the magnificent panorama ranging from Lochnell Point to the entrance to the Sound Of Mull, with the Island of Lismore in the middle distance and the Kingairloch Hills forming a background. The course was laid out by Mr Robert Simpson, the well known professional at Carnoustie, who expressed himself as charmed with the ground and it’s beautiful surroundings. The turf is of a rich quality, and the bunkers of such a nature as may be found on almost any east coast course. Of fair average length the holes are so arranged that the best possible advantage is taken of the character of the ground. Ample scope has been provided for putting, the minimum size of the greens being 20 square yards. A commendable feature of this course also is that there can be no cross play in any part of it. The probable scratch score for the course should work out at 38 strokes. The course is approached by the Ganavan road, the most popular promenade of Oban, and during the season the service of motor car and coaches  plying between the town and Ganavan beach will afford golfers ample facilities for reaching it. Mr W.L.Menzies, Architect, Oban is the secretary. Visitors will be admitted to play on this course at 1s per day, 3s 6d per week, and 7s 6d per month. The Ganavan course is to be opened to-day and the Glencruitten course is expected to be opened on Monday.


Length of Course, 2315 yards - Bogey  36

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

Length in yards         330     300     350       120     255       350     190     220     200

                Bogey            5          4          5          3          4          4          3          4          4

Oban Golf Club’s New Course.  Oban Times May 30th 1908.


The new nine hole course of the Oban Golf Club at Ganavan was formally opened for play this afternoon in delightful summer weather, in the presence of a large company of players and spectators. Mr Alex Robertson, President of the club, made a brief speech appropriate to the occasion, and the first ball was driven off by Mrs Robertson, amid applause. Several foursome and single games were afterwards played. Tea being served during the afternoon by the lady members of the club.

Oban Times June 6th 1908.


Opening of New Course at Oban.


The new golf course which has recently been laid out by the Oban Golf Club at Ganavan was formally opened on Thursday of last week in ideal summer weather in presence of a large gathering.

There were present among others :- Mr and Mrs Robertson and Miss Robertson, Mr and Mrs Alec. Robertson,Dr and Mrs Hutton,Mr and Mrs Cooper, Mrs Shairp, Mr and Mrs Mitchell, Miss Macleod, Calumba Terrace, Mrs D.Macdonald,Mrs D.M.Mackinnon, Mrs D.D.Forbes, Mrs Noble, Mrs Bruce Robertson,Mrs Munn, Mrs Jolly, Miss Rankin, Mrs Macneill,Clinton, Mr and Mrs W.L.Menzies, Mr and Mrs Beattie, Miss Dora Mackenzie, Miss Third, Miss Craig, Miss Macrae,Miss Kay MacColl, Miss Munn, Miss Macintyre, Miss Macpherson, Miss MacColl, Mrs Kirkwood, Mrs Cunningham, Mrs Hunter, Miss MacGilvray, Miss MacTavish, Miss Mackay,Mrs Sinclair, Miss Campbell, Park House, Miss McIssac, Miss Paterson, Miss Henry, Miss Carmichael, Octavia Place, Mr J. Menzies, Mr Kennedy, Me Abernethy, Mr Macpherson, Mr Leitch, Messrs Rankin, Mr MacDougall, Mr Murdoch, etc.

Mr Alexander Robertson, President of the club, in his opening remarks, wished the club all success on the new course. He called upon the Vice President, Mr C.A. Rankin, who in suitable terms, introduced Mrs Robertson, wife of the President of the club, and presented her with a golf club with which to drive off the first ball.

Mrs Robertson drove off the ball in first class style, amid the cheers of the assembled members and friends. The members then engaged in foursome matches in teams captained by the president and vice president, about sixty players taking part.

Some very keen matches were played, and when all had finished it was found that the vice president’s side had won by eight matches to five matches for the president.

Tea and refreshments were served during the day, and the committee of ladies in charge and the lady members of the club are to be heartily thanked and congratulated on the excellent arrangements they made for the wants of the members and friends.

A putting competition was engaged in on the ninth green by the lady members. Some fine putting took place, and after a keen competition and tie for first honour. Miss F. Macall took the first prize. Miss B.Kennedy secured the second prize, while Miss A Munn and Miss J.Craig tied for the third prize. A mixed foursome was also engaged in by a number of the members, and the scoring was by strokes. The following couples handed in the best returns : -

First, Miss A.Munn and Mr William Duncan, Second, Miss F.MacCall and Mr N.Black, Third, Miss B.Kennedy and Mr W.L.Menzies.

There was a very good turnout of members and friends, and the day’s outing was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Mr Allan Macintyre, coach proprietor, gave an excellent service per motor car and brakes to and from Ganavan during the day.

The course was in fine order, and it is creditable to William Brown, the green keeper, that he has been able to get the greens into such good condition. The course is now 

The Oban Times January 23rd, 1909




Annual Business Meeting.


The annual general meeting of the members of the Club was held in the Masonic Hall on Friday night – Mr A. Leitch, captain, in the chair.


The Annual Report.


The committee’s annual report for the year ending 31st December last shows that on the next year’s working the expenditure has exceeded the income- including balance from 1907-by £160 1s 11d, this being due to the additional expenditure connected with the laying out of the new course.  To meet the extraordinary expenditure incurred in laying out the new course the Committee have discounted bills on the bank for the sum of  £200.  The balances in treasure’s hands and in bank at 31st December, 1908, amount to £39 18s 1d, leaving the above deficit of £160 1s 11d.  The committee propose to get an authorised overdraft on the bank for the necessary sum to carry on the working of the club, and they are confident that in the near future there will be a balance on the right side, as no extraordinary expenditure will be necessary.  From a statement showing the assets and liabilities of the Club it is seen that the assets exceed the liabilities by £28 12s 9d.  The visitors’ tickets show a decrease of £21 14s from 1907 (in 1903 the visitors’tickets amounted to £23 9s), and this is accounted for by the course not being at its full extent at the beginning of the season, owing to the parts sown down not being playable and to the course not being sufficiently well known.  A jumble sale was held on 4th December, and realised £12 15s 8d.  The concert held on 24th  December was a success, and realised £6 9s 9d.  During the year 26 new members – 19 gentlemen, 1 boy, and 6 ladies- were elected, and 30 members were written off owing to death, resignation, or otherwise.  The membership now stands at 187, made up as follows:-  Life members, 4; ordinary members, 47; boy members, 7; lady members, 29- total 187.  During 1908 a motor car service was arranged to and from the course at special reduced fares; and it is the intention of the Committee to see that there is a good service by motor car throughout the coming season, and at a very reasonable fare.  The Club competition held during the year were well attended.  Two matches were played during the past year, one being won and one lost.  Mr Duncan Macgregor moved the adoption of the report.  The Club, he said, had now been about six months on their new course at Ganavan Sands, and the members were all pleased with the ground.  It was a pity there was not sufficient round for an 18-hole course but he did not think the day was far off when they would be able to have an 18-hole course.  (Applause.)  On looking over the report some of them might think the Club had rather a large debit balance in their account this year, but he thought it was a matter for congratulation that the balance was not heavier.  When they took everything into consideration, the deficit of £160 1s 11d was nothing to be afraid of.  There had been, a heavy outlay because, in addition to laying out the golf course, a considerable amount had to be spent in draining and fencing, in removing the club house from Polvinister to Ganavan, and in other items.  He had no doubt that by the end of the season upon which they were entering they would have wiped off a considerable amount of this balance, and in the course of another year they might have the balance on the right side.

Baillie Skinner, in seconding, said the Club were to be congratulated on getting such an excellent course within such a short time.  The report was adopted.


Election of Office-Bearers.


Mr Alexander Robertson was re-appointed president, Mr Alex. Leitch was elected vice-president, Mr Duncan Macgregor was appointed Captain and Mr Malcolm Black vice-captain.  Mr W.L. Menzies, who has held the position of secretary and treasurer for some years, intimated that he did not desire re-election.  The meeting agreed to disjoin the offices of secretary and treasurer.  Mr James Maclachlan agreed to act as treasurer, and filling up of the secretaryship  was left over to be dealt with by the Committee.  The following gentlemen were appointed members of Committee4;-  Messrs A.D. Macneill, Alexander Cameron, A.D. Robertson, John Dunlop, W. Hunter, John Disselduff, Charles A. Rankin, and William Rankin, Mr John Mackay and Mr J.G. Shedden were re-elected auditors and these gentlemen, on the motion of the chairman, were thanked for their services as auditors during the past year.


Proposal Regarding Schoolboys.


A lengthy discussion took place on a proposal by Mr Abernethy that boys be permitted to use the course at 2s 6d per annum, play at this rate to be restricted to the forenoon except on any date when the Club had a competition including the Christmas New Year’s Days’ competitions.

Mr Abernethy was not present at this stage, but in order that the question might be discussed, Mr Wm. Rankin, seconded by Mr Campbell, moved in terms of Mr Abernethy’s proposal.

Baillie Skinner moved the previous question seconded by Mr Macdougall.

Mr Shedden, seconded by Mr Malcolm Black, moved that the age limit be 16, and that the charge be 5s, and another proposal moved by Mr Duncan Macgregor and seconded by Mr Dunlop, was that the proposed privilege of playing on the course on the conditions named at 2s 6d per year be limited to 20 boys.

On a division the previous question was carried against Mr Abernethy’s motion by 15 votes to 11.  With the consent of his seconder , Mr Shedden withdrew his motion, and on a vote as between the previous question and Mr Macgregor’s motion, the previous question was carried by 15 votes to 11.


Proposed Rate for District Members.


A short discussion also took place on a proposal to admit to the membership of the Club at special rates residents in the Connel and Benderloch districts.  It was finally agreed not to fix any special rates, it being intimated that residents in the surrounding districts would be welcomed as members at the moderate fee charged to residents in Oban.


The Forthcoming Bazaar.


It was agreed, on the motion of Mr Dunlop, seconded by Mr Wm. Rankin to hold a bazaar in aid of the Club in August, 1910.  The Chairman remarked that it would be the date of all the members to see that the bazaar was as successful as possible.


Votes of Thanks


On the motion of Bailie Skinner, a vote of thanks was awarded to the retiring Committee for their work during the past year, which had been trying one in the history of the Club.

On the motion of Mr John Disselduff a similar compliment was accorded to Mr Menzies for his able services to the Club during his term of office as secretary and


The Chairman intimated that the President Mr Robertson, had given £5 towards the funds of the Club, while Mr Arthur Walker, Rosebank, had contributed three guineas.  He moved that a vote of thanks be accorded to these gentlemen.

The various votes of thanks were heartily accorded.

Oban Times January 29th 1910

Annual Report


The annual report and accounts for the year ending 31st December,1909, have just been issued.

On the past year’s working, including a balance of £39 18s 1d in bank at the commencement of the year, the income derived from all sources a from all sources amounted to £184 14s 8d, and the expenditure to £167 13s 11d  Bills to the extent of £200, authorised in terms of last year’s statement, were paid by a cash credit bond for said amount, and the present debit balance at the bank account is £182 19s 3d, and is within the sum secured.  A number of accounts amounting to over £25, incurred during the year 1908, are included in this year’s statement.  Taking this fact into consideration the Committee have pleasure in stating that the income is in excess of the expenditure.

The new course at Ganavan, opened in May 1908 has improved greatly in the interval, and the course has been well patronised by members and visitors.  The increasing popularity of the course may be judged from the fact that 518 more visitors took advantage of the course this year as compared with 1908.

During the year 37 new members-23 gentlemen, 3 boys, and 11 ladies-were elected, and 36 members were written off owing to having left the town or otherwise.

The membership now stands at 188, made up as follows:-


Life members---------------- 4

Ordinary members--------148

Boy members ----------------6

Lady members--------------30




A very successful whist drive and dance was held in the Argyleshire Gathering Hall, and was largely attended by members and friends.

The various competitions held during the year were well attended and keenly contested.

The Committee accept this opportunity of thanking all members and friends for their assistance and service to the Club during the year.

The Oban Times February 5th  1910



The annual general meeting of the Club was held in the Masonic Hall, Oban on Friday night last. Mr Alexander Robertson, President, occupied the chair, and there was a large attendance.

The annual report, which was published in our last week’s issue,was unanimousely approved of.

Some discussion took place on the proposal which was made at last year’s annual meeting, to hold a bazzar in the course of the present year, in order to help in the reduction of the debt incurred by the opening of the new course at Ganavan.  It was ultimately agreed by a majority that the bazzar should be indefinitely postponed.

Mr William Rankin, seconded by Mr Daniel Mackay, afterwards moved that the annual subscription for male members of the Club be raised from 10s to 15s

Mr Duncan Macgregor moved an amendment, and Mr Alexander Cameron seconded, that the annual subscription remain as at present, but that members should be asked to give a voluntary donation in addition to the annual subscription.  The amendment was carried almost unanimously.

Mr Angus Campbell Captain of Dunstaffnage was elected hon. President of the Club; Mr Alexander Rlobertson was re-elected president; Mr Duncan Macgregor was elected vice-president; Mr Malcolm Black was appointed captain ; Mr John Disselduff was elected vice-captain; Mr William Menzies was elected secretary, and Mr James M.Maclachlan agreed to act as interim treasurer The following were appointed members of Committee :- Messrs Neil Carmichael,JohnDunlop, AlexanderCameron W.S Henry,Alexander Leitch, William Murdoch, A.D. Macneill, and A.D. Robertson.

Oban Times Saturday, January 27th  1912



The annual general meeting of the Club was held in the Masonic Hall on Tuesday evening. Mr Malcolm Black, vice-president, occupied the chair, and there was a large attendance of the members.

The committee submitted their annual report and accounts for the year ending 30th December last. The balance of £46 17s 11d appearing under income in the abstract of accounts was, as explained in last year’s report, raised to the extent of £45 1s by subscriptions from members and friends but on account of the subscription lists not being closed in time for permit of the amount being lodged in the bank as at 31s December, 1910, it could only appear as a balance in the Treasurer’s hands.  The sum received from visitors during the year was £58 8s6d and this the committee stated was an increase over the previous year of £7 8s, which went to show the increasing popularity of the course.  During the year various improvements had been made the erection of a new fence at the northern boundary of the course being one of the principal items.  The course is in excellent condition.  It was also gratifying that the members showed a substantial increase over previous year. On the year’s working the income exceeded the expenditure by £24 14s10 ½ d, and the balance at debit of last year’s accounts was reduced accordingly.  The committee thanked all members and friends for their assistance and services to the Club during the year.

General satisfaction was expressed regarding the flourishing condition of the Club.

The report was unanimously accepted on the motion of Mr Alex Leitch, seconded by Mr Duncan MacGregor.

The following office-bearers were appointed for 1912:- Hon. President, the Captain of

Dunstaffnage; president, Mr Alex. Robertson; vice-president Mr John Dusselduff; captain; Mr William L Henry; secretary, Mr Wm. Menzies; treasurer, Mr Angus MacCormick; greenkeeper, Mr Duncan Macgregor, committee Mr Malcolm Black,Mr Alex Leatch, Mr N. Carmichael, Mr Dun Macgregor, Mr Dun Paterson, Mr Alex Cameron, Mr L. Falconer, and Mr Wm Murdoch.

The Oban Times, May 24th, 1914




The annual general meeting of this Club was held in the Masonic Hall on Wednesday evening.  Mr A.D. Robertson, Firgrove, presided over a good attendance.  The Committee reported that the total sum received form visitors during the year was £79 4s, an increase of £16  5s 6d over the sum received in 1912- the previous record- and £22  15s 6d more than was received in 1911, these figures bearing eloquent testimony to the popularity of the course.  During the past year the course had been kept in excellent condition, the greens especially showing a marked improvement, which had been favourably commented upon both by members and visitors.  The result of the year’s working had been eminently satisfactory.  The income exceeded the expenditure by £32 16s 10 ½ d, and the balance at the debit of the Club’s banking account was reduced accordingly.  At the beginning of 1910 the adverse balance was £182 19s 3d, and the reduction to £43 2s 3d as at 31st December last bears convincing testimony to the satisfactory financial position of the Oban Golf Club.  ~The annual concert held in October, and the whist drive in December were most successful, the concert realising the handsome surplus of £21 14s 1d.  The Committee thanked all members and friends for their assistance and services to the Club during the year.

The report was adopted.

Dunstaffnage and Mr Alex. Robertson, Bellevue, were respectively re-appointed hon. President and President of the Club.

The other office-bearers are as follows:-  Vice-president, Mr A.D. Robertson, Firgrove; captain, Mr Thomas Stevenson; vice-captain, Mr Duncan Paterson; and Committee- Messrs Malcolm Black, Neil Carmichael, T.D.Wallace, A. Leitch, Alexander Robertson, Archd. MacArthur, Gilbert Sinclair, and A.L. Falconer, Mesrs Wm. Menzies and Angus MacCormick were reappointed secretary and treasurer respectively.

Oban Times June 6th  1914



The last competition for this trophy took place on the course of the Oban Golf club at Ganavan on Thursday and Saturday of last week.  The cup falls to the player who returns the two lowest net scores out of three competitions.  Mr R. Macfadyen, Clydesdale Bank, Oban, with a score of 69 on Saturday and f previous score of 78, has been declared the winner.

On Saturday first several players from the Oban Golf Club are to play a match with several of the officers of the cadet ship Cumberland.

Oban Times May 8th  1920



The annual competition for the Club Shield took place on Thursday last.  Mr J. McCulloch was the winner with a score of 69 + 1 = 70.  This score constitutes a new amateur record for the course.  Details were -  1st Round- 3,4,5,3,4,4,5,3,4,-35;  2nd Round –4,4,4,2,4,4,4,4,4,-34- total, 69.  Mr W. Black was runner-up with a score of 81 – 10 =71.

Oban Times Saturday, June 21st  1930



[To the Editor of the Oban Times]

18th June 1930.

Sir,- I think the ratepayers of Oban are indebted to the Oban Golf Club Committee for so fully explaining what has happened during the last ten or eleven years regarding the above.

I caddied for one of the professionals engaged in the exhibition match at Glencruitten on 25th June 1910, and, in the four-ball match in the afternoon expecially, heard may comments from the players which were far from complimentary to the course as a test of golf.  These remarks dealt with the shortness of the course, the blind approaches where the element of luck largely entered, and the fact that at only two holes they had to play that long testing second shot to the green which is the feature of  a first-class golf course.  They also referred to the stiff climbs, and one them remarked that he could go round the old course at St. Andrews twice with the same energy as was required to go round Glencruitten.  These professionals travelled overnight from St. Andrews, where they had been competing in the Open Championship, and they had not seen Glencruitten until starting to play the exhibition game in the forenoon.  The fact that their scores were : Braid 64, Taylor, 65, Vardon 67, and Fernie 70, scores done by men who had gone through an exhaustive week’s golf and had to travel overnight, shows clearly that if they had had one practice round on the course they would, all four, probably have broken 60.

It may be mentioned that in an inter-club match last week at Glencruitten,a one-handed player did the first nine holes in 30, and that with a five at the ninth hole, which is a par three,  Local players at Glencruitten can go round with ease in 65 and often under.

I was privileged to be with Dr. MacKenzie on that occasion when he visited the proposed course in 1924, and he expressed himself as delighted with the course he had laid out. Colomen MacDougall of MacDougall and Mr Struthers were in the party, and they both indicated the ground they were prepared to grant for the golf course, and Dr. MacKenzie made his course accordingly.  He submitted plans for the construction of the course.  Those interested in the enterprise thought that all was settled and that arrangements for construction of the greens, bunkers, etc., would soon be proceeded with ; but one or other of the parties with whom the Oban Golf Club were dealing changed his mind and the whole scheme fell through.  This effort cost the Oban Golf Club over £30.

Certain members of the local authority- ex-Provost Skinner and Bailie MacKillop in particular- have realised the immense advantage to the town a really first-class golf course would result in.  Briefly, the Oban season would be lengthened by a month at each end.

It would be capable of housing such competitions as, say, the Scottish Amateur Championship, the Scottish Professional Championship, the Scottish Ladies Championship, the Evening Times Trophy, and even the British Ladies Championship.  Also an annual competition held by the town such as takes place at Nairn, Dornoch, Lossiemouth, etc., could be organised and would bring players and followers to the town at a time of the year when the normal season has not reached its maximum.

The championship competitions I have referred to above usually take place in the early summer or late autumn, hence my contention that by constructing a first-class golf course the Oban season and therefore the general community would benefit by two extra months.

As regards the cost of construction, the investment would be well worth while and the fact that the scheme has been supported by men who have served the town for many years and know its additional requirements to tourists proves that the enterprise would be well worth proceeding with.  The whole trouble in my opinion is, how can the ground be obtained? I am, etc.

                                                                                                           John Gordon.

Oban Times July 12th  1930


[To the Editor of the Oban Times]

Oban, 5th July 1930


Sir,- I have read the correspondence in the columns of your paper on the above subject.

I was a member of the Ganavan Golf Course Committee appointed some years ago to approach Colonel MacDougall of MacDougal, C.M.G; about a new golf course on his estate of Dunollie.  We submitted a plan of the proposed course by Mr MacKenzie of Leeds.  We went over the ground with colonel MacDougall and his tenant, Mr Struthers of Dunolliebeg, and Mr MacKenzie was also with us, Colonel MacDougall was quite favourable to the scheme, but afterwards certain conditions were objected to by Mr Struthers, and the proposal fell through.  I did not know of Mr James Braid’s visit later until I read the correspondence in the Oban Times.  After the former hitch I understood the proposal of a new golf course on Dunollie Estate was finally and definitely at an end.  I never had much sympathy with this scheme in view of the splendid golf course at Glencruitten.

Glencruitten Golf Course was originally laid down by the late Major Shelley-Bontein of Glencruitten on the best expert advice available.  Since Mr Alexander MacKay acquired the estate he had done so much to make this golf course perfect in every way, and has enlarged and improved the clubhouse so considerably, that it seems ridiculous to think of a municipal golf course being instituted.


Oban  already well off with two Courses.


As far as golf is concerned, I think Oban is well catered for with the excellent 18- hole course at Glencruitten and the 9-hole course at Ganavan. The unfortunate thing is that there has always been a certain antagonism towards the Glencruitten course by a certain section of the community of Oban, for what reason it is difficult to conceive.  I have been a member of both golf courses for many years, and much prefer to play on Glencruitten.  I became a member of glencruitten course when it was originated, and was present at the opening of the course, and I recollect the high praise of the professionals regarding the excellence and sporting nature of the course and the wonderful attractions of the scenery.

Thanks to the generosity of the present proprietor of Glencruitten the course is now better than ever it was.  Mr MacKay has always taken a warm and practical interest in everything that pertains to the welfare of Oban, and has spent a considerable amount of money on the golf course and clubhouse to make them both more attractive to players, Moreover, the annual subscription to the Club is possibly the most moderate in Great Britain.

I am certainly against the ratepayers’ money being spent on any new golf course, and I am confident this is the view of the other ratepayers of the town.  If Oban wants to attract any of the big golfing competitions to the town.  If Oban wants to attract any of the big golfing competitions to the, then Glencruitten golf course is quite sufficient for their requirements.  The way to do this is to make it worth while.  Let the citizens who benefit by the influx of visitors put their hands in their own pockets and raise sufficient money to offer prizes that will attract professional and other first class golfers.

Then let them hold a golfing tournament at Glencruitten, say, next June, open to professionals and amateurs,and I am certain it would attract many players and visitors to the town.  Surely it would not be difficult in this way to raise say £500 for prize money, which would allow handsome monetary prizes to be allocated in several classes of competitions.  ( To be continued )

The course was laid out by Robert Simpson of Carnoustie and he expressed himself as charmed with the golfing ground and surroundings.  The course s a seaside one with sandy soil, and the turf is of excellent quality.  The greens are all natural and are of large size.  (WWG)


 In early 1923 Doctor Alister MacKenzie visited to begin planning the reconstruction of the course. (Motherwell TimesThe Leeds expert Dr Mackenzie is very busy just now. He has begun at Oban planning an extension of the course at Ganavan Sands to 18 holes. The starting point will probably be behind the historic Dunollie Castle, and will thus be quite close to the town. This is a development which will be welcomed by visitors to Oban, which is a most attractive holiday resort." (Glasgow Evening Times, 23.3.1923)  The existing 9 hole course was to be extended to 18 holes but there is no record of an extension taking place.. The course was closed in early part of WW2 when the whole area was taken over by the Admiralty for use as a naval facility.  The course re-opened in 1946, under the auspices of the Local Authority, with 6 holes, soon increased to 9 holes totalling 2,000 yards.  “Easy to play and well laid out.” ( The book of Scottish Golf Courses, Mar 1947).

Scotsman December 19th 1947

Oban Golf Course Rental


Oban Town Council have decided to adhere the their decision, made in October, that the renatl of £70 per annum is adequate for the tenancy of Ganavan Golf Course, which was taken over by the Town Council from Oban Golf Club two years ago.

The agents for the Dunstaffnage estate sent a letter to the Town Council stating that the Captain of Dunstaffnage considers that the rent, fixed many year ago, is inadequate having regard to present day values, and that they would be willing to consider a rental of £100 per annum.

Glasgow Herald September 24th, 1955


End Of Ganavan Sands.


Oban Town Council decided yesterday by a majority vote to discontinue the nine-hole golf course at Ganavan Sands, the local pleasure beach, which has been in existence for about 50 years. In recent years the expenditure has exceeded the income, and councillor William Lamont, Convenor of Parks, said that it was quite clear that the annual loss in the running of the course could not be allowed to continue. The council have decided to form a miniature 18 hole golf course and putting green in its place. The council took over the course from Oban Golf Club a few years ago.” (Glasgow Herald, 24.9.1955)

Membership peaked at 200.

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