Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland
 Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland

The starting tee of the course was approx 100 yards to the left of the man in the forground.

Rhubodach, Isle Of Bute.

Rhubodach golf course

 

Rhubodach Golf Club.

 

A six-hole course owned by Mr F W Fell Clark of Glen Caladh,at the north end of the Isle of Bute, opposite Colintraive.  First mention 1905.

A motor boat load of Rothesay golfers spent an enjoyable time on the links at Rhubodach on Saturday.” (Rothesay Express, 20.9.11)

Rhubodach Golf Club.

 

The Buteman January 6th, 1894

 

The estate of Glen Caladh, near Tighnabruaich, in the Kykes of Bute, has been sold by Messrs J. Watson Lyall & Co., of Pall Mall, to Mr R. Ingham Clark, of London. The mansion house is one of the finest in the West Coast of Scotland, and situated amid magnificent scenery. Its yachting attractions are very great. The lands extend to 1000 acres, yielding excellent shooting. The late proprietor, Mr Stephenson, laid out large sums of money on the estate, which is in excellent order.

 

A six-hole course owned by Mr F W Fell Clark of Glen Caladh,at the north end of the Isle of Bute, opposite Colintraive.  First mention 1905.

 

The Buteman September 2nd 1905

Golf Course

 

It does not seem to be generally known that there is a fine golf course on the North side of Bute, near the shore, opposite Glen Caladh Castle. This private golf course of 9 holes has been arranged, and is fully taken advantage of by the popular laird of Glen Caladh Castle, Mr R.I. Clark. The course is a first class one, with golf-house, and a number of matches have already taken place on it. Mr Clark’s eldest son, Mr T.W.F. Clark, being a first class-golfer, has carried off some very valuable prizes in the South Of England.

The Buteman November 3rd, 1906

Golf

 

On Saturday last the return match between the members of the Kyles Of Bute club and a side representing Glen Caladh Castle was played on Mr Clark’s private course at Rhubodach. The first match, which took place some time ago over the same course, resulted in a win for the Kykes of Bute players, but on this occasion the tables were completely turned against them by the Glen Caladh representatives, some of whom, came all the way from London to play the return game, which resulted in a complete rout of the Kyles players. Our two leading players, Rev. J. Menzies and Dr Wolfe, who met Mr Walter F. Clark and Mr Harry Stuart, were badly beaten, and Mr Bertie Clark, after a close fight all through only defeated Mr McDonald at the last hole, our only representative who beat his opponents being Mr Wilson Duncan.

The weather conditions were most favourable and a most enjoyable outing was the result. It may be explained that the excellent course at Rhubodach rather told against than favoured the Kyles players, whose course is far from being in such good condition – especially the greens – as that found there.

 

 

The Buteman April 24th, 1908

The Rhubodach Course

 

Bernard Sayers, of North Berwick, ( In Picture ) paid a visit to the private course at Rhubodach, laid out by Mr F.W. Fell Clark of Glen Caladh, last Friday. In the afternoon an interesting match took place, Sayers being opposed by Messrs Clark, Sydney Smith, and A. King Farlow, the Captain of the Mid Surrey Golf Club. After a keenly contested match, Sayers won on the last green, when a magnificent brassey shot from the tee gave him a 2, his core for the 18 holes being 73, or one over the record established by Mr E. Spencer of Blackheath. Sayers spoke in high terms of the course. Ben Sayers was a coach and tutor to many members of the Royal Family and the gentry. 

Rothesay Chronicle July 15th 1910

 

Golf Champions and Bute

 

J.H. Taylor, who is one of the best travelled of the golfing professionals, having toured all over the continent and America,was quite in raptures over the beauties of the municipal course, which he reckoned the most picturesque he had ever seen.

The Italian course at Menaggio, situated 900 feet above Lake Como, reminded him of the view obtained from the highest parts of the Rothesay course, but he awarded the palm to the latter for the pleasing softness and variety of its scenery. Braid also expressed himself in no measured terms regarding the beauties of Buteshire. Taylor has an especial fondness for Scotland, frequently spending his holidays at Dornoch ; and while Braid journeyed back to London on Saturday night, the Devonian spent the weekend as the guest of Mr Clark at Glen Caladh, in the restful quietude of the Kykles of Bute.

The Buteman July 15th, 1910

 

J.H. Taylor on Rhubodach Course

 

During his recent visit to Bute, J.H. Taylor, the golfing ex-champion, played a couple of rounds over Mr Clark’s private course at Rhubodach, and made a record of 71 for the course. His score for the round was as follows : -

 

Out – 4,4,3,6,3,3,4,4,4 – 35

In   -  5,3,4,4,3,3,7,3,4 – 36 = 71

Rothesay Chronicle August 18th, 1911

 

Duncan Plays Over Rhubodach Course

Talyor’s Record Broken

 

George Duncan, before leaving for home preparatory to his journey to the United States, visited the private course at Rhubodach on Monday forenoon, on the invitation of Mr Clark of Glen Caladh.

He was in capital form, although he experienced some ill luck on the greens. The course consists of only six holes, but all of them are good. Duncan took the long fourth hole ( 460 yards ) twice in four strokes, and on one occasion was only eight feet from the pin with his second. He broke the record of 71 established by J.H. Taylor in July, 1910, by one stroke. The details were as undernoted :-

 

Out  ….. 5,3,4,4,4,4,4,4,4 – 36

In  ……. 4,5,3,5,4,3,5,2,3 – 34 = 70.

Rothesay Chronicle August 18th, 1911

 

Duncan Plays Over Rhubodach Course

Talyor’s Record Broken

 

George Duncan, before leaving for home preparatory to his journey to the United States, visited the private course at Rhubodach on Monday forenoon, on the invitation of Mr Clark of Glen Caladh.

He was in capital form, although he experienced some ill luck on the greens. The course consists of only six holes, but all of them are good. Duncan took the long fourth hole ( 460 yards ) twice in four strokes, and on one occasion was only eight feet from the pin with his second. He broke the record of 71 established by J.H. Taylor in July, 1910, by one stroke. The details were as undernoted :-

 

Out  ….. 5,3,4,4,4,4,4,4,4 – 36

In  ……. 4,5,3,5,4,3,5,2,3 – 34 = 70.

The Buteman September 8th, 1911

Golf

 

Glencaladh V Kyles

 

A grand Afternoon At

Rhubodach

 

Glencaladh Win Handsomely

 

The Kyles team had a grand afternoon at Rhubodach, the excellent private course of their President, F.W.F. Clark Esq, of Glencaladh Castle, which greenkeeper McManns has in fine trim for the Royal and Ancient game. It is not as aggravatingly difficult course to the expert who can keep a straight line and pitch accurately with the mashie, but Mr Clark has laid so many traps round it that even an expert at times comes to grief in one or other of the cunningly – laid obstacles.

Always on the alert to have it up to the highest class, Mr Clark had down the famous greenkeeper, Lees of Mid Surrey, Lately – at the time George Duncan broke J.H. Taylor’s record. Most men would be well satisfied with it as it is, for it is a fine test of golf to put up a presumably good score on it as it stands, but Mr Clark aims at perfection, and nothing else will satisfy him. The day was a delightful one for the game, and the sail over in the Lintie, which was skilfully navigated by its owner, Mr George Irvine, the Captain of the Kyles team, was a pleasure.

On arrival at the course, the Kyles were warmly welcomed by Mr Clark and his team, and both before and after the match were regally entertained for Mr and Mrs Clark are very fine hosts, and know the art of entertaining to perfection. Mr Morrison, who was pitted against Mr Clark, had the honour of opening the match at the first tee, and drove such a screamer that Mr Clark’s team indulged in humorous shouts of “ Help,” Mr Clark was suffering from the one failing of Old Tom Morris, the missing of short putts, while his opponent was at the top of his game in every department, and Kyles scored a win here. The bye was halved.

Messrs Irvine and H.C. Stuart had a good fight, the former completing the first 6 holes in one over fours. This however, did not hold in Mr Stuart, who registered a win for Glencaladh, and as in the first match, the bye was halved.

Messrs A. Gemmell and Woodbine Parish were the next couple, the latter annexed the first hole, and kept this lead up in the seventh, where the match was squared, Mr Parish missing a short putt. A ding dong encounter followed to the last hole, and the match ended all square on the home green.

The next couple, Messrs J.H. Benn and A. Cook had a ding dong match all the way up to the 17th hole, which Mr Cook won, leaving him winner by 2 and 1. Mr Benn placed the bye to his credit, and Glencaladh led by ¾ of a match over the first four matches, and it looked as if a close result would ensue.

Messrs Carmichael and Park had an up-and-down match, the former standing four up midway through, but Mr Park, finishing strongly, won in the end on the home green. 1 ¾ matches up for Glencaladh.

Messrs A. Barret and R.H.I. Clark, a son of the host and a promising player, had a fine match. Mr Clark early established a lead of 3 holes by fine golf, but Mr Barret came away strongly and squared. His opponent did not allow this to upset his in the slightest, and finished off the remaining holes brilliantly, doing some of them in 3 strokes, and won both match and bye, placing a victory for Glencaladh beyond a shadow of a doubt as his 1 ¼ added to the 1 ¾ previously gained the Glencaladh team were left victors by 3 matches up. Details :-

 

                                 Glen Caladh                                                Kyles

F.W.F. Clark  ……………………….  0          J.T. Morrison ………………………  1

H.C. Stuart  …………………………. 1          Geo. Irvine ………………………..    0

Woodbine Parish  ………………….   ½         A. Gemmill  ……………………….   ½

A. Cook  ……………………………  1          J. H. Benn  ………………………..    ¼

C. Adams  ………………………….   1          A. Carmichael  …………………….  0

R.H.J. Clark  ……………………….  1 ¼      A. Barrett  …………………………    0

                                                             _____                                                             _____

                                                               4 ¾                                                                  1 ¾

 

The afternoon was a very pleasant one, both victors and vanquished thoroughly enjoying themselves, and amid waving of hankies and a cheerful toot-toot-toot from the siren of Mr Clark’s launch, the Kyles team left with many pleasant memories, and arrived back in the Kyles about eight o’clock on board the Lintie which had a beat up against a breeze all the way back.

To-morrow the Ainsworth medal is to be played for against bogey, and next Saturday the first round for Mr Clark’s handsome prizes will be played.

Rothesay Express July 29th, 1913

 

Interesting Day at Rhubodach

 

After their appearance at Millport on Wednesday last, the Champions, Edward Ray and George Duncan, were the guests on the following day of Mr F W Fell Clark on his private course at Rhubodach. The course is one of six holes so that for a full game it has to be played three times round. Since Duncan’s last visit it has undergone some alterations and improvements, and is kept in excellent condition. During the forenoon a four ball match was played, in which Ray was partnered with Mr Clark, President of Kyles GC, against Duncan and Mr Harry Stuart, Captain of Kyles GC. The latter couple proved the winners in a closely played match. In the afternoon the two professionals engaged in a medal round, Duncan being anxious to improve on his previous record of 70 for the same course. A number of enthusiasts from Rothesay and Port Bannatyne witnessed the interesting game. Duncan's score for the round was 67 50 that he beat his previous record by 3. Ray, who seemed to be off his short game, did the round in 72.

           

         Duncan   533633 433534 533533   67

            Ray      544425 443544 443544   72"        

            Rothesay Express July 29th, 1913

 

Interesting Day at Rhubodach

 

After their appearance at Millport on Wednesday last, the Champions, Edward Ray ( In Picture ) and George Duncan, were the guests on the following day of Mr F W Fell Clark on his private course at Rhubodach. The course is one of six holes so that for a full game it has to be played three times round. Since Duncan’s last visit it has undergone some alterations and improvements, and is kept in excellent condition. During the forenoon a four ball match was played, in which Ray was partnered with Mr Clark, President of Kyles GC, against Duncan and Mr Harry Stuart, Captain of Kyles GC. The latter couple proved the winners in a closely played match. In the afternoon the two professionals engaged in a medal round, Duncan being anxious to improve on his previous record of 70 for the same course. A number of enthusiasts from Rothesay and Port Bannatyne witnessed the interesting game. Duncan's score for the round was 67 50 that he beat his previous record by 3. Ray, who seemed to be off his short game, did the round in 72.

           

         Duncan   533633 433534 533533   67

            Ray      544425 443544 443544   72       

Rothesay Express September 9th, 1913

A motor boat load of Rothesay golfers spent an enjoyable time on the links at Rhubodach on Saturday.

The Buteman May 27th, 1921

Rhubodach Course

 

Both locals and visiting golfers will be pleased to learn that the Rhubodach course is not to be closed up. Although Mr Clark of Glen Caladh has been unable himself for some time to take much advantage of the course, he has always kept it in first class order, and the cost to him must have been a very considerable amount yearly. He was always very generous in allowing visitors the full liberty of the course without fee, and a game there was something to be remembered. Arrangements have now been made whereby players can purchase annual, monthly, weekly, or day tickets, a concession which will be greatly welcomed by many here and on the Colintraive side. Particulars may be had by writing to Glen Caladh, or from Mr Tom McMannus, greenkeeper. The course is in fine order just now, the greens being superb.

The Buteman June 9th 1922

Rhubodach Private Golf Course

 

On Saturday last the recently formed golf club, of which Mr Walter Fell Clark of Glen Caladh Castle is the President, opened their first season with an interesting competition for members and visitors.

Mr Clark, with his usual thoughtful generosity, presented the Presidents cup to the club, to be played for annually. This very handsome trophy was won by Mr M.A. MacFeat of Bonahaven, Colintraive, and in addition, a replica in miniature, which he retains. In addition, Mr Clark gave a very handsome silver matchbox for the visitors. This was won by Dr John Anderson, of Clarkston, who was a guest of Mr Macfeat’s, so Colintraive quite kept its end up.

The ladies prize, a beautiful silver and tortoiseshell box was won by the President’s daughter, Miss Phyllis Clark, who played a sound and improving game. The absence of Mr Lowcock, the Hon Treasurer, was much regretted owing to the death of his brother. The first general meeting was therefore postponed, and members will be notified shortly when it will take place.

Tea and refreshments were supplied by Mr Clark, and it was a most successful first meeting. The English visitors were delighted with the course, the condition of the greens, and the weather. The match was a handicap against bogey, 18 holes, and many god scores were returned. Mr Clark returned the best, but his handicap killed it.  

Oban Times June 17th, 1922

 

The recently formed golf club of which Mr Walter Fell Clark of Glen Caladh Castle is President, opened their first season with an interesting competition for members and visitors on the course at the north end of the island of Bute. It goes on to mention the prizes etc.” 

 

When the players (of Rothesay GC) asked the Council for Sunday golf in April 1931, the Dean of Guild said they could go to Rhubodach.  The Clerk said not since 1925, when the buses stopped running on Sundays.” (RGCH)  However Sunday play continued as a poem appeared in TE in May 1932 entitled “Roars from the Course”:  “Rhubodach way I hear they play.....”

Not recorded in Annuals.

 

The Buteman May 13th, 1932

 

Rhubodach Golf

 

Rumour has it that Rhubodach golf course, which is leased by Mr Fell Clark, of Glen Caladh, is being given up by that gentleman, and may cease as a golf course after having been in existence for thirty years. Many people in Rothesay and Bute have stated their regret on hearing the report, but many more in Colintraive. Though it is a private course of only six holes, a small club was formed, and golfing at Rhubodach has been growing in popularity with people on both sides of the Kyles Of Bute. Before the parting of the ways is reached, it may be said with some certainty that the continuance of an attraction of this sort at that beautiful spot – the nearest point between the island and the mainland – would be agreeable to a number of people. The Bute, Cumbrae, and South Hall estates are all bound together, and this is a point of interest to hold them socially as well as geographically. Mr Fell Clark, it is said, would be agreeable to the continuance of the old arrangement with perhaps extension of the course to nine holes. On the face of it, there seems to be here a case for careful consideration, in which it is possible to develop the relations between Bute and the Argyllshire side of the far-famed Kyles, and not to sever them.

The annual contest for the Glen Caladh Cup took place on Monday last. As Rhubodach golf course is no longer available this match this year was held at Machrihanish owing to the generosity of Mr F.W. Fell Clark, who placed his yacht the “ Sea Hawk,” at the disposal of the players. A high wind made the voyage rather unpleasant, and in place of going to Campbeltown direct as originally intended, the yacht was moored at Tarbert, where the party proceeded to Machrahanish by motor charabanc. ( Picture ) After luncheon had been served, the President, Mr Clark, and the Vice President, Rev. J.A. Somerville, had a friendly game on the links, while the two teams contended in a strenuous game. Victory rested with Glen Caladh on this occasion by 4 ¾  points to 2. The following are the individual scores :-

       

 

 

T. Strangman ………. 0                  Ian Irvine ……………..  1

Alan Chambers …….. 1 ¼             J. Paterson …………….  0

R. Davies ………….   0                 D. Nicholson  …………  1

Mrs V.C. Davies   ….  1 ¾             A. Shaw ………………. 0

A. MacMurry ………. 1                 J.M. McKellar  ……….  0

Frank Clark  ………..  1 ¼             C. McKellar  …………   0

 

One point was counted for the match and a quarter for the bye.

 

In handing over the cup at Auchenlochan Pier, on the return journey, Rev. J.A. Somerville said that the Glen Caladh match was associated with the memory of old stalwarts and hard-fought battles in olden days. They were greatly indebted to Mr F.W. Fell Clark for the magnificent outing he had given them that day.

In accepting custody of the cup for the ensuing year, Mr Clark expressed his pleasure that it had returned to his keeping, and hoped that the battle for its possession would long continue and that the better team would always win.

With three hearty cheers for their opponents, the teams then parted with every expression of good-will on either side.

The golfers in a motor charabanc

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