Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland
 Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland

Ardrossan and Saltcoats

Ardrossan & Saltcoats Golf Club. 

 

Instituted 1910.  An 18-hole course four minutes from Ardrossan South Beach station. 

“An open, sporting seaside course, with well-kept greens and glorious fairways.  The 6th and 7th holes are on gentle uphill slopes to the turn, and an excellent view remains on the homeward journey.  A view of the Firth of Clyde, Arran Hills, Ailsa Craig and the Ayrshire seaboard.  Length 5,535 yards, Par 69, SSS 68.  Amateur record 68.” (SGC Mar 1947).  Membership peaked at 37.

Ardrossan & Saltcoats Golf Club was founded in 1910 and was a popular eighteen hole course until after World War II. At that time some of the ground was purchased for council housing, while the remainder became playing fields. The old golf club house, pictured here, served as the original changing rooms at Laighdykes Playing Fields, but has subsequently been demolished and replaced by a purpose built unit on Jacks Road".
The Clubhouse was accessed from Waverley Place and a bridge over the Caledonian Railway Line.

 

Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald March 18th 1910.

 

Ardrossan & Saltcoats Golf Course.

 

Our announcement that negotiations are afoot for the acquisition of a stretch of ground for a golf course conveniently situated to both towns has given general satisfaction. The attractive power of the game is admitted by everybody, and it is confidently anticipated that what the acquisition of links has done for West Kilbride, Troon, Prestwick, and many other places, they will die for Ardrossan & Saltcoats.

The proposed course has been inspected by Ben Sayers, well known in the professional world of golf, and his verdict is very encouraging. He was particularly pleased with the character of the turf, and at once saw possibilities of a first rate course.We hope no obstacle will prove too formidable: and that before long an eighteen hole golf course will be added to the attractions of the district.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald April 8th 1910

 

Proposed New Golf Course

 

The above drawing represents a portion of the land to be laid out as a golf course on Laigh Dykes Farm, and is intended to give an idea of the situation and surroundings of the links.  It is intended to convert the farmhouse, shown in the foreground, into club premises.  The links will for the next part be contained within the rectangular space lying between Sorbie, Ardrossan, Caledonia Road, Saltcoats; Jack’s Road, Saltcoats and the High Road between Ardrossan and Stevenston, but the course will also include two fields (shaded in the above sketch) situated between Heich Dykes Farm and the Joint Hospital, on the north side of the High Road.

 

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald June 10th  1910

Ardrossan and Saltcoats golf course Ltd.

 

 The prospectus of the above company has now been issued.  The share capital of the concern,which is guaranteed, is £2550 to be divided in £1 shares.  As we have already stated the company is to take over a piece of land of about 90 acres, consisting of the farm of Laigh Dykes and part of the farm of Dykesmains, £1000 is being paid to Mr Alexander McKinnon of Laigh Dykes farm by way of compensation, and £300 to Mr John Hogarth, of Dykesmains.  The promoters estimate their yearly income at £705 and the expenditure at £466 leaving £240 from which has to be deducted an annual payment for 20 years of £90 to repay the capital debt,the residumm being £150 the sum available for dividend at the rate of 6 per sent.  The directors of the Company are Provost Chrystie, Ardrossan; A.J.Ritchie, iron merchant,Saltcoats, James Cant, timber broker, Ardrossan; James Fulton, Saltcoats, Charles Murchie, merchant, Ardrossan. Thos. H. Taylor, surgeon dentist, Saltcoats; John Stewart, bank agent, Ardrossan; and

J.N.Myers gas manager, Saltcoats, Mr James Campbell, solicitor, is secretary of the Company, and the registered offices are at 22 Vernon Street, Saltcoats.

 

Golf course at the top of picture.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald October 21st. 1910.

 

The statutory meeting of the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Golf Course, Ltd; was held at the offices of the company, Vernon Street, Saltcoats, on Friday evening last. Seven directors were present, and there was a good attendance of shareholders.  The chairman- Provost Chrystie, Ardrossan- presided.

The report of the directors showed that the total number of shares, viz, 2500 had been allotted, and cash to the amount of £846.5 had been called up that sum being on current and deposit accounts as bankers.  It was estimated that the preliminary expenses of the Company includes registration fees, printing prospectus, advertising, stamps, etc, would amount to £100.

The chairman, in moving the adoption of the report said he was very pleased to state that the shares had been more than applied for, and it was very gratifying, not only to the directors but to the residences in the district, that the company had made such a successful beginning.  The directors had already taken steps towards the formation of the course as soon as entry to land could be obtained.  That day Mr Ben Sayers, of North Berwick, had been having off the course and marking the position of the greens and tees.  He had stated that he was very favourably impressed with the ground.  Mr Sayers’ head green-keeper had examined the soil, and was of opinion that it would form a first-class turf.  It was the hope of the directors that a course of nine or ten holes would be ready for play by the spring of next year.  The directors also hoped to be able to commence the enrolment of members at the end of the present year.  It was intended to secure the services of a professional without cost to the Company, his emoluments consisting of fees for teaching, and money derived from the sale of clubs and balls.  The clubhouse would be prepared, having regard to the probable need for increased accommodation in the future.

Mr Wm. Guthrie seconded the adoption of the report, and the motion was carried unanimously.

Mr Jas. Orr moved that the directors be re-appointed and Mr Service seconded.

Mr John Armour asked whether so many directors were necessary for the Company with so small a capital.

After some discussion in which it was pointed out that the number of directors was divided equally between Ardrossan and Saltcoats, it was decided to retain the present number, viz, eight.

A few minor points were also discussed.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald January 13th  1911

 

ARDROSSAN AND SALTCOATS

GOLF COURSE.

TEMPORARY COURSE NOW OPEN

BRISK DEMAND FOR MEMBERSHIP

 

The work of forming the Ardrossan and Saltcoats golf course has been proceeded with an expeditiously that twelve holes are now ready for play. Six of the holed, however, are only temporary and the greens are mostly of a temporary character, but the course will afford a good test of a player’s powers.  The course as at present formed is wholly on the Laigh dykes part of the ground.  The first hole, which passes the club-house towards the centre of the course, is a dog-legged hole about 275 yards long, with a burn as a hazard to reach a topped drive and ditchto punish a duffed approach shot.  The second hole runs back towards the club-house, and the ditch and burn have again to be negotiated.  The third, an iron shot of about 130 yards, runs towards Jack’s Road; while the fourth, which is parallel with Jack’s Road; while the fourth, which is parallel with Jack’s Road is 373 yards in length, the green being near the High Road.  The fifth hole runs alongside the High Road for 260 yards and here several difficulties have to be overcome by the player.  The sixth goes through the course towards the club-house and its length is 290 yards.  These six holes are permanent holes and are included in the final plan of the course.  The six however, are only temporary.  The seventh is a short hole of about 130 yards the eighth a drive and pitch towards the High Road, and the ninth a two-shot hole going alongside the High Road.  The tenth is a short one-shot hole the eleventh runs in the direction of Sorvia Road and requires two shots, and the twelfth, which is almost similar so what the eighteenth, which is almost similar to what the eighteenth hole of the permanent course will be, is about 300 yards in length, and runs alongside the railway in the direction of the club-house.  The course is being formed by the green-keeper recently appointed by the directors- ~George Alexander Shotton,Chester, who has been engaged in the formation of two well-known courses, one of which is Cowglen Course, Glasgow, Under this expert green-keeper’s care, the greens have improved greatly, but, of course, they are still to the rough side.

Application forms for membership tickets are being extensively taken up, and it is expected that tickets will be issued next week.  For the use of the course only, gentlemen will be charged £1. 1s per annum and ladies and juniors, 12.6d; and for the use of course and pavilion the charge will be-gentlemen, £1. 5s; ladies and juniors 15s.  Boxes will cost an extra 2.6d each and the subscription to the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Golf Club, 2which is being formed in connection with the course, will be 1s per annum.  It is stated that the cost of first year’s ticket will be increased when the number annually issued exceeds 300.

It is not expected that play will take place over the course until the tickets are issued, which will probably be in the course of next week.

Further reference to the course is made on page 7.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald January 13th  1911

 

Course Opened Early

 

The Ardrossan and Saltcoats golf course has been declared open for play sooner than was expected by the public.  Of course the turf and the greens are in by no means the best condition yet, but the twelve holes provided should enable players to have an interesting game, and the opening of the course just now should allow the tyros, of whom there will no doubt be a goodly number, sufficient practice to enable them to wield their clubs with more dexterity and success when the golfing season proper arrives.  I hear a good deal of grumbling at the extra charge for the use of the clubhouse, especially since this year at any rate the club-house will not be available until summer.  I think the directors have made a mistake in charging two prices.  They can, of course point to Troon municipal links as an example, but the subscription there is more moderate than at the new course in Ardrossan and Saltcoats and there is therefore some justification for charging five shillings additional for the use of the club-house.  A subscription of a guinea for the new course, covering all the privileges except the box, would have been much more popular, and I dare say would attract and retain more members than the present of charges.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald February 3rd 1911

 

The New Golf Course

 

I am only a delicate Lofting Mashie, and fear a complete break-down must follow upon my experiences of last Friday.  A friend of my master, or one who calls himself such which I greatly doubt after what temptation he led him into said “Why not go over the new golf course this afternoon”.  It does not take much argument to induce my master to leave the dead to bury the dead when golf is the attraction, so the master said he would leave undone the things which he ought to do, and join him.  “Just bring one club with you,” said the friend, “What kind of course can this be? Thought I, “when one club can do the work of six,  It must be a child’s play course, and I am in

for an easy afternoon.”  Fool that I was, and I now see why my burly brother the Driving Mashie hid his head down in the bag so that he would not be chosen.  We set out and took a short cut across some fields.  I looked to see where about the course was, but could see nothing but fields with last year’s stubble standing up stiff-necked, and the stony ground where the seed had fallen and the sixty-fold appeared. Some four men were busy rolling a narrow strip, and to left and right of them the ground was enriched with sufficient stones to make cairns for all the inhabitants of Ardrossan and Saltcoates.

“Better tee your ball.” Said my master’s friend, and the poor ball looked very sickly, thinking of the chances it had of coming crash down upon the rocky ground.  The master swung me in the air,  I hit the ball for all I was worth, and away it sailed in-wards a palinged square, which after a shot or two we reached.  The master’s friend said “This is a temporary green”. The master forgot himself, and called it by another name, less complimentary.  I have seen many greens in my day, and would not have recognised this as even.

 

A Poor Relation Of The

Green Family

 

There was turf of grass here and there coming through a thick coating of sand, but the illusion was made by a hole in the centre and a flag-pole stuck in it.  I have heard it said one should never take more than two on the green; I grieve to say my master took six to his friend’s five.  The ball seemed frightened to go near the hole, and the master said something about hoping it was like somebody in history.”which take him all we shall not look upon his like again,”and trusted they would not look on a green like that again.  But he was all wrong, for every green was pretty and nearly as bad, and the language at each would have made the angels weep – if angels ever venture near golf  courses, which I doubt from the way golfers speak. In most of the courses I have been on, where greens were enclosed with fencing to protect them from grazing cattle, openings were left at the corners for players, especially ladies, to pass through.  In this course ladies have to, gracefully or otherwise, straddle across the wires.  Evidently the Directors are Ankle admirers, and are determined to exercise the full privileges of their position.  We journeyed on from hole to hole, all feeling very sick.  The tees have little tin boxes with sand in them and a brush to clean your ball but no water in the place where water should be, and a dearth of discs to show the direction at most of the places.  Throughout the course the ball would always get into cup lies and if the master ventured to swing me, not only the ball had to be hit, but a foot of turf taken with it.  I noticed those who had been playing over the course had been without knowledge of the elements of golf etiquette, which enjoins a player to replace the turf or were too lazy to do so.  In a month’s time the course will be ready for sowing down in the many furrows made by these negligent novices.  We came to one field, which looked as though there had been a snow storm – it was white, and the poor Colonel was lost by the master and had to be left.  I wonder how, after a golf course is opened for play, carts of unriddled lime are allowed to be spread al over the direct line to the holes.  Perhaps it is a trick of the directors to make more money for the dividends, and they will go out early in the morning to find the balls lost by members.  If there is no ulterior motive, then there is a sad lack of forethought in doing what they have done, for the lime has large stony lumps scattered all through it, and would have broken my head if the master had attempted to use me.  The master thought in time the course would be a playable one, but his friend thought eternity might have something to do with it.  At any rate, from what I saw on Friday, those in charge have made a huge mistake in letting play be started, and thus give.

 

A Very Bad Impression.

 

to likely members.  Fools and bairns should not be shown half done work, but he is worse than a fool or a bairn who submits half done, or much less than half done, work for criticism.   Once a course is open and fees charged for playing upon the same, it is an invitation to an expression of opinion.  The directors of the new golf course have produced a premature baby, and cannot expect it to be admired as a full-time and healthy child- so says my master for a Lofting Machie knows nought of these mortal mysteries.  And he further says the directors cannot be admirers of the Lord of the Lonely Furrow, who laid it down as a dictum that we should always judge a thing by “value received.”  The charge made for membership, my master says, is out of all proportion to value received.  Twenty six shillings five times the value of a good Mashie- to risk breaking one’s clubs, and certainly break one’s temper, is a pretty stiff price.  But says the master, why all this haste to pay fifty per cent the first year.  The course is not going to walk away, and the more popular the price, the more populous the membership, and the more prosperous the club in the long run.  There are, says the master, extenuating circumstances, and the directors must be dealt with leniently under the First Offender’s Act, so I have simply let them off with an admonition, and bear them no ill-will for the miserable afternoon they caused me to have.  I see great prospects in days to come of spending many happy days over the new course when it has, so to speak, cut its teeth and got into its shortened clothes.  It has the making of a fine healthy addition to other municipal babies.  But dear Directors, do not strangle the infant; have mercy on your firstborn is the parting advice of

 

A LOFTING MASHIE.

 

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald June 30th  1911

 

The Clubhouse Opened

 

The farm buildings at Laigh Dykes have been transformed out of all knowledge, and what was previously the habitation of the dairy stock is now converted into a suite of commodious club rooms.  These have been specially arranged and fitted for the convenience of a large membership.  The principal room is known as the gentlemen; club-room.  It is about 30 feet by 24 feet, and in this part of the premises there are 100 boxes for members; clubs.  Adjoining this room is a dressing-room, though not quite so large, is similarly spacious tea-room, with kitchen, servatory, and all other requirements.  Throughout, the buildings have been specially designed and arranged for the comfort of those who may use them.  The contractors for the work were Hugh Miller, builder; Wm Reid, joiner; Jas. Hunter, plumber; and Robt. Boyd, plasterer and tiler. The scheme was devised and superintended by Mr Hugh Thomson, architect, Saltcoates.  Although nothing in the way of a formal opening has been arranged, the premises are now as the service of members.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats golf course

Glasgow Herald February 9th 1949

Golf Course Still Available

 

Ayrshire education committee, who had acquired part of the Ardrossan and Saltcoats golf course for schools playing fields, yesterday agreed to a temporary arrangement whereby club members will continue to use the course.

Glasgow Herald June 17th 1949

 

Golf Course Closes

 

The 38th annual report of the Ardrossan and Saltcoats golf course ltd, stated that the course has now been taken over by the local authority, and when payement has been received a distribution will be made from capital to shareholders after which the company will go into voluntary liquidation.

 

Glasgow Herald January 13th 1953

Golf Course Proposal

 

Saltcoats town council decided last night that subject to agreement by Ardrossan council, the two councils should proceed with the construction of a nine hole golf course on part of the Laighdykes playing field. The costs estimated at £2376.

 

Glasgow Herald April 16th 1953

 

The nine hole golf course built on part of the former Ardrossan and Saltcoats course which will operated jointly by Ardrossan and Saltcoats town council’s is expected to be ready for play on May 15th.

 

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