Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland
 Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland

Girvan Burgh Golf Course

Girvan Burgh is not a defunct golf course, however, I decided to include this course, especially the run up and the opening of the course to give the reader an insight into some of the negotiations between the old Girvan club, the formation of the new Girvan club, The amalgamation of the Girvan club with the Turnberry club, and also the Opening of Turnberry club.

Girvan Burgh Golf Club

 

Ayr Advertiser January 29th 1903

New Golf Course

 

In the interests of Girvan, negotiations have been proceeding for some time between Mr Kennedy of Dunure and Dalquharran, and a committee appointed by the inhabitants of Girvan, with the object of Acquiring a golf course for the town. Terms were at length arranged by the committee, and these were approved at a large and enthusiastic meeting of the inhabitants held last Thursday night. The result of the negotiations is that the town has acquired on long lease 40 acres of fine golfing ground, embracing the old course, stretching along the shore to the immediate North of the town. The course is an ideal one, and little will be required to put it in perfect playing order. Work is to begin at once, and as the old greens are still available, the course will be open for play by the beginning of June. From the course there is a magnificent prospect of sea and land, and when the beauties have been discovered, or re-discovered, the course will doubtless be taken advantage of to a large extent. It is understood that a building scheme is also on foot to erect dwelling houses along the fringe of the course.

Ayr Advertiser February 5th 1903

 

Formation Of Club

 

At a large and enthusiastic meeting of the inhabitants of Girvan it was resolved to form a golf club to be called “ The Girvan Burgh Golf Club” to play over the links extending to about 40 acres recently acquired from Mr Kennedy of Dunure on long lease. A constitution was then adopted, and the following office bearers elected : - Hon President, Provost McCreath ; Captain, Balie Alex. Telfer ; Vice Captain, Mr Wm. Shankland ; Secretary and Treasurer, Mr Jas. Brewster, British Linen Coy. Bank. Committee – Messrs J. Aitken, F. McCallum, Dr Valentine, C.M. Lawson, H.M. Blair, James Smith, Alexander Smillie, Thomas Lees, H.H. Hutchison, M. McCaa, John Macphail, W. Paterson.

Ayr Advertiser February 19th 1903

 

David Kinnell of Prestwick St Nicholas golf club has gone over the ground recently acquired by Girvan Burgh Golf Club from Mr Kennedy of Dunure and has laid out a nine-hole golf course of about a mile and a half in extent. The course which Kinnell considers the finest of its size, is beautifully situated along the shore, and commands a magnificent view of Ailsa Craig and the Arran Hills. It is also in close proximity to the town and station, and should be an additional attraction to the many visitors who frequent this district.

Girvan Burgh Golf Course

Ayr Advertiser May 7th 1903

Golf

 

New Golf Course

 

A new golf course was formally inaugurated at Girvan on Thursday. Although the people of the burgh have not hitherto been without facilities for practicing the royal and ancient game, they are now by the new venture provided with a properly equipped links, which should be a source of much pleasure to residenters in the district as well as an additional attraction to summer visitors, who have been recently rapidly growing in numbers.

As far back as 40 years ago golf was played at Girvan, but the course of that period long ago became necessary for building purposes, and on the links of other days now stand rows of villas. Latterly a Girvan golf club brought about a welcome revival of interest in the pastime, but they were seriously hampered in their endeavours by the smallness of the piece of shore-way, which was all that they could call a course.

Some time ago, however, a movement was set on foot for the purpose of supplying better facilities, and the efforts of a number of enthusiasts culminated in Thursday’s proceedings. Out of the old organisation has been evolved the Girvan Burgh Golf Club, and already a 150 members have been enrolled. The ground utilised for the new course has been feued from Mr J.C. Kennedy of Dalquharran and Dunure. It extends to about 40 acres, and has been laid out in nine holes by David Kinnell, the Prestwick St. Nicholas professional. The course runs along the shore in a North-Easterly direction from the first tee and commands a magnificent prospect of the Firth Of Clyde. It is sheltered from the South-easterly winds, which most prevail at Girvan, by a range of hills, and altogether is ideally situated.

The course is practically divided into two portions by a boundary wall. That line separates the old ground, over which the former Girvan golf club played, from the new, which hitherto was a pasture field. At present it must be admitted that the wall also divides the good part of the course from that which is not so good. The old stretch of shore land on which four of the greens are laid out is of very fine turf, with a subsoil of sand. Natural hazards abound, and although none of the holes are long – in comparison with the long holes of other courses on the West Coast – the player must keep a straight direction if he wishes to avoid the difficulties and make a respectable score. The new field, however, lies flat, but the maker of artificial punishments has been at work here, and a duffed or sliced ball cannot escape. The turf is still somewhat rough in this part, and some time must elapse before the player can reckon on getting a good lie. The greens are nicely situated, and after they receive proper dressing, and provided the weather favours the close growth of turf, they should improve considerably. The opening ceremony on Thursday was performed in delightful weather. The inhabitants of the town were on holiday in honour of the occasion, and they formed a numerous and enthusiastic body of onlookers. The Provost, Magistrates, and town council were present, and amongst others who graced the proceedings were Mr and Mrs J.C. Kennedy of Dalquharran and Dunure. Baillie Telfer, who presided, thanked the ladies and gentlemen who had so readily rallied to the support of the promoters of the club. The membership consisted of 110 gentlemen, 33 ladies, and 5 boys. He thought that augered well for the success of the  new venture. Provost McCreath said he believed the golf course would add greatly to the amenities of the district and contribute materially to its general prosperity. It was one of the best investments ever made by the people of Girvan.

He knew of no golf course which had such magnificent surroundings. They were proud to have with them that day Mr and Mrs Kennedy, and he concluded by calling upon Mrs Kennedy to drive the first ball. Mrs Kennedy, a sister of Mr Robert Maxwell, the noted Tantallon amateur – drove the ball well towards the first green amidst loud cheers.

Mr James Smith, Town Clerk, in proposing a vote of thanks to Mrs Kennedy, expressed the hope that Mr Maxwell’s excellent achievements would be crowned this season by his gaining both the amateur and open championships. Mr Kennedy, in acknowledging the compliments, said he hoped Mr Maxwell would be able to visit Girvan in the course of the summer and play an exhibition game. The club handicap competition was afterwards engaged in. The Provost of the burgh is honorary president of the club, Ballie Telfer has been appointed Captain, and Mr J. Brewster acts as honorary secretary.

Mrs Kennedy Hitting The First Ball

Ayr Advertiser May 4th 1911

Extension of course

 

The ground which the committee of the Girvan Burgh Club secured last year at great expense so as to extend the course to one of 18 holes, and thus remove the congestion of the links of the past few years, is now in good condition, and will be opened for play early in June. The new portion is situated along the banks of the river Girvan, which is crossed twice, and will make a capital hazard. The greens and tees were laid in the autumn with the finest of turf. There is also laid out, convenient to the first tee, a nine-hole putting and pitching course. To complete the scheme it has been resolved to erect a new substantial club-house. The plan chosen is by Mr Finlay Bain, chief draughtsman to Mr J. Chambers, architect, Glasgow, who designed the new club-house for the Western Gailes Golf Club. Ex-Provost Telfer is Captain of the club, and Mr James Brewster, British Linen Bank, hon. Secretary, to whose efforts much of the present success of the club is due.

      Ayr Advertiser June 22nd 1911

             Girvan Burgh Club

 

Opening of extended course

 

To meet the requirements of the summer golfing visitors and to obviate the excessive congestion on their nine hole course, the club lately acquired additional ground to form a course of eighteen holes, and the extended course was formally opened on Friday afternoon. Captain Telfer presided, and called on Lady Marjorie Dalrymple Hamilton of Bargany to drive off the first ball. Thereafter a four ball foursome was engaged in, the players being Messrs Dalrymple Hamilton and Gordon Lockhart, the well known Prestwick player, against Messrs Robert Scott and W.H. Irons, both Glasgow players of ability. In the outward half the players gave a good exhibition considering the stiff wind, and never more than a hole separated the sides. Glasgow players one up at the turn. Approximate scores :- Lockhart 37, Irons 38, Scott 40, Dalrymple Hamilton 45. Coming home, the Glasgow players won the tenth and eleventh, standing three up. The Ayrshire players won the twelfth, fifteenth, and sixteenth, bringing the match all square. The seventeenth was halved, and Mr Irons, holing the eighteenth in 3, won the match for his side by one hole. Approximate scores :- Lockhart 73, Irons 74, Scott 77, and Dalrymple Hamilton 83.

Opening of the Clubhouse in 1912

The extension can be seen on the centre far left of the picture, Leased to the club by Mr Hannah

Daily Record March 25th, 1915

 

Military on the golf course

 

After negotiations extending over ten days between the Glasgow Corporation and the Girvan Town Council for the billeting of 1500 of the Glasgow 18th Highland Light Infantry. It is satisfactory to note that an arrangement has now been arrived at, and the first contingent of the battalion will arrive to-day.

The great difficulty experienced by the local authorities was in finding suitable accommodation for the camping out of the soldiers during the summer and their training from time to time that the first company arrives. A committee consisting of Provost Smellie, Mr Inglis, factor of Bargany ; and Mr Smith, Town Clerk, waited upon Mr Bone, Shalloch Park, so as to secure a field near the town, but no arrangement mutually satisfactory could be arrived at. Accordingly, the Town Council approached Girvan Burgh Golf Club, who waited upon the grazing tenants, Mr J.M. Hannah, Girvan Mains, and Mr Wm. Gilchrist, Girvan, the former handing over the ground unconditionally for the use of the military, which means a sacrifice of £40 a year, and Mr Gilchrist giving his field provided a suitable grazing plot can be secured elsewhere.

A meeting of the Girvan Burgh Golf Club was held subsequently, and the position of affairs in all its bearings was adequately discussed. It was unanimously agreed to grant the major portion of the second nine holes for the use of the military, which means a big sacrifice of revenue on the part of the golf club.

Yesterday morning the committee of Girvan Council and Golf Club met a deputation from Glasgow representing the H.L.I., and the offer of the golf club was placed before them and accepted. In regard to the billeting, the response from the householders has been very satisfactory. The commanding officer of the new battalion is Colonel John Shaughnessy.

     Daily Record March 25th, 1915

 

Military on the golf course

 

After negotiations extending over ten days between the Glasgow Corporation and the Girvan Town Council for the billeting of 1500 of the Glasgow 18th Highland Light Infantry. ( In Picture ) It is satisfactory to note that an arrangement has now been arrived at, and the first contingent of the battalion will arrive to-day.

The great difficulty experienced by the local authorities was in finding suitable accommodation for the camping out of the soldiers during the summer and their training from time to time that the first company arrives. A committee consisting of Provost Smellie, Mr Inglis, factor of Bargany ; and Mr Smith, Town Clerk, waited upon Mr Bone, Shalloch Park, so as to secure a field near the town, but no arrangement mutually satisfactory could be arrived at. Accordingly, the Town Council approached Girvan Burgh Golf Club, who waited upon the grazing tenants, Mr J.M. Hannah, Girvan Mains, and Mr Wm. Gilchrist, Girvan, the former handing over the ground unconditionally for the use of the military, which means a sacrifice of £40 a year, and Mr Gilchrist giving his field provided a suitable grazing plot can be secured elsewhere.

A meeting of the Girvan Burgh Golf Club was held subsequently, and the position of affairs in all its bearings was adequately discussed. It was unanimously agreed to grant the major portion of the second nine holes for the use of the military, which means a big sacrifice of revenue on the part of the golf club.

Yesterday morning the committee of Girvan Council and Golf Club met a deputation from Glasgow representing the H.L.I., and the offer of the golf club was placed before them and accepted. In regard to the billeting, the response from the householders has been very satisfactory. The commanding officer of the new battalion is Colonel John Shaughnessy.

Proud members of the Burgh Club

Kilmarnock Standard November 18th 1916

Municipal Golf Course

 

Council Taking Over Course

 

At the monthly meeting of the Town Council – Provost Smellie presiding, there was adopted a recommendation by the finance and law committee that the council should take over the Burgh Golf Course.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, December 15th, 1916

 

Golf Club asked to give up land

 

Mr J. M. Hannah, Girvan Mains, has written to the secretary of the Girvan golf club stating that, in view of the great and increasing difficulties, in connection with food supplies, he deems it his duty to ask if the members would be willing to renounce the lease of the 24 acres of land rented from him in 1910 for the purpose of extending the golf course. He is willing to make any reasonable arrangements towards this end.

Southern Reporter January 10th, 1918

 

In Ayr Sheriff Court, Sheriff-substitute Broun refused iterim inderdict in an action at the instance of Girvan Burgh Golf Club against John M. Hannah, Girvan Mains, Girvan. Persuers asked interdict to prevent defender cultivating a field on his farm which had been sub-let to them as part of their golf course.

Scotsman February 26th, 1918

 

Sheriff Substitute Broun has issued judgement in Ayr Sheriff Court in two conjoined actions in which the parties were Mr J.M. Hannah, Girvan Mains, and the Girvan Burgh Golf Club. The club in their action sought to interdict Mr Hannah from cropping a field on the golf course, and Mr Hannah replied with an action seeking to have it declared that he was entitled to cultivate the field. The Sheriff has granted decree in the action against Mr Hannah, and dismissed the counter action of Mr Hannah, and found the club entitled to expenses. In a note he says it is admitted by both parties that under the Defence of the Realm Regulations the filed was required to be put into crop, and he thinks the club are entitled to cultivate the field themselves.

Sunday Post January 18th, 1920

 

Course to be handed Over to Council

 

The Girvan Burgh Golf Club proposes to hand over the Girvan Burgh course as a going concern to the Town Council, to be taken over by the council for the benefit of the community.

Kilmarnock Herald November 11th, 1926

 

Course sold to Council

 

Girvan Golf Course Bought by Town.—At a meeting of Girvan Town Council last week it was agreed to purchase the Girvan Golf Course from Colonel J. C. Kenedy of Dunure, at - cost of £3OOO.

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