Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland
 Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland

Dysart.

Dysart Golf Club.  Founded 1897.  A 9-hole course, which extends from Loughoro’ Road to the back of Gallatown School

  Formation

 

"Last Night a second meeting of those interested in the formation of a golf club for Dysart was held in the Town Hall last evening. It will be remembered that a fortnight ago a number of influential gentlemen in the town met and considered the idea, and so favourably was the was the proposal then entertained, that it was unanimously agreed to be called the Dysart Golf Club.             The acquisition of a course at Windmill Road was also favourably entertained, and last night the meeting agreed to this proposal. Provost Allan presided over a number of influential gentlemen. The following office bearers were unanimously agreed upon:- Hon. President, John Oswald Esq of Dunnikier; Hon Vice President, M.B. Nairn Esq of Dysart House; Secretary and Treasurer, Mr J. Forreste ; Committee – Messrs W. Main, D. McLaren, J. Kilgour, Jas Herd, J.J. Terrace Jun, and Provost Allan.

   The membership fee for the first 60 was fixed at one guinea. Judging from the names submitted to the meeting, there is every probability of the golf course being a success. It is fully expected that the course will be opened inside of a month. The aquirement of a good golf course for the district has long been talked of, and now that there is every likelihood of a good one being secured at our own doors there is naturally much jubilation amongst golfers not only in Dysart, but also in Kirkaldy."

(Fifeshire Advertiser 13.11,1897) 

   "Work has now been commenced in connection with the laying out of the golf course at Loughborough Road, and with favourable weather it is expected that play will be commenced during the present month." 

(Fifeshire Advertiser 20.11.1897)

  Opening Of Golf Course

 

 "On Saturday afternoon the newly formed golf course of the Dysart Golf Club was formally opened with all honours. Numerous flags were displayed from the clubhouse and in the vicinity of the entrance. The weather was bright but cold.

   The Opening Ceremony.In connection with the opening ceremony a preliminary meeting took place in the fine new clubhouse erected by Mr Allison, joiner. There was good attendance of Lady and Gentlemen members. Mr Forrester, Captain of the club, presided. He was supported on the right by Messrs J. Oswald, Dunniker: Mr B. Nairn, Dysart House: James Herd, Town Clerk: David McLaro : and on the left by Provost Allan and W. Livingston, Walkerton. Amongst the others present were: Rev. Mr Hay, Messrs J. Harrow, J. Kirk, Jas Wishart, John Kilgour, J. Baird, Jas. McLaren, Dr McNab, Dr Wallace, Dr Walker, W. Main, John Main, John Terrace, D. Nicholson, C.D. Heggie, Chas Reekie, P. Clark, A. Wilson, E.J. Paton, T. Davidson, A.H. Forrester, &c : Miss Forrester, Miss Maggie Forrester, Misses Harrow, Miss A. Fraser, Mrs Kirk, Misses Wishart, Mrs James Herd, Miss Main, Mrs J. Kilgour, Mrs Henry Kilgour, Misses Ednie, Misses Thomson, Mrs Nicholson, Miss Warry, Mrs John Terrace &c &c.

   The chairman, in opening the proceedings, said they were met that day for the purpose of inaugurating their golf course, and before calling upon their President to perform the opening ceremony he wished to make a few remarks. He might say that the idea of having a golf course originated with Mr Terrace and himself some two or three years ago. Since then they had looked over those fields, had a few shots over them, and came to the conclusion that they would be suitable. The difficulty however, then presented itself when they found, on making emquiry, that the combined rent was some £80. They were thus afraid to venture further, but last year they again took up the matter. After consulting with a few gentlemen they were encouraged to go on.

A public meeting for those interested in golf was accordingly summoned. As a result of that meetinga committee was appointed to forward the movement and complete details. At that meeting some 26 members intimated their intentions of becoming members, and that number was increased to 60 within the course of the next eight or ten days. The committee thus entered on their work with every encouragement.

   It was delegated to him to carry out the work, and he had the able assistance of Mr Terrace, and when a difficulty arose Mr Herd was always a useful councellor.

   The course was beautifully situated and commanded a splendid view. It was a course of nine holes, with good hazards. It was not all plain sailing in laying it out as they had some water to contend with, but they had managed it much easier than some of their contractors had done their harbour. ( Laughter ) Their President, Mr Oswald, was no mean golfer, he having been Captain of the Royal and Ancient golf club of St Andrews, the mother of all clubs in the country. He did not know if they had any bible authority for their club, Free Masonry, Free Gardeners, and Forrestery had all some scripture for thei objects, but he did not think they could have such, but in ancient history they had David the Polemist ? slaying his lions with his clubs, and Jonathan slaying the like. That dat their President was to play off the first ball, and he was to play his like. He then concludedby calling on their President to perform the opening ceremony ( Loud Applause. )

   Mr Oswald, on rising, was greeted with loud applause. He said that he was extremely glad he could begin his remarks by addressing them as Ladies and Gentlemen. He thought they could have no better augury for the future success of the club than the fact that they had already a membership of 25 Ladies. There was no doubt but that when they condescended to share in the men’s amusement they imparred an additional charm to the game itself. He hoped they would find great pleasure and utility in playing for themselves, as also the pleasure they conferred on the men. (Renewed Applause)He was informed that they had now 100 male members in connection with the club, and 28 Lady members. That was very satisfactory considering the short time the club had been in existence. Of course no one could pretend that heir new golf course could rival any of the great courses. It was not a sand course by the sea shore, and people who had time would still go to Leven or St Andrews. The great reality however, of their newly formed course was the fact that it was located amongst people who had to work all day, and in the long evenings, when the light was good, who could spare two or three hours to play a game, but who had not time to go away elsewhere. They had an excellent course now in their midst, as he had reason to know personally, and there the business man could go and have a game in the fresh air and return home invigorated. He was extremely pleased to perform the opening ceremony, and he heartily congratulated the auspicious start it had made (Loud Applause.)

   Mr Nairn had great pleasure in proposing a hearty vote of thanks to their President for his presence that afternoon and performing the ceremony of opening their course. (Applause) He cordially agreed with all he had said as to the advantage of having a golf course so near the town. He had properly said that many people would still go to the courses which provided greater attraction, such as Leven and St Andrews, but hey had amongst those a great many young men who were engaged at business all day – at the desk and at the beach – who could spare a few hours in the evening but had not the facilities or opportunities to go to those great courses. It was thus to all such that their golf course should be a source of attraction, because he knows of no better way of spending their long summer evenings than by having two hours of golfing. (Loud Applause) He concluded by wishing the club all success in the future.

   The chairman then presented Mr Oswald with a silver mounted playing club, with which to drive off the first ball. The club was a beautiful piece of workmanship, and was supplied by Messrs C. Spinks & Co, Leith. It bore the inscription – “ Presented To John Oswald, Esq, On Opening The Dysart Golf Course, 26th February, 1898.”

   Mr Oswald returned thanks for their beautiful gift and the very cordial manner in which he had been received on that occasion. Provost Allan proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Mr Forrester for the great interest he had taken in the formation of the club. ( Loud Applause.)

   Mr Forrester returned thanks for the compliment paid him. After taking some refreshment, the company adjourned to the teeing ground, and here, amidst loud and prolonged applause, Mr Oswald drove off the first ball and formally declared the course open.

   The purveying was in the hands of Mr Harris, of the Royal Hotel, Dysart, and was all that could be desired.

   A Splendid Sporting Course. The course is situated on the West side of the Dysart Cemetry, and extends from Loughborough Road to Gallatown School House across to Windmill Road. It is thus within the Kirkaldy Burgh Boundaries.

    There are no less than 18 or 20 artificial bunkers, with numerous other hazards. The first hole is over a rising piece of ground, with a bunker on the left. The second hole is a short one, but a wall has to be contended with, as also a bunker. At the third hole a large disused reservoir has to be cleared, and unless great care is exercised ,the ball drops into the water. The fact of the reservoir being hidden by a wall which is to be driven over adds to the difficulties of getting clear. At the fourth hole two bunkers have to be contended with in the Gallatown Road. At the fifth hole there are two bunkers, and unless great care is exercised in playing the ball you get bunkered. Then, on going to the green, you have a disused quarry to keep clear off. If you drive too far the possibilities are that you drive in. For the sixth hole you have a top drive, but one is apt to get bunkered unless care is taken, there being another bunker to the right about 20 yards from the hole. The seventh hole has an obstruction in the way of the wall that runs down to the reservoir, and the iron has to be uded to get over it. Great care has to be taken of a bunker that lies on the hill, while, in approaching the green, caution has to exercised to keep clear of another bunker. The eighth hole is a short one, with two bunkers, but on the left. Care has to be taken when approaching the green, because you may go over a wall. The ninth hole is a long hole. A good drive takes you to the first bunker, but the player has to watch another bunker before approaching the green. Besides, care has to be taken not to drive too far, or else you land on the public road. This all shows that the course provides great sport. The hazards are all such as to bring out the good points of a golfer. It is believed that were it desired an eighteen hole course might be got by including the adjoining vacant ground to the Westward, extending away to the half time school and over by Sinclairtown Church. The club, however, think they have done well meantime in getting the present course formed, and do not feel inclined to enter upon any further extension meantime. It might be as well, however, to keep an eye on the ground, because were it ever feud for other purposes the golden opportunity for extension in the way indicated might be lost. A neighbouring Burgh is a good object lesson in this respect.

   It only remains to be added that the course has been very well laid out and Mr Robert Nicol of North Berwick, who supervised the work, and whose services are to be retained by the club as their professional, is to be complimented on the way he has performed the work. The ground is no doubt a little soft, but that should improve through time by the players using the course. It commands a splendid situation, a fine view of the Forth being got from the top of the hill. Dysart Station is close at hand. The acquisition of the new course should be an important factor in adding to the growing popularity of Dysart as a summer resort."                         (Fife Free Press 5.3.1898)

 

(A very similar article was contained in the Fifeshire Advertiser on the 7th March 1898) 

Dysart golf club

______________

 

The members are requested to attend

A meeting to be held in the

Clubhouse on Wednesday 29th inst at 8

O’clock pm, when the committee’s report

On question of new golf course will be submitted.

                                                                                Thomas S. Wilson. Hon. Secy"

(Fife Advertiser18.3.1911)

 "Dysart Wednesday v Cowdenbeath at Dysart on Wednesday. Scores :-

 

                              Dysart                                                Cowdenbeath

 

W. Gourlay  …………………….  1          W. Gilbert  …………………….   0

D. Gourlay   …………………….  1          J. Galloway  ……………………  0

W. Collier  ……………………..   0          H. Wilson  ……………………..  0

J. Kelly  ………………………..     1           R. Ferguson  …………………… 0

D.K. Buist  ……………………..   1           A.D. Bauld  ……………………. 0

A. Hunter  ………………………   1          J. Smith  ……………………….   0

A. Reid  ………………………..     0           T.M. Finlay  …………………..  0

J. Thomson  …………………….  1           J. Gilbert  ……………………..   0

W. Coventry  ……………………  1           A. Stewart …………………….    0

D. Miller  ………………………..   1            D. Moffat  ……………………   0

P. McCallum  …………………… 0           R. Tait  ……………………….     1

G. Balfour  ………………………   1           W. Fortune ……………………  0

G. Campbell …………………….  1           W. Kelly  ……………………..    0

H. Robertson  ………………….. 0            T. Chapman  ………………..   1

J. Morrison  …………………….. 0             G. Hepburn  …………………. 1

 

                                                        10                                                               3

(Dunfermline Press  28.5.1921)

     “Capital sporting course, always kept in first class condition.  The hazards include a pond which an easy drive will carry and an old quarry, which has to be carried in approaching the 5th green and with the stroke at the 6th.  There are several bunkers well placed.  Bogey is 40.” (Who's Who in Golf 1907)).    

     “A good, flat, inland, sporting course of 2,732 yards, Par 70, SSS 70. Activities still suspended.” (Book of Scottih Glf Courses Mar 1947)

 

Membership peaked at 250.

 

The End Of Golf At Dysart

 

"The department of health for Scotland have allocated 100 permanent aluminium houses to Kirkaldy for miners and key workers. At a meeting of Kirkaldy housing committee last night, it was agreed that these houses should be erected on the Dysart Golf Course site.

  Although seams of coal run underneath the site, the department of health have been in touch with the coal board and have obtained their assurance that working will take place at such a depth that there will be no danger of subsidence. Kirkaldy town council has decided to purchase from the Earl Of Rosslyn, Dysart golf course for housing purposes except those parts which are already fued."      (Scotsman 10.9.1947)

The above is from the Fife Advertiser August 1952

Part of the course was ploughed up and used to grow vegetables during the second world war, and in the early 1950s the town council developed the former course with housing. The club itself remained in existence until 1963, when it was offered premises at the newly opened municipal golf course at Dunniker. However, so few members remained that this offer was never taken up and Dysart Golf Club was wound up in 1964.

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