Forgotten Greens of Scotland
Forgotten Greens of Scotland


Crawford Golf Club. Instituted Sep 1888.  Nestling on the sunny slopes of the upper reaches of the Clyde, the little village lies some 900 feet above the level of the sea.  It was formerly a burgh of barony by virtue of a charter from William the Lion. The 9-hole course was laid out at the request of the Rev McKune to aid the well-being of his parishioners. 

The Jewel In The Crown, By Tom Morris


Crawford Golf Course


Ham. Ad : 27th April 1889.   (In Crawford news.)


Golf club ; On Good Friday, the members of Douglas Water golf club travelled to Crawford on the invitation of the worthy mini­ster of that parish (Mr McKune) to enjoy a game at the healthy and exhilarating exercise which it's members had become so much imbued with. The weather was delightful, and quite free from the showers that are proverbial to this month, and which we have diurally experienced with this exception. The green, which was pronounced by the veteran golfer and greenkeeper, Tom Morris, as being the best inland golf course in Scotland, was in splendid order for the true enjoyment of the game. Besides the party from Douglas, there were detachments from Moffat, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Peebles &c. numbering in all about fifty persons. In the forenoon the company arranged themselves into foursomes principally, and many a stiff and exciting game was participated in. The great event of the day was  the holing of the first hole in one stroke by the Captain of the Douglas club. It was assertained that the detachment from Moffat consisted of the same number as that from Douglas, and it was resolved to pitch the one team against the other in friendly contest to test their powers and skill at the Royal game, for the honour of their respective clubs. Mr McKune intimated that two gentlemen had given a couple of golf clubs to be awarded to the lowest scorer of the respective teams. This inducement imparted an interest and impetus to the game which was maintained throughout with geniality and good feeling. On compar­ing cards at the finish it was found that the game was a draw, each side scoring ten holes.  For the possession of the golf clubs, Dr Allison, of Douglas was lowest scorer in his team at 100 strokes ; and Mr Duncan sen. lowest on the Moffat side at 103 strokes. It is expected that another trial of skill will be indulged in ere long between Douglas and Moffat at Crawford.


Comment ; This article confirms the existence of Rev McKunes course before the establishment of a club in Crawford.

Old Tom Morris

From Hamilton Advertiser July 20th, 1889


Of late years the attention of people in search of summer quar­ters has turned to the upper reaches of the Clyde. The clear and bracing air of the village of Crawford has proved specially attractive, and many invalids who have tried it have found it surprisingly beneficial. To judge from the large number of visit­ors this season - for every house could have been let twice over - the popularity of the district as a health resort is steadily on the increase. The residents have not been slow to perceive this characteristic of the locality, and have set themselves to provide, not merely for the accomodation, but also for the re­creation, of the strangers who settle down amongst them. With this end in view, a bowling green has been made and a golf course has been carefully laid out, which Tom Morris - the best author­ity on such a matter - has declared to be the best inland links he  ever played on. From time to time matches among players drawn from different quarters have been played, and were only the railway facilities better than they are, there is no doubt that clubs from a considerable distance would gladly avail themselves of this admirable golfing green

Hamilton Advertiser June 14th 1890


A New Golf Green


There seems no end to the making of golf greens. The latest we hear of is in the neighbourhood of the quiet little village of Crawford. This picturesque and seques­tered spot, really known as the town of Crawford, is situated on the banks of the Clyde, about three miles from Abington. It was formerly a burgh of barony by virtue of a charter granted by the Earl of Crawford, and confirmed by William the Lion ; and from the name Crawford, which signifies "the road or passage of blood", was evidently the scene of some sanguinary affrays. The castle of Crawford , now a ruin, which marks the line for the sixteenth hole of the course, was at one time besieged by William Wallace, when about fifty Englishmen were killed ; and not far from this spot is the supposed site of the hostelry in which the same warrior is credited with having slain fifteen of the enemy with his own sword. Since the construction of the Caledonian line of railway, and the stage coaches which passed through the vil­lage have been stopped, Crawford has been known chiefly as one of the most important sheep raising districts in the South of Scot­land. Within recent times, however, it's suitability as a summer resort has been discovered by many in search of a health giving holiday, and notwithstanding the disadvantages to which it is placed by the want of a railway station nearer than Abington, the number of visitors has been so great that several neat and commo­dious cottages have been built in the village for their accomoda­tion. There is also a Public hall in which there are billiard and reading rooms. The Rev C.McKune, the minister of the parish, and a member of both the curling and bowling clubs of the district, in his desire to promote healthy sports among his parishioners, made A FEW YEARS AGO a very good round of nine holes on his glebe; and, with the consent of the laird, Sir Edward Colebrooke, and the obliging tenant of the ground adjoining the glebe, and with the able help of Old Tom Morris, the course was extended to eighteen holes, and as an inland green we are sure it will have very few rivals. Laid out on the slopes of the hills above the village, the grass is found not to be long or coarse, and the putting greens only need a little play to make them very good indeed ; whilst the bracing air and charming scenery lend an enchantment to it that few golfing greens possess to the same degree. A club has now been started, and on the 22nd ult. held it's first meeting, when no fewer than forty members were en­rolled. Eleven couples afterwards started to compete for a medal, presented by Mr Stanley Callender, which after a keen competition was won by the Rev Mr Dick with a score of 87, Mr Hardie and Mr S.Callender being 2nd with 91 each. Handicap prizes were after­wards played for and won by Mr Robert Hardie (first) Rev James Park (second), and Mr Riach (third). The lowest score of the day was that of Mr Dick, who holed the 2nd round in 84. We are sure every one will wish success to this new club and it's green ; it will certainly add another charm to this delightful neighbour­hood. In the village there is a most comfortable hostelry where the wearied golfer can refresh the inner man.

Hamilton Ad. Sept. 20th 1890.    


Golf club ; This club held it's autumn meeting at Crawford on Saturday last. The weather was all that could be desired, and there was a good turn-out - eleven couples starting in the compe­tition for a handsome challenge cup which Sir Edward Colebrooke, hon.president, had presented to the club. After an exciting game the honour of winning the trophy for the first time fell to the Rev Mr Dick, who holed the round in 87. A handicap match was also played in which Mr H.L.Usher took first place with 94 and 9 off, the Rev Mr McKune and Mr W.R.Hardie with handicaps of 8 and 15 respectively, and the Rev Mr Dick, who played scratch, tying for second with 87. In the afternoon the tie was played off before a considerable number of spectators, among whom  were a number of ladies, with the result that Mr H.L.Usher came in first, Mr W.R.Hardie second, and Rev C.McKune third ((Dick 3rd ?)) It may be noticed that since the last meeting of the club the green has provided with a new set of flags, which are a great improvement.

We also hear that an important addition is about to be made to the village in the form of a railway station, which will doubt­less be a great convenience to golfers, and the numerous other pleasure seekers who of late years have gathered in such large numbers to spend their holidays in this pleasant district.

Ham Ad 4th April 1891.


Golf club ; The Easter meeting of this club was held on Good Friday, and although the uncertainty of the weather kept a good many from putting in an appearance, nine couples started to play for a silver "challenge" cleek and a hcp prize. The occasional patches of snow in the hollows proved to be formidable hazards, and, coupled with the high wind, made scores rather higher than usual. Result - Mr W.Shanks won both the silver cleek and hcp prize with a score of 97 - 12 = 85, but being unable to hold both prizes, the hcp prize was awarded to Mr A.G.Sinclair with a score of 110 - 12 = 98.


Crawford's old 14th green. It can be really exciting to find these remains after 120 years.

Ham Ad. 23rd May 1891. (part of article)


- Now that the railway company have opened a new station within two minutes walk of the links, the membership of the club has reached 70 during the year. Golf and fishing promise to make Crawford a popular resort.


Glasgow Herald June 12th 1891.    


Golf ; Crawford & Moffat clubs met at Crawford on Saturday, when a match of 6 a-side was played. The weather was of the best, and some good scores were made. Mr Dick breaking the record with a score of 79. The following are the details of the match ;


          Crawford.                    Moffat.


Rev C.McKune                6           Colonel Neil          0

Rev H.L.Dick                 12           John Duncan          0

R.P.Hardie                        7           J.K.McGiggon       0

H.L.Usher                         4           A.T.Taylor             0

H.S.N.Callender              12           J.Young                0

L.A.Callender                   0           A.W.Gifford          4

                                     ___                                           __

                                        41                                              4


                             A win for Crawford of 37 holes. 

Glasgow Herald  July 1st 1891.    


Golf club - This club held it's July meeting at Crawford, when a scratch prize for the best score and three handicap prizes were competed for, and won by the following members ; Rev H.L.Dick, Wiston, with the excellent score of 81, gained the scratch prize. Mr King, Edinburgh, with 84 being 2nd. and Dr Dey, H.M.Inspector of schools, and Mr Shanks, assistant inspector, with 94 each, taking the third place. Three handicap prizes were won by Mr Dick scratch - 81, Mr King, scratch - 84, and Mr Dey, less 6 -88.

Ham. Ad. August 1st 1891.


Golf club - Crawford golf club held it's July meeting on Saturday, when a scratch prize, presented by Mr Usher, and three handicap prizes, presented by Dr Smith, were competed for and won by the following members ; The Rev H.L.Dick, with the excellent score of 81, gained the scratch prize. Mr King, with 84, being second, and Dr Dey and Mr Shanks, with 94 each, taking third place. The handicap prizes were won - 1st, by the Rev Mr Dick, 81 less 0 = 81 ; 2nd Mr King, 84 less 0 = 84 ; 3rd, Dr Dey 94 less 6 = 88. The course was in good order. A stiff breeze made scores slightly higher than usual. 

Ham. Ad March 31st 1892.  Crawford.


Medal result ;1st W.M.Shanks.(silver challenge cleek) 78 scratch.

                      2nd W.Kennedy. (silver pencil case)       88 scr.

                      Hcp.1st W.Mitchell.                                 113 - 25 = 88

                              2nd Dr Jardine.                                111 - 18 = 93


Ham.Ad. April 23rd 1892.


Golf club - This club held it's Easter meeting on good Friday, when there was a good turn-out of members, fifteen couples enter­ing for the various events on the programme. The day was all that could be desired, and a most enjoyable game resulted as follows ; Scratch prize (silver challenge clock, presented by Mr R.P.Hard­ie), won by Rev Mr Watson with a score of 86 ; the three next best scores being Rev Mr Dick, 87 ; Mr Callender 89 ; Mr Shanks 90. The first handicap prize (a handsome challenge cup presented by Mr Wm Mitchell) fell to Mr Callender with 89 less 9 - 80. The second (a putting iron, presented by the captain, Rev Mr McKune) was won by Dr Dey with 91 less 7 - 84. An excellent dinner was thereafter partaken of in Crawford Inn (Mr Cranstoun's) and the afternoon was given up to friendly foursomes &c. The links have been well limed and rolled during the winter and early spring, and the bent and rough ground that remain are only the legitimate hazards which are the penalty of erratic play. All over the course is in splendid golfing condition.

Playing from the 1st tee.

Ham Adv July 2nd 1892


GOLF.  The monthly meeting of the club was held on saturday and the medal presented by REV.MR.DICK was won by MR.J.McFARLANE with 96 less 20 = 76. there was a small turnout of members,the day being disagreeable. 


Ham Ad. April 8th 1893.  GOLF.


Crawford golf club ; This club held it's Easter meeting on Satur­day. There was a large attendance of members, and the day was most favourable. The variety of the course has been increased by the substitution of three new holes (on ground very kindly gran­ted by Mr Robert Murray) for three of the shorter ones previously used. Prize list - 1st scratch, a silver challenge cleek, presen­ted by Mr R.Hardie, won by Mr W.W.Shanks with 88 ; 2nd, a golf club case, presented by Mr D.Fullerton, won by Rev Mr Dick with 92 ; 1st hcp prize, a silver challenge cup, presented by Mr W.Mitchell, won by Dr Dey with 88 - 8 = 80 ; 2nd hcp prize, a silver pencil case, presented by Mr D.Fullerton, won by Mr James Wallace with 98 - 15 = 83. Dr Dey also won the monthly hcp medal presented by Rev Dick. An excellent dinner was served in Crawford Inn (Mr Cranstoun's) and the afternoon was devoted to friendly games.  The links have much been frequented this season, and just on the eve of the inauguration of the new holes, the Rev Mr Dick, playing faultlessly, broke the record of the old course with a score of 72.

Ham. Ad. 5th August. 1893. Crawford.


Golf ; The July meeting of this club was held on Saturday, when there was a good muster of members. The greens were in capital order, and the day proved very enjoyable. Four prizes, presented by Mr John Dey were competed for. Results ; 1st scratch prize, (Russia leather letter case) won by the Rev H.L.Dick with a record score of 78 ; 2nd, (cigar case) won by Mr W.Shanks with 85  1st hcp prize (flask) won by Mr John Dey with 125 - 25 = 80 ; 2nd (cigarette case) won by Mr J.Wallace with 92 - 10 = 82. Good scores were returned by Mr Kennedy, Mr McKerrow and Mr J.Edmund.


Ham Adv August 26th 1893


CRAWFORD: On thursday of last week in a four ball match messrs.JOHN KING and A.J.G.BARCLAY beat messrs. E.KING and A.P.ANDERSON, When MR.JOHN KING completed the round in 74 thus lowering the previous record for the green by 4 strokes. The details of this fine score were:


                   OUT........5,4,4,5,3,3,5,5,6.--- 40.

                   IN.........5,5,4,4,3,3,3,3,4.--- 34. TOTAL 74.


On the following day this score was equalled by the REV.H.L.DICK with the following:


                   OUT........4,5,4,4,5,4,4,3,5.--- 38.

                   IN.........5,6,3,4,4,3,3,3,5.--- 36. TOTAL 74.


These scores show how quickly the greens added in the spring have been brought into good order for playing.It is proposed to again extend the course by substituting longer drives in place of several of the shorter ones. The course has never before been so much frequented as it has been this season.

Playing from the 12th tee.

Ham. Ad. Oct. 14th, 1893. Crawford.


Golf ; The Edinburgh Teachers club journeyed to Crawford on Saturday to hold the last quarterly comp' for the year for charms, medals and prizes. There was a large turnout of members. The weather was beautiful and the course was in first rate order.

Results ; 1st division, Mr E.King, 80 (scratch) ; Mr A.J.G.Bar­clay, 93 - 12 = 81 ; Mr John King, 81 + 3 = 84 ; Mr C.W.Calder, 92 - 8 = 84 ; Mr Jas Balsillie, 93 - 9 = 84. The charm competed for in this division now becomes the property of Mr Edward King.

2nd division - Mr R.Hastings, 92 - 24 = 68 ; Mr William Crichton, 99 - 22 = 77 ; and Mr William McKenzie, 89 - 11 = 78. The autumn meeting of the Crawford club takes place to-day (Saturday)

Ham.Ad. May 19th 1894.  Crawford.


Crawford and it's Attractions ; Sir - Having been in indifferent health for some time I was advised by my medical attendant to pay a visit to Crawford, a rising health resort in the upper ward of Lanarkshire. I have done so with the best results. At the begin­ning of this week I had occasion to go from home for two days, and on returning, as I approached the village, I was surprised to see on the hill side a large number of very respectable looking clergymen going about in an excited manner, each one carrying in his hands a few sticks with knobs at the ends, and which, at a distance, I took to be the ladles formerly used in their churches for collecting the bawbees. On my nearer approach to the village I met an elderly aristocrat looking gentleman whom I took to be the Moderator, and who, from the manner in which he addressed me, seemed to be of a very kindly, genial temperament. Upon my re­marking to him how pleased I was to see that the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland had met this year in Crawford, he was nearly struck dumb with astonishment, and merely ejaculated "Tut!

Tut ! tut ! Dae'e say sae !"  I pointed to the heights, when the expression on his face at once changed to one of amusement and mirth. "Na,na", says he, "this is no' the meeting, but only preparitory to it. These gentlemen have wisely come here to get strength to enable them to fecht next week for their kirk." What I had taken for ladles were merely the clubs used in the game of golf, for which this place is now so famous. May these ministers all go home the better for their outing is the earnest wish of


Ham. Ad. June 16th 1894.  Crawford.


Medal result ; 1st W.M.Noble.    96 - 10 = 86

                       2nd W.Grant.     114 - 25 = 89

                       3rd Mr Gibson.   115 - 25 = 90


Ham Ad.22nd Aug 1907.  Crawford res. (large article)


 Golf Club ; Another step forward in the record of this club was made on Sat. when a ladies room which has been added to the accommodation of the clubhouse, was used for the first time. A verandah has also been added to the front of the building, and the whole has an exceedingly neat appearance, and forms quite a feature on "The Knowes". The work was done by Messrs R & J.Mur­ray, joiners, Crawford. // medal & mixed fours comps' / /  As evidencing to some extent the popularity of Crawford as a summer resort, it may be added that the 1st prize, presented by Mr A.J. Gunion Barclay, goes to Buenos Ayres, one to London, and others to Edinburgh, Leith etc.

Ham Ad. July 11th 1908. .


Summer Visitors ; So far as the season has gone, Crawford has very little reason to complain of the effects of dull trade as affecting it's flow of visitors. As usual at this time of the year, the available accomodation, which is gradually being added to, is very well taken up, and the visitors have enjoyed to the full the splendid weather conditions. The golf course is in good condition and is well patronised ; the effects of the various improvements of recent years, made at considerable expense, are now more manifest. It is hoped that ere long the committee may be enabled to considerably lengthen a few of the holes to suit the altered conditions of golf nowadays, and that some special arran­gements may be completed about a separate course for ladies and juniors.   (etc, etc. about the village)


Comment ; `golf nowadays’  -  this relates to the introduction of the new Haskell golf balls which on average gave greater distance to the golfer.


Names of holes and Distances between each ;


1. Birley Howe            160yds.   10. Heather Hole       160yds

2. Inn                              220       11. Scaffold           205

3. Cooper                        230       12. Gallows            210

4. Hen's Nest                   200       13. Pit                140

5. Neuk                           245       14. Lady Mantle        340

6. Withershin's                220       15. Whaups             330

7. Bog of Allan               150       16. Death or Glory     215

8. Stairhead                     160       17. Laird's Hill       250

9. Switchback                  290       18. Howe               235.

Ham Adv November 13th 1909


NOTES: The golf club is re-arranging and extending its area and when operations are completed there will be two good courses,one of 18 holes and one of 9 holes. All will be in readiness for next season.


Ham Ad 1st June 1912.


First meeting of the season & medal res. AGM & good report that the club was in a thoroughly prosperous condition. / Office bearers.


Ham Ad 2nd Jun 1917. Crawford.  (AGM)


Played throughout the war and raised funds for war charities.

£160 in 1916.


Ham Ad 19th July 1919.  Crawford.


Concert for Clubhouse Fund.




The ladies 9 hole and Juniors course was laid out on the lower part of the ground nearer to the village as seen in the photo.

A modern view of the original 1st tees and clubhouse location with photo taken from 2nd tee. Good remains of many greens and tees can still be seen today if you know where to look for them. Crawford was an outstanding inland course in its day.

Crawford's huge original 10th green, just needs cutting and you could get the putter out and relive a peice of golfing history.
Print | Sitemap