Forgotten Greens of Scotland
Forgotten Greens of Scotland

Whitburn 1,2,and 3.

Whitburn Golf Club.  First mentioned in 1910, but with no indication where the course was. This club apparently closed with the onset of WW1, as a new club was formed in 1920.

   This club had three courses; at Blaeberry Faer from 920-21, the at Reeves Farm from 1921-1926, and finally at Croftmalloch until the mid-1930's when the club appears to have closed. since there is a reference of a proposal to open a new club in 1937

First Club

    “The local golf club has now completed it’s arrangements for the seasons play, and at a meeting of the committee held on Tuesday in the institute, it was agreed to formally open the course for the season on Wednesday afternoon at four o’clock.”

(WLC 29.4.1910)


   “On Wednesday the members of Whitburn golf club opened their course for the season, when play was engaged in under most favourable auspices. The re-constructed course  and the re-arrangement of the tees was found to be a great improvement. During the afternoon tea was partaken off in picnic fashion, the afternoon’s proceedings being of a thoroughly enjoyable description.”    (WLC 6.5.1910)


   “On Monday evening the annual general meeting of Whitburn Golf Club took place in the Baillie Public Institute, when Mr A.A. MacKinnon Captain, presided.

   The meeting proceeded to the election of office bearers for the ensuing year, when the following appointments were made: - Captain and President, Mr J. Hutton Snr: Secretary and treasurer, Mr D. Hutton: Committee of management, Misses Scott, J Flemington, Meek, Wood, and Messrs J. Hutton, D Hutton, and A.A. MacKinnon.

   It was agreed to open the season on 24th April, with the usual ceremony. Inter club matches have been arranged for the forthcoming season with Livingston, Harthill, Fauldhouse and Armadale clubs.”   (LG 29.3.1912)


 “On Wednesday the formal opening of Whitburn Golf Course took place under very happy auspices. Nearly twenty players took part in mixed foursomes, the game being highly enjoyed in the delightful weather which prevailed.

   At the close of play Mrs Robb, Croftmalloch Farm, supplied an excellent tea to the players in the barn, which was, perhaps, even more enjoyed than the play. The remainder of the evening was passed very pleasantly with a few dances, a real barn dance taking place, the music for which was excellently played by Mr Tennant, Violinist, Whitburn.

   The course is looking very well, taking all things into consideration. A number of games have been arranged to take place with neighbouring clubs during the season.”

    (WLC 26.4.1912)


      Closed during WW1

Second club, first course

   “A new golf club is being formed in Whitburn, and already there is a membership of over seventy. The moving sprits in the new enterprise are, Mr R McKinnon and Mr W Adamson.

   A course of nine holes has been secured on the farm of Blaeberry hill, above the reservoir. A years let of the field, which is in pasture, has been taken meantime, and nearly all the greens and lines of play have been roughly cut. The  work is being done by many of the members themselves ( In addition to the man engaged for the purpose ) and is no doubt proving a pleasant occupation for the young people these summer evenings.

   The field consists of about 17 acres, and many of the holes will be long ones, the average length being about 248 yards. It is expected that the course will be opened within a fortnight.”   (WLC 25.6.1920)


A meeting of the recently constituted golf club was held in the Baillie Institute, on Tuesday evening – Mr John Hutton, president, presiding. There was a full attendance of members. Mr A Campbell was appointed Vice President of the club.

   It was reported that good progress has been made with the preparation of the course. It was decided to open the course to-morrow (Saturday) the time being fixed for 5pm, so as to suit the majority of the members. There will be a formal opening, and it is likely a game between members representing President and Vice President, will be played.

   The prospects of the new club are highly promising, and it is hoped there will be a large turnout of member’s to-morrow to give the club a good send off.”

   (WLC 9.7.1920)


   “On Saturday afternoon the new golf course was formally opened. Mr John Hutton, President, Presided,  accompanied by the Vice President Mr A Campbell, and other officials.

   Considering the short time the committee have had the ground in their hands, they have made a good use of it. The greens are being quickly got into good condition, and they were the subject of favourable comment on Saturday. A fairly good membership has been secured, but there is every likelihood of it being considerably increased as the game grows in popularity locally.” 

(MA 16.7.1902)

Second club, second course

   “A general meeting of the members of Whitburn Golf Club was held in the Baillie Institute, on Monday evening. Mr G Paterson presided, and there was a fairly good attendance. The financial statement for the past year was submitted, and showed a fairly substantial credit balance. The statement was considered highly satisfactory and was unanimously adopted. The following office bearers were thereafter elected for the ensuing year – President, Mr Jnr. Hutton ; Vice President ; Mr A Campbell ; Secretary, Mr H Clarkson ; Treasurer , Miss Miller ; Captain, Mr A.A. MacKinnon.

   A committee of three ladies and three gentlemen was also appointed as green committee. Mr MacKinnon reported that negotiations had been completed with the landlord and tenant of the grazing ground at the Reeves for conversion into a new golf course, which occasioned general satisfaction. Mr Geo. Gibson was thereupon appointed greenkeeper. It was intimated that a start would be made straightaway with the work of clearing the rough parts, and preparing the greens.

   The ground is over 2000 yards in length, and will permit of an ideal 9 hole course being set out. An examination after the first cutting shows that the turf beds are all that could be desired, and that with the general condition of the ground justifies the belief that it will turn out to be one of the finest 9 hole courses in the county. The course embraces some tricky ready made hazards, consisting of hedges, water ditches, and a quarry.

   Wednesday next was provisionally fixed for the opening day, by which time it is hoped the course will be ready for play. A match, President v Captain will be played, and will be proceeded by a service of tea.

   The members of the club are looking forward with the greatest enthusiasm to the opening of the course, and  to ensure that everything will be in order for next Wednesday, quite a number are lending a helping hand with rougher work, and rollers, mowers, and scythes are to be seen in active use every night of the week.”  

(WLC 3.6.1921)

   “On Wednesday evening, Whitburn Golf Clubs new course at the Reeves was formally opened with a match between teams representing the Captain and Vice President of the club. Prior to the game tea was served at the residence of Mrs Love. About 40 members were present, and Mr A.A.MacKinnon, Captain, presided.

   The weather was most unpropitious, heavy showers of rain falling at intervals, but the match was proceeded with. Thirty four players took part and eight foursomes and one single was played resulting in a win for the captain by four matches to three.

The scores were : - Captain – Mrs Wood and A.A.MacKinnon ( Captain ) 1. Miss Duncan and R Hutton 0, Miss Hutton and J Sangster 1, Miss Dodds and J Dodds 0, Alex Duff and Geo. Shanks 1, A Adamson and Jas. Allan 0, Miss Russell and M McGiven 0, Mrs Michie and L Boni 1, J Roberts o – Total 4. Vice President – Miss Mary Allan and A Campbell ( Vice president ) 0, Miss Campbell and D Duff 1, Miss May Allan and Jas. Clark 0, Miss Smith and Jas. Wilson 1, H Clarkson and H Brown 0, N Munn and D James 1, Miss Calder and W Wood 0, Miss Miller and Jas. Dewar 0, Jas. Wood 0 – Total 3.

   Some heavy work had to be done to have the course ready for Wednesday but the fairways to the holes have been well cleared up by Mr George Gibson, Greenkeeper, while the cutting and rolling of the greens was carried out by some of the members. It now lies with Mr Gibson to make the course the fine one it promises to be, and as he is showing great keenness, this work can be safely left in his hands.

   Committee meeting was held after the game and it was decided to hold a competition towards the end of June. Messrs A.A. MacKinnon, A Campbell and Jas. Clark were appointed handicap committee. The game is becoming very popular in Whitburn and all that is required now to ensure the club having a very successful season is the enrolment of a number of new members.”   (WLC 10.6.1921)

   “The annual general meeting of the members of Whitburn Golf Club was held in the Baillie Institute on Monday evening. Mr A. Campbell presided over a good attendance. The financial statement for the past year was submitted and showed a credit balance of about £27 which was considered highly satisfactory. The secretary reported that he had made arrangements for the retention of the present course for another year.

   Office bearers for the ensuing season were appointed as follows : - Captain, Mr A.A. MacKinnon : Vice Captain, Mr H. Clarkson, Secretary, Mr A. Campbell : Treasurer, Miss Miller. Last years committee were re-appointed. The subscriptions for the ensuing season were fixed as follows : - Gentlemen 15s , Ladies 12s 6p.

   Mr MacKinnon and Mr Clarkson, the club delegates to the Linlithgowshire Golf Association, submitted a few interesting details in connection with the meeting held at Bathgate on Saturday last a report of which appears in another column of this issue.

   It was agreed to hold a whist drive and dance, before the close of the winter. The business terminated with a vote of thanks to the office bearers for the past year for the excellent services rendered to the club in the first year of it’s existence.”  

(WLC 10.2.1922)

   “The first monthly medal competition for the season was due to be carried through by the male members of Whitburn Golf Club on Saturday last, but it had to be postponed owing to the unpropitious weather conditions, and was held on Tuesday evening this week.

   The weather was quite favourable, and the course in good condition, and there was a good entry. Play was very keen, and there was tie for the medal between Mr A Campbell (10) and Mr R Hutton (10) who each returned a net score of 71. They played three extra holes, and Mr Campbell was the winner.

   The members of the club engage in their opening match tomorrow (Saturday) when they will have a visit from a team from Livingston. There will probably be sixteen players on either side, and mixed foursomes will be played.”   (WLC 27.4.1923)


 “For their opening match of the season, the members of Whitburn Golf Club had a visit from a team from Livingston on Saturday last. Both clubs were largely represented and a number of mixed foursomes were played. The weather was showery but despite that the games were entered into with great keenness and proved thoroughly enjoyable. The Livingston players won by 9 games to six, with one game drawn.

   At the conclusion of the match an adjournment was made to the Baillie Institute where, after an excellent tea, purveyed by Mrs Provan, the President of the local club extended a hearty welcome to the Livingston players and congratulated them on their victory. Through the kindness of the United Services Club the company were able to “ Listen In” to a considerable part of the wireless concert being broadcasted from Glasgow, and later on the following contributed songs in pleasing style – Miss Vallance, Messrs J Forsyth, J Dodds, J. Vallance and D. Jamieson. Dancing was then engaged in for a couple of hours. Miss Quigley providing the music and Mr J. Dodds officiating as M.C., and altogether, the evening was a very pleasant one.”

   (WLC 4.5.1923)

   “The annual meeting of the members of Whitburn Golf Club was held in the public institute on Monday evening. Mr H. Clarkson, President, presided over a good attendance. A report as to the past year’s working, and the fixtures for the ensuing season was given by the secretary, Mr J Dodd’s, and the financial report was submitted by the treasurer, Mr D. Duff. This showed the club to be in good financial condition, and the report was unanimously adopted.

   Office bearers for the ensuing season were elected as follows : - President, Mr H Clarkson : Captain, Mr A.A. MacKinnon : Vice Captain, Mr John Thomson : Secretary, Mr J. Dodds : Treasurer, Mr D. Duff. Committee : Mrs May, Mrs Dodds, Miss Campbell, Miss Clarkson, Miss Stirrat, Messrs A. McConnell, A Duff, R. Whiteford, W Hamilton, and A Campbell. It was left to the committee to arrange for the opening of the course for the season.”

 (WLC 7.3.1924)

Second club, third course

   “At the adjourned annual meeting of the Whitburn Golf Club, Mr A.A. MacKinnon ( who presided ) reported on a committee meeting with Mr Struthers, Croftmalloch Farm, on the question of ground for a course. The club had been granted an area of 36 acres, suitable for a nine hole course, and the work of putting it in order proceeding. The meeting agreed to accept Mr Struthers terms and the president was thanked for his report.

    It was agreed to fix the annual fees as at present – 15s for gentlemen and 12s 6d for ladies, and it was remitted to the committee to arrange matches with surrounding clubs.

   The following office bearers were appointed : - President, Mr A.A. MacKinnon : Captain, D. Duff : Vice Captain, Mrs May : Ladies Captain, Miss Campbell : Secretary, J. Dodds : Treasurer, R. Whiteford : Green Ranger, H.K. Clarkson : Committee, A Tennant, T Duff, A Campbell. The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the chairman.”   (WLC 22.4.1927)

   “On Wednesday evening the new golf course at Croftmalloch Farm was opened with the usual President versus Captain games. The clerk of the weather was at his best and the course which bids fair to become one of the sportiest in the county, was in ideal condition for the opening ceremony. The game was in the form of mixed foursomes, fourteen couples taking part. The result was a draw – six wins each.

   The company then retired to the farm house where tea was tastefully served by Mrs Struthers and her assistants. A musical programme presided over by the President, Mr A.A. McKinnon, was sustained by Messrs J Dodds, J. Sangster, A Campbell, James Duff, T Duff, A Tennant, A.A. McKinnon, Miss Burton, and the host Mrs Struthers. A vote of thanks to the chairman concluded an enjoyable evening.”   (WLC 13.5.1927)

      “Several golfing enthusiasts in the burgh are endeavouring to set up a golf club in Whitburn.”     (WLC 24/9/1937)

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