Aboyne Golf Club
1. Played on Village Green from 1874 although the club was not formally instituted until 1883. The club have played at their present site since 1905. ( Also see Aboyne in Main site )
The Aberdeen Press, March 29th, 1905
New Golf Course For Aboyne
A public meeting was held in the Aboyne public hall on Monday evening to discuss the projected acquisition of the Fernie Brae and Formaston Parks as a new golf links for Aboyne.
There was a large and representative gathering.
Mr A. Grant, Pine Villa, chairman of the golf club, presided, and in a concise manner explained the purpose of the meeting, the attitude of the golf club in relation to the scheme, and the steps which had been taken .He said the day was, when Aboyne rejoiced in being the happy possessor of a golf links on Deeside, but that day, fortunately or unfortunately, was past, and they were now on all sides eclipsed by their neighbours. The green of Aboyne was without doubt one of the principal attractions of the place, but, crowded as it was now with all sorts of games, it was altogether unsuitable for golf.
Mr Ean Cecil of Craigendinnie had, with kndly interest, agreed to lease the Fernie Brae and Formaston Park.
He ( The Chairman ) would say, not only according to the view of the golf club, but also according to the opinion of an expert who had carefully gone over the ground, that a more suitable place could not be found in Aboyne, nor indeed, in the whole of Deeside.
The laying out of the ground would involve a large expenditure, more than the present golf club could cope with single-handed, and they therefore wished to ascertain the feeling of the people of the district regarding the matter. As the success of the plan would depend on the support which the people of Aboyne would extend towards it, they appealed with confidence to them, as this was not a selfish scheme for the benefit of the golf club alone, but one calculated to effect very seriously the interests of the village as a whole.
Mr J. Milne, Shoemaker, Captain of the club, also spoke in support of the scheme.
Mr C. Smith, Postmaster, said surely the public must see how the scheme was to be for their mutual benefit. Aboyne was almost entirely a summer resort. If they failed to attract visitors all classes would suffer. If they were agreed that the scheme should be carried out, he suggested they should straightway proceed to discuss ways and means for its fulfilment. In his opinion, the first essential was the formation of a large and thoroughly representative committee.
Mr Grant stated that several letters had already been received in relation to the scheme, and several people had already given it substantial support by handsome donations.
Rev. Father Thomson said he was not animated by a blind enthusiasm for the game, and therefore any remarks he made should carry greater weight. He endorsed most emphatically the remarks of the previous speakers. He had known personally of people having passed over Aboyne in search of Ballater and other places with better golf links. It was recognised that a good golf course was a source of prosperity to many places. They ought to leave no means untried to attract visitors and to cater for their tastes. He himself was ready to contribute to the scheme, and he had no doubt many other persons would do the same. But it did not follow that he and other contributors were to be members of the golf club, and when the scheme was accomplished he felt that those contributors ought to have a vote in the management of the funds. He had no doubt the present golf club would see the wisdom of that policy. He therefore moved that a committee, to be called the new golf course committee, should be elected, with powers to carry the scheme through.
Mr Shiach, Shoemaker, supported Father Thomson’s motion, and added that it was of the utmost importance that the people of the village should know that they were not merely engaged in the formation of a new golf club, but were forming resolutions regarding the feasibility of a scheme which would be generally beneficial to all. He seconded Father Thomson’s motion as being the first necessary step to put the scheme in working order.
The motion was unanimously adopted.
Mrs Captain Farquhar, Granville Lodge ; Dr Macintosh, Mr A. Henderson, Merchant ; Mr Littlejohn, Builder ; and others asked a few questions calculated to enlighten the meeting as to the expense of the undertaking, and also as to the prospective means for putting it on a sound financial basis. These questions showed, in an informal manner, the unanimous feeling of the meeting was that each one would give the scheme his most practical and cordial support.
A large and thoroughly representative committee was then elected, and out of those was chosen a smaller body to act with discretionary powers as prime movers in the scheme. Mr Grant was appointed chairman and convenor of the committee, and Mr C. Smith, Postmaster, and Mr A.C. Borrowman, accountant, North of Scotland Bank, as joint secretaries.
On the motion of Mr Anderson, Banker, Mr A. Grant. Mr Sandison, Huntly Arms, and the two secretaries were delegated to negotiate the terms of the lease.
The meeting recognising Mr Anderson’s ability in matters of this kind, elected him unanimously as a member of the same delegation. This concluded the business of the meeting.
Scotsman October October 20th, 1905
At a meeting of the members on Wednesday, it was reported that the money subscribed for the new course amounted to £478.10s. The course had been completed, a handsome new pavilion erected, and there was still a balance on the right side. The following were appointed office bearers for the ensuing year :- Mr Ean Cecil of Cragendinnie ; Vice President, Mr Eustace Heavens, Forest of Birse ; Captain, Mr James Willaims ; Vice Captain, Mr James Milne, Aboyne. Captain Tillard, R.N., and Captain R. Heaven were added to the committee.
Aberdeen Journal September 28th, 1908
Aboyne Golf Course
Speech by Lord Aberdeen
There was a very interesting ceremony at Aboyne on Saturday afternoon, when an addition to the beautifully-situated golf course was opened with fitting ceremony by his Excellency the Earl of Aberdeen in presence of a large and influential company of ladies and gentlemen from Aboyne and the surrounding district.
The weather, unfortunately, was dull and showery in the forenoon, and not very promising for the success of an outside function, and that probably kept away several who would otherwise have been present ; but about the time of the ceremony the rain ceased, the mist cleared from the hills, and the afternoon though not so bright as might have been desirable, was good. Since it was opened three years ago, the nine-holes course has been a source of great attraction to both residenters and visitors, the latter especially being delighted with its picturesque situation by the side of the loch of Aboyne extending Westwards.
So great was its popularity that the necessity of an extension to a regular eighteen holes course was proposed and heartily taken up by the committee of the Aboyne golf club, and especially by Mr James Williams, Dakota, chairman of the club, and Mr R. Smith, Postmaster, the efficient and enthusiastic secretary. Largely through the efforts of the latter, the funds for the extension and for paying off the debt on the original nine-holes course and the neat clubhouse were secured.
Archie Simpson, greenkeeper, and professional to the Royal Aberdeen golf club, was engaged to lay out the extension to the South and West of the nine-holes course on land leased on moderate terms to the club by the proprietor, Mr Ean Cecil.
The extension has been admirably completed, and may be seen to advantage by passengers on trains of the Great North of Scotland Railway company’s line which runs alongside part of it. Several artificial bunkers have been provided, and, added to several natural hazards make an excellent sporting course, which is likely to be appreciated by residenters and visitors alike.
There was a large attendance of ladies and gentlemen at the opening ceremony, which took place in front of the neat and convenient clubhouse, situated on rising ground overlooking the loch of Aboyne – a clubhouse designed and erected from plans prepared by Mr G. Bennet Mitchell, Architect, Aberdeen, who has his summer residence at Caen-on-coil, Aboyne. The following is the list of invitations, and most of those invited were present :-
Lord and Lady Aberdeen, Mr J.R. Heaven, Forset of Birse, and party ; Mr G. Coats and Mrs Coats, of Glen Tana and party ; Mr W.E. Nicol, of Ballogie and party ; Lady Brooks, The Neuk ; Major Davidson of Dess ; Messrs J.C. Barclay-Harvey of Dinnet ; James Williams, Dakota ; Harvey Hall, Deeside Lodge ; A. Sandyson, Aboyne ; Robert Williams, Birsemohr Lodge ; Ewan Cecil, Craigendinnie ; James Ledingham, Kincardine O’Neil ; J.F. Cochran, of Balfour ; James Duguid, Millbank ; James Wright, The Birches ; Hon. Mrs St John, Drumnagesk ; Mrs Pickering of Kincardine ; Mrs Davidson, Altdinnie Tower ; Admiral Sir C. Fare, K.C.B., Balnacoil ; Dr Farquharson, M.P. ; Dr William Gordon, Town Clerk of Aberdeen ; Messrs Genise Morgan, R.A. Springfield ; J. Dyce Nicol, Bank of England, Hull ; W. Bullouch, Kincardine O’Neil ; H.O. Davidson, Birchbank ; G. Bennet Mitchell, Cae-na-coil ; Henry Ross, Craigmore ; Dr W. Brodie Brown, Rosslyn ; Messrs A.G. Anderson, Bank House ; John Coutts, Homewood ; James Cruikshank, Schoolhouse ; Robert Milne, Bona Vista ; A. Grant, Pine Villa ; W.S. Milne, Aboyne ; John Troup, Aboyne ; A. Henderson, Pine Villa ; Gordon Smart, James Milne, Aboyne ; A. Fletcher, Vulcan Cottage ; G.H. Cowie, Thistle Bank ; John Davidson, Aboyne ; F.C. Waters, Falcon Cottage ; R.G. Nicol, of Ballogie ; A.H. Stephen, Tigh-na-Gaeld ; D.M.M. Milligan, Advocate, Aberdeen ; Mrs C. Farquhar,Craiglurch ; Messrs W. Farquhar of Carlogie ; Peter Stewart, Aberdeen ; Captain Farquhar, R.N.C.V.O., Mr Kildane ; C. Robinson, The Vicrage, Hunstanton ; Dr Mackintosh, Camden ; Messrs R. Smith, Viewfield ; C.C. Smith, Post Office ; Alexander Wright, Springfield ; Alec Watt, Springfield ; A. Carnegie, Birsemohr Lodge ; Admiral Sir Aurthur Farquhar, K.C.B., Mrs King, Dalry ; Messrs A. Littlejohn, Builder ; Surgeon-General Spencer, C.B., Mrs E. Duncan, Preasmohr ; Miss Ross, Maneos House ; Rev. J.D. Mackenzie, The Manse ; Rev. A.W. Wishart, Aboyne ; Rev. J. Thomson, St Margarets, Aboyne ; Messrs John Grant, ( Watt and Grant ) ; A.T. Curr, Linton Cottage ; David Calder, Norwood ; James Clubb, Lily Vale, Aboyne ; James Stewart, Salisbury House ; Andrew Black, St Lesmo Tower ; T.A. MacKintosh, St Catherine’s ; Mrs Methven, Bletsoe ; Dr J. Inglis, Misses J.and M. Crombie, Station Square ; Miss Farquharson, May Villa ; Sir John Clark of Tillypronie ; Colonel R.F. Caldwell, Inneshewan ; Messrs Joseph Farquharson, R.A., Moubray Farquhar, Drumnasgesk ; Commander Stuart Farquhar, R.N., Messrs Aurhur Robertson, Aboyner ; James Gibb, Aboyne ; Captain Ewen, Mrs Maxwell, Balfour House ; Mr and Mrs Graham, Granville Lodge ; Messrs George Coutts, Earn Bank ; A. Langebrink, Birchwood ; Lady Francis Cecil, Fasnadairoch ; Mrs Thornycroft, Miss A. Dugdale, Mrs Moggath, Glenalloch ; Miss Garnt, Luton Cottage ; Mrs Robertson, Kincardine O’Neil ; Messrs R.P. Robertson, Glasgow ; J. Russell Middleton, Altdinnie ; J.P. Hardie, Gavin Coutts, Birchwood ; H.H. Tory, Stanley Cottage ; A. Buchan, Bridgend ; F. Middleton, Galindo ; Alexander Mackay, Aberdeen ; F. Birss, Boddomend ; J.G. Henderson, Stanley Cottage ; John Henderson, St Eunaus ; Georg Allan, Station Agent, Aboyne ; J. Bremner, Tarland ; Miss Fraser, Lodge Cottage ; Messrs J. Stewart Watt, Advocate, Aberdeen ; G. Barclay, Edinburgh ; J. Harper, Bridg-end ; Hon Mr Pennt, Tigh-no-gaeld ; Mrs Drake, Graiglarach ; Mr Willoughby Brown, Auchintarf ; Rev. Cecil Nash, Mrs McNair, Mrs Davidson, Altdinnie ; Miss Ogg, East Rosebank ; Miss Hyde, Auchentarf ; Mr J.F. Gaskell, Cambus O’May ; Lieutenant E. St John, R.A., Drumnagask ; Rev. Dr Dunn, The Manse, Birse ; Rev. A. Mackenzie, The Manse, Coull ; Messrs J.F. Bush, Huntly Arms ; A. McKenzie, Dunmail, Cults ; Inspector Allan, Police Station ; Messrs W. Ewen, Station Square ; W. Todd, Do ; Ex Provost Grant, Ballater ; Mr J. Anderson Titaboutie ; Messrs W. Shiach, Aboyne ; John Watson, The Hall ; Mrs Thomson, Aboyne ; Mrs Grant, Aboyne ; Mrs Thain, Viewmount ; Mrs Wadd, Victoria Cottage ; Messrs David Mearns Westwood ; Duncan Calder, James Smith, Cameratta ; H. McWilliam, W. Duncan, Dee Cstle ; James Duguid, Ballater ; A. Henderson Jun, John Middleton, Huntly Cottage ; Robert Dinnie, Birsbeg ; Miss Murray, Schoolhouse ; Miss Farquharson, The Firs ; Miss Stewart, Bridge View ; Mr C. Smith, Primrose Cottage ; Miss Lindsay, Clifton Cottage ; Messrs Hendry, Kinaldie, Tarland ; A. Davie, Huntly Cottage ; and John Farquhar, Granville Lodge. Etc, etc,
The Opening Ceremony
Mr James Williams, Captain of the club, who presided, was accompanied to the clubhouse verandah by Lord Aberdeen, Mrs Coats of Glen Taner ; Me W.E. Nicol, of Ballogie ; and Mr Smith, secretary of the club.
The Captain of the club said they had met that afternoon to have a little ceremony in connection with the opening of the extension of the Aboyne golf course. The committee and the secretary of the club were very pleased to see that they had arrived at such a stage in the clubs career, as people generally could have no conception of the amount of work required for the laying out of a golf course, and having it opened for play. He was not to go into details, but he might mention that the course had cost them something like £1,000, and it was satisfactory to know that the money had all been raised, so that they would open the extended course absolutely free of debt. ( Applause.) He was not to say the course was the finest in the country, because if he did so his friend Archie Simpson might laugh at him, but he would say it was one of the finest inland he had played upon. ( Applause.)
He had not played on the extension to the course, but he thought all would admit that the course as a whole, was one of the most picturesque they could find in the country. ( Applause.)
They were glad to have Lord Aberdeen with them to perform the opening ceremony, and Mrs Coats of Glen Taner to play off the first ball. ( Applause.) He had pleasure in calling on Lord Aberdeen to address them. ( Loud Applause.)
Lord Aberdeen’s Speech
Lord Aberdeen, who was very heartily received, said – It seems to be recognised that on the occasion of the opening or extension of a golf course, the proceedings must include at least two items – namely, a speech of some sort, and, more essential a ceremonial first drive. ( Applause.)
Of course, the great object, both in the case of the speech and the ball, is to hit it off. ( Laughter ) With regard to the ball on this occasion, I have no doubt there will be a satisfactory and graceful performance ( Applause.) As to the speech, that is more uncertain. ( Laughter.) But, at any rate, one can keep to the short game – ( Laughter ) – and the more so because, in these days, to deliver an exhortation upon the merits and advantages of golf would be a superfluity ( Laughter and Applause.)
Probably all here are convinced, and thus the matter is so clear as to be, according to an old Scottish saying, a “ a teed ball,” ( Laughter and Applause.)
Some people, however, alas ! have discovered that it is possible to miss the point in the case even of so obvious, a thing as a “ teed ball” ( Laughter.) and, by the way, having quoted that phrase, as we have the pleasure of seeing amongst this assemblage some who do not claim to be of Scottish Nationality, it may be remarked that the fact of a sort of Scottish proverb being based on golf is sufficient proof – if such were needed – that the origin and fountain head of this celebrated game is in Scotland. ( Applause.) Of course, to scots who have played with, or seen, Morris, Park, or Robertson – not to speak of subsequent celebrities – the matter of the birth-place of golf goes without saying ; but possibly future generations may not always be so well informed. ( Applause.) And so the utterances on this occasion will rather be those of hearty congratulation to be exchanged, amongst the residents, temporary or permanent, in Aboyne, and their friends, neighbours and well-wishers. That is a comprehensive list, and it is well represented here to-day, and some who could not possibly be present send their hearty greetings and good wishes. ( Applause.) May I say that amongst those, Lady Aberdeen much regrets that she could not accept the cordial invitation of the committee to take part in these proceedings.
The fact is, she was previously engaged to open a sale of work at Tarland, and, of course, one must begin at home, though, indeed, we are made to feel very much at home at Aboyne – this delightsome locality where, with beautiful scenery, a noble river, and splendid air, there is everything to charm and attract. ( Applause.)
Truly, it is a gem of a place, and the setting has been completed by the provision of a most picturesque and admirable golf course, which has already proved to be a great success, and is this day, to be enlarged to authorised dimensions. ( Applause.) After seeing this attained, I suppose I shall be expected to go back to Tarland and its modest course feeling somewhat crestfallen. Well, I am not sure about that, the course there seems to be giving satisfaction, and is well patronised, and if there are those who find the course at Aboyne too much blocked with players, they may as well try a turn at Tarland. ( Applause and Laughter.)
Now the only drawback here to-day is the deplorable weather.
Bad enough in its effects on this gathering, though just now brighter, the effect of the weather here is a very small matter in comparison with the anxiety and concern caused by this prolonged spell of wet and mist in regard to the harvest. ( Applause.)
It is most serious and depressing, and we can only hope that the change may yet come in time, and that, as has sometime happened, a dry spell may make much reparation. ( Applause.)
And now we come to what I have already described as the essential element – namely, the inaugural stroke. I think it is a stroke of good fortune that you should have secured Mrs George Coats to perform this ceremony. ( Applause.)
Mrs Coats has proved herself to be a true friend and helper in the most sympathetic and effective manner regarding this addition to the attractions and welfare of Aboyne, and this is only characteristic of what Mrs Coats and her husband are ever ready to do in promoting the wellbeing and happiness of those with whom they associated in their Northern home. ( Applause.)
I am sure, therefore, that we shall give the warmest welcome to Mrs Coats, and I have now pleasure in asking her to symbolise the opening of the extended course. ( Loud Applause.)
Votes Of Thanks
Mr W.E. Nicol, of Blallogie, said that before they proceeded to have an exhibition of golf by Mrs Coats and others, they ought to accord a vote of thanks to Lord Aberdeen for coming there that afternoon, in inclement weather, to open the extended course. ( Applause.)
They were all delighted with the course, and were under a deep debt of gratitude to those who had arranged and provided so excellent an amusement for the inhabitants of Aboyne. ( Applause )
He ought to refer to one gentlemen in particular, and that was their excellent secretary. ( Hear, Hear, and Applause.) Mr Smith, he thought, deserved the most sincere thanks of them all. ( Hear, Hear, and Applause.) They knew perfectly well that when it was proposed to extend the course, their chancellor of the Exchequer began to trouble. ( Laughter ), However, a few “tenners” came in, and he was delighted, and after that ten “ tenners” in a jump were received, and there was no holding Mr Smith. ( Laughter and Applause,) in fact, it was fortunate that the post office authorities enlarged the post office or he could not have been held. ( Renewed laughter and applause.) As secretary of the committee, he had done really excellent work. ( Applause.) Then there was one gentleman who had had the matter of the extended course on his mind day and night – Sandy Grant. ( Applause.) It was currently reported that a ghost was to be seen in the middle of the night surveying the course, and at last arriving at “ Spion Kop” where he could look round on his handywork, he returned, it was believed, to a place called Pine Villa, the costume being what was generally supposed to be between the sheets. ( Laughter and Applause.)
Theybwere also under a deep debt of gratitude to Mr Sandison, Huntly Arms Hotel, who had kindly given them a large donation in kind, he having very generously allowed the horse work to be done almost entirely free of cost, so that they owed him mant thanks. ( Applause.)
Most important of all, they were greatly indebted to Mr Ean Cecil, the proprietor of the ground for his very great kindness in leasing the land at a very moderate rent, which would not bear heavily on the club’s finances. ( Applause.) Mr Nicol concluded by again asking the company to give Lord Aberdeen a hearty vote of thanks for opening the course that day. ( Loud Applause.)
The vote of thanks having been awarded with great cordiality, Mrs Coats was presented with a club with which to strike off the first ball from the tee near the clubhouse. This she did in a very graceful manner amidst the heartiest applause of the large crowd of ladies and gentlemen, while piper Charles Thomson played “ Lord Panmure” and “ Glendaruel Highlanders” on the bag pipes, and the successful formal opening proceedings terminated.
Thereafter an exhibition match was played over the course, the players being, Mr J. Heaven, Forest of Birse ; Archie Simpson, professional to the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club ;Cyril Hughes, professional to the Chester golf club ; and Robbie Mearns, a well-known Aberdeen professional, who accompanied Simpson.
A large crowd of ladies and gentlemen followed the players round the course, and were greatly interested in the play, which was of a high order of merit. The course was found in capital order, considering part of it was played on for the first time. The greens, it is true, were found somewhat heavy on account of having been so recently laid down and prepared, and also on account of the rain which had fallen heavily in the course of the forenoon. Fortunately, while the game was in progress, the rain had ceased, and the weather though, for the most part dull, was not against an exhibition of first class golf. It was agreed to play four balls, the result to be determined by the best individual score returned. Archie Simpson’s driving was magnificent, he easily proving his great superiority in the long game – a notable instance being at the longest hole on the old course, where he reached the green with his second stroke. On the putting green, however, he was not so good, the somewhat rougher nature of the turf as compared with the fine seaside turf to which he is accustomed on Balgownie course, evidently troubling him somewhat. He missed four comparatively short putts of a yard or so, but on the whole his play was good, as indicated by his excellent score of . This was excelled, however, by the English professional who returned the magnificently low score of 67 – a record for the course, which it is expected will stand for a considerable time unshaken.
Hughes was very steady in his play, for although his driving was outdistanced by Simpson, he was definite and deadly with his approaching and putting, and threw nothing away. His performance gave great satisfaction to the spectators. He has been resident at Aboyne for a week or two, and had been familiarising himself with the course, and that, added to his uniformly consistent play throughout, gave him what was regarded as a most popular and excellent victory.
The other two players, though playing a fairly good steady game did not attain any of the brilliancy of the former two players. Mr Heavens score was 76, and that of Merans 79.
In the course of the afternoon, tea was served to the company in a large marquee erected to the West of the clubhouse, Mr Sandison, Huntly Arms Hotel, being the purveyor.
An opportunity was also afforded visitors of seeing through the clubhouse, which it is now considered will require to be enlarged to provide accommodation for the increased membership which will accrue from the provision of the extended course, and the fact that, even at present, the accommodation is found to be limited.
When first erected, it was considered the clubhouse was too large, but the popularity of golf at Aboyne has been exceptional during the last year or so.
Scotsman June 8th, 1914
Vardon and Ray to Open New Course
The Thirty second annual meeting was held, when Mr William Ewen Laurerlbank, who was present at the first meeting of the club on its formation in 1883, presided. The secretary ( Mr C.C. Smith ) stated the total income, including a sum of £69 brought forward, amounted to £592. During the winter the extension scheme planned by Mr H.L. Curtis, of Bournmouth, had been completed, and it was proposed to open the extended course on 15th July, when matches between Harry Vardon and Edward Ray would be played. The expenditure in connection with the alterations had been entirely paid off. The office bearers for the ensuing year are as follows :- President, Mr Ean Cecil ; Vice President, Mr J. Herbert Tayler ; Captain, Mr Eustace Heaven ; Vice Captain, Dr D.D. Mackintosh.
Aberdeen Press and Journal July 16th, 1914
Vardon and Ray at
Opening of the altered
Champions Round of 64
Than the construction and rapid development of inland courses, nothing bears greater testimony to the remarkable popularity which golf has attained in recent years. A further impetus was given to the game on upper Deeside yesterday when Harry Vardon, the British Open Champion, and Edward Ray, British Open Champion of 1912, engaged in two exhibition games to mark the opening of the extended course at Aboyne. The players had a round under match conditions, in which Ray was victorious by 2 holes ; and the other round, which was by medal play, was won by Vardon with a brilliant score of 64, which will stand as the record for the extended course.
What Vardon Said
Ten years have elapsed since Aboyne was equipped with a course which was limited to nine holes. Such was the advance in the game in public estimation, however, that five years ago the course was extended to eighteen holes.
With a general improvement in the standard of play, the committee have for some time been considering the advisability of enhancing the sporting qualities of the course, and so providing a better test of golf. Yesterday’s proceedings were the outcome of the action taken by the committee of the club, and surveying their work they must be satisfied that their foresight is fully justified.
The course in its reconstructed state is well worthy of a holiday resort enjoying the popularity which Aboyne has attained, and if it does not supply a difficult test of golf to such as the scratch and plus men, it is sufficiently good a test as to fully satisfy the class of player who will be most frequently seen upon it. In Harry Vardon’s words “ it is a compact little course, something above the average of ordinary inland courses, and if it might be improved it would be by the provision of several more bunkers,”
By the alterations fully a thousand yards have been added to the length of the course. Several holes have been entirely disgarded, and have been supplanted by others of a more sporting character. The length of the third hole has been increased by fully 100 yards, and the sixth hole is new entirely. The hole is located on a plateau which it is intended to set amid a surrounding of “ Alps,” The twelfth is also a splendid new hole set down on the most sporting part of the course. Over £100 has been spent on improving the fairway, a huge quantity of boulders having been removed. The thirteenth green has been retained, but the approach has undergone considerable change, and, from an easy “Bogey 4,” the hole is now difficult in that figure. The total length of the course is 5010 yards, and the bogey score is 74.
Ray Finishes 2 Up
Ideal weather favoured the visit of the crack professionals. The burning rays of the sun were tempered by a cooling breeze, which, however, was not sufficiently strong to affect the play. The attendance numbered about 500, which, while falling a little short of expectations, was quite creditable. The spectators, furnished with a brilliant exposition of the game, and especially in the medal round, were not slow to show their appreciation of the executed shots. Probably on account of unfamiliarity with the course, the play in the match round was not maintained at the same high standard which characterised that under medal conditions. The keenness of the game by match play is reflected in the fact that at only four holes were decisive results registered. At the start there was a brilliant succession of 4’s, and the first outstanding piece of play in the match was recorded at the sixth, where Vardon with his second left Ray a dead stymie two yards from the hole, with Vardon’s ball lying midway. Ray very cleverly lofted his ball and holed out. The initial break in a long succession of halved holes came at the eighth, where ray, after being in the rough off the tee, had a lovely second and run up, and with Vardon requiring three to reach the green and two putts, Ray took the lead in 4 to 5.
Both holed putts of three yards for brilliant two’s at the ninth, Ray going out in 32 to Vardon’s 33, and turning one up. Good halves in 4s followed to the sixteenth, where Vardon got on equal terms.
He had a lovely drive on to the green, but the ball kicked and ran off into the hollow below. He pitched to within 4 feet of the disc, and got down in a brilliant 3. Ray pulled on to a ridge above the green, and then played too strongly, and was over and into the hollow with his next and then was short with his pitch back, and gave up the hole. Ray might have snatched a 2 at the seventeenth, where he putted weakly, but this indifference was eclipsed by Vardon, who missed an effort of two feet for a half. Another display of weak putting cost Vardon the home hole in 4 to 3, and the game finished with Ray 2 up.
The approximate details of the round are as follows :-
Vardon – Out – 4,4,4,4,4,3,3,5,2 – 33
In – 4,4,4,4,4,4,3,4,4 – 35 – 68
Ray - Out - 4,4,4,4,4,3,3,4,2 – 32
In – 4,4,4,4,4,4,5,3,3 – 35 – 67
Ray always drove the longer ball , but was inclined to hook. Vardon was the most accurate in his approaching, but gave away strokes on the greens.
Vardon’s Record Round
In the medal round, Vardon turned the tables, as going round in the magnificent score of 64, he was four strokes better than Ray, and was no fewer than ten strokes up on bogey. He kept a wonderful line throughout, and his putting was more dependable than it had been in the earlier round. He was slightly at fault on the first green, where he required three putts, but that was about his only mistake on the round. At the third, Ray lipped the hole from five yards. Vardon had a brilliant three at the sixth, where after being short of the green from the tee, he pitched on two yards from the hole, and got down his putt. At the seventh, Ray lipped the hole with a four yards putt for a 3. The Oxhey professional putted badly at the ninth, as after being on from the tee, he took 4, and turned in 34 to Vardon’s 33.
Vardon was in his Cruden Bay form on the homeward journey, which he accomplished in 31. He had a weak approach to the tenth, and missing a seven feet putt, required 5, but had hard luck in not getting down in 3 from the edge on the green at the next. Probably the best play of the day was seen at the thirteenth, which was halved in 3. Both followed up brilliant drives by finely judged pitches, and each holed a long putt of five yards.
At the fourteenth Vardon lying fifteen yards short, lipped the hole for a 2. Ray sliced his drive below the green at the sixteenth, and taking three to get on he required 5 to Vardon’s 4. A brilliant 2 was registered by Vardon at the seventeenth, where he holed a putt of eight yards and Ray, who was over the green and in the rough from the tee, required 4. At the home hole Ray found the bunker for the first time during the afternoon. He got out in brilliant style, but putted badly, and Vardon laying his run-up dead, holed out in 3, to finish in a brilliant 64.
The details of their scores are :-
Vardon – Out – 4,4,4,3,4,3,4,4,3 – 33
Home - 5,4,4,3,3,3,4,2,3 – 31 – 64
Ray – Out – 3,4,4,3,4,4,4,4,4 – 34
Home – 4,4,4,3,3,3,5,4,4 – 34 – 68
At the close both players got a great ovation from the crowd, who were delighted with the standard of the play.