Miss Thomson Of Huntfield Opening Biggar's First Course at Langlees.
Biggar Golf Club
Celebrated their centenary in 1995 with a book by Alfie and Harry Ward
( Biggar golf club, A History ).
Biggar are now on their 3rd course. The club’s previous sites were :-
1. Langlees 1895,
2. Heavyside 1901 ( Tom Morris )
The club have occupied their present site at the Public Park since 1907
Opening Of Langlees Golf Course
Golf Course – The golf course at Langlees was formally opened for play on Tuesday afternoon. Miss Thomson of Huntfield drove off the first ball in presence of a large gathering of ladies and gentlemen. Thereafter, Provost Lindsay, in name of the members of the club, thanked Miss Thomson for her kindness in taking part in the opening ceremony, and presented her with a silver mounted cleek as a souvenir of the occasion. The course, which is a nine hole one, is pleasantly situated , and commands a magnificent view of the clyde valley. It is well laid off, and will, we are certain, prove a great attraction to the many visitors who during the summer months reside in our little town.
Miss Thomson hitting the first ball at Langlees in 1895
Hamilton Herald June 28th, 1895
The newly formed golf club had the pleasure of opening their golf course on Tuesday last, in magnificent weather. The course, which is a nine-hole one, is beautifully situated on the estate of Mr And. Mitchell, Langlees, and can scarcely be surpassed for the splendour of its surroundings. It stands high, and commands a magnificent view of the Clyde Valley.
Amongst those present at the opening were :- Mrs Thomson and Miss Thomson, Huntfield ; Mrs Woodside, Glasgow ; Miss Cooper, East Lindsaylands ; Mrs Smith, Commercial Bank ; Miss Clarkston and party, Orbiston ; Mrs Archibald, Biggar ; Miss Murray, Misses Mary and Jane Murray, Heavyside ; Rev. John Scott, Biggar ; Rev. H.L. Dick, Wiston ; Rev. John Picken, Liberton ; Dr Dunlop from America ; Provost Lindsay, Bailie Rae ; J.H. Wilson, P.C. Biggar ; Mr Aurthur J. Thomson, Huntfield ; Mr W.B. Pairman, National Bank ; Mr Thomas Robb, Royal Bank ; Mr R.C. Smith, Commercial Bank ; Mr R.G. Murray, Heavyside ; Mr John Gladstone, Biggar and others.
Miss Thomson, Huntfield opened the course by driving off the first ball, after which play commenced. Provost Lindsay, in name of the society, presented Miss Thomson with a silver mounted cleek. The company, which numbered about fifty, were photographed by Mr Brown, Lanark.
The office bearers of the club are as follows :- Honorary President, Mr John Paul, Cambus Wallace ; President, Mr Andrew Mitchell, Langlees ; Captain, Mr Aurthur J. Thomson, Huntfield ; Vice Presidents, Mr J.C.H. Hedderwick, Biggar Park, and James D. Mitchell, Carwood ; Secretary, Mr R.C. Smith, Commercial Bank ; Treasurer, Mr Thomas Robb, Royal Bank ; This club, formed only a few weeks ago, has already a membership of about eighty.
Old Tom hitting the opening shot at Biggar's 2nd course at Heavyside in 1901
His Grandaughters are in the right of the picture.
Biggar Heavyside Opening
Hamilton Herald, May 17th, 1901
Opening Of New Golf Course
The new nine-hole golf course on Heavyside estate,acquired by Biggar Golf Club, was, on Saturday afternoon, formally opened by Mr Tom Morris, the veteran St Andrews exponent of the pastime. The weather was of the best favourable description and consequently a large number of influential local ladies and Gentlemen assembled at the clubhouse, the scene of the proceedings. Mr R.C. Smith, Commercial Bank, President of the club, presided over the gathering, and amongst those present were :- Mr Sith, Mr Tom Morris and Miss Hunter, St Andrews ; Mr R.G. Murray and Miss Murray, Spittal ; Sheriff Smith, Selkirk ; Mr A.C. Cairns, Cloverhill ; Dr Robertson and Miss Robertson ; Mr and Miss Ireland ; Miss Ovens ; Mr Moncrieff, Skirling ; Rev. W.G. Duncan and Mrs Duncan ; Rev. J. Scott and Mrs Scott ; Mr Harold G. Brown, Covington Mill ; Mr J.L. Murray and the Misses Murray, Heavyside ; Mr and Mrs J.L. Thomson and Miss Thomson, Huntfield ; Mr and Mrs Brown and Miss Thomson, The Firs ; Mr and Mrs Thomas Robb, Royal Bank ; Mr and Mrs L.A. Morrison, Murrayfield ; Major Bertram, Carnwath ; Mr G.H. Gibson Carmichael, Collands ; Mr and Mrs G.D. Ritchie, Capelgil ; Provost Lindsay ; Mrs Archibald ; Mr Geo. Kerr ; Mr Alex. Weir ; Mr J. Brunton, Secretary, and others.
The chairman, at the outset, called upon Mr R.G. Murray to address the gathering.
Mr Murray opened his remarks by briefly thanking the club for asking him to take part in the proceedings connected with the opening of their new course. Golf, as they knew, was predominantly a Scottish game, and has been played in this country for hundreds of years.
Within recent years golf has been introduced into other countries, and he was glad to sat that through the influence of such notable players as their guest, Mr Morris, the game was becoming known wherever Scotsmen were known ; and he thought they would agree with him that it was a very strange part of the earth indeed where Scotsman were not known. ( Laughter and Applause )
In this part of the country it was only about six years at the most since the game had been begun. However, about 22 or 24 years ago, a friend and he had a round or two over at Biggar Moss. Unfortunately, there were so many hazards at the Moss that one had difficulty in finding his ball after a long drive. ( Laughter )
He hoped, however, that there would be less difficulty on the new course, and that with splendid weather it would prove a success. He had now much pleasure in introducing Mr Morris, and asking him to declare the course open.
Mr Morris intimated at this stage that he would now play the first stroke. The ball was accordingly placed in position, and the ex-champion, after pointing his club for a moment, sent the gutta careering through space in the direction of the first hole with a beautiful clean hit which created much applause and cry of “ Well Hit.”
Turning to the gathering, he said that he had much pleasure in declaring the course open.
The chairman, stepping forward again, said that he had now a very pleasant duty to perform, namely, to present a small gift to Mr Morris from the members of the club as a memento of the occasion, and in recognition of the service Mr Morris had rendered to golf in general. He then referred in fortuitous terms to the renown of Mr Morris as a golfer. Wherever the game of golf was known, no name was ever closely and honourably associated with it than that of this popular player. ( Applause ), but in St Andrews, when the last century was young, before that century had run half its course he had made his reputation. Fifty years ago Mr Morris custodian to the Royal & Ancient golf club, St Andrews, the highest position to which the professional golfer could aspire : and it has been held by him ever since. ( Applause )
In the sixties, Mr Morris had four times held the championship ( Applause ) Horace Hutchison had alluded to him in his writings as the high priest of the brethren of golfers, and there was no other golfer delighted to honour more than “ Old Tom,” as they were pleased affectionally of him ( Applause ) The members of Biggar Golf Club felt that he had done them a great service in coming from St Andrews to open their new course, and they felt that they could not let the occasion pass without presenting to him a small token of the esteem and respect in which they held him. ( Applause )
They had decided that it should have nothing to do with golf, as they believed that Mr Morris would have so many golfing trophies that he would have no place to put them all. ( Applause ). They agreed to give him a handsome silver mounted walking stick, selected by Mr R.G. Murray, bearing the inscription – “ Presented to Tom Morris at opening of Biggar Golf Course, - 11th May, 1901” ( Applause )
Addressing Mr Morris, the chairman said that it was with the greatest pleasure that they saw him present bearing so lightly the burden of his four score years. They had also been pleased to note from the vigour of the exhibition stroke that his eye was undimmed, and his natural strength unabated. ( Applause ) He had much pleasure in presenting the walking stick to him, and he hoped that he would be long spared to enjoy the game with which for the last fifty or sixty years his name had been identified. ( Applause )
Mr Morris, in a short humerous speech, returned thanks for the gift. He had seen the day when he could play, and thought that he must now give the game up – “ No, No” – well, as in that he could not play as well as he used to do ( Laughter and Applause )
The formal proceedings connected with the opening of the course having now been concluded, the afternoon was enjoyably spent by a large number of the companies indulging in the pastime. The first foursome to play round the course, it may be mentioned was the group of Messrs Tom Morris, R.G. Murray, George Kerr, and Alexander Weir.
Old Tom putting out at Heavyside, Biggar, 1901
The group with Old Tom ( Centre ) in front of the clubhouse. This clubhouse was dismantled and moved to the Public Park in 1907 where it is still in use as the starters shop at the existing course.
Hamilton Herald, July 20th,1907
The New Golf Course
With its well-arranged new Public Park, its beautiful boating pond, its recreation grounds, and its excellent golf course, all of which, it may be mentioned, are situated in the Public Park, Biggar, one of Lanarkshire’s beauty spots, and undoubtedly a growing centre, is now very much up-to-date, and if in the past it has proved a popular holiday resort, it will certainly be much more so now. Biggar folks are thoroughly well satisfied, and so will the visitors, and more particularly is this the case as regards the new golf links. The old course was not reckoned quite good enough, but the new links opened on Wednesday by Mr T.W.M. Watson of Cambus Wallace, supplies the felt want, and, as laid out by Mr David Adams of Glasgow, the course is certain to give every satisfaction. The ground is perhaps to the flat side, but, with the bunkers judiciously placed, this does not take away its attractiveness, and with few exceptions you get right good sporting golf at every hole.
The turf all over is admirably suited for golfing, and, as one of the prominent players taking part in the exhibition game on Wednesday remarked at the close, it only wants plenty of playing over to bring it into perfect condition. It will get well played over, that is a certainty, and with greenkeeper Lawson’s careful attention the perfect condition will “ arrive.”
It is one of nine holes ; the longest green is 338 yards, and the shortest 225, the total distance being 2470 yards.
After Mrs Watson had driven off the first ball from the tee ( and quite a creditable effort it was ) the exhibition four-ball game was started with Messrs Adams and MacNeal on the one side and Messrs A.F. Duncan and John McAndrew on the other. Quite a large following, including many ladies, followed the players, and the form displayed by the quartette was very steady indeed. Adams and MacNeal finished up one hole to the good in the first round, and excellent play on the part of Adams in the second round brought them out winners by 3 up and 1 to go. Adams total was 75 – 39 and 36 ; MacNeal was round in 78 – 38 and 40 ; McAndrew and Duncan were equal with 79s – 39 and 40. Mr Adams round is a record for the course, single and double round, and it may stand for a good time yet.
The 1907 Layout for the course
The procession to the Opening of the Park and Golf Course in July 1907
Mrs Watson of Cambus Wallace waits to hit the first ball and Open the golf course
Mrs Watson driving off, with Mr Watson giving advice which was,
" Just Hit The Bloody Baw "
Provost Lindsay and Company follow the golfers ( Provost Lindsay 2nd from right )
The opening of the extended course in 1922
Hamilton Advertiser May,1922
Opening Of Course and New Pavilion
The formal opening of Biggar golf course subsequent to its being extended from a nine to an eighteen hole course and the handsome pavilion erected in connection with the course took place on Wednesday afternoon. Previous to the opening ceremony the members of the golf club and members of the Town Council met in a social capacity in the Clydesdale Hotel, where an excellent luncheon was tastefully served by Mrs Dunrea and thoroughly enjoyed by all present.
Baillie Lindsay presided and Ex. Baillie D. Martin made a capable and genial croupier. Thereafter the party made a tour of the course, returning to the front of the pavilion where the opening ceremony took place in presence of a large and representative gathering.
Ex Ballie D.H. Martin presided and said that, as President of Biggar Golf Club he had a very pleasant duty to perform, that of handing over to the Town Council that beautiful pavilion free of debt. Some twelve months ago, on the advice of Mr Adams who had laid out the course, they came to the conclusion that a new clubhouse was an absolute necessity.
The members of the club and tennis club, fully appreciating the expenses incurred by the Town Council on the park for their benefit, mutually agreed to raise a fund to erect a pavilion.
Baillie Martin addressing the crowd.
Note the two newspaper reporters on the far left who wrote this article all those years ago
The fact that they had raised £350 in a few months was ample testimony to the popularity of the whole Public Park scheme. Ex Baillie Martin having cordially thanked all who had helped in any way, said that as an indication of the beautiful clubhouse was absolutely Town Council property, he handed over to Provost Paterson the keys of the pavilion which was free of debt. ( Applause.)
Provost Paterson on receiving the keys and proceeding to open the pavilion, said it gave him much pleasure to accept on behalf of the Town Council of Biggar the custody of that beautiful pavilion, which had been so kindly presented by the members of the golf and tennis clubs and other citizens of Biggar. He desired to thank all those who had assisted in any way.
They were also there that day, said Provost Paterson to open the new course which had been extended from a nine to an eighteen hole course. He therefore called upon Mr W.F. Ballantyne of Deneholm to drive the first ball on the extended course and declare it open.
Mr Ballantyne Driving Off to Open the extended course
Mr Ballantyne with a long straight drive opened the course and in doing so made a few appropriate remarks on the benefits and pleasures that he derived from golf.
Baillie John Fergus in a neat speech that sparked with humorous touches, introduce Messrs Lockhart, Adam, Wilson, and Robertson, remarking as he did so that it was appropriate that the first game over a new course should be played by people who knew how to play.
They in Scotland were proud that they could claim the Royal & Ancient game of golf as a national game although they could do other things as well. ( Hear, Hear, and Laughter. )
The four gentlemen they had with them that day were known to all who could differentiate between a “ Coal” bunker and a “ golf” bunker, and by all who were able to take full advantage of the extensive and expressive vocabulary of golf ( Laughter.)
The players drove off amid a drizzling rain but this soon cleared off and splendid weather prevailed. A game which presented no sensational – one might say, no unusual features, but which was interesting throughout and was keenly watched by a following of close upon 400 people.
Messrs Adam and Lockhart were the winners by 3 & 1. The following are the details :-
D. Adam Out 4,5,3,4,4,5,4,4,4 = 37
In 4,4,4,4,3,4,4,4,4 = 35 = 72
G. Lockhart Out 3,3,4,3,3,5,5,4,4 = 34
In 4,4,4,3,3,4,4,3,4 = 33 = 67
W. Wilson Out 5,3,4,3,4,3,5,3,4 = 34
In 4,6,4,4,3,5,5,4,3 = 38 = 72
P. Robertson Out 4,3,4,3,3,3,4,4,5 = 33
In 5,5,4,4,4,4,4,4,3 = 37 = 70
Merrs Adam and Lockhart - 139
Messrs Wilson and Robertson 142
The game was characterised by a steady consistency of driving and putting. Wilson was perhaps the most prominent in the putting, but was unfortunate in this respect, as on at least five occasions he lipped the hole from long putts. His reproachful look at the ball on each occasion was more expressive than the use of an extensive and expressive golf vocabulary could have been.
The golf course which extends to over 4,500 yards is one that might well attract golfers from every part of the country. While not presenting what might be described as any outstanding difficulties, it contains some tricky corners which require some skill in negotiating and have the added merit of being very innocent looking. Its situation and surroundings are without doubt among the finest in Scotalnd. If the average golfer delights in scenery while he engages in the game, there is much here that will charm the eye while it inspires and uplifts the mind. The encircling hills are beautiful in the extreme and on Wednesday were seen at their best.
The course which was laid out by Mr D. Adam and the work done by the burgh employees was constructed at a cost of £400.
The new pavilion which was erected at a cost of £350 is a handsome and commodious structure and is one which a golf club might be proud.
The first nine hole golf course was laid out fifteen years ago by Willie Park Jnr but the steady increasing popularity of Biggar as a holiday resort and the continued augmentation to the membership of the club made extension imperative. The efficient manner in which the Town Council and golf club tackled the problem and worked together for its solution is worthy of the warmest praise.
The names of Provost Paterson, Ballie Lindsay, Ex Baillie Martin ( President of the club ) and the council’s sports committee convenor and that of the inimitable and energetic Baillie J. Fergus may be mentioned in this connection.
At five o’clock some forty gentlemen sat down to a sumptuous tea in the Clydesdale Hotel, which was enjoyed by all after the exercise round of the new golf course.
Mr Ewart, the town clerk, thanked Mr Adam, Mr G. Lockhart, Mr Robertson, and Mr Wilson for their services and the fine game they played.
Mr Adam in thanking the club officials and the council for their kindness said they had all enjoyed the outing exceedingly, and he ( Mr Adam ) was gratified to find how carefully all the work of the new golf course had been carried out.
He complimented the convenor and President Martin ‘ for not departing from his instructions’. In laying out new courses there was no ends of suggested improvements which, when given effect to, frequently spoiled the original plan.
Mr Martin, wisely, took no notice of these suggestions with the result they had a splendid sporting golf course. The new part naturally required plenty of rolling and cutting, but it will improve every day. A few bunkers and hazards put here and there would also improve matters.
In thanking Mr Martin for seeing to the carrying out of his designs, he advised them to leave the golf course in his charge and he was satisfied everything would be well looked after.
Senior Ballie Lindsay and Vice President Pairman made a few remarks and expressed their pleasure at being there, and on the fine work of the players.
At 6.30pm the first members match was played over the new course, President Martin V Vice President Pairman who returned an all square card for their own game. When the results of the matches were announced it was fourteen wins for the Vice President and eight for the President. The President in announcing the result, heartily congratulated the Vice President on his victory, and thanked the players and large number of spectators for their interest and support.
Mr Kay, the Captain, brought a memorable and happy day to a close by saying a few words and calling for three hearty cheers for President Martin. They all know the valuable services he rendered to the town and to his untiring efforts, was due their extended golf course and beautiful pavilion.
Perthshire Advertiser May 27th, 1922
Gordon Lockhart’s Fine Round
Playing with David Adam’s, Glasgow, against Peter Robertson, Scottish Professional Champion, Braid Hills, and W. Wilson, Kirkintilloch, in a fourball match, at the opening of the extended golf course at Biggar on Wednesday, Gordon Lockhart, the Gleneagles Professional, had a very fine round of 67. His outward half included two 5s, three 4s, and four 3s – 34 ; while in coming in he had six 4s, and three 3s – a total of 33.
The players being introduced to the spectators, Lockhart with hands in pockets
Biggar Golf Club
Hamilton Advertiser July 27th, 1957
Golf Club’s Jubilee
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Biggar Golf Club, the club members organised last week a number of special open tournaments which, despite rather variable weather, were well supported by local players and visitors from other clubs.
At the prize-giving ceremony on Friday night, honoured by the presence of Provost and Mrs H.T. Butler, Mr W.B. Lindsay, captain this year of the men’s club, welcomed the guests, making particular reference to Mr J.B. Kerr, a founder member of the club, and to Miss M.M. Watson, whose mother formally opened the course 50 years ago. Miss Watson had brought with her a number of interesting photographs of that event, as well as the very club with which her mother had driven the first ball.
This club she presented to Mr Lindsay to be kept in the clubhouse as a souvenir, and he, after acknowledging such a generous and graceful gesture, handed the club over to Miss Jean Scott, the ladies captain, pointing out that the success of the week’s celebrations was largely due to the energy and enthusiasm of the ladies.
Provost Butler spoke appreciatively of the agreeable atmosphere of the club and promised continued civic support, while regretting that there was not as yet wider support from the public. Mrs Butler then presented the prizes with characteristic charm ; and a most enjoyable evening was brought to an end when Miss B. Campbell, on behalf of the club members, presented to Mrs Butler a bouquet of flowers.