Forgotten Greens of Scotland
Forgotten Greens of Scotland

The old clubhouse, over 100 years old, still looking good, and being used

by the fishermen on the Tay.

Birnam ( Dunkeld ) 

Birnam Golf Course 1892.

 

Perthshire Advertiser, May 25th 1892

New Golf Course.

 

The pressing desideratum of a golf course for Birnam has now been supplied by the public spirit of Mr Cesari , Birnam Hotel. In the natural links ready to his hand, namely, the spacious Terrace Park in which Birnam games are held, he has provided a very fine new golf course. Mr Tom Morris, St Andrews, the eminent authority in matters pertaining to the Royal and Ancient game, was asked to examine and report on the scheme, and after inspection he has pronounced the ground admirably adapted for golfing purposes. The work of putting the course in order was committed to Mr Morris, and he has just completed it in an excellent and sportsmanlike manner. A splendid course has been marked off round the park, which is over 50 acres in extent ; the full compliment of nine holes have been placed in good positions, and the putting grounds have been carefully and neatly prepared under Mr Morris’s directions.

Of space for full and free play the links afford abundance, and if skilled golfers may desiderate more bunkers and hazards than meet the eye, more drops of “ Well Like Depth” and “ Church Porch Breadth” the expanse of surface includes sufficient beighs and bowes in all directions to provide obstacles enough for the ordinary player. For beauty of situation and wealth of historic associations, the Birnam links can lay claim to rank as high as any in the land. For nearly a mile along one side of the river Tay winds between charmingly wooded banks, and beyond the river rises the steep slopes of Newtyle Hill, clothed to the summit with verdant pines. On the other side the boundary is the romantic range of Birnam Hill, seen to singular advantage from every hole on the course, and tapering off in the far receding distance southwards into the wooded uplands of Murthly grounds. Shakespeare has rendered the scene classic in Macbeth, and on and around what is now the new golf course grew and flourished the trees which made the great Birnam Wood of the drama.

Two gigantic remnants of this wood still flourish immediately contiguous to the upper end of the park, beyond which the royal looking heights of Craig-y-Barns form a background of picturesque loveliness. The new course is to be opened on Saturday with great éclat, and players are to be present from Inverness, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dundee.

 Perth Advertiser, May 30th 1892.

 

Opening of Birnam Golf Course.

 

An Interesting Ceremony

 

On Saturday an event of considerable importance to that attractive tourist resort Birnam, was celebrated by the opening of the New Golf Course which Mr Edward Cesari, proprietor of the Birnam Hotel, has had formed in the grounds attached to this famous hotel. The visitor, after walking through the beautiful garden and along the wooded banks of the river Tay past the old sycamore and oak ( remnants of Birnams ancient forest ), reaches a park of over 50 acres. Here a course of nine holes, four out and five in, has been constructed under the superintendentship of Tom Morris, the well known golfer of St Andrews. It makes a very nice round, without any obstacle in respect to walking and therefore suitable for golfers of all ages, that can be encompassed in or about an hours time and by Ladies in an hour and a half. It is on old pasture and consequently the turf is velvety and springy – the only defect perhaps being that owing to the strength of the grass something in the way of mowing will have to be done to keep it smooth. There are no “ Bunkers” but at present the course is “ Hazard” enough owing to the strong grass. There are hazards, however, both going out and coming in, on the one side from the river bank and on the other side from the trees, but if more are required there are suitable spots where trenches can be cut. At the lower end of the park, Birnam games are held and the grandstand also forms a good hazard in approaching the fourth hole, as if the ball goes to the one side the player has the stand between him and the hole.

All the way out the course is close to the Tay, and this fact lends a constant interest to the game. As to the surroundings, everyone who has been present at the games knows that these form a magnificent amphitheatre of wooded hills, and whichever way the visitor turns he is met by some fresh beauty in the scenery.

The opening ceremony took place at noon on Saturday at the upper end of the park, a picturesque spot surrounded by lofty tree clad in all the leafy glory of early summer.

There was a large company present including the leading citizens of Inverness, where Mr Cesari is very popular as the manager of the Inverness Station Hotel, and the members of the Inverness Golf Club.

 Station Hotel,Inverness, Mr Cesari was manager of both hotels

 

There were on the ground – Sir Henry Macandrew, Provost Ross, Mr James Lawson of Leys Castle, General Piele, Lieutenant Piele, Captain Lawrence, R.N. ; Col. Finch Noyes, Mr Wm. Gowanlock, Assistant secretary of the Highland Railway Company ; Chief Constable McHardy, Mr W. Nisbet, Postmaster of Inverness ; Mr James Anderson, Procurator Fiscal, Inverness ; Mr Francis Squair, Solicitor ; Councillor Macritchie, Mr James Ross, Solicitor ; Mr Andrew Macdonald, Solicitor ; Mr James A. Gossip, Muirton Nursery, Inverness ;  Mr J. Barron, Inverness Courier ; Mr D. Nairns, Northern Chronicle, Inverness ; Mr J. Brodie, Forfar Academy ; Mr W.A. Rae, Factor, Murthly ; Mr Donn, Manufacturer ; Mr Wm. Nicoll, Forfar ; Mr Sharp, Dundee ; Rev. J.W. Hunter, Birnam ; Mr John Wallace, Schoolmaster, Birnam ; Mr George Younger, West Burgh School, Forfar ; Mr Cesari, Proprietor of Birnam Hotel ; and Mr Tom Morris, St Andrews. Before the ceremony took place in lovely weather, the group of golfers was photographed by Mr Mackenzie, Birnam. Afterwards the photographer took negatives of Miss Lawson, who “ Teed” and hit the first ball, and of Tom Morris in the act of driving.

 

The ceremony was gracefully performed by Miss Lawson of Leys, Inverness, driving the first ball. This the young lady did in the most professional manner – making the ball rise in the air and fall a considerable distance down the green. Mr Cesari presented Miss Lawson with a golf club and ball as a souvinir of the event. This interesting function was closed by Sheriff Blair stepping forward and asking the spectators to accord to Miss Lawson a hearty vote of thanks for her kindness in opening the green. The company responded with cordial cheers, and gave one cheer more for the success of the new course. A number of  friendly games were then played, the pair of golfers leading off being, Morris the professional, and Mr Brodie, Forfar. Between these two players, a fine display of golf was made. Going down to the second hole, a high shot by Morris was carried by the wind to the river bank, but luckily the ball fell within the dyke ; but this is a hazard that will try the skill of even a  professional golfer. In playing to the sixth hole, Morris made a grand shot, both long and accurate with the “Driver” and with the next shot, with the iron, landed the ball on the putting green within a yard of the hole. Doing this hole in five strokes is considered good play. In fact all the holes are a good length, affording plenty of scope for golfing except the eighth, and in the ninth there is a fine hazard from the trees when playing for “ Home” . Morris lost his ball in the tree and the merriment when it became known that the old man was “ Up A Tree” was quite infectious. The ball could not be found, and the professional went back with a fresh ball played from his last try, when another hazard came into view. Shooting low, the ball came in contact with a stone that sent it off at a right angle. Notwithstanding these incidents, the score was found to be equal – 50 each. The following list of the strokes in this friendly match will afford golfers an idea of the extent of the ground, the time expected for the round being about an hour.

                                             

                                                    Morris                                             Mr Brodie

1st Hole  ……………………   6 Strokes   ……………  ………….  6 Strokes

2nd  “      ……………………   8    “           …………………………8      “

3rd  “      ……………………   6     “     ……………………………  6     “

4th  “      ……………………   5     “    …………………………….  6     “

5th  “      …………………….  7     “    …………………………….  5     “

6th  “    ……………………… 3     “   ……………………………..  5     “

7th  “   ………………………  4     “  ……………………………..   5    “

8th  “   ………………………. 4     “   …………………………….. 5     “

9th  “  ……………………….  7     “  ……………………………..   4    “

 

                                                    50                                                        50

 

Though the players were equal as to strokes, Mr Brodie had the better of the pro. By one hole, and therefore was the winner. During the forenoon quite a number of amateurs went over the ground, and the best score was made by Mr Sharp, Dundee, whose 47 was considered very good play. The company then adjourned to Birnam Hotel for lunch.

 

Competition for Prizes

 

In connection with the opening of the green, Mr Cesari offered for private competition two magnificent stags heads, being a prize for the best player from scratch, and a prize for the best handicap player. Unfortunately rain began to fall between two and three in the afternoon and it was only after considerable delay, that a start was made. By that time a good deal of rain had came down, and the wet state of the green, as a matter of course, interfered with play and destroyed the chances of a good many golfers. But the rain proved the excellence of the ground, as the walking on the grass was quite comfortable. The explanation is that the park is over a bed of gravel, which occupies the old channel of the Tay, and the ground quickly absorbs the wet. There was a numerous gathering of golfers mostly from Inverness, Forfar, and Dundee, in fact with a view to giving details to the opening proceedings and to do honour to their fellow citizen, Mr Edward Cesari, who conducts the Inverness Station Hotel, as well as the Birnam Hotel, the members of the Inverness Golf Club were strongly represented as will be seen from the following handicap list of the competitors :- Provost Ross, Inverness ( 9 Strokes ) ; Sheriff Blair, Do ( 9 Strokes ) ; Sir H. Macandrew, Do, ( 9 Strokes ) ; Captain Lawrence R.N. ( 6 Strokes ) ; Mr Lawson of Leys, ( 9 Strokes ) ; Mr W.R. Grant ; Mr James Anderson ( 9 ) ; Mr James Ross ; Mr Macmillan ( 9 ) ; Mr James Barron ( 6 ) ; Mr Andrew Macdonald ( 9 ) ; Mr A.J. Macritchie ( 9 ) ; Mr James Macritchie ( 9 ) ; Mr A. McHardie ( Scratch ) ; Balie Ross ( 9 ) ; Mr R.P. Jenkins ( 9 ) ; Mr R.F. Cameron ( 9 ) ; Mr W. Gowanloch ( 9 ) ; Mr Thomson ( 9 ) ; Mr James A. Gossop ( 9 ) ; General Piele ( 9 ) ; Lieuteneant Piele ( 9 ) ; Mr J.S. Fraser ( 9 ) ; Mr H.V. Macmillan ( 9 ) ; Mr W. Nisbet, Mr N. Cameron, Colonel Finch Noyes ( 9 ) ; Mr F.W. Grant, Mr F. Foster, ( Dundee ) ; Mr John Birnie, Mr D. Nairns ( 9 ) ; Mr J. Brodie, Forfar ( Scratch ) ; Mr Tom Morris, St Andrews ( Scratch ) ; Mr George Younger, Forfar ( 2 ) ; Mr Wm. Nicoll, Forfar ( 3 ) ; and Mr Sharp, ( Dundee ). The competitors played in couples and the game which attracted the most interest was that in which the veteran professional, Mr Tom Morris, now over “ Three Score and Ten” engaged with an amateur Mr Brodie M.A. of the Forfar Academy. The schoolmaster is a famous driver, and he gave the spectators a fine display of “ Far and Sure” shots ; whilst the St Andrews Professional played a beautiful game in his usual quiet and unassuming style. From the subjoined note of the play it will be seen that Morris made the low score of 45, considering the state of the grass and that the putting greens are only newly formed. A score of 92 on a full green of 18 holes is considered good play, so that 45 on a green of nine holes represents very good form in wet weather. The scores of the two players were as follows :-

 

                                      Morris                                          Mr Brodie

1st Hole                            5 Strokes                                           5 Strokes

2nd  “                                5   “                                                   6    “

3rd  “                                8   “                                                    7    “

4th  “                                5   “                                                    4    “

5th  “                                5   “                                                    6    “

6th  “                                5   “                                                    4    “

7th  “                                4   “                                                    6    “

8th  “                                3   “                                                    3    “

9th  “                                5   “                                                    6    “

                                   

                                        45                                                      47

 

Another good game was that in which Chief Constable McHardy, Inverness, and Mr Younger, Forfar ( 2 ) also a schoolmaster, took part. Mr McHardy made the round in 54 strokes, and Mr Younger in 59 or 57 after allowing for the handicap. At the close of the day, Morris was found to have gained the Stags Head in the scratch division, and CAPTAIN Lawrence, R.N., the prize in the handicap division, the best scores handed in being the following :-

Captain Lawrence, Inverness, 62 less handicap of 6 = 56

Mr Younger, Forfar, 59 less 2 = 57

Mr Nairns, Inverness, 75 less 9 = 66

Colonel Finch Noyes, Inverness, 79 less 9 = 70

General Piele, Inverness, 85 less 9 = 76

Lieut. Piele, 85 less 9 – 76.

 

The Golfers Dinner.

 

In the evening the golfers sat down in the Baronial Hall of the Birnam Hotel to one of those recherché dinners which Mr Cesari’s cuisine has made famous. The hall itself and the tables were elaborately decorated for the ocassion, and the profusion of flowers – artistically arranged – pleased the eye and soothed the senses ; whilst an excellent string band, which occupied the gallery, lent the charm of harmony to the proceedings.

of the viands than in the celerity and utmost accuracy in the serving of the numerous courses. The menu was, indeed, an exceptionally attractive one, and gave the greatest satisfaction. For motto the card was headed by the following quaint inscription – “ Make We Our March Towards Birnam” Golf Course. ( Not in “ Macbeth.” )

The company was presided over by Provost Ross, Inverness, with Sir Henry Macandrew as croupier, and it included most of the gentlemen who had taken part in the earlier proceedings – also Mr W.A. Rae, Factor, Murthly ; Rev. J.W. Hunter, Birnam ; Mr Kinnaird, Stationmaster ; Mr Fairgrieve, Dunkeld Gardens, and other local gentlemen. After grace by the rev. Mr Hunter, the loyal toast of “ The Queen” was drunk with musical honours.

Provost Ross then proposed the toast of the evening – “ Success to the Birnam New Golf Course and continued prosperity to Mr Cesari.” ( Cheers )

 

Before doing so he might say he held in his hand a number of apologies from in all parts of the country, expressing their deep regret at not being able to be present to show their kindly feeling to Mr Cesari and to take part in the opening of the new golf course at Birnam. Amongst the names mentioned were those of Mr Tuke, Perth Station Hotel ; and Mr Balderstone, Perth. Proceeding with the toast, the Provost expressed very great pleasure in presiding at this festive board. He could have wished somebody more able and competent had undertaken the task, but from his position as representative of the town of Inverness, he felt himself bound to do his best for the credit of the old town, and also on behalf of his friends, to express the high esteem and kindly feeling they entertained for Mr Cesari. ( Cheers )

They had come from Inverness to witness the opening of this new golf course, the formation of which was due to Mr Cesari’s energy. ( Cheers ).

 

He was sure the golfers must be pleased with the ground and the capacity of the place for the game of golf. He was told the ground was too rich and the grass was too rank ; but he believed any defects of that sort would be got over by judicious mowing ; and that the course, with the hazards and bunkers that delighted the hearts of golfers, would be one of the best in Scotland, and would add to the great attraction of beautiful Birnam. ( Cheers ).

Speaking for the visitors from the north, he could assure the company they had enjoyed the beauties of this county, especially round about Birnam ; and their feeling was that the scenery of Birnam was far beyond what one could anticipate. ( Cheers )

During the day they had seen some of the finest trees and methods of laying out trees that they had ever seen anywhere. In addition to that, it was interesting to know that the golf course was opened by a northern lady, who struck out and used the golf club with the greatest success. Mr Cesari, he had no doubt, would succeed at Birnam, and he ought to, looking at his qualifications and the energy he threw into his business.

 

They all knew Mr Cesari was proud of his his Roman descent ; so much so, that in the early part of the day he induced Sir Henry Macandrew and some other gentlemen to go out and view a roman camp in the neighbourhood in order to convince them of the success of his forefathers in this country, and which reminded them that the romans  “ came and saw and conquered” and Mr Cesari hoped to do so again.

Any visitors coming to enjoy the hospitality of this Hotel would be delighted with not only with the house, but enjoy no less the beautiful drives round Birnam.

Speaking of Mr Cesari’s connection with Inverness, the Provost reminded them that their friend had now been for fifteen years a citizen of the northern capital, and during that time had shown himself a first-rate townsman, a first-rate freemason, and a first-rate hotel keeper, and he had no doubt with these qualifications Mr Cesari would also attain success in Birnam. Therefore he had much pleasure in asking the company to drink to the success of Mr Cesari, and also to the success of the new golf ground at Birnam. ( Loud Cheers ).

The toast was drunk with highland honours, and also to the singing of “ For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” Mr Cesari, who was greeted with renewed cheers, said this reception was really too much for him, as he could not find words to thank them for the great honour and the great kindness they had shown on this ocassion. It was such an honour and such a kindness that very few in any country would receive at the hands of their own countrymen ; and he, as one decended from the ancient romans, ought to feel doubly flattered indeed. ( Cheers ). It was quite true, as the chairman has just said, they had that day visited the spot where his forefathers had been conquerors in this country ; but he ( Mr Cesari ) came here as one of the conquered, and he was pretty well satisfied that if he only held his own, he would do justice to the old conquerors ( Cheers ). In thanking his Inverness friends for visiting Birnam in such large numbers, he humorously sketched the dismay of some people in Inverness that evening asking the question – “ Where are all the Invernessians ?”  the answer to that question would naturally be – “ Oh, they are all at Birnam” ( Laughter ).

 

He was proud to see around him all the talent and the men of greatest mind and cordiality in Inverness, and that they had resolved to travel so far to Birnam, saying with one accord. – “ Let us go to Birnam and open Cesari’s golf course” ( Laughter and applause ). Well, he really could not find words in which to thank the gentlemen who had taken such an interest in the golf course of Birnam. His deep gratitude was due to Sir Henry Macandrew, Sheriff Blair, Provost Ross and the other gentlemen who had made the gathering such a success ; and he was quite satisfied that there would have been double the number present if business had not prevented them. His best thanks were also due to the very kind lady, Miss Lawson of Leys, who came forward so bravely to open the golf course, and he was quite sure that circumstance would bring a good deal of luck. He thanked them all most cordially and could assure them that the friendship they had shown was already deeply engraved on his heart.

 

It was quite true he came to Inverness fifteen years ago and it was also true that he found there every liberality of spirit and not the slightest jealousy. On the contrary, they took a man as they found him, On his own merits. ( Cheers )

Indeed, remembering their liberality of mind and living amongst this great free people he now felt proud to call himself half a highlander and half an Invernessian. ( Loud Cheers ) A very pleasant evening was afterwards spent with song and sentiment and the golfers present testified to the great addition to the many attractions of Birnam by the opening of the Birnam Hotel Golf Course.

Note : The next article covers a new course for Birnam, which begs the question of what happened to the Birnam club between 1892 and 1904 as it has obviously folded at some time within these years, hence the new course, although it would appear, on the same ground as the first course. In the July 1st article below there is another clue to the mystery, as it states that another attempt was made four or five years ago, meaning 1899. Another quite frustrating point is the fact that several photo's were taken at the club's first course opening as the text suggests, but where are they, in a bucket, an archive, an attic, or just lost forever ?.

Dundee Evening Post June 16th 1904

 

Birnam Golf Course

 

Arrangements for a golf course are so far completed that Birnam Terrace Park, extending to about sixty acres, has now been secured. On the same ground a few years ago a golf course was planned and greens laid out under the personal superintendence of that veteran golfer, Mr Tom Morris, St Andrews. The promoters hope to utilise the old greens. A public meeting has been called for Monday first, when it is expected the action of the promoters will be approved of, a strong club formed, and arrangements made for the opening of the green at an early date. The whole district of Birnam & Dunkeld are deeply indebted to Mrs Cesari, Birnam Hotel, for the public spirited way in which she has met the promoters of the movement.

Dundee Courier July 1st 1904

 

New Golf Course For

Birnam

 

The announcement that a new golf course is to be laid out for the convenience of the people of Birnam and Dunkeld and the visitors to that delightful district will be received with much satisfaction. About four or five years ago an effort was made to have a golf course laid out on the Atholl Estate, adjoining Birnam and Dunkeld. This project, although energetically entered into, fell through. The question has, however, lately been revived, and Mrs Cesari, the amiable and popular proprietrix of the Birnam Hotel, has generously offered the Terrace Park, which is situated by the banks of the river Tay, and quite close to Birnam, on very reasonable terms. The park is well adapted for golf, and the ground extends to some sixty acres. Public action has been taken,and a golf club has been formed, the members of which have leased the ground for four years.

They have arranged that the whole of the course, which is to extend to nine holes, will be freed from rough grass within the next fortnight, and it will be gratifying to know that Willie Park, the famous Musselburgh golfer, has been engaged to lay out the new course.

Scotsman, July 19th 1904.

New Course for Birnam and Dunkeld.

 

Still another golf course added to the many now existing in the country. For a very long time this beautiful district has been feeling the want of a course, and now that steps have been taken to secure a golfing green known as then, it is hoped that this new undertaking will be an additional attraction to those visitors who love to repair to the highlands during the summer months. The place chosen for the course is a field known as the Games Park. It is 50 acres in extent, and consists of very gently undulating pasture lands with excellent turf and abundance of sand. The turf is so good that it is expected that all the greens will be laid out simply by cutting and rolling. Already Ben Sayers, of North Berwick, has laid out nine holes. Sayers was loud in his praises of the situation of the course and the nature of the ground. The committee appointed to carry out the business have determined to make it a course really worthy of good play.

Perthshire Advertiser April 10th 1907.

Golf Club.

 

The annual meeting of the Birnam and Dunkeld golf club was held on Friday – Mr Allan, Captain, presiding. The secretary’s report showed an increase in membership and in the number of visitors who patronised the course. Office Bearers were elected as follows :- Mr W.S. Fothringham, Hon. President ; Mr Robert Allan, Bank of Scotland, Dunkeld, Captain ; Mr J. Purdie, Secretary ; Messrs Bird, Stewart, Anderson, McGillewie, Ellis, Fraser, and Roberts, members of committee.

Perthshire Advertiser September 9th 1908

 

Opening Of New Pavilion.

 

A large and distinguished company assembled on Thursday afternoon at the new clubhouse of the Birnam and Dunkeld golf club, the occasion being the opening of the newly built pavilion. A tent, erected for the use of the company for the afternoon, was set with several tables, at which tea was served by the lady members of the club.

The new pavilion was gaily decorated, and many flags were flying. Mr Stuart Fothringham, of Murthly Castle opened the clubhouse. He was introduced by the Captain, Mr R. Allan, Bank of Scotland, Dunkeld. Mr Purdie, Secretary of the club, proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Fothringham. Mr McGillewie, also asked for a vote of thanks to the ladies of the club who had made such excellent arrangements for the tea. Thereafter the company was served with tea and cake. In the games that followed, Mr Fothringham and Lord Dunedin of Stenton were the first to drive off.

Amongst those present, besides those already named were :- Mrs Campbell Marshall and Company, Tomnagrew ; Mr and Miss Shepherd, Woodbrae ; Miss Rutherford, the Manse, Dunkeld ; Mrs Macdonald and Party, Eastferry ; the Misses Connacher, Dunkeld ; Mrs Richmond and Party, Delvine ; Mrs Mason and Party, Balhomish ; Mrs Bain, Oak Place ; Mrs White and Party, Birnam Bank ; Mr Speid, Forneth ; the Misses McLean, Sation Road ; Mrs Leslie Robertson, Butterglen ; Mr and Miss Campbell, Craigby ; Miss Anderson, Craigby ; Mr Kinnaird and Miss Macpherson, Station House ; Mr Kellock, Blair Atholl ; Mr Kennedy, Ballinluig ; Mr Duncan and Party, Maryburn House ; Bailie and Mrs McDonald, Dunkeld ; Mr and Mrs Blair and Party, St Mary’s Tower ; Mr and Mrs Thomson and Party, Erigmore ; Mr and Mrs Allan, Dunkeld ; Mr and Mrs Gillewie and family, Dunkeld ; Mr and Mrs James Stewart, Birnam ; Mr and Mrs Purdie, Birnam ; Mrs Buchanan, Birnam ; Miss McGregor, St Annes ; Mr George Stewart, Dunkeld ; Miss Dymot, Glasgow ; Miss Jackson, Birnam ; Mr D.S. Grant, Ballinluig ; Mr Wheeler, Murthly ; Miss Sim, Birnam ; Miss Montgomery, Birchwood ; Mr Edgar, St Andrews ; Mr J. McLaren, Dunkeld ; Mrs Bird, Birnam ; and Mr Carrington, Birnam.

The old Birnam clubhouse at it's new location over 100 years later

Perthshire Advertiser August 18th 1909.

Birnam V Dunkeld

 

The monthly match was played on Saturday in charming weather. The following were the best results :- J. Peacock 83 – 5 = 78 ; Donald McGillewie, 79 ( Scratch ) ; W.A. Rae, 86 – 2 = 84 ; D. McIntyre, 95 – 7 =88.

Perthshire Advertiser January 23rd 1918.

 

Ploughing Birnam and Dunkeld Golf Course.

 

The Highland district of Perthshire Agricultural Committee for the increase of food production in pursuance of their campaign to acquire the necessary acreage assigned to their district have decided that the Birnam Golf Course, embracing about 40 acres of good land should be placed under crop and arrangements are now well advanced for getting a tenant for to undertake a course of cropping. The course is practically level, lying to the east of Birnam, adjacent to the majestic Tay, and the eastern section of the course is the venue of many noteworthy athletic events, this being the place where the famous Birnam Highland Gathering was held annually for a long period of years. The soil is of a rich free loan character, and it will be admirably adapted for the services of motor tractors, two of which are now in the possession of the committee.

Notes from Dunkeld Centenary Book.

 

In 1914 the Birnam course was taken over by the military. The Scottish Horse Soldiers billeted in the area, practiced digging trenches on the fairways. The committee of the golf club, Mesrs R.Gillies, Wm. Bain, J.Bird, R.Scott, Joseph Sim, George Stewart, Atholl Street, Robert Scott, George Stewart, Springwells, and John Jackson, secretary decided to hold meetings from time to time. They hoped that the fairways would be put back to their original condition before handed back to them by the military authorities. By 1917 the ground was no longer required by the troops. The club was relieved of the tenancy of the course and Murthly Estates undertook the cropping of the park, which was insisted on by the food production committee. Much correspondence went on between Mr Jackson and the C.O. in Edinburgh. The compensation awarded for use of ground, for levelling the trenches, for grass seeds and damage to greens and club house was £28. The funds of the club were very low and several of the members had been killed in the war.

At a meeting held on the 3rd May 1920, very reluctantly the members of committee decided to disband the club. The opening of the new course at Fungarth to the public was very much in the air. It was a long way from Birnam, especially when there was no transport, and the walk was mostly uphill. The golf pavilion was sold to the curling club. Years later it was bought by the fishermen on the Newtyle beat of the river Tay. To-day it still stands on the bank of the river Tay in constant use – a sturdy well preserved relic of 1892. 

Dunkelds existing course was opened in May 1922 by the Duchess of Atholl and we have 2 articles of the the preview and the opening on file from the Perth Constitutional  & Journal dated, April 18th 1921 and  May 3rd 1922.

 

The new Dunkeld course was originally a private course which was handed over to dunkeld golf club.

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