Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland
 Forgotten Golfing Greens Of Scotland

Muirkirk Other Course

Muirkirk Adv Jan 13th 1910

 

Let’s get moving 1.

 

For some considerable time there has been a movement amongst the few golfing enthusiasts in our midst to have a golf course and form a club in the parish, and it is gratifying to learn that the desire has taken a definite shape, and that ground has been secured on the estate of Auldhouseburn. Almost every village of any consequence in Scotland has now it’s golf course, each club singing the merits of it’s own, and it is a significant fact that a well known expert who visited the ground the other day and “ Laid off “ the course, pronounced it one of the best he had visited. There is no need to extol the virtues of golf as a health giving and exhilarating exercise for both sexes ; they are well-known and as widely accepted. It is one of our oldest Scottish games, and has the distinction of being considered “ Class.”

Never a district that could make the lover of nature, other than the moorland , go into ecstasies or burst into rhyme, or lure the denizens of the city from their haunts, even in midsummer, the golf course, combined with the acknowledged clear air and at least healthy surroundings , may be the means of attracting more visitors to our village and thus improve the trade of the parish.

We understand that a club is now being formed, and that notice will be issued shortly inviting the public to join. 

Towards The Formation of Muirkirk Golf Club

 

Muirkirk Adv Thursday March 17th 1910

 

For some little time a movement has been on foot to form a golf club in Muirkirk. A few enthusiasts have laid the foundation stone as it were, and at a meeting held last night arrangements were made to have a public meeting on Monday evening first, in the Masonic Hall, when an account would be laid before the public of what had been done in the matter. It was decided that the club be open, and that a hearty invitation be given to all who join – Ladies, Gentlemen and Juveniles alike. All are invited to the meeting, prospective members and otherwise. In view of the endeavours of several gentlemen in the village to improve the amenities of the place, we have no doubt the public will appreciate and second these efforts.

The Formation of Muirkirk Golf Club.

 

The Muirkirk Advertiser, Thursday March 24th 1910.

 

Muirkirk Golf Club

 

On Monday evening, 21st March 1910, a public meeting was held in the Masonic hall. There was a very good attendance. Mr John Young, J.P., was called to the chair.

The chairman in introducing the proceedings said that the meting had been called for the purpose of giving information as to the steps which had been taken towards securing ground for a golf course, the progress that had been made in the laying out of the course, the formation of a club, as well as to extend to all present a hearty invitation to become members of the club. Mr Young said that for several years a few local golfers had been highly privileged in being allowed to play golf at Wellwood. For this privilege they were indebted to Mr Baird as well as Mr Buchanan, and many a pleasant afternoon had been spent there. However, some of them felt that it was too bad to keep to themselves a pleasure on which they set such great store, and, while a deal had been said and written about something being done to attract summer visitors to Muirkirk, the speaker was one of those who thought that a more pressing need was that something ought to be done to make the place a little more attractive for those who had to spend in it the bulk of 365 days yearly. And so it was that a public golf course came to be talked about.

It is impossible to have such at Wellwood, for reasons which he need not enumerate. On casting their eyes about the village, they came to the conclusion that the most suitable ground for the purpose was on the estate of Aulhouseburn.

Negotiations were entered into with the tenant as to terms; and the proprietors, through Mr Angus of Ladykirk, had granted permission on the distinct understanding that there would be no trespassing, and that all members would enter and leave the course off the Auldhouseburn road.

The laying out of the course had occasioned a great deal of thought, and the burning of a considerable amount of tobacco. They were much indebted to Mr Angus of Kaimshill for a great measure of kindness extended to them, and to Dr Scroggie, Mr Robertson, and Mr Cormack, friends of his, who most kindly placed their golfing experience at their service, and laid out the course, and these gentlemen’s opinion of the possibilities of the course was a very high one.

 

Much labour had been expended on the course, but a great deal more had to be done. They were all confident, however, that in course of time Muirkirk would be in possession of a tidy little golf course which for health – giving breezes, splendid turf, sporting golf, and genuine pleasure, would compare most favourably with any inland courses in the country.

The chairman then submitted the rules as drawn up, and stated that the following office bearers had been appointed : - Hon President, John Angus Esq, J.P. : President, John Young Esq, J.P. : vice President, Dr Carruthers : Hon Secretary and Treasurer, Mr W.S. Smith : Committee – Rev. Father Bohan, Dr Marshall, Messrs T.W. Buchanan , John McCulloch , W.S. Pirie , John Rodger, Cornelius Seymour , and Wm Thomson.

The rules were not yet printed, and the committee would be pleased to consider any suggestions that any parties present might care to make.

Several questions were asked and suggestions made, which the chairman said would be favourably considered by the committee.

Mr Cunningham spoke in complimentary terms of the work done, and expressed the hope that the club would enjoy a long life and have many pleasant seasons.

( Applause ).

In reply to a question, the chairman said that whenever the members joined and got their membership cards, they could begin to play. They could begin tomorrow if they cared : indeed that was just what the course required – to be played upon. However, it was expected that some day in April an exhibition game between two well known exponents would be arranged.

A show of hands was taken of those who wished to join the club, when almost everyone present answered to the call.

On the call of Rev. Father Bohan a hearty vote of thanks were accorded to the chairman for presiding. The chairman then invited intending members to give in their names, when a considerable number enrolled, and the Muirkirk Golf Club has a hearty send off.

The Muirkirk Golf Club was born.

 

Muirkirk Advertiser April 7th 1910

 

Golf, Golfers, & Co

 

Our youngest local club, the Muirkirk Golf Club, is now fairly under weigh, and the membership presently exceeds fifty. During the recent spell of good weather the course at Auldhouseburn has scarcely ever been empty of players. It certainly has never been completely deserted from dawn to dusk, for workmen are proceeding with the making of the greens as quickly as possible, and satisfactory progress is being made. Those members who have been taking advantage of their opportunities for having a game are high in their praises of it’s exhilarating effects , whether the ball is struck or missed. It is a significant fact that all the medical men in the parish are members and like beecham’s pills and Mother Seigel, it is recommended as the cure for maladies flesh is heir to. Moral : If you are well, join the club and keep well ; if you are not feeling as you might and should do, join the club and get well.

A meeting of the committee was held last night, when the rules were finally adjusted, and a copy will be handed to each member shortly. On the list of members up to date being submitted, it was pointed out that several parties had been seen on the course – some playing and others spectating – who were non members, or were otherwise not entitled to such privileges, but it was felt that now that a greenkeeper had been appointed, and that the gentleman was empowered to request a sight of the passport of any person on the course, this state of affairs would be remedied, and it was decided that members be asked to help with the keeping of the rule to the effect that none but members and friends from outwith the parish are allowed on the course.

Considerable curiosity has been aroused locally as to the manner of playing the game, and almost at any time during the day and evening spectators may be seen looking over the dyke on the Auldhouseburn road.

If such parties were wise, they’d watch to take up a stance behind the players, as, if a stray ball ( And they are many ! ) happened to land on one of their optics, they’d probably study more astronomy during the ensuing few minutes than they ever did in their lifetime.

Better still, however, to come in, join the club and play the game. No doubt this the time to join, when all are novices. There are no stars in the company, very few are good, many are bad, several worse. No one need to be least ashamed of their play, as will be speedily found out.

We have heard of several terrific drives having been made or attempted, and more than one exponent of the game have been seen winding their way homeward with the shaft of a club in one hand and the head in the other.

An amusing case of mistaken identity happened “ Over the water” the other day, when, as an ardent player was passing along one of the rows with his clubs in his caddybag, a guidwife hailed him with “ Hi, Mister, hoo much’ll ye tak’ tae mend this umberellie ?” We’ll be merciful, and repress the names.

When the love of money obtains a hold on any one to such an extent that it becomes his one aim in life to procure it by whatever means, and to hoard it up, denying himself the pleasure of spending it, the object for which it was instituted is defeated. So too, when a game gets such a hold on one that he cannot sleep if he gets beaten, or when he goes home and kicks himself and everyone else to ease his feelings, the object of the game is defeated. To spend a pleasant time in the open air, in healthy surroundings, on the green fields, in pleasant company, and to have invigorating without unduly violent exercise, are a few of the objects with golf, and such undoubtedly can be had on the course at Auldhouseburn.

It is a game suitable for both sexes, adults and juveniles, and “ learn young, learn fair” Special advantages are offered to ladies and juveniles, in that the annual subscription is less than half that of adult gentlemen.

We are sure any member will be pleased to show a new starter round the course if for nothing else the satisfaction of finding someone worse than him or her self. We bespeak for the game and the club the good word they deserve.

Muirkirk Advertiser April 25th 1910.

 

Golf.

 

The golf club continues to prosper, the membership is steadily increasing, and players on the course are daily becoming more plentiful. Satisfactory progress is being made with the greens, &c., and a special effort in that direction is being put forth this week in view of the exhibition game which has been arranged for Saturday first.

The committee have been most fortunate in securing the services of two such expert exponents of the game as Mr Robertson and Mr Cormack. We trust that all the members and many prospective members, will accept the invitation extended to them by the committee, and embrace this opportunity of seeing the game played as it ought to be – due allowance being made for the newness of the course, and the greens not  having attained to billiard table perfection just yet.

 

 

Muikirk Advertiser April 28th 1910.

 

Golf, Exhibition Game

 

On Saturday last an exhibition game took place over the new course at Audhouseburn. The game was between two well known amateurs, viz, Mr Alex. Cormack and Mr Andrew Robertson. The public were invited to view the game, and a goodly number took advantage of the opportunity, and there was also a large turnout of members.

Unfortunately for all concerned, the weather might have been better, but it also might have been worse. There was a strong wind, amounting sometimes to almost a gale, but the rain kept off.

Under the circumstances anything approaching accurate play was out of the question, but the exhibition given was undoubtedly an education to all present, and will certainly bear good fruit. When such fine play could be shown under adverse weather conditions, one can imagine what standard could be reached under favourable auspices. The club is not in a position to employ a professional, but were a series of these games instituted the local players would undoubtedly come all the sooner to a better concept of the game. As showing the interest taken in the match by the spectators, it need only be mentioned that most of the company did the full two rounds, and only enthusiasts and others highly interested would have done so on such a day. At the close, Mr Angus called for a hearty vote of thanks to the players, and this was cordially given.

Golf Notes

 

With the opening of the regular greens the golf course has presently a very animated appearance in the evenings.

Much has already been done to make the greens playable, but much thought, care, and hard work requires still to be done. The committee have had to face difficulties this season which will by another year get short shift. A golf course cannot be made in a year, but the local one will be made in as little over that time as possible.

Things are to be made to hum now.

Some of the members are thirsting for a match with neighbouring clubs and as it is said that both Cumnock and Mauchline are in a similar frame of mind, there should be no difficulty in arranging matches. Probably the arranging will be the easiest part of the work.

Within the last week or two several “ Bounce” games have come off. After at least one of the games a considerable number of pies disappeared. The attention of members is drawn to advertisement in other column where a mixed foursome match is announced. Neighbours and opponents will be drawn for from the hat. A Lady and Gentleman will comprise each pair, and two pairs will be sent off at a time. It is hoped the weather will be fine and that there will be a large turnout of both sexes.

Muirkirk Advertiser September 22nd 1910.

 

Golf, Scotland’s Big Guns At Muirkirk

 

From our advertising columns it will be seen that an exhibition game is to take place over the course at Auldhouseburn on Saturday first.

The game should rank almost of international order, and considering the class of players that will take part the play should be excellent. A short note of the abilities and qualifications of the players should prove interesting reading. Mr James Robb has been several times finalist for the open amateur championship and succeeded in winning that honour in 1906. Mr Robert Andrew has represented Scotland in her international games for the last six years, and has never lost a game. Mr Andrew is also the record holder of several well – known courses in Ayrshire.

Mr Gordon Lockhart played in the final tie for the Irish championship a fortnight ago. Only on Saturday last Mr Andrew and Mr Lockhart tied for the Arrol Cup at Turnberry, which competition is open to all players in the West of Scotland.

Mr Lockhart is the present holder of the cup. Are these qualifications good enough ? if you think so, come and see them. The public are invited.

 

Muirkirk Advertiser September 29th 1910.

 

Sports and Pastimes

Golf

An exhibition took place over the local course on Saturday last when several of the best amateurs playing took part. The players were Messrs Gordon Lockhart, James Robb, and Mr Robert Andrew.

The players engaged in a four ball match, Messrs Lockhart and Robb opposing Messrs Andrew and Robertson. The weather, which had in the forenoon been very threatening, fortunately favoured the proceedings, and a crowd of about 100 followed the players. As might be expected from exponents of such standing, the play was first class, Mr Lockhart especially playing brilliantly. Two rounds of the nine hole course were played, and Messrs Lockhart and Robb were returned the winners by 3 holes up and 1 to play. An individual record for the course was created by Mr Lockhart with a score of 73, made up as follows : -

                                                 

                                                  1st Round  - 4 4 3 5 3 5 5 4 4 – 37

                                                  2nd Round -  4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 – 36

                                                                                                    ----

                                                                                                     73

Mr Lockhart had several magnificent drives, indeed the driving of all excited much admiration. Each player was most unfortunate in the second round at the blazes hole in not holing out in 3 – all had 4s. Perhaps it is just as well, for Mr Lockharts second round is a curiosity – all 4s.

After the game the players, accompanied by several enthusiasts, proceeded to the Ironworks Institute for tea. Mr Young, President of the club occupied the chair. After a substantial repast, served up in Mrs Murdochs usual satisfactory style.

The chairman thanked the players for the fine game which they had given, and hoped to see them back again soon. In the name of a few admirers, he presented Messrs Robb, Lockhart and Andrew with a golf scarfpin each, as a memento of their first visit to Muirkirk.

 

Mr Robb replied on behalf of Mr Lockhart, Mr Andrew and himself, and thanked all for their kind reception there that day and for the beautiful presents they had received. He was ready at all times to do anything to further the game. Messrs Cormack and Robertson, to whom the club are much indebted for services and advice, also spoke on terms suitable to the occasion.

Mr Young proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Seymor for arranging the exhibition game, and thereafter the company dispersed to allow the players to catch the train.

Messrs Robb, Lockhart and Andrew were much pleased with the Auldhouseburn course. They were unanimously of the opinion that in a year or two the course should be one of the finest inland courses in the shire. They were especially pleased with the Thorn Tree, The Sand Pit, and the Burn holes. The turf they consider to be as good as could be got anywhere, although just a trifle hard for approach shots, but the more the course is played upon the better it will become. They offered some suggestions for improvements of greens and course generally, which the committee in time hope to see carried out. Messrs Lockhart and Andrew represent the Prestwick St Nicholas club in the Scottish foursome tourney at Elie, Fife, this week, and, adverting on the entrants, the Daily Record says –“ Considering Gordon Lockharts fine form recently, and the great ability of his partner, Robert Andrew, the pair will again be hard to beat”

The Muirkirk golfers have been indeed highly favoured in getting a visit from such noted exponents of the game.

 

Note : The attendance of such Noteable players at Muirkirk that day should not be understated, all three players in the prime of their youth and already established as being amongst the finest amateurs in Scotland, but this was just the start of their respective careers as the following details will reveal.

Muirkirk Advertiser October 6th 1910

 

Golf

 

Golfers and the public generally will be pleased to learn that two of the gentlemen who played in the exhibition game over the local course, viz, Messrs Gordon Lockhart and Robert Andrew, were successful in winning the Scottish foursome tourney at Elie last week. The columns of the newspapers have contained many eulogistic remarks regarding the ability both gentlemen displayed, and we reiterate that Muirkirk golfers were very much favoured by the visit of such illustrious players.

Muirkirk Advertiser May 25th 1911.

 

Opening of Golf Pavilion.

 

Last evening, before a very large turnout of members of the golf club and the general public, the new pavilion at the course at Auldhouseburn was formally declared open by Mr J.G.A. Baird.

Mr Angus ( Honorary President ) presided, and introduced Mr Baird, presenting him with a key and a life membership ticket as showing the club’s appreciation of Mr Bairds Kindness in sending a handsome donation to the pavilion fund. In addressing those assembled, Mr Baird spoke of the growing popularity of golf all the world over.

 

It was essentially a Scottish game. It was a game for gentlemen in the true sense of the term, for there was no room for wrangling in it. Times had greatly changed since he came to the locality many years ago, and at one time he would have laughed at any prediction that there would ever be a golf club in Muirkirk, not to speak of a handsome pavilion. Another great change, and a change for the better, was the interest that ladies take in the game.

 Indeed fashion assisted in making the attire of ladies specially suitable for golfing, for, while snapshots exposed the contortions of the sterner sex in making say a tremendous drive, the graceful skirt concealed to some extent anything of that kind on the part of the ladies. ( Laughter ).

He congratulated the club and the public on having such a fine golfing green, and he commended the pastime to all non members. Mr Baird then unlocked the door, amid hearty cheers.

 

Dr Carruthers then shortly introduced Mrs Angus, stating that that lady required very little introduction to the people of Muirkirk. She, like Mr Angus, was very highly respected, and had been a good friend to all, including the golf club.

He called on Mrs Angus to unfurl the club flag which had been kindly gifted to them by Captain Clark, of Crossflat. Mrs Angus proceeded to adjacent flagstaff, and gracefully unfurled the flag amid cheers, the club’s master of works ( Mr Robert Wilson ) being worthy of great credit for the clever and neat arrangement made for this part of the ceremony, in that by simply touching a cord the flag fluttered gaily in the breeze.

 

The flag bears the words “ Muirkirk Golf Club” surrounding the Lion Rampant, and the captain is to complimented on his choice of design – the Scottish Standard. Votes of thanks – to Mr Baird and Mrs Angus on the call of Mr Young ( President of The Club ), and to Mr Angus for presiding, on the call of Father Bohan – were heartily accorded. The company was afterwards entertained to tea by the ladies of the club, and a mixed foursomes match which had begun earlier in the afternoon continued, and, while all were on the winning side in the former, Mr George Vallance and Miss Easton, and Mr Wm McGillvray and Miss Angus, were returned first and second respectively in the latter, and received appropriate memento’s. Everything passed off satisfactorily, and a pleasant evening was spent.

 

The pavilion, erected by Messrs Spiers & Co, Glasgow,at a cost of £116-13s-00p is a very handsome structure strongly built of painted corrugated iron, and lined with felt and wood, with a veranda projecting some six feet at front and both ends.

Insurance of the clubhouse and for the greenkeeper would cost the club a further £1-16s-3p per year.

There are three apartments – general room, ladies’ room, and gentlemen’s room with lavatory accommodation and lockers for the storage of clubs, &c, in the two latter.

The general room, which is much the largest of the three, also contains a neat stove for comfort as well as the  preparation of the material needs of the members.

The whole of the interior is nicely varnished. From the town the artistic building, with red roof, and the white flagstaff, stand out picturesquely on the landscape, with Cairntable for a background, and form a pleasant variation in the view.

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