Rothesay 1 Golf Club
1st course was at Westland Farm.
Buteman May 2nd, 1891
The new golf course spoken of some time ago is still a probability. An experienced golfer has marked off a course of 18 holes on Bannatyne Mains Farm, and a sketch of it has been submitted to Willie Campbell, the well-known professional golfer. As before stated, the course is very much in connection with the Kyles of Bute Hydropathic, the present popularity of which may be judged from the fact that last Saturday even the reading room was utilized for sleeping.
Buteman May 7th, 1892
A Golf Course Wanted
A correspondent wants to know why a golf course is not formed at Port Bannatyne, and suggests that the directors of the Hydropathic, along with some of the leading Rothesay golfers, should take up the matter.
The subject was taken up last year, when it was found that difficulties as to the renting of the ground, and the suitability of the ground, prevented anything practical being done.
Buteman June 11th, 1892
The Proposed New Course For Rothesay.
Willie Campbell, the well-known professional, was in Rothesay on Thursday and made an inspection of the three different sites proposed for the new golf course. He will make a report on the most suitable site, which will be submitted to the committee at a meeting next week.
Buteman June 18th, 1892
The Golf Links
The Kilchattan folks are looking with dismay at the prospects of Rothesay getting a golf course of their own, when all, or nearly all, the present members of the Bute golf club will cease to visit the Quochaig links. A suggestion has been made that if the subscription were lowered to five shillings, a good many young men in the district, farmers sons and others, would join, and thus preserve the game from falling away and the links from being closed.
Buteman June 25th, 1892
The Proposed New Golf Course
In connection with the proposal to form a golf course more convenient to Rothesay than the present links at Kingarth a public meeting was held in the town hall on Monday evening.
The Rev. R. Forgan was called to the chair, and there were also present Rev. A.N. Sutherland, Messrs W.C.W. Maddever, R.D. Macmillan, A. McGaw, John Mackirdy, Andrew Macmillan, A.H. Milloy, Michael Cuthbertson, and A. Baxter.
The chairman referred to the inspection made by Willie Campbell of the three sites suggested. The first, on the Burgh Lands, he reported as quite unsuitable. The other two courses, Craigagoul and Westland, were both feasible, but the Craigagoul course would require a very serious outlay, whereas the Westland course could be formed at very little expense, and the ground was if anything, a little better. Mr Campbell’s report was consequently distinctly in favour of the Westland course as far and away the best of the three.
Mr A.H. Milloy gave some particulars as to the inspection of the various sites. He mentioned that Campbell had actually reported on four courses, because he had inspected the Port Bannatyne site on a previous occasion.
The tenant of Westland was willing to take a yearly rent of £8, but it would be necessary to get an undertaking from the burgh that they would not be dispossessed at the end of Mr Curries lease, which would be in two years. There was another piece of ground on Gartnakeilly, but no arrangement had been come to.
Campbell estimated the expense of making the Westland course at £30, whereas the Graigagoul course would cost about £200. Mr Currie was also willing to give them a short cut through his fields, which would cut off a good bit, and would bring the course within fifteen minutes walk from the centre of the town. It would be a long nine-hole course, about 1 ½ miles in extent, and might be lengthened out to about two miles.
Mr R.D. Macmillan mentioned that it would probably take about three weeks to form the course, which would take them on till about the beginning of August.
Mr Millot said that if it is to be gone on with it should be done at once, so that people coming here this year might be induced to become members.
Mr R.D. Macmillan mentioned that he had already got the names of 53 members.
Mr John Mackirdy moved that the meeting form themselves into a club to be called the Rothesay Golf Club, and that they adopt the report submitted recommending the Westland course.Mr McGaw, as a member of the Bute Golf Club, seconded. The Bute golf club was a separate organisation, so they could not adopt that name without confusion.
The motion was unanimously agreed to, and a committee consisting of Mr J. Windsor Stuart ( convenor ) Sheriff Martin, Messrs Milloy, McGaw, Forgan, and R.D. Macmillan, appointed to draw up a constitution and to call a general meeting after various preliminary arrangements had been made. Some discussion afterwards took place as to the advisability of erecting a clubhouse, to save members carrying their clubs, &c., all the way, the opinion being expressed that a good rustic clubhouse could be got very cheap. It was stated that several gentlemen had already promised donations to the club, and it was hoped life members at ten guineas and also a number of honorary members would join. The site being within fifteen minutes of the Kyles Of Bute Hydropathic it was thought the directors might also give a donation.
On the motion of Mr A.H. Milloy, seconded by Mr Michael Cuthbertson, it was agreed to fix the annual subscription at one guinea. It was also suggested that there might be a junior branch and also working men’s tickets. The usual vote of thanks to the chairman brought the meeting to a close.
Buteman August 20th, 1892
The New Golf Course At
It had been intended that Mr Graham Murray, M.P., would open the new course of the Rothesay golf club at Westland during his present visit. Some doubt exists, however, in the minds of players as to the advisability of opening it this season, as the green are not in such good condition as had been expected, owing to the long spell of dry weather that followed their formation. Mr Murray, who is an enthusiastic player, has kindly consented to visit the course next week and give the club the benefit of his advice as to whether the formal opening should be delayed to next season. Should his opinion be favourable the opening will take place some day next week. We understand that a number of Rothesay players have already played over the course, and are well pleased with it.
Buteman August 27th, 1892
The Rothesay Golf Club
The new golf course at Westlands formed by this club is to be opened at 3 o’clock today by A. Graham Murray Esq., Q.C., Member of parliament for the county. The opening of this course, of which we hope to give a sketch in our issue of next Saturday, marks a new epoch in the way of sport in Rothesay. While places around us and in every part of the country have opened their golf courses, Rothesay has not been able to provide one until now, and we are glad to know that the town will be in a position to retain its popularity in the eyes of the large and increasing number of people who play golf. The sport is innocent, health giving, and engrossing, and we hope the community generally will give the club the support which they deserve for the public spirit they have shown in undertaking what is really a public advantage to both town people and visitors. The golf course will undoubtedly prove a strong attraction for many visitors, and if attractions are necessary for Rothesay, they are worthy of support. We hope soon to hear that the club has a large accession to its membership, as the expenses of formation and upkeep of the course are considerable. The annual subscription is £1 1s, and any of the office bearers will be glad to take the names of gentlemen desiring to join the club.
The office bearers are :- A. Graham Murray, Esq., Q.C.., M.P., Captain ; Mr R.D. Macmillan, Writer, Secretary ; and Mr J. McKirdy, Agent, Bank of Scotland, Treasurer ; and the committee consists of the following gentlemen, Viz ;- Major Stuart, Rev. John C. Walker, Messrs A.H. Milloy, and A. McGaw, M.A.
The Buteman September 3rd 1892
This new course was formally opened last Saturday afternoon by Mr Graham Murray, M.P., the first Captain of the club who, in presence of a number of members and visitors, drove off the first ball and declared the course open. The course is within easy access to Rothesay, and is expected to still further enhance the attractions of the “ Queen of Scottish Watering Places”, both as regards residents and visitors.
The course of the Bute golf club at Quochaig Bay, although an excellent one, was found to be too far from the town to be suitable, but we are glad to know that it also will be carried on as before, the old members remaining and a considerable number of new members belonging to the Kingarth district having promised to join.
The situation of the new course is very suitable, being within about twenty minutes walk from Rothesay, and commanding a splendid view of the Arran Hilss on one side and of Rothesay Bay and the Firth on the other. It is a long nine-hole course, the distances being as detailed on our sketch. Already some fifty members have joined the club,and it is expected that as soon as the course becomes better known there will be a large accession to the membership. Special facilities will also be given to visitors.
At the opening on Saturday afternoon there was a large attendance, the company including Mr and Mrs Graham Murray, Master and Miss Murray, Major Newall and Mrs Newall, Major Stuart, Lieut. Macrae, Mr D.H. Gibb, Rev. R. Forgan and Mrs Forgan, Rev. J.C. Walker, Rev. Geo. Dodds, Barr ; Ex-Provost Orkney and Mrs Orkney, Messrs T.L. Walker, and J.C. McLachlan, Edinburgh, Members of the Motonhall golf club ; Messrs R.D. McMillan, James Carse, A.H. Milloy, John Mackirdy, Andrew McMillan, D. Munro, T.H. Harvey, Windyhall ; Daniel Duncan, Woodend ; Mrs Bryan, &c.
The company was photographed standing round the teeing ground by Mr John McKim, Mr Graham Murray in front of the group as if to hole out, and Mr J. Windsor Stuart, looking on.
Mr R.D. Macmillan, secretary of the club, then asked Mr Murray to accept of a silver headed golf club, with the following inscription :-
“ Rothesay golf club, August 1892 – presented to A. Graham Murray Esq., Q.C., M.P., Captain of the club, on the occasion of his opening the golf course at Westland.”
Mr Murray then drove off the first ball with a fine stroke amid loud applause. He then addressed the company, thanking them very heartily for the honour they had done him in electing him the first Captain of the Rothesay club, and also for the present of this handsome golf club, which he would keep as a memento of this interesting occasion.
He hoped the course would be successful, and be the means of adding to the many attractions of Rothesay, and attracting many visitors in future seasons who would recognise it, as they hoped to make it, as one of the best inland courses in the country.
He had now much pleasure in declaring the course open for play. ( Applause.)
A match for a number of special prizes, presented by Mr Murray, Mr G.O. Cameron, Victoria Street ; Mr John Mackirdy, and Mr A.H. Milloy, was then proceeded with, the playing, doubtless owing to the high wind that prevailed, showing some unexpected results. The following were the scores :-
R.J.G. Murray ……………………….. 89 ( 7 ) 82
R.D. Macmillan …………………… 104 ( 15 ) 89
A.H. Milloy ……………………….. 99 ( 7 ) 92
A. Graham Murray …………………. 93 ( 0 ) 93
D. Munro …………………………… 120 ( 20 ) 100
Andrew Macmillan …………………. 110 ( 7 ) 103
J. Mackirdy ………………………… 127 ( 20 ) 107
J.W. Stuart …………………………...117 ( 7 ) 110
T.H. Harvey …………………………. 134 ( 24 ) 110
James Carse ………………………… 144 ( 24 ) 120
The prizes were afterwards presented by Mrs Murray, and consisted of ( first ) a handsome dressing case ; ( second ) a silver cruet stand ; ( third ) a golf club ; and ( fourth ) a box of golf balls.
Buteman February 20th, 1897
It is rumoured that Rothesay golf club intend to give up the course at Westland which they have occupied for some years, and that they will use the Glenburn course, the long distance of the old course from the town and the want of conveyance having hindered the club from the beginning. Another thing that hampered both it and the cricket club, which is also in a dying condition, was that it was too “ toney” or “ Classy,” making common shopkeepers, clerks, and such like, rather shy of joining, and the “ workmen’s tickets at reduced rates,” spoken of at the inauguration of the course, never became a fait accompli.
Buteman March 13th, 1897
Rothesay golf club
The annual meeting of this club was held last night – Mr J. Windsor Stuart presiding. The balance sheet showed that after clearing off all liabilities to date there was a small balance on hand. It was resolved after some discussion to retain the course for another year at anyrate. It was agreed to offer the following terms to Mr Hugh Black, the present greenkeeper :- The club to guarantee a rent of £12 and a salary of £8. Mr Black to obtain all charges from casual visitors , and also to get any surplus of income that the club may have at the end of the year. In the event of him not accepting these terms, the club to advertise for another greenkeeper on the same terms – the conditions being that he keeps the course in its present condition. The following office bearers were appointed :- President, Mr Graham Murray ; Vice President, Sherrif Martin ; team Captain, Mr W.T. Esplin ; secretary and treasurer, Mr Donald Munro ; and a committee of management.
Buteman May 1st, 1897
At the Westland course a flagstaff has been erected on the hill, the flag bearing the word “ Golf.” It should prove useful as a means of guiding strangers.
Buteman April 3rd, 1897
Appointment of Professional as Greenkeeper
At a meeting of committee held on Monday afternoon it was resolved to appoint Mr J. Anderson of Musselburgh, as greenkeeper for the Westland course, to commence duty the following day. Mr Anderson, it was stated , is an experienced club and ball maker, and a professional golfer, well qualified to give instruction, and the opinion was expressed that his appointment would tend to popularise the game in Rothesay.
The Buteman September 15th, 1906
The Proposed Municipal Golf
Lord Bute Against the Westlands
At the meeting of the town council on Monday last. Councillor Burnie, convenor of the Burgh Lands Committee, reported the result of the sub-committee’s meeting with Lord Bute. Along with councillor Fisher and the town clerk he called upon Lord Bute and had a very pleasant interview with him. His Lordship expressed himself as being entirely at one with them in the desire to have a municipal golf course ready by next summer, and assured them he had no wish to delay the project. He desired to push matters forward so that the work might be gone on with within a month or two, if arrangements could be made. His Lordship promised to go over both of the proposed courses and see what could be done, also to see the farmers. That was how they left the matter.
His Lordship seemed very hearty in his wish that they could have a first class course. He believed that since then a communication had been received from Lord Bute by the town clerk.
The town clerk read the letter, which was as follows :-
Bute Estate Office.
Rothesay, September 8th, 1906
Dear Sir, - On Thursday last Lord Bute inspected both the proposed golf courses – the Westlands and the Eastlands – and he decidedly prefers the Eastlands, though he thinks the proposed extension capable of improvement.
He is opposed to the Westlands course being extended, at any rate on the proposed basis. – Yours Faithfully, R.P. Butler.
The Provost – that is all that can be done meantime.
Mr Fisher thought the letter ought to be remitted back to the committee. It was clear that there was ground for discussion.
Lord Bute had expressed a preference for the Eastlands scheme, but the Westlands was the one recommended by Willie Fernie, the golfing expert, as the one that would give them the best course, therefore their duty was, if at all possible, to get that course. They were well enough aware that the farmers made some little objection to the ground proposed to be taken, but he thought it was well enough understood that the council did not wish to impose any hardship on anyone, and that for any ground taken they were prepared to give a fair remuneration for the use of it. In these circumstances he thought it better to remit the matter back to the committee to arrange a basis on which they might get the ground asked. He did not think that should be impossible. He need not refer to the fact that towns far less important were able to accomplish this. They saw in the newspapers that day, that Portrush, a smaller place than Rothesay, had a great golfing tournament, where all the leading players of the United Kingdom had gathered. He thought a first-class golf course was very essential to the prosperity of Rothesay –
The Provost – I think you should defer your remarks till after the letter is re-considered –
Mr Fisher – I just wish to emphasise the anxiety of the council on this matter.
Bailie Miller seconded, and the matter was remitted back to the Burgh Lands Committee.
Buteman October 6th, 1906
The scheme for a municipal golf course seems as far off as ever. The committee had an interview with Capt. Butler this week, at which it became apparent that the Westlands project – the favourite – was quite unattainable. Lord Bute, as well as the tenant farmers, being against it. It was resolved to call in the services of another expert, who will report on the Eastlands scheme. The suggestion is again made that if a cliff railway were allowed to be run up to the pleasure park on Canada Hill, it would not only solve the difficulty of an approach within easy touch of the town, but prove a boon to thousands of pleasure-seekers and nature lovers, besides helping to develop that very sparsley populated district. Another suggestion made is the formation of a golf course at Scalpsie Bay, with a light railway run through the loch fad valley.
Buteman October 13th, 1906
The Proposed Municipal Golf
Westland Course Banned
At Monday’s meeting of town council the minutes of the special committee showed that a letter had been received on 1st inst. From Captain Butler, of the Bute Estate Office, intimating that Lord Bute was definitely opposed to the extension of the Westlands golf course, but was in favour of the suggested extension of the Eastlands, and the minutes recommended that a fresh golfing expert be called in to advise.
Mr Burnie, in moving the approval of the minutes, said that there was a letter from Capt. Butler making suggestions as to a golf course, but his suggestions didn’t exactly amount to a municipal golf course, and the committee thought that it should be a municipal golf course if anything.
Capt. Butler kindly came over to consult with them, and explained Lord Bute’s position. He gave them no hope as to the Westlands course, but stated that his lordship was willing to give them evry help to have the Eastlands made a suitable course – either an 18 hole course being laid down, or the present 8 hole course improved. In these circumstances, it was agreed to accept Lord Bute’s decision with regard to the Westland course as final, and to call in a fresh expert to advise, his selection being left to himself and Mr Fisher.
It was hoped very soon to be able to recommend an expert whose opinion would settle the matter as to whether a suitable course could be made on the Eastlands or not, and they would then be quite prepared to make proposals to the council.
Mr Fisher seconded, and the minutes were agreed to.
Buteman October 27th, 1906
The Proposed Municipal
Ben Sayers Opinion of the
It will be remembered that at last council meeting the question of getting an expert report on the proposed Eastlands course was remitted to councillors Burnie and Fisher, with joint powers.
On Tuesday last Ben Sayers, North Berwick, one of the greatest experts in Scotland, arrived in Rothesay and in the forenoon went over the Eastlands accompanied by Councillors Burnie, Fisher and Fife, Capt. Butler as representing the Bute Estate, and Mr Hepburn, Town Clerk.
The first inspection was merely to see the lie of the land generally, and to find out what ground he had to work upon. In the afternoon he played over the course, and staked it off in the manner he thinks most advantageous. He declined to be accompanied by any golfers, and we think he was wise in doing so. It is extremely difficult for local golfers to view the lands without a personal bias, and he was evidently determined not to hear opinions for or against.
His own opinion, after going over the ground twice, was that it will make a capital course, and laid out as he has done it we cordially agree with him. Questioned as to whether he thought it would be advisable to allow Craigmore players to commence at that end of the course, he said that sort of thing was often done and there could be no objection to it.
All the players of the ancient game admit that the present Glenburn course is not an ideal one. It has three great disadvantages, viz,- all the holes are “ blind” in many cases the ground lies badly, and one has to play across public roads four times.
It was freely admitted that if these disadvantages could be got over no one could have any objection to it. Mr Sayers, in his laying out of the course, has cleverly got clear of these difficulties. Only six of the present nine holes are used in the new plan, and with the exception of the present fourth, every one is approached in a different direction from the present line of play. In only one case does Mr Sayers propose to play across a road, but if that is considered objectionable it can be avoided by moving the tee a few yards nearer the hole, with no material difference to the game.
The field containing the present 1st and 9th holes is entirely left out, but additional ground is gained on the Ardbrannan Estate, and a small piece would be required from Bogany farm. This necessitates dealing with another proprietor, but as the piece of ground required is very small, it is probable there would be no difficulty in obtaining it. The inclusion of this ground gives a new interest to a large part of the course, as, by encircling the hill, the player covers entirely different ground in going out and coming home.
Players from Craigmore and the Hydropathic could most conveniently enter at the new thirteenth tee, which is close to the present eighth hole. By doing so they could still use the existing clubhouse, which is quite near enough. Local golfers who are interested should satisfy themselves by a walk over the ground, and as the course is marked out with red flags going out, and white ones coming in, there can be no difficulty in following it. They must, of course, remember to walk through the pleasure ground to find the 8th tee.
In the evening Mr Sayers made a report to the committee, which is presently under their consideration. The report, we understand, is of an exceedingly favourable nature, stating that the ground is excellently laid for golfing, that the grasses and subsoil are of first rate quality and that, generally, the course as laid out on his proposed lines, will be equal to any inland course in Scotland which he has seen. He estimated the first cost to be about £180, with an annual upkeep of £200, exclusive of rents. The course would begin and end near the Foley house gate at the head of Ministers Brae, and would thus be brought into close proximity to the town.
On Wednesday morning Mr Sayers went over the Westlands course with councillors Burnie and Fisher and the town clerk, and he considered it was not to be compared for a moment with the Eastlands for general golfing requirements, while the cost of it would be very much greater.
Another consideration was that if the Eastlands scheme was begun by December it could be ready by Easter, as they were all natural greens,while the Westland course would take two years before it was ready.
Attitude Of Glenburn Club
A meeting of the committee of the Glenburn club was held on Wednesday evening, Dr Marshall presiding, for the purpose of discussing the question as to how the proposal for a municipal course on the Eastlands would affect the interests of the club.
On the whole the opinions expressed by the different speakers were not unfavourable, the general gist of the remarks being that while they were very well satisfied with the position of affairs at present they would not like to stand in the way of a municipal golf course if it was to be a benefit in the way of attracting visitors to the town, but no formal resolution was come to. We understand that a general meeting of the club will be held in the course of a week or so for the purpose of coming to a definite finding on the subject.
Buteman November 10th, 1906
The Municipal Golf Course
Nothing more can be done in this matter till the town council meeting on Monday, when Ben Sayers report on the Eastlands scheme will come up for consideration. Ameeing of the Glenburn golf club was held in the Hydropathic on Friday evening to consider the attitude to be adopted towards the new proposals. There was an attendance of about twenty members, and the speakers included Dr Marshall who presided ; Capt. Butler, who outlined an alternative scheme providing for joint management by a committee representing the town council, Lord Bute, The Glenburn Club, and the ordinary subscribers ; Mr R.D. Macmillan who pointed out that under a municipal scheme, which seemed almost inevitable, the Glenburn club could still maintain its identity, instancing the Braid Hills municipal course at Edinburgh, on which 13 different clubs played ; Bailie Lyle, who pointed out that if the town council provided the funds it would in all probability insist on keeping the management in its own hands, through a golf course committee, who would no doubt, be willing to accept advice from those interested ; Capt. Miller, who moved the appointment of a committee to wait upon the town council for the purpose of ascertaining if the Glenburn club would have any share in the management ; Mr Henderson, Mr McBirnie, Mr Smith, and others. The general trend of the discussion was to the effect that while the members were very well satisfied with things as they are, they would not like to stand in the way of anything that would prove to the benefit of Rothesay as a whole. It was also pointed out that as the Glenburn lease of the existing course does not expire till November next, nothing could be done with that portion of the proposed municipal course till after that date. This, of course, puts an end to the sanguine expectations of having a municipal course ready by next spring.
Buteman November 17th, 1906
The Municipal Golf Course
The golf course committee had a meeting on Thusday with the deputation from the Glenburn golf club, which consisted of Messrs R.D. Macmillan, R. Henderson, C.H. Nutton, and Captain Miller. The situation was discussed in a very friendly manner, the Glenburn representatives being willing to assist in the project in every wat possible, while the committee, while retaining the control of the course, seemed to be favourable to accepting any suggestions that might be made by an advisory committee of the club.
The town clerk has been instructed to open negotiations with Mr Towers-Clark for the field lying below the pleasure ground and with the two burgh tenants, Mrs Robertson and the Glenburn company, with regard to the acquisition of the ground.
Buteman December 15th, 1906
The Municipal Golf Course
Negotiations as to the Land
At the meeting of town council on Monday last, the minutes of the Municipal golf course committee showed that a deputation had been received from the Glenburn club, and had offered to appoint a small committee to suggest and advise in connection with the course ; also, that the town clerk had been instructed to approach the Marquis of Bute, Mr Towers Clark, Mrs Robertson, and Mr McGilvray, lessees of burgh fields proposed to be included in the course, and the directors of the Glenburn Hydropathic, lessees of the present Glenburn golf course, with a view to eliciting the terms on which land belonging to, or tenanted by, them could be acquired.
The Dean of Guild, in moving the adoption of the minute, said they had had an interview with Lord Bute’s representative, who was prepared to give the land on favourable terms, and they were hopeful that a satisfactory arrangement would be made with the others. He hoped they would be able at an early date to lay a detailed scheme of the whole work before the council.
Mr Fisher, in seconding, suggested that the convenor should visit some of the golf courses in the immediate neighbourhood so as to be fully informed as to the best way of laying out a golf course.
The minute was approved.
Rothesay Chronicle April 18th, 1908
The New Golf Clubhouse
On Thursday afternoon an interesting ceremony took place at the clubhouse on the new municipal golf course, when photographs were taken by Mr Robert Whiteford, photographer, of the clubhouse and ladies And gentlemen who were present. The company included the Provost, Magistrates, and town council, with their wifes, the principal burgh officials, the architect and contractors for the clubhouse, and a number of members of the golf club. Mr Ben Sayers was also present. The company was grouped in front of the building, and after the photographs had been taken, Provost Burness thanked the ladies and gentlemen for their presence. He hoped the ceremony augured well for the new club. The town council had done their best to provide a splendid clubhouse and golf course, and he had no doubt that the inhabitants and visitors would respond and patronise the venture. They were indebted to the lord of the manor for his kindness in granting the ground on very reasonable terms, and he had no doubt the new course would prove a great benefit and success to their ancient and royal burgh. He had also to thank them for their presence in the name of the convenor, Balie Harvey. The Bailie’s duties in connection with the new course had been arduous and he had given them great attention, and had spared no time in bringing it to the position it had reached.
Cheers were given for Bailie and Mrs Harvey and family.
The clubhouse had now been completed and painted, and presents a very handsome appearance. The refreshment room, with a well-fitted kitchen, occupies the centre of the building, and the ladies and gentlemen’s rooms are at each side. These are commodious rooms, lined with lockers, and provided with lavatory accommodation. The store-room and greenkeepers workshop are under the lower end of the house, and a stylish verandah extends along the front. A number of shrubs are planted around the house. We hope shortly to give a description of the course.
Rothesay Chronicle, April 25th, 1908
The New Municipal Golf Course
This new eighteen hole golf course, now fast approaching completion under Municipal direction, will prove a success, there seems little doubt. From the players point of view the course has attractions which are peculiarly its own – the different holes presenting characteristics of an interesting and widely varied character. The novice will find holes which will not too severely tax his rather limited prowess in the game, while the experienced golfer will have ample opportunity for bringing into use the best skill he can muster. The eighteen holes cover some 4160 yards, and golfers may find a short description of the course of some interest.
The first hole, 280 yards – slopes uphill from opposite the front of the clubhouse at the top of the Minister’s brae. The green, which is a natural one, in the top corner of the field, should be reached easily in two. A sloping ridge stretching across then field forms an obstacle at this hole, but a longish drive striking the face of this should not be seriously impeded. The second hole – 316 – is in the higher field, running parallel with the public road. Here the weak driver will find himself in difficulties, unless he plays short from the tee. A deep wide ditch and open running drain cross the filed about 100 yards from the tee, and a ball landing here is severely punished. A strong driver should be within putting distance with his third stroke.
The third is a long hole – 333 – and is at almost right angles to the second, and slightly uphill.
A foozled second or third shot will land the player behind the stone wall which effectively guards the green. The hole is a good four.
The fourth is a simple hole – 240 – in which the present temporary course is entered. A hedge in front of the green calls for careful approach, and a pulled second shot may land the player in the ditch at the top of the ridge on which the green is situated. From this hole the first “ View” is obtained, the Firth being visible as far down as the Cumbraes, while beyond Loch Ascog and Loch Fad rise the Arran hills.
Number five – 257 – is over a deep dip in the ground, and uphill to a fine natural green. A hedge in front of the tee need not prevent the player using his putter for the third stroke. A topped drive may be held back by the rising ground, and a pulled tee-shot will find a thorny bed among whins. The sixth is a short hole – 163 – but a topped drive must be played out of the whins lining the steep downward slope at this hole. A full iron shot should carry the green. The seventh – 217 – is an easy four, the green being on the flat top of Canada Hill. A pulled drive again suffers, a bank of whins growing to the left of the fairway, while, if the drive is topped, the slope of the hill increases the difficulty of approaching.
At the eighth the player enters new ground, and this hole is easily the most sporting on the course. The tee, which is directly below the pleasure grounds, is built out on the steep slope, and faces Ardbrannan House. The nervous or erratic driver may be prepared to spoil a promising score. The hole lies 175 yards off in the valley below the house, and the player who pulls his drive ever so slightly will find himself in the small plantation beside the farm. An easy, straight drive will roll down the slope on to the green. From this hole a most magnificent view of the Firth from Inverkip to the Cumbraes is obtained, while the peak of Ben Lomond is seen on a clear day.
The ninth hole- 177 – is also a sporting one, running along the valley towards Clandale. If the drive is sliced or even played straight to the green, it will probably drop in rough ploughed land to the right, and approaching is very difficult on account of the steep side of the built green. The ball must be played to the left and allowed to run down the slope. If the green is over driven, difficulties will also be experienced.
The turn brings the player again on to the old course. The tenth – 180 – is a trying hole, running up the steep hill from Clandale to the edge of the wood on Canada Hill. A foozled drive adds considerably to the difficulties on the rising ground, while a low second shot may be held by a turf ridge running across the field. The green is a sloping one, and calls for careful putting. The eleventh – 223 – again descends to Clandale, the green being beside the house. A good drive should land on a flat piece of ground above the green, within suitable pitching distance, and with careful pitching, a three should result.
The twelfth – 260 – again ascends the hill to the old course, running parallel with the Eastlands Road, where a sliced ball will be lost. The green is the eighth of the present temporary course ; with a good drive, the hole is a nice four.
The thirteenth – 184 – slopes up to the wood on the hill, the green being backed by whins, and the player must be careful with all his clubs. The green is slightly sloping, and the hole is a very sporting one.
Rothesay Bay, The Kyles Of Bute, and Loch Striven, are seen to fine advantage from this green. The fourteenth – 178 – is another sporting hole, the green being the ninth of the present course.
The tee is among the whins at the top of the hill, and the deep valley in front of the green can be easily negotiated. The green is on the undulating plateau, and calls for cautious putting.
The fifteenth – 187 – is a good three provided a clean drive is obtained, but whins, a hedge, and a cart road make a formidable bunker about twenty yards from the tee. A topped ball, therefore, is totally unplayable. The green, an extensive and level one, lies in the corner of the field, being the first of the present course. The old course is left at the sixteenth -360 – which is the longest on the course. In order to avoid the corner of the wood, the player must keep to the left, in the neighbourhood of the third green.
The stone wall is the only impediment, but this should be easily carried with the second shot.
The green is a little distance from the second, and a four at this hole may be considered brilliant play.
The seventeenth – 220 – runs almost parallel with the second, and the same bunker confronts the player as at number two.
With a good drive, a three is possible at this hole, but most players will take at least one more. The eighteenth – 210 – descends the hill to the clubhouse, and is an easy three. A straight drive should run on to the green, but a pulled shot will come perilously near the wood. Caution in approaching is also necessary as the green may be easily over run.
Throughout the length of the course the turf is excellent and once the greens are fairly running, Rothesay may be congratulated of possessing a course worthy of the attention of all conditions of golfers. The necessary work, in the capable hands of Mr Donald Bremner, the greenkeeper, is well forward, and by 30th May, when four of the greatest exponents of the game the world has seen, Massy, Braid, Vardon, and Sayers, will play an exhibition match, the Scottish Madeira will have been enhanced by an attraction not the least of the many she possesses.
The Buteman May 22nd, 1908
The Municipal Course
Formation Of A New Golf Club
The adjourned meeting of local golfers called for the purpose of forming a club to play over the new municipal course was held in the Institute on Wednesday evening, Mr R.D. Macmillan, presided, and there were also present, Capt. Miller, Dr Hall, Messrs W. Dunlop Brown, A. Montgomerie, James Maclay, A.W. Herbert, Jonathan Roe, Wm. White, - Palmer, Alex Brown, Joseph Maitland, Neil McNicol, Thos. McBirnie, A. Taylor, A. Hall, George Smith, Congalton, Nicol &c.
Captain Miller reported that along with Mr Maclay and Mr McBirnie he had met with the Rothesay golf club at their annual meeting on the previous evening, and it was agreed to join the new club in a body, with the exception of a few members who wished to retain their connection with the Westland, and who would still be members of the club, and eligible to play in matches on the municipal on paying their shilling.
Mr R.D. Whyte, who attended on behalf of the Rothesay golf club produced the typewritten minutes of the meeting, which laid down the following conditions :-
1. That from and after this date the club be not responsible for the management and upkeep of any golf course.
2. That annual subscribers to either the municipal or the Westland golf courses be eligible for membership of the club.
3. That the membership fee be 1s.
4. That the general meetings of the club be held in the Norman Stewart Institute.
5. That the golf-house and tools be retained by the members of the club who are subscribers to the Westland course and that the house, tools &c, be not disposed of without the sanction of the club.
6. That the funds of the club be used only for general club purposes.
He mentioned that arrangements would be made with Mr Currie, Westlands, as before.
A general discussion of the terms followed, some objection to the shilling membership, it being thought that the guinea was sufficient, and that a rebate of a shilling might be got from the town council.
Thereafter, Mr Scott, President of the Rothesay golf club, Mr Hay, Secretary, Mr Harkness, and Mr Christie appeared and the meeting resolved itself into the adjourned annual meeting of the Rothesay Golf Club.
The minutes of the previous night’s meeting were read, and showed that the club had a balance of £17 19s 2d in hand, which the treasurer was instructed to hand over to Mr Currie, Westland, as per agreement. It was intimated that in the event of the course being given up, Mr Currie intended to carry it on as a private venture. The minutes were adopted.
The following office bearers were then appointed :- Hon. President, The Marquis of Bute ; President, Mr R.D. Macmillan ; Mr John Hay, Vice President ; Mr James McLay, Secretary ; Mr George Smith, Treasurer ; and a committee of nine, consisting of Messrs Wm. Whyte, W. Dunlop Brown, G.T. Scott, T. McBirnie, Capt. Miller, A.W. Herbert, Alex Taylor, J. Hall, and J. Palmer.
It was agreed that the general committee should form sub-committee’s as green committee and handicap committee, and go into the question of the constitution of the club.
A letter from the Innellan golf club intimated that the Firth of Clyde trophy would be played for at Innellan on Saturday 6th June, and asked that two representatives be sent. Messrs A. Ross Thomson and T. McBirnie were appointed.
On the motion of Mr A.S. Christie, votes of thanks were accorded to the retiring office bearers and particularly to Messrs Scott, President, and Hay, Secretary, and a similar compliment to the chairman closed the proceedings.
The Buteman May 29th, 1908
Opening of the new Municipal Golf Course
Arrangements For To-morrow’s Ceremony
Plan Of The Course
The ceremony of opening the new 18 hole golf course takes place to-morrow at eleven o’clock, when the company will muster at the clubhouse at the head of Minister’s Brae, and the proceedings will commence by the firing of a gun by Capt. McNair, Harbourmaster.
Thereafter the Provost will introduce Mr Norman Lamont M.P., for the county, who will drive off the first ball. This ball, it may be mentioned, will be secured, mounted in silver, and placed in the clubhouse as a memento of the auspicious occasion.
Afterwards, Bailie Harvey, convenor of the golf course committee, will present Mr Lamont with a silver cleek as a souvenir of the event.
The company will then be photographed by Mr Charles Sweet, and with more gun firing the formal part of the proceedings will then close.
Thereafter a four ball foursome will be played by the champions, Massy, Braid, Vardon, and Ben Sayers, the company following round the course to watch the game, which is for a £50 purse. Subsequently the company will proceed to the Royal Hotel where luncheon will be served at 1.30pm. Among those who have already accepted invitations to the luncheon are Mr Norman Lamont, M.P., Provost Cockburn and Ballie Cunningham of Millport, Sheriff Martin, Capt. Butler, Mr R.D. Macmillan, Captain of the new golf club which is to play over the municipal course, Mr White, Postmaster, and a number of others. The guests will also include the Captain and one officer each from the three warships in the bay – “ The Sentinel” “ Circe” and “ Hebe” – who will also take part in the opening of the course. The four professional players will also, of course, be among the guests.
The toasts will include “ The King” by the chairman ( Provost Burness ) “ Success to the new course” by Mr Lamont, responded to by Baillie Harvey ( Croupier ) “ The Burgh Of Rothesay” by Provost Cockburn, Millport, responded to by Provost Burness ; “ Golfing” by Mr R.D. Macmillan, responded to by Mr Ben Sayers ; “ The Chairman” By Mr J.J. White.
Thereafter the company will return to the course, at about three o’clock, when a stroke competition will take place for a £5 prize, at the close of which, Massy, Braid, and Vardon leave for London.
The New Course
The new course, which has been laid out by Ben Sayers, of North Berwick, at an estimated cost of about £1200 including a commodious clubhouse, absorbed the old Glenburn nine-hole links and the extra ground required was obtained by including certain fields on the Burgh Lands, also Bute estate ground which has been given by Lord Bute on very favourable terms.
The club-house and teeing ground are at the head of Minister’s Brae, which can be easily approached either from High Street or Bishop street from the pier.
There is an abundance of those hazards dear to the heart of every golfer and the Rothesay course will, it is claimed, be equal to any inland course in the West Of Scotland. The first hole is 280 yards and is a natural green. The second – 316 yards – is a fine sporting hole, and is in direct line with the Cumbraes. The third and fourth, are natural greens, and the distances to them are respectively 333 and 240 yards. At the fifth, which is 257 yards, the old Glenburn course is entered. The sixth – 163 yards – is a natural green, and though short, is of such a nature as should afford good sport. The seventh green is 217 yards, and brings the player on to the top of Canada Hill, which commands a magnificent view of the Firth of Clyde from Dumbartonshire to the Ailsa Craig, which is visible on a clear day. The eighth- 175 yards – faces Loch Ascog, and is a very picturesque hole. At the ninth – 177 yards- which is the turning point of the course, the player faces Loch Striven and the entrance to the Kyles, another very fine prospect.
The tenth – 180 yards – is a good sporting hole, which remark also applies to the eleventh – 223 yard. The twelfth is 260 yards, and calls for no special description. The thirteenth – 184 yards – is a tricky hole, with a natural green at the top of the hill. At the fourteenth – 178 yards – the player passes from the old Glenburn course. The fifteenth hole – 187 yards – is regarded as an easy one, while the sixteenth, is the longest one – 360 yards – is a very good hole. The seventeenth and eighteenth are 220 and 210 yards, and are fairly easy.
The turf is good and no pains have been spared in the construction of the artificial greens, which are each 20 yards square.
The work has been carried out under the direction of Mr Donald Bremner, who has been appointed keeper of the course.
The club-house comprises a large room for gentlemen with suitable appointments ; A workshop for the clubmaster, and caddies shelter. A luncheon-room, with kitchen and offices for the convenience of visitors. The arfchitect for the house is Mr George McLintock, Rothesay. The contractors were J. McCallum & Son, Joiners, James Pinkerton, Mason ; Miller & Son, Slater ; A.R. Peacock, Plumber ; W. & J. Stewart, Painters.
The Buteman June 5th, 1908
Opening Of Municipal
Fine Weather And Record Crowds
Speech By Mr Lamont, M.P.
Interesting Foursome By Vardon And
Braid, Massy, And Sayers.
The formal opening of the new 18 hole Municipal golf course took place on Saturday last in splendid weather, and before a record gathering of spectators, the number being estimated to be about 2000.
The charge of a shilling for admission did not deter the crowds of spectators, a large proportion of whom were visitors.
The arrangements were in the hands of Mr J.C. Sinclair, Burgh Chamberlain, and there were also on the ground Mr R.D. Macmillan,President of the Rothesay golf club ; Mr James McLay, Secretary, and most of the local exponents of the game.
The fine new club-house was handsomely decorated with flags and bunting. The proceedings began at eleven o’clock by the firing of a gun by Capt. Macnair, Harbourmaster. Immediately after, Provost Burness, accompanied by Mr Norman Lamont, member for the county, who had specially journeyed North to perform the opening ceremony, took up their places at the first teeing ground. Among others present were :- Ex-Provost Thomson, Bailies Harvey and Cunningham, Ex Balies Brown, Cunningham, Fisher, Fife, Squair, McBride, and Muir. Treasurer Buchanan, Dean of Guild Macmillan. Councillors Burnie, Thomson, McKinlay, Rankin, McColl, Lawrie, and Capt. Miller ; Mr James Rose, Interim town clerk ; Mr R.D. Whyte, County Clerk ; Chief Constable McKay ; Bailie Cunningham, Millport, &c., &c.
The Provost said they were met here today under very favourable circumstances. The weather was all that could be desired and he had to thank them for coming here in such large numbers. It was very gratifying to the town council of Rothesay to see the inhabitants and visitors coming forward so well to patronise their new course. He trusted it would not only be an attraction to Rothesay but a benefit to the residents in the way of health and exercise.
No expense had been spared to make it as perfect as possible, and they trusted it would be a success. They as a council did not wish to reap any benefit from the course – if there should be a surplus at the end of the year it was their intention it should be spent for the comfort of those taking advantage of the course – ( Applause ) – and everything would be done to make the course a pleasure to those who patronise it. ( Applause ) He thought they were entitled to acknowledge that they had got the ground for it from the Marquis Of Bute on the most reasonable terms, and he believed it would be difficult to find a better place for a course. The scenery was all that could be desired, and he was quite sure would be appreciated by those who had never seen it before. He called upon Mr Lamont to open the course.
Mr Lamont, who was received with applause, said he had been placed under a very great temptation, to which many of his colleagues were accused of constantly giving way, to give a speech of inordinate duration in order to defer the evil moment of having to drive off the first ball. He must plead guilty to being here on false pretences, for he was not a golfer. It was a popular belief that all politicians were addicted to golf, but in this matter he was in the minority. He read in to-days paper the result of the great contest for the Amateur championship, and was obliged to confess that he had never heard the name of the Amateur Champion before, and was only sorry he was not a Scotsman. The mystic word niblick, conveyed nothing to him ( “ Oh,” and Laughter,) he did not know what the difference was – if there were a difference – between a Brassy and a Stymie ( Laughter )
The word Bogey certainly had a sort of home like familiarity, but there was one word in the golf vocabulary which had been burnt in on his mind in letters of fire that morning, and that was the word “ Foozle,” ( Laughter )
There was another phrase which they constantly heard in use amongst their golfing friends – “ A good Lie,” – and was an expression on which he thought, they might all find common ground – ( Laughter ) and which seemed to be familiar alike to all pursuits of their fallible humanity. He did not know whether the frequent occurrence of that expression, was because the golfer – like the fly fisher – was addicted to the embroidery of his exploits in elegant language. Perhaps that was a matter which might be judiciously left to the local newspapers now that they had settled the burning question of “ where are the dead ? “ On a beautiful morning like this, and with the prospect of seeing four of the most brilliant players of the day, they would not desire to be detained by the merely formal part of the proceedings, so he would like just in a word to congratulate the provost and town council, and not only the inhabitants but also the visitors upon the successful issue of this new undertaking, which he believed would be of the greatest benefit not only to the residents, but also to the sojourners in their midst for recreation, exercise, and enjoyment. He hoped it would long continue to be an additional attraction to this town, which, for more than a century now, has been one of the favourite health resorts of Scotland. Many years ago people were content to come here merely for change of air, but nowadays people going down to the coast wanted to have something to do when they got there, and he thought the town council were wisely advised in undertaking this new venture, which he now had pleasure in declaring open. ( Applause.)
Bailie Harvey, in proposing a vote of thanks to Mr Lamont for declaring the course open, referred to his public services, and to his readiness at all times to meet with the wishes of his constituents, and presented him with a silver mounted cleek, bearing the following inscription, as a souvenir of this very interesting occasion :-
“ Presented to Norman Lamont, Esq, M.P., on the occasion of the opening of the Rothesay Municipal Golf Course – 30th May, 1908.”
The Bailie concluded by calling for three hearty cheers for Mr Lamont, which were heartily given.
Mr Lamont, in responding, thanked them for the most beautiful gift which they had presented to him, and said that it was more his misfortune than his fault that he was not a golfer, as there were no links on Loch Strivenside, but their kindness to him and the provision of this splendid course, would be an encouragement to study this great science of golf.
The company were thereafter photographed by Mr Charles Sweet, with the member in the attitude of driving, and the four professionals – Arnaud Massy, French and Open Champion ; James Braid, Ex Champion ; Harry Vardon, Another Ex Champion ; and Ben Sayers of North Berwick, under whose direction the new course was laid out – standing on the teeing ground beside him.
Mr Lamont then drove off the first ball, amid loud cheers, and the formal part of the proceedings were brought to a close by the firing of rockets.
In the foursome which followed, putting was difficult, owing to the newness and dryness of the greens, but the driving was excellent. The first two holes were halved, Vardon and Braid getting level at the third. At the tenth, Massy squared the match, but at the twelfth, the others got ahead again, increasing their lead to two at the fourteenth. Massy won the fifteenth, and Braid the seventeenth, and the last hole being halved, Braid and Vardon won by two up. The players all through were hampered by the crowd pressing in upon them. An attempt was made to keep the spectators back by means of a rope stretched across the course, but while such an arrangement may be of use on level ground, on a course with so much up and down on it, it proved comparatively useless, and was abandoned in the afternoon.
Public Luncheon – Presentation to Bailie Harvey.
After the first round of the links, the company adjourned to the Royal Hotel, where luncheon was served. Provost Burness presided, supported by Mr Norman Lamont, M.P., ex provost Milloy, Bailies Harvey and Cunningham, Ex Bailies Brown, Cunningham, McBride, Fisher, and Fife, Treasurer Buchanan, Dean Of Guild McMillan, Councillors Thomson, McColl, and Captain Miller ; Bailie Cunningham, Millport ; Commander Skipworth, Lieut Shearmie, Lieut Phillips, and Staff Surgeon Craig of H.M.S. “ Sentinel”, Commander Mausel, H.MS. “ Ciree” Commander Willing, H.M.S. “ Hebe”, Messrs George Halliday, J.J. White, George Smith, R.D. MacMillan, A.W. Herbert, G.M. McLintock, Donald McCallum, J.C. Sinclair, James Rose, D. Bremner, J. Scott ( Glasgow ), W. Kerr ( Glasgow ), and D. Bone ( Glasgow ), In addition to the four professional players, Messrs Massy, Braid, Vardon, and Sayers.
Apologies for absence were intimated by Mr Guy Spier, Rev. Dr Hewison, Sheriff Martin, Provost Cockburn, ( Millport ), Provost Dobie ( Dunoon ), Councillor McKinlay, Mr Charles Turner ( Innellan ), and Col. MacInnes ( Glendaruel ).
After an excellent repast, the chairman proposed “ The King” which was loyally responded to.
Mr Lamont, who was cordially received, proposed “ The Rothesay Municipal Golf Course.”
The difference in weather like this, between supporting the burden of existence in London and experiencing the joy of living in Bute was so patent to anyone that he felt he ought to start by passing a vote of thanks to them for having given him this admirable excuse for escaping for a couple of days from his customary avocations in the South, and making a special visit to Rothesay. In the next place he must certainly congratulate the Provost and the Town Council on the site they had chosen for their municipal golf course. He did not mean from the golfers point of view – from that side he was not entitled to speak, and he remembered the controversy as to the rival merits of the Eastland and Westland courses, on which the opinions of experts differed. Besides, they had in the four distinguished players whom they welcomed here today the first and highest opinion as to whether it was a good course or not, and he felt confident that from the two winners at any rate they would have no difficulty in obtaining a favourable verdict.
But from the artistic point of view for picturesqueness and scenery, he felt sure no golf course in Scotland could be lovelier, while the view also had the advantage of extending on the North from the Kyles Of Bute, the gateway of the highlands, past the fertile slopes of their own island and the heather-clad hills of Argyll, to this noble firth of theirs on the South, the highway of Scotland’s commerce, broadening to the ocean, and girt in by such a variety of landscape that to a newcomer it appeared to be one great landlocked lake, from which it was impossible to find access to the open sea. He rejoiced that they had taken this matter in hand, and had carried it so successful a conclusion. Municipalities were sometimes criticised from various points of view when they entered untrodden paths, but they, he was certain, would not be accused of any tendency towards municipal socialism in opening this municipal golf course. No effort was more legitimate, more desirable, or more praiseworthy than this, catering for the recreation of the residents and the visitors to their community.
Other municipalities, perhaps not any very great distance off, might direct their energies and their funds towards the erection of pavilions – ( Laughter ) and the provision for indoor amusements for their people, while they, placing confidence – he hoped not misplaced confidence – in the superiority of their climate and the comparative smallness of their rainfall ( A Laugh ) – had preferred to make their playground out of doors – ( Applause ) – and he hoped this municipal golf course would minister to the exercise, to the health, and to the enjoyment for many generations to come, not only of their own citizens but also of the strangers within their gates. Whom, indeed, this new attraction at Rothesay ought to do very much towards increasing in numbers.
And among the strangers at present within their gates he would like to say how heartily they welcomed the gentlemen of the Royal Navy – ( Loud Applause ) – whom they were all glad to see during these last few years paying more frequent visits to their bay than was at one time the case. He knew they were all anxious to get back to the links and he merely wished to add that it gave him the greatest possible pleasure to be with them to-day, and to have had a small share in declaring the course open ( Applause ). He had to thank Balie Harvey again most cordially, and all of them for the magnificent gift they had given him to commemorate his part in the day’s proceedings, which he hoped would be an encouragement to him to take up the study of this great science of golf in the future.
He had only in conclusion to propose for their acceptance the toast of “ Success to the municipal golf course,” coupled with the name of Bailie Harvey, to whom untiring efforts the success of the movement was so largely due. ( Applause ).
Bailie Harvey, in responding, thanked the company for the hearty response to the toast, and Mr Lamont for the very kind and encouraging remarks he had made in regarding the future of the course. He would like to say at this time that the kindness and courtesy with which Mr Lamont performed the duty of opening the course to-day demanded the esteem and appreciation of the whole community.
He could assure them that every member of the town council had the interests of the town at heart, and it had been their privilege and their duty to further these interests and to make the town as attractive as they could, to induce the visitors to come to their shores.
Judging from the turnout to-day, and the number of spectators who came to their opening, he thought he was quite safe in saying that they had added another powerful attraction to Rothesay. ( Applause ). No doubt the council had been very much indebted, as the Provost had said already, to their most generous landlord, who leased them a good portion of the ground required on very reasonable terms, and the town council and the community appreciated Lord Bute’s generosity very much.
Ex-Balie Fisher said they had with them to-day certain gentlemen who made it imperative that a certain toast usually honoured at such gatherings should be given to-day. He ment the toast of “ His Majesty’s Navy”. ( Applause ) They rejoiced that they had with present with them to-day a number of officers of His Majesty’s warships, and he could assure them they were delighted to see them every time they came to Rothesay Bay, which was adorned with such vessels. He had pleasure in coupling the toast with the name of Commander Skipworth, of H.M.S. “ Sentinel.”
Commander Skipworth, in responding, expressed the pleasure he and his brother officers had had in going over the new golf course, and in visiting this lovely place. He had never been here before, but he could assure them it would not be his last visit. ( Applause.)
Bailie Cunningham, Millport, in proposing “ The Royal Burgh Of Rothesay,” said he thought the event of to-day gave Rothesay one more right to claim – as she had always done – to be the premier watering place of the Firth Of Clyde. He thought the town council had shown a wise regard for the best interests of Rothesay in providing this municipal golf course. It might be a little late in the day ; still, it showed that the town council had the best interests of Rothesay at heart, because no watering place could claim to be an efficient recreation ground for visitors without a suitable golf course.
He thought to-day they had opened a golf course which for situation and view was equal to any on the Firth Of Clyde. In doing so he thought the local authority recognised that there was a wider scope for its activities than merely sanitation and keeping the town clean. There was, for instance, the prevention of trouble and disease, and he thought such a golf course would be a great preventive of disease, both among residents and visitors.
Provost Burness, in responding, said since he came to Rothesay 34 years ago there had been a transformation of the whole scene through the wisdom of their predecessors, which had made Rothesay, though not an extensive burgh, one of the wealthiest burgh’s in Scotland. Some people thought it was a poor burgh, but that was a great mistake. If they looked at the columns of the leading newspapers, they would see the leading cities of Scotland advertising for loans at ¼ per cent more than Rothesay needed to give. If they were not in a thoroughly good financial position that would not be the case. Year by year they were getting richer, they had a very rich Common Good, and to-day they had added another substantial asset to it. ( Applause.) Their valuation was increasing by leaps and bounds, they were paying off their debt rapidly, money was flowing in to the coffers of Rothesay, and he believed there might be reduced taxation by judicious management. They should always remember that every penny added to the rates reduced the value of property, while, correspondingly, every penny they took off the rates added to the value of property, and consequently to the wealth of the burgh.
Mr R.D. MacMillan, in proposing “ Golfing,” said he was sorry the Provost had commanded them to be brief, because he could speak on this subject for any length of time, and he had made extensive notes from the various handbooks, including Vardon’s and Braid’s. ( Laughter ) but he would just say that the toast was addressed to two classes of people – those who golfed, and those who didn’t. Those who golfed did not need his remarks, while to those who didn’t he would just suggest that they should begin at once. After the inevitable golf anecdote, Mr MacMillan went on to say that this meeting would be memorable in their recollections inasmuch as to-day they has sat down to luncheon with four gentlemen who amongst them could claim to be eight times champions in the world of golf. ( Applause.)
He thought on behalf of this company he could wish them every success and prosperity, and that when the closing stage of the open championship came, whoever came out in the end would be from amongst these four. ( Applause.)
He coupled the toast with the names of Messrs Sayers and Vardon.
Mr Ben Sayers in responding, returned thanks on behalf of the professionals for the kind remarks made, and said he could assure them it was a pleasure to be here to-day among such a lot of nice people. At the same time he begged to thank the Rothesay Town Council and people for giving him the honour of laying off the course. ( Applause.)
Mr James Braid, in the course of some remarks, said he found it more difficult to make a speech than to play a game. He congratulated the council of Rothesay on the magnificent golf course they had laid out, and Mr Sayers for having made the most of a difficult situation. He also congratulated Balie Harvey and Mr Bremner on the way in which they had carried out the work.
He was sure anyone visiting Rothesay and playing on the course would very soon come back again. ( Applause.)
Mr J.J. White proposed “ The Chairman,” and the Provost briefly replied.
Mr G.M. McLintock, on behalf of the architect and contractors then presented Bailie Harvey with a handsome gold scarf-ring as a memento of the occasion. Bailie Harvey acknowledged the gift in a few appropriate words and the gathering was brought to a close.
The Afternoon Game
The company afterwards returned to the course, where before an even larger crowd the foursome was resumed. The first hole was halved. Braid and Vardon won the next, and were thus three up, counting their lead. Massy won the next two holes, and the fifth was halved in three. At the sixth, Vardon won with a splendid putt, and increased the lead to two. The other pair won at the seventh, but the eighth was halved. At the ninth Braid and Vardon increased their lead to two. The tenth fell to the other pair, and at the eleventh Sayers, with a fine pitch on the green, squared the match. Halves followed to the sixteenth, at which Braid and Vardon were one up. At the seventeenth the game was again squared, and at the eighteenth, amid considerable excitement, the first three players took four each, while Braid, on the last shot, holed in three, thus concluding the game, with Braid and Vardon, who had lead nearly all along, one up on the day’s play.
Rothesay Chronicle July 15th, 1910
Braid and Taylor at Rothesay
Record for the new course
Before an attendance of from 500 to 600, James Braid, Walton Heath, and J.H. Taylor, Mid Surrey, last Saturday played exhibition games over the municipal course. Mr R.D. Whyte assisted on the greens, and the general arrangements of greenkeeper Bremner were excellent.
In The Forenoon
Play in the forenoon took the form of a hole match, and charming weather conditions prevailed when the champions drove off. At the first Taylor had hard lines for a 3, and a half in 4 resulted. At the second Taylor holed a splendid four yard putt, and secured a brilliant 3. At the third Taylor practically lost a stroke through getting into the rushes, while Braid landed at the foot of the dyke with his second, but recovered with a splendid niblick shot. Both had 5s here, and at the next 4s resulted. At the fifth Braid lipped the hole for a 3, and the hole fell to his opponent, who was approaching and putting with machine-like accuracy. Braid was short with his putts, and Taylor secured the sixth with 3 to 4, while the next three were halved in 4, 3, and 3. Taylor therefore turned 3 up, the scores out being :-
Taylor ….. 4,3,5,4,3,3,4,3,3 – 32
Braid ……. 4,4,5,4,4,4,4,3,3 – 35
Braid pulled into the fence going to the tenth, but recovered with a fine niblick shot. Taylor took the hole in 4 to 5. Braid was on the green at the eleventh with his drive, and laying a stymie, secured the hole in 3 to 4. Going to the twelfth, Braids drive lay badly at the ridge, which Taylor’s drive had cleared, and he took 5 against Taylor’s 3.
At the thirteenth Taylor’s tee shot was in the edge of the wood, and the scot took it in 3 to 5. Both had 4s at the fourteenth, and at the fifteenth Braid’s tee shot was at the foot of the hedge, and he gave up the hole. Taylor winning the match by 4 and 3. Taylor also won the bye. Scores :-
Taylor ……… 4,4,3,4,4,4,5,4,3 – 35 Total, 67
Braid ……….. ( Allowing a six at the hole where he lifted )
... 5,3,5,3,4,6,5,4,4 – 39 Total, 74
In The Afternoon
A medal round was played, and both gave a capital exhibition. At the first Braid was well over the ridge with his drive, and two 4s resulted. Braid, playing great golf, secured the second with a 3, and the next was halved. At the fourth Braid holed his mashie shot and secured a 2. 4’s and 3’s were secured by both at the next two, and a fine approach gave Taylor a 3 at the seventh. Taylor was out of bounds at Ardbrannan, but he made amends with a four yards putt at the ninth, which gave him a 2. Scores :-
Braid …………. 4,3,4,2,4,3,4,4,3 -31
Taylor ………… 5,3,4,4,3,4,4,4,3 – 34
Both has splendid drives over the ridge at the twelfth, and with Braid out in the splendid score of 31, he looked like creating a notable record. His last three holes cost him 5s, however, and he finished with a total of 67. The scores were :-
Braid ……….... 4,4,4,3,3,3,5,5,5 – 36 Total, 67
Taylor ……….. 5,3,4,4,3,4,4,4,3 - 34 Total, 68