Forgotten Greens of Scotland
Forgotten Greens of Scotland

Broughty Ferry ( Barnhill )

Broughty Ferry Ladies Golf Club.  Instituted 1895.


      “The first day of June has seen that a Ladies’ golf course on land, taken on a 25 year’s lease, belonging to the Hon C M Ramsey at Barnhill at Brought Ferry is an accomplished fact. This morning, accompanied by an enthusiastic member of the Broughty (Gentleman’s) Club, Mr Alexander Scott, the burgh Surveyor, caused the holes to be made. Starting from the east end of the Esplanade, the most suitable ground that could be got for putting greens was selected , and the holes neatly cut and ring guards inserted, and the course is now in a playable condition. As already stated there are eighteen holes – nine going out along the side of the railway almost as far as the level crossing at the Dichty, and nine coming back by the bents that skirt the estuary. Naturally parts of the course and some of the putting greens are meantime rather rough, but traffic over the course and a little additional expenditure of labour will soon bring the Barnhill course into good trim. Go on now, ladies, and make records.” (ET 1.6.1895)

      “The course, of eighteen holes, is laid out on the Barnhill Links, close to the Esplanade. There are plenty of whins as hazards.” (GA 1900-01)

Broughty Ferry Ladies


Dundee Courier May 4th, 1895


Proposed Ladies Golf Club For Broughty


A meeting of ladies favourable to the formation of a golf club in Broughty Ferry was held in the British Workman last night. Bailie Christie, who presided, explained that a course had been planned and it was expected it would be laid out in a few days for play. Commissioner Maclaren produced a plan of the course, showing the positions of the holes some of which had already received appropriate names. There was a fair attendance of ladies, and all approved of the club being formed, but it was agreed to adjourn for a week, by which time it was expected the course would be cleared, and a club would then be formed.

 The original members from the minute book

The Evening Telegraph June 1st 1895


The Ladies Course At Broughty



The first day of June has seen that a ladies golf course at Broughty Ferry is an accomplished fact. The morning, accompanied by an enthusiastic member of the Broughty ( Gentlemens ) club, Mr Alexander Scott, the Burgh Surveyor, caused the holes to be made. Starting from the East End of the esplanade, the most suitable ground that could be got for putting greens was selected, and the holes were neatly cut and ring-gaurds inserted, and the course is now in a playable condition. As already stated there are eighteen holes – nine going out along the side of the railway almost as far as the level crossing at the Dichty, and nine coming in by the bents that skirt the estuary. Naturally parts of the course and some of the putting greens are meantime rather rough, but traffic over the course and a little extra expenditure of labour will soon bring Barnhill course into good trim. Go on now, Ladies, and make records.

Dundee Courier June 17th, 1895


Opening of Broughty Golf Course


This course on Barnhill links was formally opened on Saturday afternoon in delightful weather by Provost Orchar in presence of a large assemblage of the members of the Broughty Ladies club and others, including several police commissioners.

It was arranged to play a series of Mixed foursome matches – ladies and gentlemens competitions – the leading quartette being composed of Provost Orchar and Mrs Robert Steven against commissioner W.N. Machan and Miss Nettie Webster. Mr Steven drove off the first ball, after which three cheers were raised. The Provost in the course of a few remarks wishing success to the ladies club and the course, said it was one of the best little courses he had played on, and anyone who could do well on it could appear on any course with credit. ( Applause )

At the close of the foursome encounters, and after tea provided by commissioner Machan had been partaken off with relish, the members of the ladies club competed for several prizes furnished by Provost Orchar, Mr Robert Steven, Bailie Christie, commissioner Maclaren and the proprietor of “ our boy” clothing establishment, Dundee.

The course it may be again stated, is mainly suited for ladies but it is also eminently suited for as a practice ground for the iron gentlemen enthusiasts.


The Dundee Courier May 8th 1896

Broughty Ladies Golf Club – Barnhill Links


A correspondent writes :- The resolution come to by the ladies golf club to declare the course on Barnhill Links a private one, and to appoint a watchman, has excited a good deal of interest in various circles, and there is talk of opposition. Those who question the right of the club to the absolute control of the course forget that the club recently obtained a lease of the links from the owners, the Dalhousie Trustees.

Were the links public property, the objectors would have an easy task to assert themselves, but in the circumstances they will have great difficulty should they try in thwarting the ladies and their advisors.


Dundee Courier May 19th, 1896

Broughty Ferry Ladies golf club question


Negotiations are proceeding between the committee appointed by the police commission and the ladies golf club with a view to the future management of the course. A satisfactory settlement is likely to come to. We understand a proposal has emanated from the club to the effect that the club is willing to bear the expense of placing the course in a suitable condition for playing on, and delegating the responsibility of protecting the greens and property on the commission. Of course, provision will made for all well-conducted persons having the use of the course for golfing – a boon which the members of the club assert they were always in favour of conceding.

Dundee Courier February 17th, 1897


The improvements on the Barnhill ladies course are going on rapidly, and a staff of men are at work laying out new greens and altering the lie of the course. With a soaking rain and  regular rolling for a month or two the greens will be found to be a vast difference from the late order of things


Dundee Courier May 4th, 1897


On Saturday the Broughty Ferry Ladies clubhouse, which has just been completed, will be opened by ex-Balie Machan. The structure looks very pretty although rather unpretentious. It will afford much desired shelter, however, to the members. It is intended that competitions be held on Saturday as a send off to the new house, and as a formal opening of the new greens, which have had a considerable amount of labour expended on them during the winter.

Dundee Evening Telegraph May 10th, 1897


Opening Of Broughty Ferry

Ladies Clubhouse


The new clubhouse erected on Barnhill links for the Broughty ladies club was opened on Saturday afternoon by Ex- Bailie W.N. Machan, the Hon. Vice President of the club, under very favourable auspices. Excepting that it was a little breezy, the weather was fine, and there was a large assemblage of ladies and gentlemen interested in the club. Amongst those present were Mr and Mrs Machan, Mr and Mrs John Park, Mr and Mrs George G. McLaren, Mr and Mrs Robert Steven, Mr and Mrs G.M. Lawson, Mr and Mrs James McKinnon, Mr and Mrs John G. Sprunt, Mr and Mrs Robert Scott, Mr and Mrs John Forbes, Mr and Mrs Allan Bell, Mrs Robertson, Mrs Thow, Mrs Watson, Miss Johnstone, Mrs Barrowman, Mrs John Kirk, Mrs Wemyss, Miss Imandt, Mrs and Miss Wybrants, Miss Eva Whyte, Miss Auldjo, Mrs John McFarlane, Bailie Fyffe, Dr Gowans, Ex-Bailie James Hood, Mr Craik, &c.

Ex- Bailie Machan, in opening the proceedings, intimated receipt of a telegram from the Hon. C.M. Ramsay, who, he said, had taken great interest in the club, apologising for his absence.

He thanked the members of the club for doing him the compliment of asking him to formally open the clubhouse, and he had to congratulate them upon what seemed to him a very successful termination of their efforts towards establishing a golf club and clubhouse in Broughty Ferry.

Two years ago there was a considerable amount of scepticism regarding the idea of carrying out the proposal. It was said there was no links, and there was not room for a ladies club in Broughty Ferry. The ladies, however, very soon after put a stop to that by forming a club and promptly securing a lease of the links.

After getting their club fairly started they set about getting a clubhouse. Friends and well-wishers alike again pooh-poohed the idea, and some of the ladies themselves even were sceptical about raising the funds to erect a clubhouse. It seemed an impossible task. Like everything else the ladies undertook, however, it was a great success. They held a bazaar and cleared over £200. That was very satisfactory. They were met now to congratulate the ladies on the very successful termination of their labours. They had got a very pretty clubhouse, they had a good club, with the members increasing, and the finances were in a good way.

Altogether, the club started under a very successful lease of life, and he wished them all success. He thought it right to ask that hearty votes of thanks be accorded to those who had assisted in the work. To Mr Bowman, who was one of the originators of the club, they owed so much, as he had done a good deal of useful work in season and out of season.

To Provost Orchar and Mr Robert Steven they were also much indebted, both gentlemen having entered heartily into the work. Last, but not least, their architect, Mr Maclaren, had manifested great interest in the club, and as a proof of that they had only to look at the clubhouse beside them.


Mr Robert Steven, Solicitor, said they were also very much indebted to Mr Machan, who had taken a great amount of trouble in getting the business arrangements of the club negotiated.

He called for a cordial vote of thanks to their Hon. Vice President. ( Applause.)

Mr J.A. Rodger took photographs of the members of the club grouped in front of the clubhouse. Numerous snap-shots were also taken by amateurs during the proceedings.


The Competitions


Were then proceeded with. The entries were large, and included representatives of the ladies Panmure and the Dundee Advertiser clubs, while several of the crack players of the Monifieth club were also present.


Ladies Open Competition


There were 32 entries in this contest, and some capital scores were made. The leading position was taken by Miss Lila Drimmie, of the Panmure club, whose score consisted of 68 strokes, and she took first prize. For the second and third prizes the play was very close, and resulted in a tie between two of the Broughty Ferry ladies, Miss Minnie Fyffe and Miss Sophia Low, with scores of 70 each. Another round of the course was played to decide the tie, when Miss Fyffe won, the scores being – Miss Fyffe 73 ; Miss Low, 79. The next best scores were :- Miss Nellie Bell, 73 ; Miss Jemina Lorimer, 74 ; Miss Maggie Jamieson, 74 ; Miss Cecilia Bowman, 75 ; Miss Aggie Macdonald, 77 ; Miss Lotte Warden, 77 ; Miss Alice Dobson, 78 ; Miss Annie Miller, 78 ; Miss Flora McCulloch, 78 ; Miss Webster, 79 ; Miss Jessie Miller, 80.


Broughty Ferry Ladies


The competition confined to members of the Broughty Ferry Ladies club was largely patronised. A tie for the scratch prize resulted between Miss Fyffe and Miss Low, and on playing off Miss Fyffe became winner.


Gentlemen’s Open Competition


There were 26 entries, and considerable interest was manifested in the competition, as it was expected a new record would be established. The rough condition of most of the greens prevented very much against the scoring. After scrutiny of the cards it was found that Mr Peter Morrison, a young Broughty Ferry player, who was partnered with Mr Robert Clark, of the Dundee Advertiser club, had the best record – namely, 60 strokes, which is the lowest score made in a competition since the course was opened. Going out Mr Morrison had the lowest score  - namely, 28 – and his figures included four 2s. For second and third prizes a keen contest took place between Mr William Drimmie and Mr J.M. Low, both members of the Monifieth club, who were balloted together. Out at 30, Mr Drimmie had a lead of 4 strokes on his opponent, who, however, had the lowest in coming in score on the green, namely, 27, and the totals reached 61 each. Another round was played, when Mr Low again finished with 61, and won second prize, the third falling to Mr Drimmie, who this time was 65.

A prize given by a lady to the gentleman who had the most 3s on his card was won by Mr Thomas Dobson, who had no fewer than eleven holes at 3 strokes each, and his total being 62. The next in order of merit were :- Alexander Bowman, 65 ; W.R. Anderson, 65 ; William Bowman, 67 ; Harry Christie, 67 ; Andrew Miller, 67 ; W.N. Machan, 67 ;James Dobson, 68 ; Dr Gowans, 69 ; Robert Steven, 70 ; J. Hendry, 70 ; Charles Mudie, 70 ; Allan Bell, 71 ; George G. Anderson, 73 ; William Barrowman, 73 ; John Gentry, 73 ; G.M. Lawson, 74 ; P. Woods, 79.

A number of friendly mixed foursomes were afterwards engaged in, one being between Mr Machan and Mrs McKinnon opposed to Dr Gowans and Mrs Maclaren. The latter scored 72, and the former 76. During the afternoon a plentiful supply of tea and cake was served to the players and visitors.

Dundee Courier October 16th, 1901

Barnhill Golf Links


In response to overtures anent the purchase of Barnhill Links, Mr John Sheill, on behalf of Lord Dalhousie’s advisers, states that they have no particular desire to sell this property, which has certain value, but if the town council are prepared to make an offer of £600, which he is advised is a reasonable price, it may be accepted.

Map showing Barnhill Links in the bottom left hand corner

Dundee Courier August 5th, 1902


Broughty Town Council

Resolution to Purchase Barnhill Links


Ballie Anderson moved that the council resolve to purchase from the Earl of Dalhousie, Barnhill Links, extending to 13 acres, and 37 poles, for £500. He said about an acre of that was to be held to be given up when required by the railway company for a station. He strongly advocated the acquiring of the ground, which was a very popular resort at present. The price was low, and if the council neglected the present opportunity of purchasing they would not be attending to the interests of the public.

EX-Bailie Watt, in seconding, delivered an animated speech in favour of the purchase.

Ex-Bailie Sim contended that as the ladies golf club held a lease of the links, thirteen years of which had yet to run, it was nonsense to talk of the ground being regarded as a public pleasure ground, as he knew of parties being told they had no right to play golf. The reservation regarding the station also detracted greatly from the value of the ground, while as to the statement by Mr Watt about securing the foreshore, he ( Mr Sim ) challenged the right of even the Earl of Dalhousie to prevent parties having right of access to the foreshore at present.

He invited those councillors who opposed the acquirement of the pleasure park at Seafield, because of increasing the rates, to oppose this proposal.

It was all in vain, however, for no one supported his amendment, and the resolution was agreed to. It may, however, be stated that the ratepayers will have the chance of vetoing the purchase by plebiscite.

Dundee Courier August 21st, 1908


Barnhill Golf Course


Letters to the editor


Sir, - Never, surley, was there a more neglected looking stretch of golf links than is presented by Barnhill at the present moment. The links are absolutely bare, and to speak of greens would be misnomer. This is doubtless due to the drought, and the town council cannot be blamed for the absence of rain and grass. The condition of the sand boxes, however, demonstrates both the mischievous propensities of a section of the community and indifference and neglect of the powers that be. Many of them are in the last stage of dilapidation , while in one or two instances the iron rings at the holes are on the point of losing their grip of terrafirma. It is hopeless to think of the councillors concerning themselves with any proposals for a new course, when so much carelessness is observable in the treatment of the existing links. – I Am, &c.


Dundee Courier January 22nd, 1909


Barnhill Course Is Undergoing



Complaint has frequently been made regarding the unsatisfactory condition of the Barnhill golf course, and not without reason.

Recreation convenor Berg, along with Councillor Gillies, recently made an inspection of the course, and they were impressed with the necessity for improvement is shown by the operations now in progress.

These consist of the top-dressing of the greens with a rich compost, which should ensure a fine grassy carpet in the summer season, when, owing to the arid nature of the soil, the greens are apt to become bare and “ Fiery.”

The work is being done by a staff of men under Park ranger Grant.

Dundee Courier March 4th, 1910


Broughty’s Golf Course


Town Council consider as to whether a charge

should be made as on other links


The Broughty town council as custodians of the Barnhill golf course have for some time been considering as to the advisability of levying a charge from golfers for the use of the links. After considering the subject it is understood that the idea has been departed from for the present. At the same time arrangements are to be made for looking after the patrons of the course in a more strict fashion than has hitherto been the case. Not infrequently a grievance has been experienced through parties starting play in the middle of the course. This and other delinquencies will be obviated during the ensuing season by the presence of a ranger armed with restrictive powers.

Dundee Evening Telegraph June 16th, 1914


Broughty Ladies and

Barnhill Golf Course


A sub-committee of Dundee Parks Committee decided this afternoon to recommend that a minute of agreement with Broughty Ferry ladies golf club concerning Barnhill course, subject to any charge that the town council might agree to impose on golfers for the privilege of playing at Barnhill. It was stated that if the course became a revenue producing subject it might be possible to appoint a man to look after the green.

Dundee Courier November 4th, 1919


An interesting report dealing with the corporation bowling greens, Tennis Courts, and the Barnhill Golf Course was submitted to the works and cemeteries committee of Dundee town council yesterdayby Mr Alexander McRae, the superintendent.

The number of golfers on Barnhill golf course had increased considerably during the season, and the tickets sold represented 17,233 rounds, as against 5405 the previous year.

The revenue, including £5 from the ladies golf club, amounted to £76 16s 1d and the expenditure to £106 9s 7d.

Dundee Courier November 15th, 1921


Barnhill golf course showed a satisfactory return for the past twelve months. The number of golfers had again increased, and the number of tickets sold represented 27,326 rounds, as against 20,287 the previous year. The revenue, including £5 from the ladies golf club, amounted to £232 14s 4d and the expenditure to £184 15s 4d leaving a surplus balance of £47 19s

Evening Telegraph January 25th, 1926


Danger Of Barnhill

Golf Course



Town Council Liable for


To people on the road hit by balls


Matters affecting the Barnhill Golf Course were discussed at a meeting of the sports committee of Dundee Town Council this afternoon – Mr John Ogilvie presiding.

It was stated that there was a deficiency on the course for the past year owing to competition afforded by the Caird Park course.

Mr R.J. Larg – The Barnhill course is a very dangerous place.

Mr W. Reid – Would it not be better to turn it into a putting course ?

Mr D. Latto – Depute town clerk said he desired to make it clear that the town council was liable if anybody was injured. The balls flew over the road, and one could not go on the North side of the road.

Treasurer Johnstone – What about reserving this course entirely for ladies.

Mr Larg – That is worse ( Laughter.) You don’t want to encourage people there at all. The ladies are more inclined to slice their balls.

The Convenor – With a view to restricting play, how would it do to alter the charges ?

Mr J.B. Archer said it would be well worth while to alter the course of the road.


A primitive affair


Mr George Carnegie said the course was a primitive affair, and it would be folly to spend any money at all in altering or enlarging it. The only alternative for the town council was to increase the charge.

Everybody ought to pay for their recreation, and he thought recreation in Dundee was extremely cheap. If at the end of the season the accounts did not square, it would be a question of whither they should carry it on or not.

Mr James Nicoll said if they took away the golf course they would not be treating Broughty Ferry as it ought to be treated.

Mr Larg – This course is a public danger, and it does not matter whether you charge 2d or 3d people will get killed just as quickly. If they must have golf, he would suggest that they put up nets to allow players to practice their shots.

The convenor said the corporation had always looked upon it as good business to provide recreation facilities even at a loss. There was a big call for recreation. It was agreed to defer further consideration until the Barnhill course had been visited.

Dundee Courier October 6th, 1931


In order to maintain the condition of the course, it was decided to return to the former policy of employing a man throughout the whole year on Barnhill golf course.


Dundee Courier February 6th, 1940


Military wants Barnhill Golf Course


A request from military authorities for the use of Barnhill golf course for training came before Dundee Parks Committee yesterday. It was stated the soldiers would be instructed to keep clear of the greens.

Committee agreed to ask if the ground at “ the dump” nearby would be suitable, failing that, the use of the course will be granted.

Dundee Courier March 5th, 1940


Bailie Thinks Golfers Should

Be Paid


Move to cut Barnhill

Charges Fails


People should be bribed to play over Barnhill golf course rather than be expected to pay for the experience, said Bailie Gillies yesterday, at Dundee Parks Committee.

The Bailie moved that the present charge of 2d a round over Barnhill golf course should be reduced to 1d.

At first he had advocated that there should be no charge. Money collected in charges for playing over the course, he said, did not amount to more than £70, but to collect these charges cost more than £200.

Bailie Gillies said the course had been severely mutilated. A new road had been driven across it. Another part was receiving attention as a dumping ground for the cleansing department. They could not charge people 2d to walk over a mass of potato peelings.

Treasurer Caldwell, moving an amendment, that the charges remain as at present, said he did not think the proposition was fair to the ratepayers. The course had to receive attention, and the revenue of £70 should not be thrown to the winds.

The motion was defeated by seven votes to two.

Dundee Courier October 11th, 1945


Broughty Ladies Golf

Club Jubilee


The Jubilee of the Broughty Ferry ladies golf club was celebrated at a dinner held in Taychreggan Hotel, West Ferry, last night. A gathering of 68 ladies including many old members. The guest of the evening was Dundee’s lady Provost.

Mrs William Low, President, presided, and welcomed the gathering.

The lady Provost congratulated the club on attaining its Jubilee and wished it every success.

Mrs Macdonald, Secretary, replied, and gave an account of the club’s history.

Mrs C. Robertson proposed the toast of “ Former Members” and Mrs Rattray replied. Mrs W. Anderson gave the toast of “ The President.”

The lady Provost was presented with a basket of grapes, Mrs Mudie making the presentation.

Recitations were given by Mrs C. Robertson and the soloist was Mrs E. Dick and accompanist Miss M. Henderson.

A military whist drive was engaged in with Mrs William Low as cardmistress. Winners : - 1, Mrs Ogilvie, Mrs Elder, Mrs Balfour, Mrs Scott. 2, Mrs W. Anderson, Miss Findlay, Mrs Marshall, Mrs Mackie.

The lady Provost presented the prizes.

Dundee Courier January 15th, 1946


Part of Barnhill golf course may be used as a children’s playground.


Dundee Courier September 14th, 1948


Course to be abandoned


The Broughty Ferry improvements sub committee is to consider a proposal by Bailie Forbes that Barnhill golf course be abandoned as such. He said there were often hundreds of picnickers there and very few golfers.

Mr Hughes said they had already abolished the charges because they weren’t worth collecting.

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