Forgotten Greens of Scotland
Forgotten Greens of Scotland

St Combs

     “The new golf course at St Combs:- As previously announced in our columns, a new golf course, with 18 holes, is to be laid out between the village of St Combs and the Loch of Strathbeg.  The course will be in convenient proximity to St Combs Station on the new railway, which will be opened in July, and no doubt will be a big attraction for Fraserburgh folks.  Already there is a talk of building a clubhouse or pavilion at the links.  Some time ago old Tom Morris was over the ground, and expressed the opinion that it was admirably suited for the purposes of a golf course.  A meeting in connection with the project is to be held shortly in Fraserburgh.”

(Aberdeen Daily Journal 16 .6.1903)

     “Mr Weir the professional golfer and greenkeeper at Cruden Bay has given a very glowing report of the prospective course at St Combs.  He goes most minutely and cleverly into all the salient features of the ground and expatiates upon them in language that would do credit to a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers.  As an expert able to judge of the capabilities of possible golfing around and put these into writing, he may be safely backed against the best professionals in Scotland Old Tom Morris included.  After touching on the many strong, and the very few weak points, such as rabbits, etc., of St Combs, he winds up his report by saying it could be made a course equal to the finest in Scotland.” (Aberdeen Daily Journal 24.11.1903)

     “Golf Course for St Combs. - Negotiations, which are very likely to prove successful this time, are going on as to the formation of a grand golf course on Cairness estate immediately to the south of St Combs.  The extensive links between St Combs and Strathbeg Loch would afford space sufficient for half-a-dozen golf courses, and the turf is of the very finest description.  It is not unlikely that the new club will be in force by another season.” (Aberdeen Daily Journal 15.4. 1905)


Golf Course at St Combs.



for East Aberdeenshire


Members now being enrolled


Annual Subscription, 21s


Apply immediately   

to John Cranna, Fraserburgh; or Wm. Lawrence, Gowanhill,

Interim Honorary Secretaries.                           

(Aberdeen Daily Journal 16th May, 1905)

“The NEW GOLF COURSE AT ST. COMBS - As will be seen by advertisement in another column, arrangements are being made for laying off a golf course on the magnificent links at St Combs.  The course has been surveyed and laid off by Mr Weir, the professional and greenkeeper at Cruden Bay, who, in his report stated that the ground possessed all the qualities for making St. Combs one of the finest courses in Scotland.  As an indication of its extent, it may be stated that the length of several of the holes is between 500 and 600 yards.  The texture of the turf is of the very finest kind, and in consequence, the upkeep of the course would be very moderate.  For variety of play the ground presents conditions that would delight the heart of the most ardent golfer. The hazards are real hazards, and punishment would only be meted out to those who deserved it.  Mr Weir predicts a great future for the course, which he believes will, as it becomes known, attract golfing enthusiasts and visitors from all parts of the country.  Members are now being enrolled, and already between 35 and 40 Fraserburgh gentleman have joined, besides, about a score of country residents.  Of course it will depend upon the members enrolled whether the course will go on or not.  The Railway Company are warmly supporting the project, and, besides intimating a liberal donation to the funds, etc., have indicated that special travelling facilities will be granted to the members of the club.  In addition to the beautiful golf links, the country round about is interesting. Quite near the ninth hole is the Loch of Strathbeg, the second largest loch in Aberdeenshire, the bird life of which affords a delightful study to those interested in the subject.  The beautiful sands of St Combs and Rattray are at hand, while from the tee at the top of the Gallowhill, a view of the coast line, including Rattray Head and lighthouse, can be had and cannot be excelled in Buchan.  To the west, and within a short distance of the course, are the lovely woods of Cairness  and Crimonmogate, so that for variety of scene the course has advantages possessed by very few golf courses in the country.  Gentlemen or ladies, the latter admitted at 10s, desiring membership, are requested to communicate with Mr Cranna or Mr Lawrence at once.” 

(Aberdeen Daily Journal 16.5. 1905) 


Given the amount of preparatory work which had been done towards the formation of this club, it is very surprising that it apparently came to a sudden end. One assumption must be that there was insufficient response to justify continuing with the project.



Enterprise of the Lairds

With the improvements carried out within the last year and those in contemplation for the near future, the village of St.Combs, Aberdeenshire, is to be boosted as a summer resort by Colonel C. T. Gordon of Cairness, the proprietor. The water supply and drainage system have been brought into line with the best modern practice, and is now proposed to lay a golf course on the fine adjacent links, one of the best natural sites for a golf course on the north-east coast.

  That, together with a bowling green, ample accomodation for tennis players, and safe bathing in protected water from a natural sandy beach, will provide recreation facilities for holiday-makers, whose creature comforts will be catered for by the erection of a modern hotel and road house overlooking the North Sea.”

(Aberdeen Daily Journal 24.10. 1933)  


Authors’ Note: Although it appears that two attempts to open a course at St Combes were widely publicised, there is no evidence that a course was ever actually laid out. This is not surprising since the village borders the southern edge of the Inverallochy  course, a well-established and well-known club, and there are many good courses within a score of miles.

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