Monday, 27 April 2015

Earlston Golf Club - A Short History

With thanks to the website "Golf Missing Links" for giving  permission to use its  article on the history of Earlston Golf Club, together with the Club's recent activity which you will find HERE.

Earlston Golf Club was founded in  August 1906, making it one of the oldest in the country. The course  was designed by Willie Park of Musselburgh on land owned by Lord Binning . The nine-hole course was situated in an area known locally as “Caldies Hill” on high ground with sandy soil. At the time of its opening,  it was stated that "there were some rough and stony parts but the course was gradually improving".

Minutes of the meeting in 1906, with "20 gentlemen present", to set up the club.  
The Rev. Mr  N.C. Keith  was in the chair, with Mr Geo L. McDonald appointed  clerk. 

In May 1909 Mrs Young, captain of the ladies’ section, provided a handbag as a competition prize. It was won by Miss May Smith with a score of 58. 

James McDonald won the May 1909 monthly medal with a score of 86.

The AGM was held in the "small room" of the Corn Exchange in November 1909 with the Rev A B Taylor in the chair. It was reported that the course had very much improved and the membership was stable. The treasurer submitted the balance sheet which showed an income of £79/6s/9d and an expenditure of £48/1s/7d. The golf house fund income stood at £17/19s/10d. 

The following officers were elected
Lord Binning, president
Colonel Hope, vice-president

G L McDonald, secretary
Management Committee – J Morris, D Hogg, G Angus, Rev N C Keith and Rev A B Taylor.

Ladies’ section;

Mrs Young, captain

Miss Ethe Herbertson, vice-captain
Mrs Newton, secretary
Committee – Mrs G L McDonald, Miss Aitkenhead, Miss Hewat, Miss Archibald and Miss Hogg.   

Competitions were played on the Caldies Hill course on Saturday 31st May 1913 with the following results: 
Gents’ competition – A A Burt, 40 nett; J D McDonald, 42; Geo Simpson, 43
Ladies’ – Miss Ruth Wallace, 58-4-54; Miss Jenny Kerr, 62-3-59
Juniors – James Hewitt, 113-18-95; Alexander Blair, 112-14-98
Mixed foursome – W F Aikman & Miss E H Hebertson
Gents’ approaching – Harry Aikmen  and Hardie Readman
Ladies’ approaching – Miss Jenny Kerr. 


In 1914 the secretary was R F Garroch of the Temperance Hotel, Earlston. The club had a membership of 64 gents and 37 ladies. There was no entry fee. Subs for gents were 10/- and ladies 5/-. Visitors’ fees were 6d a day, 2/- a week and 4/- a month.It was emphasized that Sunday play was not allowed.
Results from the Spring Meeting played in May 1914; G Logan (scratch), 40; J R Borthwick (6), 41; A A Burt (11), 43. Ladies’ stroke competition; Miss Jenny Kerr (3), 54; Mrs Burt (8), 62. Mixed foursome; N C Keith and Miss Aitkenhead (11), 43 after a tie with G Logan and Miss Polls.  

During World War One, the course was ploughed up for food crops in support of the war effort, but playing resumed in the inter-war years. 

On the Monday evening of the 22nd June 1925,  the final of the juveniles’ competition was played, Tom Montgomery beat Douglas Wallace by one hole.

On the following evening twelve players motored to St Boswells to play a club match only to lose by 11½ mashes to ½. Although it was a heavy defeat for Earlston,  many of the matches were close.

Result of a mixed foursome played on Saturday 12th September 1925:
First – Miss M Crozier & Tom Montgomery
Second - Miss A Millar & Willie Anderson
Third - Mrs W M Frater & Frank Mitchell
Captain’s Prize – Mrs J Aikman; runner-up, Miss J Turnbull
September medal – Mrs W M Frater
Gent’s section;
Wallace Cup – W Messer; runner-up, J Hewitt
Weatherston Shield – W S Donaldson
Captain’s Prize – R Crozier.

Also in October 1925 the final of the juniors’ match-play competition was played -  Adam Cummings beat Douglas Wallace by 2&1.

The club was organising weekly whist drives during December 1925, which were held at Mr Bolan’s Tea Rooms on Wednesday evenings.  

The prize presentation night was held in the Corn Exchange Hall on Friday 9th October 1925. Following a successful golfing season, the club captain, Mr T Bolan, presented the prizes to the following;
Ladies’ section – Mrs Sharpe, Rose Bowl, Mrs D Broomfield was runner-up

Result of the Spring competition played in May 1929:
A. M Keillor (club captain), 74-10-64
Dickson Fleming, 85-20-65 
William Messer, 83-14-69

Result of the June 1929 gent’s monthly medal:
D Fleming, 84-20-64
W Messer, 79-14-65
A Anderson, 81-16-65
R Thomson, 93-28-

On Friday 19th July 1929 the final of the ladies’ competition for the Challenge Rose Bowl presented by Mrs Sharpe, The Park, took place. The winner was Miss Jennie Lunn;   Mrs W Donaldson was the runner-up. 

Playing in the August 1929 monthly medal, l Dr L G Campbell set a new course record of 32 – 5,3,3,4,3,4,4,3,3. The previous record was 36.   Playing in the same competition the following players qualified for the club championship; D Fleming, W Messer, J S Brockie, J A Hewitt, J Fairley, Dr L G Campbell, R Thomson and T Murray.

The annual meeting was held in the Lesser Exchange Hall in December 1936, Mr D Denham presided. The treasurer submitted his financial report which was adopted.
The following office bearers were elected:
Captain, A R G Romanes 
Secretary, A R G Romanes
Treasurer, Miss M L Milton
Match secretary, A R G Romanes 
Ladies’ captain, Mrs W S Donaldson
Vice-captain, Miss N Hunter 
Competition secretary, Mr J Fairley
Ladies’ competition secretary, Miss I Mack
Committee of management – The Misses A D Douglas, I Mack, A Aitchison, A Millar, Mrs W Frater, Messrs D Denham, W Dobson, J Fairley, J Wilkie, D Fleming, T Fell.  

The monthly medal winner for May 1939 was Miss J Whitelaw.
The June competition winner was Miss Margaret Spence.
Two stroke competitions were won by Mrs W Frater and Miss Whitelaw.
In a gentleman’s stroke competition R A Thomson and D W Denham tied.  

The final of the Wallace Silver Challenge Cup was played in July 1939 and was won by R Campbell who beat D D Fleming by 4 and 2.

The annual meeting was held in Rhymer’s Mill Canteen on Thursday 21st March 1940, Thomas Bell presided.

The whole of the committee of management were re-elected. Office bearers;
Captain, T Bell;
Vice-captain, R Henderson;
Ladies’ captain Miss N Hunter;
Joint secretaries, R Keddie and J Fairley; treasurer, Miss M L Milton;
Committee – T Bell, R Henderson, J Fairley, D W Denham, R Keddie, D Hunter; green committee – D W Denham, T Bell and J Fairley.


Play was suspended during the duration of the war, but afterwards,  the Club  could not manage to survive due to lack of funds. . The course was subsequently used as a motorcycle scrambling circuit. There were hopes that the golf club and course could be resurrected but unfortunately this never materialised. 

Earlston Golf Club has, however, continued to have outings and competitions to various other courses in the country.   In 2000, 91 years after its start, it launched a new initiative to create the first golf course on the moon! 
 Read all about it in the next post on the Auld Earlston blog. 

 Postcard of the First Earlston Golf Club Gymkhana  in 1908



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