Maud Golf Club, Aberdeenshire.
At the formation of the club in early 1935 the president was the Rev W D Allen; vice-president, James A F Murray; secretary, George A Morrison; treasurer, George Cockburn. These gentlemen along with Charles McDonald and Dudley Wright would carry out the initial work on the founding of the club.
The first mention of the actual course appeared in the Aberdeen Journal on Thursday 9th May 1935. It stated that discussions were at an advanced stage to form a golf club in Maud and the surrounding area. Two public meetings had already been held and the proposal was put forward to call the club the Maud and District Golf Club, this would take in the nearby villages of New Deer and Old Deer. The next step was to deliver circulars to all households in the area asking potential members to fill in a form with a view to becoming members of the club. The instigator of the scheme was George Morrison, with the Rev W Dunbar Allen giving valuable support.
The club had already been given substantial financial assistance by Mr William Tait, a distinguished native of Maud who at the time resided in Benoni, South Africa. Valuable assistance had also been received from the owner of the farm of Mains of Clackriach where the nine-hole course would be laid out. The annual subscription would be £1 for men and 12s/6d for ladies. Mr Tait was appointed as honorary president.
The initial response to the founding of the club had been very positive with nearly thirty people already agreeing to become members. The target was fifty and it was hoped that this would soon be achieved.
Opponents to the scheme pointed out that courses at Strichen and Longside (both recorded on this website) had closed due to the close proximity of courses at Fraserburgh and Peterhead but supporters of the new course stated that this would not happen at Maud as it was considered a “fair distance” from a first class course.
After just six months of work on the project the nine-hole course, measuring 1,994 yards, was officially opened on Thursday 19th September 1935 by Miss Ivy Tait. Mr Murray presided at the opening of the course and explained that the promoters were intent on promoting Maud and its neighbourhood and making it an attractive venue for visitors to the area. In their effort they had had the assistance of many kind friends; Mr A Dingwall Fordyce of Brucklay; Captain and Madame Morrison; William Panton, tenant of the farm of Mains of Clackriach, and the trustees of the John Gordon Charitable Fund, who were proprietors of the estate of Clackriach an Old Maud.
It was stated that the fairways were somewhat rough, and the tees and greens were a long way short of satisfying a “golfing expert” but this was only to be expected after such a short time. The golfers who played over the course on the first day all agreed that the early signs were very encouraging and patience was needed while the course settled down.
Following the official opening an exhibition match was played by the following well-known north east golfers; George Philip of the Balnagask club; P McKenzie, G Hunter, G McBeath and P Geddes of the Peterhead Golf Club. The condition of the course ruled out the possibility of low scoring but at the close of play the players were unanimous that the course provided a sporting test, and was capable of great development, and that for a considerable time to come there was no urgent call for the construction of artificial hazards.
And so the Maud course had made its modest bow to the list of “golfing resorts”
A dance was held in the Victoria Hall in November 1935 to raise funds, proceeds going towards the course construction fund.
It was reported in November 1936 that the the golf course had been poorly supported. Following the hard work carried out just over twelve months ago it was though that a membership of 50 would be sufficient to prove a success, but only about half that number had become members. If it had not been for the generosity of a few people it was very doubtful if the club would still be in existence. The condition of the course had not improved since opening and the club was finding it impossible to employ a man on a part time basis in an attempt to improve the condition of the course. With the grass far too long on the course the players were not very enthusiastic. Only a small number were playing the course and the future looked anything but rosy. It was hoped that things would improve over the coming months and this would enable the club to take on a full time green-keeper.
The president, Rev W D Allen said that the venture had, unfortunately, been unsuccessful .The position would be reviewed by the spring.
That was the last mention of the course.
The Google map below pinpoints Mains of Clackriach, location of the short lived course.
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