Insch Golf Club, Aberdeenshire.
The nine-hole course at Insch opened on Thursday 31st May 1906. The course was located three-quarters of a mile to the north west of the village at the foot of Dunnideer Hill on land owned by Mr George Cooper who was honorary president of the club. Course description as follows “The first teeing ground is at the top of what is known as the Belts. The longest and best hole is close to the railway and the driving is in the direction of Dunnydeer Mill. For an inland course, golfers, especially the less experienced, will find that it provides ample sporting qualities. The greens at the moment are in somewhat of a primitive state, but if they are well looked after they will soon improve. The membership of the club is about 50. The president of the club is Provost Dawson and the vice-president Dr Davidson. Mr W A Macdonald is captain and Mr A A Middleton should prove an excellent secretary. The club had been fortunate in getting a good and interesting course. The old castle of Dunnydeer stood on the hill behind, and overlooked the grounds; a very fine view of Insch and the surrounding district. Mr Smith of Pittordrie, in the absence of Mr Cooper, declared the course open. Mrs Cooper gracefully drove off the first ball, her performance being heartily cheered. Mr P Ironside, on behalf of the members , presented Mrs Cooper with a driver as a souvenir of the occasion”. G M Munroe, Manse of Insch, Kincraig, was also listed as a secretary in 1906.
Among those present at the opening; Provost Dawson and Mrs Dawson; George Smith of Pittordrie; Mr P Ironside, banker; Colonel Smith; Mr W A Macdonald, solicitor; Allan Cooper and Mrs Cooper, Dunnydeer; Miss Bruce, Inchfield; Miss Simmers, postmistress; Mrs Watson, High Street; George Murray; Rev Peter Bisset, Oyne; Rev William Cruickshank, Leslie; James Innes, Kennethmont; Walter E Barry, Inland Revenue Officer; Mr and Mrs Will, Schholhouse; Mr J Beattie, Emerald Bank; Dr Davidson and Mrs Davidson.
The final of the season’s silver medal presented by Provost Dawson was played in November 1906. The contestants were A A Middleton, North of Scotland Bank, and the Rev J Irvine, the Rectory. Mr Middleton won by 7 and 5.
The annual meeting was held in the Public Hall on Monday 10th June 1912. The following officers were appointed; Hon president, C E N Leith Hay; president, Provost Dawson; vice-president, Mr Will, Schoolhouse; captain, J A Saunders, Meadow Bank; vice-captain, Captain W A Macdonald; secretary and treasurer, James Chalmers; committee – Rev John Irvine; Mr Innes, Kennethmont; Mr Wilson, Dunnydeer; George Murray, Alvah Cottage; Mr Anderson, Commercial Bank; Mr Wallace, Rothney.
A meeting of the Insch Feuars Committee was held in the Public Hall on Tuesday 25th June 1912, George M Russell presided. Mr Cruickshank, Lillydale, was appointed keeper of the Recreation Park and it was arranged that the new park be opened on Thursday 4th July. The Hon. Mrs Leith Hay of Leith Hall had agreed to open the golf course and would drive the first ball. This would be followed by an exhibition match between Messrs. Marling and Smith of Aberdeen.
Playing round the course on Tuesday 7th January 1913 Mr W A Macdonald, partnered by Mr Irvine, set a new course record, he went round the nine-hole course in 34. This was three strokes better than the previous record which had been by profeesional Alexander Marling. The monthly medal for January was won by George Murray junior with a score of 84 (41+43)-6-78.
The annual meeting was held in the Public Hall on Tuesday 15th April 1913. Provost Dawson, president of the club, was in the chair. In his report the secretary, Mr Chalmers, submitted a satisfactory balance sheet “for the nine months since the club had been formed”. It’s seems obvious that the earlier club (founded 1906) had become defunct.
The chairman went on to say that the clubhad been very successful as regards numbers since June last year, and he hoped the membership would keep up. They would do all they could to make the course a good one, and he had great pleasure in offering a challenge cup, to be competed for annually by the members.
The following office-bearers were elected for the year; Hon president - Charles E N Leith Hay of Leith Hall; patrons – Lord Emmett, London; H P Lumsden, Lickley Head; Colonel J T Beattie, London; Captain A T Gordon, Freefield; Raphael Gordon of Wardhouse; J M Henderson MP; Colonel Milne of Logie; George Smith of Pittordrie; Robert Smith, Drumrossie; W H Haughton of Williamstone; president – W F G Dawson, Bank House; vice-president – Alexander Will, Schoolhouse; captain – J A Saunders; vice-cpatain – M A Macdonald, St Andrew; secretary and treasurer – James Chalmers, Rosebank; members of the council – Rev J Irvine, The Rectory; John Anderson, Commercial Bank; James Wallace, Rothney; James Middleton, Commerce Street; George Murray jun, Alvah Cottage; W Morrison, Fernbank.
Below is the result of a match played at Insch against Huntly on Thursday 16th July 1914.
|J Scott||0||J Watt||1|
|W A Macdonald||1||G L Ledingham||0|
|Geo Murray||0||F Watt||1|
|A Middleton||0||W Watt||1|
|A Clubb||1||G Freeman||0|
|J A Sannders||0||J Dickie||1|
|J Kemp||0||W Gray||1|
|J Chalmers (half)||0||G Reid (half)||0|
|Reverend John Mack (half)||0||W Ingram (half)||0|
|Gordon Mennie||0||J Anton||1|
The club had moved location by the early 1920s (see map below).
A remarkable incident took place on the Insch golf course, Aberdeenshire, on Wednesday 23rd June 1926. During a match between the home club and Oldmeldrum, Mr J Tait (Insch) and Mr J Chalmers (Oldmeldrum) halving the fourth hole in one. The hole was 110 yards in length. It was reported at the time that this was only the third time in the annals of the Royal and Ancient game that a hole had been halved in one.
Unfortunately the course was required for the WW2 war effort and did not re-open following the war. The secretary in the 1940s was I McGregor, Rosedale, Insch. The 9 holes measured 1,690yds and had a SSS and Par of 72. The club had a membership of 70. Visitors’ fees were 1/- a day and 3/6d a week. The clubhouse had no licence or catering facilities. Sunday play was not allowed.
The current course opened in 1982.