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Laurencekirk Golf Club, Aberdeenshire.

The club first appeared in the early 1900s and played on a short course at Fettercairn. In 1906. The secretary at the club was B G Sawyer, Gordon Villa, Fettercairn, near Laurencekirk. A 6-hole course on which visitors played free on introduction by a member. The station at Laurencekirk was 7 miles away. Local hotel was the Ramsay Arms.

The second club and course came into being in 1911. The following report is from the Aberdeen Journal of Friday 22nd December 1911. It makes no mention of the earlier course at Fettercairn:-

“A meeting of those in favour of the formation of a golf club for Laurencekirk was held in the Town Hall on Wednesday night. There was a large attendance, over which Provost Adam presided.

The chairman thought everyone in Laurencekirk would be glad if the golf course should go on, because it meant money circulating in the burgh, and visitors coming into the burgh to play golf would give an impetus to trade. It had been said that if golf course went on it would be a veritable gold mine to the burgh. He did not know if that prediction would come true altogether, but if the course became a success and paid its way, all would be well. If play were made possible, at a reasonable subscription, the course should be well supported.

Mr A C Ramsay, burgh treasurer, gave a history of the negotiations in connection with the procuring of a site at Garvock Hill. This site, he pointed out, possessed all the characteristics essential to a good inland course. Negotiations were opened with Mr Brown of Burnton, who promptly conceded to the promoters the privilidge of forming a golf course on the site on payment t him of a nominal rent of one shilling per year. That privilidge ran concurrently with Mr Brown’s tenancy. The promoters could not proceed to incur the expense of laying out and equipping a course on a tenure which would close on any interruption in Mr Brown’s tenancy, and accordingly the superiors were approached with a request with that they would guarantee to the club a continuance of the right to the ground in the event of such an interupyion taking place. The Countess of Kintore, in a letter to him, signified compliance with this request. He concluded by stating that it was the intention of the promoters, consistent with good finance, to fix the subscription at a figure which would bring the facilities of golf within the reach of as many as cared to avail themselves of it.

The Reverend Thomas Lawrie moved – “That a golf club be formed, called the Laurencekirk Golf Club”.

A meeting of the committee was afterwards held when the Rev Thomas Lawrie was appointed chairman of committee. The following office-bearers were appointed; Patrons and Patronesses – The Right Hon the Countess of Kintore, Mrs Pearson of Johnstone, Mrs Thornton of Thornton Castle, The Right Hon The Earl of Kintore, The Right Hon Lord Clinton, Lord Falkoner, Keith Hall; Sir John R Gladstone Bt of Fasque; the Hon A C Murray MP; Sir William Sinclair, Manchester; Mr Sydney J Gammell of Drumtochty; Mr W Low of Balmakewan; Mr R B Pearson, advocate, Edinburgh; Mr John Brown of Redhall; Mr Angus Sinclair, New York. Honorary President - Mr William Brown, Pitnamoon; vice-presidents – Mr Arthur Burnett of Garvocklea; Mr Stewart of Davo House; Mr C M Crichton, factor to the Earl of Kintore. Captain – Mr A Pearson of Johnstone; vice-captain – Mr James M Howie; secretary – Mr Arch Taylor; treasurer – Mr A C Ramsey. A Finance committee was also appointed, consisting of the chairman of the committee, the secretary, the treasurer, and D G Booth and J Grant; and it was remitted to this committee to arrange for the issuing of circulars, soliciting donations in aid of the scheme”.

A meeting was held in the Young Men’s Rooms on Wednesday 30th April 1912, Rev Thomas Lawrie, in the chair. Total membership for the year was 82 and there were good prospects of attracting more members. Mr Sidney Herbert, The Heugh, Stonehaven, had become a patron and cheques were acknowledged from him and from Robert Williams, Drumtochty Castle. Mr J A Dykes, Burnton, agreed to accept the office of honorary president in succession to the late Mr W Brown of Pitnamoon. The prizes won in last year’s gentlemen’s handicap were presented as follows; E W Penney, winner; A R Taylor, runner-up; Dr Macmillan; Archibald Taylor, junior. Ladies’ handicap final to be decided between Miss W Duthie and Miss Doroth Law, Miss B Ironside was third and Miss H Bruce fourth. Juveniles’ competition; W D McIntosh winner and J Dawson jun, runner-up.  

The October 1913 monthly medal, donated by Mr J Niven, Broughty Ferry, was won by Mr R Dallas, 84-10-74.

 

Laurencekirk Golf Club, Aberdeenshire. Clubhouse and course.

Lauerencekirk golf course – putting on the ninth green. Authors Collection.

At the annual meeting in March 1920 the Rev Thomas Lawrie MA, was in the chair. The treasurer submitted the balance sheet, it was showing an income of £117/0s/7d and expenditure of £78/17s/6d. The membership for the year was 150. The following were elected office bearers; Hon president, J A Dykes, Burnton; vice-presidents, Major Dawson and Rev Thomas Lawrie; president, J M Howie; captain, R Campbell, vice-captain, David Hampton; secretary and treasurer, Archibald Taylor; match secretary, Arch Taylor jun; auditor William Ironside. Ladies section; captain, Miss Duthie; vice-captain, Miss Low; secretary, Miss Abernethy.

The annual meeting was held on Monday 27th March 1922, Councillor J M Howie, the president, in the chair. A satisfactory balance sheet was submitted and the following officers were elected; R Campbell was appointed president; D G Cownie, captain; Baillie Mitchell, vice-captain; Archibald Taylor, secretary and treasurer. 

In 1923 the secretary was Archibald Taylor, telephone number 23. The greenkeeper was Chas Stewart.  A 9-hole course with a membership of 140. The station at Laurencekirk was now only 1 mile from the course. This must have been the later course at Burnhead.

Below is the result of a match played at Laurencekirk against Stonehaven in July 1924.

Laurencekirk   Stonehaven  
J M Howie & A K Smith 0 E L Wood & Geo Gray 1
J J Melville & D Shaw 0 J Miller & R V Thomson  1
A Taylor & D Hampton 1 G J Pirie & J G Mackenzie Booth 0
G Clark & D Manson 0 T Michie & A G Fraser 1
J D Williamson & D Campbell 1 J B Connon & W Riddoch 0
C M Hood & D Dallas 1 F W Robertson & W Paterson 0
J W Kerr & R Reid 0 W G Caird & F K Murray 1
  3   4

Leading scores in a junior competition played in June 1937; J Merchant, F Gerrie, J Horne, S McIlwaine, J Brand, N Dallas and H Lawrie.

In a stiff breeze in September 1937 J B Williamson went round the nine-hole Garvock Hill in 30 strokes, his score as follows; 3,3,4,3,3,4,3,4,3.

In a letter submitted at the annual meeting in March 1938 Mr J M Howie offered the gift of a new trophy to replace the present Handicap Cup. The trophy would be known as the Silver Jubilee Cup, the club having been in existence for over twenty five years (the present club had actually been founded in 1911). Councillor David Shaw, the retiring president, thanked Mr Howie for his generous gift. Mr J B Williamson, secretary and treasurer, produced the balance sheet which showed a loss of £3/4s/1d, leaving a balance in hand of £20/8/2. The following officers were appointed; hon. president, Major J A Dawson; hon. vice-presidents, A Anderson, A Low, R Milne, R B Pearson, A B Mitchell and D G Cownie; president, J M Howie; captain, L S Petrie; vice-captain, A Stuart; match secretary, A N Laing; secretary and treasurer, J B Williamson; auditor, T Brown. Women’s section – captain, Miss E Watt; vice-captain, Miss A Duthie; joint secretaries, Mrs A Taylor and Miss H Carr. Thanks were passed on to the officials for their services, including Miss Spark, who had been secretary for the women’s section, and Councillor Shaw, who had been president for three years.

At the annual meeting held in April 1940 it was decided that members serving with the Forces would be allowed to continue their membership without payment of the annual subs. The financial report, submitted by Mr J B Williamson, showed a balance in hand of £26/9s/11d and this was considered very satisfactory. Provost Howie, the retiring president, and Mr Williamson were thanked for their services. The following office-bearers were elected; President – Mr L S Petrie; captain – Andrew Stuart; vice-captain – Keith Allan; secretary and treasurer, James B Williamson; auditor – L S Petrie; women’s section, captain – Miss Watt; vice–captain – Miss Duthie; joint secretaries – Mrs Taylor and Miss Carr.

In 1940 and 1947 the secretary was J B Williamson, “St Anns” Laurencekirk, telephone17 and the greenkeeper W Eaton. 9-holes with a SSS of 30, par of 34 and a membership of 70. Amateur course record holder was J B Williamson 30. Visitors’ fees were 1/- a day, 4/6d a week, 7/6d a fortnight and 10/- a month. Sunday play was not allowed. Local hotels were the Royal, Alma and Gardenston.

Laurencekirk Golf Club, Aberdeenshire. Original course at Fettercain.

Original course at Fettercain. Grid reference NO62060,75235, co-ordinates 362060,775235.

 

 

Laurencekirk Golf Club, Aberdeenshire. Later course at Burnhead.

Later course at Burnhead. Grid reference NO73305,70170, co-ordinates 373305,770170.

 

 

Pavilion and home green.

The ninth green and clubhouse in the 1930s. Postcard by Raphael Tuck for Arch Taylor, Laurencekirk. Authors Collection.

 

Laurencekirk Golf Club had disappeared by 1951.