Bridge of Earn Golf Club, Perthshire.
Founded in 1894 the course was opened on the 26th July by Sir Robert Moncrieff, Bart, the captain, in front of a large crowd including; Lady Moncrieff, Lord Hay of Kinfauns, Mr Low of Ballendrick, Mr Watson of Aytoun, Councillor Halley, Perth. In a speech Sir Robert Moncrieff said “Futile attempts had been made in the past to form a club, but thanks to Mr Walker the tenant of the ground, they had now been successful and he trusted that when the farm again went into the hands of Mr Grant, the proprietor, he would be liberal in his dealings with them” He then invited Lady Moncrieff to drive off the first ball. Following the opening ceremony Sir Robert went on to say that he hoped the village would flourish with the new club. Originally a 9 hole course it was hoped that it would be extended to 18 holes one day. Other thanks were passed on to Mr C L Wood of Freeland and to the secretary Mr Robert Brough of Ochil View for all their efforts.
The course was laid out by R & D Taylor, contractors, Perth, it had taken two months to carry out the work. Club membership had already reached 100 and consisted of many of the “best known golfers in Perth and the neighbourhood”.
Course yardages; First Hole, 286; Second, 187; Third, 236; Fourth, 300; Fifth, 210; Sixth, 400; Seventh, 180; Eighth, 252; Ninth, 286.
Result of the monthly medal for November 1894; A T Mackay, 91 – 6 – 85; J M Black, 94 – 8 – 86; David Duff, 100 – 14 – 86; Dan A Cuthbert, 88; James McNicoll, 90 – 1 – 89; Peter Stewart, 92 + 2 – 94.
In July 1895 Mr Walter Low of Ballendrick presented a silver cup for competition. The greens were said to be in excellent condition and after a good game Mr W H Laing won with a net score of 73.
In November 1895 the final of the “Colonel Bogie” competition was played. The winner was Mr A T Mackay, runner-up Mr P W Campbell and MR T Wake was third. The local member competed on the same day for a “Patent Driver” presented by Mr W C Dunbar CB. The winner was Mr George Munro with a score of 87.
The professional in the mid 1890s was A Fordyce.
A silver Coffee Pot was the prize for a competition in 1895, the inscription read "Bridge of Earn Golf Club - Presented to Rev. John T. Patterson." In 1896 Rev Patterson won the handsome gold Championship Medal.
The annual general meeting was held in the clubhouse on Thursday 26th March 1896, Sir Robert D Moncreiffe, Bart., presided. The patrons of the previous year were re-elected with the addition of Mr Watson, Ayton. Captain of the club was Sir Robert Moncreiffe; committee – Dan A Cuthbert, P Campbell, Perth, W H Laing, Dr J B Laing, Rev J S Clark, Bridge of Earn, Mr Ellis and Mr Munro. Among the prizes to be played for the coming season was a gold medal presented by Sir Robert D Moncreiffe. The greens were stated to be excellent condition.
The annual business meeting was held in the clubroom on Friday 22nd May. R Brough was the hon. secretary
In his book Golf in Perth and Perthshire, published in 1899, John Baxter describes the course as “one of the most beautiful in Perthshire, close to the famous Wicks of Baiglie and Wells of Pitkeathley. Only a nine-hole course has been laid out, but there is room for eighteen. The course is within six minutes walk from the station.” The captain in 1898 was Sir Robert Moncrieffe, Bart; secretary, Robert Brough. Committee members; J B Laing, Dr Henderson, A T Mackay, T D Frew, John Ellis, W H Laing. The greenkeeper was Alex Fordyce. Club membership was 60.
The annual competition for the Low Cup was held on Saturday May 12th 1900. There was a fair turn out of competitors, and the course was reported to be in excellent condition. Leading scores; T S Clark, 84-6-78; T D Frew, 93-6-87; W H Laing, 92-4-88; W Williamson, 94-6-88.
The club re-appears in the 1920s. One of the results below states that the weekly stroke competition was played over the Moncreiffe course.
The following report appeared in the Evening Telegraph on Thursday 15th May 1925. The headline was - Bridge of Earn Golf Club. The report was then rather confusing and went on; “The annual general meeting of the Moncreiffe Club was held in the Moncreiffe Arms Hotel – Mr David Constable presiding. The secretary and treasurer’s statement were read and approved of. The following office-bearers were appointed; President, Mr Alexander Mackenzie; secretary J T Davidson; treasurer, D Constable; Committee – J Brough, J Kittles, Miss Purves, Mrs Brough, Mrs Sharp, and another to be co-opted. Arrangements were made for the opening competition on Saturday”
The weekly stroke competition for the Bridge of Earn club was played over the Moncreiffe course in September 1925, leading scores; A Mackenzie, 58; A Robertson, 60; J McLean, 61; J Fraser, 61; R McEwen, 62; J Brough, 63; R McKenzie, 63; J Patterson, 64; R McDonald, 65; W Mitchell, 66.
Following is the result of the weekly stroke play competition played in July 1926; John Brough, 60; W Bough, 62; A Farquharson, 63; A McEwan, 63; J Christie, 64; J Davidson, 64; A Robertson, 65; P Andrews, 66. Mrs R Sharp, partnered by Mrs J Brough, holed in one at the “Wee Free” hole.
Hope to turn up further information on the club in due course.