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Dornock Golf Club, Perthshire.

In 1891 Mr John Dron, the founder, handed the club over to a committee. Dornock was originally founded as a private course.

As can be seen on the plans below the Highlandman railway station was a short distance from the course.

Result of a monthly competition held at Dornock on Wednesday 9th August 1893. The gentlemen’s monthly competition result; Mr D Anderson, Edinburgh, 86 (gold medal); Mr Hugh Morrison, Edinburgh, 90; Mr J G McKay, 90; Second division – Mr J A Kippen, 104; Mr Alexander Cowan, 108; Result of the ladies’ competition; Miss C Guild, 90 (gold medal and volume of Scott’s poems); Miss G Kay, 96; Miss Nettie Heron, 98; Miss Nell Morrison, 99; Secon division – Miss Belle Laurence, (silver medal); Miss Lizzie Carmichael.  Mr J G McKay who had held the record for nine holes set a new record score for twelve holes with a score of 52. It was stated that “the course was in the pink of condition, the greens especially being very keen”   

In 1895 Old Tom Morris was invited back to Crieff to re-design the layout of the 9-hole Dornock course. The captain of the club at this timewas Mr John Dron.

The following report is from the Morning Post Monday 6th April 1896 - An exhibition match came off on Saturday on Dornoch (sic) Golf Course near Crieff, between two well-known St Andrews players, Andrew Kirkaldy and Willie Auchterlonie. In the morning the two men had an 18-hole match, or two rounds of the course, which is a nine-hole one. On the part of both players the driving was far and sure. The brassey play was most successful, and the short game was particularly fine. In the first round the play was very level, Kirkaldy, however, coming in one hole up; but in the second turn Auchterlonie fell away in his putting and Kirkaldy won the match by 3&2. In the afternoon a stroke play competition was played. The driving throughout, notwithstanding the wind, was almost perfect, there being only one foozle by Kirkaldy. Auchterlonie showed up much better in the short game than in the morning, and although he fell off somewhat, pulled of the match. The scores being; Auchterlonie, 77 and Kirkaldy, 80.   

On Saturday 23rd July 1898 a competition took place for prizes given by Mr John Crawford, former captain of Greenock Golf Club. Results; Gentlemen’s setion, J H Nelson (3) 83; W Ritchie (8) 85; A McDonald (20) 86; Ladies’ section, Miss Harley (31) 62; Mrs Stewart (37) 67; Miss M McCowan (37) 68.

Below is the result of a ladies match played against Comrie Ladies’ on the Dornock course on Monday 29th August 1898, the home team running out easy winners. 

Dornock   Comrie  
Miss Wilson 0 Miss L McLaren 4
Miss M Wilson 7 Miss M Stewart 0
Miss Herron 3 Miss Boston 0
Miss C R Herron 5 Miss M McLaren 0
Miss N Morrison 2 Miss Broch 0
Miss B Laurence 4 Miss B Morison 0
Miss Miller 5 Miss J Ireland 0
Miss J Morrison 9 Miss J Grey 0
  35   4

It was announced in January 1900 that Mr John S Nelson, accountant in the Linen Bank, has been promoted to a similar position at Hamilton. Mr Nelson, a keen golfer, will be greatly missed in the district in his capacity as secretary of Dornock Golf Club.

Result of the ladies’ monthly brooch and bracelet  competition played in August 1900, section 1 – Miss Madge Mc G(C)owan, 88-19-70 (winner); Miss M McKenzie85-14-71; section 2 – Miss Gracie Kay, 95-18-77 (winner); Miss Kirkmackie, 91-12-79; Miss Kippen, 88-7-81. In the final for the Gold Medal presented by the President, Mr Duncan Stewart of Millhills, Mr A W Osborne beat Mr John Laurence by 3&1.  

The annual meeting was held in February 1903. The following officers were elected; president, Mr Duncan Stewart of Milllhills; vice-presidents, Mr J B Whitelaw, Strowan, Provost Finlayson, Crieff and Mr Thomas Robertson, Cairnleath; captain, Mr Swanston Drysdale; secretary Mr A MacDonald; treasurer, Mr John Scott, British Linen Bank. The accounts showed a satisfactory balance.

The club made alterations and extended the course in 1903, this was after they had gone to great expense to build the new clubhouse a couple of years earlier, a good sign of how well the club was progressing.

Following is a description of the course taken from the Evening Telegraph Wednesday 1st April 1903 “Starting just under the flag in front of the clubhouse the first three holes travel to the “Farm Hole” at the extreme south end of the course, and after coming back to the very tricky green in front of the old pavilion, the next drive enters the new ground. The length of the new hole is practically the same as the old “Long Hole” namely 390 yards. The line of play leads first across a large bed of rushes, a certain trap for topped balls; then up two steep banks guarded by a bunker on either end at the head of the upper bank. The green, which lies well back from the crest of the hill has a dip in the middle in the back right-hand corner is a large sand bunker for over-hit balls. The new sixth hole is the old third with the tee on the bank of the brae to the east side of the fifth green. From the line of play the hole is strongly guarded by the thick belt of rushes previously on the right hand side of the hole, but now almost directly in front. The old “Flagstaff Hole” is the seventh. The eighth is the short hole on the course. The first hole has become the ninth, driving off from a position behind the old first green the home hole lies across the valley in the same ticklish as formerly on the sloping sunny-side of the Fairy Knowe”

The committee had put in a lot of time and work on the course changes. They had been aided and supported by the President of the club, Mr Duncan Stewart the laird of Millhills. Besides being a noted breeder of shorthorn cattle Mr Stewart was keen golfer.

The Dornock course, with its revised layout was given the lofty title of “the finest inland course in Scotland” a claim made by quite a few other courses at this time.

 

Dornock Golf Club, Perthshire. Duncan Stewart, President in 1903..

Duncan Stewart the club President in 1903.

 

The course had been subjected to several alterations since the early 1890s when Willie Auchterlonie and Andrew Kirkaldy played over it scoring 77 and 80 respectively. In 1900 Harry Vardon and James Braid played an exhibition match over the course, Vardon , the Open Champion at the time returned a score of 32 for nine holes, Braid scored 31. Vardon scored 38 in the second for a total of 70. A year later Alex Herd of Huddersfield, the open champion of the year, scored 74 in a match against Peter Rainford, the former Crieff professional who returned a score of 79.

The Stroyan Trophy. The semi-final and final rounds in the annual competition for the handsome silver cup presented by Mr John Stroyan, former MP, for competition amongst the various clubs in West Perthshire, took place on the Dornock course on Saturday 16th May 1908. The weather was fine and there was a large turnout to enjoy the matches, which resulted in victory for Aberfeldy, result as follows.

First semi-final.

Dornock   Aberfeldy  
S G Mickel & William Caw 0 W L Wood jun & H Wood 4
C C Foster & J M Scott 1 W L Wood & D G Graham 0

Second semi-final.

Doune   Invertilt  
Rev G S Mackay & Ian Mackay 0 A B Forbes & J B S Kellock 3
Rev J C Peat & P C Merrie 1 A Cameron & A Kellock 0

Final.

Aberfeldy   Invertilt  
W L Wood jun & H Wood 5 A B Forbes & J B S Kellock 0
W L Wood & D G Graham 0 A Cameron & A Kellock 1

Result of a match played against Stirling on the Dornock course in September 1908.

Dornock   Stirling  
S G Mickel 1 A M Swan 0
Wm Caw 0 J Archibald 1
J H Brown 1 A C Buchanan 0
H B Strathairn 1 J Ronald 0
? McPhail 0 P Drummond 1
? Todd 1 W R Gemmell 0
C Drummond Forbes 1 A R Cameron 0
A Brown 1 D T Nelson 0
J MacRosty 0 A R Goudie 1
J M Chalmers 1 H Fian 0
? Jolly 1 R Whyte 0
W Bonar 0 J W Dobbie 0
W Anderson 0 P Buchanan 0
J McEwan 1 T Taylor 0
  9   3

Result of a bogey competition played on Saturday 5th July 1913; winner, R H Gray (scratch); second, William Caw. 

Card of the early Dornock course:-

Hole Name Yards
1 Crow 270
2 Tit 180
3 Snipe 300
4 Robin 310
5 Raven 360
6 Dove 290
7 Lark 230
8 Stork 390
9 Fairy 330
    2660

 

Dornock Golf Club, Perthshire. Early course layout.

Early course layout with the first tee to the left (just above the word Stile) The ninth green is just below the first tee. Grid reference, NN88440,19380, co-ordinates 288440,719380.

 

Dornock Golf Club, Perthshire. Course layout 1903.

Above is the layout of the course following the alterations in 1903.

 

Dornock Golf Club, Perthshire. The clubhouse and members.

Note the spelling on the above card – Dornoch (not Dornock), Crieff. Authors Collection.

 

 

Dornock disappeared following WW1.