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Tobermory/Western Isles Golf Club, Argyll & Bute.

Founded in 1896.

The first course was at Erray Farm. This club and course had ceased to exist by 1907.

A committee meeting was held in the public reading room in the late 1890s to discuss the proposal of a 9-hole golf course at Tobermory. The following is a local press report of the meeting. “The provisional committee elected at a previous meeting to prospect, make terms, and if need be employ an expert, reported their diligence on the matter. Bailie Fletcher presided, and both Colonel Caldewell of Mishnish, the proprietor, and Mr Graham, who holds the extensive farm of Erray, the tenant, within whose bounds the proposed golf course is to be formed, expressed their willingness to grant every facility. The ground decided upon is situated on the outskirts of the sheep farm of Erray, starting from the wood skirting the farmhouse and extending for about three quarters of a mile in a northerly direction. At a point overlooking Rubha nan Gall Lighthouse, it turns south along the high ground (chiefly moorland) commanding at various points a magnificent view of the Sound of Mull, Loch Sunart and the surrounding heights. The distance round the course is about a mile and three-quarters, and there are several natural hazards and bunkers” The following officers were elected; Colonel Caldwell of Mishnish, president; Bailie Fletcher, captain; Mr Berry, vice-captain; Mr Robert Brown, treasurer; D S MacColl and R Simpson were the joint secretaries. Subs were to be 10/6 for gentlemen and 5/- for ladies.

Thanks to Melvin Morrow for providing the above information on the Erray course.

A group of locals were keen on a quick reinstatement of the club and they succeeded in finding land between Sgriobruadh and Achafraoich about one mile from Tobermory. This course continued until the mid 1930s (see maps below for course location.)

 

Tobermory Golf Club, Argyllshire. Results from monthly competitions in November 1913.

From the Scotsman Wednesday 12th November 1913. Image © Johnston Press plc.

 

In 1935 the club moved to a site owned by the Western Isles Hotel and the name was changed to the Western Isles Golf Club.

It was listed as the Western Isles Golf Club into the 1980s.

As can be seen from the advert below from June 1936 the Western Isles Hotel is offering a "new sporting golf course adjacent to the hotel."

 

Tobermory Golf Club, Argyllshire. Advert for the Western Isles Hotel with golf course.

From the Aberdeen Press & Journal June 1936. Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

During the 1940s the secretary at the Western Isles Golf Club was V S Mowat and the green-keeper A MacDougall. Amateur course record - G Tucker, 67. Eighteen-holes with a SSS of 67. Visitors, 1s/6d a round, 2s/6d a day. 

In the early 1950s the secretary was Hugh Gillies, "Dunara," Tobermory, and the green-keeper W Christie. Station at Tobermory quarter of a mile.  The club had a membership of 41. No Sunday play.

In the 1960s the secretary was J T Watson, and the green-keeper W MacLean. The nine-holes measured 2,339 yards with a SSS of 68. Visitors' fees were 4s/6d a day.

In 1975 the secretary was J K Backus. Membership of 80. Visitors 30p a day.

In 1988 the secretary was A D Brown. Membership of 95.  The nine-holes measured 2,460 yards with a SSS of 64. Visitors £3 a day.

It reverted to “Tobermory Golf Club” in about 1990.

 

Tobermory Golf Club, Argyll & Bute. Location of the Erray course in the 1900s.

Grid reference for the Eraay course NM50245,56270, co-ordinates 150245,756270. Current course bottom right.

 

 

Tobermory Golf Club, Argyll & Bute. Location of the golf course 1920s.

Location of the second course in 1925. Grid reference NM49150,54650, co-ordinates 149150,754650.