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Auchtermuchty Golf Club, Fife.

Founded 1902, a 9 hole course with natural greens. A well kept course of about 2,740yards with plenty of hazards. It was a very popular course with visitors with the station at Auchtermuchty about 1 mile away. Membership before WW1 was about 70 rising to 110 by closure. Sunday play was never allowed.

On Thursday 11th December 1902 Provost Bonthorne chaired a meeting in the Town Hall for those in favour of forming a golf club for Auchtermuchty. The Reverend William Affleck informed the meeting that the provisional committee appointed to investigate the location for a golf course had interviewed Mr Brown, Rossie, who had expressed his willingness to grant the use of two of his fields adjoining Rossie Den for the use of a golf course at a nominal rent of £2 per annum. It was agreed to accept Mr Brown’s offer. Mr John Lowe moved that those present form themselves into a golf club, this was seconded by Lieutenant White and unanimously agreed to. The following office bearers were appointed; captain, Rev W Affleck; vice-captain, Mr W Lambert; secretary and treasurer, James M Lowe; committee, Dr Shearer, Lieutenant White, Mr W A Donaldson, Rev J Bell, Mrs Lyall, Mrs Lambert and Mrs Affleck. Thirty five members were enrolled at the meeting. It was agreed to set the entrance fee at 10/- half this amount for ladies and under 18s. Rev Affleck proposed to elect Mr & Mrs Brown as honorary members in recognition of their kindness in granting the land for the course, this was unanimously agreed to.

The course was eventually laid out on the farm of Rossie, about a mile north of the town. It was situated amid charming scenery. From the clubhouse the view was magnificent with views of the Howe of Fife and the surrounding area. The course was laid out by the committee, there was plenty of room to accommodate the nine holes which ensured no crossing. A report describing the course, as follows. Owing to the configuration of the ground, only two of the holes are visible from the tee, the third and fourth, the others being hidden by hillocks, which, however, are not sufficient to make the most obese of players puff and blow when following their ball. The course is a comparatively easy one, though hazards are plentiful to those who go off the straight for there is a good growth of whin on either side. A couple of dykes have to be crossed, one going to the second hole and the other on the sixth. The second hole, on the slope of a brae, is the longest one on the course, being about 500 yards and the only short hole is the fifth which can be reached from the tee with a good cleek shot. All the others require two good shots to reach the green. Perhaps the prettiest hole on the course is the sixth, a hole of about 400 yards, and the way lies along a beautiful pastoral valley, whin-studded at the side, with a background of high hills. The green lies below the clubhouse. Altogether it was an excellent course.

The course was formally opened on Saturday 18th April 1903 The weather was bitterly cold with snow flurries but despite this there was a large attendance for the opening, which took place at the clubhouse. Among those present were; Rev Affleck, captain, Misses Affleck, Rev James Bell and Mrs Bell; Mr Grant, Wellfield; Mr & Mrs Walker, Bank of Scotland; Mrs Rae Arnott, Lochieheads; Provost & Mrs Bonthorne; Mr & Mrs William Lambert, The Hollies; Mrs Lyall, Bellvue; Dr & Mrs Shearer; Mr Robert Arnot, Greenfield; Mr John Stonehouse, Edinburgh; Mrs & Misses Hogg, The Manse; Mr & Mrs Baker, White House; Bailie Stark; Mr Henry Skinner, Mrs & Misses Skinner, Mayfield; Mr & Mrs Keir; Mrs Aitken, Greenfield; Mr Henry White, Nether Greens; Mr & Miss Low, Bleachfield House; Mr Chas G Simpson; Mr W E Bett, Royal Hotel; Mr John Robertson, Commercial Hotel; Mr T H Hawkins; Mr A Miller; Mr Steumann; Mr J M Low, secretary of the club; &c. The Rev Affleck in his opening speech said that this was a great day for their town and community. It was one of the most admirable and healthful games and he was sure that it did everyone who played it the world of good. Strangely, it was the worst players who got the most exercise. They owed a great thanks to the landlord, Mr Maitland Makgill Crichton of Lathrisk for his kind consent that the course should be established on his property, and to Mr Brown, the tenant of Rossie for his great kindness and for the hearty way he had dealt with the golf club. Mr Brown had allowed the club use the land for a nominal rent and he had not only earned the gratitude of the club but the whole community. Mr Affleck then made his way to the first tee to hit the opening drive, the shot was straight and true, which bought loud cheers from the enthusiastic gallery. A mixed foursome followed. At this time there was a club membership of about 60.

In June 1903 the ladies’ competition for the Walker Medal took place. It was won by Miss Lizzie Hogg with a score of 79+86=165 the runner-up was Mrs Lambert, 89+97=186.

 

Auchtermuchty Golf Club William Affleck Competition 1903.

A “Trophy” presented to the club in June 1903 by the Rev William Affleck, B.D., for the half-yearly stroke competition

 

The annual meeting was held in the Lower Town Hall in November 1903, Rev W Affleck, the club captain, presided. The financial statement was shown and approved. It was proposed to arrange a sale of work to raise funds to clear the club debt, the debt was mainly due to the setting up of the club, laying out the course and erecting the club pavilion. The following office bearers were elected; captain, W Lambert, jnr; vice-captain, J White; secretary and treasurer, Dr Shearer; committee, Rev W Affleck, Rev James Bell, W A Donaldson, H White, J F Baker, Mrs Lyall and Mrs Lambert.

 

Auchtermuchty Golf Club, Fife. Layout of the nine-hole course.

Layout of the nine-hole Auchtermuchty course.

 

A sale of work held in September 1904 raised over £100, this would go a long way towards clearing the debt and hopefully leaving a balance in hand.

In May 1906 the first monthly competition for the Donaldson Medal took place over the Rossie course on Saturday the 26th and was won by John Bett.

The half yearly competition for the Affleck Medal took place in April 1908; J A Grant, 82 scratch; Mr Lucien der Monceau (Brussels) 95-12-83; Geo Henderson, 99-15-84; Dr Shearer, 86-1-85; P W Cormack, 87-2-85; Jas Reekie, 93-7-86; Captain Wemyss, 87 scratch.

Result of a club match played at Auchtermuchty against Leslie in May 1908.

Auchtermuchty   Leslie  
J A Grant 0 J Bell 1
Capt Wemyss 1 H Ritchie 0
Dr Shearer 1 W Black 0
J M Lowe 1 R Robertson 0
P W Cormack 1 J Robertson 0
W Lambert 0 R Ritchie 1
W Brown 0 W Laverock 1
J Reckie 1 E McLeod 0
J Wood 0 W Barns 1
Rev J Bell 0 R Barns 1
G Henderson 0 J Barns 1
T Conley 0 A Gray 0
  5   6

The annual meeting of the club was held in the Lower Town Hall on Friday 9th October 1908. The secretary and treasurer, the Rev J Bell, submitted the financial statement showing income exceeding expenditure, with the club having a credit of £100 in the bank. The following officers and committee members were elected; captain, P M Cormack; vice-captain, Dr Shearer; secretary and treasurer, Rev J Bell; committee, J Forgan, J Grant, W A Donaldson, W Brown, T Conley, W Lambert and A White.

 

Secretary

Professional/greenkeeper

1906

Dr Alex Shearer, Cameron House, Auchtermuchty

 

1920

 

W Linklater (p)

1922

 

Jas Blyth (g)

1914-23

Rev James Bell,South United Free Church Manse

Jas Blyth (g)

1923-24

Thomas Donaldson, Bank of Scotland Agent

 

1925-30

James Bell, South Manse

 

1930-49

J S MacGillivray

R (W) Leven (g)

 

 

Course records am/pro

1906

Willie Auchterlonie (p) 79

1914

James M Low (a) 76

1925

W Binnie (p) 70

1949

P M Cormack (a) 74 W Binnie (p) 70

In 1906 visitors’ fees were 6d a day, 1/6d a week, 3/6d a month and 5/- for 2 months.

In 1914 entry fees for gents were 10/- and ladies & youths 5/-. Subs for gents were 15/-, ladies 7/6d and juniors 5/-Visitors’ fees were 6d for 18 holes, 1/- a day, 2/6d a week, 5/- a month and 7/6d for two months.

 

 

The ladies’ captain from 1921 to 1923 was Miss I M E Bell, South Manse, she was also secretary from 1924.  

Auchtermuchty Golf Club the fourth hole.

Players on the fourth hole.

 

Auchtermuchty Golf Club players on the sixth green.

Golfer’s on the sixth green.

 

Picture of Auchtermuchty Golf Club clubhouse and members.

The clubhouse and some notable members of the 1920s. Thanks to the Auchtermuchty Golf Society for providing the above images of the course and clubhouse.

 

At the start of the season in March 1932 the course was said to be in very good condition and the greens were putting well. Mr Alexander Grieve, the new greenkeeper, was to make sure that the present condition was maintained.

Auchtermuchty suffered their first defeat of the season in a Fife Golf League match when they played Dysart on Saturday 25th May 1935, result below. 

Auchtermuchty   Dysart  
J H Fowlis & R Morgan 1 C Bayne & L Buist 0
J Wanna & D Leven 0 R C Jeffrey & J Cormie 1
D Scott & W Leven 0 J Hamilton & J Foggo 1
G Sanderson & J Suttie 0 W Walker & W Collier 1
H Forgan & H White 0 A T Hare & D Wilson 1
  1   4

The annual championship of the Central Fife Golf Union was held on the Auchtermuchty course on Saturday 1st June 1935. One of the most improved golfers at the Auchtermuchty club was Willie Leven, a local youth who worked as a greenkeeper on the course, young Leven had a handicap of 10. He was not selected by the club as one of their team of six for the club championship, which was held in conjunction with the CFGU tournament. Yet Willie, who worked on the course from 4am until he was due to start his round, went out and set a new record for the extended course with a brilliant 74.

With Leven in their team Auchtermuchty, who were runners-up, would have won the team championship, which was won by Ladybank with an aggregate of 315 for the best four scores out of six. It is true to say that Leven surprised himself and his club-mates by leading a field of over 100, which included such well-known local players of the time as Andrew Dowie and J L B Robertson.

Despite the hazards, which were plentiful on the hilly course, Leven was never in any serious trouble and the only difficulty he encountered, and he was far from being alone in this respect, was on the recently laid greens. His score was as follows; Out - 4,4,4,3,3,4,6,4,6 = 38; Home – 3,6,4,4,4,3,3,4,5 = 36 total 74. Prizes were presented by Major G J Lumsden of Tarvit, Cupar.

Team Championship results; Ladybank (best four), 315 (W H Black, 76; T L White, 76, R S Craig, 78, J Boucher, 85, D C Rogers, 89, D Wilson, 85);  Auchtermuchty, 318, (J H Fowlis, 77, J Wannan, 79, D Leven, 87, R S Miller, 86, P W Cormack, 82, J K Forgan, 80); Markinch, 319, (A M Mackie, 85, A T Lawrie, 89, D Allan, 77, J C Imrie, 82, R Wilkie, 82, D Sibbald, 82); Cupar, 327; Thornton, 327; Dysart, 332; Leslie, 333; Newburgh, 337. 

Result of the monthly medal for June 1936; J Cormack (handicap 15) 69 net; I Fernie (12) 69; W C Leven (7) 71; J C Suttie (10) 72; D B Scott (9) 73; J R Forgan (6) 73; H S White (8) 75; H A Forgan (10) 75; J H Fowlie (3) 79; J Wannan (8) 78; J Howie, (18) 86. The ladies’ monthly medal was won by Miss Hutchison (110) with Miss J Forgan runner-up (116). In the juvenile competition the leading scores were; D Herd (86); G Carmichael (89); W Keddie (92); W Williamson (93).

Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 19th September 1936; D B Scott, 83-8-75; P W Cormack, 82-7-75; J R Forgan, 79-4-75; D Leven, 83-7-76; A M Lamb, 87-11-76; J Cormack, 89-10-79; W C Leven, 84-1-83; H G White and D R Findlay, no return.

Result of the Affleck Medal, bogey competition, held in April 1937; J C Suttie (6) and W C Leven (5) both 2up; J Wannan, all square; J Cormack (11) 2down; D R Findlay (15) 2down; D Leven (9) 3down; G Sanderson jnr (10) 4down; H G White (8) 5down; P W Cormack (9) 6down.

Below, result of the annual Captain versus Vice-Captain match played in April 1937.

Vice-Captain   Captain  
J R Forgan & J Wannan 1 W R Gold & P W Cormack 0
D Leven & J Cormack 0 W Leven & R McLean 1
D Findlay 1 A M Lamb 0
  2   1

 Below is the result of the Fife Central League match played in April 1937 against Markinch at Auchtermuchty.

Auchtermuchty   Markinch  
W C Leven & J Forgan 0 D Allan & R Wilson 0
J C Suttie & H G White 1 J Spiers & W Napier 0
P W Cormack & D Leven 1 G Barclay & D Sibbald 0
J Wannan & D B Scott 1 W Braid & J Doig 0
H Forgan & G Sanderson 0 R Honeyman & W Laidlaw 0
  3   0

Result of the Donaldson monthly medal played on Saturday 8th May 1937; John Cormack, 79-11-68; D R Findlay, 86-15-71; P W Cormack, 80-9-71; J C Suttie, 77-6-71; W C Leven, 77-5-72; A M Lamb, 85-12-73; D B Scott, 83-9-74; J R Forgan, 80-6-74; G Sanderson jnr 85-9-76; D Leven, 87-9-78.

Result of the first round of the mixed foursome competition played in May 1937; Mrs A M Lamb and J H Fowlis beat Miss Waddell and R S Miller; Miss B Baid and D Fernie beat Miss J Forgan and J C Suttie; Miss I M E Bell and J Wannan beat Miss Hutchison and H G White; Mrs G Wright and A Kerr beat Miss Morrice and D R Finlay; Mrs R S Miller and G Wright beat Mrs A M White and A Lamb; Miss E C Stocks and R McLean beat Miss H Grieve and H Forgan.

Below, result of a ladies’ match played against Leslie Golf Club on Thursday evening 3rd June 1937. Tea was served in the clubhouse following the match, the catering was carried out by Mrs A Kerr, Bank of Scotland and Mrs G Wright, St Margarets.

Auchtermuchty   Leslie  
Miss I M E Bell 1 Miss N Braid 0
Mrs G Leburn 1 Mrs W Porter 0
Miss Jack 0 Miss J H Hay 1
Miss Hutchison 0 Mrs Barclay 0
Miss Waddell 0 Miss N Mitchie 1
  2   2

 Result of a club match played at Auchtermuchty against Methil on Tuesday 15th June 1937.

Auchtermuchty   Methil  
H G Fowlis & W C Leven 1 H Kinnear  & J G McGregor 0
J C Suttie & H G White 0 C H Cumming & A Mackay 1
P W Cormack & J Wannan 1 W J Gatrick & G Masterton 0
G Wright & G C Leburn 0 H Robertson & J Smith 1
D B Scott & G Sanderson jnr 1 A D Morris & A Kinnear 0
J Cormack & A M Lamb 0 A K Smith & R F Hughes 1
J Anderson & D R Findlay 0 D Lawson & T Lightbody 1
R McLean & D Herd 0 S McKenzie & S McIntosh 1
A L Callander & D B Bett 0 J Sutherland & P C Adam 1
A White & J Howie 0 J Manson & A Dickson 0
  3   6

Winner of the Bellevue (Youths) Medal in June 1937 was David Herd with a scratch score of 85.

There was a large entry for the Donaldson Monthly Medal played on Saturday 9th April 1938, leading scores; D Leven, 78-8-70; A M Lamb, 78-8-70; I H Fowlis, 77-5-72; J C Suttie, 77-5-72; J R Forgan, 79-4-75; J Anderson, 88-12-76; J Wannan, 85-8-77; J C Forgan, 94-14-80; A C White, 97-17-80; R McLean, 96-16-80; D R Findlay, 92-11-81; G Sanderson, 89-8-81.

Result of a ladies’ match against Markinch played at Auchtermuchty in July 1938.

Auchtermuchty   Markinch  
Miss I Bell 0 Miss Guthrie 1
Miss B Ping 1 Mrs Kerr 0
Miss Jack 1 Miss Rae 0
Miss Bald 1 Miss Anderson 0
Miss C Waddell 1 Mrs Wilkie 0
Miss J Forgan 1 Miss Aitchison 0
  5   1

In the final of the ladies’ match-play medal played in July 1938 Miss B Ping beat Miss I M E Bell.

Below is the result of a Central Fife League match played against Markinch in April 1939. 

Auchtermuchty   Markinch  
J C Suttie 1 D M Sibbald 0
W C Leven 0 D Allan 1
J R Forgan 1 R Wilkie 0
H G White 1 A M Mackie 0
D Leven 0 J Sibbald 1
G Sanderson jnr 0 D Robertson 1
J Anderson 0 R Anderson 1
P W Cormack 1 Geo Reid 0
H A Forgan 0 G Barclay 1
D R Findlay 1 W Laidlaw 0
A C White 0 R Imrie 1
J C Forgan 1 W Braid 0
  6   6

Result of the monthly competition for July 1939; D Herd, 84-13-71; D Leven, 80-7-73; A M Lamb, 81-8-73; W C Leven, 78-3-75; H A Forgan, 84-9-75; J Mitchell, 96-18-78; D R Findlay, 94-8-86.

The annual meeting was held in October 1939, J C Suttie, captain, was in the chair. The secretary, J S MacGillivray, reported that there was a membership of 155, an increase of 37. A Kerr, treasurer, produced the balance sheet which showed an income of £281/19s/6d and expenditure of £290/5s/3d. With the balance carried forward from the previous year the amount in hand was £20/15s/10d. Miss I Bell, the ladies’ secretary, produced a satisfactory report. The following were appointed; Captain, H A Forgan; vice-captain, G Sanderson jun; secretary, J S MacGillivray, Rose Cottage; treasurer, A Kerr, Bank of Scotland; match secretary, J R Forgan; committee – Bailie Forgan, J C Suttie, A Grieve, P W Cormack, J Wannan and G Wright. 

Following are the results from the first round of the Fowlis Cup competition played in May 1940; G Wright beat R McLean; J R Forgan beat James Wannan; A M Lamb beat D R Findlay; H Forgan beat G McLuggage; J H Fowlis beat J C Suttie; D Leven beat D B Scott; G Sanderson beat W C Leven; D Fernie beat G Thomson. 

It was becoming obvious that the war was hitting the club hard. The annual meeting was held in the Town Hall on Tuesday 9th December 1941, the captain, Mr G Sanderson, was in the chair. Mr J S McGillivray, secretary, reported a big decrease in membership. Mr A Kerr, treasurer, reported an income of £103/18s/8d and an expenditure of £102/9s/0d, with a balance in hand of £46/19s/0d. There was a decrease of £54/8s/0d on visitors’ income. Mr J C Suttie, match secretary, reported that many competitions had been cancelled. The Bell Cup had been won by James Wannan and the Rossie Medal by J Suttie. The Donaldson medals had been won by G Sanderson and J Suttie. It was decided that the club should carry on and the following officials were elected; captain, G Sanderson jun; vice-captain, D B Scott; secretary, J S McGillivray; treasurer, A Kerr; match secretary, J Suttie, Mournipea; green ranger, P Cormack; committee - G Wright, J Wannan, A Grieve, P W Cormack, D R Findlay and Bailie J Forgan. It was agreed that no increase should be made to the fees with the annual subs staying at, ladies 15/- gents 25/- and country members 10/-.       

Mr G Sanderson, captain, presided at the annual meeting held on Tuesday 17th November 1942. The secretary, Mr J S McGillivray, gave his report and Mr Kerr, the treasurer produced the balance sheet, which showed a balance in hand of £26/5s/8d, the income was less than the previous year by £42/8s/11d. It was reported that the rent of the course had been reduced for the duration, thanks to the generosity of Mr Storrar. The following officials were appointed; captain, G Sanderson jnr; secretary, J S McGillivray; treasurer, A Kerr.

In 1949 visitors’ fees were 1/- a day, 4/- a week, 7/6d a fortnight, 10/- a month.

The following contribution is from Allan Johnston; "My mother's uncle, William Leven, was professional and green-keeper at the club in the 1930s. I was told by my mother that German bombers bombed the course one night when they had been trying to target Fairly's Foundry in Muchty."

Location of the Auchtermuchty Golf Club course.

Location of the Auchtermuchty golf course. Grid reference NO24445,12890, co-ordinates 324445,712890.

 

 

Auchtermuchty Golf Club disappeared following WW2.