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Fidra Golf Club, East Lothian.

It was reported in December 1923 that a new club was to be formed in East Lothian and was to be known as the Fidra Golf Club. It was to be laid out between North Berwick West Links and the Archerfield estate. The course would be of championship length. The location was favourably commented on by James Braid after an inspection.  

The course was laid out on land donated by Colonel Grant in 1930 for locals who could not afford to play at nearby Gullane or North Berwick. The courses was designed, maintained and cared for by local enthusiasts, each taking pride in their allotted part of the course. Unfortunately, at the outbreak of the WW2, trees were felled, the land ploughed up and barbed wire erected to section off the course for the war effort.

Thanks to Alick A Watt, Golf Historian, who contacted us in January 2004. Alick was bought up in a golfing family in Direlton, East Lothian, his father and four uncles were all professionals. In his youth he played on both the former Archerfield and Fidra courses, as did his forebears.

He shared some of his memories of the Fidra links with us. “The nine-hole course was designed, laid out and maintained by about 30 local enthusiasts. I visited the area in the 1980s and wandered between Inverell Wood and Yellowcraig everything was so different, the wood, though less dense, had changed little, but alas the sandy track from the village to the shore had been replaced by tarmacadam to a well tended grass car park for hundreds of cars. The original buckthorn woods, hedges and fences had all gone. The Watt family were custodians of the rabbit infested second hole. It was a fine dog-leg measuring 343 yards. In the early days villagers took it in turns to trundle a wheelbarrow with mower and box to the course, this machine provided sterling service, we all shared it.

I crossed the car park to reach the third hole, the landscape had completely changed. Where the second, “our” green and bunkers once lay, caravans now stand in regimented formation. No reminders were left of the ground that the Watt family tended and were so proud of.

I recall 1931 when it all began and I retain the memories. Farewell Fidra Golf Course, you did a great service to a small community, you will not be forgotten, because together we tried”  

In 2004 Alick Watt provided course details and copies of the handbook and the course plan below. 

The Card of the course -

Hole 1 270yds bogey 4.
Hole 2 342yds bogey 4.
Hole 3 218yds bogey 3.
Hole 4 110yds bogey 3.
Hole 5 308yds bogey 4.
Hole 6 244yds bogey 4.
Hole 7 258yds bogey 4.
Hole 8 300yds bogey 4.
Hole 9 310yds bogey 4.

 

Fidra Golf Club, Dirleton. Membership Card 1932/33.

Fidra Golf Club membership card for 1932/3

 

Fidra Golf Club, Dirleton. Rules and Regulations.

Fidra Golf Club Membership Card

 

Fidra Golf Club, Dirleton. Layout of the former course.

Plan of the original Fidra course. Grid reference NT51770,85300, co-ordinates 351770,685300.