Annan Golf Club, Dumfries & Galloway.
There is evidence that there were two courses in Annan; one in the Whinneyrigg/Hecklegirth area and the other alongside the river near the Distillery. The ladies sometimes referred to the Whinneyrigg course as "their course."
The Annan Golf Club was founded in 1895.
One of the founder members of the club was Charles S Calver, a well known resident in Annan.
The club started life at Whinneyrigg. Result of the May 1896 Medal Competition - On Saturday 16th May the gentlemen members of the Annan Golf Club held their monthly competition for the medal of the club over the course at Whinneyrigg. The play was very good, and a close finish resulted. Mr Robert Calver carried off the medal. The conditions were once round the course of nine-holes. Scores as follows; Robert Calver, 50 (scratch); Lieutenant Halliday, 53 (scratch); R R Latime, 55-2-53.
New course on the horizon - The following is from the Pall Mall Gazzette Thursday 12th November 1896. “With a little attention the new course acquired by the Annan Golf Club should soon be an admirable one. The greens are good, and there is a great variety in the holes while the hazards, which consist principally of hedges and fences, are so placed as to trap the eratic driver, and are sufficiently numerous to win the admiration of the golfer. The laud (?) is old, and the turf well suited to brassie lies. The total extent of the course, which is a nine hole one, is about one and a half miles. It is situated on the east bank of the River Annan, and is about fifteen minute walk from the town.”
Thanks to Golf Heritage @LdnGolfHistory for their help in compiling the following information from 1897.
From Golfing and Cycling Illustrated October 21st 1897. "The club last month called in the services of the Silloth professional, with the object of increasing the old nine-hole course to one of twelve-holes. The Silloth man has taken full advantage of the space at his command, with the result that a capital course has been laid out.
No difficulty presents itself at the first hole, although care must be taken when approaching, as a badly judged stroke may land on the other side of the fence at the farmhouse, which is out of bounds. Bogie for the hole is 5.
Once the fence is negotiated, it is plain sailing to number two, and should be holed out in 5.
The third hole is the longest in the round. There is a fence midway between tee and green, but the rest is good going. Bogie 6.
A cleek stroke from the top to the bottom of the slope should, if well judged, land one almost within holing distance at number four, although it is apt to overrun. Three for this hole is good.
A tall hedge in front of number five confronts the player, who, if he does not manage to come to grief at this point, should run down in 5.
There is no difficulty of any kind going to "Mount Annan" and it should be holed out in 4.
The road to "Osoecee" is anything but what the name indicates, and this hole might very appropriately be called "Death or Glory" as the slightest deviation from the straight road means a practically unplayable ball on the right in the plantation; whilst an even worse fate is the consequence of a pulled ball into the river. accurate play should secure a 4 at this hole.
A hedge, 80 yards from the tee at number eight, is an obstacle which proves a stumbling-block to many; but the steady golfer should have no difficulty in clearing this with a drive, and holing out in 5.
If one can land into the "Crater" from the tee, it is an easy matter holing out in 3.
A raking drive down the slope, and the hedge surmounted, the tenth hole should be done in 5
A clay hole, about 150 yards from the tee at eleven, often proves an enticing bunker to a well-hit ball, and the best policy is to kep to the left of the hazard. The hole is bogie 6.
The direct line to the home hole is just across the tail of the wood, and an otherwise good round is often spoilt by trying to cut too fine at this point. A 5 at this hole makes the bogie score for the round 56.
The membership of the club is now over 50, and is steadily increasing. Several rollers have been provided for the greens, and the clubhouse has been improved - in fact, is in a very healthy condition both financially and otherwise."
The lady members of the Annan club played their monthly medal over the Hecklegirth course on Saturday 2nd December 1899. Result; Miss Steel (25), 79; Mrs Nicholson (8), 80; Miss Clarke (scratch), ??.
The Scotsman Monday 5th March 1900. Annan Ladies – On Saturday 3rd March 1900 the lady members of Annan Golf Club competed for their monthly medal over *THEIR course at Hecklegirth in fine weather. Mr (?) Nicholson won the medal with a score of 80. Miss M Steel second with 84.
*Interesting to note the reference above that the ladies refer to Hecklegirth as THEIR course.
In February 1903 Mr R R Latimer retired as captain of Annan Golf Club to become the first captain of Powfoot Golf Club at their first AGM.
In January 1905 Annan Golf Club held a prize tournament at Hecklegirth.
The following is taken from the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook (listed as a six-hole course); Instituted - 1895; Membership - 50; Secretary - R J Cunningham W.S., The Glint, Annan; Captain - J McDonald; Entrance fee - 5/- Subs 10/-; Terms for visitors, 2/- a week, 5/- a month. The course has been laid out so as to take the utmost advantage of the ground at disposal. The holes vary from 120 yards to 270 yards in length, and there are various hazards, natural and artificial. The situation is especially attractive, the view from the course of the whole extent of the Solway Firth, and across to the Cumberland Hills, being very fine.
From the Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazzette Tuesday 18th December 1906 - Mr Charles S Calver, one of the oldest and best known residents in Annan, died last night, aged 80. He was also the oldest Freemason in Annan, and was the originator of Annan Golf Club.
The Annan Club closed in 1908 and merged with Powfoot Golf Club.
The Google Map below pinpoints the location of the former course. The Annandale Distillery (established 1836) is still going strong.