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Kelvinside Golf Club, Glasgow. (1893 - 1901)

It was reported in 1893 that the course at Kelvinside was to be opened shortly. Tom Morris and Willie Fernie had been commissioned to inspect the land and they reported that “a very good green could be made and nine capital holes could be laid out on the hill near Beaconsfield, several of them longer than those at Bridge of Weir.” James Douglas, the young professional from the Pollock Golf Club, supervised the actual work of laying out the course.

The course was opened on Saturday 21 May 1894 when Mr J B Fleming, the hon. president, was presented with a “handsome cleek” to hit the opening shot. It was on Mr Fleming’s estate that the course was laid out. The following players went out on the opening round; William Morrison and Mr Law; W J Anderson and A T Craig; D S Macphee and R Mackill; J B Macindoe and J H McClure; A Harvey and A J Macindoe; W A Walls and Robert Blyth C.A; David Macdonald and George Lammie; Mr Mark and James Douglas. Mr Morrison returned the best score of 40, Mr Law and Mr Douglas were next both completing the nine-holes in 43.    

The membership was to be limited to 150 and confined to residents in the Kelvinside Ward, the full membership had already been taken up. Mr Robert McClelland was elected captain and Mr William Brodie the secretary and treasurer.

The following is an extract from a report that appeared in the Glasgow Herald on the 23 May 1894 it gives an interesting insight to the layout of the course and its location. “At present the turf is long in places, and the greens are not in the best of order. When they have been rolled and several other improvements carried out, the course will take a high place among inland greens. It is within a few minutes’ walk of Hyndland and Great Western Road railway station, and access to the ground is obtained by Crosslan Road, which branches of Great Western Road. The first tee is close to the brickfield. A straight drive should place the player in a good position for carrying the green with his second, but if the second shot is a bad one there is a strong chance of the ball finding its way into the ravine, and once in it, considerable difficulty will be found in getting out. Four should be a good figure for this hole. The second hole, which is on top of the hill, is guarded by a hedge. Rather than risk driving into this hazard the player should play short of it and pitch on to the green with his second shot. Holing out in four should be satisfactory. The next hole is the longest on the round. Playing from the top of the hill down the slope two good shots are required to put the ball within holing position. The green is situated at the foot of the hill, and a long drive should be avoided as otherwise the ball will inevitably land among a big cluster of whins. Four would be good play but the average golfer will probably take five. The fourth hole presents several difficulties. A sliced ball will result in disaster, for there is blaes heap (shale heap?) close at hand, and a stone dyke and whins have to be avoided. To escape disaster the player must drive “far and sure” and if he holes out in five he will do well. The fifth hole lies is on the shoulder of the hill, but between it and the teeing ground there is a big blaes heap. An iron should land the ball on the green, and three should finish the hole. A longish drive and a pitch over the wall should land the ball on the sixth green, and four for the hole would be good play. The only obstacle going to the seventh green is a service railway line which may trap second shots. The green is in a corner, guarded on one side by a blaes heap and on the other by a dyke. The hole should be approached with caution and a four would be very good play. The next hole may be done in three fairly well. The hole is 170 yards from the teeing ground and with the exception of a dyke on the right there are no hazards. The home hole requires some negotiation. Within a few yards of the teeing ground is the railway, which has already been mentioned, and a high paling which has to be cleared. Once over these however, a nice approach should give the player a chance of a four.”

The first annual meeting was held in February 1895 in the Religious Institute Rooms, 200 Buchanan Street, Glasgow. It seems there had been a change to the initial 150 member rule. There were reported to be 203 ordinary members and 30 lady members. There was a balance in hand at the bank of £308/3s/4. Mr McLelland was re-elected captain, Mr Brodie was re-appointed as secretary and treasurer, Robert Blyth and Alex Moore jun were re-elected as auditors. Committee was elected as follows; W Mearns Gow, Hunter Finlay and J H McClure. It was reported that the construction of the clubhouse had been delayed due to the weather but it was expected to be completed by the end of March.

Result of the May 1898 monthly competition for the McLelland medal, the winner was Mr R O Elderton with a score of 92-2-90.

The spring meeting was held on Saturday 29 April 1900. The best scratch score was returned by J R Forrest, 82; the best net by R R Ure, 84-4-80. Other scores; C A Fawcett, 92-6-86; Andrew Henderson, 98-12-86; C G Mitchell, 98-8-90; E C Hedderwick, 107-18-91. In the ladies’ bogey competition, for the prizes given by Mrs Carvick Webster, the winner was Miss Jean Clark, 3down, the second prize was won by Miss M S Rule, 5down.

The professional from 1898 to 1901 was John Duncan.

Report from the Scottish Referee Friday 30 March 1900 - "North Kelvinside have lost their present ground through the North-Western Golf Club having bought over the ground for their own golf course".

From the Nottingham Journal Tuesday 5 February 1901 – “Is the game of golf losing its attractiveness for Scottish lovers of sport? At all events, we read that it had been decided to wind up the Kelvinside Golf Club, an organisation which, we learn from the last issue of “Golfing Annual,” was instituted in 1893 possessed a course of nine-holes at Crossloan Road, Kelvinside, and had a membership of 250.” 


Kelvinside Golf Club, Glasgow. Course layout.

Layout of the Kelvinside course in 1894. The first tee is to the left of the Club House.