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Dunblane (Hydropathic) Golf Club, Stirlingshire. (1892 - WW1)

The club was founded in 1892.

The course was the brainchild of Mr Philp of the Dunblane Hydropathic Hotel.

The original Dunblane Hydropathic had a nine-hole course which was laid out by Old Tom Morris alongside the River Allan.

This area is now Laighills Public Park.

The course was opened in April 1892 with an exhibition match between two local players who took on the formidable Old Tom Morris, who designed the course, and Ben Sayers; the amateurs won the match and it was reported at the time that “Ben Sayers played a good game but was somewhat handicapped by the unsafe play of Tom Morris, who, considering his years, played a good game”. (Old Tom Morris would have been almost 71 years old at the time).

The professional at the club from 1901 to 1917 was D F McLachlan.

Throughout the 1900s the Dunblane area became very popular with visitors and pressure was on for an 18-hole course.

The Dunblane Hydropathic gave up the Laighills course following WW1. The course was taken over by the council who set up the Dunblane Municipal Golf Club (see separate entry)

The current New Dunblane Golf Club opened in 1924. 


Dunblane Hydropathic Golf Club, (Perthshire.) The Hydropathic Hotel.

Early postcard for the Dunblane Hydropathic offering free golf to visitors. Authors collection.


In October 1894 Mr Murray of the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers went round the course in 69, 33 out and 36 home.

Report on the professional match played in July 1895.


Dunblane (Hydropathic) Golf Club. Report on the professional match played in July 1895.


Dunblane (Hydropathic) Golf Club. Report on the professional match played in July 1895.



In May 1898 the Dunblane Hydropathic club visited the Bridge of Allan golf Club. Result as follows.

Bridge of Allan Golf Club   Dunblane Hydropathic Golf Club  
K Ferguson 0 Syd Christie 5
G R Mills 7 John Roberts 0
J Sharpe 0 J B Wilson 1
W S Silver 3 R Blair 0
F Bayley 0 Tom Harty 3
G C Ramsay 0 A Harty 3
K Millar 0 M Brady 0
J Campbell 0 J McLauchlan 3
G Gray 1 W W Peattie 0
J McGregor 0 John McGregor 2
  11   17

The November 1898 medal was won by Mr W W Peattie, 91–7–84.

In 1899 the February monthly medal was won by Mr M Brady, 88–4–84.

Four prizes presented by the Christmas visitors to the club were played for on three days during June 1899, result; winner Rev J B Wilson – 84,72 and 8; second, Dr Buist; third, a tie, John Roberts and J Bennett.

The following is an extract from a report that appeared in the Dundee Evening Post on August 4th 1903.

“On the banks of Allan Water there is a golf course with powerful claims to the best construction which may be put upon the well known phrase – “A capital sporting course.” Perched upon numerous conical hilltops on the Laigh Hill, the nine-holes constitute a round of golf that may be at once mentally and physically beneficial. So many pitfalls lie on either hand of the true line to the holes that a par 83 may be almost doubled.

The Dunblane Golf Course owes its existence mainly to Mr A Philp, of the Hydropathic. He it was who, in 1892, obtained permission to lay out nine-holes on the common. Old Tom Morris was called in, and from somewhat meagre material he planned a course which is now of proportions worthy of the attention of all but those whose sole ambition is mighty driving.

In front of the neat little clubhouse the first tee directs the player over the bend of the Laigh Hill burn towards the green on a plateau. It is a fine 4 hole. The second hole returns along the plateau, and the pretty green can be reached from the tee, and a 3 recorded. The railway has to be crossed at a high altitude to reach the third tee, and the Allan Water is now bought within the golfers’ acquaintance. Over a wide valley the tee shot will find a good lie for a pitch down down to the gree near the Allan. It is a capital hole at 4. The Allan awaits a pulled tee or second stroke for the fourth hole, but regulation play is 4. “Spion Kop” is the fifth hole. A long lofty tee stroke is required to reach the green over the ridge. A 4 is good enough play. A short iron stroke to a fine green of the basin pattern is the sixth hole. A return down a slope to a circular green requires an accurate drive to secure a 3 at the seventh. The Valley hole can be as well played with two iron strokes as by a drive and a pitch. The hole lies on top of a slope at the base of which a long tee shot may be found difficult to negotiate. This green is a beautiful one. Re-crossing the railway, the home hole is played from the hill overlooking the clubhouse, and a straight tee shot requires only a pitch over the burn.

The par value is 33, and the record is 32. This was made by Mr John Roberts, the artist, on 1st June this year. Mr Roberts also holds the double round of 33 + 34 = 67.   

The membership is about 70, and the visitors’ fees are 6d a day or 5/- a month. Mr Flint the hon. secretary, is unfortunately laid aside by serious illness and his duties have for some time been taken over by Dan McLachlan. There is a club-maker (McLachlan) with premises in the rear of the clubhouse, a facility not enjoyed by many inland courses. Mr McLachlan is also the green-keeper.” 

The plan of the course layout below accompanied the above report. . Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  


Dunblane Hydropathic Golf Club. Layout of the Old Tom Morris designed course.

Above is the Old Tom Morris layout of the Dunblane Hydropathic course.


Result of a club match played at Falkirk on Thursday 23rd June 1904.

Falkirk Tryst Golf Club   Dunblane Golf Club  
J F Galloway 0 Rev Wm Crawford 1
J Mitchell 0 R McIntyre 1
W Erskine 1 M Brady 0
D Melrose 0 Thomas Barty 1
Rev R L Blair 1 Jack Barty 0
D M Wilson 1 Dr Buist 0
G M Robertson 1 A Guthrie 0
A E Douglas 0 John Ritchie 1
A Pryde 1 D T Reid 0
R Wylllie 1 C W Townsend 0
J M Wilson 0 John Reid 1
Hugh Bell 0 A B Webster 1
W D Farquhar 0 John White 1
Rev John Scott 0 D Taylor 1
William Haddow 0 R J Gerrard 1
  6   9


Dunblane Golf Club, Stirlingshire. Edwardian postcard of the Dunblane course.

Edwardian postcard of the Dunblane course.


Result of a 19 a side club match against Falkirk Tryst played in March 1908 at Dunblane.

Dunblane Golf Club   Falkirk Tryst Golf Club  
H M Ball 0 W Erskine 1
I Petty 0 Rev R L Blair 1
H M Brown 1 A Gillespie 0
R H Whitecross 1 W Graham 0
W P Kinnaird 1 R Wyllie 0
H Guthrie 1 Dr Fraser 0
D Buist 1 J Forrester 0
A B Barty 1 J Gibson 0
R McIntyre 1 J Niven 0
C W Townsend 1 D Turnbull 0
A F Moffat 1 Rev J Aitken 0
John Reid 1 J Cowan 0
H P Spens 0 J M Wilson 1
J Brough 1 J McPherson 0
D J Reid 1 Rev Geo Scanlan 0
J B Barty 1 J Robertson 0
A Boyd 1 Geo McCreath 0
Tom Barty 1 R Miller 0
  15   3

Result of monthly medal played in October 1908; Jos Petty jnr, 76-2-74; N Hywood Ball, 75+2-77; W P Kinnaird, 79-2-77. A Bogey competition was also held in October with prizes given by D C Blair. The winner was James Calder, runner-up J B Barty. In early October Miss Maud Titterton, the Open lady golf champion for 1908, visited Dunblane to ascertain par for the course under the rules of the Scottish Union. She played two rounds of the course with Miss Mysie Brown, and finished all square. Miss Titterton was “highly pleased with the sporting nature of the course”

Dunblane Hydropathic Golf Club. The golf course and River Allan.

The golf course and River Allan.


Dunblane Hydropathic Golf Club. River Allan and golf course.

The picture above shows Dunblane golf course in 1908.


Dunblane Hydropathic Golf Club. Golf course location at Laighills.

The above map gives an idea as to the location of the first course. Grid reference NN77910,01870, co-ordinates 277910,701870.