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  Banff Golf Club, Aberdeenshire. (1871 - WW2)

The club was founded in 1871.

A nine-hole links course with natural hazards, burns etc. with holes varying in length from 60 yards to 350 yards. There were good ladies’ and gentlemen’s clubhouses. The railway station called Banff Club Platform adjoined the clubhouse and course; in the early years there was a further station at Banff Harbour ½ mile away. Local hotels were the Fife Arms and Rose’s Temperance.


Banff Golf Club, Aberdeenshire. The Links Banff.

The Links Banff.


The first of a series of summer monthly medals was played on the last Saturday in May 1874. The first prize, a golf club, was won by R B Ferguson, the runner-up was Mr Spence. Only nine players took part.

The annual meeting was held in the office of Mr Watt, banker, on Tuesday 13th November 1877. The following were appointed to the committee for the ensuing year; James Wood, re-elected president; Sheriff Scott Moncrieff, captain; Mr Watt, secretary and treasurer; Rev Mr Chisholm, Mr Auld, Mr Spence and Mr Macfarlane. It was decided to play the annual medal on the links on Saturday 24th November. The holder of the trophy was Mr Ferguson, National Bank, who had won the trophy in 1874 and 1875 it was not played for in 1876. The club had a membership of 23.

The annual medal was won again by Mr Ferguson, just two couples took part.

The following members were elected at the annual meeting in October 1878; Sheriff Moncrieff, captain; Mr Spence, Boyndie House; Mr Macfarlane, collector of Her Majesty’s Customs; Mr Watt, banker.

A return six a side match against Cullen was played at Banff Golf Club on Wednesday 27th August 1879, teams as follows; Banff - Sheriff Moncrieff (captain); Rev. Mr Chisholm; Mr Watt, National Bank; Mr Spence (Boyndie House); James Simpson, jun., (Colleonard); Mr Watt (Boyndie House); Cullen - Mr Anderson, North of Scotland Bank, (captain); Mr Stewart, Merchant; Mr Cheyne, Inland Revenue; Charles Duffus; James Sinclair; Mr Forgan, St Andrews. The match was decided by holes, after two rounds of the links, Cullen were victorious by the large number of 40 holes. This was mainly due to the "inexperience" of the Banff players.

The competition for the annual medal was played on Saturday 11th October 1879 and was won by the Rev Mr Chisholm. The greens “were in very good condition.”

Sherriff Scott Moncrieff presided at a meeting held on Saturday 9th October 1880. The following members were admitted to the club; Mr Duff of Park; A O Morrison, banker; Herr Hoffman; Mr Ramsay, St Leonards; Mr Harper, writer; Mr Eyval, Boyndie House. The annual medal was played after the meeting and was won by Mr Eyval.

At the annual meeting held in November 1880 the balance sheet showed a debit of £7/14s/7d. The club membership was 23. Two sets of clubs and a number of balls were presented to the club by Sherriff Gordon, one of the founder members of the club.

The annual meeting was held in the National Bank on Tuesday 23rd November 1886. The balance sheet showed a balance in hand of £10/18/8. It was also stated that there had not been much playing during the year but it was hoped that this would improve in the coming year. The following officers were elected; William Coutts (solicitor), president; Sheriff Moncrieff, captain; James Watt, secretary and treasurer; Captain Ewart, John Allan, C W R Gordon and Mr Ramsay.

The following information was taken from the Golfing Annual of 1888/89, it appears that the club and course was on its last legs at this time; Instituted on May 5th 1871; Entrance Fee originally £1 now five shillings; Number of Members 7; Captain – Clement Gordon, Esq., Procurator Fiscal; Committee – Messrs. Ramsay, Simpson, Allan and Capt. Ewart; Secretary Rev Aeneas Chisholm, Mount Carmel, Banff. Club Prizes – there is only one Club Medal, intended to play for annually, but there has been no competition for some years as the club is practically defunct. The green is short and narrow (nine-holes), and having to return over the same holes makes play uninviting, hence little interest is taken in the game at Banff, and there is no prospect of the club being resuscitated. 

The “newly arranged course” of the Banff Golf Club was formally opened on Saturday 14th November 1891. Twenty golfers took part in a competition which commenced at 2pm, leading scores; B Haig, 85; Rev C McKenzie, 87William Simpson, 92; Chivas Simpson, 96.

In March 1892 Mr John Bennet, St Katharine Street, was appointed “keeper of the golf course” The club now had 36 members which included several ladies.

The ladies’ competition which had been running during the summer of 1894 was won by Miss Williamson, 136, presented with a gold bangle; Miss Anna Hossack, 136, gold brooch.

The annual meeting was held in November 1895 Provost Ramsay, in the absence of Sherriff Grant, presided. The Provost congratulated the members on the flourishing state of the club and on the building of the new clubhouse. The following officers were elected; Sheriff Grant, president; Robert G Shirreffs captain; William Marshall, secretary.


Banff Golf Club, Aberdeenshire. Article from The Sketch November 1896.

Article from The Sketch Wednesday November 18th 1896. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


  Secretary Professional/Greenkeeper
1906 Captain T Barton, Seafield Street, Banff.  
1913/14 John Laing and George Ironside. G Milne (p)
1920's J C Rankine, 36 High Street, Banff. Geo Milne (p/g)

Result of a one sided match played on Wednesday 10th July 1899 against the Moray Club at Lossiemouth. Mr Baxter, the captain of the Banff Club, was not available for the match.

Moray Golf Club   Banff Golf Club  
L McIssac 0 C A Simpson 0
D West 0 H E Spence 3
D Cameron 8 A Bisset 0
R Coull 5 R W Williamson 0
J Forbes 5 R G Sheriffs 0
D Edwards 3 E H Jobberns 0
G Scott-Hunter 7 J McCulloch 0
Rev M Leishman 4 T S Adam 0
J P Cumming 9 Sheriff Grant 0
Rev Mr Newlands 3 J Ledingham 0
J Thomson 1 D Walker 0
  45   3

In October 1899 a new course record was set by Mr R G Sherriffe, Sherriff-Clerk, Depute. His first round score was 42 and the second 39; scores, 7,4,5,5,4,4,4,4,5=42. 5,4,5,4,4,4,3,4,6=39. The previous record for a single round was 40, set by J O Kemp the previous month.

Result of a club match played at Banff against Buckie in June 1900.

Banff Golf Club   Buckie Golf Club  
C A Simpson 0 W F Johnston 5
Rev A Bisset 0 W Macdonald 5
R G Sheriffs 2 J Yuill 0
R W Williamson 0 J G Macpherson 5
A Walker 4 R Johnston 0
W Marshall 0 J Kerr 5
W Ledingham 0 W Johnston 2
Sargeant Major Cooper 0 G Donald 2
  6   24

In 1906 the course record was still at 39. Visitors’ fees were 1/- a day and 2/6d a week. Also in 1906 Banff Ladies’ Golf Club is listed, whose secretary was Miss C M Simpson, Colleonare, Banff.


Banff Golf Club, Aberdeenshire. Layout of the nine-hole golf course.

Layout of the nine-hole golf course.


In 1913/4 there was a membership of 180. Entry fees for gents were 5/- and 2/6d for ladies and juveniles. Subs for gents were 10/-, ladies and juveniles 2/6d.

The annual meeting was held on Wednesday 11th March 1914. The balance sheet was submitted and showed a balance in hand. The following officers were elected; Patron, Mr W C Dawes, Swordanes; president, Provost Rankine; vice-president, Baillie Kerr; captain, A F Spence; secretary, George Ironside; treasurer, James Rankine; auditor, Baillie Watt. It was agreed to raise the annual subscription to 6/-. A wall was to be built at a cost of £100 to prevent the encroachment of the sea opposite the first tee. Mr Dawes donated £50 with the other £50 being given by the Town Council. 

Following WW1 club membership had dropped to 150.Visitors’ fees were 1/6d a day, 6/- a week, 12/- a month.

By 1952 the Banff Golf Club had closed and amalgamated with Duff House Royal Golf Club.

Banff Golf Club - The clubhose and course.

Postcard of the Banff clubhouse and course. Authors Collection.


Location of the Banff Golf Club links.

Location of the links at Banff. Grid reference NJ67245 64560, co-ordinates 367245 864560.