Shandon (Hydropathic) Golf Club, Argyll & Bute. (1890 - WW2)

First appeared in April 1890 as the 9-hole course of the Shandon Hydropathic Company. The course was laid out by Robert Simpson of the Dalhousie Golf Club, holes ranged from 300 to 500 yards. A ladies course of lesser extent had also been opened, report below.


Shandon Hydropathic Golf Club, Argyll & Bute. Report on the new golf course in April 1890.

From the Glasgow Evening Post Wednesday 9 April 1890. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Shandon Golf Club, Argyll & Bute. "The Shandon Club House 1910."

"The Shandon Club House - 1910." Image courtesy of Christoph Meister


In the Glasgow Herald in October 1894 it stated that Willie Fernie, the Troon professional, along with two of the directors, had laid out a “new” nine hole course at Shandon Hydropathic. “The course resembles that of Bridge of Weir or Kilmalcolm and will bear favourable comparison with either. The ground lies to the east of the new railway and just a few minutes from the Hydropathic” It seems that this was a new course and probably in a different location to the original course mentioned in 1890.

The first three holes were straight up the hill. The first hole measured 220 yards and was an easy start. The second was a bit longer, 250 yards, a wire fence had to be negotiated from the tee and a deep ravine also had to be negotiated. The third was a sporting short hole of 180 yards with a burn surrounding the green. The fourth was a short blind hole over the brow of a hill, reachable with a cleek. The fifth was also a relatively short hole but a good tee shot was needed to carry the heather, if this was avoided the ball would run down the hill. The sixth hole was the longest on the course, over 400 yards, but it was all downhill alongside the railway, “the putting green is in the form of a cup which in time will form one of the prettiest greens to be seen anywhere” The seventh was the shortest hole on the course. The eighth hole was 200 yards and was stated to “ resemble the first at Muirfield in that it had wood enclosed with a stone dyke to the left along the whole way” The ninth was another comparatively short hole alongside the railway, a pulled shot was to be avoided. The views from the course were magnificent, particularly from the third and fourth holes. On a clear day extensive views of mountains, moor and loch could be obtained.  


Shandon Hydropathic Golf Club, Gareloch, Argyll & Bute. Pictures of the clubhouse and course.


Shandon Hydropathic Golf Club, Gareloch, Argyll & Bute. Pictures of the clubhouse and course.

Images courtesy of Frank Accleton.


Shandon Golf Club, Argyll & Bute. View from the golf course.


James Braid visits in 1923 to extend the course to 18-holes measuring 5,200 yards.


Shandon Hydropathic Golf Club, Gareloch, Argyll & Bute. Report on the James Braid visit in 1923.

Dundee Courier Saturday 3 February 1923. Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Below is a report on the hotel in May 1927.


Shandon Golf Club, Argyll & Bute. Report on the hotel and golf course May 1927.


Shandon Golf Club, Argyll & Bute. Report on the hotel and golf course May 1927.

From the Sphere Saturday 28 May 1927. Image © Illustrated London News Group.


Result of the monthly medal played in August 1938; G Fraser (4), 62; J Mackay (16), 68.

Annual handicap finals (36 holes) played in September 1938; Miss J Crowhurst beat Miss M L Kerr, 4&3; W McIntyre beat W Ward, 2&1. 

The course continued until the the mid 1950s and was known as Shandon Golf Club at that time.

The secretary following WW2 to its closure was W McIntyre, 77 West King Street, Helensburgh. The 9-hole course had a SSS of 62 and there was a membership of 90. The greenkeeper was J MacGibbon, green fees were 1/- a round. The railway station at Shandon adjoined the course.

The Hotel was closed and demolished in 1957.


Shandon Golf Club, Argyll & Bute. Location of the former course.

Location of the course at Shandon. Grid reference NS25625,88215, co-ordinates 225625,688215.