Balmacara Golf Club, Highland. (1908 - WW1)

Founded 1908.

The following early history of the club is taken from local newspapers. The necessary credit and actual date of publication is also given. The course was laid out at the Balmacara Hotel.

Nothern Chronicle August 26th 1908. “New Golf Course at Balmacara – A meeting of those who signified their intentions to become members of the proposed golf course was held in the hotel last week. The following were appointed office bearers;- Patron, Sir Kenneth Mathieson Bart of Lochalsh; President, Lord Blythwood; Vice President, Mr R J Bowerman of Killilan; Captain, Mr Thomas Ritson, Bank of Scotland, Kyle; Vice Captain, Dr D J Macrae, Colliemore; Treasurer, F W Keith, Commercial Bank, Kyle; Secretary, Mr Kenneth Murchieson, Postmaster; Assistant Secretary, Mr John Mackintosh, Fernfield; and the following are appointed members of the committee; Messrs Sinclair, Hotel Proprietor; Sorlie M.A. Plockton; Hossack, Dornie; F S Mackenzie, Kyle; Andrew Logan, Auchterlyre; D Urquhart, M.A. Kyle; F Macrae, Avernish; and Mr Simpson of London, Honorary Member, who presided over the meeting. About twenty years ago there had been a golf course here, but it was discontinued until recently. Mr Sinclair, Proprietor of the Hotel, kindly granted the ground to the club, and Mr Machardy of Inverness, who had been experienced in mapping out courses, and himself a most enthusiastic golfer, very kindly laid out the course at Balmacara, The course, which is a nine hole one, is beautifully situated”

It is interesting to note the mention of a former course at Balmacara in the above article.

Below is a rare picture of the Balmacara golf course.


Balmacara Golf Club, Highland. The course and clubhouse are in the foreground.

The pavilion and course.


The Ross-Shire Journal published on Friday August 28th also ran a similar story on the proposed course, with the following additions, which give further insight into the exact location of the course “Several gentlemen have gone over the course, and expressed their highest opinion of it and they remark that it would require of every player the utmost tact and skill in order to overcome the difficult natural hazards which make the course a truly sporting one. Beginning near the Hotel it should prove a source of added enjoyment and pleasure to the visitors who come for a holiday to this “Mecca of the West” and they will no doubt appreciate the fact of its laid out on the Hotel Ground. The course is beautifully situated, and the magnificent panorama of Mountain, Loch and Glen, to be viewed by the golfer as he goes along would compare very favourably with any part of the highlands”

Ross-Shire Journal September 11th 1908. “A concert in aid of the funds of this newly formed club took place in the Auchtertyre Public School on Thursday. Mr W E D Simpson of London presided, and delivered a humorous address. The whole proceedings passed off without a hitch. The drawings at the door amounted to over £8. The hall was beautifully decorated with Heather, Tartan and evergreens. A special feature of the entertainment was the violin solos by Miss Barbour. The following took part in the programme; Songs, Mrs Keith, Kyle; Miss Cadell, Kirkton; Miss Munroe, Kyleakin; Mr Hossack, Dornie; Miss Murchison, Miss Matheson, Colliemore; Miss Robertson, Balmacara; Miss Matheson, Plockton; Mr Hutchison, Dornie; The Misses Matheson and Mackenzie; Mr D Macrae, Bagpipe selections; Mr John Malennan, Violin Solos; Miss Barbour Pianoforte selections; Miss Matheson, Colliemore; Gramophone selections, Mrs Stewart, Auchtertyre; Highland Fling Mr Tait Macrae, Ardelve, and Mr W Macrae, Kyle.

A report in the Ross-Shire journal Friday October 16th 1908, covering the opening ceremony of the course at Balmacara, which included an old fashioned speech by Lord Blythswood.

” The golf course recently laid out at Balmacara, a few miles from Kyle of Lochalsh Station, was on Saturday last opened by Lord Blythswood in the presence of a large gathering of members. His Lordship, who is president of the club, thanked the members for honouring him in asking to perform that duty, and complimented Mr and Mrs Sinclair, Balmacara Hotel, on removing a felt want by organising the club. Golf, said his lordship, was in every respect a healthy game, and any devotee could in all sincerity ask god’s blessing on that form of sport (applause followed). He was glad that golf was unlikely to sink so low as football, a most excellent game in itself. It was free from professionalism except in so far as that was an absolute necessity for the good of the game. It would be an incentive to visitors to the district to know that the unsurpassable scenic beauty of Balmacara golf course was only one of its attractions.

After a pleasant game had been engaged in, the players and spectators were entertained to tea by Lord Blythswood. This was purveyed in Mrs Sinclair’s well known style, and thoroughly enjoyed by the company.

On behalf of the club generally, and Mr and Mrs Sinclair in particular, Mr Keith thanked his Lordship for his interest in the club. In reply his Lordship said that games afforded splendid opportunities not only for promoting health of body but enjoying stimulating intercourse with one’s fellowmen. Man was a gregarious animal, and he who did not desire to meet his fellows was unnatural and unfit to take a useful part in the life of his times.

The Treasures report was submitted, and found to be satisfactory” 

In 1914 the secretary was Kenneth Murchison, Balmacara. A 9 hole course on sandy soil with a membership of 60. Entry fees were 5/- and subs 5/-. Visitors’ fees were 1/- a day. Sunday play was not allowed. The station at Kyle of Lochalsh was 6 miles away. There was a steamer service during the summer direct to Balmacara.

Balmacara Golf Club disappeared after WW1.