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Alloa Golf Club, Arnsbrae Course, Clackmananshire. (1891 – 1935)

The club was founded in 1891.

The original nine-hole course was laid out at Arnsbrae.

The Alloa Golf Club eventually moved to its current location at Schawpark in the mid 1930s.

Many members who remained in the vicinity of Arnsbrae formed the current Braehead Golf Club. This was after the Alloa club moved to Schawpark in 1935.

The following report is from the Alloa Advertiser Saturday 23rd May 1891; “The Proposed Golf Course – On Tuesday of this week , Mr R Tait, formerly of Musselburgh, and late of Epping Forest, London, inspected Arnsbrae and Gartmorn Moor, with the view of reporting as to the formation of a golf course for the proposed Golf Club in Alloa. Mr Tait will give a written report, but we understand he was of the opinion that Arnsbrae would make a complete and beautiful nine-hole course.”

Entry from the Golfing Annual Vol. V – 1891-92:-

"Alloa Golf Club, Instituted May 29th 1891; Entrance Fee, Ten Shillings and Sixpence; Annual Subscription, £1/1s; Number of Members, 80; Captain, Provost Geo. Younger; Committee – David Thomson, A R Strang, A P Moir, Charles Hendry, James Younger and C D MacWatt; Treasurer, J M Dunlop; Secretary, A Norval, solicitor, Alloa; Green at Arnsbrae.

Club Prizes – Champion Gold Medal on October 1st; Gold Medal (handicap) July 2nd; President’s prize May 7th; Club prizes on first Thursday, and third Saturday of April May, June, September and October; Ladies Competition May 11th.

Prize winner in 1891 – Champion Gold Medal, Tom Davidson.

Record for green by Tom Davidson, 89.

The course is situated at Arnsbrae, about one mile from the town, and consists of nine-holes. The chief hazards are trees, and the lies through the green are, as a rule, rather heavy but the putting greens are being got into fair condition. In some places, too, the ground is rather steep, but the holes are judiciously placed, and a fairly enjoyable game may be had."

Report on the formation of Alloa Golf Club.

 

Alloa Golf Club, Arnsbrae Course, Clackmananshire. Report on the formation of the club in July 1891.

From the Alloa Advertiser Saturday 11th July 1891. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

In March 1892 W Thomson, Gaberston, was appointed green-keeper.

The first ladies’ competition was played in delightful weather on Wednesday 11th May 1892. When the cards were handed in it was found that Miss Jessie Maitland had played the nine-holes in the surprisingly low score of 51; Miss Thomson, Hutton Park, was second with 55; Miss Henderson and Miss N Moyes tied third on 70.

The first match of the Alloa Golf Club took place on the Arnsbrae course against Kinross Golf Club on Saturday 4th June 1892. The one sided result below.

Alloa Golf Club   Kinross Golf Club  
T Davidson 1 Rev. J F Cameron 0
T W Wallace 3 Rev. F Williamson 0
C Hendry 4 Rev. W L McDougall 0
C D MacWatt 0 J M Ross 1
Rev. J W Harper 3 W Ferguson 0
George Henderson 6 C Hepburn 0
W T Procter 4 W G Downie 0
J Cuthbert 3 W Galloway 0
W M Miller 2 Dr. Mungle 0
P J Thomson 10 J Wilson 0
J Thomson 6 W Wilson 0
M Blair 4 R Wilson 0
A P Moir 2 T Dobbie 0
  48   1

Results from the third round of the Captain’s Prize in May 1892; Rev J W Harper beat James Cuthbert 6 and 5; Charles Hendry v H G Murray to play; George Henderson beat John McIvin 6 and 5; W T Procter beat J W Moir 4 and 3; F J Thomson a bye. A handicap competition was played in the same month, result; Rev. J W Harper, 90-9-81; F J Thomson, 97-9-88; George Henderson, 100-6-94; T S Knox, 101-6-95; William Murie, 110-15-95; William Buchan, 111-15-96; J Cuthbert, 103-6-97; W T Procter, 110-12-98.

Result of a match played at Dollar Golf Club in March 1893.

Dollar Golf Club   Alloa Golf Club  
Dr. Cownie 1 W T Wallace 0
Dr Spence 7 Graham Paton 0
J A Gibson 8 C Hendry 0
Dr. Thom 0 C D MacWatt 2
M Anderson 2 J Thomson 0
J Fleming 0 F J Thomson 1
W G Cruickshank (halved) 0 J Cuthbert (halved) 0
J M Tennant 7 M Blair 0
John Smith 3 T Knox 0
J S Henderson 0 A Norval 2
P D Lauder 5 R Archibald 0
  33   5

A ladies' bogey competition played in May 1894 finished in a tie between Miss Jessie Maitland (scratch) and Miss Kate Knox (10,) 3up; Miss Ella F Paton was third on 2up.

The annual meeting was held in the Lesser Hall of the Museum in March 1895, J W Moir in the chair. The following officers were elected; Captain, Provost Thomson; secretary, A Norval; treasurer, J M Dunlop; auditor, Huntly Gordon Murray; committee - W T Procter, W M Duncanson, J Cuthbert, W T Buchan, James Stewart, F A Hills. 

Below is the result of a match played in September 1895 at the recently formed Culross Golf Club (now defunct.)

Culross Golf Club   Alloa Golf Club  
J Beveridge 0 M Blair 1
Mr Gilmour 4 J Cuthbert 0
Mr Rennie 3 W Murie 0
D Beveridge 0 Alfred Thomson 1
Dr. Reddie 0 Mr Hills 3
Mr Arnott 0 Mr Howie 2
Mr T W R Johnstone 3 Mr Norval 0
  10   7

 

Alloa Golf Club, Arnsbrae Course, Clackmananshire. Plan of the golf course from April 1895.

From the Edinburgh Evening News Friday 19th April 1895. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

The following article accompanied the above plan - "The course is on rising ground one mile west of Alloa on the "Turnpike Road" to Stirling. It is known as Arnsbrae and is leased from Mr Alex Gall. The course reaches its highest point at the seventh which is known as "The Prospect" from which a magnificent view is obtained of the Grampian and Ochil Hills, the Wallace Monument the town and castle of Stirling and the Links o' Forth."  

The annual meeting was held in the Museum Hall in March 1899, A E Strang presided. The following were elected officers; Captain, Graham Paton; secretary, Alex Norval; treasurer, W T Buchan; auditor, C D MacWatt; committee - John Melvin, W Murie, T C Lennox, W Millar, J Thomson, W M Duncanson, C Thomson and W T Buchan.

Below is the location of the former course at Arnsbrae in the ealy 1900s.

 

Alloa Golf Club, Arnsbrae Course, Clackmananshire. The course at Arnsbrae on the 1901 O.S. map.

Ordnance Survey Map © Crown Copyright {1901}.

 

In October 1901 a two day contest for the Greenfield Trophy, presented to the club by David Thomson, Greenfield House, was won by J B N Moyes with a four round total of 151.

Result of a match played at Arnsbrae against Falkirk Tryst in March 1902.

Alloa Golf Club   Falkirk Tryst Golf Club  
Alfred A Thomson 4 James F Galloway 0
J Reid, jun. 3 James Learmonth 0
M Blair (halved) 0 James Mitchell (halved) 0
W Murie, jun. 8 D M Wilson 0
J Cuthbert 0 W M Scott 6
W Mure 0 D R Fraser 3
Rev. Dr. Harper (halved) 0 Rev. A N Bogle (halved) 0
T M Reid 0 Stephen A Jardine 6
W Harley (halved) 0 Robert M McKechnie (halved) 0
J Kenny 2 Hugh Bell 0
Rev. Whyte Smith 7 William Erskine 0
  24   15

From the 1905 Nisbet’s Golf Yearbook; Alloa Golf Club Instituted 1891; membership of 140; hon. secretary – A Roxburgh, British Linen Co. Bank, Alloa; captain, J M Reid; entrance fee, 10s/6d and subs, £1/1s; nine-holes; amateur record – Rev. W Crawford, 69; terms for visitors, 6d a day.

In July 1907 a medal competition was held by the "Merchant's Section" leading scores; J W Laing, 86-10-76; C Lennox, 87-9-78; D Cameron, 92-14-78; J Cook, 89-10-79.

Below the opening of the "palatial" new clubhouse in July 1907.

 

Alloa Golf Club, Arnsbrae Course, Clackmananshire. Report on the new pavilion in July 1907.

From the Alloa Advertiser Saturday 20th July 1907. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

At the annual meeting in March 1909 the following officers were elected; Captain, Charles Thomson; secretary A L Roxburgh; treasurer, W T Buchan.

In December 1911 a special meeting was held to discuss the appointment of a professional/green-keeper, F McKenzie club captain presided. The secretary, Alex L Roxburgh, stated that there had been 47 applicants for the post. It was unanimously decided to appoint James Gemmell who was at present green-keeper at the Eastwood Golf Club, Glasgow. 

 

Alloa Golf Club, Arnsbrae Course, Clackmananshire. Alloa Golf Course at the time of WW1. 

Alloa Golf Course at the time of WW1.

 

It was announced in February 1925 that the Alloa Golf Club had approved plans for the layout of a new nine-hole course at Braehead, and also the conversion of Braehead Farmhouse into a pavilion for the club. 

It was reported in December 1926 that the club would be prepared to receive offers for their pavilion situated on the old course at Arnsbrae.

Below the new course at Braehead in May 1927.

 

Alloa Golf Club, Arnsbrae Course, Clackmananshire. Report on the new course at Braehead in May 1927.

From the Sunday Post Sunday 15th May 1927. Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Result of the annual competition for the Victory trophy played at Braehead in June 1928; J Turnbull 72 scratch; H Galloway, 85-10-75; A J McLean, 82-5-77; Cray Lennox, 78 scratch; A McMillan, 87-9-78; M Whyte, 83-5-78. Mr Turnbull’s score of 72 was a new course record, the previous record being 74.

In July 1930 James McPhee was appointed green-keeper at Alloa, he had beeen assistant green-keeper at Dunblane.

From the 1933 Golfer’s Handbook; Alloa Golf Club, Braehead Course; membership 260; secretary – V E Cuthbert, 22 Bank Street, Alloa; green-keeper and professional, James McPhee; nine-holes; visitors on introduction - 2s a day, 5s a week, 7s/6d a fortnight, 12s/6d a month. There is no entry for Braehead Golf Club.

The move to the new course in 1935. Report from the Hull Daily Mail March 1935; “Members of the Alloa Golf Club have approved a scheme recommended by the club council for the formation of new eighteen-hole course.”