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Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. (1893 - 2013)

The club was founded in 1893.

Sadly, after 120 years, with dwindling membership and financial difficulties the club closed at the end of 2013. Golfers were still able to play on the Lothianburn course for about a month by courtesy of Swanston Golf Club (their course is adjacent to Lothianburn). The Lothianburn clubhouse belongs to the club but the course was leased from Swanston. In October 2013 there was a sale of the clubs memorabilia; trophies, furnishings, equipment etc.

Originally a nine-hole course at Pentland Hills it was extended to eighteen-holes in 1899.

In 1928 a little more land became available and the club called in James Braid to advise on changes to the layout. The hilly parkland/moorland course was some 900 feet above sea level at the highest point. Braid reshaped the dog-legs, the fourth and fifth holes were classic examples, the seventh, eighth and ninth also had dogleg features. The ninth was a steep climb with the green set on a plateau near the summit of the course. The tenth to the thirteenth holes featured the “T” wood, a famous feature of the former course. A few tweaks were made following the changes in 1929 but it remained pretty well as Braid planned it.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Card of the course.

Card of the course at closure.

 

There was a large attendance at the annual general meeting held on Thursday 1 October 1896 the captain, Mr J T Cunningham, Hillside, Roslin, presided. The captain, the secretary Mr James Wylie, Royal Bank, Leven Street, and the treasurer, Mr John Dunbar, solicitor, 117 George Street, were all re-elected. The following members were elected to the council in place of those who retired by rotation; Robert Mark, J Horsburgh junior, William Gavine, Alexander Wilson, D Kerr and Rev J Campbell.  The balance sheet was produced and showed a healthy balance in hand. It was decided to admit 50 new members. The new clubhouse was to be opened following the autumn meeting on Friday 2nd October.

The new clubhouse was opened in October 1896 by John T Cunningham, captain of the club. 

The sketch below shows the nine-hole course in 1896, the clubs third year. The course with its undulating greens and natural hazards was constantly improving. With the co-operation of the tenant the club had managed to obtain an adjoining field allowing the club to lengthen four of the holes. With the opening of the clubhouse (top right on the plan) there was an alteration in the layout; The old second hole was now the first, with the tee in front of the pavilion, while the old first hole was now the ninth. 

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Nine-hole layout 1896.

Above is the layout of the nine-hole course. Image from the Edinburgh Evening News Tuesday 6th October 1896.

 

Following is the result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 9th October 1897; James Addison, 91-5-86, and John Dunbar, 96-10-86, tied for first place; G A Ross, 85+3-88; Geo Aitken jun, 97-9-88; A Steele, 89 scratch; D Lowe, 90-1-89.

The winner of the April 1898 monthly medal was Gavin Jack, 109-12-97.

On Saturday 6 May 1899 the extended eighteen-hole course was opened by the captain, Mr Cunningham. Following the opening of the course a match was played between teams selected by the treasurer and secretary.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Course layout in 1899.

Above is the layout of the extended eighteen-hole course. Image from the Edinburgh Evening News Saturday 6 May 1899.

 

The above holes measured as follows; Hole one – 270 yards; two - 270 yards; three - 166 yards; fourth - 185 yards; five – 208 yards; six – 223 yards; seven – 256 yards; eight – 147 yards; nine – 216 yards; ten – 235 yards; eleven – 150 yards- twelve – 173 yards; thirteen – 90 yards; fourteen 233 yards; fifteen – 202 yards; sixteen – 263 yards; seventeen – 333 yards; eighteen – 223 yards. 

Below is the result of a match played against Portobello in July 1900.

Lothianburn Golf Club   Portobello Golf Club  
J C Kirkcaldie & B A Rayner  0 W H Sellar & C D White 0
G N Bonar & W Cunningham 5 W Ramsay & W Ferguson 0
D Lowe junior & J Addison 8 E McVie & G H Chisholm 0
R Jeffrey & W R Easson 0 W S Brown & Jas Anderson 3
G M Crawford & W McDiarmaid 2 D Adams & J Harby 0
H B Henderson & Geo Myles junior 5 J Chumley & F Farrend 0
Geo Aiken junior 0 R A Calder 1
  20   4

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Group photograph prior to the first competition for the Coronation Cup in 1902.

Group photograph taken at the first competition for the Coronation Cup 20 September 1902.

 

The winner of the Coronation Cup competition played in September 1902 was J T Kirkwood, 96-18-78.

In the clubs tenth year the course was to undergo another suggested change. A meeting was held in the Oddfellows Hall, Forrest Road in December 1903 when Mr William Binns produced a plan of his proposed layout. Mr G M Crawford, club captain, presided at the meeting. Mr Binns said the new course would be longer, safer, it would also lessen congestion and could be done at small expense. He moved the adoption and it was seconded by James Addison. Long and animated discussion took place with several suggestions for minor alterations. Mr Porteous, the green-ranger, in supporting the proposal, stated that he could have the course ready for play in the New Year. Mr Binn’s schem was carried unanimously. 

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Course layout in 1903.

Above is the revised layout. Image from the Edinburgh Evening News Thursday 3 December 1903.

 

The formal opening of the reconstructed course took place on Saturday 21st May 1904 in front of a large crowd. G N Crawford, captain of the club, made a statement expressing the gratitude of the members to Mr Gavin Jack of Swanston, hon. president of the club. In addition to Mr Jack, thanks were also passed on to the green ranger Mr Porteous. On behalf of the members Mr Crawford presented Mr Jack with a club, and the hon. president drove the first ball, amid loud cheers, his drive from the tee being a fine shot.

Below is the result of a match played at Broomieknowe in June 1912.

Broomieknowe Golf Club   Lothianburn Golf Club  
W Murray & J T Dawson 1 W Finlay & A Black 0
H Burdon & J J Millar 0 James Scott & J Haddon 0
A Dods & H McDougal 0 R Moore & D R Cormack 1
George Scott & A Dick 1 John Gavine & George Aitken 0
William Kay & W Kinghorn 0 W Mowat & J K Coutts 1
J W Keay & J R Mitchell 0 James Murray & D A Lowe 1
D McRobbie & H Howes o J H Williamson & N R Mitchell 1
R S Barbour & T Sellars 1 T J Wilson & Captain Sturrock 0
  3   4

Below is the result of a match played at Lothianburn against Cramond Brig in June 1923.

Lothianburn Golf Club   Cramond Brig Golf Club  
W Finlay & J H Dargo 1 W G Scott & J A Fowler 0
A F Simpson & Andrew Watson 1 T McWalter & H B Murdoch 0
Alex Black & T M Plenderleith 1 W D Johnston & J M McIntosh 0
Jas Scott & G C McIlwrick 1 T Craik & D K Anderson 0
W McLeod & Alex Watson 1 R A M McCrostie & J S Johnston 0
R Moore & D E Cormack 0 R T Lawrie & A Wood jun 1
A L Cooper & D Fisher 1 F Pool & A M Edmonston 0
W Watson & R D Grant 1 J S Speirs & F M Renison 0
A A Gunn & J H Gunn 1 I Murdoch & G H Tait 0
J W Black & G A Scott 1 A Sinclair & A L Glegg 0
E D Smith 1 W A Frater 0
  10   1

Below is the result of the annual home-and-home match against Duddingston played in June 1932.

Lothianburn Golf Club   Duddingston Golf Club  
A F Simpson & G C McIlwrick 1 W B C Miller & Mr Seaton 0
J Wyper & A A Simpson 0 Mr Hall & Mr Murray 1
C R T Moir & J McVey 1 Mr Thomson & J Robson 0
A Mackintosh & G J Williamson 1 S Robson & W J Blane 0
E L Bowen & J A Anderson 0 Mr Grieve & Mr Inches 0
Mr Foggo & J Scott 0 Mr Adamson & H J P Edgar 1
D Scott & C B Sterling 0 Mr White & Mr Whitelaw jun 1
Mr Finlay & J H Dargo 1 A B Miller & W G A Edgar 0
J Mackenzie & J Aitchison 1 Mr Noble & Mr McMath 0
C Hastings & J Macdonald 1 J W Blane & Mr Mitchell 0
  6   3

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. From Illustrated Sporting Dramatic News April 1936.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. From Illustrated Sporting Dramatic News April 1936.

From The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News 24 April 1936. Images © Illustrated London News Group. Images created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Exhibition match played in September 1947. 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Exhibition match September 1947.

From The Scotsman Thursday 11 September 1947. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Following WW2 the secretary was K L McAinsh and the green-keeper L McDiarmid. The eighteen hole course had a Par of 72 and SSS of 73. There was a Membership of; gents 450, ladies 65. Visitors, 2/6 a day, 5/- on Sunday. 

In the mid 1950s membership of  gents, 450, ladies, 65; secretary, K L McAinch; green-keeper, L McDiarmid; amateur course record - Ian Watt, 69; 18-holes, SSS, 70; visitors, 3s/6d weekdays, 7s/6d weekends.

In the early 1960s the secretary was K L McAinsh; professional, W Clark; green-keeper, A Stenhouse; 18-holes, 5,777 yards, SSS, 70; amateur course record - W F Hunter, 68; visitors, 3s/6d weekdays, 7s/6d weekends.

In the mid 1960 the secretary was S D Mackie; green-keeper, J Jamieson.

In the 1970s membership was 400; secretary, I Mathie; no professional listed at this time.

In the early 1980s the secretary was W P Findlay; professional, B Mason; 18-holes, 5,619 yards, SSS 68; amateur course record - B Nicholson and H H Brown, 63; visitors; £2.50 a day, £4 at weekend.

In the late 1980s the secretary was A R Poxton; professional, B Mason.

In the early 1990s the membership was 430 (75 ladies, 75 juniors, 50 seniors); secretary, E W Horbery; professional, P Morton; 18-holes, 5,750 yards, SSS 69; amateur course record - P W Lamb, 63.

In 2005 and 2009 the secretary was W F A Jardine (2005) and D P MacLaren (2009); professional, Kurt Mungall; membership of 600; 18-holes measured 5,662 yards, SSS of 69, par 71. 

The former course can be seen on the Britain From Above link below.

http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/saw039282?search=lothianburn&ref=0

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. The fourteenth hole.

Above the 558 yard par 5 fourteenth. Image courtesy of Alan Mcpherson who is playing all of Scotland's golf courses to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. For more course information; http://scottishgolfcourses-allofthem.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/lothianburn-golf-club-closed-after-120.html

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. The eighteenth hole.

Above the 281 yard par four eighteenth. Image courtesy of Alan Mcpherson.

 

Thanks to Dr. Douglas Lockhart who took the pictures below on Wednesday 22 January 2020. "Horses now graze much of the former course and there are many electric wire fences. Having photographed the first and the very difficult par 3 second, I continued walking from the back of the second green and noticed a tee with a yellow tee marker ahead - I had arrived at the third still beautifully maintained and to the left was another hole also cut and in perfect condition (fourth) - these are the only surviving holes of the Lothianburn course and in 2016 they were incorporated into the Swanston layout as holes ten and eleven. So there are “only” 16 lost Lothianburn holes.”

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures of the former Lothianburn course take by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

Former clubhouse taken from the pavement of the A702 (Edinburgh-Biggar-Carlisle road).

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures taken by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

Sign on tree adjacent former clubhouse.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures taken by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

Clubhouse/putting green/flagstaff.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures taken by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

First fairway.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures taken by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

First fairway looking back to clubhouse.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures taken by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

First green looking back towards tee.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures of the former Lothianburn course take by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

Second tees.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures of the former Lothianburn course take by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

Second green looking back to tee.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures of the former Lothianburn course take by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

Site of the old second green in the foreground. Swanston golf course is in the middle distance.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures of the former Lothianburn course take by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures of the former Lothianburn course take by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

Images above show the former third hole of the Lothianburn course now part of the Swanston course.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures of the former Lothianburn course take by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures of the former Lothianburn course take by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

The former fourth hole shows the James Braid dog leg to lessen the effects of the slope.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures of the former Lothianburn course take by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

Horses grazing on the seventh fairway to the left – on the right the former fourth hole of the Lothianburn course.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures of the former Lothianburn course take by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

Approach to the eighth green.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Pictures of the former Lothianburn course take by Dr. Douglas Lockhart in January 2020.

Ninth tees - a stiff climb from there up the valley to the green.

 

Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh. Fraser Paterson.

Fraser Paterson, a former member, with the Wyper Trophy Hole in Hole, and the B Championship Shield in 1993. Image Courtesy of Fraser Paterson.