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Dalkeith & Newbattle Golf Club, King's Park Course. (1880 - 1934)

The original foundation date of the club was 1880.

Report from the Dalkeith Advertiser Thursday 22 July 1880:-

"Dalkeith Golf Club - A movement having been on foot for some time amongst the golfers resident in Dalkeith and neighbourhood, for the purpose of forming a golf club, a meeting was held last night in the Cross Keys Hotel. Mr Thomas Smith, S.S.C., was called upon to preside, and about 20 gentlemen agreed to become members. Robert Craig, jun., Craigeak, was elected captain; R B Boyd, treasurer,  and T Smith, secretary of the club. It is anticipated that a number of other gentlemen interested in golf will also join, and a meeting will be held shortly to complete the necessary arrangements."

On Friday 6 June 1884 the Portobello Golf Club played a match against Dalkeith Golf Club at Musselburgh, the latter winning by 22 holes to 16.  

The club had a nomadic existence in its early years playing on local courses, at that time the club did not have their own course. 


Dalkeith Golf Club, Midlothian. Entry from The Golfing Annual 1888/89.


Dalkeith Golf Club, Midlothian. Entry from The Golfing Annual 1888/89.

Entry from the Golfing Annual 1888/89.


In 1896 the Dalkeith Golf Club acquired land at nearby King’s Lines and a 9-hole course was laid out. 

In April 1896 a meeting was held in the Foresters’ Hall to form a club and to discuss the results from the committee, set up some time earlier, regarding the permanent site for a golf course. The chairman, Provost Murdoch, stated that a letter had been received from the green-keeper at Barnton, strongly recommending that the suggested course at King’s Park should be used and would measure as follows; Hole one about – 350 yards; two – 235 yards; three – 250 yards; four – 220 yards; five – 250 yards; six – 250 yards; seven – 260 yards; eight – 410 yards; nine – 300 – yards; total approximately 2,595 yards. The rent was to be paid to Lord Lothian’s agents and would be £100 a year starting in November. It was decided, after discussion, to name the club “ Dalkeith” although there was  one at present so called it was expected the two clubs would merge. Dr Ballantyne, Ashton, formally moved that the club should be formed, Mr A Dods, Glebe, seconding. The entrance fee would be 21/- and the annual subs would be the same amount for the 120 members. The members elected the Marquis of Lothian K.T president of the club and Provost Murdoch vice-president.  


Dalkeith and Newbattle Golf Club, Course layout from 1896.

The above layout of the Dalkeith course is taken from the Edinburgh Evening News 13 April 1896.


Report on the opening of the King's Park course in May 1896.


Dalkeith and Newbattle Golf Club, King's Park Course. Report on the opening of the course in May 1896.

Aberdeen Press and Journal Thursday 14 May 1896. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Below is picture of a lockable set of whiskey decanters that the club obtained the year after it was formed in 1896. It disappeared many years ago but reappeared recently at an auction. It was returned home as it was engraved Dalkeith and Newbattle Golf Club dated 1897.


Dalkeith and Newbattle Golf Club. Engraved Tantalus dated 1897.

Thanks to Maurice McIlwrick for supplying and allowing us to use the above image.


In April 1898 the annual hole handicap competition which had been running for two months was completed. Finishing positions; first,  John Knox, Leith; David William Anderson, Eskbank; Charles Guild, Eskbank; David Blair, Muirpark; Alexander Macpherson, Edinburgh; George Goldie, Dalkeith, Robert Moncrieff, Edinburgh; Alfred Johnstone, Lasswade.

On Saturday 3 March 1900 a return match between George Caldwell, the professional green-keeper of the Dalkeith & Newbattle club, and James Macdonald, Musselburgh, was played on the King’s Park course. Caldwell scored 71 (35 and 36) and won the match by 4 and 2.

Below is the result of a club match played at Glencorse on Saturday 28 June 1902.

Glencorse   Dalkeith & Newbattle  
Wharton Tod & W Cook 4 Gray jnr & J Duncan 0
H Burdon & E Burdon 3 Flint & Turner 0
Davidson & H Cook 8 Moncrieff & Skeoch 0
Cowan and Sommerville 0 Fraser & Duncan 6
Webster & Oatts 0 McDougall & Waddell 0
Pitman & Mylne 0 Sherrin & Burnett 5
Cranson & Craill 2 Mathieson & Ross 0
Strong & Smart 0 A Henderson & Paterson 3
Hadden & Gellatly 0 Guild & Kay 0
Nelson & Sandilands 0 Greig & Dr Ballantyne 2
Campbell & Jardine 0 Fraser & McLeish 0
Martin & Fowler 2 Wilson & P Henderson 0
Wright & Jardine 0 Lindsay & Abernethy 1
Lindsay & Cowan 5 Lucas & R Duncan 0
Inglis & Fraser 5 Mowatt & Paxton 0
  29   17


Result of a ladies competition held on Wednesday 6 July 1904; tie for first place, Miss Elizabeth McDougall, 123- 34-89 and Mrs Thos Watson Dods, 116-27-89, Miss E M M Urquhart, 118-20-98, Mrs Mitchell, Eskbank had the best gross score 105.


Dalkeith and Newbattle Golf Club. The "Newbattle" clubhouse early 1900s.

The “Newbattle” clubhouse in the early 1900s.


In 1913 the secretary was R Galloway, 2 Argyle Terrace, Edinburgh, and the professional A Woodrow.  Visitors’ fees (if introduced) 6d a day, 2/6d a week, 7/6d a month. The nearest railway station was at Dalkeith & Eskbank 15 minutes away.

Harry Vardon spent some time with his friend, J S Gibb, captain of the Gorebridge club (now defunct), in June 1914. They visited Dalkeith & Newbattle Golf Club (also now defunct) Vardon partnered Mr William Duncan (captain of the D & N club) played in a better ball match against J S Gibb and D T Gibb. Harry Vardon returned a score of 68 which equalled the course record held by John T Duncan.  

The annual meeting was held on Sunday 16 May 1916, William W Duncan presided. Very satisfactory reports were produced by the secretary and the treasurer. It was decided at the meeting that there would be no competitions during the war and that any members who had joined the forces would be exempt from paying subscriptions. Officers of the club were re-elected. With the departure of Mr H H Fraser to Paisley, Mr William G Campbell, solicitor, was elected to fill the one vacant committee position. 

Sad news from the front, Second Lieutenant Herbert Heron Fraser had been killed in action. He died from wounds received on 22 August 1917. After training in an Edinburgh lawyer’s office he became patner in his uncle’s law business, J Coldwell & Co., Paisley. He was a former Captain of the Dalkeith & Newbattle Golf Club. 

The Dalkeith & Newbattle ladies’ spring meeting for the captain’s prizes was held on Saturday 15 May 1920, result; Mrs Ross, Greenore, 97-7-90; Mrs W W Duncan, Glenavon, 88+5-93; Mrs Mitchell, Eskbank, 97-3-94; Mrs T Watson Dods, Kippilaw, 99-3-95. 

In November 1924 Harry Vardon was consulted with regards to alterations to the course. Considerable improvements were made, tees were moved further back, several holes were lengthened and additional bunkers introduced. On Saturday 25th April 1925 the new re-designed course was opened with a match between teams selected by the captain and vice-captain.  

At the annual meeting held in April 1925 Mr Arch Dods presided. Top of the agenda was the cost of the improvements on the course, a 15/- levy was imposed on members and 5/- on subscribers. The following officers were appointed; President, The Marquis of Lothian; vice-presidents, Lord Whitburgh and Philip Kerr, captain, Arch Dods; vice-captain, Joseph F Ford; secretary, Walter Pretsel; treasurer, William G Campbell. 

Below is the result of a match played at Peebles in July 1925. 

Peebles   Dalkeith and Newbattle  
A Shiell & W Ruickbie (half) 0 W Duncan & W Prestel (half) 0
A T Kyle & J Strickler 1 J Downie & A Meek 0
H Morris & J W Buchan 1 J Reid & J B Athie 0
D Morrison & J Morris 1 J S Gibb & J P Herriot 0
W A Wood & W B Abbot 0 N Flett & W Saunders 1
W T Fairburn & D Russell 1 R F Lucas & R R Milne 0
J L Thomson & J Crosbie 1 J McLean & P McLean 0
T W Shiell 1 R B Inglis 0
  6   1

In August 1925 the death was announced of Mr John Shiels Stevenson of Hazelbank Villa, Eskbank a former club secretary and captain.

Result of the July monthly competition 1927; Scratch Prize – Andrew Gray, 76; Handicap Prize – J McLean, 86-16-70.

Below is the result of a home match against Glencorse played on Tuesday 12 July 1932. 

Dalkeith & Newbattle   Glencorse  
A L Gray & J F Ford 1 Jas McKay & Major J Judge 0
J B Althie & J D Hamilton 0 Jas Gillies & R Wight 1
R C Cook & A F Mitchell 1 T Webster & D M Young 0
G D Galloway & S G Cockburn 0 D Potter & Alec Ireland 1
J Reid & A D Dickson 0 J B Calder & Arch Affleck 1
J S Gibb & P McLean 1 E Reid & W Clark 0
J Downie & J G Ledingham 0 W M Wilson & Chas Gillies 1
  3   4

The club moved to its present location in 1934 and changed its name to Newbattle Golf Club Limited.

Dalkeith & Newbattle Golf Club. Location of the King's Park golf course.

The earlier course at King’s Park. Grid reference NT32620,65445, co-ordinates 332620,665445.