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Gorebridge Golf Club, Midlothian. (1896 - WW1)

Founded in 1896.

Report on the new course in June 1896.


Gorebridge Golf Club, Midlothian. Report on the new course in 1896.

Dalkeith Advertiser Thursday 18 June 1896. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


The course was quickly opened on Saturday 20 June at 3pm by Captain Dundas younger, of Arniston. All interested were invited to be present. The 1.25 train from Waverley stopped at Fushie Bridge to drop of the visitors. The secretary was W G McNab and the captain Dr Robert Inch. 

Description of the nine-hole course (prior to opening) in 1896. The course was laid out by Peter Lees of Barnton who said that it would be one of the most natural and sporting courses in Scotland. The first hole would require good play with two obstacles to negotiate, a burn and a three foot wall. The second was a splendid hole with the green situated in a hollow, it was a double green (shared with the eighth). The third was a tricky short hole with a burn immediately in front of the green which was surrounded by whins. The fourth was a fairly long hole with the burn forming a hazard from tee to green. The fifth was the longest hole on the course with “hazards abounding in the rushes” The sixth was an “easy hole” but the approach would have to be well judged as the burn was behind the green. The seventh had the burn immediately in front of the tee and the eighth, as mentioned earlier, shared a green with the second. The ninth was a fine hole with the burn again coming into play there was also a stone wall to be crossed. 


Gorebridge Golf Club, Midlothian. Course layout.

Layout of the proposed Gorebridge golf course. Edinburgh Evening News April 1896.


Gorebridge was a 9-hole course, situated in the Glen of Borthwick on Catcune Farm beside Borthwick Burn. The River Gore ran through the entire course and frequently came in to play.

The Inch Championship Medal was played on Saturday 2 October 1897. The leading early scores were made by Graham Walker, 118 and W G Macnab, 127.

Result of an annual match played against Middleton at Gorebridge in August 1904.

Gorebridge Golf Club   Middleton Golf Club  
C A Garvie 0 W B Taylor 2
J S Gibb 0 Angus McDonald 10
A Bartley 0 John Taylor 0
W Knox 0 O Thomson 8
Rev J W Blake 0 W Beattie Brown 7
A Barclay jun 2 S Patterson 0
W Leaburn 0 C H Robson 0
Dr Easterwood 0 J H Kennedy 1
W Weir 10 Sir Robert Cranston 0
W G McNab 0 J D Rhind 1
J Paterson 0 R E Cranston 0
D Whitton 0 C S Moss 2
N Brown 1 A Riach 0
  13   31

In 1906 the secretary was G P Smyth, Clapperon Villa, Gorebridge.  The amateur  course record holder was J S Gibb with a score of 72. Visitors’ fees were 6d a day, 1/6d a week and 3/6d a month. Many businessmen were members, including long serving captain J S Gibb, who was the proprietor of an ironmogery shop in Edinburgh. Sandy Miller of Catcune Mill also served as secretary at some time.

In 1914 the secretary was H MacLean, and the professional was J Sanderson, and membership stood at 90. There was no entry fee. Subs were £1/1/0, for working men 10/6d, household ticket £2/2/0 and family ticket £1/10/0. Visitors’ fees were 6d a day. Sunday play was not allowed. Railway stations at Fushiebridge 300yds and Gorebridge 1 mile away.

Harry Vardon spent some time with his friend, J S Gibb, captain of the Gorebridge club, in June 1914. They visited Dalkeith & Newbattle Golf Club (also now defunct). Vardon partnered Mr William Duncan (captain of the D & N club) played 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.  

Club competitions: The Middleton Cup presented by Sir Edward (formerly M E) Moss of Middleton; the championship medal, presented by Dr Inch (won three times in succession by Willie Know; it was then his to keep); the Pendreich monthly medal.

The owner of Catcune Farm demanded a much bigger rent following WW1 and this could have been one of the reasons for the club’s demise. It seems as though it had never been a happy partnership anyway judging by the following article in the “Advertiser”:

“Every season there is considerable damage done to cereal and other crops in the fields adjoining the golf course through golfers and others wading through them in search of lost golf balls. This occurs not only during play but on Sunday which is one of the busiest days for work. In spite of repeated warning this season it is again going on and the matter being now in the hands of the police, it is hoped a conviction or two may put a stop to such reprehensible and destructive conduct”


Gorebridge Golf Club, Midlothian. The clubhouse and course.

Gorebridge clubhouse.


Gorebridge Golf Club, Midlothian, Location of the golf course.

Location of the Gorebridge golf course.

Grid reference NT35855,59600, co-ordinates 335855,659600.



Gorebridge Golf Club disappeared after WW1.