Cumbrae Golf Club, Millport, Ayrshire. (1888 - 1900)

The Cumbrae Golf Club was founded in 1888 by a group of golfers from Glasgow who originally used it as a 9-hole holiday course. The first trophy was presented by Sir Matthew Arthur in 1888. Another trophy donated in the early years was a silver cleek for matches between Cumbrae and Rothesay. It was presented by Andrew Graham Murray MP and is still played for annually between Millport and Rothesay. 

The following is taken from the Golfing Annual 1888/89; Instituted April 1888; No Entrance Fee; Annual Subscriptions, 10s/6d; Membership of 70; Patrons - Marquis of Bute, Earl of Glasgow; Lord Advocate (J P B Robertson, Esq., Q.C., M.P); Matthew Arthur, Esq., and John Clark, Esq.,; Captain - J Windsor Stuart; Vice-Captain - Rev F H Shearer; Committee - Provost Brown, W Barclay, A G Muir, J W Purves, A Sharp, W F B Buchannan, J Hutton, J R Motion, G Newton, A Raeside, R Scott and J Stevenson; Hon. Secretary - James Morgan, 15 Oswall Street, Glasgow; Local Secretary - William Martin, Freeland, Millport; Green-keeper - David Cuthbert. Prize winners in 1888 - Captain's Medal, William McFarlane 89 net; Local Secretary's Prize, J L W Watt 93 scratch; Vice-Captain's, D Robertson 94-9-85; Arthur Cup, A Mure Steele 103-12-91. The lowest scratch score in a club competition is 92, made by James R Motion, in two rounds of 45 and 47, at the autumn competition in 1888. "The new links are only 10 minutes' walk from the old pier, and in the experience of golfers, the ground is admirably suites. The situation is one of the finest in Scotland ."    

Below is the result of the March 1890 monthly medal.


Cumbrae Golf Club, Millport. Result of the March 1890 monthly medal.

From the Glasgow Evening Post Monday March 10th 1890. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Below are a few results when it was known as the Cumbrae Golf Club. 

The half yearly competition for the Smart Medal was played on Thursday 19th May 1892. Two ballots were held, one at 2pm, the other at 5. The earlier players had much the better weather, those who set of at five had to contend with rain, making the greens heavy. Following are the leading scores; William McFarlane (3), 93; John Reid (15), 94; R F Watson (18), 95; J Waddell (12), 100; J Houston (6), 100; T McFarlane (6), 101; J C Sharpe (4), 103; W Ross (18), 104; A Cameron (8), 105; A Russell (14), 105; J Cunningham (18), 106. 

Below the result of a one club competition played in December 1895.


Cumbrae Golf Club, Millport. Result of a one club competition in December 1895.

From the Glasgow Evening Post Tuesday 24th December 1895. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


On Saturday 23rd July 1898 a match for visitors took place on the Cumbrae course, the prize was given by Mr Fergus, photographer. Leadimg scores; R G Crawford, 87; P Barclay, 91; James Wylie 95; J J Gilchrist, 97; James Heggie, 99; J Gilchrist, 101. 

September 1898 saw the conclusion of a ladies competition that had been running for four months, the prize was a handsome silver dressing table set, donated by Miss Hendry. The three lowest scores counted, result; Miss McKean 76,83,80- 239; Miss Rose 78,76,90-244. 

The map below shows the Cumbrae Golf Course (prior to changing its name to Millport). This map is long before the Lower Cumbrae or Upper Cumbrae Reservoirs appeared. 


Cumbrae Golf Club, Millport. The 1896 O.S shows the Cumbrae Course.

The above map is marked Cumbrae Golf Course, Mill Burn is to the bottom left. Reproduced from the {1896} Ordnance Survey Map.


The club changed its name from Cumbrae Golf Club to Millport in 1900. The Millport club continues to play its golf at this location. 

Just prior to WW1 the game of golf was growing in popularity and Milltown opened another course to cope with the extra demand. Unfortunately this club only survived until the mid 1920s.