Dundonald Golf Club, Gailes by Irvine, Ayrshire. (1911 - WW2)

The club was founded in 1911.

The 18-hole course measured 6,700 yards and was laid out by Mr Fernie of Troon and John Tulloch of Glasgow Gailes. Dundonald was one of three courses situated between Troon and Irvine and close to the Firth of Clyde the other two were Western Gailes and Glasgow (Gailes). The clubhouse was a former farmhouse and was beautifully furnished and included a snooker room. The railway company at the time, Glasgow and South Western, built a station to serve the courses. The secretary and treasurer from 1914 to the clubs closure in 1940 was Hugh Muir, 190 West George Street, Glasgow. In 1920 the newly appointed professional and green-keeper was Thomas Tulloch who also continued until the club’s closure. The 18-hole course course had a SSS of 75. 

Result of the first monthly medal played in September 1911; F Tait (3) 91; D Spalding (scratch) 94; W Allan (scratch) 94; J D Girwood (15) 96. Played in heavy rain and mist.

In October 1913 the final of the Duke of Portland Cup took place between John Tulloch jun., (scratch) and Robert Ritchie (2) the former winning by 3&1. 

Below is the result of a match played at Dundonald against Glasgow North Western Golf Club (now defunct) in October 1913. 

Dundonald Golf Club   Glasgow North Western Golf Club  
J M Moir ? (half) 0 W H Birrell (half) 0
William Reid 0 J M McLeish 1
G H Scott 1 J Kelly 0
J G Girwood 1 A E Frost 0
James Tait 0 M Johnston 1
R Ritchie 1 J S Armour 0
J M Moir? 0 Ralph Brown 1
R Gordon Smith 0 C M Campbell 1
J M Stewart 0 Thomas Gray 1
A P Maclochlan 0 J Alexander jnr 1
John Rowe (half) 0 R J Hall (half) 0
W M Paton 0 R A Murray 1
  3   7

Result of the January 1914 medal; First Class - J Vaughan (8) 82; John Rowe (6) 83; Alfred Brown (7) 85; Robert Ritchie (scratch) 86 Second Class - Peter Buchan (17) 80; W R Hunter (16) 90; D Clark (11) 91.

Result from the Spring Meeting played on Saturday 9 May 1914; first class - J Tulloch jrn (+3), 80; D Duncan (9), 81; G L Thomson (2), 82; John Rowe (6), 82; D M Stewart (5), 84; E A Munro (6), 84; John Gillies (6), 84; Alf Brown (7), 84; P Youl (8), 84; William Paton (9), 84; H H Bell (9), 85; second class – D F Kirk (19), 80; J W Allan (10),81; J Thomson (12), 81; O McLeod (14), 80; A R Paisley (14), 82; H A Brown (14), 84.

John Tulloch jnr went round in 77, one stroke above the record for the course, his score as follows; Out - 6,3,5,4,4,4,4,3,4 = 37; Home – 5,4,3,5,5,5,5,3,5 =  40. 

Sad reflection of the times from November 1915.


Dundonald Golf Club, Gailes, Ayrshire. Sad reflection of the times from November 1915.

Daily Record Monday 8 November 1915. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Dundonald Golf Club. Four Prominent Dundonald Golfers.

Four prominent Dundonald golfers outside the clubhouse in the 1930s: James Bryce, William Freeland, Stanley Wright and W O Wright. Thanks to Mr H Ferns of Prestwick, who provided the photograph.


Dundonald Golf Club. Thomas (Tommy) Tullock golf professional.

In 1920 Thomas (Tommy) Tulloch, who nearly always dressed in plus twos, took up the position of professional, greenkeeper and club master.


On Saturday 16 June 1920 the Glasgow Dundonald course was formally re-opened after over four years closure. An open amateur competition was played, there were 86 entries, result as follows; W P Hastings, Troon, won the first prize with a score of 78; handicap scores in first class – James Robertson, Troon (2), and J McWilliams, Troon (4), tied on 76; handicap scores in second class – James Clark, Troon (5), and J Gillespie, Barrhead (5), tied on 77.

Alterations to the course in February 1922.


Dundonald Golf Club, Gailes, Ayrshire. Report on changes to the course in February 1922.

Kilmarnock Herald and North Ayrshire Gazette Friday 17 February 1922.


Whilst on a visit to Western Gailes in 1922 James Braid also called in at Dundonald. The Golf Illustrated reported in December 1922 that Braid visited for the purpose of re-bunkering.

The monthly medal and the monthly medal finals were played over the club’s course at Gailes on Saturday 2 May 1925. In the finals Mr C S Brown, 72-2-70 and Mr J F Adams, 76-6-70 tied for the first class medal, the second class medal was won by Peter Buchan, 91-14-77. Mr Brown’s score of 72 was only two strokes above the course record which had been set three years previously by Jock Wilson, ex-Scottish Amateur Champion. The course was now considerably longer and much more heavily bunkered than it was three years ago. Leading monthly medal scores; first class – C S Brown, 72-2-70; J F Adams, 76-6-70; R Jeffrey, 77-3-74; J Manderson, 77-2-75; Jack McMillan, 76 scratch; A Rogerson, 85-9-76; George Henderson, 80-3-77; R C Paterson, 85-7-78; John Greenless, 85-6-79; R Craig, 82-3-79; Alex Cunningham, 89-5-79; second class – W C Fyle, 87-12-75; Peter Buchan, 91-14-77; James Bonnar, 93-15-78; M R Muir, 97-18-79; George Hyslop, 95-16-79; James Shepherd, 91-11-80; T J Murray, 96-16-80. 

Thanks to David Craig, Craig family historian, for the following information. Below, Dundonald Golf Club monthly medal from 1929, won by Robbie Craig, in its original box. The medals look like they were made of gold, hallmarks at the bottom. The actual month wasn't engraved, so it’s likely they had a batch of gold ones made up for each year. They were made by Fattorini & Sons, Bradford, who were a well known medal maker, and are still in business today.


Dundonald Golf Club, Gailes by Irvine, Ayrshire. Monthly Medal from 1929 won by Robbie Craig.


Dundonald Golf Club, Gailes by Irvine, Ayrshire. Monthly Medal from 1929 in presentation box.


Dundonald Golf Club, Gailes by Irvine, Ayrshire. Monthly Medal from 1929 by Fattorini & Sons.

Above images courtesy of David Craig.


Result of the annual bogey for the Calcutta Cup, presented by Mr A P Maclachlan, was played over the course at Gailes on Saturday 16 August 1930, there were 60 competitos; Robert Stewart (11) 2up; H S Sinclair (7) 1up; Harry Miller (5) square; R W Smith (8) square; Jas Brunton (11) square; J Riddell (6) 1down; R Baillie (8) 1down; A C Allan (9) 1down; J F Henderson (11) 1down; W A Gibbon (11) 1down; F A Pearson (2) 2down; A Cunningham (7) 2down; G S Hislop (7) 2down; J M Gray (10) 2down;H S Morrison (11) 2down; L Kemp (11) 2down.

Results from the autumn meeting played in September 1930; first class – R C McBean, 78-4-74; H Miller, 82-7-75; Jas R Rae, 83-8-75; Fred N Rae, 84-9-75; H D McGillvray, 80-4-76; R Craig, 78-1-77; John Harper, 84-7-77; D B E Edington, 86-9-77; F A Pearson, 80-2-78; A Cunningham, 87-9-78; J Riddell, 87-8-79; second class – W Ross, 86-15-71; N Edwards, 85-13-72; Fred Harrald, 83-10-73; Jas Brunton, 89-15-74; W O Win(s)kfield, 93-18-75; J Thorburn, 90-13-77; W A G Young, 90-13-77; A M Menzies, 93-16-77.

In the Club Championship, played during the above meeting, C S Brown beat Robbie Craig by 2&1.

Below are a couple of images of Robbie Craig, a scratch golfer at Dundonald. His name appears frequently on these pages, a measure of his success.  


Dundonald Golf Club, Gailes by Irvine, Ayrshire. Robbie Craig with the Colville Cup.

Robbie Craig with the Colville Cup and his much used golf clubs and bag.



Dundonald Golf Club, Gailes by Irvine, Ayrshire. Robbie Craig with the Colville Cup.

Above pictures of Robbie Craig courtesy of David Craig, Craig family historian.


The annual dinner was held in the clubhouse on Saturday 26 January 1935, in the chair was the captain of the club Mr T A Irving. Amongst those present were Captain J C Muir (Western Gailes) and the following ex-captain’s of the Dundonald Club; Messrs. Brunton, Pearson, Lothian, Meikle, Baillie and Rogerson.

Result of the 1935 January monthly medal; first class – A Early, 78-3-75; R Craig, 78-1-77; R D Brand, 79-1-78; G Downie, 82-4-78; A W McNeil, 85-7-78; N M Brown, 83-4-79; H S Sinclair, 87-7-80; W A G Young, 88-8-80; second class – W S Ross, 87-16-71; J Miller, 85-9-76; D G Ballie, 92-16-76; T M Noble, 88-11-77; T Osborne, 90-13-77; J Wood, 93-16-77; H Millar, 88-9-79; third class – J K Paterson, 93-18-75; C Stewart, 97-17-80; W Matheson, 102-22-80; C Telfer, 104-24-80. 

Result from the spring meeting held in May 1938; first class – J Harper (5h’cap), J P Scott (5) and A Hood (8), 73; J B Taylor (4) and R Neil (7), 76; D Petrie (6) and W A G Young (7), 78; H McNeill (6), 79; second class – A C Thorburn (9), 69; J Y McIntosh (14), 73; D L Reid (9) and J Wilson (12), 74; third class – J T Horn (24), 68; P Halliday (20), 70; W C Spowart ( 19) and W Weir (20), 72.

Result of the monthly medal played in June 1938 (Bogey/SSS 75); first class – R Craig (scratch), R Neill (7) and A Rogerson (8), 77; J Harper (5), 79; second class – A C Allan (14), 70; G Kay (13) and W K Ferguson (14), 76; third class – W T Philip (24), 72; H M Steel (18), 73; J T Horn (19), 76.

Result of the July 1938 medal; first class – R Neill (7), 70; J P Scott (4), 74; J C Weir (6), W A G Young (7) and A Rogerson (8) all77;  second class – H M Steel (16), 71; W K Ferguson (14), 73; W Allwood (11), F Harald (12), G L Melville (15) and D L Lamont (15) all 74; third class – J C H Ireland (20), 72; E M Love (19), 74; J T Horn (19), 75.

The Club Championship, 36 hole match play, was played on Saturday July 2nd 1938. In the final Robbie Craig beat John Harper by 6 and 5.

Result of competitions played in August 1938; Cadet Cup – J C H Ireland (18), 64; Monthly medal – first class – R C M Dean (5), 72; J P Scott (4), 74; R Neil (4) and J B Hill (8), 75; A Frood (7) and A Rogerson (8), 76; F A Pearson (3), 77; second class – W K Ferguson (12), 69; W G Wright (12), 70; J Bryce (13), J F McIntosh (13) and J F Macmillan (14), 74; third class – J C H Ireland (18), 64; E M Love (18), 69; R Walker (22), 72; J Thorburn (18), W I Colville (22) and C E Hunter (24), 74; Portland Cup final – R C McBean beat J W Graves by 2&1. 

Result of the autumn meeting held in September 1938 (scores also counted for the monthly medal); first class – A Rogerson (8) and J B Hill (8), 71; S Brunton (6), 72; W N Miller (4) and A Frood (7), 73; N M Brown (3), 74; A W MacNeill (7), 76; R A Thom (6), 79; second class – E S Smith (13) and E M Love (14), 74; F W Herald (12) and M Latter (15), 75; W Allwood (11), 76; H M Steel (12), 77; A Campbell (9), W O Wright (10), W Freeland (11) and G Kay (13), 78; third class – J Wood (19), 73; W I Colville (22), 75; J Thorburn jnr (24), 76, D Gordon (20), 78.

Result of the monthly medal and green-keepers’ day prizes held in May 1939; First class – A Frood, (5) net72; F A Pearson, (4) 73; E A Wyse (2) and W A G Young (8) 75; Second class – M Latta (15) 71; A C Allan (10), D C Petrie (10) and G L Melville (14) 72; Third class – G Thorburn (18) 68; N S Watson (17) 71; J M Ferguson (17) and R Dinwoodie (24) 72.


Dundonald Golf Club. The clubhouse and course.

The Dundonald clubhouse.


Thanks to Alasdair Malcolm for providing the above image and for the following information. “The railway signal box which can be seen to the left side of the picture, behind the clubhouse, was apparently situated adjacent to the railway crossing to Western Gailes Golf Club (there is still an automatic level crossing there today). There is a note on the photo penned by the grand daughter of the last clubmaster/professional Thomas Tulloch and club-mistress Catherine Tulloch to the effect that the army took over during the war and the Tulloch's were given 24 hours to vacate the clubhouse. They later moved to McKinlay Crescent in Irvine.”  


Dundonald Golf Club. Club button.

Dundonald Golf Club button. 


The course was requisitioned by the MOD at the onset of WW2 for tank training. There was little hope of the Dundonald club being revived after the war as the MOD retained the land. The army still had married quarters on the most southerly part of the old course. The other area was acquired by the Barassie Club who constructed a further nine holes.

Below the course being used as a military camp in WW2, the clubhouse proudly standing to the west.


Dundonald Golf Club, Gailes by Irvine, Ayrshire. The course being used as a military camp in WW2.

From the Daily Record Saturday 8 September 1945. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


The report that accompanies the above picture. "Dundonald Golf Course just isn't there anymore. Avenues of Nissan huts, brick and lime buildings, garages, and the dozen-and-one constructional requirements of the modern Army cover the entire area. Mr Hugh Muir, secretary of the club said - It will take years even after the derequisitioning to put the course in order. It is much worse than the aftermath of WW1." 

The following report appeared in the Glasgow Herald 18 April 1952 - "The decision to wind up Dundonald Golf Club, Gailes, was made at a meeting in Glasgow last night. The club's assets will be divided amongst the members. The club's course at Gailes has been under continuous requisition by the war department since 1940".   

It took nearly 60 years to re-establish the club and course. The new Dundonald Golf Club was created in 2003, more or less on the same site as the former course.