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Galston Golf Club/Loudon Gowf Club, East Ayrshire. (1773 - 1907)

The article below regarding the re-opening of the Loudon Gowf Course is from February 1909. It also provides vital information on early golf at Loudon.


Loudon Gowf-field. Report on the history of golf at Loudoun and the re-opening of the course in 1909.

From the St Andrews Citizen Saturday 6 February 1909. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Galston Golf Club was founded in 1895 when the professional was D Orr.

The 9-hole course was situated on Sorn Road, west of Cessnock Castle, and was only in existence for about 10 years.

The first medal competition in connection with the new Galston Golf Course took place on Saturday 8 September 1895. John Hendrie, Union Bank, was the winner with a score of 109-8-101; Thomas Wilson, Polwarth Street, was runner-up with 129-24-105. The medal was donated by Mr Turner, Cessnock Castle.

Extract from the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald Friday 4 September 1896; “GALSTON GOLF CLUB – The Galston Golf Club met in the Barr Castle on Monday night, when the annual election of officers took place. The following were the appointments; President, J Harling Turner; captain, John Hendrie; vice-captain, Major Ligat; committee – John Robertson, Adam Young, John Goldie, Bailie Morton, Rev. S Thomson, Robert Blair, R McDonald, and Dr. Revie. The treasurer submitted his report which was approved of. There are 46 members in the club.  

In November 1908 there was a meeting in the library room of the Brown’s Institute in an attempt to re-open the extinct Galston Golf Club. At that meeting, it was agreed to approach Lord Loudoun regarding the site at Gowf Field to form a new club, The Earl agreed to rent out the ground and this was the beginning of Loudoun Gowf Club.

Thanks to Mr Robert W Young for the following: “I don’t remember them, but there were two golf courses locally which are now defunct. The local Irvine Valley towns of Darvel, Newmilns and Galston were at the height of their prosperity around the turn of the century and the local weavers and miners started playing golf. There was a golf course just outside Galston on the Cessnock Estate and was situated on the Sorn Road immediately leaving Galston. This probably didn’t exist for very long. In 1906, the Galston golfers were allowed to rent the land known as Gowf park which had been used by the Earl of Loundon and his family for golf since the 15th century and the golf club at Cessnock finished. Loudoun Gowf Club was born and the land was finally purchased from the Loudoun Estate somewhere around 1970.”

The Loudoun Gowf Club on Golf-Field re-opened in 1909. 


Galston Golf Club, East Ayrshire. Early picture of lady golfers on the Loudoun Gowf Course.

Early picture of Loudoun “Gowf” Course. 


The Google Map below shows the area around Cessnock Castle, location of the earlier Galston golf course.