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Aberlour Golf Club, Moray. (1905 - WW2)

In December 1905 a public meeting was held, with Provost Jupp in the chair, to discuss the pressing need of a golf course for the area. Aberlour had become a popular summer holiday resort and the course had finally come to fruition after several years of trying. The following committee were elected; Provost Jupp, W Philip M.A, A H Duff, Craigellachaie, J M Strachan M.A, James M McGowan, Donald Morrison, J C Coulbrough, Alexander Morrison and R G Morrison. Land had been acquired on reasonable terms from Mr Hamilton Grant. Patrons were; Mr Hamilton Grant and JohnR Findlay of Aberlour; president, Provost Jupp; vice-presidents, J F Cumming, The Dowans and Rev J Smith Sloss.      

The nine-hole course was opened in glorious weather on Wednesday 6 June 1906 by Mr J W Hamilton Grant of Wester Elchies. The course was laid out on a terrace beside the River Spey, the first tee was a five minute walk from the railway station. At the opening ceremony the captain, James M Strachan, asked Mrs Hamilton Grant to accept a golf cleek, suitably inscribed, as a momento of the occasion. At the conclusion of the proceedings tea was served and a number of photographs were taken.

Following is a great description of the course taken from The Aberdeen Journal in June 1906; “At the present time the course is in rather a rough condition, and the presence of so many daisies necessitates a good deal of searching for lost balls. In time, with the ground constantly played over and well tramped, the turf will improve greatly. Difficulties will be met with at the eighth, in crossing the public road, and players will have to exercise great care. The elevated situation of the ground affords a magnificent view of the Spey Valley and encircling hills. The third hole is perhaps the most sporting. There are about 40 members of the club.

The first hole, about 120 yards long, is a good iron shot, while a rapid burn, a fence and rough country before the green is reached. The second is a blind hole, the drive being up the hill to the green in the corner of the course. Hole three is a neat cleek shot and accurate is necessary to avoid going out of bounds. The fourth hole, 205 yards, is a good one. The drive should find the green but a wood on the right will severely punish a loose ball. The fifth hole, 221 yards, requires careful consideration. Following a straight drive there must be an accurate approach to keep within bounds to avoid dropping a shot. The green, like the others, is on a small scale, and in the least thing overdriven, the ball may reach a ditch, out of which it is hardly possible to play. The sixth hole, 215 yards, presents no particular difficulty it is a drive and a half iron. The seventh hole, 151 yards, will penalise the golfer if the ball is pulled. The drive from the eighth hole must take the ball over the public road if the player means to hole out with a fair score. Otherwise he may find a ditch and lose two strokes. The green, all pasture, is the best of the nine, and is fenced to stop sheep spoiling it. The last hole is a short mashie pitch to the home green”

A list of subscribers was given which included the following; Rev Provost Jupp, £5; Robert Hendry, £3; Mr Hamilton Grant, £2/2s/0d; W Philip, J Cotter, R G Morrison, J C Coubrough, G M Fyvie, Charles Raffan, John Wood, W Duffins, Baillie Laing, J E Eddie, James A Annand and others.  

Result of the monthly medal played in September 1906; Mr Coubrough, 90-9-81; Mr Goldie, 88-6-82; Mr Johnson, 94-12-82; Mr Henderson, 96-12-84; J Thomson, 93-9-84; Mr Strachan, 91-6-85. The course was reported to be in great condition.   

Below is the result of a match played at Keith Golf Club on Saturday 28 September 1907.  

Keith Golf Club   Aberlour Golf Club  
D J Corrigal 0 J M Strachan 1
P Laing 0 W Goldie 1
J Mitchell jnr 1 G Coubrough 0
W M McConnachie 0 D Morrison 1
R Hendry 1 J Thomson 0
F W Grieve 1 A Auchinachie 0
G R Mair 1 R J Morrison 0
W Munro 0 A Price 1
  4   4

The annual meeting was held in May 1909. Mr Goldie, the secretary and treasurer, submitted the reports which were considered satisfactory. The following officers were elected for the year; Patrons – Mr J W H Grant of Wester Elchies, Mr J R Findlay and Captain Waring M.P; president, Provost Jupp; vice-presidents - Rev J S Sloss and Mr J F Cumming; captain; William Goldie; vice-captain, Mr Strachan; secretary, Mr J Thomson; treasurer, Mr J F McGowan. It was decided to hold a jumble sale on June 23rd to help raise funds for the club to further improve the course. Six new members were admitted to the club.

Thirty Pounds was raised at the jumble sale and this would leave the club in a much healthier position financially. A clubhouse had been a priority for a long time and there was confidence that this aim could now be achieved.

Below is the result of a match played against Dufftown on Tuesday 6 July 1909 at Aberlour. After the match the teams were served tea by the lady members in the pavilion. So it appears that there was now a clubhouse, quick work!

Aberlour Golf Club   Dufftown Golf Club  
Mr Slater 1 Mr Eadie 0
Mr Strachan 0 Mr Reid 1
Mr Goldie 1 Mr Mundy 0
Mr Thomson 0 Mr Gray 1
Mr D Morrison 0 Mr Duncan 1
Mr Raffan 0 Mr Watt senior 1
Mr Martin 0 Mr Mair 1
Mr A Thomson 0 Mr Craig 1
Mr Fairburn 0 Mr Watt junior 1
  2   7

The “new” pavilion was opened on Wednesday 8 June 1910 by Mr Goldie I.R.

The annual meeting was held in the clubhouse on Tuesday 21 May 1912, Mr Goldie in the chair. The following officers were elected; Patrons – Mr Grant of Elchies and Mr Findlay of Aberlour; president, Rev. Walter Jenks; vice-presidents – Rev. J S Sloss and J F Cumming; captain; Mr Goldie; vice-captain, A G Thomson; treasurer, J F McGowan; secretary, A G Thomson; green committee – R G Morrison, J Mc Gowan and Mr Thomson; match committee, the captain, the vice-captain and Dr Sellar. Green-keeper, J Nicol.  

The club went into abeyance at about the time of WW1.

Things seemed to move on during the mid 1920s with various fund raising events arranged during this period.

In July 1927 there was a large gathering in the Fleming Hall. Mr J M R Stewart , chemist, explained that the meeting had been called by Messrs. McIntyre, Andrew, W Orr, Jas A Walker, and himself to lay before the public particulars regarding the negotiations for a golf course.

It was announced in January 1928 that a new golf course was being laid out at the Muir of Rothrie. Various fund raising events were arranged during this period to help with the cost of the course.

It was reported in May 1928 that “the usual complement of Aberdonians visited Aberlour. The weather was fine and the golf course seemed to be the main attraction”. 

At the annual meeting in February 1929 the balance sheet was produced and showed a balance in hand of £97. The retiring captain, Mr J M R Stewart, gave an outline of the work done since the inception of the club eighteen months ago, and the meeting expressed its approval for the very satisfactory condition of the course and funds. The following officers were appointed; president, Mr J F Cumming, The Dowans; captain, Mr A F MacIntyre; vice-captain, Mr J A J Munro; secretary and treasurer, Mr A W Orr, Union Bank. The green-keeper was C Coutts. The course was of nine holes with a membership of 100. Visitors’ fees were; 7/6d a month; there was no Sunday play. The station at Aberlour was 1 mile away. Local hotels were the Aberlour, Glen Morag (Glenmorag?), Lour and Strathspey.

A mixed foursome competition was played in June 1929. The winners were; Mr J M R Stewart, Pacific Terrace, and Miss T Cameron, Aberlour Hotel; runners-up, Mr F Treacher, Macallan, and Miss Shewan, Rinnachat. The prizes were presented by Mrs Treacher and the players were entertained to tea by Mrs Forsyth, Muir of Ruthie. The MacIntyre medal was won by Ian C Morrison, runner-up was J M R Stewart.

On Saturday June 22nd 1929 a sum of £251 was raised at a “Golf Fair” at Aberlour School. The money would be put towards a clubhouse and pavilion.

In October 1929 Mr A W Orr, secretary, was leaving the area for Ballater. He was presented by the members with a wallet of Treasury notes as a parting gift in appreciation of his valuable service to the club.  

The new clubhouse pavilion, costing £250, was opened on Wednesday 21 May 1930 by Mrs Cumming of The Dowans, wife of the captain, J F Cumming ex-Convener of Morayshire. Mrs Fleming declared the course open for the season and her grandchild, Master Miller Stirling, who was presented with an inlaid golf walking stick, drove off the first ball. George E Smith, the Moray professional and ex Scottish champion, afterwards partnered A A Phimister, the Grantown professional, in an exhibition match. Smith completed the nine-holes in a bogey 36, against Phimister’s 41.

In August 1930 Mrs McWilliam won the Munro Cup.

The annual meeting was held in February 1931, the captain, J A J Munro, presided. A satisfactory balance sheet was produced and the following officers were appointed; president, J F Cumming; vice-president, J G S Kennedy, Dailuaine House; captain, James Lawrence; vice-captain, James Walker; secretary and treasurer, W Petrie, agent, North of Scotland Bank; committee – Miss Cameron, Miss Mackie, W Hendry, Rev D S MacKenzie, J M R Stewart, M Mackenzie, A F MacIntyre, W F Treacher and P Wilson. The Cumming Cup and Munro Cup were presented to the respective winners; Mr M MacKenzie, Orphanage, and Mrs Mc William, Glenmorg.

A prize presentation took place at a club dance and social in October 1931; Munro Cup, Miss Jean McAdam; Cumming Cup, W Barron; ladies’ medal, Miss M Hendry; gents’ medal, G Aberdein.

In May 1932 the course was opened for the season with a match between teams representing the captain, Mr Treacher, and the vice-captain, James Walker, result below.          

Captain   Vice-Captain  
Mrs Whitburn & Mr J Milne 1 Miss Cameron & Mr A MacIntyre 0
Mrs Grant & Mr J M R Stewart 1 Mrs Hendry & Mr J Lawrence 0
Miss Mackie & Rev D S Mackenzie 1 Miss Shaw & Mr J Donald 0
Miss Gerrard & Mr A H MacIntyre 0 Miss Shewan & Mr P Wilson 1
Mr F Hendry 1 Mrs Wilson 0
Mr H George 1 Mr J Walker 0
  5   1

Below is the result of a match played at Aberlour against Dufftown in June 1932.  

Aberlour Golf Club   Dufftown Golf Club  
Rev D S Mackenzie 0 R W Symon 1
M Mackenzie 1 G Nicoll 0
J Milne (half) 0 H G Symon (half) 0
J Forbes 0 A G Macpherson 1
W Macgregor 0 C Morrice 1
P Wilson 0 Major Gordon 1
J H Morrison 0 R Gray 1
Joseph Walker jnr 0 W Smith 1
G Donald 0 G L Watt 1
F Hendry 0 J W Symon 1
W F Treacher 1 F H Allan 0
P MacIntosh 0 J McMutrie 1
J Lawrence 0 R Milne 1
A J McIntyre 1 J Kellas 0
W Mitchell 0 J F Hepburn 1
  3   11

Below is the result of a match played at Aberlour against Tomintoul (now defunct) in July 1934.

Aberlour Golf Club   Tomintoul Golf Club  
J M R Stewart 1 J McWilliam 0
S J Ovens 0 Ian McIntosh 1
Rev A S Kerr 0 William Middleton 1
F Hendry 1 J Matheson 0
P Wilson 1 J D R MacDonald 0
William Macgregor 1 Dr Lindsay 0
W F Treacher 0 D McLennan 1
A F MacIntyre 0 A Aitken 1
C Simpson 0 J O MacIntyre 1
R M Tocher 1 Jas MacIntosh 0
J A Forbes 1 Rev B Auer 0
  6   5

In November 1934 the ladies champion was Miss Miller and Henry Kelman was the gent’s champion.

The following officers were appointed in April 1935; President, Sir Edmund Findlay; vice-president, Rev Donald S Mackenzie; captain, Baillie William McConachie; vice-captain, Rev A S Kerr; secretary, Miss Gemmel, Rose Cottage; treasurer, Geo Rennie, North Bank House.

Below is the result of a match played at Tomintoul in July 1935.

Tomintoul Golf Club   Aberlour Golf Club  
John McWillliam 1 J R Stewart 0
D MacLennan 0 J Duggie 1
John J Matheson 1 W J Treacher 0
James O McIntyre 0 F Hendry 1
J D B McDonald 1 H C Kelman 0
James McIntosh 1 A F McIntyre 0
Tom Stuart 0 P Wilson 1
Alister Aitken 1 R U Tocher 0
John Birnie 0 J Ross 1
James Grant 0 R Stewart 1
William Kelman 1 R G Milne 0
A McHardy 1 W F Treacher 0
James Robertson 1 J A Forbes 0
V Gaffrey 0 W Craig 1
Rev. B Auer 0 J C Simpson 1
  8   7

The winner of the club championship (The Cumming Cup) played in September 1935 was William Barron, assistant teacher, Aberlour Secondary School, the runner-up was Henry Kelman, merchant.

Charles Coutts the former green-keeper at the club died in October 1936 aged 77. His genial personality made him a favourite with the members.  

In the mid 1930s the secretary was James Milne, Glen Morag. Membership was 125. Visitors’ fees were; 1/- a round, 1/6d a day, 3/- a week, 5/- a fortnight and 7/6d a month.

In June 1937 Aberlour played a home match against Tomintoul, the home team winning by one match.

In September 1937 a concert was held in the Fleming Hall in aid of the Aberlour Golf Club. Sir Edmund Findlay, Bart., presided over a large audience. During the interval Lady Findlay, Aberlour House, presented the silver challenge cups to Dr Beatrice M Sellar, Dunleigh, and Mr Millar, Dailuaine, Carron, as the two golf champions for last year. Mr Henry Kelman, secretary of the club, for organising the entertainment.

A sale of work was organised at the Fleming Hall in aid of club funds in November 1937. Mrs George Grant of Glenfarclas spoke and said what a great asset a golf course was to any district. “Any place that has not got a golf course nowadays” she said “is very much behind the times. Mr James Lawrence, Craigellachie, who was in the chair, said the present club had been formed ten years ago, and despite difficulties in raising the necessary funds to keep it going, it had been very successful. The course was an excellent one, much better than they thought it would be. He went on to say that the purpose of this event was to try to raise funds for the machinery that had recently been purchased for £100. Thanks were passed to the club captain, Mr W Barron, the vice-captain, Mr R Tocher and the secretary, Mr H C Kelman.

In delightful weather the Aberlour course was open for the season in April 1938 by the captain, William Miller, Carron. A Match was played between teams selected by the captain and the vice-captain, Mr Fred Hendry.

The Google Map below pinpoints Muir of Rothie location of the later Aberlour course. 


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