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Douglas Golf Club, South Lanarkshire. (1888 - 1920s)

I would like to thank Alfie and Harry Ward, doyens of Clydesdale golf, for their help in compiling information on Lanarkshire clubs and courses.

A few miles north of Crawford sits the historical village of Douglas. It was here that the famous Cameronian regiment was raised by James Douglas, Earl of Angus in 1689. Golf came to Douglas in 1888 with a course on the Braidley Holmes, but this might not have been the first encounter with the sport. We have a poem relating to golf and “Douglas” dating back to 1791, which, if corroborated, would rewrite a little piece of golf history? Nomadic tendencies later, saw a course at Weston, west of the village, before the golfers moved back to the village with 9-holes on the Douglas Policies in the 1920’s. It’s also believed that the Earl of Douglas had his own private six holes on the Policies ground at the rear of the castle.

The grand Douglas Castle was home to the Douglas family for some 650 years before it had to be demolished in 1938 due to fears of subsidence from the Rankin mine beneath, while the Policies course closed for the same reason. Sir Walter Scott took his inspiration for his novel Castle Dangerous from Douglas Castle - Alfie Ward. 

Below is the result of a match played at Crawford Golf Club on Saturday 26th September 1903.

Crawford Golf Club   Douglas Golf Club  
W K Grant 2 W King 0
R P Hardie 5 T Wilson 0
W Booth Gravely 0 J King 2
H L Usher 3 G Eags 0
W R Hardie 3 J M Davidson 0
J G Grant 5 Dr. Maxwell 0
J P Sym, jun. 1 C C Reoch 0
J P Sym 1 R K McKean 0
Rev. C McKune 1 A Paterson 0
W Grant 0 J Steedman 2
D MacArthur 0 W Davidson 3
A Niviston 8 T Grierson 0
  29   7


Douglas Golf Club, South Lanarkshire. Douglas Castle.

Douglas Castle.


Douglas Golf Club, South Lanarkshire. View of the golf course.

The image above shows the ninth green on the Gallow Knowe course in the 1920s.


The Google Maps below; Top -Braidley Holmes site of the first nine-hole course in 1888; Second - Probable location of the Western course; Third - The location of the Earl of Douglas private course in 1912; Bottom shows the 1920s course at Gallow Knowe.




Douglas Golf Club, South Lanarkshire. Location of the golf course in 1912.

Location of the pivate course of the Earl of Douglas in 1912. Grid reference NS83820,31770, co-ordinates 283820,631770.



Douglas Golf Club, South Lanarkshire. Location of the golf course 1920s.

Location of the course at Gallow Knowe the 1920s. Grid reference NS84140,31235, co-ordinates 284140,631235.



In 1930, the then owner of Douglas castle permitted coal mining to take place in the grounds to provide much needed employment for the local work force. Unfortunately, this venture resulted in subsidence, and the castle had to be demolished in 1938.