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Paisley Golf Club, Bushes Farm Course, Renfrew. (1894 - 1946)

Founded  in 1894, the club was actually formed in May 1895.

This course was situated on 40 acres of land on Bushes Farm, and continued on this site until 1946. There was a need for housing following WWII, and  Paisley Town Council wanted to make a compulsory purchase of the land for development. This, of course, did not go down well with the golf club; eventually a compromise was reached and the club moved to its present location at Glennifer Braes.


Paisley Golf Club, Renfrew. Report on the Paisley Clubhouse from March 1895.

From the Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette Saturday 23 March 1895. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


The following is an extract from a report from the Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette Saturday 18 May 1895.

“PAISLEY GOLF CLUB – Opening of the new course at Bushes – The history of golfing in Paisley is easily told. There never has been very much of it. Some few keen East Country folk have from time to time tried it on the racecourse, but as golf does not flourish where the grass flourishes so well and so long in St James Park, the East Country folk tired of their game, and the Paisley natives saw nothing in it in such disadvantageous circumstances to cause them to take it up. It was difficult enough to get a “clean swipe” at the ball in the long grass, but more difficult still to find when the ball did get away.Later on it was tried on the Braes; but the shooting tenant was not one of the enthusiasts, and did not see much in the game of golf except disturbance to his own “game.”  Besides, the way was long and weary, and even a cab could not land a foursome within reasonable walking distance of the course. Now, after much talking we have a course with fairly good ground, and what is of more importance, reasonably near our homes. The course will be opened on Tuesday first at four o’clock by Lady Glen Coats. We have been privileged to have a private view before the opening day, and feel sure that not only will be the resort of keen players for an easy evening-after-work game, but that the lady members who bulk so largely in the club will enjoy many a round. The course starts at the farm steading of Bushes to the east of the road leading to Blackland Mill, where a beautiful clubhouse and pavilion have been erected. The line of the first two holes is backwards toward the town and parallel to the road. The first hole “Blackland” lies across an easy hollow of grassy ground. The second “Halcraigs” like the first, an easy driver and cleek hole, has a punishment for half drives in the shape of a boggy hollow with hedge on the far side. The hole, although not quite on a slope “like the roof of a house,” lies on the shoulder of the hill, and will be the scene of much uncertain and fluky putting. The third and fourth holes “Falside” and “Potterhill” lie alongside the Potterhill Railway. We think the start of the course might with advantage have been made with the third teeing ground, as it is half a mile nearer the town, and presents a great temptation to ladies and old gentlemen to “break in,” and at the same time break the fences. From the fourth the player turns back along the ridge of the hill tothe fifth “Camp” with a mild hazard in front of the green in the shape of clearly defined traces of a Roman foss ans circumvallation. If not pressed from behind, the player will enjoy a pause on this crest to feast his eyes on the magnificent panorama of mountain, hill and vale encircling him. Northward there is the rich strath of the Clydeand its guardian mountain ranges set in an amphitheatre beyond. To east and west the country rolls out from the spectator’s feet in cattle-covered fields and castle crested knolls, while to the immediate south Paisley’s own Gleniffer and Fereneze heights lend a local charm of much natural and simple beauty. Every course has a “Hades,” and from the fifth we make an easy descent, the averine torments being supplied in a fearful passage of loose stones in a rough whin-grown hollow. The hole itself is on a little plateau with steep, scrubby sides, cautious play will pay here. The seventh “Hollow” is a short easy hole eastwards of “Hades,” and the eighth “Gleniffer,” in smooth grass, and an easy four hole, takes the player back tothe region of “Hades,” from which a start is now made in a south-easterly direction with outgoing and incoming holes on either side. The ninth “Bushes” is one of the longest on the course, gives scope for a drive and brassy shot, and should be negotiated easily in five. The next hole, the tenth “Ditch” is through the weakest ground on the course, and even the good player will be unduly punished by loss of ball and bad lies in the soft, stubbly, cow-trodden field. The near approach to the putting green is guarded by a ditch which will require the carefull use of an iron or mashy, as the green is small and bounded by a dyke beyond. The eleventh “Langcraigs”takes us into the shelter of the woody banks below the farm of that name, but the approach is rather grassy for good play. The beautiful fringe of trees to the south, and the springy nature of the turfn and short, crisp grass on the remaining outward part of the course, with the fine backward view we get of the course. The twelfth “Thornley” and thirteenth “Dam” are of about equal length; and a good drive,although low, gets distance by running along the short sward,while a foozle at the drive may be recovered by a good brassy shot if the burn in front of the tee is cleared. The fourteenth tee “Glenfield” is rather awkwardly placed near the dyke but the play “through the green” is easy, and an ordinary player should be down in four. The ditch has to be negotiaited in the approach, but the green is large and the surrounding level. Fifteenth “Plantation” is through a grassy field, but as it is short it should be got in four. Sixteenth “Short” is a nice iron shot the teeing ground being in the plantation, but with an iron the green can easily be found if carefully handled. Seventeenth “Staneley” is on open pasture with a short hedge which can easily be cleared with the drive. Eighteen “Home” is again through the kine-trodden field, and is a rather tiresome wind-up to the otherwise pleasant round. We were pleased to see so many lady players and family groups enjoying themselves on the course.”

The course plan below accompanied the above report. The building at the bottom is Blackland Mill. The building above it on the course is the clubhouse. The first tee is in front of the clubhouse, the holes then continue anti-clockwise. 


Paisley Golf Club, Renfrew. The eighteen-hole course layout 1895.

The eighteen-hole course layout.


On the 30 April 1898 a professional competition was held on the 18 hole course. Taking part were; Ben Sayers, North Berwick; Willie Fernie, Troon; Willie Auchterlonie, St Andrews; and Jack Kinnell, Prestwick. In the morning a stroke competition was played and in the afternoon the Ayrshire golfers took on Sayers and Auchterlonie in a foursome match. It was reported that the bset golf of the day was played by Auchterlonie with the poor form of Fernie the subject of much comment. In the foursome competition the Ayrshire couple were beaten easily, the putting of Fernie being “very weak”. Following is the result of the stroke competition; Auchterlonie, 72 (new course record); Kinnell, 75; Sayers, 76; Fernie, 79. Auchterlonie and Sayers won the foursome 3 and 2.

Result of the ladies’ monthly medal played in January 1900; the winner was Miss Anna M Stewart, 98-18-80.

Result of a match played on the Bushes course against Renfrew Golf Club in May 1901.

Paisley Golf Club   Renfrew Golf Club  
R D Millar 3 B E Somers 0
K M Millar 2 A Morgan 0
G B Cunningham 0 John F List 4
R H Macalister 2 James R Stewart 0
James Cunningham 0 Joseph Buchanan 2
Robert Spruell 3 Alexander T Morgan 0
E Dunlop 3 A A Lang 0
A Buchanan 3 James R Campbell 0
J M Campbell 0 Fred L Allan 3
E Marshall 0 A Brown, jun. 0
M J Drew 6 James Anderson 0
T McConnell 3 John N Jack 0
  25   9

Match played at Renfrew in June 1903.


Paisley Golf Club, Renfrew. Result of a match against Renfrew Golf Club in June 1903.

From the Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette Saturday 6 June 1903. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


From the Nisbet’s Golf Yearbook 1905; Membership of 300; Hon. secretary – W B Brown, 94 High Street, Paisley; captain – C W Rowat; Entrance fee £2/2s,  ladies £1/1s and subs £1/1s; eighteen-holes; Professional – W R Stuart; Course records – professional W R Stuart, 70 – amateur K M Millar, 70; Terms for visitors 10s monthly. The course is charmingly situated at the foot of Glenifer Braes and is undulating in character. The hazards are all natural and sufficiently difficult, while the greens are excellent, and have been much improved during the last two years.

At the annual general meeting held in November 1908 the following officers were elected; President, John M McCallum, M.P; vice-president, George Hamilton, J.P; captain, James Barclay; vice-captain, George Pirie; hon. treasurer, John Matheson; hon. secretary, William B Brown; committee – J M Campbell, James Cunningham, R Drummond, John Greenlees, James Galt and John Reid.

In 1916 the captain was John A Reid.

In the early 1930s the secretary was J McC. Thomson, 27 High Street, Paisley. Membership of 450. Amateur course record V Scott Barclay, 68. Sunday play was not allowed.

At the time of WW2 the secretary was W J Sim, 50 Moss Street, Paisley. The green-keeper and professional was James Marshall. The eighteen-holes had a SSS of 69. Amateur course record H G McCallum, 66. Visitors’ fees, 1s a day, 2s/6d at weekends (on introduction by a member.)


Paisley Golf Club, Renfrew. The Paisley Golf Club Jubilee December 1945.

From the Daily Record Monday 24 December 1945. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


In January 1946 the club was informed by the council that they intended to compulsory purchase the golf course for housing development.

Agreement between the golf club and the council was eventually reached and the club moved to its present course on Glennnifer Braes which was completed for play in May 1953.


Paisley Golf Club, Renfrew. Location of the earlier golf course.

Location of the former Paisley course. Grid reference NS47745,61500, co-ordinates 247745,661500.