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Rothesay Golf Club. Argyll & Bute. (1892 - 1908)

The following mention of the course appeared in "Golf" Friday 1 May 1891 - "A new golf course is projected at Rothesay, the promoter being Mr Menzies, manager of Kyles of Bute Hydropathic. The plans of a course of 18-holes, extending over two miles, has been submitted to Willie Campbell, who will inspect the ground."

The club was founded in 1892.

The original 9-hole course was laid out on a hill behind Westland Farmhouse. Professional William Campbell, Bridge of Weir, was given the job of laying out the course and he was confident that it would be playable in just three weeks; the course opened on 27 August 1892. The Westland course was laid out over rough farmland and had the perennial problem of grazing animals over the course. The club were keen to extend to 18-holes but further land was proving difficult to obtain at this site.


Rothesay Golf Club, Westland Course. Report on the opening of the Westland course in August 1892.

Field Saturday 3 September 1892. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


In August 1893 a new record was set for the Westland course by Mr D Munro, he completed the nine holes in 39 shots, one better than the previous record.  

Below is the result of a match played at Westland against Greenock Golf Club on Saturday 23 June 1894.

Rothesay Golf Club   Greenock Golf Club  
D Munro 0 James Millar 3
W T Esplin 2 Alex Arthur 0
A McGaw 0 James Young 5
J Windsor Stuart 0 James Murray 0
D Mackay 3 Daniel Thomson 0
George Pirie 0 J L Adams 4
P M Hamilton 2 R F Watson 0
H Black 0 J W Arthur 5
Dudley Stuart 0 R J Blair 12
John Bethune 0 J H Morles 9
T M Patterson 0 Geo T Luxton 14
Thomas Milloy 0 A M Stewart 13
  7   65

The monthly competition for the Kyles of Bute Hydropathic medal was played on the Westland course on Saturday 26 October 1895 and was won by J Windsor Stuart, 86-9-77. 

From the Montrose Standard Friday 3 April 1896 - "Tom Morris was in Rothesay the other day, and his visit is said to have reference to the proposed golf course behind Glenburn Hydro. He honoured a local cameraman by sitting for his portrait."

Due to the remoteness of the Westland course the club decided to move. The article below is from an unknown newspaper report from September 1896.


Rothesay Golf Club, Argyll & Bute. Report on the clubs move to Glenburn in 1896.


In 1897 the captain was Mr W T Esplin.

The club eventually moved to its present course laid out by Old Tom Morris at Eastlands in 1908.

From the Sporting Chronicle Saturday 4 January 1908 - "It is understood that the Marquis of Bute will be present on the occasion of the formal opening of the new golf course at Rothesay, Isle of Bute, on 25 May, when Arnaud Massy, James Braid, Harry Vardon and Ben Sayers will play."

The Google Map below shows the location of the first Rothesay course at Westland.


Rothesay Golf Club, Argyll & Bute. Location of the former Rothesay course.

Location of the former Rothesay course. Grid reference NS06685,65230, co-ordinates 206685,665230.