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Portobello Golf Club, Edinburgh. (1856 - 1902) 

In 1856 when the Portobello Golf Club came into being they had no course of their own. The members played their golf at Leith and Musselburgh.  

The club eventually acquired land at Quarry Bank, Brighton Place, and played their casual day to day golf there but still playing competitions at Leith and Musselburgh. Interest waned on this early course and golf there went into abeyance.

Portobello golfers got together again in the early 1880s and golf was eventually restarted.

In September 1883 the club competed at Mussselburgh for prizes presented by the captain. Robert Baillie was the winner with a score of 98-12-86 the runner-up was John Lee, 102-14-88.

On Friday 6th June 1884 the Portobello Golf Club played a match against Dalkeith Golf Club at Musselburgh, the latter winning by 22 holes to 16.  


Portobello Golf Club, Edinburgh. Entry from the Golfing Annnual 1888/89.

Entry from the 1888/89 Golfing Annual.


In November 1892 a letter was sent to the Town Council by the secretary of the Portobello club, Mr M Purves, asking for permission to lay out a six-hole course in the new public park. It was stated that a course could be laid out at a cost £50 to £60. It was hoped that the Council would approve of the scheme and perhaps assist in caarying out the work. On the motion of Baillie Brand, seconded by Baillie McIntosh, it was agrred to instruct the club to progress with the work.

In 1894 a silver cup was presented to the Portobello Ladies’ Golf Club to be played for annually in a scratch competition. On Friday 2nd November 1894 the first winner was Miss Maud Titterton who scored 62 for “two rounds of the green”

The following report appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News on Monday 28th September 1896. “New Public Park For Portobello – In presenting the prizes to the winning members of Portobello Golf Club on Saturday, Baillie Grieve said that negotiations were being pushed forward with regard to the new park. Four places were available.These were; first - land lying between the cemetery and Joppa Pans; second – a large park adjoining the railway on Mr Simpson’s farm; third – a park of the Duke of Abercorn’s adjoining Durham Road; Lady Napier’s Park being also available conditionally to Lady Napier’s house being purchased, which would make an excellent clubhouse; fourth – that strip of Craigentinny Meadows, west of Portobello, lying between the railway and the sea. Baillie Grieve thought the third mentioned by far the most suitable, and recommended local golfers to strengthen the hands of the Council by giving an expression of their opinion at the approaching ward meetings.”

Report on the opening of the new course in July 1902.


Portobello Golf Club, Edinburgh. The annual dinner and announcement of the new course in March 1902.

The Musselburgh News Friday 11 July 1902.  Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


A new golf pavilion was erected in the Public Park at Portobello. It was to be opened in November 1902. It was reported that “a novel feature in connection with the place is the arrangement for the intimation of the starting time of the players, instead of the man at the tee shouting out the name of the next player. The numbers of the tickets will be displayed in the window, and an electric bell will be rung to indicate the time for starting,”


Portobello Golf Club, Edinburgh. The clubhouse and course.


The early course can be seen to the north of the railway on the map below.


Portobello Golf Club, Edinburgh. The early course is shown on the 1896 O.S. map.

Ordnance Survey Map © Crown Copyright {1896}


The Google Map below pinpoints the area once occupied by the former course.