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Leslie Golf Club, Glenrothes, Fife. (1863 - 1902)

The earlier course was of four holes laid out on the Commonty. Early competitions were played over the four hole course four times. It seems that the course was extended to nine-holes by 1866. 

Below a report on the earlier Leslie Golf Club in November 1863.

 

Leslie Golf Club, Glenrothes. Competition result from November 1863.

Dundee Advertiser Saturday 7 November 1863. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Meeting of the members in June 1864.

 

Leslie Golf Club, Glenrothes. Meeting of the member in June 1864.

Dundee Advertiser Saturday 4 June 1864. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Ten members entered for the club medal which was played for on the meadows on Thursday 9 June 1864. The competition was won by Captain John H Miller who completed the four rounds of four holes in 85 strokes.

Result of a competition played on the Commonty in July 1864; John H Miller, 87; J Hutchinson, 92; Alexander Scott, 93; Mr Gilchrist, 106.

A meeting was held in the Parochial Board Office in March 1865, Captain J H Miller in the chair. After the minutes of the last meeting had been read and confirmed, five new members were admitted. The Captain then presented a club (driver) to be played for by the members on Monday  20 March at 6.30 am.

In August 1865 competitions for two prizes given by John H Miller and John Gordon. After keen competition the winners were Mr Miller and Dr. Purves with scores of 61 and 64 respectively. 

The annual meeting was held in April 1866 and mentions the nine-hole course.

 

Leslie Golf Club, Glenrothes. Annual meeting held in April 1866..

Dunfermline Saturday Press Saturday 5 May 1866. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Nothing further was found on the early Leslie Golf Club.

The later club was founded in 1898 on land at Balquhomrie. Old Tom Morris laid out the greens and advised on the layout of the course at Balquhomrie, he was made honorary member of the club at a meeting in June 1898.

The club only stayed at this remote spot until 1902, it then moved to its current location nearer the town.

 

Leslie Golf Club, Glenrothes, Fife. Layout of the Balquhoumrie course.

Layout of the nine hole Balquhoumrie course in 1898.

 

Following is a description of the course taken from the Dundee Courier in May 1898. “The course is situated about a mile and a half from Leslie. On Thursdays and Saturdays, which are expected to be the principal days for local players, a bus will run from the town – perhaps from Markinch – to the course at 2.30 pm. The course possesses great advantage to the golfers from the nature of the hazards which it presents. At the first a quarry beside the tee offers a fair prospect for punishing a “foozled” drive. The second and third are plain sailing, but at the fourth a wall confronts the player, followed at the distance of a fair drive by the burn, which, embedded with rushes, will sadly puzzle those who may happen to fall into its difficulties. The fifth hole, unless by a long and accurate driver, cannot be taken direct, as the ground intervening in the north field is a veritable trap. The usual plan will be to play up the drive on the same side as the wall and to cross the walls thereafter with a second played with an iron. The sixth hole tempts the player to cross all difficulties by a bold drive, failing in which certain punishment will be meted out. The seventh can be played by driving the ball between the burn and the wall, and the last two present little difficulty. The course has not yet been thoroughly completed due to the bad weather. Already the club has secured a large membership and with the enthusiastic secretary, Mr J B Douglas, South Park House, there is no doubt it will be further increased”

Following is a report from the Evening Telegraph dated Satirday 11th August 1900 regarding the opening of the new clubhouse at Balquhomrie. “The members of the Leslie Club met on their links at Balquhomrie on Thurday evening for the purpose of inaugurating a new clubhouse, which has been in the course of erection during the last few weeks. The house is a substantial wooden one, constructed under the superintendence of Mr Alexander Lowe, manager, and Mr Gracie, engineer at the Kircaldy new water works. It provides sufficient accommodation for the wants of the club. The need for some such house was felt, and when the scheme was mooted it was heartily taken up, and in a short time nearly half of the funds were subscribed by the members. For the opening ceremony a four-in-hand brake drove from Leslie to the course. The company present comprised; Dr Aymer, president of the club; Mr Maiden, captain; Mr Gray, secretary; Mr Birrell, treasurer; Messrs., Porter and Ritchie, Prinlaws; Mr William Livingston, Walkerton; Mr Brash, banker, Leslie; Mr Low, manager, water works; Mr Thomas Beath, Balquhomrie; and Messrs., Mackintosh, Paterson, D MacLeod, Clark, W Henderson jnr, W Brash, H and D Ritchie, Robertson snr, Robertson jnr, Smith, E MacLeod, Rev D Dow, John Farmer, Menzies, Laverock, H Wilson, J Webster. Dr Aymer presided at the opening ceremony. He congratulated the members on the successful accomplishment of what they had long desired, and expressed the hope that the possession of the house would add still more to the prosperity of the club. Mr Porter proposed “Success to the Leslie Golf Club” which was acknowledged by Mr Gray secretary. Mr William Livingstone called for a special vote of thanks in recognition of the valuable services of Messrs Low and Gracie, who had devoted much time and labour to the erection of the house. The health of Misses Beath, the tenants of Balquhomrie, on whose farm the course is laid out, and to whom the club are under deep obligations was proposed by Mr MacLeod and acknowledged by Mr Thomas Beath. Mr Birrell proposed the health of Mr J B Douglas, who had done much to establish the club”.

The clubhouse was moved to the new site in March 1902.