Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie, East Lothian. (1912 - 1938)

Golf is first recorded at Seton when Mary Queen of Scots played there in 1567.

Port Seton originally opened as an 18-hole course on the 6th July 1912. In 1918 the layout was reduced to 9-holes due to lack of patronage.

The nearest station was at Musselburgh; from there an electric car service was available, which ran past the course. Alternatively, there was a station at Seton Mains Halt (LNE), which was a 10 minute walk from the course. Sunday play was not allowed.

First mention of the club in December 1910.

 

Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie, East Lothian. First report on the club and course in December 1910.

The Scotsman Saturday 17 December 1910. Image © Johnston Press plc.

 

Report on the course from October 1912.

 

Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie, East Lothian. Report on the course from October 1912.

The Scotsman Saturday 26 October 1912. Image © Johnston Press plc.

 

Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie, East Lothian. Postcard of the clubhouse and golf course.

Port Seton clubhouse and course.

 

Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie, East Lothian. The Port Seton clubhouse.

Port Seton the clubhouse. 

 

Card of the 18-hole course in 1914:-

Hole 1 – 400 yards; 2 – 340 yards; 3 – 490 yards; 4 – 160 yards; 5 – 390 yards; 6 – 350 yards; 7 – 135 yards; 8 – 330 yards; 9 – 360 yards. Out – 2,955 yards.

Hole 10 – 375 yards; 11 – 390 yards; 12 – 170 yards; 13 – 470 yards; 14 – 450 yards; 15 – 220 yards; 16 – 450 yards; 17 – 330 yards; 18 – 350 yards. In – 3,205 yards. Total – 6,160 yards. 

A professional golf tournament was held on the course on Monday 1 June 1914. It attracted many of the top players of the time. Below are the leading first round scores.

J H Taylor, Mid Surrey. 74 Willie Park, Musselburgh. 82
George Duncan, Hanger Hill. 74 Jack Ross, Park Langley. 82
Allan G Gow, Nairn. 76 P Brown, St. Andrews. 82
David T Watt, Morton Hall. 78 James Nelson, Peebles. 82
D Robb, Mortonhall. 78 H Duff, St Andrews. 83
George Smith, Bieldside. 78 Arthur Grant, North Berwick 83
Joe Anderson, Perth. 79 Tom Ball, Raynes Park. 83
Willie Watt, Direlton. 79 Alex. Marling, Royal Aberdeen. 83
Robert Thompson, North Berwick. 79 David Grant, North Berwick. 84
P Robertson, Braid Hills. 79 G Cassidy, Norbury. 85

The 36 hole scores as follows; Geo Duncan, Hanger Hill won the £20 first prize with scores of 74+78-152; J H Taylor, Mid Surrey (£10) 74+80-154; W M Watt, Direlton (£8) 79+76-155; D Watt, Mortonhall (£5) 78+78-156; Tom Ball, Raynes Park (£3) 83+75-158; G E Smith, Bieldside (£3) 79+79-158; P Robertson, Braid Hills (£3) 79+79-158; R Thompson, North Berwick, (£1) 79+80-159; A Gow, Nairn (£1) 76+83-159.

Below are the first round hole by hole scores of the winner, George Duncan, and runner-up J H Taylor, the 1913 Open Champion. Both players returned scores of 74, equal best of the day.

Geo Duncan; Out – 5,4,4,3,4,5,4,3,4 = 36; Home – 5,5,2,5,4,3,5,5,4 = 38 – total 74.

J H Taylor; Out – 4,5,4,3,5,4,4,4,3 = 36; Home – 4,4,3,5,4,4,5,4,5 = 38 – total 74. 

The club closes for the duration of the war in November 1916.

 

Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie, East Lothian. The club closes for the duration of WW1.

Southern Reporter Thursday 9 November 1916. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

In 1922 the secretary was T S Hare, Port Seton House, Cockenzie. Visitors’ fees were 1/- a day, 4/- a week and 15/- a month.

From 1924 to 1926 the secretary was W Wood, Winton Park, Port Seton. Visitors’ fees were now 1/6d a day, 5/6d a week and 15/- a month.

Report on the future of the course in December 1935.

 

Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie, East Lothian. Report on the future of the golf course in December 1935.

The Scotsman Wednesday 11 December 1935. Image © Johnston Press plc.

 

From 1930 to the club’s final year in 1938, due to the expiry of the lease, the secretary was G M McKinlay, Aldersyde, Port Seton and the green-keeper James Fraser.

Thanks to Roger Johnson who sent us the picture below. It’s marked 1933 on the reverse side.

 

Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie. Picture of the Port Seton golf course dated 1933.

The Port Seton golf course in the 1930s.

 

The former course can be seen on the Britain From Above links below.

http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/spw047905?search=golf%20course&ref=4

 

 

Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie, East Lothian. Location of the former golf course.

See below for a more accurate location of the 18-hole course (apologies for the incorrect road names above).

 

Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie, East Lothian. Revised map.

Matt Cunningham, the Club’s Historian, provided the amended map above showing the location of the original 18-hole course, with the correct road names.

 

Port Seton Golf Club, Cockenzie, East Lothian, Courses.

The above map shows the location of the Thorntree and Port Seton courses in the centre. Longniddry is top right and Royal Musselburgh bottom left.

 

I would like to thank Matt Cunningham, Historian for the Port Seton club, for the help and information he has provided regarding the history of both Thorntree and Port Seton clubs.

 

 

The club was reformed as an active non-course club in 1958 – http://www.portsetongc.co.uk