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Ayton Golf Club, Borders. (1891 - 1936)

Founded in 1891, the course was situated between East Reston and Aytonlaw the professional and green keeper during the early years was J Cockburn. Following is a description of the course, the officers and patrons of the club from the Bewickshire News in November 1891.

“The course has been laid out along the Haughs enclosed between the Eye Water and what is known as the “back road” Reston. As the ground slopes on either side down to the river in the centre and, as the water is an ever present hazard, it may be assumed that the course is an exceedingly sporting one. Starting from the first tee close beside the road a stretch of gorse and the river are hazard enough, over 250 yards in front. Immediately behind the hole is an expansive tract of bog known as “Colliers Well”. The second hole is uphill 150 yards and the third 200 yards along the brow of the slope where a ball not absolutely in line will roll a considerable distance. Facing the fourth hole, the player has to once more cross the river and the putting green, a very good one, is in front of Harry Craig Quarry, the distance being 200 yards. The fifth hole is back across the river 100 yards, the sixth uphill to the very corner of East Reston Haugh and the seventh back again to the water’s edge. Then comes the most peculiar and most sporting hole on the course, in which the river is crossed three times, as a very steep bank between the quarry and the Mill Lade prevents a straight course. From the teeing ground a good drive takes the ball to the green below the quarry, then, turning toward the river and, if a good lie has been secured the ball is pretty well uphill, in order that the player turns toward the distant hole, the dangerous proximity of the large damhead pool on the left may be avoided. The length of the hole is 500 yards and the green is between the river and Mill Lade. The home hole is easily negotiated, the distance being 300 yards. The length of the whole course is nearly a mile. Footbridges will be erected at several places. The course has been laid out by Bob Ferguson of Musselburgh. Patrons: A H Mitchell Innes Esq of Ayton and Whithall; Sir Walter Grindley Simpson, Baronet of Balabraes; Colonel David Milne Home of Wedderburn; John Allan Esq of Peelwalls; Charles K Galbraith Esq, Ayton Castle; Major Grant, Stoneshiel House; Alexander Gibson Esq  of Netherbyres.

President: Mr K C White, Ayton Law; Vice President: Mr John Allan, East Peston; Captain: Sir Walter G Simpson, Baronet, of Balbraes; Vice Captain: The Rev J J Marshall I Aitken.

Committee: Mr A Thomson, Dr Jeffrey, Messrs Geddes, Stothart, Morrison, T P Doughty and Office Bearers. Secretary G Wood, Postmaster, Ayton.”

Further report on the new course in November 1891.


Ayton Golf Club, Borders. Report on the new course in November 1891.

"Field" Friday 13 November 1891. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


A meeting of the committee was held on the 5 October 1892. The secretary, Geo Wood, produced the balance sheet for year ending 30 September 1892 which showed a profit of £4, after expenses. During the season a handsome handicap challenge medal, presented by Mr Alex Wood, Dunbar, and a number of monthly prizes, had been played for. The club were indebted to Mr Fenwick, Templehall, for the monthly competition prizes.

The clubhouse was opened in April 1894. Competitions were regularly held at the club.


Ayton Golf Club, Borders. Layout of the nine-hole golf course.

Layout of the nine-hole golf course.


Competition result from June 1921.


Ayton Golf Club, Borders. Competition results from June 1921.

From the Berwickshire News and General Advertiser Tuesday 7 June 1921. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Sir Walter J Simpson Trophy June 1922.


Ayton Golf Club, Borders. Competition for the trophy presented by Sir Walter J Simpson.

From the Berwickshire News and General Advertiser Tuesday 6 June 1922. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.



It was reported in November 1923 that the secretary Mr Will Willins, Royal Bank House, stated that the club was still going fairly strong, although the course has been fairly unplayable this season. The club was hoping to carry on play all winter whenever the weather was suitable.

In 1928 considerable damage was caused to the course by flooding. The course was reduced to six holes but never really recovered; there were no further minutes after 8 May 1928. The accounts show that the balance at the bank was used to continue paying insurance and making repairs until the funds were finally exhausted in 1936.

Mention of a new golf course in the Berwickshire News and General Advertiser Tuesday 10 November 1936 - "From a large number of applicants, Ayton Golf Club has appointed David Allen, High Street, Ayton, as green-keeper for the new golf course, which the club have decided to lay out immediately." 

Newspaper advert from February 1937; For Sale - Ayton Golf Clubhouse and Implements. Offers should be sent to the secretary, James Fotheringham, Ayton Schoolhouse.


Ayton Golf Club, Borders. Location of the Ayton golf course.

Location of the earlier course.