In April 1891 the first course consisted of nine holes fully contained within the area occupied by our present first, second and eighteenth holes and part of our present practice ground. This course was very short-lived as the Committee wanted 18 holes, and by August 1891 further ground was leased to the south of Houston Road. 

The course was well described in 1928 in a Club booklet as delightfully situated on the moorland above Kilmacolm. It abounds with natural hazards which have been utilised in the layout of the holes. The turf which is of a close knit and springy nature compares favourably with the turf of many seaside courses and the greens, many of which are undulating, are kept in first class condition. The situation of the course, its general features, the quality of the turf and character of the greens are such that the Kilmacolm Golf Course has been described, not inaptly, as ‘a miniature Gleneagles’.

The Temperance Movement

There was one interesting matter in the 1920s which is worthy of mention. It arose because of a strong national temperance movement with the village of Kilmacolm Parish voting for ‘no licence’ when the local veto poll was held. This caused several changes as local pubs and also a hotel were forced to close in the village. At this time Kilmacolm was regarded by the Temperance Movement as an exemplary village, unlike Bridge of Weir, as reflected in the local rhyme

Kilmacolm for fun and frolics
Bridge of Weir for alcoholics

However, Kilmacolm Golf Club had held a licence to sell alcoholic drinks since 1902, as fortunately (or by careful planning !) the Kilmacolm Golf Club is not in the Parish of Kilmacolm, as its southern boundary is an ancient March Dyke which separates the Parish
of Kilmacolm from that of Houston. However several Golf Club members introduced a motion, at the Annual General Meeting of 1926, that the Club like the village should be ‘dry’ but it was decisively defeated on a card vote by 207 votes to 49, much to the relief of most
of the members! Historically this is the largest recorded vote at a meeting of the membership of the Club.


Ownership & Opportunity

1984 was a very special year for the Club. Captain Allan McNeilage and his Committee were able to negotiate the purchase of the Club ground from Elderslie Estates whose tenants we had been since 1891. With this achievement future Committees were able to make improvements to Course and Clubhouse as the Club prepared for its Centenary Celebrations in 1991, and could look forward with confidence to our next century of golf at Kilmacolm.

The next improvement to the Clubhouse occurred in 1990, after members had been asked for their views on what new facilities were required. The members’ response to a questionnaire from the Committee clearly demonstrated their desire to extend the changing room facilities, have an improved casual dress bar and to have a proper mixed entrance to the Clubhouse.

Plans were drawn up and the new extension was completed at a cost of £155,000 in good time for the Club Centenary and much to the satisfaction of the members. It was observed at the time that the Captains involved in 1989 and 1990 were Gordon Farquhar and Willie Douglas, a civil engineer and architect respectively, a combination in the wider world that can often be a recipe for disaster but within the confines of our Club had gone very smoothly, and the final result of their efforts was much admired and appreciated by the membership. 

Extracts taken from ‘Kilmacolm Golf Club, A Celebration of 125 Years’ By David Mason and Victor Weldin

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