Course History

In the year 1876, ten prominent Airdrie business men met to discuss the forming of a golf club. So active and dedicated were they that by 14th June 1877, a field had been acquired at Drumbathie Farm from Mr Armour and the laying out of six holes completed. The first Captain of the new Airdrie Private Golf Club was a Mr Robert Watt and the Watt Medal which he presented in that year is still one of the club’s principal competitions. The entry fee for the new club was fixed at 10s 6d with an annual subscription of 7s 6d. The income for the first year of 1877 was £14 2s 6d.

Even in these early days there were lease problems and the course had to be moved to a new piece of ground on the old Race Course, also in Drumbathie Road. This was in April, 1878. Six holes were again laid out and the game went on undisturbed except for the problems caused by horses being exercised on the golf course, golf balls being lost down a pit-shaft near one of the holes and cattle grazing on the fairways.

It is also worthy of a note that the members of the golf club played in red jackets and that members with a caddy had preference over members who carried their own clubs.

On or about the same time, the committee of the new golf club decided that there should be rules for playing this game and the first Code under the heading of “Articles and Laws on the Playing of Golf” was drawn up. There were thirteen in number and from club records it would appear that these original thirteen Rules were adopted en clock by the St. Andrews Society which was latterly absorbed into the governing body we know today.

In 1893 the club again has lease difficulties and the committee decided to move the club to the ground known as Meadowfield at Rochsoles. This was leased from a Colonel Gerard at a rent of £33 per annum and the roots which were planted on that date have now grown and expanded into the present Airdrie Golf Club which we now know.

During the next few years, the standard of the game so improved that the committee were compelled to lengthen and alter the course and in August, 1899, a new field was rented from Cairnhill Estates and three holes were laid out. The field was known as Roughcraig Park and is the site of the present Wimpey Housing Estate. It was abandoned as part of the club in 1908.

The original clubhouse at Rochsoles cost £60 to build in 1892 but due to the increased membership a further extension was built in 1903 costing £110. In that year the club was first registered for a licence. It is interesting to note that fin and whisky at that time cost 2d per quarter gill and that members helped themselves from the liquor cupboard, entering their purchases in a book and their money in a box. Due to discrepancies in the bar accounts the above practice was discontinued.

In 1908 the Mill Park was rented and the golf course again extended. This extension included Dandy Hill, the 13th 16th and 4th greens. The clubhouse was again extended in 1909 at a cost of £130 and again in 1912 at a cost of £300.

The war years of 1914-18 were very difficult years for the club. However, after the war there was a tremendous revival in the game and due to the increased membership, it was decided to extend the course from its 10 holes to a full 18-hole golf course. This was approved at a special general meeting on 26th January, 1922. The ground known as the thorn and Stubble Parks which contain the present 8th to 13th holes at the present 14th and 15th holes was leased from Rochsoles Estate and Airdrie became an effective 18-hole golf course.

In 1937, the year of the Diamond Jubilee, it was decided to lengthen the course and James Braid was called in to advice on the lay-out. The lengthened course was opened in May 1939, and to all intents and purposes is the lay-out which is so much enjoyed today.

Over the years, improvements have been put into effect by various committees including the building of a new clubhouse in the Golden Jubilee year of 1927. In 1953, due to the break-up of Rochsoles Estate, Airdrie Golf Club took the opportunity of buying their course and in so doing, preserving this wonderful heritage for future generations