Killin Golf Club History

During the “Centenary” celebrations in 2011 Gillean Ford carried out further research into the history of Killin Golf Club. As a result of this it was discovered that some of the dates and information supplied by the committee, in good faith, to the R&A in 2001 as part of the Centenary Project, were incorrect. As a result of the information supplied to them, and using certain criteria, the R&A supported a foundation date of 1911. The latest research has produced evidence to show that there has been a Golf Course and Club in Killin for considerably longer. It may be that more information about the early days of the Club will come to light in the future and the story will continue to evolve.

Here are some images of our club. Please note that all images are copyright and cannot be reproduced without written permission from Killin Golf Club

first senior open
click the above image to view a slideshow of some of our old photos

1922 clubhouse
click the above image to view a slideshow of some of our old photos from the clubhouse

1902 – 1912 The Early Years

The first mention of a golf course in Killin appears in the newspapers, local and national, of June 1902, and these articles tell us that a course was opened officially on Friday 13th June. The Perthshire Courier, on Tuesday 17th June, 1902, carried the most detailed article on the opening of Killin Golf Club. It informed readers that a splendid 9-hole course had been constructed on Finlarig Farm, just five minutes walk from the village, and that the turf was very tough with a fine surface and the greens were exceptionally good. The opening ceremony took place in front of a large crowd of local people and others from further afield. Mr. J. D. Mcrae, Captain of the newly formed Club, and the person who had been mainly responsible for the promotion of the scheme, informed those present that the course had been primarily promoted in the interest of the house letters of the village and district who had guaranteed the larger part of the cost of maintenance for the first five years. At that time, apart from The Hotel (now the Killin Hotel) and the Bridge of Lochay Hotel, it was the “house-letters” who provided tourist accommodation in the village. Mr. J. W. Todd, Morenish, a great benefactor of the Club, declared the course open. After some light refreshments a game started when Mrs. Mitchell, who was partnering Mr. Steven, struck the first ball amidst loud cheering. The first foursome comprised Mrs. Mitchell and Mr. Steven versus Mr. J. D. McRae and Mr. McGregor. The latter pair won by two holes. It is not known who designed the 1902 course but there was obviously great enthusiasm at the time to see one established in Killin. The names of those listed as being present at the opening indicate that support came from a wide range of occupations within the local community.

Exactly what happened to the Killin course over the next few years is unclear. The Dundee Courier mentions the recent opening of the course in Killin in a 1903 article about the proposed construction of a golf course at St. Fillans. The Killin golf course is clearly marked at Finlarig on the OS One-inch to the mile map, 3rd Edition, revised 1903 and published in 1906. A 1906/07 guide to holiday accommodation in Killin clearly states that there was a “New golf course. Open to visitors.” As the Marquis of Breadalbane seemed always to be in full support of there being a golf course at Killin, we must presume that locals and visitors continued to play over it. The club has only one piece of evidence remaining from this period, a letter marked “Golf Course correspondence”, and dated 2nd November 1907. The letter is from the Breadalbane Estates Office at Kenmore to the District Clerk to the Perthshire County Council, and concerns his Lordship's arrangement with the District Committee and the people of Killin to the handing over of the Finlarig road and bridge, to be thereafter kept up at the expense of the ratepayers. Problems with access and maintenance of the said road and bridge would prove to be a bone of contention for Killin Golf Club until the mid 20th century!

A short article, entitled “Course for Killin”, appeared in the Glasgow Evening Times on 31st March 1910, and provides the next piece of the puzzle. It refers to a movement to ascertain the possibilities of obtaining a golf course. Reference is made to the fact that a course was in existence a few years ago but “owing to certain reasons it had to be abandoned”. If we only knew what those reasons were. Perhaps the new tenant at Finlarig Farm resulted in some changes to the running of the course or after the first five years some, or all, of the initial guaranteed sources of funding established in 1902, for the maintenance of the course, were withdrawn and this led to closure. It is unfortunate that any minute books and/or other documentation that existed from 1902 to 1913 appears to have been lost.

The next piece of information is a list of 5 clauses relating to Mr. Steen's negotiation, with the Breadalbane Estates, of a 14 years lease for Finlarig Farm. This was drawn up in the first half of 1913 and he agreed to “bind himself to form into and maintain as a Golf Course and to let same to a properly constituted Golf Club formed in the Village of Killin certain portions of the the said Farm at a rent to be mutually arranged and failing agreement to be fixed by Arbitars.” As “Golf Course” is clearly marked at Finlarig on the Bartholomew Survey Atlas of Scotland, 1912, we have to presume that the course was there, in some form, and that Mr. Steen's plan was to improve it and make money from it.

1913 onwards

From 1913 onwards the activities of the Club are clearly minuted. The first indication of a positive move to re-form Killin Golf Club are the minutes of a Public Meeting, called by Mr. W. H. Steen, Finlarig House, and held on the 5th August 1913. The meeting was called “... to discuss the question of a Proposed Golf Course at Finlarig and if agreed upon to constitute a Golf Club and “enroll” members.” Mr. Steen was by then the tenant of Finlarig Farm and had the backing from the Marquis of Breadalbane to use part of the farm for this purpose. At the end of the meeting a golf club was constituted and thirty four Founder Members were enrolled. These members were a mix of people from the community and included a Minister, the School Master, local Shopkeepers, Joiners, Builders, Gardeners, a Farmer, a Gamekeeper, a Banker and a Mill Manager. Mr. Steen was appointed Captain and Mr. James Rae was to be Treasurer and Secretary. Messrs. H. J. Knight, F. MacEwen, J. G. Wilson, D. McLaren, P. McNeill, J.D. MacRae, P. Stewart made up the The Committee of Management.

Mr. Steen was to undertake the laying out and maintenance of the course in return for which it was agreed that he would receive 98% of the annual takings. This reads initially as if he was going to establish a new course but from map evidence it has to be presumed that some of the basics of the 1902 course were still in situ. The location on the map has always remained the same and the relatively short time between the Public Meeting in August 1913 and the opening of the course in June 1914, would not have been long enough for a totally new course to be laid out and readied for play. The meeting was reported in local and national newspapers and The Scotsman newspaper of 8th August 1913 stated that the course was expected to be ready for play at the start of the next season. On 25th August, Mr. John Duncan, the Golf Professional at Stirling, was paid a fee of 30/- to spend a day with Mr. Steen, advising on the layout of the course. Mr. Duncan was happy with the course apart from the 3rd hole where “the plantation interferes with direct line of play” and advised that the plantation, or part of, be removed. This would appear to indicate that a course was already in situ. Today, the layout of the course, with the addition of a few improvements suggested by Mr. Joe Anderson of Perth, and one or two more recent alterations, is still essentially the same.

At the third meeting of the Club, on the 27th August, more new members enrolled, including the first Lady members. The subject of membership subscriptions came up on 3rd September when Mr. McRae moved “....that there be a graduated scheme of subscriptions for houseletters which would be entirely apart from playing members' subscriptions.” There was no seconder for this but Mr. MacEwen's motion that “...residents in the district should be admitted as members of the club on an equal footing with playing members, subject to the discretion of, and at a subscription to be fixed by the Committee of Management.” was passed.

On 2nd April 1914 the Membership Fees were agreed. Just as they had in 1902 the “house-letters” backed the scheme enthusiastically and agreed to pay an annual levy to the Club so that their guests could use the Course. At that time there were forty-five to fifty “house-letters” in the Killin area, plus the two Hotels and then later on a Boarding House. In an advert for Killin Golf Club that appeared in one tourist booklet, golfing visitors were advised,“.... to make full enquiries before booking their apartment in order to ensure that they could play the course”.

The Plan and Specification of the proposed Clubhouse, by A. Bickerton, Joiner, were submitted and approved and he was instructed to proceed with the building. The Clubhouse was duly erected and fitted out at a cost of £32.17.5. Mr. Steen intimated that the course would be ready for play in early June 1914 and he would defray the Clubhouse costs until July when it was hoped the Club would be able to refund him. The first “marketing” plans were put into action and arrangements were made to post an advertising board at Killin Junction railway station for an annual rental of £2.2/-. The Committee also agreed to consider the suggestion that a leaflet describing the course and the surrounding scenery be produced.

On the 6th May, 1914, “The Rules of Golf as used and printed by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews shall be the Rules of Golf for this Club, modified by such Local Rules of the Green as may from time to time be enacted by the committee.” This and various other Rules of the Club were accepted and plans for the opening of the course discussed. The services of two professional golfers, John Duncan of Stirling Golf Club and James Brown of Falkirk, for a fee of 30/- each, agreed to play an exhibition game at the opening on the 4th June. The forthcoming event was advertised in the newspapers, including the Glasgow Herald and The Scotsman. By the 28th May the club had 33 new members including 13 ladies. Regulations were agreed for playing, Local Rules were passed and the Bogey score fixed - 1st 4; 2nd 3; 3rd 4; 4th 5; 5th 3; 6th 4; 7th 4; 8th 3; 9th 5 total 35. However, by September, the latter would be increased to 40 : 2nd 4; 4th 6; 5th 4; 7th 5; 9th 6. Presumably the holes turned out to be more difficult than estimated!

Reports on the opening of a new Golf Course at Killin appeared in several newspapers, including The Scotsman on the 2nd June, but was particularly well reported in the Perthshire Constitutional & Journal, on the 3rd and 8th June, and in the Perthshire Advertiser on the 3rd and 10th June. On the 3rd June the Perthshire Advertiser referred to Killin as “... one of the most bracing and healthy of resorts” and that by opening the golf course it was doing all it could to cater for tourists as the need for a golf course, from the visitors' point of view, had been felt for some time. Each hole had distinctive features and apart from good playing qualities the course gave wonderful views of the surrounding scenery. The hole measurements were: - 1st, 230 yards; 2nd, 180 yards; 3rd, 205 yards; 4th, 346 yards' 5th, 170 yards; 6th, 205 yards; 7th, 256 yards; 8th, 150 yards; 9th, 506 yards – total 2248 yards. The paper reported that with slight alterations these could be increased on an average of 20 yards per hole. A small clubhouse had been erected and a greenkeeper appointed.

On the 10th June the paper reported on the opening of this “excellent inland course” in the presence of a huge crowd. Profuse thanks were offered to Mr. Steen, tenant of Finlarig Farm, who had borne the cost of construction. Mrs. Steen was invited to open the course and she was presented with a silver mounted driver in the form of a walking stick. After Mrs. Steen had driven a ball, John Duncan, professional at Stirling, and James Brown, professional at Falkirk, gave an exhibition game, going round in 80 and 72 respectively. Reports on the opening of the “New Golf Course at Killin” appeared in the Golf Illustrated of 12th June.

The outbreak of WW1 on 28th July 1914, so soon after the opening of the course, must have resulted in immediate concerns for the future of the Club. Club members resigned on volunteering for military service and although Monthly Medal competitions for both Ladies and Gentlemen began in July 1915 in the same month Mr. Steen intimated that he proposed not to engage a Green Keeper for the winter months. By the end of June 1916 the members were requesting that Mr. Steen “have the course put in playing order” as he was responsible for maintaining it. Mr. Steen explained that he had been unable to find men to do the work and the Committee agreed to assist in finding labour for the grass cutting. When the Committee found men and horse available Mr. Steen refused to pay, saying the Committee was responsible. In March 1917 Mr. Steen was still being paid 98% of the annual takings and the Club proposed that they should take over the responsibility for maintenance of the course and pay rent to him instead of the original agreement. Mr. Steen was not prepared to give up control of the course and furthermore he intimated that he intended to grow hay on it, a policy dictated by War circumstances, and therefore no play would be possible that season. The Committee then decided that the course was to be closed for the duration of the War.

A few weeks later Mr. Steen informed the Committee of his intentions to plough up the Course. At a committee meeting on 15th August, 1917, a letter was read from the clerk of the West Perthshire Food Production Committee about Mr. Steen's decision to cultivate the Golf Course. The Captain had written to the W.P.F.P. Committee stating that cultivation would mean the end of the Golf Course and asking if they would be prepared to hear the views of the Club, as the decision to plough up the Course had been made without consulting the Club or the Captain. He also pointed out that “... the Course was acquired in the “letting” interest of the village and not for behalf of a few local players and that the original agreement, for a lease of fourteen years, entered into between the Proprietor and the new tenant of Finlarig, Mr. Steen, contained a special clause in order that the arrangement whereby a certain proportion of the farm was conserved for Golfing purposes, might be a binding one.

In 1918 the Breadalbane Estate factor wrote to the club asking if they would take over the course, as laid down in the original Breadalbane/Steen agreement, since Mr. Steen had applied for permission to plough it up. The club decided to take up this offer and wrote to the Factor accordingly. Lord Breadalbane agreed that they should take over the Course, which remained closed until the matter was settled. In the meantime various fund raising events were organised on behalf of the Club. In January 1920 the members were unanimously of an opinion that efforts should be made to put the Course in playable order at the earliest opportunity but before taking any definite steps it was agreed that a public meeting be held and the whole facts laid before that meeting. It was felt that “.... unless the public and particularly the house-letters warmly supported a policy of reconstruction, it would be hopeless proceeding further in the matter.” At a Public Meeting on 5th February a resumé was given of what had transpired during the past seven years and that the course had been acquired by the club at an annual rental of £38. By a show of hands it was unanimously agreed that the meeting pledge itself to loyally support the Club in its efforts to re-open the Course for play.

A meeting was convened on the 20th February for the purpose of reconstituting the Club by the appointment of Office bearers and a Committee. It was unanimously agreed that the eleven gentlemen and three ladies who previously held office should constitute the Committee. Mr. J.D. McRae was appointed Captain and Mr. Ruthven, Secretary and Treasurer. John King was appointed Greenkeeper at a salary of £2 a week from 1st March to 30th September. The fees were fixed at:
Life Membership £15, Annual - Gents 30/-, Ladies 20/-, Non resident members £2.2/-,
Visitors Tickets 2/- per day, 7/6 week, 14 days 12/6, one month 21/-.
House-letters annual subscriptions – 1 room 2/6, 2 rooms 5/-, 3 rooms 10/-, 4,5 or 6 rooms 25/-, 7 to 10 rooms 45/-, over 10 rooms 60/-.
Boarding House £5.
Killin Hotel and Bridge of Lochay Hotel – unfortunately the amount they were to pay is left blank.
In the event of the subscriptions not being paid visitors residing in such dwellings shall not be admitted as members of the club.
Merchants – D. & J. MacEwen £5, D.W. McKerchar £3 and J. McAnally £3, Wool Mills £3 each.
Other merchants to pay Playing members fees as their annual subscription.
An entrance fee of 10/6 was also to be charged.

In March 1921 the Greenkeeper was engaged for the whole year at a wage of £2.5/- per week and in May it was agreed - “...with a view to popularising golf..” - to admit beginners at a membership of 10/- each. On the 4th June a group from Lanarkshire Steel Co. Ltd. became the first “party” to visit and play the course. In 1922 the committee agreed to accept the site offered by Mr. Steen for the new Clubhouse and proposed to start work immediately. The new Club House was opened on 8th July 1922.

Mr. Joe Anderson, Perth, was asked to look at the lay-out of the course, for which his fee, in 1926, was £5.5/- with expenses. He made several suggestions:
1. The construction of a new green instead of the present 6th Green.
2. The construction of a new teeing green in place of the present 8th tee.
3. The introduction of numerous sand bunkers on the course.
4. The treating of all Putting Greens with Lawn Sand to destroy the weeds.
With regard to 1,2 & 3 Mr. Anderson pegged out the proposed alterations.

It was agreed to leave the matter with the Green Committee to carry out the proposed improvements as they saw fit and they were authorised to employ extra labour, if needed.

Mr. Steen's tenancy of Finlarig expired in 1928 and the club offered to ask the Breadalbane Estate for a 20 year lease, together with a Feu for the Club House, at an inclusive rate of £35 annually. The lease was duly granted. 1930 saw the first mention of Inter Club matches with Callander, Kenmore and St. Fillans, although it appears that perhaps these matches had been going on before, since they decided “... not to play Comrie and Aberfeldy this season.” It was agreed to engage an additional man during the summer season and the possibility of having an Open competition was mooted “...with a view to advertising the course”. It was agreed to approach The Daily Record to ascertain if they would present a Trophy for a Stroke Competition and Scratch “... limited to handicaps of 6 and under”.

In 1932 the question of Sunday golf was discussed for the first time but a motion to hold a plebiscite of members, on the question, was thrown out. In July 1934 Miss Read, Killin Hotel, raised the matter of Sunday golf once again, pointing out that “Killin depending as it does on holiday traffic should give every encouragement to them to stay”. There was a members vote but the majority were against Sunday golf. In 1937 Lord Breadalbane was thanked for providing lessons to the junior members, from the Assistant Professional at Taymouth Castle, and the question of forming a Ladies Club was discussed. In 1938 the Bogey score was reduced to 34 for 9 holes and handicaps increased by 2 strokes. The question of Sunday golf was raised again in 1939, when letters were received from the Killin Hotel and the Bridge of Lochay Hotel asking that Sunday golf be available for visitors, but it was agreed that no alteration could be made to the present ruling. A reduced ticket of 1/- was introduced for visitors after 6.00 p.m. and the house-letters charges were discontinued. In June 1939 the Club joined Perth County Golf Association and a standard scratch score was determined for the course. The subscription was £1.2/-.6d and this also gave the right of participation in the County Competitions and Championships, to compete in the Midland Association Competitions and full representation on the S.G.U.. By mid July the SSS had been set - “The standard figure was 66 less one stroke for shortage of length but they have allowed an additional stroke not as additional course value but on the ground that it is a small 9 hole course.

In 1946, and in view of the unsatisfactory position of the club's funds, it was agreed “... that an appeal be made to all Boarding Houses, Hotels and former members for support during the coming season otherwise the Club may require to close down.” This must have spurred people into action as by the end of the season Club funds had improved. At the A.G.M. in March 1947, the members passed, unanimously, a resolution to permit Sunday golf and Mr. King was informed that his Greenkeeper's wage would be increased accordingly by £1 per week from 1st April until 30th September and by 10/- per week for the rest of the year. The Committee “ it will be possible to gain sufficient petrol to allow you to keep the greens and fairways in good playable condition.” Rationing was still in place and it was difficult to acquire enough petrol to keep the course in good condition. As the existing Tee boxes were derelict and wood for new ones was unobtainable it was decided to use biscuit tins which the Greenkeeper would paint and mark. 1947 also saw the club make its first appeal, for some years, to the local community for support in raising money for the repair and maintenance of the course after neglect during the War years.

1948 was a year of action, with the first Bring and Buy Sale arranged for Glasgow Fair Week. The lease of the Club was renewed by the Proprietor, the R. & M. Toms Trust, for 10 years and some alterations were made to the course. Enquiries were made regarding the installation of electric lights in the Clubhouse and a record income of £212.1/- from visitors was recorded. In March 1949, after negotiations with the North of Scotland Hydro Board, the club installed a private line to join up with their electricity supply. Miss. King, as a private individual, applied for a Catering Licence for the Clubhouse. The Ministry of Food granted the licence and she was “.... granted permits for the purchase of rationed commodities to enable her serve hot beverages and light meals.

With increased enthusiasm for the game coming from all age groups, concern was expressed in 1950 as to the conduct of juveniles on the course and it was felt they should be given instructions in the etiquette of the game. A presentation was made to John King for 30 years service as Greenkeeper. In the interest of on-Course safety, it was agreed that a warning bell should be erected at the top of the hill approaching the 4th Green. In June the sale of the Morenish Estate meant the Golf Course was for sale and it was decided to buy it if at all possible. By August the Club had decided that the amount offered was to be £760. This would be raised by interest free loans from members - £20 was suggested - with so many to be repaid yearly after drawing lots. A Special General Meeting was held on the 20th August to discuss the possibility of buying the Course and after much discussion, Captain Stroyan and Mr. Dods requested a short adjournment and left the meeting to discuss the price with Mr. MacTaggart (Mr. Tom's factor). They returned in a short time to inform the meeting that the sale had been completed by telephone and the course now belonged to Killin Golf Club. The sum to be raised by the members remained at £760, the remainder (figure not to be divulged) having been paid by Captain Stroyan. The repayment of the interest free loans was to commence in March 1952.

In December, John King's resignation was accepted with great regret. John had been Greenkeeper for the Club for almost thirty two years. At a S.G.M. held in October it was stated that over the past four years the club, through the efforts of Sales, Raffles, sale of Timber and Fishing Rights, had managed to repay most of the interest free loans, and that by February 1955 the loan would be reduced to £60. It was agreed that a special effort should be made to clear off the remaining debt by the March and thus leave the club free to use all the normal revenue for the upkeep and improvement of the Course. In 1956 the Golf Foundation funded golf tuition for pupils from Killin School, for one hour each week during school hours. Due to the increased cost of electricity the allowance paid to the caretaker for the use of lights in the club rooms was to be increased from £1 to £2 per annum. It was noted on several occasions during 1957 that damage to the course by moles was considerable and in 1958 skiers were, yet again, causing problems. A letter was written to the Scottish Ski Club, complaining about their use of the club's property without permission. The Perth County Golfing Association were delighted that the club wished to affiliate to the S.G.U. through them and it was noted that the ladies wished to join the L.G.U.. Members complained about the rough and it was suggested that people were going missing, as well as golf balls! The Captain suggested that they borrow an “auto scythe” from the Hydro Board to cut down the rough, “.. keeping a sharp look out for any corpses, old golf bags, old golf players, clubs and young lovers lying around in the grass!

In 1960 it was decided that Club Rules should be printed on the back of membership cards. The first licence was granted for the Clubhouse premises and alterations were made to the Club Rules. All juveniles who enjoyed the privilege of the 5/- annual subscription should be off the course by 7.30p.m. Mondays to Fridays. Club membership decreased in 1961 due to the completion of the construction of Hydro Schemes in the area and members being transferred elsewhere to work. Visitors tickets were also down due to the atrocious weather during the summer. In 1963 the members celebrated the 50th anniversary of Killin Golf Club with an exhibition match in August involving Dorothea Somerville, Jessie Valentine, J. Panton and J. Wilson. Alterations were made to the Club Rules at the A.G.M. in 1964 and it was agreed that the Ladies should pay the same subscription as the gents. The Course was remeasured in 1965 and the SSS reduced to 63. A new electricity supply to the Club House was completed and the entrance road was repaired once again

Various changes were made to the Rules in 1973 and Membership cards were printed and issued to Paid Members. All interest free loans, for the purchase of the mobile home for the Steward, had been repaid and it was decided that, in future, Stewarding and Green-keeping would be two separate jobs. The course was re-measured and found to be: from the Gents' Medal Tees – 2508 yards or 2292 metres; from the Ladies Medal Tees – 2195 yards or 2007 metres. In 1974 Members were given concessionary Day tickets annually, at half price, for accompanied friends on the Course and Members' Fixture Cards were to be stamped accordingly. Gratuities to the Secretary and Treasurer were introduced. Weekly tickets were issued in 1979, improvements to the water supply were completed and the new Tractor Shed project was instigated. The installation of central heating in the clubhouse was initiated and a grant was received towards the water on greens project.

In 1980 the water on greens project was completed. A request was received from a visitor for a refund of his daily ticket “... as rain came on after playing only 3 holes and he abandoned round.” Request politely refused! The First Ladies Open and the the First Gents Open were held in 1983. A modest scheme for extending the Clubhouse was carried out in 1984, new score cards were introduced and the Treasurer noted that the club could not exist financially without the visitors.

It was agreed that there was a need for a Greenkeeper's Apprentice and after advertising the position, a local youth was appointed in 1990. An aerial socket was installed for the World Cup and a TV rented on a trial basis for one year after a party had threatened to cancel their booking if there was no TV in the clubhouse! In 1991 plans were still being discussed re an extension to the Clubhouse and the work finally began in the November. After complaints, a dress code was introduced for those playing golf in the Summer and it was agreed that a strong ruling was required re the Juniors riding bicycles at speed along the driveway and around the Clubhouse! The official opening of the extended Clubhouse was held on the 25th April 1992. Social Membership was introduced and by 1994 the number of Social members was increasing considerably. In 1995 a new drainage scheme was installed on the course and from mid April until mid September the course was closed on Friday evenings to allow the Juniors to play.

With the sale of Morenish Estate in 1996, the opportunity arose to acquire 48 acres of land adjacent to the course and in 1997 this extra land at Finlarig was purchased with the view to the possibility of eventually extending the course to 18 holes. Problems were arising on Friday evenings due to so many Juniors wanting to play. Killin Golf Club now had a website and was advertised on the internet. On the 18th July, 1997, Fiona Ramsey, aged 15 years, returned the best Scratch score of 66, net 57. 1998 saw the approval of an Amended Constitution and the first Senior Ladies Open was held.

Further amendments to the Constitution were approved in 2000. In the same year the Club faced a severe financial crisis and a discussion document was produced re the future direction of the Club. The R & A wrote asking for details of the history of the Club for their Centenary Project. Information was supplied to the effect that the Club had been founded in 1913, but also included were some facts relating to 1911 (which are now known to be inaccurate). From this information, the R&A, according to the criteria which they apply, recorded that the Club had been founded in 1911. Over the following few months the matter of conflicting dates continued to be raised in the Club Minutes and eventually it was agreed to go with the R&A date of 1911 for new stationary, logo etc but the “actual” history would appear on a brochure and the website. In 2002 STRI carried out a survey of the Course and said Killin had some of the best greens in Perthshire! Several meetings were held with other greenkeepers to seek advice about equipment and practises. Three members qualified as beginners' teachers and Junior coaching was undertaken. About 30, (of the 49 who attended the first meeting of the year) Juniors regularly attended the Friday evening sessions. On Monday evenings in June the Tri-Golf set was used to teach the Brownies to play golf and it was also used to give a coaching session to Killin Primary School in order to promote golf. There was a new Junior Champion, the first since 1998.

A new 2-fold coloured scorecard was introduced in 2003. George Smith was awarded Life Membership for his services to the club over many years. He first became a member in 1945 after he and his pal were given some hickory shafted clubs and some old balls by Greenkeeper, John King. George was Club Champion in 2003, for the 19th time since 1977. Despite 2004 having one of the wettest summers for many years, Allan McHenery, Greenkeeper, assisted by George Smith and other Club members, presented the course in an excellent condition throughout the year, with numerous compliments being paid by visitors.

Over the next few years the club signed up to the Club Golf junior golf development programme and Junior Course Development was undertaken, including the construction of a junior short course. The Junior section of the club was going from strength to strength and several adult members were attending coaching courses to support this enthusiasm. Enhancement of the existing practise area, at the entrance to the Club, was carried out and work continued on building the new teeing grounds and completing the drainage. New tee signage and sponsorship was put in place on the course and Junior golf was producing some talented young players. Construction of the 10th Medal tee began in 2009 and other work continued on and around the tees in 2010. Plans were made for a “Centenary” Open to be held in May 2011. A new tee for the 5th /14th was completed in 2011 and the 14th designated the new “Centenary” hole.


The Junior section has played a long and active part in the history of the Club. This has much to do with the members, and the parents, who have offered support and tuition over many years and continue to do so. Today the Junior section continues to thrive and on Friday evenings, from May to September, the Course is given over to them to practise and play a round of golf. This section of the club has produced some outstanding players, both girls and boys. Fiona Ramsay's Scratch score of 66, net 57, achieved in 1997 when she was a Junior, still remains to be bettered.


The Senior section of the Club began in 1983/84 when three older gentlemen (possibly aged around the mid-70's!) played 9 holes Monday to Friday throughout the season and even through the Winter on reasonable days. All were keen fishermen so they would sometimes take a break from golf and have a day's fishing on the Loch instead. In late August 1984 these four were joined by two more and the band of six would bring along a flask of coffee, and in the colder Winter months, a flask of something a little stronger. This “Reviver of Extremities” was dispensed on the 5th Tee but was later enjoyed, along with the coffee, on the semi-verandah at the front of the Clubhouse which closed for the Winter.

When three more members joined the group in 1985 it was suggested that a formal Senior Section of the club was formed, with official 9 hole competitions. Qualification for the Seniors was to be “ … age Over 65, and Retired” and thus normally available to play at least three days every week. After an enthusiastic start there was a decline in numbers and it was agreed to lower the age qualification to “over 60”, which resulted in a rapid increase by Members from the Gents' Section. With the increase in numbers an on-going League Competition was introduced during the Winter season. The first Seniors' Open competition was held in 1997 and following this the Ladies started their Senior Ladies annual competition. These competitions continue to be well supported. Over the years the Seniors have contributed many hours of voluntary work, especially Clubhouse decoration and assisting with Course maintenance.