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Club history

The Blairgowrie Golf Club was founded as a private members club in 1889 and is situated in the heart of the magnificent Perthshire countryside. The Club features the renowned Rosemount and Lansdowne championship courses plus a very attractive 9-hole course which are set in heather lined avenues of pine and silver birch.

The original Lansdowne course (later to become Rosemount) was designed by Dr. Alister Mackenzie, the renowned golf course architect who also designed Cypress Point, Augusta National and many others.

In 1930 the club decided to expand the facilities yet again and engaged James Braid to re-design the course to devise a new 18 hole layout with provision for a new nine hole course. For what then became the 18 hole Rosemount course, Braid utilised some of the holes from the original Lansdowne course – the 17th is classic Mackenzie design - and incorporated some completely new holes. The nine hole course became the Wee Course virtually as it remains today.

Blairgowrie History Collage

 


Sir Alexander Mackenzie of Delvine

The Blairgowrie Golf Club was formed following a meeting held in the Victoria Hotel, Blairgowrie on Tuesday, 26th February 1889. The Chairman of the meeting said a suitable piece of ground for golf had been found close to the Black Loch belonging to the Dowager Marchioness of Lansdowne, from whom the course took its name, Lansdowne, which was later to become the Wee Course. Old Tom Morris played with the Captain, Sir Alexander McKenzie of Delvine, against the Secretary, Mr Henry-Anderson and Major Peter Chalmers. The Match was very close, with Tom Morris sinking a long putt on the last green to win. When leaving, Tom Morris said "I think this is the most beautiful inland green I have ever seen" - a very favourable comment from the most famous of golfers who had laid out courses in all parts of Great Britain and Ireland.

 

The original Lansdowne course (later to become Rosemount) was designed by Dr. Alister Mackenzie, the renowned golf course architect who also designed Cypress Point, Augusta National and many others. His first inspection and design was carried out in 1914 but, perhaps understandably, the club decided that “this was not a good time to incur such expenditure”. However, following the Great War, Dr. Mackenzie was called back and an extension from 9 to 18 holes was designed and constructed at a cost of £3,000. The new course finally opened for play in 1927.

 

James Braid

In 1930 the club decided to expand the facilities yet again and engaged James Braid to re-design the course to devise a new 18 hole layout with provision for a new nine hole course. For what then became the 18 hole Rosemount course, Braid utilised some of the holes from the original Lansdowne course – the 17th is classic Mackenzie design - and incorporated some completely new holes. The nine hole course became the Wee Course virtually as it remains today.

 

The original Braid design proposals from 1930 are on display in the clubhouse together with a follow-up inspection note, which commented on an agronomy report made in 1932, 2 years before the new Rosemount course was opened for play in 1934. The comments display a healthy scepticism for the findings as you can see!

Following the James Braid extension, in the continuing search for golfing perfection several well known course architects and famous golfers were consulted regarding course improvements. In particular, the Rosemount 1st green was a continual source of concern until a new green designed by Donald Steele was eventually constructed in 2000. Some of the names involved in this process, together with their proposals, are noted below.

Willie Auchterlonie ProposalWillie Auchterlonie Proposal – 1954

C K Cotton Proposal – 1961C K Cotton Proposal – 1961

Eric Brown – 1970Eric Brown Proposal – 1970

Blairgowrie now has two championship 18 hole courses. Rosemount, designed by James Braid and Lansdowne, built in the 1970's, designed by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas.

Greg NormanIn recent years both championship courses - Rosemount and Lansdowne have hosted many national events, most notably the British Seniors Amateur Stroke Play Championship twice and the British Boys Home Internationals, both run by the Royal & Ancient. The Scottish Amateur 72 hole stroke play event has been played on a number of occasions as has the Scottish Mid Amateur championship.

Greg Norman won his first European Tour event in 1977 the Martini tournament held on the Rosemount course.

The British Youths was also held on the Rosemount course at Blairgowrie in 1984, preceded by the GB & Ireland match against Continental Europe. As you will see from the referenced match cards, some illustrious names appeared in the event including Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal.

 

The maturity and stature of the Club was recognised by the granting of a Coat of Arms by the Lord Lyon at a ceremony on 5th April 1980.

 

Gary Player

Golfing legend Gary Player was guest of honour at the Club’s centenary celebrations in 1989, and to commemorate the occasion and in recognition of his magnificent contribution to the world of golf, club Captain Bill Christie and Vice Captain Tom Watson presented Gary with Honorary Membership of the Club.

 

 

Jessie Valentine

The Blairgowrie Golf Club were proud to have had Jessie Valentine MBE (1915–2006) as a distinguished member, and she was conferred Honorary Membership in 1968. She was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

Winner of the British Ladies Amateur golf championship in 1937, 1955 and 1958. In 1959 she was the first woman golfer to be awarded the MBE for services to golf; in 1967 she also received the Frank Moran Trophy for 'the Scot who has done most for the game of golf'. During the Second World War she drove a truck, and was clearly held in great esteem in the USA. So much so, in fact, that when her fiancee was captured and held as a POW, the Curtis sisters, who created golf's Curtis Cup, sent him food parcels every month.

  • British Ladies Amateur Golf Champion, 1937, 1955, 1958
  • Scottish Ladies Amateur Golf Champion 1938, 1939, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956
  • New Zealand Ladies Champion 1935
  • French Ladies Champion 1936
  • Represented GB & Ireland in the Curtis Cup 7 times between 1936 and 1958
 

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Contact info

Golf Course Road
Rosemount, Blairgowrie
Perthshire
PH10 6LG
Telephone 01250 872 622

office@theblairgowriegolfclub.co.uk

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