Bute Golf Club

Bute Golf Club

THE CLUB was formed in 1888 on land leased from the third Marquess of Bute who was responsible for re-building Mount Stuart, the stunning stately home on the east coast of the island, after the original house was burned to the ground in 1877.

Founder members engaged David Cuthbert of St Andrews, who was greenkeeper at the Millport club at the time, to design nine holes. Officials of the Cumbrae Golf Club, as Millport was known in those early days, allowed Cuthbert to spend a week at Bute GC’s expense to ‘lay off’ the course. He has created a layout which, although short by modern-day standards, provides a true test of golf with subtle challenges. Natural features of linksland including drystane dykes, whins, ridges and burns have been used to good effect as was the case with the origins of the game.

Now all that has changed with the golf club enjoying sole occupancy of the land from November, 2009 – and, as a result, the condition of the course has improved dramatically. The greens particularly are the subject of high praise by golfers from near and far.

Tom Weiskopf, winner of The Open Championship in 1973 at Royal Troon, visited Kingarth some years ago when he was involved in the design of the Loch Lomond course. He walked the links viewing the surrounding land before offering his opinion that it would make a superb 18-hole championship course.

The wooden clubhouse, which was erected in 1911, has stood up remarkably well in the front-line of prevailing winds and weather from the West for almost 100 years. It is of a pavilion-style which, in the past, was prevalent on rural golf courses throughout Scotland. Unfortunately not many remain and it is the intention of Bute Golf Club to have the building restored to its former glory. A special fund has been set up and money-raising activities are ongoing.

The club celebrated its centenary in 1988 with a Grand Match in which almost 100 took part. Refreshments were enjoyed at the clubhouse immediately after the golf and later a celebratory dinner was held at the Glenburn Hotel, Rothesay. Among the guests was the landowner and patron of the club, the late John Crichton-Stuart, the sixth Marquess of Bute.

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