THE HISTORY OF DEACONSBANK GOLF COURSE
Research and written by Robert Ray.
OPENED FRIDAY 25TH AUGUST 1922
At a meeting of Glasgow Corporation’s Sub-committee of Recreations and Parks on 23 September 1914, the Director was instructed to proceed with the laying out of the new 18-hole golf course to be formed on the lands of Deaconsbank and the former farm steading buildings to be utilised as a clubhouse and for green staff accommodation. Present – Full committee, Councillor McNab (Chair), Mr Crawford and the Director. The construction of the golf course was delayed due to the First World War 20 July 1914 to 11 November 1918.
The Glasgow Corporation’s Sub-committee on 17 November 1920 looked at this project and instructed the Director to proceed with the laying out of the new golf course.
On 19 January 1921 David Adams, golf expert, was commissioned to proceed with the laying out of the 18-hole golf course and former farm steading buildings and it was agreed that the opening date for the new golf course would be on Friday 25 August 1922.
On Friday 25 August 1922, Councillor McNab called upon Lord Provost Paxton to perform the opening ceremony and the Lord Provost was presented with a gift of silver salt, pepper and mustard vessels. After the official opening ceremony, the golf course was open to the public on Saturday 26 August 1922.
On 6 October 1922 there was a letter dated 27 September submitted from Mr Edward Whittle, Secretary of a Golf Club, for permission to designate the club “The Deaconsbank Golf Club”. Councillor McNab, who was in the Chair, and other committee members formally agreed to grant the request. Therefore Deaconsbank Golf Club became the first official golf club playing golf over Deaconsbank Golf Course.
The course opened on Friday 26 August and the layout was somewhat different to the way the course is played in the modern day. The 1st hole being what is now the 5th up the hill called Heich Wood and finishing with what is now the 1st called Home – see appendix 1 and also see appendix 2 below.
In later years the course was changed once again to what is now the 2nd becoming the 1st and finishing with the 1st becoming 18th.
The names of the holes are self explanatory However I pick out a few for further explanation
Heich wood which is now the 5th hole. Heich is an old Scottish word for High so High wood.
Benview which is now the 3rd hole. Upon reaching the summit look back and you can see Ben Lomond.
Jenny Lind, 6th October 1820 – 2nd November 1887, which is now the 18th hole, was a Swedish Opera Singer “The Swedish Nightingale” who had an overnight stay at Deaconsbank Hosteller. The nearby estate and the former grounds of the Trade Winds Hotel are named after her.
Beild which is now the 11th hole is an old Scottish word for shelter. There used to be a stone wall that ran the length of the hole to define the boundary, and the birds and wildlife would take shelter in the trees and behind the wall.
Finally the Railway is the 10th hole. This was the Caledonian railway, and full trains passed by on their way to Lanarkshire and Ayrshire – for the day trippers.
Glasgow Corporation administered the course until they signed the park over to Eastwood District Council on a lease for 125 years on June 1984 and the administration of the golf course and club buildings subsequently passed with this. Eastwood Council looked for a tenant to sub-lease the golf course to and it was eventually leased to Sports Management Scotland, (headed by former Walker Cup Player leading amateur, Gordon Cosh 1965) and a new clubhouse and driving range was built on the footprint of the old cricket field at the entrance to the golf course. Subsequently, there was a further change to the layout of the course where the 18th hole became the 1st and the 17thbecame the 18th.
After a number of years under the direction of Sports Management Scotland, they decided to terminate their lease and it was taken over by Next Generation Clubs who were formed in 1999, run by Scott Lloyd, the son of David Lloyd. To this day Deaconsbank Golf Course is still run by the Lloyd Leisure Group of companies.
Now in the 21st Centuary
There is much excitement at Deaconsbank as the David Lloyd Leisure are delighted to announce that the doors of a ”Fantastic new club” will open in August 2016 and memberships will be on sale soon. This is good news for fitness fanatics and their families and it is good news for golfers too!
Further, readers may be interested to know that today there are three member clubs playing golf at Deaconsbank who affiliate to both the Scottish Golf Union and Glasgow Golf Union. They are Deaconsbank Golf Club, Burnfield Golf Club and The Shaws Bar Golf Club. To join these clubs you can contact the Golf Centre, look on line or through the Glasgow Golf Union.
Research and written by Robert Ray.
Sources of information include:
Mitchell Library Glasgow
Glasgow Herald archive
Glasgow Corporation minutes.
David Lloyd website