Stirling Golf Club History
Stirling Golf Club is located in the historic Kings Park, under the walls of Stirling Castle and the ramparts of the Old Town.
The Kings Park has been a Royal Park for the Kings and Queens of Scotland dating back over 800 years, and was initially used for hunting. However the Accounts of the Lord Treasurer record that, on 22nd February 1505, James IV, King of Scots, purchased 12 golf balls whilst staying in Stirling Castle, for his games in the Royal Park.
In 1869 Stirling Golf Club was formed, at a meeting in the town's Golden Lion Hotel, which had been built almost 100 years earlier and included Robert Burns as one of its famous guests. In 1873 the Club made its first appointment of a professional. Tom Morris Jnr., four times Open Champion and then at the height of his fame, came from St Andrews for the month of April and his terms were 30 shillings a week plus travelling expenses.
The original course had consisted of only seven holes, and competitions were played three times round the links. Then, in 1892, Tom Morris was asked to come through from St Andrews and his adopted plan for nine holes was the first major alteration to the original course. At the same time a proper clubhouse was built, and the Members sought to make their dress worthy of their new premises and from the summer of that year all players could be seen in the new Club uniform, a red coat with green facings and a green cap of flannel embroidered with 'S.G.C.'.
In 1901 John Duncan became the Club professional; he worked at the Club for 34 years, asking for permission to retire at the age of 74. To this day the John Duncan Trophy, commissioned by the Club in his memory, is played for.
In 1904 the Club obtained its first lease of the course direct from H.M. Commissioner for Woods and Forests, having previously been a sub-let from the tenant of Kings Park Farm. With this new security of tenure the thoughts of the members turned to making the course one of 18 holes and W. Fernie, professional at Troon, was engaged to prepare a plan.
In 1967, Sir Henry Cotton redesigned the course to the current layout, and initiated an extensive tree-planting programme. Mostly deciduous trees favoured to provide spring and autumn colour.
Stirling has developed into a golf course that is both a pleasure to play and a challenge to low and high handicappers alike. The greens are complemented by lush fairways, and the graded rough keeps play moving. The trees have matured and now present beauty and many a hazard.
Surrounded by a panoramic view of the Carse of Stirling, Ben Lomond, Ben Ledi and Ben Vorlich to the west, Stirling Castle and the Old Town to the north, the Ochils to the east, and the Touch hills to the south, the views are unique. Even on an off day, the visitor has much to admire.