Stirling Golf Club was formed on 16th July 1869 at a meeting at the town’s Golden Lion Hotel when a list of signatures of “40 gentlemen favourable to the formation of a Golf Club in Stirling” was produced.
John Murrie, a banker and former Provost of Stirling, was appointed the first Captain of the Club in August 1869 and the opening competition took place in the King’s Park on 2nd October the same year.
The King’s Park, a Royal Park for the Kings and Queens of Scotland for over 800 years, was initially used for hunting. However the Accounts of the Lord Treasurer record that on 22nd February 1505, James IV, King of Scots, whilst staying in Stirling Castle, purchased twelve golf balls for his games in the Royal Park.
In 1873 the Club made its first appointment of a professional, the four times Open Champion, Tom Morris Jnr, who, then at the height of his fame, came from St Andrews for the month of April for thirty shillings a week plus travelling expenses. Stirling is the only club worldwide where Tom Morris Jnr was retained as a professional.
In 1892 the Club adopted a plan by Old Tom Morris to increase the course from seven to nine holes. This was the first alteration to the original course and at the same time a proper clubhouse was built. The course was then extended to 18 holes in 1912 based on Troon Professional Willie Fernie’s design.
In 1937, James Braid was asked to submit a plan for an extension and improvement to the course, which he did for £11 plus £4 expenses. Two of the planned new greens were constructed when land from the ladies’ course was incorporated into the main course.
James Braid had first visited Stirling in June 1901 to play a 36 hole match against J H Taylor. This was played as four 9 hole rounds and Braid was 5 up after the first nine, 39 to Taylor’s 44. Taylor equalled the course record of 37 in the second round and both players finished on 81 after 18 holes. Both players took 39 for the next nine, with Taylor then shooting 38 to Braid’s 41 to win by 3 and 2.
The Club is proud today to be part of the world famous James Braid’s reciprocal association.
In 1966 Sir Henry Cotton redesigned the course to its current layout and initiated an extensive tree-planting programme.