1908 – New Clubhouse
The following appeared in B.A. 22nd May 1908
The New Clubhouse
Cullen Links Golf Club will make an auspicious start with the new season in a fortnight, when their new clubhouse is formally opened, and the improvements effected on the course during the winter will be taken advantage of. The need for more accommodation has been making itself repeatedly felt in the club in years gone by, but the question of money to carry out what was necessary on an adequate scale was a formidable one.
This was overcome however by the Bazaar held last year when a substantial sum was placed in credit of the club. With commendable activity the club set about getting everything ready for the new season.
A suitable site, about 100yards east of the former clubhouse was found and this was granted by Lady Seafield. The Town Council granted an application submitted on behalf of Club through Dr Campbell, for a water connection from the end of the Seatown. Materials from the old clubhouse were used where possible and it is hoped that clubhouse will meet with requirements for many years to come.
The clubhouse has its front facing the railway embankment and a couple of gable ends connected by a veranda, set off by 3 spruce fir tree trunks, done in rustic style the prevailing colours are red and dark green.
The west end of the building is devoted to the Gentlemen’s room which measures 16 x 13 feet, and is lit by 3 windows one of which is a double and commands a fine view of the course. In the room are 38 large size boxes, 2 rows of 19, in which to store clubs. A door gives access to a lavatory, drainage being into a cesspool. Water supply is through a ½ inch lead pipe.
The walls are wood lined and varnished, with the lower half being Oak stained. The floor is pitch pine.
The eastern end of the building is the ladies room, this being same as men’s except it measures 13 x 12 and has 16 boxes for clubs, lavatory is also provided, and is lighten by 2 windows one of which is a double.
There is also cycle accommodation provided.
The architect was Mr J Nicolson, assistant to Mr Fowlie and the contractors were as follows,
Mason James Stevenson
Carpenter James Falconer
Slater W Rumbles
Painter James Masson
Plumber W Beveridge
It is intended to open clubhouse with a cake and wine banquet on Wednesday 10th June and a sweepstake competition will be held.
On the course itself some of the greens have been re-laid and new tees made during winter and a considerable improvement is evident as a result of the work of Mr Brown.
Opening of New Clubhouse
Favoured with glorious weather the Cullen Links Golf Club opened their new clubhouse yesterday afternoon. The new buildings were already described in these columns, and members were highly pleased with their new quarters.
Dr and Mrs Campbell, Old Cullen, were present and performed the opening ceremony, in presence of a large gathering, including a number of visitors, early in the season as it may be. The function took the form of a cake and wine banquet, with a handicap competition for four valuable prizes of golf clubs and balls following.
Mr G Donald, the Captain said they were all aware of the purpose they had met that day. They were to perform a little ceremony, which was to add to the crowning sheaf to the work they had begun last year with their bazaar. They had now provided what they considered ample accommodation for the numerous visitors during the summer, in performing the ceremony they had been fortunate in securing the services of a lady and gentleman, neither of whom needed any introduction from him. Dr Campbell was known as a distinguished and public gentleman, and Mrs Campbell they had also learned to know as a fitting helpmate for her distinguished husband. Mrs Campbell would do credit to herself on that occasion just as she had honoured the golf club by consenting to come and help them. With these few words he would call upon Dr Campbell to perform the opening ceremony. (Applause).
Dr Campbell said he had great pleasure in being present on that lovely afternoon at the request of Cullen Links Golf Club to take part in the interesting little ceremony of opening the new pavilion. The old pavilion had been situated more to the West, and had been found inadequate for the increasing requirements of the club, and they had resolved to have a new and larger one upon a very suitable and convenient site to afford them more accommodation and to enable them to enjoy their golf in comfort. They further resolved on certain improvements on the golf course. To provide the necessary funds for these works, and also carry out certain improvements upon the bowling green and tennis court, they had recourse to the inevitable bazaar, and through the kindness of the ladies the bazaar was held in August of last year. The noble lady of the manor, Lady Seafield, was then applied to for a suitable site, and with her usual kindness and support of every movement for the benefit of Cullen and the district, she at once granted that request. They congratulated the Cullen Links Golf Club and the Bowling club on the successful completion of these works, which they confidently anticipated would add largely to the facilities for rational and beneficial open-air exercises in this place, (Applause). He was informed that all the available accommodation in Cullen for visitors would be fully occupied this season, and they hoped that those that came amongst them for healthful recreation, and to benefit by the invigorating breezes of the Moray Firth will find these improvements not only added to the amenities but to their own good health and comfort and enjoyment, (Applause).The people of Cullen believed in Imperial and local bodies in the policy of the open door, and he would therefor call upon his wife, as president of the club, to be good enough to open the door and let them in, (Applause). Mrs Campbell then, amid applause, inserted the key into the door of the gentlemen’s clubroom and opened the door.
The company, having entered the clubhouse, Mr Donald said that he had been requested to ask Mrs Campbell to honour them by accepting a small token of her good service on that occasion. The token was of little intrinsic value, but he was requested to assure her, on behalf of Cullen Links Golf Club, that it was given with the greatest good will. They hoped it would be a memento to her of a pleasant afternoon, and of what a distinguished townsman had called a valuable asset to Cullen, (Laughter and applause). Mr Donald then handed to Mrs Campbell a gold broach. Mrs Campbell in reply, said she did not know how to thank the Golf Club for remembering her in that way, she was sure she did not deserve it, and could only just thank them, (Applause).
The company, numbering about 60, adjourned to a marquee close at hand, on the links, where Mr Simpson of the Royal Oak purveyed a cake and wine banquet.
Mr Donald presided, and Dr and Mrs Campbell were at head of table, along with Mrs Donald and Provost Gregor. A toast list was honoured.
The chairman gave “The King and Queen”. Provost Gregor, in giving “The Lady of the Manor” said he was sure that in a meeting of that kind it would need few words of his to commend that toast to them. There was no proprietor that was more anxious for her tenants’ welfare than Lady Seafield, and her maxim was seemingly “Live and let Live”. He spoke from knowledge when he said that, because he knew what Lady Seafield did for the poor in the long winter months. Her Ladyship had always taken a kindly interest in every enterprise that was for the benefit of the town, including the improvements they had made in connection with the golf course, and she would be delighted to know that the opening of their pavilion that day had been such a success, (Applause).
Dr Campbell, in acknowledging, said that it would afford him great pleasure to convey Lady Seafield that expression of their good wishes so eloquently expressed by the Provost.
Mr F.A.Watt, Banff, proposing” The Cullen Links Golf Club” said it had given him great pleasure to come there that day to ask them to drink to the success of the Cullen Links Golf Club. Like the Royal and Ancient Burgh of Cullen the golf had an ancient history. I was on record that in the time of Charles 11, two gentlemen were reprimanded for playing golf at Cullen on a Sunday, (Laughter). He did not intend to go into the question of Sunday golf, he did not think in these northern parts, at any rate, that the question was very acute, but he would remind them of Tom Morris’ advice, that if the players did not need a rest on Sunday, the green did, (Applause). Hr understood that about 20 years ago there were only 6 holes on the course, shortly after that it was extended to a 9 hole course, and about 4 years ago it was extended to 18 holes through the courtesy of Lady Seafield in giving the extra ground. He hoped at some future date that her Ladyship would similarly favour the Royal and Ancient Burgh of Banff by giving them ground to extend their course, (Laughter and applause). Banff disputed with Jedburgh the title of oldest Burgh. He had heard it said that Cullen was a 9 hole course spoiled, but he for one did not admit that. He was an admirer of the first 9 holes, probably because he did them in a record score the first time he saw them, but for the 10th, he thought it was an abomination, (Laughter).
About 4 years ago the income of Cullen Links Golf Club was about £? But last year it came to £83, (applause). There is no doubt Cullen has a great future before it, thanks to the G.N.S.R. Co, in exhibiting the most beautiful pictures of it,(laughter).Looking at that picture one might be excused for thinking he was looking at a scene in Italy. The course was good, but the greens might be a little better. Certainly they were an improvement upon Buckie, where they not only lost balls through the course, but on the putting green (laughter). He asked them to drink to the success of Cullen Links Golf Club, (applause).
Mr Donald, in reply, thanked Mr Watt for the good things he had said about the course, he thought that Mr Watt had practically exhausted all criticism that could be passed on it. He might mention that the Committee regretted that they could not get the horse mower sooner on the course, but the greens were in excellent order.
Mr W Simpson also acknowledged the toast, endorsing all that the captain had said.
Mr J Addison, Portknockie, proposed the health of Mrs Campbell.
With herring at 1s per cran, he was in a doleful mood, (laughter), but he would be in a doleful mood indeed if he were not moved to some feeling of hilarity at being present on such an interesting occasion as that. He was sure he gave expression to the feeling of pleasure they had at having Mrs Campbell present to add grace and distinction. Mrs Campbell had done most admirably ever since she came amongst them, and he was sure that when Dr Campbell went in pursuit of a wife he fairly “struck ile”, (laughter). The time was to short, and he had not imbibed sufficient to endanger anything in the way of loquacity,(laughter) but he would just ask them to drink long life and happiness to Mrs Campbell, and might she long be spared to be helpmate to her able and distinguished public husband,(laughter and applause).
Dr Campbell, in reply, said he could not claim to speak with picturesqueness and interesting directness of his friend from Portknockie,(laughter) I endorse every word you say sir,(loud applause). He was entirely of the same mind. When he went wife hunting he was not unsuccessful, (laughter). He thanked them on behalf of Mrs Campbell, who had found the shores of the Moray Firth a pleasant land to live in, and especially the warm hearts that had welcomed her ever since she came to this northern shore. She thanked them cordially for the tangible expressions given her by the golf club, and he knew that she was never so happy as she was when doing work for others, (applause).
The Chairman apologised for the absence of Mr McLeod, who he said had entered enthusiastically into the work of the golf course. He called on Mr Robertson to propose “The Architect and Contractors”
In doing so Mr Robertson said the first intimation he had got of that was when Mr McLeod called on him that day, and asked him to take two ladies to the banquet. He thought that would not be a difficult matter, (laughter), but again Mr Donald tackled him with this toast, and as he is easily persuaded to do a thing, he consented. He thought they had got something to look at for their money, and Mr Nicolson had made good work of the architectural part, and the contractors had done their part admirably,(applause)
Mr Nicolson replied that he had had great pleasure in being associated with the golf club in providing a new pavilion, (applause).
Mr W McLean, Portsoy, proposed “The Chairman” and congratulated the Cullen Club on the position they had reached, which, however, only marked a stage in their progress. He thought Cullen was lucky in having Portknockie on one side and Portsoy on the other, (laughter). He had observed that it was only after these places took an interest in Cullen golf, that the Cullen club had made a tremendous spurt, (laughter). He congratulated the Chairman on the success of his efforts, which had that day been fittingly crowned with success, (applause)
Mr Donald acknowledged.
1905 – Opening of 18 hole course.
Unspecified date, Opening of 18 hole course.
The golf course at Cullen, which has been extended from 9 holes to 18, was opened on Saturday by Sheriff Reid from Banff, in presence of a large and representative company. The weather was all that could be desired and there was a large attendance.
The course at Cullen has always been popular amongst visitors and it was felt that if the club was to keep abreast of the times, it would have to be extended to 18 holes. A committee was formed and Mr Charlie Neaves, the Lossiemouth professional, was called in to give advice as to the best method of laying the ground. The cost has been £60.00 but this has been met by subscriptions which were obtained locally and from visitors.
The ground for the extension was got from the Town council who, rent the plateau adjoining the Links, from the tenant of the farm of Cruats, from 2 fields have been rented. 10 new holes have made in all, with one of the old holes near to the battery being discontinued. The other existing greens have been utilised.
The extended course has already described in these columns, but it may be stated that the new course is in striking contrast to the old one. The players had few hazards to encounter, and it was plain sailing from 1st to last. The present course is truly a sporting one, and abounds in hazards of such character that an inexperienced player will find himself punished. Some holes on the top plateau require careful play. No doubt that in years to come, and with the course in steady use, a good many faults will be remedied, but the course will always remain a good test of golf. (As it does more than 100 years later DT).
Sheriff Reid, standing on the first tee said, when he received the of the invitation of the Cullen Links Golf Club Committee to be present that day he was very glad to accept it for two reasons. In the first place he was very glad to associate himself with any movement which was likely to conduce to the welfare of the ancient burgh of Cullen and in the second place, he had always been much interested in the game of Golf, (applause) .The game of golf was no longer a local game. It had become, if I might say so, a national institution, and it was played by princes and princesses of our kingdom, it was played by the Prime Minister and many of his colleagues in Parliament and was played as a pastime by the fishermen of Inverallochy, (applause).This showed that the game of golf was not confined to one class, but was played by all and sundry.
For the last two or three years the committee of the club had found that the course was not sufficient to meet the demands of the local players, as well as the summer visitors, and they set themselves to find if they could not extend their course. In doing so they approached Lady Seafield, who is the proprietrix of all the lands in the neighbourhood, and he need hardly say their application to her was met with every encouragement as it always was (applause). Lady Seafield always treated the different communities with great generosity and liberality, which policy at all times, had full expression at the hands of Dr Campbell, whom they were glad to see that day, (applause). He knew that all these individuals who were the recipients of that liberal and generous policy were most grateful to her for what they were receiving there that day and at all other times as well, (applause).
The game of golf was not new to Cullen, for he held in his hands an excerpt from the Burgh register, which was as follows,
“James and George Duffus and George Stevinson convect by the Kirk Session in breach of the Sabbath for playing at the golf in afternoon in time of sermon and therefore are ordained, every one of them to pay ½ merk and make their repentance the next Sabbath,” (laughter and applause).
That excerpt which is dated 1641, showed that the game of golf had been played there for a long time.
He believed the course at one time consisted of 3 holes, and now the players would have the privilege of playing over 18 holes, (applause). He congratulated the members in having secured in the neighbourhood of Cullen a golf course which not only would be productive of great pleasure to the inhabitants and visitors, but would be of some material advantage to the ancient Burgh itself, (applause). They all knew that it did cost a little money to play golf, but he was quite struck that so much had been done by the committee with the resources and means at their disposal. He had walked over the course that day, and he was quite delighted with what he had seen. There were possibilities of an excellent course, and all that it wanted was to be played on a little more, but he should think that the opportunities they now had they would take advantage of it, and that it would act as a stimulus to golf in the district.
They were all familiar with some of the humorous scenes which took place at golf courses, especially south of the Tweed. I was no uncommon thing to see a man playing with his coat and waistcoat off and shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows, till he looked more like as if he was to dig for gold than play a golf match, (laughter). They were all delighted to see their friends south of the border, but for his part he would rather play in national costume.
He had gone over the course that day, and when he looked around it he could hardly believe that they could play golf under more pleasing circumstances than at Cullen. On one side they had the beautiful and picturesque town of Cullen, with the attractive grounds of Cullen House, on the other side they had the ever changing and beautiful sea, and away beyond they saw the hills and mountains of Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland and Caithness, (applause). With all these advantages he was sure that visitors coming to that part of the country could do no better than stay in the neighbourhood of Cullen, (applause). He had very much pleasure in declaring the course open and calling on Mr Neaves and Mr Dalgliesh to show how golf could be played and ought to be played with little trouble on the part of the players.
Mr Simpson, on behalf of the golf players, asked Sheriff Reid to accept a presentation iron club and to drive off the first ball. Sheriff Reid accepted the club, and amid applause, made a capital drive.
An exhibition game was afterwards played by Charles Neaves, professional at the Moray Club, at Lossiemouth, and Joe Dalgliesh, professional at Nairn. Scores recorded as Neaves 79 and Dalgliesh 81.
A public luncheon followed and in the afternoon an amateur handicap competition too, results as follows.
|1||Silver water jug||G Mustard||Cullen||84||2||82|
|2||Hall brush set||James Wood||Cullen||83||0||83|
|3||Gents dressing case||J Taylor||Buckie||93||10||83|
|4||Ink stand||Joseph Addison||Portknockie||84||0||84|
|5||Briar pipe & pouch||G Donald||Portknockie||85||0||85|
|6||Military hair brushes.||W Walker||Banff||82||Plus 4||86|
1901 – Description of the 9 hole course
Following taken from the ‘Illustrated Tourists and Visitors Guide’
The Cullen Golf Course,(9 holes), which was some time ago laid out by ‘Old Tom Morris’ of St Andrew’s is on the whole comparatively easy being almost free from the sand bunkers which abound in most seaside courses. There are however a number of other difficulties in the way which require a careful watch on the part of the golfer if he means to come in with a respectable card. For the benefit of the stranger we give a short description of the course which may be helpful to him.
Going to the 1st or ‘Faskane’ the player must be careful to avoid the road and railway embankment, otherwise he may find himself in serious grief.
The 2nd or ‘Well’ presents no difficulties, further than a topped ball from the tee may lie on the wrong side of a fairly high bank which crosses the line on this hole.
The 3rd ‘Round Craig’ commands careful negotiation on the part of the golfer as a ball pulled of line places the player in the undesirable position that he cannot see the hole, owing to the existence of a huge intervening rock. He must therefor play out to the open again, thus losing a stroke. A well directed ball, however usually gets a good lie and opens up the hole to the player who with his mashie or iron may lay the ‘guttie’ on the green, which by the way is the most difficult to reach on the course, special caution must be exercised, as in this case nothing but a clean pitch on to the green will pay.
The 4th ‘Strype’ the ball must be driven through between two rocks. A pulled stroke from the teeing ground is in danger of landing in a rabbit warren, while a heeled ball will probably find a resting place on top of the ‘Boar’s Craig’ However a good straight drive will provide no difficulties except perhaps the danger of too strong an approach shot, which would land the ‘Gutta’ amongst the whins beyond the green.
The 5th ‘Boar’s Graig’ here a pulled or topped ball usually meets with severe punishment, but a shot with a good line brings the player within easy mashie shot of the green, which lies in a nice cavity with rising ground all round it.
The 6th ‘Flagstaff’ the player must be careful with his drive and lustfully shout the warning ‘fore’ as he is here meeting those players who are on the 4th ‘Strype’. The chief obstacle in getting to this hole consists in the rough nature of the intervening ground, it being hardly possible to get a good lie from the tee unless he keeps close to the roadside.
The 7th ‘Battery’ is a nice short one, and may be reached with a ‘Cleek’ shot. There are no difficulties to be met with, and the green is one of best, if not, indeed the best, in the whole round.
The 8th ‘The Mound’ is a splendid sporting hole. It is generally credited with being the finest hole on the course, while the green is usually in good condition.
The 9th ‘Three Kings’ is also a sporting one, but the golfer who pulls his drive from the tee lands his ball in quite a desert of sand, and every devote of the Royal and Ancient game knows by sad experience what that means. Altogether, as formally stated, the course is easy in comparison with others, but this is no disadvantage, as it permits some people enjoying the game of golf who would otherwise give it up in disgust, a not infrequent occurrence.
More over the course is splendidly adapted for ladies, for they can play here with the minimum of exertion. The distances of the holes and the teeing grounds will be found marked on the plan of the course. Terms of subscription and other information may be obtained from the secretary, Mr James Moir, Grant Street Cullen.
The 9 hole plan of course can be found within the photograph section.