History of Glasgow Golf Club

killermont-history-1Glasgow Golf Club was founded in 1787, seven years after the Town Council had started to issue permits for playing golf on Glasgow Green, although the records of the Kirk Session show that golf was being played in Glasgow almost 200 years before.

The Club initially had 22 members and they purchased the first Silver Club which, with a silver golf ball attached for each Captain from 1787 to 1835, is among the Club’s most treasured heirlooms.

By 1870, the Club had moved from Glasgow Green to Queen’s Park and just four years later it moved again to Alexandra Park.

In 1892 ground at Gailes on the Ayrshire coast was leased from the Duke of Portland’s estate and the Gailes links course was inaugurated.

In 1895 the Gailes clubhouse was opened but the same year the Club had to move its base once more – this time to Blackhill.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the members decided to look for a permanent Glasgow home and, after much perseverance and many protracted negotiations with the proprietor, they took out a 20-year lease on the 100-acres parkland estate and mansion house of Killermont, just five miles from the city centre, on the North bank of the River Kelvin.

Old Tom Morris was engaged to design the course layout and the Lord Provost of Glasgow performed the opening ceremony on 21st May 1904.

A permanent tenure of the Killermont house and grounds was secured in 1922 and two years later James Braid was commissioned to modernise the course, although he did not make any changes to Old Tom Morris’s overall course layout and preserved all of the original green sites.

In 1924 Gailes was purchased from the Duke of Portland, 12 years after the course there had been laid out by Willie Park Jnr.


Considerably more detail about the history of Glasgow Golf Club can be found in:

History of the Glasgow Golf Club 1787-1907 by James Colville (1907);

St Mungo’s Gowfers – the history of Glasgow Golf Club 1787-1987 by Robert A Crampsey (1987); and

Killermont – The Home of Glasgow Golf Club by Nevin McGhee (2004).