The information on this page has been collated by our Secretary, DeLille Diamant.
ARCHIVES AND STATISTICS
It was probably around 1870 that golf began to be played in Stromness on a nine hole course at Wharbeth. It was a natural links course. There were no fairways, as we know them today. The grass over the whole course was cropped short by rabbits. The game became very popular with both men and women, in spite of the long walk they had to take to get there, before they could start to play.
In November, 1923, the farm of
Doddy Robertson, in his book, Reminiscences of an Orkney Nonagenarian, describes the hectic but enjoyable process of making the golf course, as we know it today.
"A large committee was set up to organise the raising of money to develop the course, of which I (Doddy) was the secretary, and with the willing help of the public, we raised £1,000 in our first year, which enabled us to employ labour to convert a dairy farm to a tolerably good golf course. Fields that had grown crops and left stubble had to be ploughed and harrowed in preparation for grass sowing. We mustered on one occasion 50 golfers and as many boys, to remove stones from the harrowed fields,.and when the figures were put through our human computer, they reached the colossal total of 500,000. The secretary counted the number of stones he gathered at a moderate rate in half an hour, added together the number of hours worked by the golfers, plus those of the boys, and the honest result was as stated. There was much to do, dykes to be removed into mounds, dykes to be buried in situ, greens to be laid with cut turf ,tees to be built with stones, earth and turf, fencing to be erected to keep in sheep, gates for the convenience of golfers. All this was controlled effectively by Mr. Thomas Craigie, our incomparable greenkeeper. For the first two years, we could not claim that we had a golf course, but in the meantime, there was the old course at Wharbeth. Once we were in real business, we had a membership of 160."
Doddy kept on playing into his nineties. He was determined to "play his age" - to have a score, equal to or below his age, each year. At the age of 90, he played a round of 84, gross!
The Golf Club became a Limited Company in 1924. The Certificate of Incorporation states: I hereby certify that "Stromness Golf Club Limited" is this day incorporated under the Companies Acts, 1908 t0 1917, and that this Company os Limited.
Given under my hand at
James Adam, Registrar of Joint Stock Companies.
The founding Directors were representative of the town. They were John MacKay of the Stromness Hotel, Robert Macauley, Headmaster, T.R. Mowat and James Corrigall, both Drapers, David L. Drever, Bank Agent, W.S. Spence, Baker, and F.C. Kelly, Exciseman at the Stromness Distillery.
The design of the course has not changed very much until recently, except during the second world war, when the military occupied part of it. Now, thanks to the generosity of Brian and Irene Sinclair, major changes have been made to the second and the fifteenth holes. Apart from that, the founding members would recognise the course they built, over eighty years ago.
The Course Record is held by Shona Croy of the Orkney Golf Club. On
Click on the logo to view the winners of the Club championship since 1966
Click on the golf ball to see a list if office bearers since 1963
Click on the rose to view the winners of the Rosebowl since 1927