Hayston Golf Club – Senior Open – Stroke Play

Next day  we visited Hayston Golf Club which was founded in 1926 amid raging contoversy that split the town of Kirkintilloch and it’s community. It all came about because of ‘the demon drink’. In 1921, after a poll of the 12,000 population, it was decreed that all the pubs in Kirkintilloch be closed and that the town should become ‘dry’. Considering that there were 14 pubs and 15 churches, the publicans had plainly been living on borrowed time! Naturally this news did not please the members of Kirkintilloch Golf Club who liked nothing better than visiting a hostelry for a dram or two after their exertions on the course. Faced with such a fearful loss of amenities, an extraordinary general meeting was called to vote on plans for a new clubhouse and an application for a liquor licence. The motion was narrowly defeated and the disaffected members promptly agreed to form a breakaway club on leased land only a stone’s throw away, but just over the county line in Stirlingshire. Thus Hayston Golf Club was born. To add a piquant note, the licensee Tom Pate, was also the club master, the equivalent to today’s secretary and was a lifelong friend of James Braid. So Braid was asked to design the course, returning on many occasions to fine-tune his original design. What’s more, Braid refused to submit an account on the grounds that it was a personal favour! However, Tom and the members would have none of that and finally forced Braid to accept the grand sum of £5.00 (approx US$7.00).

Unfortunately it rained for the duration of our round and we both returned N/R’s. As this was our first visit to Hayston the weather made the experience slightly disappointing, although the course stood up well, with a fine net 67 by club member Alex Irvine winning on the day. As usual, we enjoyed the company and made use of the bar and restaurant facilities. Perhaps return next year depending on what else is available.

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