Lauder to the fore with new clubhouse opening

Gerald Maitland Carew, Secretary/Treasurer Dave Dickson, David Parker, Ladies Captain, Lynn Gray and the Men's Captain Arch Anderson.
Gerald Maitland Carew, Secretary/Treasurer Dave Dickson, David Parker, Ladies Captain, Lynn Gray and the Men's Captain Arch Anderson.
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A significant milestone in the 117-year history of Lauder Golf Club was reached with the opening of the new clubhouse at the Chesters Hill course.

Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker and the Lord Lieutenant of Lauderdale, Captain Gerald Maitland-Carew, attended the official opening alongside past and present members.

And the ceremony marked a high point in the sometimes turbulent history of the club.

Founded in 1896, it was originally sited beside the Stow Road and its design was supervised by Willie Park Junior, who would go on to win The Open twice.

It later moved to its current site at Chesters Hill, but by the 1930s, interest in the course declined and it was closed.

The course was reopened in 1963, thanks to a £500 donation by John Adam Scroggie, a former police commissioner of India who hailed from the Royal Burgh.

However, the 1970s and 80s saw members grow increasingly concerned with the state of the course while it was in the control of the local authority. After several failed proposals to take over the running of the course, members voted 81-4 to take control of the Galashiels Road facility.

The club started with £1,000 in the bank and were given second-hand gang mowers, grass cutting machinery and an old tractor from the council.

Since then, a new equipment shed has been built, watering system installed and major drainage project completed alongside new tees, tree planting and work on the greens to improve the nine holes.

Then, five years ago, the committee decided to tackle the last task on the wishlist and renovate the clubrooms.

Assistance was received from Scottish Borders Council, Ettrick and Lauderdale Sports Council, Entrust and sportscotland, the latter providing an £83,600 grant.

Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, said: “sportscotland was delighted to invest £83,600 to help Lauder Golf Club complete the extension and upgrade of their clubhouse.

“These improved facilities will allow the club to further develop its links with Active Schools, as well as expanding their ClubGolf programme, the national initiative which sportscotland invests £500,000 into each year.

“Next year’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles provides an excellent opportunity for golf in Scotland to continue its development, and this project at Lauder Golf Club will help to encourage more people to take part in the sport.”