History

Ladybank Golf Club was established in 1879. The architect of the original 6-hole course, Old Tom Morris, played in the Autumn Meeting that year as a ‘stranger’ and won despite his handicap of +3 strokes. In 1910 a circular 9 holes was formed with the holes varying in length from 330 to 400 yards with ‘two short sporting’ holes at the fourth and seventh. A further 9 holes were laid down in 1958 and incorporated within the existing course in 1961 to form an 18 hole course.

A new Clubhouse was built in 1971 with the existing building becoming the present-day Proshop. The year 1978 was a landmark year for Ladybank with nomination as a venue for Open Championship Final Qualifying. The course of today is still a severe examination of the professional’s course management skills. For lesser mortals this is a challenge to relish with accuracy off the tee more important than length.

During the past twenty five years a galaxy of stars has graced the turf including, Darren Clarke, Justin Leonard, Bernard Langer, Sam Torrance, Ian Woosnam and the late Payne Stewart. The Club proudly displays pictures of two honorary members, Jack Nicklaus and Seve Ballesteros, playing in an exhibition match over the course in 1983.

The present Professional record holder is Paul Affleck having scored a 65, on the altered course, to equal the score set by Mark Brooks in 1995 Local heroes include George Will, a Ryder Cup player, and Dale Reid, O.B.E., a leading lady golfer and now forever remembered as Captain of the victorious European Solheim Cup team at Loch Lomond in 2000.

Timeline

1879

Ladybank Golf Club formed - the 15 founder members included the local Sheriff and four reverend gentlemen. The initial entry fee/annual subscription was one guinea and Tom Morris was commissioned to lay out a 6-hole course. Later that year Tom Morris returned to play as a 'stranger' in the Autumn medal which he won by 3 shots.

1895

The members agreed to permit the recently formed Ladies Club access to the course but a further twenty-five years would elapse before the ladies were 'permitted' to appoint a Secretary from their own ranks.

1899

Voluntary subscriptions totalled £1 6/10 for the year - this would have been more had the Cash Box not been forcibly opened during the summer and a sum of at least 5/- stolen.

1903

A green fee tariff of 3d per round was agreed - prior to this decision visitors (or strangers) were 'charged' what they wanted to give and no more.

1904

The Autumn meeting incorporated a handicap competition to celebrate the Club's Silver Jubilee. The prizes were bought from subscriptions totalling £4+: -

1st H G White 91 14 77 carriage clock Springvale Hawk Golf Ball
2nd W Lambert 95 16 79 set of 5 clubs
3rd J Watt 81 0 81 doz. Springvale Hawk golf balls

1910

New extended circular course (9 holes) opened by Dr. Ferris Mudie (Captain) with the honour of driving the first ball accorded to Mrs Mudie. The holes varied in length from 330 to 400 yards with two short sporting holes, the fourth and seventh. When the history of golf came to be written it would probably be St. Andrews first, afterwards Ladybank. ('Hear, hear')

1914

All match and medal competitions abandoned for the season due to the National Crisis.

1915

Deputation to the Colonel of Annsmuir Camp regarding 'cutting up of the course' by yeomanry.

1916

Nineteen members on active service exempted from payment of subscription. Deficit of £10: 3/ recorded due to loss of revenue from visiting golfers.

1922

Scratch score - course measured at 5984 yards, par of 72 with 4 shots added to compensate for fairways and rough.

1925

New Clubhouse built (cost £372: 1/10) - funds raised from Bazaar totalled £554: 17/3.

1929

The Jubilee celebrations took the form of a Mixed Foursomes and 'pitch and putting' competitions.

1939

Members, including the Captain, who were called to military service permitted to continue their membership without payment and no entrance fee charged on their return to civil duties.

1941

Notice on first tee requesting replacement of turf printed in Polish.

1950

Course purchased (144 acres) for £843: 2/ -, the amount being based on the number and value of trees on the property. An offer to purchase a further 28 acres of ground to the west of the Letham Road was declined - the Club subsequently did acquire the property forty-five years later for a figure 200 times greater than the original asking price!

1951

Application from George Will, a Juvenile member, that he be admitted to the Senior Club. It was unanimously agreed that he was worthy to step up. George Will would become the first Fifer to win the Scottish Boys' Championship in 1955. (North Berwick) Following his win in the British Youths at Harrogate George was made an Honorary Member of the Club and turned Professional. In a long and distinguished career George would gain Ryder Cup honours.

1962

Official opening of the new 18-hole course with an Open Amateur Week enjoyed by 450 golfers despite the inclement weather.

1971

Official opening of the new Clubhouse by Sir William Walker. An exhibition match was held later in the year with George Will, Brian Huggett, Jim Farmer and local scratch member Billy Thomson taking part. Brian Huggett would remark that the course was of championship status.

1972

Dale Reid elected to full membership of the Club. After representing her country as a juvenile Dale would turn Professional, be granted Honorary membership of the Club and become a leading European Tour player. Following her successful captaincy of the European Solheim Cup team Dale was awarded the O.B.E. in 2001.

1978

Ladybank accorded Final Open Qualifying status for the first time. Further honours would follow in 1984, 1990, 1995 and 2000.

1979

Centenary dinner held in the Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews. Other events included a ladies exhibition match and a Pro-Am tournament.

1983

Exhibition match played between Jack Nicklaus and Seve Ballesteros. It was entirely appropriate that the match was played in glorious sunshine - weather 'fit for gods'.

1998

Ladybank hosted The Scottish Open Amateur Seniors Championship along with The British Boys Championship.

2000

Again Ladybank was used as a course for Final Qualifying for the 25th Open Championship to be held at St.Andrews.

2001

Ladybank played host to the Ladies British Amateur Championship. With more than half the entrants playing off scratch or better this was the strongest field ever assembled in the UK.

2005

Again Ladybank was used for Final Qualifying for the 134th Open Championship at St.Andrews.

2010

Ladybank was used as Final Qualifying for the 150th Anniversary of The Open Championship which was held at St.Andrews.

2018

Ladybank was rewarded for its excellence with final qualifying for The Senior Open Championship hosted at St Andrews.

2019

Former Ladybank Golf Club captain Bob Drummond was instrumental in publishing The Ladybank Golf Club Chronicles (Napoleon to Nicklaus) during its 140th anniversary year.

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Currently open
07.12.2019 08:21
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Course open on main greens. Tee mats in use on par 3s Preferred lies