The possibility of forming a golf club in Uplawmoor was first formally discussed at a meeting of interested gentlemen in the Old School House in the village on April 2, 1903. Major William Mure, the owner of the Caldwell Estate, had already been interviewed by two of those in attendance that evening after an area of his land had previously been identified as the most advantageous site for a course.
Mr D Howatson and Mr D G Nicholson told the meeting Major Mure was “favourably disposed towards the venture and had granted the use of certain fields within the policies of Caldwell Estate for a golf course on the understanding that suitable terms could be arranged with the grazing tenant, Mr Raeside, of Westerland.”
Major Mure even pledged £20, a generous donation indeed in those days and also promised to assist further by helping to put the grounds in order.
Just a few short weeks after the clubs formation, Willie Fernie had laid out his original course and golfers started to play over it. So it is hardly surprising the condition of the course left a great deal to be desired in those formative years.
A month after the course was opened the club minutes show the club captain, Mr Howatson, had “procured a man to cut grass over the course.” The minutes continued: “This man would work two days a week to keep the green in order over the summer months.” One of his first tasks was to erect fences around the greens.
Farmyard animals grazing across the land, an absence of properly qualified greenkeeping staff and the first members being blissfully unaware of the game’s etiquette all added up to a recipe for disaster. In short, the course was nothing more than a glorified farmer’s field with tees and greens.
All the above information are excepts from a softback book produced for the 100 year anniversary of the club – Caldwell Golf Club: The First Hundred Years – 1903 -2003. This was printed by Akros printers and if you are interested, there should be a copy available in the clubhouse for you to peruse.