TOBERMORY CLUB HISTORY
The Tobermory Golf Club was founded in 1896 at a meeting in the Aros Hall on the 28th April and the first match was played over a course at Erray on the 10th June that year! Two years later the club built a course at Sgriobruadh. Between the years 1900 and 1907 the club lapsed.
In 1907 a meeting of “Ladies and Gentlemen interested in the resuscitation of Tobermory Golf Club” was held and the club reconstituted with a course between Achafraoich and Sgriobruadh one mile out of Tobermory to the north side of the Dervaig Road.
In 1935 the Western Isles Hotel then in the ownership of MacBraynes built an 18 hole course, designed by David Adams. They invited the Tobermory Golf Club to play on it and in 1937 the club was invited to manage the course and the name was changed to the Western Isles Golf Club. The records cease during the war.
In 1947 the course was reopened as a 9 hole course owing to the expense of its upkeep. There was a crisis about the grazing of cattle on the course and the committee said it would disband the club if no arrangement could be reached. An agreement was made but sheep were to be allowed on the course and proved to be a great nuisance. Mr William Christie, the greenkeeper from 1933, was reappointed and continued until 1952 . The club could not find anyone to take the post of greenkeeper so each member of the committee took over responsibility for one green. The following year the Club took over the course which they rented from the hotel. The course improved steadily from this point. Greenkeeping was in the hands of W.MacLean and continued in his care until his death in 1966 when he was succeeded by Richard Hughes.
Rabbit and sheep damage continued to be a problem.
A more pressing problem arose in 1973 when the proprietor of the Western Isles Hotel wished to develop part of the course. The defence was mounted by Treasurer Alan Brown and Secretary Jake Backus and an attempt was made to purchase the course for the club. Despite the fact that this was unsuccessful, the threat of losing part of the course diminished.
In 1976 the new owner of the Western Isles Hotel, Derek McAdam completely re-fenced the course and for the first time the course was free from stock. This allowed the new greenkeeper John Wilshire to increase the pace of the improvements. Negotiations were started to obtain a long term lease or an option to purchase the course but little progress was made. At the A.G.M. in February 1987 it was agreed that the name of the club revert to its original title “Tobermory Golf Club” and in the following year negotiations for the purchase of the course from Mr McAdam were finalised.
As part of the purchase agreement the course had to be rearranged with a new entry road off the Erray Road. The old 6th hole became the 1st and contracts were arranged for the road and foundations of a new clubhouse which was built by Angus Robertson and completed in early 1992. Our joy at the opening in June was tempered with sadness at the death of Alasdair Brown a few months before, he had been the driving force in the negotiations having served as Captain, Secretary and Treasurer in the years leading up to the purchase.
The committee set about improving the course helped by a grant of £5,000 from the R & A. A new tractor, rough cutter and a greens mower were purchased. New tees have been constructed each year. Our green keeper became full time in 1994. The course has since gone from strength to strength.
The records of the club are intact, with minutes of every committee meeting and A.G.M. since its founding in 1896.