The Irvine & Fullarton Times reported on the 22nd February, 1907, that Irvine was a flutter with excitement at the prospect of a municipal golf course being provided for the growing popularity of the ancient game. Golf had been a popular sport in the Irvine area for more than 100 years. The Moor and the aptly named Golf-fields were popular locations amongst the keen golfers to practice their skills. Golf was banned for some time on the Moor due to damage to windows and danger to pupils of the newly built Academy (1801).
At the Council meeting on the 12th April (1907), Provost Borland intimated that a golf course had been under consideration by the Recreation Committee. Mr Tulloch of Gailes had been approached to make a feasibility study of the area and report back to the Committee. As a result, they recommended that they should proceed with the layout provided by Mr Tulloch.
The estimated cost of laying out the course was not expected to exceed £90. This sum included labour and the following tools, etc. Horse mower, hand mower, two hand rollers, hole cutter, hole tins, flags, tee discs, sand boxes, two spades, etc., together with 9 greens. “The annual cost of upkeep would, in my opinion, amount to £80, and would provide for a green-keeper and cost of cutting with horse mower”.
Provost Borland performed th official opening ceremony on Saturday, 8th June 1907; Mr John Parker, Convenor of the Golf Committee, with the advice to drive the ball off the 1st tee “far and true”, presented him with a silver “Cleek”. The “Cleek” is on exhibit in the lounge.
Fine weather greeted a large crowd to witness the proceedings, Provost Borland, in his remarks, paid tribute to the hard work performed by Mr Parker and his committee, and reminded the audience that only 5 weeks had passed since the Council passed the resolution to build a golf course. The course, when completed, will be 2475 yds in length. There were no bunkers at this stage, despite the course being built on sandy soil.
Prior to the opening of the course there wer 300 names showing interest, and 250 yearly tickets were sold. The Officers of the 4th Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders presented a MEDAL for competition; this medal is still keenly competed for every year.
As a result of a meeting held in the Institute Halls earlier, a well-attended meeting was presided over by Mr Alec Angus; he intimated that at the former meeting, it was unanimously resolved to form a Golf Club, and it had been recommended to name it RAVENSPARK GOLF CLUB. This was unanimously agreed to. The following appointments were made:
Honorary President: PROVOST BORLAND
Captain: ROBERT CRAWFORD
Secretary: D. C. MILLAR
The meeting also resolved to fix the fee at 1s (5p) per annum.
The first Club competition was held in the week 12th – 19th August. All competitors had to start from scratch, and playoff their competing two rounds on any day of the week for handicapping purposes. Mr Ephraim Shaw with a score of 80 was the winner of the first competition. Mr J Tulloch Jnr. and Mr R Scott tied for 2nd place (81).
Irvine Ravenspark Golf Club, Kidsneuk Lane, Irvine, KA12 8SR