Tenth anniversary of Shiskine clubhouse

A group photo of all the guests at the opening day at the new Shiskine clubhouse.

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The clubhouse at Shiskine Golf and Tennis Club is 10 years old this week. Unfortunately in the circumstances there can be no celebrations although golf is expected to resume soon. Here we look back at the history of the club and the milestone opening day on Saturday May 29, 2010.

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Golf at Shiskine started in 1896 on a nine-hole course designed by Willie Fernie of Troon with a small hut as a clubhouse and a separate, smaller ladies locker room.

Over the years the course was modified into its current 12-hole layout as designed by Willie Park of Musselburgh. The clubhouse was extended in 1922, 1932 and again in 1987.

By 2003, however, the building was showing signs of its age and, whilst adequate, was not of a standard to meet the requirements of members and visiting parties. So the committee debated whether it should extend the existing building or explore the option of a new-build.

Both ideas had merit and under the captaincy of the late Alan Johnston plans to extend the clubhouse were put to members to gauge the level of support. Some were in favour, but others wanted a new-build so a period of consultation started and a feasibility study looking at the cost of a new-build and how it could be funded was set up.

A sub committee was established and it appointed an architect to draw up plans and explore fundraising methods. This included establishing links with SportScotland about the possibility of obtaining a grant and conducting presentations with question and answer sessions in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Shiskine to reflect the areas where members lived.

The sub committee presented its findings and recommendations to an extraordinary general meeting held at Shiskine in 2008 and approval was given to support a new build subject to not exceeding a budget of £650,000.

For the next two years grant applications were made, requests sent to all members asking for donations, non-interest bearing loan notes, debentures and an annual levy of £50 for three years on all adult members. An overdraft was put in place with the bank on a draw-down basis should the need arise but this was never used.

Gradually the required funding was secured including a generous grant from SportScotland in support of a drive to improve facilities and coaching for juniors through participation in the Scottish ‘firstclubgolf’ initiative which continues to this day.

By spring 2009 plans were complete and a tender document was issued to interested contractors with the local firm Davie Murchie Construction  selected as contractor.

Work on the project started in the early summer of 2009 and was completed by April 2010, three weeks ahead of schedule and marginally under budget.

On Saturday 29 May 2010, the club organised an official opening of the new clubhouse attended by 100 or so members. The ceremony was conducted by the late Colin Bannatyne, a past captain, honorary member and club historian.

Honorary member Gordon Stewart said: ‘I am sure all members and visitors look forward very much to the day when it is considered safe enough to re-open the course and clubhouse for us all to enjoy again. Perhaps it would be fitting, given the present climate dominated by COVID-19, to have something special to look forward to in the form of Alan Stewart, our new caterer, being encouraged to provide us with a party evening to celebrate the tenth anniversary?’

Club captain Fiona Henderson added: ‘The project was driven by Gordon Stewart and Hamish Biggar with the support and assistance of Donald Turner. It is thanks to their successful campaigning that we have the lovely clubhouse we have today.’