I came across a couple of very old postcards of Islay a while back with lovely views of another golf links course on Islay, the Gartmain Golf Course. Many of the (older) Ileach will know of this golf course which was situated between Bowmore and Bridgend, or better between Gartmain and the High Road to be precise. The golf course opened in 1907, 16 years after the opening of the Machrie, and closed again in 1938. It's interesting to see that, although all traces of this golf course are now more or less vanished, there are many traces left on the internet. I want to give you an overview of the websites with information of the old Gartmain golf course and a couple of images which I found:
The website Tee Time Scotland has the following information in an article about the Machrie: "By 1936, the guide books were still enthusing that it was 'the finest links in Scotland. Many golfers, enthusiasts in their praise, say there is no better natural golf course in the world'. Earlier in the twentieth century there were also shorter courses at Gartmain and Uisgeantsuidhe on the island and a nine hole course has been claimed for Port Askaig." It's interesting to read about some of the other golf courses Islay seemed to have had. I had heard from someone on Islay that there used to be a golf course near Bruichladdich, close to a chapel ruin, which could be the one referred to in this article as Uiskentuie. I haven't heard about a golf course near Port Askaig! Continue reading...
The Seanchas Ile project gives the following information about the Gartmain Golf Course: "There were many coming in... between Bowmore and Bridgend, it started to be quite a Lowland place because lots of golfers were coming in and tourists and well, as they call it [?] they were coming on trips and there was a pair from Glasgow and a pair from Paisley and the thing was going all summer. And there was a golf course up at Gartmain and many people gathered there and they would be from Bowmore and Bridgend and around where the would be staying... throughout the entire place, they would be gathering at the golf course and going around there it was, as they would say, quite a popular place!"
This isn't it yet, there is more information on the Gartmain golf course and the most interesting and detailed information comes from the book "Isle of Islay - Looking Back" a book of photographs published by The Museum of Islay Life in 1998: "Gartmain Golf Course, Bowmore. Gartmain Golf Course Club House (picture below). The building became a dwelling house after the closing of the golf course in 1938; the McIntyre family stayed there. It was demolished in 1986. The course, which extended from Gartmain to the High Road, was of nine holes with a Bogey score of 41 and holes varying from 180 to 430 yards. It was a natural course with good turf. It was said that 'the player who beat the Colonel on level terms requires to play very good golf.'"
Bowmore from Gartmain Golf Course
Colour Postcard Gartmain Golf Course
Gartmain Golf Course Club House