Gullane Links Est 1854 Dirleton Castle Golf Club

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Timeline A brief History


February 20th, Dirleton Castle Golf Club was founded at a meeting in the Golf Tavern, Gullane, now the large white house, Kirklands, beside the Gullane G.C. visitors' car park. Robert Cole, butler at Archerfield, was elected as Captain and George H. Stevens, landlord of the Golf Tavern elected as Secretary. Stevens was elected as Secretary ’pro term’ but he held the post for the next 31 years. Remaining Committee members were David Saunders and Peter Cathie from Dirleton, the latter being proprietor of the Castle Inn, along with Henry Robertson and John Halliwell, both of Gullane. Dirleton Castle is the third oldest artisan club in Scotland, after Carnoustie 1842 and St Andrews 1843, and can proudly be numbered among the 25 oldest golf clubs in the world.

March 20th, Patron's Medal presented to the Club by John Grant of Kilgraston, Perthshire, the Patron of the Club. He was married to Lady Lucy Hamilton Nisbet whose family owned Archerfield. The medal was played for until 1926 after which time it was lost.


July 29th to 31st, Grand National Golf Club Tournament at St Andrews, a foursomes competition which had been proposed by Prestwick Golf Club. This competition was the first in which the golfing societies of the kingdom were pitted against one another', making it the world's first formal inter-club competition. Clubs present were Bruntsfield Links, Edinburgh Burgess, Innerleven, Montrose Royal Albert, Musselburgh, North Berwick, Prestwick, Royal & Ancient St Andrews, Royal Blackheath, Royal Perth and Dirleton Castle. (The Honourable Company and Panmure were also invited but scratched). Dirleton Castle G.C. was represented by William Carse and Robert Bertram. The winners were Royal Blackheath G.C. who beat the Royal & Ancient in the final.

Grand National Golf Club Tournament

Photograph taken at St Andrews, in front of the three year old R&A clubhouse, of competitors in the historic Grand National Golf Club Tournament in which Dirleton Castle had been invited to compete. This event took place from 29th to 31st July 1857.

Standing at back: Tom Morris, Allan Robertson (Professionals, not playing), Unknown.

Standing L to R: R. Chambers (Musselburgh), J.Dunn, R. Clark (both Bruntsfield Links), W.C. Thomson (R&A), W. Marjoribanks (Musselburgh), O.G. Campbell (North Berwick), W.M. Dougall (R&A), M.S. Thomson,?. Cowie (both Montrose Royal Albert), P.Hay (North Berwick), J.O. Fairlie (Prestwick), Sir Thomas Moncrieffe (Royal Perth), G. Glennie (Royal Blackheath), J. Williamson, J. Martin (both Edinburgh Burgess), D. Wallace, D. Marshall (both Innerleven), Robert Bertram, William Carse (both Dirleton Castle).

Seated: W. Hamilton (Prestwick), Sir Hugh Lyon Playfair (Umpire), J.W. Melville (Convenor), J.C. Stewart (Royal Blackheath), J. Condie (Royal Perth).


Stamford Hall Medal presented by George Dodd, a racehorse trainer who sometimes stayed at Stanford Hall. He died in 1859.

Wotherspoon Medal presented by Lt. (later Capt.) W. W. Wotherspoon, Club Captain 1861-62.


County Cup presented by the Earl of Wemyss for play among East Lothian clubs. Dirleton Castle first competed in 1869 and won for first time in 1886. The Club has won the County Cup 19 times the most recent victory being in 1993.


Gullane Golf Club founded.


George Stevens died. Rev. John Kerr, the Minister of Dirleton and author of The Golf Book of East Lothian, agreed to act as Secretary/Treasurer and did so for the next two years.


R.B. Haldane KT, OM, PC, KC, FRS, FBA, FSA gifted a cup to Dirleton Castle for annual competition among members of East Lothian golf clubs. In 1900 A.W. Robertson Durham won the cup for a fourth time so the trophy became his by right. Mr Haldane provided a replacement. The original cup was given back to the Club by Mrs Robertson Durham, the winner’s widow, in 1948 and is now competed for as the Durham Cup.


Watson Cup donated by R.M. Watson, an Edinburgh stockbroker and Captain 1912-13.


Jubilee Medal gifted by Mr Handyside, a local farmer, to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Dirleton Castle.


County Cup Winners

L - R: William Black, Hugh Watt, John Brotherston, James Kerr


Members who died in First World War:

James Addison

William Clark

George Dishington

Charles Eeles

David Emslie

Thomas Gilchrist

George Moffat

James Shepherd

James West


County Cup Winners

Standing: Jim Hope Snr.*, Unknown, Bob Plain, Hugh Watt*

Seated: Tom Fisher*, Hugh Cunningham (Sec'y), Unknown, J.D. Watt*

(* indicates Team Member)


Dirleton Castle took over the clubroom. This was a part of the building that is now the Golf museum.

An early post card view showing the building as it was when the Club began occupancy.

Gullane Comrades Golf Club founded.


Thomas Austin, Captain 1927-28, gifted the Austin Cup. This cup was refurbished in 1951 and is now played for as the Club Championship cup. Unfortunately all the original winners' names were removed when the cup was refurbished.


County Cup Winners

Standing: H. Watt, D. Cairncross, J. Hutchison (Sec’y), R. Himsworth, T. Dobson

Seated: J. Brotherston (Committee Member), J. Bisset (Captain)


Singapore Cup presented by D. Bisset, local hotelier, and friends H.C. Kinsman and H. Rogers all of whom had connections in South East Asia. Thomas Dobson was the first winner. He went on to win the Scottish Amateur Championship over Muirfield in the same year.

Tom Dobson receives the Scottish Amateur Championship trophy at Muirfield.


Derby Cup presented by Lord Derby for annual competition between Gullane and Dirleton Castle Golf Clubs. The first three matches were won by Dirleton Castle. Up to and including 2003 results stand at D.C.G.C. 41, G.G.C. 24, with 6 matches halved.

Winning Dirleton Castle team in front of clubroom following first Derby Cup match in 1927

Standing: ?. Gardner, J. Hutchison, Hamish Orr, Donald Davidson, Sandy Hay, Jimmy Hay, Henry Anderson, Willie Watt, Dan Gilchrist, Neil Morin, Tom Fisher, Robert Dishington, Alex Murray, John Hutchison, Willie Cook, Bob Hutchison, Jack Gilchrist, Tom Wilkie, Hugh Cunningham, Hugh Watt, Bob Black.

Seated: Bill Wallace, Andrew Dishington, Peter Morin, Jock Brotherston, Thomas Austin (Capt.), Thomas Watson, Bobby Ritchie, Willie Anderson, Douglas Cairncross.

Front: Willie Gilchrist (Sec'y.), Willie Logan, Jimmy Torley, Bob Plain, James Walker, Nattie Walker.


Lord Derby presents the Derby Cup plus miniature of Cup to Dirleton Castle Captain Thomas Austin in front the old Gullane G.C. clubhouse in 1928.


Haldane Cup Presentation 1929

Charles Mann receiving the Haldane Cup from Dirleton Castle Captain, Dan Gilchrist.

Also in picture: Sandy Russell (Starter), Hugh Watt, Jimmy Kerr, William Logan, Andrew Mann, Bob Plain, Unknown, Willie Gilchrist (Sec'y., partly obscured), William Huish (Caddie Master)


Members who lost their lives in Second World War:

C. Neave

J.D. Sibbald

J.J. Stevenson

A.S. Stewart


Colville Cup presented by Mr J.D. Colville, the local blacksmith, for competition by members over the age of 50 years.


Club centenary year. With William Cook the Captain as Chairman, a dinner was held in the Queen's Hotel, Gullane on Friday 19th February with invited guests from other golf clubs, Bass Rock, Dunbar Castle, Gullane, Kilspindie, Luffness, Tranent and the Honourable Company. Lord Courtauld Thomson, Honorary President of Dirleton Castle, presented a cup to commemorate the centenary. A Jack White putter was presented by John Keir of Musselburgh in memory of members who died in the 1939-1945 war. A set of 6 old golf clubs used by Tom Morris along with a feathery and 3 other old golf balls were gifted to the club by J. Kent Richardson. The guests were entertained by a variety of artistes ranging from a baritone to a violinist along with a “versatile entertainer”. A foursomes competition was held over number 1 course the following morning - won by Sid Davies and David Doughty, Ian Cameron, who was on the Club Committee in 1954, is once again on Committee in the sesquicentennial year of 2004.

John Gordon elected Secretary.

Group at Centenary Dinner 19th February 1954

Standing: J. McFarlane (Capt. Tranent G.C.), S. Davies (D.C.G.C.), J. Fender (Capt. Bass Rock G.C.), J. Gordon (Sec'y. D.C.G.C.), A.F. Sibbald (D.C.G.C.), J. Stewart (Luffness New G.C.), A. Currie (D.C.G.C.), A. Fleming (D.C.G.C.), G.W. Mackie (Ex-Capt. Gullane G.C.), A. Bisset (Capt. Dunbar Castle G.C.), G. Armet (President Dunbar Castle G.C.), Sir Edward Stevenson KCVO MC, A. Walker (D.C.G.C.), I. Bowhill (Ex-Capt. Gullane G.C.)

Seated: Col. J.G. Dawson DSO TD (Capt, Gullane G.C.), Lord Courtauld Thomson KBE CB (Hon. President D.C.G.C.), W. Cook (Capt. D.C.G.C.), J.G. Kynoch (Kilspindie G.C.), C.D. Stevenson (Ex-Capt. Gullane G.C.)


Invitation by Royal Blackheath G.C. to play in a foursomes competition as part of their 350th anniversary celebrations. Along with 73 other clubs, Dirleton Castle played for a replica of the original silver claret jug played for in the competition at St Andrews in 1857. The Castle was represented by Alex Walker and Ian Cameron, David Doughty and Jim Hope. Walker and Cameron finished joint seventh overall in the competition which was won by Wentworth G.C.

In 1992 the Club was once again invited to Royal Blackheath, when the Captain Tom Smith along with Ian Cameron, David Doughty and Jim Hope represented the Castle.


Formation of East Lothian Winter League. Dirleton Castle was one of the founder clubs and have won the League three times: in 1967-68, 1974-75 and last won in 1989-90 defeating Gullane to secure the final points for the title. The trophy was presented at the Winter League Silver Jubilee event held at Haddington G.C.


Vic Logan won the Esmond Trophy, run by Bass Rock G.C., having also won it the previous year. He was the first player to win the Esmond Trophy in consecutive years.


Following protracted negotiations with Gullane Golf Club regarding their lease, and despite the preparation of provisional plans by the Castle for renovations, Dirleton Castle's use of the clubroom came to an end when the lease was terminated.


County Cup Winners

L - R: Jim Inglis, Ian Cameron, John Gordon (Sec’y.), Sid Davies (Capt.), Tom Lyall, Jim Hope


Daily Mail National Foursomes Competition won by Vic Logan and Jim Hope at Whitley Bay G.C. They won the competition again the following year at Burnham & Berrow G.C., Somerset.


Jim Inglis won the Gullane G.C. Club Championship for the 4th consecutive year. In 1983 he won again, making 6 years in total. That year Jim was also Champion of Dirleton Castle and Luffness.


December. Extraordinary General Meeting held in the Church Hall to discuss proposal for integration with Gullane Golf Club.


Integration Agreement signed with Gullane Golf Club restricting membership to 100 (excluding G.G.C. employees). Membership of Gullane G.C. was now a prerequisite for entry into Dirleton Castle G.C.


John Gordon retired as Secretary after 31 years in the post, the same time as the original Secretary George Stevens. His place was filled by Ronnie Atkinson who himself served for 15 years before standing down in 1999.

George Patterson, at the time a Junior member, captained the Scottish Schoolboys team against English Schoolboys.


March. Erection of Captains and Champions Boards in back bar of Gullane G.C. clubhouse.


Dirleton Castle qualified for the National Finals of the British Airways Team Championship at St. Pierre, Chepstow. The Club once again reached the finals at St. Pierre in 1991 when the sponsorship had been taken over by Vauxhall.

L - R: Stan Shearer (Captain), Lawrie Main, Tom Lyall, Ian Logan, Jock Mason, Gordon Jarvis, Sandy Jarvis (Past Captain)


Old clubs and Club memorabilia go on display in cabinet in foyer of Gullane G.C. These items were donated to the Club in 1954 and were loaned to North Berwick Museum in 1968. They went missing but were finally traced in 1987.

Shaig Logan Medal first played for.  It was donated by Maureen Hunter in memory of her father who died in 1988.  Shaig was Captain in 1946-47 and served as Head Greenkeeper at Muirfield for many years.

East Lothian Winter League Winners 1989-90

L - R: George Patterson, Vic Logan, Jeff Aitken, Alan Macdonald, Ian Cameron, Gordon MacLeod, Derek Hutchinson (Capt.), Ronnie Atkinson (Sec'y.), Allan Morin, Geoff Perry, Andy Short, Tom Lyall. Inset: Andrew Hume’


The match against the Bass Rock G.C. was reinstated. This fixture dates back to the 1880's and was one of the Castle's earliest inter club matches.


Club Constitution revised. Continued membership was introduced, under certain limited conditions, for members moving outside the Parish of Dirleton.

Willie Sibbald Trophy donated by Ann Didcock in memory of her father, Willie Sibbald. To be played for as a winter foursomes competition.


Publication of A History of Dirleton Castle Golf Club 1854-1991 by Dr. Audrey Paterson. This represented a painstaking examination of the minute books since the Club's inception and remains the definitive historical record of the Club based on these records.


County Cup Winners

L - R: Vic Logan, Jamie Sime, George Patterson & Alan MacDonald.


First playing of match versus Aberlady G.C. which is played on alternate years over Gullane No. 2 and Kilspindie.


Craigs Cup presented by Arnott Craigs for the best combined score in the winter medals of December and January, played respectively over No. 2 and No. 3 courses.


Club Dinner with guest speakers, and including presentation of prizes, replaced the Annual Dinner Dance.


A Club flag was acquired and was first raised for the Spring Medal in March.


Presentation of Allan Gow Trophy by Miss B. J. Gatherum in memory of a friend of her father's who was a member from 1900, a greenkeeper and clubmaker who went on, as a professional, to found the Girton Golf Club in Cambridgeshire in 1936.

Presentation of Ron Atkinson Trophy by Ronnie Atkinson, Club Captain 1981-83 and Hon. Sec. 1984-99, for play in the Summer Medal.


Davie Morin Trophy first played for. Presented by Margaret Morin in memory of Davie, Captain 1980-81.


150th anniversary of foundation of Dirleton Castle Golf Club. A Greensomes Stableford competition on the No. 1 played on May 29th, followed by a dinner in the evening in the Maitlandfield House Hotel, Haddington with guest speakers. Invited golf clubs and associations include Aberlady, Bass Rock, Bruntsfield Links, Caermount, Gifford, Gullane, Gullane Comrades, Musselburgh, North Berwick, Prestwick, The Royal and Ancient, Royal Blackheath, Royal Burgess, Royal Montrose, Royal Musselburgh, Royal Perth, Lothian’s Golf Association and Scottish Golf Union.

Sesquicentenary Celebrations Organising Committee

Standing: Arnott Craigs, Tom Saddler, David Kirkwood, Joe Howgego, Ronnie Atkinson, Walter Mason, Ian Cameron, Bill Robertson, Danny King, Alex Lafferty, Bill Cowan

Seated: Brendan McCarthy, John Taylor (Secretary), James Coutts (Vice Captain, Chairman), Jeff Aitken (Captain), Tom Smith

Sesquicentenary book timeline, on which this web page is based, compiled by Audrey Paterson.

2008 web site launched.


Geoff Perry Trophy & Don Hair Cup donated to the Club.


Young Player Of The Year Cup donated to the Club.


DCGC Members in front of the old clubroom (now Pro Shop/Museum) following the 2018 Derby Cup match v GGC.  It is believed that the last time the Club gathered in this location was after the inaugural match in 1927 (see above).

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