The origins of our Club date back to 1904 when a number of public-spirited gentlemen negotiated with local landowner Sir Thomas Burnett to acquire a 19-year lease to develop the 73 acres of Kineskie Farm. Its farm buildings occupied the site of the existing Clubhouse, and the original round house mill is now being used as the Club’s Professional shop.

At that time nine holes were available for play, but in 1905 an 18-hole course was designed by Archie Simpson of Royal Aberdeen GC, twice runner-up in the Open Championship. It opened for play on 1st July, and the members enjoyed playing on new, quality turf that was sourced from the nearby Crathes Estate.

Golf Illustrated wrote at the time that “it would be difficult to name a more charming spot than Banchory” and noted that its position next to the silvery River Dee with its “wooded banks, foaming rapids and broad reaches of water” promotes a sense of restfulness and seclusion, a comparable comment on the experience of today’s course too.

The Banchory Ladies Golf Club was formed in 1909, and in 1921 the Club had its first lady professional, Mary Robertson. The inaugural Ladies Open Golf Tournament was played in 1922, four years prior to the inaugural Banchory Men’s Open.

Alterations to our course have occurred over the years. In 1914 the scorecard showed a total length of 4,603 yards, a 300-yard reduction from the original Simpson course but this could simply be down to more accurate measurements being adopted. During WWII the land was used for training by the Royal Scots Fusiliers, and large wooden poles were erected across the course to prevent gliders and light planes landing. Eventually, in 1943, the far end of the course was ploughed and cultivated with potatoes reducing the course to 15 holes. It was fully restored by 1947, and discussions about taking ownership of the land from the Crathes Estate began ten years later. In 1959, Banchory Golf Club finally took title of their own course.

A new clubhouse, completed in 1966, was a focal point for the growing Club but unfortunately in the early hours of the 25th April 1978 the recently refurbished Clubhouse, which was due to be opened only a few days later, was completely destroyed by fire, robbing the Club of many of its records. A new building was erected and opened in 1980 and is the one you will visit today.

Our course has had its fair share of champions visit its fairways. In 1908 Harry Vardon, six-times Open Champion, and “local lad” George Duncan, also an Open Champion, visited Banchory Golf Club to play an exhibition game. Ryder Cup players, internationally respected professionals and talented amateurs have all played our course, and our members have been fortunate over the years to have enjoyed the services of some of the best. In 1970 Harry Bannerman, Ryder Cup player, joined as our professional and in 1986 a young Paul Lawrie joined us as an Assistant Professional. He worked here for four years before joining the tour and, of course, won the Open Championship in 1999. To recognise this great achievement, he was presented with Honorary Life membership of Banchory Golf Club.

Our Club continues to grow, and talented juniors of our past are now forging a path globally in the development of golf for tomorrow’s tour players. As we adapt to the changes in the environment, our commitment to sustainability in all areas of our Club and course management is essential, allowing us to create the future we wish to leave for future members.