Lochmaben Golf Club was founded in 1926 and the original 9 holes were designed by James Braid, the five times Open Champion. The course encompasses three archaeological sites of historic importance while a fourth site, the Gallows Hill, lies across the road from the fourth tee. The second green is the site of one of Bruce’s castles; indeed the original fortress there dates from well before that. The remains of the mottes are clearly visible. On the ninth there are the remains of the Mount Pleasant settlement and the enclosures of Skelvieland.
It was very much a hand to mouth existence in the early days, the Club surviving by dint of careful stewardship, fund raising efforts and the goodwill of local business men. As with many courses, sheep had grazing rights. It was not until 1956 that the greens were fenced off to keep the sheep off them.
The Club was brought to its knees during the Second World War. The ground was taken over by the Royal Engineers who were stationed at nearby Halleaths for training and exercises. No golf was played for five years. In July 1946 a meeting was held to discuss the future, if any, of the Club and so it was that in July 1947 the club held its second opening. By December of that year, however, the deteriorating financial position was such that the then treasurer proposed that the club be wound up forthwith. Luckily a counter proposal to “explore all avenues of fund raising to survive” was passed. Fund raising began in earnest in January 1947 and the Club survived. In January 1955 a new clubhouse was officially opened. Two major additions have since been made to it. With the rise in popularity of golf since then, the Club has grown and prospered thanks to careful stewardship by committees over the years.
Succeeding committees had long nurtured a dream of extending the course to 18 holes. When the opportunity arose to acquire the land from the neighbouring Broadchapel Estate in the early 1990s, the dream became a reality. The official opening of the new course took place in 1995. A further 18 acres of land was purchased in 2003 to make two completely new holes and thus eliminate two par 3s. The course now measures nearly 6,000 yards and the SSS is 70.
ROBERT THE BRUCE THE CASTLES, AND THE BATTLES
Lochmaben and the surrounding area is rich with history, and a must to visit for anyone with an interest in Robert the Bruce. There is a magnificent statue of Robert the Bruce just outside the Town Hall.
In the 13th century the Bruces built a castle at Lochmaben. It was most likely a keep, as well as a possible place that King Robert I of Scotland (Bruce) was born. That is the reason that Lochmaben adopted the motto of “From us is born the liberator king” in Latin E NOBIS LIBERATOR REX. It is this early castle that has shaped a few of the early holes on the golf course, with the footprint of the mottes still very prominent, and easily recognisable.
The main tourist signs will direct you to a later Castle,a huge and still impressive construction, towards the south end of the Castle Loch. this castle was built around 1300 by King Edward, and was an altogether stronger and sturdier structure than the original Castle.
The Castle was an important part of many battles, the Wars of Scottish Independence, and the Battle of Lochmaben Fair in 1484 amongst them.The Castle was finally abandoned sometime after 1600,Lochmaben having seen its last seige.