125 years of golfing tradition

From humble beginnings as a small golf course in the Victorian era of the 19th century, Duns has delevoped into a spectacular and acclaimed venue for 21st century golfers.

The club was formed 125 years ago, on 9th November 1894, at a meeting at the local Working Men’s club. Those original members were able to play over a nine hole course at Castleknowes, to the east of Duns

The first President of the club was R.M Hay of Duns Castle, and an association with the Hay family continues to this day with the present owner of Duns Castle, Mr. A.D. Hay being the current President of the club.

After the Great War the club sought new ground and in 1920 a lease was granted for the present site to the west of Duns at Woolforland Park. A.H. Scott, a golf professional from Elie in Fife, was engaged to lay out the course – the fee was two pounds ten shillings! – and the new course, still nine holes, was opened in the spring of 1921.

Initially, the course included what is now a field at the top of the present course; however, the members soon realised that target practice from an adjoining rifle range made putting on the third green rather hazardous. Consequently, the top holes were closed and additional land was leased on the site of the present first and eighteenth holes. In 1971 the club took the opportunity to purchase the land from Duns Castle Estate.

In 1994 further land was acquired which allowed the course to be extended to a full 18 holes and the course as it is presently laid out was opened for play in 1997.

A prominent feature of the layout is the use of the Wellrig burn which meanders its way through the lower part of the course. And the design features spectacular views over the Tweed valley – known as the Merse – to the Cheviot Hills in the distance.

In 1998, as a first phase in the re-development of the clubhouse, a lounge/dining area and professional kitchen facilities were added. This was followed in 2006 by the addition of modern changing facilities and the club office.

A golfer with a fine swing in the early days at Duns