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Spean Bridge Golf Club

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The first golf course in Spean Bridge was opened in around 1897, at Blarour. Traces of it can still be seen from the present course, looking across the glen to the hillside above the A82. These Victorians must have been very fit to play on such a steep course, especially in such heavy clothing, but presumably their downhill drives would have been satisfyingly long.

The present course was laid out in the middle 1950s by a group of local men. It was very much a communal effort with an unusual division of labour.

Roddy Campbell’s father, Sandy, was one of these founder members, and Roddy recalls how things were done.

“The course was accessed from the level-crossing outside the village. There were nine holes but laid out differently and covering an area smaller than nowadays.

“Once the overall design was decided, it was up to each family to build a green and maintain it for the first year or so. Some families got friends to help them but one green was built by one man on his own. There was much discussion of suitable types of grass and top-dressing and such like. I remember some people using hand clippers to keep the grass nice and short!

“Bill Chalmers looked after the fairways with an old tractor pulling some unwieldy mowers.”

The leading light in this was Euan Campbell, the postmaster, and Fr MacKellaig was also very much to the fore, but several of the greens were built by families who are still represented in the village, including Roddy’s own, along with the MacFarlanes and the Toals.

Today’s club has a thriving Ladies' section and a membership covering a wide area but Spean Bridge residents – such as Club Captain, David Langan – are still active golfers and well represented on the committee.

In recent years the club has built a new clubhouse and continues to develop the course, and with a new bunker programme under way, Spean golfers will have fresh challenges this year.

This article appeared in Lochaber Life, May 2015.

A Bit of History

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