Subject: Requested information
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 09:24:16 +0000
From: "Gary Stangoe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sorry we have taken so long to get back to you I have attached
all the necessary information Our premier rooms are quite lovely with
uninterrupted views over the Moray Firth I have also enclosed a document about
the history of Spey Bay We scanned it using OCR and there are various mistakes
but I hope you pick up on the reference to the "unfortunate Mr Duffus"
Designed in 1906 by Ben Sayers, the
course opening was performed by two Open Champions and later became the home
course of Ramsay MacDonald. Situated on the shores of the Moray Firth enjoying
some of the finest sunshine records in the country, sample the delights and
challenge of Spey Bay, home to the 2000 Scottish Professional Assistant’s
Round Golf Package
Roll & Coffee on arrival, soup and sandwich lunch with High Tea and Home
Bakes all served in the fully refurbished Spey Bay Hotel where you and your
party are assured of a warm welcome.
Only £28 per head £30 Weekends (Limited Availabilty)
Round Golf Package
and sandwich on arrival, with a Steak Supper to complete the perfect afternoon.
– Saturday tee-off time after 1 p.m. Sundays after 2p.m.
£20 per head £22 Weekends (limited availability)
To arrange your Golf outing please contact
Spey Bay Hotel
Moray IV32 7PJ
Tel. 01343 820424 Fax. 01343 829282
Email - "email@example.com"
Spey Bay Hotel
any of the above rooms are
as Family Rooms –
charge for 3rd and 4th £30.00 per adult
£10.00 per child
terms quoted per room include VAT and full Scottish Breakfast.
rooms have full central heating, en-suite facilities, tea/coffee making
facilities and colour t.v. and telephone.
excellent choice of cuisine is available.
All residents are entitled to golf at £5.00 per day - £25 per week on our 18-hole championship links course.
Round of Golf Weekday £14.00
|SPEY BAY TUESDAY 10th SEPTEMBER 1907|
article contains numerous spelling errors which resulted from scanning. Since I
do not have the original, I am unable to make any corrections - webmaster)
Not a cloud
in the sky. Not a breath of wind.
The sea smooth and blue. A
perfect day. Indeed, for the
first time that year, there were complaints that it was too hot.
other ways no ordinary day either, in fact, the greatest day in Spey Bay's
One of the
grandest men in the land, His Grace the Duke of Richmond & Gordon was there,
with his Daughter, his Brother, his Brother1s wife and other members
of his family; the local M.P., the
Sheriff, the Chief Constable and many eminent people from the area - 3,000
unnamed persons - not forgetting the British Open Champion, Arnaud Massy (a
Frenchman from La Boule, who had "Shot athwart the golfing sky") and
Sandy Herd an ex Open Champion and Pinder's Circus opportunist cally making the
most of it by providing alternative and apres-golf entertainment, while Nilnes
Secondary School, 5 miles away in Fochabers, was given a holiday.
No Golf Course yet made, said the Banffshire Advertiser, had a send off
equal to it.
lOam for 2 hours without cessation, a formidable array of cars and motor cycles
passed down to the camping ground, cyclists were legion, Mr Edgar's motor was
constantly on the road between Fochabers and Thgnet.
From Fochabers-on-Spey railway station (later Spey Bay) off the Aberdeen
and the Inverness trains which crossed at 10.40 there debouched a solid phalanx
of 600 people moving in dense procession to the Course" - "a
well-dressed and gay looking throng", most unlikely to trouble P C Pir of
Fochabers and his colleague who had been detailed by the Chief Constable of
Elginshire "to help in regulating the play'.
they had formed up in a semi-circle in front of the newly completed Hotel (less
than half its final size) with the three poled luncheon marquee alongside.
the Duke of Richmond & Gordon with his Daughter, Lady Helen (later to become
the Duchess of Northumberland) and Lord Walter and Lady Gordon Lennox moved
forward. "with his
Kodak, the Duke took panoramic pictures of the crowd'T, there were
too, a number of professional photographers, "and snapshottists lurking
that he had never dreamt of such a splendid course or such an enormous crowd,
the Duke declared the Course open. Next,
Provost Archibald of Buckie, first reassuringly pointed out that, if the worst
came to the worst, a lost ball provided a mystery, which created fascination,
while a miss, being as good as a mile, would be an unsurpassable drive.
Then he presented Lord Walter, the Duke's Brother with a silver mounted
"driver club", made by C Brand of Carnoustie and a White Flyer Ball
and called on him to play the opening shot.
Lord Walter who had a few days before played for a Nairn 4 ifl the
Northern Counties Cup hit a beautiful low ball and later played a round with
MrDalgleish, the Nairn Professional.
marquee, all the eminent people of the two Counties sat down to luncheon
provided by Jimmy Hay of the Royal Atheraeum, Aberdeen and Niss Hutchison, the
owner of the new Hotel, a Dallachy native, who, at 3 Correction Wynd, Aberdeen
-opposite Marks & Spencers - had run the Richmond Cafe, now Nitchell and
course of the toasts the Chairman proclaimed that nothing could be more generous
than the Duke's arrangement that the annual rental, to run for 25 years, be
exactly what he had recently paid for one round at Lossiemouth - namely 2/6 and
slipped in the suggestion that when King Edward VII was next his guest at
Duke should drop in his ear the hint that a round on Spey Bay might prove to his
The Duke in
replying claimed that he looked forward to all the feu duty that would come to
him from the villas that even then had begun to go up near the course, but would
give no assurance about persuading the King.
played a round the previous afternoon and pronounced the course one of
exceptional promise. The greens were already excellent, they were built of
sea-washed turf from an island near the mouth of the Spey and the preceding
summer, depressingly wet - yes, in those good old days - had produced tremendous
growth. Herd is recorded as having been on the 193 yard 4th with a brassie and
getting a 3 at the 369 yard 5th. After
the game "they mounted a 60 h.p. car belonging to a friend who had come
over from Cruden Bay" to drive to Buckie where, appropriately, they put up
at the Cluny Hotel - now like Spey Bay Hotel, owned by Mr Christie.
On the big
day, their first match was "Hole Play".
Herd, short with his approaches and unlucky with his putts, played below
form in the inward half and lost 3 & 1. In the second game, "Stroke
Play" Herd after the 6th went completely off his game and Massy won by 11
strokes, going round in 74 - on a course not very different from the present day
off the ordinary tees and using the primitive clubs and balls of that time. The Banffshire Advertiser, whose proprietor was a leading
golfer, describes their approaches as exceedingly accurate and their drives
perfect always -even going so far as to say they went 230 yards.
Herd's caddy was our very helpful friend George Riach, who had worked on
the clearing and creation of the course from the day after he left school at
another night in the Cluny, they drove in "the car" over to
completely redeemed himself by being 7 up after 18 holes and 8 up over 36.
amateur Tournament next day a semi finalist was W J B MacDonald, Buckie the
Father of the well-known Press and Journal Sportswriter, Alistair
locality - and Golf
greatest day in the history of Spey Bay", I said earlier.
To be truthful, it had no history, there had been no such place even when
the course was being planned, the Club had started off as Thgnet Golf Club the
little community was, and is, known as Tugnet.
In 1905 it consisted of perhaps a dozen buildings.
The site of
the course had always been known as "The Links" - the word means sandy
undulating ground at a flattish part of the coast, covered by turf and whins -
often becoming to nearby town, so, not a golf course, but, because of its nature
and ownership admirably fitted for that use.
next the~ sea provided a ~ what was to be the outward per of the course was 5'
olidly covered by four-foot-high whins.
not an innovation to the locality. There
were courses at Lossiemouth, Cullen (extended to 18 in 1905), Buckie
(originating in 1877 where the shipyards are now then moving to Strathlene),
Keith, Gordon Castle and Elgin (9 holes, opened in the same year as Spey Bay).
The Garmouth people who had been contemplating a Course west of their
Village, joined in with Spey Bay instead.
course, the Kirk Session records of Cullen reveal that "James and George
Duffus and George Stevinson were convict in break of the Sabboth for playing at
the Golf efternoone, in time of sermone" - in 1641.
visionaries who took the first step were the Buckie Golf Club, whose Course was
at Stathlene - the part south of the road, including the Caravan Site
They set up
a Committee of 12 - 3 each from Buckie, Portgordon, Spey Bay, Fochabers and
Garmouth - 4 of them Teachers They
sent their proposals to the Duke who replied enthusiastically within a week,
saying that he had often hoped someone would take this initiative - and offered
to take 150 shares. This persuaded
them to go ahead. There was to be a
public limited Company, Tugnet Golf Club (soon shrewdly and inventively changed
to Spey Bay Golf Club), with a capital of £2,000 in £1 shares - a very
substantial sum indeed. But £1,100
paid for all the work - up to 45 men were employed - and a generous quantity of
Committee aimed at establishing "a first class green, second to none
Scotland, to attract a first-class patronage".
There are hints, fairly that the Great North Railway Company had
considered the site before they Cruden Bay.
designing of the Course was given to Ben Sayers, Sen. who did the job on 6th
October 1906 - in the afternoon. He spent 2 hours walking the ground with Office Bearers who
showed him the boundaries and put forward their suggestions.
accompanied only by Robert Marr, a North Berwick man, who on his recommendation
became Head Greenkeeper, having with them a bundle of red & white flags, he
laid out the course - in 2~21 hours. Perhaps
he would have liked longer, but it may have been getting dark.
drove through the Committee-men's preconceived ideas with a four-in-hand, his
deviations were awe-inspiring to the uninitiated.
He planted flags for greens far in masses of whins (which covered the in
land half of the course). But now
(1907) critic is totally disarmed. His placing of holes can scarcely be
challenged. His afternoon work put
an additional feather in his headdress
course is largely as he designed it. The Northern Scot's verdict: "Though rather far from Elgin, a formidable rival for
Lossiemouth - the area's top Course
enterprises - the Course and the Hotel - look like enormous gambles.
There could only be a tiny local membership, many traveled the few miles
by train, walking ~3 mile down from the station.
But success came quickly The
railways brought well-to-do holidaymakers in large numbers -'as they did to
Cruden Bay, Lossiemouth, Nairn' aha Dornoch.
developed, growth continued and the Hotel kept growing.
The Daimlers, Lanchesters and Ninervas glided in and out.
After dinner, the ladies in their long dresses, the men in their dinner
suits, strolled in the evening air, perfumed with car smoke and the slow navy
serge Chauffeurs, in little groups did similarly.
In the mid
twenties~Ramsay MacDonald played regularly here and presented the Club with an
extremely valuable Cup. But all was
not idyllic. Long before the 1926
Strike, trouble came to Spey Bay. In
1913, in total disregard of the National interest through 100% solidarity, a
rise of 17% was wrung in minutes from the authorities - by the boy caddies, who,
from as far as Portgordon, assembled daily to the numbker of 40.
The 20 or so golfer queuing to start play enjoyed it all - while the
caddymaster scowled as he altered all the tickets in his roll - from 6d to
Miss Hutchison, the Hotel perhaps during the First War.
When troops and mines were laid along the
gained control of the course very early, war came in 1939, the Hotel was filled
with shingle bank at the shore.
everything changed. The pattern of holiday making for the well-to-do altered - as
Cruden Bay, Strathpeffer and Dornoch discovered. The course had inevitably been neglected although the Hotel
did reasonable business.
the 30's, at nearby Buckie, Strathlene had been extended to 18 holes and
Buckpool had opened and Garmouth just across the Spey and in the 60's Keith -
all affecting membership.
In 1965 the
main Hotel building was burned down. A
succession of owners had in the surviving out-buildings managed to keep the
Hotel & Course going.
arrival of Mr. George Christie as owner of the Hotel his known enthusiasm and
record of past achievements and the transformation he has promptly made in and
~~round the Hotel buildings, including the extensive section put at the disposal
of golfers, there came a resurgence of confidence among existing and potential
members and with an excellent Greenkeeper, the Course has come on
hours, the Course is almost free of golfers, it provides always good clean
footing, it quickly absorbs any quantity of rain, in winter it is often clear
and playable when a mile or two inland the ground is white with snow or hoar.
It is a Course where skill and accuracy are required, though length has
day in late spring, past yellow walls of whins, playing out on the rolling
heather fairways of the first five holes, singing larks spiraling above or later
ban~of bell heather, then ling, and after them, all the varied grasses of the
rough, the high peaks of Ben Aigen and Ben Rinnes up the Spey valley and the
even curve of the nearer hills swinging from the Teindland all the way round to
the dumpling Bin of Cullen, the spires of Buckie and the white chalkstick of the
harbour light, Portgordon perhaps buried in a cloud of spray.
Then turning homeward, now close to the sea, on the carpet of fine gcass,
with areas spread with seapinks and thyme, perhaps flights of probing
oystercatchers keeping just ahead, the heights of Garmouth and the Bin in front
and looking over the water to Lossiemouth, high on its jutting headland, miraged
occasionally on a very hot day and across the Firth the whole sweep of theblue
hills of Sutherland & Caithness with the anvil of Morven peering over them
opening gently eastwards.to the.horizon.
belonging to the Crow - designed by Ben Sayers - opened by a Duke and two Open
Champions - home Course of a Prime Minister.