Winter Rules for all play, both the winter league and casual golf:
Throughout winter, until further notice, the following winter rules are in force:
1. A ball coming to rest on any fairway must be lifted and placed at least one club length from the nearest edge of the fairway or nearest relief from any obstruction not nearer the hole, or played from a mat from where it lay.
2. A ball coming to rest in the rough within one club length from the fairway edge must be lifted and dropped beyond one club length, not nearer the hole.
3. A ball coming to rest beyond the marked line across the fairway, on front of the ‘main’ greens, may be played as it lies.
4. A ball coming to rest on any winter green not in use or at any areas currently undergoing winter work, e.g. 7th fairway, must be lifted and dropped under rule 16, relief from abnormal ground conditions (aka GUR).
5. When winter greens are in use, a putter may be played from any part of the course.
6. All club winter league competition matches with winter greens in play shall remain as such throughout the day
AS ALWAYS, REMEMBER TO REPAIR YOUR PITCHMARKS AND ANY OTHERS YOU SEE.
Members, along with Visitors, will have sat on the memorial seat by
the 10th Tee, either to reflect on a good score or to pass the day
discussing the round that was.
was a sad miss and resting point very much absent from the Club in
recent times when the advice from Scottish Golf was to remove all
course furniture. Anyone who has played the course in the past week
will see the seat back in its appropriate resting point. promoting
the fabulous view towards Raasay and North Skye.
seat is in memory of Eric McGlone placed there by his family. Eric
and his wife were both born in Scotland in villages outside of
Glasgow. They didn’t actually meet until they ran into each other
in London. Eric’s daughter Heather wrote to me, telling me of when
she and her husband visited Skye as a favourite holiday destination
in the 1980s, and so too did her parents and younger brother. Every
year they stayed at then Skeabost Hotel.
they did a lot of salmon fishing and Eric and his son would also
travel to Sconser to play at the Skye Club.
mentioned “Wherever he went in the world with his golf clubs
they always had the Isle of Skye Golf Club tag attached to them”.
travelled the world a lot. He worked for a computer company, at the
time called Burroughs, travelling from his London home. In the end
he moved to Sydney, Australia for a few years and then to the USA
before finally coming back to London.
added “Skye was such a love of theirs that when my father died
we asked the Funeral Director Donnie Macleod if the club would let us
scatter his ashes on the course and we were given permission to do
so. It was a really wet day, with torrential rain and my mother kept
saying, “Your father would like this, as his ashes will help
nourish the fairways”.
widow thought it would be nice to have a memorial of some sort at the
clubhouse for a man that had spent so many happy hours there. She
thought a bench might be nice if players wanted a little break and to
admire the view. They located a local carpenter who loved the work of
Charles Rennie Mackintosh and had converted an old schoolhouse in
Skye into an amazing home and workshop. His name is evident on the
base of the bench on one of the legs. The beautiful bench was hence
constructed and every time Heather and her family (and there are
several groups of family members) who at different times come to
Skye, the first thing they do – after breathing a huge sigh of
relief that they are on the island – is to stop at ‘Grandad’s
bench’ as the younger members of the family call it, and just
breathe in the moment. Heather always takes a moment to reflect on
her father. It is the last thing they all do before also leaving the
Heather’s Mum died two years ago. The Family couldn’t get up to
Skye last year due to the Covid restrictions, so it was wonderful for
them to get back this summer.
commented, “My father was a very wise and shrewd man. For all the
hectic and busy lives we all lead he would always say to me, never
forget to take time to stop and smell the flowers. He was so right.
Just taking time to sit and pause on Grandad’s bench is
inspirational. He was a very clever person, who absolutely loved Skye
and loved his golf. I hope some of your Members will take time to
stop and smell the flowers too, and watch the bumble bees too”
funny how much history and how many stories there are behind a simple
inscription on a bench!.
thanks to Heather for her contribution to this article and thanks to
those who helped restore the seat after the lifting of Covid
Sconser Golf Club was formed at a meeting held in Sligachan Hotel on 23rd November 1964 and the course was later constructed on a piece of land leased to the club by Ian Campbell of Sconser. Shortly afterwards Mr Campbell found himself in conversation with Neil Maclean, a fellow Skye man who was a surgeon in Glasgow. Mr Maclean suggested that a medical colleague of his was also an avid golfer, who had represented his country at international level and who, if approached, might be willing to assist in the project.
Dr Frank Deighton, a former Walker Cup player, was then asked by Mr Campbell to design and lay out nine holes for the purpose of playing golf – a challenge he enthusiastically accepted. As the course developed Mr Campbell generously allowed members to use part of one of the outbuildings beside his house as a club room – the original 1st tee was near the site of the present 7th tee. George Gibson – a founder member of the club who lived in Portree but now resides in Inverarnie – remembers the early days. He said that there were no fairways as only tees and greens had been partially prepared and he recalls with some amusement memories of cutting the greens with a hand mower on balmy summer evenings – barefooted!
Over the next 20 years the club grew and became established. In 1984 the land was purchased from the Campbell family and a fence erected to remove the sheep which had traditionally grazed on the course. Electric fences, which had been installed around the greens to prevent damage from the animals, became a thing of the past. Mr. Alastair MacDonald, Sconser, was employed as a part-time greenkeeper. Mr MacDonald’s son, Donnie, eventually became our full time greenkeeper up until the early 2000s.
Mrs Margaret Foskett (nee Maclean) – a founder member from Sconser township, and one of the original ‘gang of four’ who approached Mr Campbell to discuss the idea of creating a golf course – remembers some disquiet in her family as she prepared to attend the inaugural meeting to form the club. Some of her close relatives had sheep that had grazed happily and undisturbed on the site of the course for many years!
Two years later mineral extraction on the shore (beside what is now the 2nd/11th fairway) resulted in significant coastal erosion and threatened part of the golf course. Thankfully remedial work was carried out, the problem was resolved and no further damage has been done to the course.
At about the same time, and as tourism was becoming more and more significant to the economy of the area, it was felt that the club’s identity required clarification. In 1987 Mr Murdo Beaton, who was then Secretary, proposed that the name of the club be changed from Sconser Golf Club to The Isle of Skye Golf Club. This proposal was approved at the AGM and the present club officially came into existence. Mr Beaton also became the first member of the new club.
In 1988 the present clubhouse and car park were constructed with the help of MacFarlane Builders and the playing order of the holes was amended to its present day layout. Dr Deighton was invited and graciously accepted an invitation to return to the island to open the new clubhouse and did so in some style, launching the ceremonial drive from the tee just in front of the new building.
Ten years later and once again, as interest in the club and golf in Skye and Lochalsh continued to bloom, additional land was purchased with the aim of creating an 18 hole course which it was hoped would attract more visitors to the area. A funding submission was prepared and submitted to the Sports Lottery Fund but unfortunately, as the government funding resources were reduced, the criteria for financial assistance changed. So too did the general economic situation and gradually and sadly the proposal became unrealistic.
In 1999 a tearoom and small golf-related shop were created in the clubhouse and, with seasonal stewards on site. With this enhanced facility, the club was able to increase revenue from members and visitors alike.
Today the Isle of Skye Golf Club has around 150 members and employs one full-time greenkeeper and one part-time seasonal assistant to keep the course in excellent condition. Three ‘seasonal’ stewards are employed in the clubhouse to take green fees, process memberships, hire clubs and trolleys and sell sweets and soft drinks.
However by far the most popular items for visitors are the club’s own-logo golf merchandise products which are hopefully used as souvenirs to remind people of their pleasant experience of playing a round on the picturesque course at the Isle of Skye Golf Club in Sconser.
In conclusion – when contacted recently about the club’s anniversary, Dr Deighton was delighted to hear that his creation had stood the test of time and requested that we pass on his very best wishes to all involved with the celebrations.
Dr Deighton, our golf course designer, passed away peacefully on 23rd February 2018 aged 90.
His daughter, Nicky, and her husband ,Justin, contacted us to see if we were available to meet with them at the clubhouse prior to their scattering Dr Deighton’s ashes on the golf course. On Thursday 5th April on behalf of the club we did so and spent some time with them both before and after the ceremony.
Nicky produced a scrapbook of memorabilia relating to her father’s golfing exploits and we were pleased to see included some photographs of the clubhouse opening ceremony, some other photographs of him in action (one with Jack Nicklaus), one of our scorecards/course maps and a ‘cutting’ from the WHFP edition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the IOSGC.
Both Nicky and Justin have been captivated by the club and the island itself and are very much looking forward to visiting us from time to time in the future.