The ambitious venture of building a golf course in Tomatin came into being following a meeting of community representatives in 1904 who expressed a lack of facilities for outdoor recreation.
It was resolved to proceed immediately with the laying out of an excellent golf course on Tomatin ard, an elevated stretch of ground overlooking the village. The chosen site was one of ancient historical interest because on the upper level there was once a settlement in the Bronze Age. Today, there is just the low profile of three hut circles, or round houses as they are now known as, and one of them was partly overrun by General Wade’s Road.
The course was formally opened in July 1905, the opening ceremony favoured with excellent weather. Tomatin at the time was referred to as having a growing reputation as a health resort with a necessity of providing a golf course.
The course was situated on either side of General Wade’s road, between Smithfield, Mo Dhacaidh and the old A9, with the first green and Clubhouse nearest to the lay-by and approach road to what is now the lorry park. There is a venerable larch tree nearby, which could have many a tale to tell of close fought competitions and much enjoyment for many years, as well as voluntary labour on a challenging site.
With the help of generous supporters from the local area, the course grew to having a roll of 40 members and in 1910, a new club house was to be built free of debt. With an increase in lady members, by 1915 members were playing in competitions for impressive sounding cups against clubs including Carrbridge and Rothiemurchus. Sir Perry Robinson, a visiting sportsman in 1923, reportedly commented that he had played in various parts of the world, including Trinidad, the Canaries and China, but Tomatin Course had “features of its own”. He and his wife had come to play with 10 balls - had lost 17, but still possessed 8!
It is not recorded when the last games were played at Tomatin Golf Course, however, it is anticipated that it was in use until after the end of World War II. The Clubhouse went into dignified retirement as a henhouse - the lockers ideal nest boxes!
Credit goes to a wonderful article included in the Strathdearn Newsletter in 2017 by Ann Glynne Percy, Tomatin who describes the golf course with fond memories
Angus | Team Melfort