The Club History

When it was pointed out to the late Mr Ramsay that the Machrie Links would make an ideal golf course, he resolved to give every facility for the formation of a club. On the club being formed he gave it the use of the links at a nominal rent of £1. With the assistance of Sir P. J.MacKie, Mr Lachlan McCuaig and Mr Donald MacLeod, the necessary money for forming a golf course was raised. Sir Peter MacKie arranged with Willie Campbell, Bridge of Weir, to lay off the course. When Willie arrived at Machrie he ‘mounted a knoll’, looked around and exclaimed with much enthusiasm: ‘this place was made for golf’. Shortly before noon on Friday 22nd May 1891, Mrs Ramsay of Kildalton formally opened the course by striking off the first ball. Immediately thereafter a 36 hole match was played between Willie Campbell, Bridge of Weir and Willie Fernie, Troon. Campbell’s knowledge of the course stood him in good stead, especially in the first round which resulted in his being 5 up. He ultimately won by 7 up and 6 to play. On this historic day in the annals of Islay golf, the weather conditions were delightful. Not a cloud in the sky, and a light breeze tempered the heat of
the sun.

(Extracted from “A 1930’s Guide to Islay”)

Kildalton Cross

The Kildalton Cross stands high in the chapel grounds on the lands of Ardmore, to the east of the island. In the early days of the club, the Ramsays of Kildlaton commissioned a silver
replica as a trophy for the premier competition of the Islay Golf Club. Many other trophies have been added over the years including the Higginbotham Trophy, but none to compare with the Cross.

The original trophy remained with the club until May 1968 when it, and several other trophies, were stolen from the hotel, and although some were recovered the priceless Cross was never seen again. Fortunately, the Ramsay family retained an identical Cross and allowed the Soutter family, also long associated with the club, to copy and donate a further replica. This is the trophy which is now held, and held in equivalent esteem and competed for each year.