Dollar Golf Club

George Houghton - Golf Addict

In his book ‘Golf Addict among the Scots’ respected golf writer George Houghton wrote “Dollar is one of the most upright 18 holes we visited in Scotland! The course is built on the steep side of a hill, and hole 2 is an almost vertical 99 yards, if your drive doesn’t land on the green, your ball may easily bounce back to the tee. The 4th green is the only one that didn’t have to be built. Most are carved from the hillside or constructed like small platforms.

"I am not being fair to this interesting course. A description of the gradients makes Dollar sound impossible. This is not so. The terrain was in first class condition when we were there, largely due to the efforts of Jim Christy, the dedicated green-keeper, and son young Jim, who was lending a hand during vacation from Glasgow University where he reads geology.

"Some of the fairways at Dollar have diagonal strips of uncut grass which have been left by the mower to prevent well hit golf balls running down into the rough. Usually, four months of golf are lost each year through snow . . . Yet under these somewhat discouraging conditions, the little club prospers with a keen membership and an astonishingly high standard of play. The son of a Tillicoultry lawyer has a handicap of 2; Roy Pettigrew holds the course record with a 63, and out of the goodness of his heart he gives free lessons to the boys from nearby Dollar Academy. Needless to say, this great school pays special attention to golf. The Academy has a block membership of no fewer than 160 boys. They play from ‘academy tees’, so that the traffic do not cut up the ones used by other members.

"Overlooked by the Ochil Hills, and a sombre castle where Mary Queen of Scots stayed, the Dollar course is just off the Stirling-Kinross road. You follow a burn, and at the top of the road the Clubhouse stands like a prim, stone schoolmistress. There is an ancient board:
        Visitors 5s., 7s.6d. Saturdays. £1 weekly.
        Annual for Residents: Men £4 4s, Women £2 12s. 6d.
        Fees were fixed twenty years ago, they haven’t changed.

"Scottish golf is varied as the moods of a lovely woman. Modest like Dollar; regal, like Royal Aberdeen; austere, like Muirfield; remote, like Machrihanish; affluent, like Gleneagles, Turnberry, Western Gailles; homely, like Gullane; wild, with wind in her hair, like Dornoch; venerable and all things to all golfers, like St Andrews . . . Or, like Glenbervie, Scottish golf can be indefinable and immature. But it is always interesting".
(Text and cartoon courtesy of George Houghton - ‘Golf Addict among the Scots’)