Ladies have played at the golf club in Arnsbrae from its earliest beginnings. It was noted on 21st April 1894: “There was a large turn out on Thursday in the ladies handicap competition for a gold brooch, this trophy was presented by Mrs Knox of Cambus, to Miss Moyes who had the lowest score of 71 less 18 – 53”. On the 4th October of the same year a “Bogey” competition confined to lady members was held on a day where the weather was said to be favourable, but patches of long grass made low scoring exceedingly difficult.
In 1895, a very complimentary newspaper review by “Notes by Niblick” reported: “The golf craze seems to have caught on with many of the ladies as well as the sterner sex, quite a number of them now being regular frequenters of the course”. The voice of the female membership was also being heard, as their request to move the Challenge Cup from September 1895 to May was granted by the all gentlemen committee. By 1900 the ladies were playing competitions on Thursdays, monthly medals on Mondays, and their spring and autumn medals on Saturdays.
Members of Alloa Golf Club sitting in front of Mar Estate House
The ladies of Alloa Golf Club were very keen to show support for their new club, as can be seen in 1906 with their commitment to raise £600 by holding a grand fete & bazar in the town hall. The object of this two day extravaganza was for the improvement of the course and erection of a club pavilion. In the opening ceremony held on 20th July of 1907, the gentlemen were not only appreciative, but astounded at the ladies endeavour to raise £793. In November of that year a dance was held in the same town hall to celebrate this achievement, 50 couples from the golf club attended and were given the option of wearing either evening or fancy dress. By all accounts, (and those viewing from the upper galleries) most opted for the latter and enjoyed an evening of dancing and merriment. Throughout the clubs history the ladies section has been invaluable in raising funds and looking towards the social aspect of the club, be they bazars and fetes, whist drives, jumble sales, cake and tea dances. A very popular fundraiser up to World War II were the golf gymkhanas, these mini competitions included mixed-foursomes, longest drives, approaching, putting, clock, ladder and klondyke. Latterly with the club being established the ladies of Braehead Golf Club directed this energy and monies towards many local and well deserving charities.
When the majority of Alloa Golf Club members left to join the new course at Schawpark, it was not the majority of ladies, indeed half the ladies stayed at Braehead unlike the 3/4s of men who decided to leave. Although the ladies were not allowed a vote in either club, they did have a say at Braehead, and it would appear from reading the minutes of these meetings that some of the men were not too happy that they did and were keen to change this at “their” new club. A more deciding factor may have been that in a time when you were not allowed to play sports on a Sunday, the ladies at Braehead could enjoy a game of golf on most other days. However, unlike most golf clubs (Schawpark to be included) they also were allowed to play on a Saturday. With the ladies staying loyal to support the club they had helped build, it lead to what might be a unique fact in the golfing world, when in 1936 the ladies membership outnumbered the men by 62 to 53.