According to the book James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses by John F Moreton and Iain Cumming, the course at Hayston Golf Club came about because the nearby town of Kirkintilloch (which had once boasted fourteen public houses) was declared “dry” in a local veto poll in 1920, closing all the drinking establishments within the town.
The book explains: “One of golf’s happy traditions is the playing of the 19th, where suitable refreshment encourages golfers to discuss the virtues and vicissitudes of their rounds and those of their opponents. The gentlemen of the club then known as Kirkintilloch Golf Club were denied this sacred ritual”.
To overcome the prohibition restrictions, it was decided to acquire land at Hayston Farm, lay out a new course, erect a new clubhouse – one that would be able to dispense the demon drink, of course – and form a new club called Hayston Golf Club. It took six years for all this to happen but eventually, in 1926, members were able to play on a course laid out by James Braid.
The authors continue: “Braid’s connection does not end there. The course was ploughed up in World War II and he returned in 1946 to restore it… Braid appears to have paid fairly frequent visits to advise on bunkering and other matters and clearly had a deep affection for the course, as the club still has for James Braid.”Today, the course measures a shade over 6,000 yards from the back markers and it plays to a par of 70. A couple of short par fours (“Carlston” at the 3rd and “Ower the Tap” at the 12th) offer decent birdie opportunities whilst three of the five testing par threes on the card are played on the back nine at the 165-yard 14th, 232-yard 15th and 145-yard 18th.