Instituted in 1893, Helensburgh Golf Club had a 9-hole course ready for its founding members within a couple of months of its formation, thanks to the efforts of Old Tom Morris, who set out the fairways on the site of the old Kirkmichael Farm, where he made full use of the natural features by incorporating trees, a quarry and an old stone wall into his design.
By 1905, because the course had become so popular, long serving professional Tom Turnbull had added another nine holes, expanding the layout to a full 18-hole track. In September 1923, James Braid paid a visit when he advised on the repositioning of bunkers and the construction of two new holes at the 11th and 12th on the current course.
The modern day layout extends to just under 6,000 yards from the back tees, playing to a par of 69, with only one par five on the scorecard at the 503-yard 13th, named “Lang Stracht”. A couple of short par fours on the front nine offer birdie opportunities at the 1st (“High Hopes”) and 5th (“Bunker Hill”).The back nine begins and ends with formidable par fours. The slope on the 440-yard 10th (“Clyde View”) favours a drive aimed to the right, allowing an approach to the green from near the middle of the fairway. And at the 400-yard 18th, the width on this hole is enough to encourage a full-blooded tee shot so don’t hold back on the final swing of the driver.