Originally named Cumbrae Golf Club when it was established in 1888, the club is said to have changed its name to Millport Golf Club twelve years later on to avoid any possible confusion with Comrie Golf Club in Perthshire.
According to the book James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses by John F. Moreton & Iain Cumming, James Braid designed a second course for the club just before the start of World War I. “In a map in the local paper we can see the relationship of the old course to the new, the old course shorter... the new course longer, more compact”.
It continues: “Hazards abounded naturally, hillocks, stone walls, streams, and the scenery and views were magnificent… It was built over the winter months and was ready in early summer 1914.” The original course was lost during the Great War but there’s reason to suspect a number of its holes may have been incorporated into the design that’s in play today.
Located on high ground to the south west of Great Cumbrae, the course affords golfers fantastic views across the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Bute, the Cowal Peninsula and Arran. With no par fives and only five par fours in excess of 400 yards, Millport measures a modest 5,828 yards from the medal tees, playing to a par of 68.
Out of bounds comes into play at many of the opening and closing holes. Indeed, at “Mountstuart,” the 323-yard 2nd hole, there’s OOB on both sides of the fairway as it doglegs to the left, around the town reservoir.
Back-to-back par threes feature at the 4th and 5th holes: the green on the first of these holes (the 162-yard “Deil’s Cast”) is surrounded by no fewer than six bunkers whilst the 5th (the 227-yard “Tairge”) plays directly uphill to a two-tiered green which cants sharply from back to front.
On the back nine, the 449-yard “Coney Lea” is rated the most difficult hole on the scorecard. Out of bounds again lines the right side of the hole, with the rolling fairway leading to a bunkerless green that slopes markedly from front to back.