On the fairways with Bill Tait

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The Turnberry Ladies Golf Club start their centenary celebrations on Tuesday of this week with a game over the Arran course in clothing similar to that which their predecessors wore back in 1912.

I doubt whether they will play with hickory-shafted clubs and gutta percha balls, but that may be too much to ask. However, the ladies like to do things in style and hopefully the weather will be kind to them.

Looking at old photographs, the ladies seemed to wear long dresses and big hats. Hmmm! Well, at least they brought a bit of glamour into what was then predominantly a man’s world.

The entrance of ladies to Turnberry Golf Club in February 1912 coincided with the Ladies British Open Championship held at Turnberry between May 13-18 of that year. This drew entrants from far and wide, including many champions of other countries such as Australia and Canada.

The event was won by Gladys Ravenscroft, of Bromborough, who was 24 years of age and had given up hockey to take up golf. Miss Ravenscroft was described in the local press as “a typical example of a golfer girl, tall and of good physique who quickly came to the front on the links”.

She beat Cecil Leitch, then an up-and-coming golfer in the semi final by one hole and S Temple in the final by two holes.

The trophy was presented to Miss Gladys Ravenscroft by Lady Ailsa in front of an audience of appreciative club members.

I am sure that this Tuesday there will be plenty of lady golfers of good physique who will display their talents in a like fashion on Turnberry’s links.

I will hopefully be able to give a full report next week, but no doubt the fashion side will elude me.


“It may be said especially that mankind has always displayed a uniform craving for the pastime of hitting a ball with a stick. With the savage races, the enemy’s head has taken the place of a ball, but the principle is just the same.” Scotia on Golf in 1886.

Well, thank goodness we do not seem to have any savage races in Ayrshire, well at least I have not seen anyone playing golf using his opponent’s head.


I was at the Ayr-Kilmarnock game last Saturday at Hampden and felt that Ayr played well considering the difference between an SPL full time club and a First Division part-time club.

Mind you I would have preferred Ayr to come out attacking more, particularly in the second half when they should have been looking for a win. When they did attack, they made the Kilmarnock defence look vulnerable.

For me, the event was spoiled by the excessive security arrangements. I travelled up by coach so as to not have any problems in getting there and presumed we would park or at least be dropped in the main car park.

It seemed sensible to go by coach rather than by adding to the congestion of travelling by car.

In order to avoid Kilmarnock supporters, we were instructed to leave Ayr before 9am for a fairly short journey and travel by a prescribed route and park in a designated position some two miles from the ground.

No thought was apparently given to dropping the fans outside the ground then parking in the prescribed area and picking them up later.

They seem to forget that we are civilised in Ayrshire and have not, to my recollection, had any trouble in the past at Ayr-Kilmarnock games.

After all, there were only 25,000 spectators at a stadium which can comfortably hold 50,000.

This is the National Stadium and to have to park and walk such a distance is not on. If better arrangements than this can not be made, then I will hesitate to go there again. They seem to forget that, without the supporters there would be no National Stadium and better consideration should be given to their interests.

Mind you, those with tickets for the main stand with use of the hospitality had a great time and I am told were very well looked after, but that was the minority.

The weather has improved of late and this should please all golfers. A bit of frost will quickly clear and then battle can commence. Enjoy it.