In the Auchterarder Guide of some 50 years ago it gives a population of 2,254 and also mentions that Auchterarder derives its name from the Gaelic 'Auchdar aird tir', signifying 'the summit of the rising ground'. Standing on a ridge in Strathearn, it is one of the highest towns in Scotland. It also mentions sporting facilities, the nine- hole course being recognised as one of the finest inland courses in Central Scotland, laid out in 1913 by Ben Sayers. A modest payment made the visitor a member. They were given a cordial welcome and invited to take part in the competitions.
In 1912 it is reported that the golf course part of the Muir formed excellent grazing ground. Whins covered much of it but they were kept under control by goats which were then pastured on the Muir.
Someone once said that golf courses were born out of boredom, not invented. Auchterarder Golf Club was just beginning to take off when World War 2 began. A high percentage of the members of that time were called to the Forces, petrol rationing came into being and the production of food became number one priority.
At the club committee meeting of March 11, 1941, the secretary read out a letter from the department of Agriculture suggesting part of the course be ploughed up as a contribution to the 'grow more food' campaign. Although a survey was done, it was felt that it was more suitable for grazing purposes and this is what happened, although the new holes to the west of the old railway track were all under cultivation. After the end of the war in 1945, the course was gradually brought back into a reasonable condition and during the 1950s and 1960s the 'Old Nine' as it is now known, was recognised as being a very good playing course.
It was in the late 1960s and the early 1970s that discussion took place between the committee and the town council on the forming of an 18-hole golf course. However, they were overcome the new 18 hole course was completed in 1979.
Demand for golf in the area increased steadily in the 1980's and 1990's and the clubhouse was extended several times to keep pace with this demand. A decision was taken in 2001 to massively reconstruct the clubhouse and build a second level. This was completed in 2002 and the club now has excellent visitor changing facilities, and large Bar/Lounge and Dining room areas.
Investment in the clubhouse have been matched by steady investment in the course and a 5-year drainage programme was completed successfully in 2006. We are now into a further 5-year course improvement programme which has already delivered a magnificent new 3-tier 12th. green and the opening of a new 10th green. These are top quality sand-based greens which offer great flexibility in pin positioning for varied interest, but also excellent drainage and resilience properties to minimise lost playing time due to the weather. The Club also now atively embraces the shift into the sustainable golf era - a link to our Green Zone page is here.
We have come a long way since 1892 but whilst we like to think that we have a very modern and thriving club, one that has changed steadily over the years, we also like to think that the club has lost none of the traditions established all those years ago.