II First Woman Golf Club Maker

The first woman golf club maker recorded at Bruntsfield Links

Last year, a significant new discovery in women's golf history was found in the Postal Directories of Edinburgh. It was an entry for a female golf club maker in 1820. She was Mrs Isobel Denholm, widow of David Denholm, club-maker at Bruntsfield.

In 1809, David Denholm was appointed general factotum, called an Officer, to the Edinburgh Burgess Golf Club at 3 guineas per annum and was supplied with a uniform. He served as greenkeeper and club-maker to the club until his death in 1820. The job would have entailed cutting holes and tending to the green generally as well as repairing golf clubs.

David Denholm traded from the ‘Back of the Meadows’, later called Meadow Place, and now called Roseneath Place, at the east end of Bruntsfield Links. There are no extant golf-clubs known to have been made by Denholm, nor do we have any maker’s mark for him. He may just have repaired clubs or made them for Peter McEwan, who was a contemporary, trading at Wright's Houses, at the west end of Bruntsfield Links.

POE Mrs Denholm clubmaker 1821 3

David Denholm had married Isobel Ross on 20 November 1799. After David's death in 1820, Mrs Denholm apparently took over her husband's business. She is listed in her own name, as a club-maker in the business directories from 1820 until 1823. So, it seems that Isobel Denholm successfully carried on making golf clubs, or at least repairing them, for three years. Unfortunately, no other details are available at present.

Bruntsfield Links was, therefore, the site of both the first women's golf match and the first woman golf club maker.

A complete account of the 300 year history of golf at Bruntsfield Links has just been published in a new book called Bruntsfield Links - Home of Club Golf. Click here for further more details.