That Hole's called what? - Why?

Have you ever wondered about the stories behind the names of the Holes at Minto.  Here we give you an insight.  Thanks are due to Ray Chlopas for the research he has done to find out what is behind the names.  A number of the names derive from places around the Minto Estate and Denholm.  Later in the month we hope to publish some maps showing the location of these places and showing the changes around Minto over the past 150 years.


Hole 1 - Gibbie’s Glebe

Named in memory of the Gilbert Edward George Lariston Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 6th Earl of Minto who was extremely supportive of the Club and the expansion of the Course to 18 holes.

Further information about the history of Minto village and the Earls of Minto can be found online.

Hole 2 - Volunteers

Named in recognition of the people who gave their time to create the top part of the Course [Holes 2 to 6]. The Volunteers included Gents who manned the cutting equipment and Ladies who hand weeded the greens. Special mention should be given to Paula Aitchison who also has a Minto Open named in her honour.

There will be Club Members today who know the names of the many Volunteers.

Hole 3 – Aintree

Thought to be named in recognition of the late Kenneth Oliver who “trained” the horse Wyndburgh for the Grand National. Wyndburgh came 2nd in the Grand National three times [1957, 1959 and1962] as well as coming home 4th in 1958.

Although Kenneth was credited as the trainer, it is likely that the real trainer was his wife Rhona. In the late 50s, early 60s Jockey Club rules did not allow Ladies to be trainers.

Hole 4 – Stewart’s View

Named after Stewart Aitchison, well-respected Club Secretary and husband of Paula [mentioned in the description of the name of Hole 2]. There is a wonderful trophy donated by the Earl of Minto for an annual competition in Stewart’s memory. Latterly the title of the Trophy Competition has been extended to include Paula’s name.

Hole 5 – Hoggie’s Leap

Named in memory of the first Club Secretary at Minto, Mr T Hogg.

There is a photograph of Mr Hogg in the Clubhouse. He is the gentleman in the white cap beside Kenneth Oliver’s father. [Kenneth Oliver is mentioned in the description of the name of Hole 3]

Hole 6 – Kirk Tower

Played towards the Church with the Tower in question. This is the “newer’ Minto Church. The old one is worth a visit. It is located in the woods behind the 9th tee. An old map of the area shows the old Church outline with the word JOUGS in large capital letters. Research shows this to mean the large iron rings on the end of a chain outside the Church which was used to punish gossiping women …….

Hole 7 – Fatlips

Named after the catle on Minto Crags, sometimes referred to as Minto Castle. The castle was built in the 16th Century by the Turnbulls of Barnhills. During the reign of Henry VIII, the castle and/or crags were also known as Manstoncrake or Mynto Crag.

The name Fatlips has a couple of interpretations:

Because of the habit of members of the house to greet guests with less discretion than was considered decent at that time,

Because members of the Turnbull family had fat lips.

Hole 8 – Benign Bishop

Benign Bishop was the nickname given to Kenneth Oliver, a lifetime supporter of the Club and nationally famous National Hunt trainer as described at Hole 3.

Kenneth Oliver donated a trophy for a 36 hole competition played annually by Minto Juniors.

Hole 9 – Kittock

Kittock was a spirit who lived in a hole on Minto Crags. He was a benign spirit who sometimes appeared in the form of a white rabbit and was reputed to be very kind to the Minto family.

This information is sourced from a booklet about Minto written by the local Schoolmaster in 1930. A copy of the booklet can be found in the Hawick Museum & Gallery in Wilton Lodge Park.

Hole 10 – Hangin’ Stane

Sorry to disappoint the bloodthirsty amongst you but this has nothing to do with gallows. A packman was coming round Minto Crags and spotted a large stone protruding from the hillside which he thought would come crashing down at any minute. He sat all day but it did not fall and it is thought that it has still not fallen to this day. The stone is also known as “The Packman’s Rock”.

This information is also sourced from the booklet referred to a Hole 9

Hole 11 – Dunion

Named after the hill on top of the B6358 Hawick to Jedburgh back road. Look slightly to your left from the tee where you can see a radio mast in the distance. Over the life of the Golf Course, the ridgeline around the highest point has been much reduced by quarrying.

Hole 12 – Everest

The very steep incline up to the green has led to this hole being named Everest

Hole 13 – Craigmount

This hole is named after the private Girls’ School which occupied Minto House from 1952 to 1966.

Hole 14 – Teviotdale

Looking down the fairway and beyond you look into the Teviot Valley running towards Hawick, “The Fairest Spot O’A”. The quote is taken from the title of a song by Tom Ker [1856-1932], poet and songwriter closely associated with the development and maintenance of Hawick traditions.

Hole 15 – Ruberslaw

Named after the impressive volcanic plug directly south of Minto and clearly visible from the 15th tee. The hill is known as the home of the Covenanters. In fact the cleft at the top is known as Peden’s Pulpit after one of the Covenanter preachers.

Legend has it that a band of Redcoats were approaching a Covenanters meeting on Ruberslaw when Preacher Alexander Peden called for The Lord’s help saying “O Lord, lap the skirts o’ thy cloak ower puir auld Sandy” and the Covenanters were saved by a thick mist from the enemy. A thick cloud descended upon them allowing their escape.

Hole 16 – Road Hole

Well, there is a road running parallel to the fairway.

Perhaps we should run a competition for a more imaginative name.

Hole 17 – West Lodge

The hole heads towards the West Lodge of Minto Estate. Look for the interesting plaque on the left hand entrance pillar forming the main entrance to the Golf Club.

Hole 18 – Shaw’s Bush

An old map of Minto shows Shaw’s Bush to be down the track from the Clubhouse near to Minto Glen.