Not long after gaining the right to be called an 18 hole golf course, the club found itself in dire financial difficulties and sought help. Now seen as a valuable asset to the local community, the only viable resolution was that in 1970, the District Council took over the club and its land. The course and grounds were managed by council services while the committee continued the day to day running of the golf club. This arrangement continued until the council lease on the land ended and in 1978 the executors of the Younger estate put the land on which the course had stood for nearly 100 years, up for sale. With the death of James Paton Younger in 1976 and the eminent collapse of the golf club, it was astonishing to discover that he was born in Arnsbrae house in June 1891, the same year as the club was founded
The resolve of the members was truly tested, a test they passed by raising the sum of £150,000 to meet the deadline for offers in September 1979. This was a truly incredible achievement considering the clubs financial position at the time. Lobbying councillors, M.Ps, and even JPY’s great nephew, the then Secretary of State for Scotland, Viscount George Younger. They were able to secure substantial loans from Scottish Sports Council, Clackmannanshire District Council, and Central Regional Council to negotiate the purchase of the course and its surroundings. However these loans were only granted on the proviso that the club find £50,000 of its own. The committee were up to the task and this huge sum was duly raised with the majority the 500 members loaning £100 each. Letters were written to every golf club in Scotland with donations coming in from our golfing friends at Tulliallan, Tillicoultry, Dollar and Schawpark Golf Clubs and others further afield in Grangemouth, Bo’ness, Kirkintilock and Inverness. Money from Tullibody Working Mens Club and many other local businesses and individual supporters added to the total.
In 1985 the club had to reach out once more to pay a cash flow shortfall when the Government claimed the tax on the same visitor fees which for years had been a good source of income to the club. As irony would have it, a few years later the same government repaid the VAT it had taken from all non profit making sports clubs subscriptions. Back dated for a number of years, this was no insignificant amount and the club agreed that it was to be used to build a new clubhouse. The new modern clubhouse, replacing the buildings erected in 70s and 80s, was the envy of others, shortlisted for 3 awards it was runner up in most improved club of the year awards of 1996.
The old clubhouse, its demolition and the new clubhouse in 1996
From the bleak times of the 1970s Braehead began to flourish as a golf course in the 1980s and 1990s, however something was still missing; trees. Throughout its history Braehead had always been a course cut into fields, a chance meeting with an old friend of club captain Val Buchan was to change all that. The old school friend worked in the Forestry Commission and helped secure a grant of 20,000 tree saplings, these tender trees were planted in 1995 and now stand tall as they line our lush green fairways today.
Two pictures to show how our course has grown and matured in 30 years