The Paisley and District Golf League was formed in 1960, with the member clubs competing to win the Newton Shield. The Shield was presented by Harry Burns of Elderslie Golf Club, the player credited with the formation of the League.
The Shield itself is named after the Newton Woods in Elderslie, close to where Harry lived. Prior to the formation of the league, there were friendly matches between the clubs in the area. The league was formed to introduce competition and encourage sporting links between member clubs.
The original member clubs were Cochrane Castle, Elderslie, Old Ranfurly, Paisley (Bushes), Ralston, Ranfurly Castle and Renfrew. Clubs that joined in later years are Bonnyton, Caldwell, Erskine, Greenock and Kilmacolm.
In 1961 the Renfrewshire Golf Union asked the Golf Clubs in Renfrewshire to consider the Union taking control of the League and extending it to involve all Clubs in the County. As there was not sufficient support from the Clubs, the Union decided not to proceed.
Elderslie were the first winners of the Newton Shield in 1960. Since then the most successful club has been Cochrane Castle, with 17 wins between 1960 and 2004, 13 of which were between 1976 and 1990. Paisley have been successful on 12 occasions and Greenock on 7 occasions. Caldwell and Erskine are the only Clubs never to have won the Shield.
A number of golfers who played in the league have progressed to the highest level of the Amateur and Professional games. These include:
Cochrane Castle : Barclay Howard and Dean Robertson
Elderslie: Stewart Murray and Stephen McAllister
Ralston: Ross Drummond and Alastair Forsyth.
The first Newton Shield dinner was held in February 1961 in the Art Galleries of Paisley Town Hall. Mr James Blackwood presided over the dinner and a film show was given by John Panton.