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Bowers Gifford Golf Club, Benfleet, Essex.

Bowers Gifford Golf Club was represented at the inaugural meeting of the Essex Golf Union on 27th February 1924. At that time there were 23 clubs in Essex, of which 16 attended the meeting.

First appeared in the early 1920s. In 1923 the secretary was L R Andrew, Trenow, Canvey Road, Leigh-on-Sea. Telephone 11. The professional was E Gray from 1923 until 1930, and the greenkeeper was G Kyte. An 18 hole course. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a day, 3/6 a day at weekend and bank holidays. The Station at Benfleet was 1 ¼ miles away. The club provided a car service from the station to the course.

Result of a mixed foursome played in March 1925; Mrs Peter and R Holmes, 105-23-82; Mrs Martin and H Chapman, 117-24-93.

On July 5th 1925 Bowers Gifford visited Braintree in the second team competition of the Essex County Amateur Golf Union. Braintree won the singles 7-1, the foursomes ended 2-2. Full result of the singles below.

Braintree   Bowers Gifford  
F R H Ranson (8&7) 1 E V Shaw 0
G G Shepherd (3&2) 1 A N Beatley 0
H A T Rowley (2&1) 1 1 R A Foster 0
F Rose (6&5) 1 W Hazell 0
S R Livermore 0 E A Shaw (6&5) 1
J Gleave (3&2) 1 E Friend 0
S G Nelson (4&2) 1 F G Joblin 0
E L Elliot (4&3) 1 J A Morrison 0
  7   1

Results from August 1925; Monthly Medal, Mr Baker, 75 net; mixed foursomes (one club) Mr Foster and Miss Howgegoe; men’s foursomes tombstone competition, Mr Peter and Mr Chapman; mixed foursomes tombstone competition, Miss Bearn and Mr Bentley.

In November 1925 Major G Bradban was appointed secretary of the Bowers Gifford club.

Result of the April 1926 medal; Mr Inskipp, 103-24-79; Men’s tombstone foursome competition; Blandy and Parrot jnr, 18th hole. 

Below is the result of a match played at Braintree Golf Club against Bowers Gifford in August 1928.

Briantree Golf Club   Bowers Gifford Golf Club  
H A T Rowley 1 A N Bentley 0
F Rose  0 F Petre 1
W B Lake 1 F G Kerr 0
E Smith 1 J Morison 0
S Livermore 1 H Chapman 0
D Cameron 1 D Holmes 0
J Gleave 0 L Friend 1
L Bradbury (half) 0 A Kennard (half) 0
R G Netting 1 J Abbott 0
Rowley and Rose 0 Bentley and Petre 1
Lake and Smith 1 Kerr and Morison 0
Cameron and Livermore 1 Chapman and Friend 0
Gleave and Bradbury 0 Holmes and Kennard 1
  8   4

In November 1930 Ernest Gray, who had been professional at Bowers Gifford since the inauguration, resigned from his duties. Gray was an England International and was one of the first golfers to complete a round of 68 in the Open Championship.

From 1940 to 1951 the address was Bowers Gifford Golf Club, Earlsfee Hall, Bowers Gifford, South Benfleet. Telephone 18. The secretary was  C E Dutton, 45 Westcliff Park Drive, Westcliff-on-Sea. Telephone Southend 3473. The professional and greenkeeper was  I Medley, who had taken up post in 1930, and remained with the club until at least 1938. Club membership was 200. Course records were, amateur A E Hutton 74, professional A Dailey 69. Visitors’ fees were 1/6 a round, 2/6 a day, weekends and Bank Holidays 2/6 a round, 3/6 a day.

In the Chelmsford Chronicle Friday 12th January 1940 the death was reported of Mr James Frederick Platt, a former captain of the Bowers Gifford Golf Club.

Bowers Gifford Golf Club, Benfleet, Essex. The Clubhouse.

The Club House, Bowers Gifford. Authors Collection.

 

Bowers Gifford Golf Club, Benfleet, Essex. The course and marshes.

Above is a postcard showing Bowers Gifford Golf Course and Marshes. Authors Collection.

 

Bowers Gifford Golf Club, Benfleet, Essex. Location of the former course.

The location of the Bowers Gifford, Earl’s Fee Hall course proved to be a bit of a mystery. The above map shows a clubhouse at Rookery Farm in the 1930s, but there is no course marked. Any help in confirming the site would be appreciated.

Grid reference of above TQ75915,86995, co-ordinates 575915,186995.

Bowers Gifford Golf Club had disappeared by 1955.